Starlink is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation using a low earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls, and more.
This implies that it provides internet services using the same technology as satellite TV companies, DStv for example, to deliver broadband Internet. While DStv’s and other satellite TVs are far up above the Earth, Starlink’s satellites are closer, making it deliver faster Internet speeds than most satellite Internet providers.
Starlink is created by SpaceX, a company that designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of making life multi-planetary.
Starlink in Nigeria
Starlink was launched in Nigeria on Monday, 30th of January, 2023, which makes Nigeria the first African country to have access to the service. A few Nigerians have gotten it and shared their experiences using it. It has proven to be very effective in remote areas mostly where regular internet service providers have little or bad network coverage.
The technology has an edge over regular internet service providers in Nigeria because it uses satellites to provide its internet, users can travel to almost any part of the world with the sky above it and get an internet connection.
This would mean that Starlink users can travel to areas without technology and get internet access as long as they can power the router.
How to Get Starlink internet
To get Starlink internet, users have to check for the availability of Starlink in their location by inputting their address on the website before being eligible to place orders.
To place an order, you will need to input your contact information, as a means for the delivery agent to reach you, and your billing information, which is how you will make payment on SpaceX for the product.
How much does Starlink cost?
The hardware costs a one-off payment of 600 dollars, while the monthly subscription costs 43 dollars. The deposit fee of 43 dollars will be paid when placing the order as an initial payment. A balance of 600 dollars will be required for payment when the device is ready for shipment. Be informed that the shipping fee is not included in this estimate.
Also, because of international transaction restrictions on naira debit cards, users looking to purchase Starlink would have to pay via a dollar card at the black-market rate. Banks like UBA also provide dollar cards that can be used to make this payment.
At that rate, users will pay $43 at N32,606 for the initial deposit and monthly subscription. And then the one-time $600 at N454,980 for the hardware router. The hardware installation kit is a one-off payment that only requires a subsequent monthly subscription fee for unlimited internet service access.
Competition and comparisons between Starlink and other Internet Service Providers (ISP)
Starlink is set to compete with the likes of MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile, and hundreds of other Internet Service Providers in Nigeria providing services via a different technology.
However, considering the high cost of its hardware compared to other ISPs, this has already disadvantaged Starlink with respect to other vendors who offer way lower setup costs.
With the rollout of 5G by MTN and the award of 5G license to Mafab Communications and Airtel, who are expected to also roll out the service any moment from now, competition based on speed will be very stiff for Starlink, as 5G networks have the capacity to generate a high internet connection speed.
In terms of monthly subscription, at $43 (about N32,606) Starlink is still within the range of other ISPs in Nigeria.
Starlink’s most competitive edge in Nigeria will be its availability in rural and unserved areas where the services of the incumbent operators are either poor or unavailable.
But pricing is also a factor putting into consideration the number of people that can afford the router installation in Nigeria.
Hopefully and in the nearest future, we hope they will cut down this set-up price.