Viasat sets eyes on Nigerian Internet market

Augustine Nwalunne, Head of Spectrum Management at the NCC in white

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(Ecofin Agency) - US satellite operator Viasat is exploring expansion opportunities in Nigeria. A delegation of the company was received in audience on 10 February 2020 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja. This is the second meeting, after the one held on 4 March 2019, that the company is holding in Nigeria as part of its plans to open up to the world market.

Augustine Nwalunne, Head of Spectrum Management at the NCC, revealed that Viasat has requested the Commission's support and approval for the reservation and use of the 28 GHz KA frequency band in the country to provide cost-effective internet and broadband satellite connectivity through its incorporated Nigerian subsidiary, Viasat Nigeria.

Viasat plans to expand its satellite services to Nigeria and Africa through the deployment of its global constellation of three communications satellites, the first of which is scheduled to go into space in 2021. Viasat said the new satellites will offer very high download speeds. Each of the ViaSat-3 satellites is expected to provide 1 terabit or more of the total network capacity.

NCC said Viasat also wants to conduct a proof of concept (PoC) in Abuja this year to ensure the viability of its Internet solutions. Thereafter, the company plans to roll out in a community and then expand its services across a state, before proceeding with the extension of its satellite broadband services nationwide by 2022.