The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has disclosed that U.S.-based Starlink has applied for a license to provide its satellite Internet services in the country.
As the demand for broadband connectivity continues to grow, Starlink continues to expand on the African continent. According to TCRA, Starlink plans to launch its services in Tanzania in the first quarter of 2023 if its application is approved.
BMA understands that the application continues Starlink’s African expansion strategy in line with its parent company SpaceX’s ambition to bring broadband to the most remote and landlocked areas. This ambition comes in a particular context marked by an acceleration of demand for broadband connectivity on the continent since the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021, Starlink began negotiations with regulators in some African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, to secure the required authorizations for its satellite connectivity services. As a result, it received its first African approval in Mozambique in February 2022. Two licenses have followed since then, counting Nigeria in May and Malawi in October.
Once approved, Starlink will provide high-speed Internet to Tanzanian households and businesses through its constellation of about 3,500 satellites orbiting the Earth.
The latest TCRA data has revealed that 31.1 million of the 61.5 million population are internet users in Tanzania.
TCRA notes that Starlink’s entrance will likely accelerate internet penetration in the country, notably in remote areas where access is difficult for terrestrial networks.