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Elon Musk’s internet firm Starlink set to launch in Kenya by Mid-Year


Starlink, the satellite internet company owned by billionaire Elon Musk has indicated that it will be launching in Kenya by the second quarter of the year.

The company‘s website currently displays a message indicating that it will be present in the country soon.

“Order now to reserve your Starlink. Starlink is targeting service in your area starting in Q2 2023. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis,” says a message on the company’s website.

Those who wish to pre-order the company’s services can deposit Ksh12,260 ($99) which is fully refundable.

While providers such as Safaricom, Zuku and Telkom operating in the Kenyan market mainly offer services through underground cable and Wi-Fi connections, Starlink’s internet is carried through the airwaves via satellite connections. This makes it more reliable and widespread especially in remote areas where fibre optic infrastructure is underdeveloped.

Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency service is made possible via the world’s largest constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in a low orbit around the Earth,” the company says on its website.

Nigeria and Mozambique became the first African countries to grant Starlink a license to operate its internet service. Malawi followed soon and more countries will certainly license the company. However, the company’s subscription fees are seen as too steep for the continent and questions abound.

Last year, the company reviewed the costs to a one-time fee of $599 (formerly $499) for the dish and router, and $110 (formerly $99) for a monthly subscription. There is also a premium product tier that goes for  $2,500 for installation and $500 in monthly fees.

Starlink says on its website that its internet is “ideally suited for areas where connectivity has been unreliable or completely unavailable,” but it might seem that its target customers don’t include those who live in Africa’s deep interior.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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