Viasat granted suite of operating licenses in Nigeria

Viasat granted suite of operating licenses in Nigeria

U.S.-based telecoms company Viasat Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has been granted a full suite of operating licenses in Nigeria by the country’s Communications Commission (NCC).

According to the company, the operating licenses entail Internet Service Provider (ISP) license, VSAT license and three Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) licenses, in a bit to bring high-quality satellite internet connectivity to Nigerian communities where limited or no internet service is currently available.

“We are proud to be working with the NCC and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to help the Nigerian government achieve their broadband goals to improve the quality of life of its citizens,” Rick Baldridge, president, and CEO, Viasat said in a statement.

The NCC granted Viasat multiple licenses to operate within the 28GHz Ka-band satellite frequency band. The deal emphasizes the continuing importance of satellite communications to connectivity in Africa’s less populous areas.

The 28GHz Ka-band spectrum has enabled satellite broadband to be the fastest growing segment of satellite communications, and the leading global broadband solution to connect the estimated 3.6 billion people in the world left behind by terrestrial infrastructure.

With access to the 28GHz Ka-band spectrum, Viasat will be positioned to expand its satellite-based internet connectivity service to more regions and citizens across Africa—ahead of the launch of ViaSat-3, its ultra-high-capacity global satellite constellation comprised of three communications satellites.

A ViaSat-3 satellite, aimed to serve Africa, as well as Europe and the Middle East, is planned for launch in 2022.

“We believe our proven satellite internet solution, will bring cost-effective internet services to Nigerian towns where large gaps exist between demand and the affordability and availability of internet services. We want to thank the NCC for granting us the license framework required, and for preserving 28GHz Ka-band spectrum for satellite-based services that will greatly contribute to breaking down barriers required to achieve digital and social inclusion for all of Nigeria,” Baldridge added.

Since being granted the licenses, Viasat has begun a trial program to connect five unserved Nigerian communities covering approximately 15,000 people. Viasat plans to provide details on the trials later this year.