The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued landing permits to 13 additional space stations, which includes American operators, Iridium, to provide satellite services within the country’s space.
The official list of authorized space stations in Nigeria released as of 31st of August, 2020 increased to 68 licenses, from 55 landing permits which were previously disclosed as of December 2019, indicating that the regulatory body issued additional 13 permits. As of December 2019, the 55 space stations were operated by Avanti Hylas-2 Ltd, Eutelsat, Immarsat, Intelsat, OneWeb, SES-Owned NSS Licensee, and Yahsat.
The latest list now comprises American operators with permits for eight space stations and SES which acquired five additional permits through its UK-based subsidiary NSS Licensee B.V, which became effective starting 10 August 2020 for the 03B network. In addition, Eutelsat KONNECT which was launched in January 2020 to facilitate satellite communications services to Africa and parts of Europe extended its license
The license confers authority on foreign operators to cover the satellite space and other allied services in Nigeria. This mandate is in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act NCA-2003 and the Commercial Satellite Communications Guidelines for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, which came into effect in November 2018.
In terms of the frequency band of operation, the majority of the satellites are based on C-band and Ku-band frequency. Ka-band frequencies feature significantly with SES’s five newly licensed space stations on Ka-band.
In summary, Fixed Satellite Services, FSS remain the major service type in the country, as opposed to mobile satellite services (MSS), accounting for about 80.9%, as 55 out of the 68 space stations adopted the FSS. In addition, Iridium’s eight space stations with landing rights in Nigeria, account for the majority of the ten MSS-only landing permits issued by NCC.