Elon Musk-owned Starlink, a satellite internet service, aims to extend its reach across Africa. As per its official website, Starlink is presently accessible in 54 countries worldwide and caters to approximately 1.5 million active customers.
Expanding its coverage to Kenya, Elon Musk-owned Starlink has launched its satellite internet service in the country. With an initial focus on major cities like Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru, Kenya becomes the fourth African nation, following Nigeria, Rwanda, and Mozambique, to be connected to the service.
The introduction of Starlink brings the promise of high-speed internet, reaching speeds of up to 200Mbps, with significant potential for enhancing education, business, and overall socio-economic development within the country. With a monthly subscription fee of Ksh6,500 ($45.9) and a one-time hardware cost of Ksh92,000 ($649.72), broadband internet is set to become more accessible and affordable to a broader population.
The entry of Starlink into the Kenyan market is expected to introduce fresh competition for local internet service providers like Faiba, Safaricom, and Zuku. Currently, these telecom operators offer internet speeds of up to 100Mbps at monthly charges ranging from Ksh12,000 ($84.5) to Ksh16,000 ($112.7), as reported by local media website Tuko.
In response, Safaricom, Kenya’s leading communications company, has joined forces with AST SpaceMobile to introduce satellite internet services. This move intensifies the competition between the two players in the satellite internet sector, ultimately leading to improved services and more widespread access to the internet.
Starlink plans to expand its services to 17 additional African countries in 2023, including Zambia and Angola. In 2024, it aims to launch in 16 more countries, including Uganda, Tunisia, Ghana, and Egypt. There are 18 additional countries where the launch dates are yet to be confirmed.