While SpaceX’s Starlink has made waves recently, Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite internet service has been steadily transforming the market in Nigeria.
In partnership with local provider Coollink, Konnect challenges perceptions and addresses unmet needs in impactful ways.
Eutelsat, which has long provided satellite broadcasting across Africa via DStv, aims to connect 1 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa within 3-4 years. Nigeria is central to this goal, given its large, unconnected population and the economic benefits of increased connectivity.
Launched in 2020, Konnect offers speeds up to 100 Mbps with unlimited data plans starting at around N7,900 monthly. Device costs begin at N45,000. The service features tailored pricing tiers based on usage needs, from homes and SMEs to hospitals and businesses.
This segmented approach improves affordability and accessibility for diverse customers. Although speed caps apply on lower plans, full speeds are available nightly for large downloads.
Such innovations help Konnect overcome challenges like low purchasing power that have hindered connectivity efforts in Nigeria. Compared to Starlink’s minimum N30,000 monthly fee, Konnect better aligns with local demand dynamics.
Regarding coverage, Konnect uses a geostationary satellite orbit farther from Earth than Starlink’s low Earth orbit satellites. This gives Konnect a wider reach so customers nationwide can access the service.
Starlink’s closer proximity enables lower latency and faster speeds but with less extensive coverage. While Konnect emphasises breadth, enhancements are coming to match Starlink’s performance.
Eutelsat plans to add more capacity over Nigeria in 2024 and launch its own low Earth orbit constellation there in late 2023. This will boost speeds and reduce latency as user demand grows.
Additionally, a proposed merger is underway between Eutelsat and OneWeb, which already operates 648 low-Earth orbit satellites globally. This deal would further elevate Konnect’s capabilities in Nigeria’s market.
In summary, as Starlink enters Nigeria, the formidable Konnect has quietly revolutionised the landscape with its commitment to connectivity, localisation, and continuous improvement.
Eutelsat is bringing affordable satellite internet to unserved populations and positioning Konnect for long-term impact through next-gen infrastructure and strategic partnerships. While still under the radar for many, this silent force aims to transform African connectivity sustainably.