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SpaceX signs deal with Google for global high-speed Internet connectivity

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Thursday signed a deal with Internet giant, Google to provide high-speed broadband internet connectivity around the world.

TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports the deal is to deliver data, cloud services, and applications, leveraging Starlink’s ability to provide high-speed broadband internet.

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Under the deal, SpaceX will locate Starlink ground stations within Google data center properties, providing businesses with seamless, secure access to the cloud and Internet with Google Cloud infrastructure

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This will enable secure, low-latency, and reliable delivery of data from more than 1,500 Starlink satellites launched to orbit to-date to locations at the network edge via Google Cloud.

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Google Cloud’s high-capacity private network will support the delivery of Starlink’s global satellite internet service, bringing businesses and consumers seamless connectivity to the cloud and Internet, and enabling the delivery of critical enterprise applications to virtually any location.

Organizations with broad footprints, like public sector agencies, businesses with presences at the network edge, or those operating in rural or remote areas, often require access to applications running in the cloud, or to cloud services like analytics, artificial intelligence, or machine learning.

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Connectivity from Starlink’s constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites provides a path for these organizations to deliver data and applications to teams distributed across countries and continents, quickly and securely.

“Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organizations, whether they’re operating in a highly networked or remote environment,” said Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure at Google Cloud.

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“We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running.”

“Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect,” said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell.

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“We are proud to work with Google to deliver this access to businesses, public sector organizations, and many other groups operating around the world.”

This new capability, delivered by Google Cloud and Starlink to enterprise customers, is expected to be available in the second half of 2021.

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Recall that the American aerospace manufacturer and space transportations services company had identified Nigeria as a critical market for its business.

A delegation from the company was in the country recently, and held a meeting with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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SpaceX is in the process of launching a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites to provide low latency, high bandwidths Internet to all corners of the globe and has identified Nigeria as a critical market.

SpaceX has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licenses to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services to Nigeria.

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Having made substantial progress in the discussion, the Commission granted SpaceX’s request for a face-to-face discussion to gain better insights on the prospects of their proposal.

Led by SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa, Ryan Goodnight and supported by the company’s consultant, Levin Born, the company provided an overview of its plans, expectations, licensing requests and deployment phases during the meeting.

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After the presentation by the SpaceX team, the NCC emphasised that in light of disruption in the technology world, it is keen on balancing healthy competition with entry of disruptive technologies to ensure sustainable telecoms industry growth and development in Nigeria.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated this, represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska.

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He said NCC will work on necessary modalities to ensure that it balances the need for healthy competition vis-a-vis the entry of new technologies, in order to protect all industry stakeholders.

“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the Commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest.

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“We have listened to your presentation and we will review it vis-à-vis our regulatory direction of ensuring effective and a sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees,” Maska told the SpaceX delegation.

Maska further stated that the Commission is interested in making necessary regulatory efforts to drive the coverage of rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country through the accomplishments of the lofty targets contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

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He noted that the plan’s target of 70 per cent broadband penetration target, covering 90 per cent of the population by 2025 is also in line with government expectations in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2010-2030.

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