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Elon Musk’s Starlink, South Sudan gov’t, sign deal

By Philip Buda Ladu


The government of South Sudan has signed an agreement with Starlink Services for a Satellite Landing Rights License, securing reliable and affordable mobile broadband satellite internet connectivity across the country.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by Starlink Services, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American aerospace company SpaceX, providing coverage to over 75 countries.

SpaceX, owned by American billionaire Elon Musk, started launching Starlink satellites in 2019, aiming to provide global mobile broadband connectivity.

The National Communication Authority (NCA) signed the agreement on behalf of the government following a meeting with Starlink’s managing team in Juba on Wednesday.

NCA met with Ryan D. Goodnight, Sr. Director, Global Licensing & Market Activation at SpaceX, and Benjamin MacWilliams, Director, Starlink Global Licensing & Activation in South Sudan, for a significant multi-stakeholder engagement.

The South Sudan Revenue Authority’s Customs Division was also part of the meeting.

In a statement on its Facebook page, NCA said this multi-stakeholders’ engagement meeting addressed crucial issues related to licensing Starlink service in South Sudan.

It also touched on Starlink terminal smuggling, highlighting the country’s growing need for connectivity.

“After a two-year negotiation, we are thrilled to announce the signing of a Satellite Landing Rights License and a Provisional Service License for Starlink services in South Sudan,” partly read a statement from NCA.

“These agreements aim to provide affordable and accessible broadband connectivity, especially to remote areas, promoting rural connectivity,” it added.

According to NCA, Starlink South Sudan is expected to publish details of its products and their associated prices this week, as well as their distribution agent, who will be responsible for the distribution of terminals.

The NCA has warned that there will be penalties for smuggling unlicensed terminals into the country.

“The conclusion of licensing Starlink and collaboration among government agencies marks a significant step forward in our mission to bridge the digital divide and connect South Sudan,” the government communication regulatory body emphasized.

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