Rwanda Space Agence (RSA) has announced that Starlink has been licensed and approved to provide internet services and high-performance connectivity to Rwanda through its constellations of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
According to Francis Ngabo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RSA, “This aligns with our mission to leverage space capabilities for national development by contributing to the overall target of establishing international connectivity redundancy and near-universal broadband coverage.” In addition, Starlink is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2023 and would ensure connectivity capability for underserved and remote areas in the country.
Furthermore, the CEO insists that Starlink is not designed to oust existing internet providers in the country but to augment and advance their services and serve as a backup as opposed to previous infrastructures. The license corroborates with the recent National Broadband Policy and Strategy, which focuses on encouraging businesses that foster affordable, quality broadband services.
“We are confident that the high speed and reliability of the service will benefit both citizens and businesses. We look forward to the positive impact it will have on the country’s competitiveness in the global digital economy,” Paula Inagbire, Minister of information and Communications Technology and Innovation, stated.
In addition, Francis Ngabo reiterated that the space agency would continuously collaborate with satellite broadband internet providers to encourage affordable services for the people. However, he noted services would increase broadband competitiveness as end-user services will cost around USD 44 (RWF 48,000) for a bandwidth of 150 Mbps and 350 Mbps for businesses.
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