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HomeLifestyleStarlink: An Overview of Elon Musk's Satellite Internet Service in Kenya

Starlink: An Overview of Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Service in Kenya

Starlink: An Overview of Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Service in Kenya

Elon Musk’s satellite internet company, Starlink, entered the African market this week.
Musk’s spacecraft corporation SpaceX launched the internet provider in Nigeria on Tuesday, seven months after Musk announced the company had received approval to launch in the West African country.

Mozambique is also one of the countries where the ISP has permission to operate, while Kenya is said to be awaiting regulatory approval.

The company announced last month that it will launch in Kenya in the second quarter of 2023, competing with existing players such as Safaricom, Telkom, Faiba, and Zuku which use fiber-optic technology.

How does it function?

Starlink is an internet broadband system that began satellite launches in 2019. The service, which is already available in 44 countries worldwide, is aimed at customers who are unable to connect to the internet via traditional landlines.

The company has launched over 3000 satellites into low-Earth orbit, each capable of providing high-speed internet access.

Starlink: An Overview of Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Service in Kenya. Starlink claims on its website that it can deliver speeds of more than 150Mbps to any location on the planet as long as its satellite dish has a clear view of the sky.

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In contrast, while some local providers, such as Safaricom, began rolling out 5G last year with the promise of delivering speeds of up to 100Mbps, coverage remains limited and few people have 5G routers.

Starlink’s kit comes in three trim levels; Standard for “residential users and everyday internet applications” like streaming, video calls, and online gaming; High Performance for “power user, business, and enterprise applications”. This kit provides faster speeds at high temperatures, connects to more satellites, and is more resistant to extreme weather.

The most sophisticated of them all, the Flat High-Performance kit, targets “mobility applications and challenging environments”.

According to Starlink, this option has a wider field of view and enhanced GPS capabilities, it can connect to more satellites to provide consistent connectivity while on the move, and the hardware is designed for permanent installation and is more resistant to extreme weather.

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The Starlink dish, mounting tripod, Wi-Fi router, router mount, power supply, power supply mount, and cables are all included in the kit.

“Mounts designed to be permanently installed on a pole to avoid obstructions will be available for purchase on the Starlink Shop once your Starlink is ready to ship. “Extended cable lengths, mesh nodes, and ethernet adapters are also available,” according to the company.

Several Nigerians who pre-ordered the kits have reportedly received them so far.

How much does it cost?

To obtain Starlink, you must pay Ksh.74,216 ($599). Kenyans can already pre-order and pay a fully refundable deposit of Ksh.12,260 ($99) to reserve a kit while the company awaits regulatory approval.

“Place your order now to reserve your Starlink. Starlink plans to launch a service in your area in the second quarter of 2023. Availability is conditional on regulatory approval. “Orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis within each coverage area,” the company said last month.

Customers in the United States have paid $110 per month, which is approximately Ksh.14,000.

In comparison, the Safaricom 5G Wi-Fi router costs Ksh.25,000 plus Ksh.5,000 for installation. Premiums start at Ksh. 3,499 for 10Mbps and rise to Ksh.5,999 for 40Mbps, with a 100Mbps subscription costing Ksh.14,999.

Faiba is selling 125Mps for Ksh.21,000.

Where will it be sold?

By June 2023, Starlink is expected to be operational in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru.

The service provides a 30-day trial period during which customers can return the hardware for a full refund if they are dissatisfied.