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Elon Musk’s SpaceX to provide internet services in Bahrain, Israel may be next

Musk has already assisted Bahrain with its satellite program and has additional space-related interests in Turkey.
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks below a computer-generated illustration of his new rocket at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017, Adelaide, Australia, Sept. 29, 2017.

American billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX has received a license to provide its Starlink internet services in Bahrain. The kingdom’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is the first entity in the Gulf to approve the provision of Starlink’s services, the official Bahrain News Agency reported yesterday. 

“We are pleased that Starlink chose Bahrain as the first market in the Gulf to seek licenses for its services,” said the authority’s general director Philip Marnick. 

Starlink is a high-speed internet service that uses low-orbit satellites. It is operated by Musk’s space travel company SpaceX. 

Why it matters: SpaceX already had a relationship with Bahrain prior to the Starlink deal. In December of last year, a SpaceX rocket launched a Bahraini-Emirati satellite to the International Space Station. This was Bahrain’s first space satellite

The agreement with Starlink could help Bahrain maintain its strong internet sector. More than 99% of the Bahraini population has internet access, which is among the highest percentages in the region. 

Musk also has a space-related relationship with Turkey. Also in December, a SpaceX rocket sent the Turksat 5B satellite into orbit. 

Know more: Starlink may soon be available in other Middle Eastern states as well. Last year, the Israeli technology news outlet CTech reported that Starlink’s services would be available there some time in 2022.