Elon Musk’s Starlink set to disrupt telecom sector in Nigeria- IMC experts

By Oghale Mafuru

Following the recent approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for Starlink satellite to operate in Nigeria, practitioners in the Integrated Marketing Communications IMC Industry, have projected that the telecommunications sector is about to witness another mind-blowing disruption that will certainly overhaul the entire telecommunications ecosystem.

Speaking separately during exclusive interviews with MARKETING EDGE, they affirmed that the introduction of Starlink into the Nigerian market will undoubtedly herald a new dispensation for competitiveness, collaboration, and innovation, especially for traditional telecom companies.

Commenting on the impact of Starlink’s entry into the Nigerian market, Brand Communication expert, CEO Copycoach Nigeria Limited, Boye Adefila stated that the company guarantees excellent internet services for all Nigerians irrespective of location and this will encourage competitiveness in the telecom sector which is required for its development.

He said: “As a consumer, I always welcome new competition because it helps improve service quality and customer relationship, the two things often lacking when you have a monopoly in one form or the other. Competition always gives birth to creativity, which in turn gives birth to innovation; so we are in for an exciting and rewarding time”.

The IMC expert while positing that access to the internet will accelerate economic growth, especially in the rural communities noted that collaboration is needed to drive inclusion and efficiency in the telecommunications industry.

“The collaboration required for grassroots leveraging of telecommunications needs a more charitable intervention from the likes of Google and Microsoft.

“I expect mergers or acquisition of small to medium-sized players because telecom coverage is capital intensive at the cellular technology level. On the other hand, I trust MTN and maybe even Glo Mobile to either directly invest in Satellite technology or partner with individuals who can give Starlink a run for their expected quality,” he added.

Similarly, Richard Iweanoge, Chief Executive officer of Papyrus Digital Solutions expressed delight at the introduction of Starlink satellite in Nigeria noting that with the use of satellite internet services, speed and accessibility is guaranteed for consumers, especially rural dwellers.

According to him, Starlink will facilitate the attainment of the developmental goal of the Federal Government as well as plans to improve internet penetration in the country.

“The introduction of Starlink satellite is a good thing for everyone, for the consumers, for the government even for the telecom organisations. The government has restated its goal to make internet access available to all Nigerians irrespective of where they reside whether it is in the city or rural areas. Satellite internet guarantees that kind of coverage which is difficult for the telecom organisations because telecoms are using terrestrial means of transmitting signals which means it is not very cost-effective to take signals to rural areas. So those places they can’t reach, Starlink can definitely reach there”.

He asserted that Starlink has signaled a new dawn in the telecom industry and other service providers would have to enhance their operations and service delivery to sustain market relevance in the face of this new competition.

His words: “The revolution will come from the competition they will bring to the market. More competition means the telcos will become more aggressive not to lose their customers including the ones in the cities because Starlink can also work in the cities. They will have to sit up and fight not to lose their customers”.

Commenting on how the introduction of Starlink in Nigeria will revolutionize the telco sector, Atham Sunday, Channel Marketing Manager, Patricia Technologies Limited, said that disruption is imperative to drive creativity and growth in any economy noting that as technology continues to evolve and birth new solutions, industries should anticipate and prepare for disruptions for sustained relevance and continued customers loyalty.

He believes that Starlink has brought the needed competition that is required to enhance the services of telecommunications companies in Nigeria.

“It is great to have them come around. Of course, it’s a competitive market and the sky is wide open for everyone to operate. I mean nobody loves monopoly (except the business owner). We’d love to see them come in with disruptions that will shake other service providers” he said.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently approved Elon Musk’s Starlink, a satellite company to begin operations in Nigeria. It issued two licenses, which include the International Gateway license and Internet Service Provider (ISP) license. The company will be trading as Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd.


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