Starlink has already been launched in several countries in North America, Europe, and Asia, and it is slowly expanding its reach to Africa. Having launched in Nigeria last year and is set to launch in Kenya in the second quarter of this year, it is a good time to look at Starlink’s availability and expansion in Africa.
In this article, we will take a look at the countries in Africa where we can expect Starlink to be available by the end of 2023 and 2024. This is an exciting time for Africa, as Starlink’s internet opens up new opportunities for businesses, education, and healthcare. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of countries where Starlink will be launched in 2023.
Starlink’s Availability in 2023
After getting approvals from Nigeria’s NCC and Mozambique last year, we expect to see new waves of approvals from more countries across the continent. According to the official Starlink website and communications, here are the countries that will be receiving Starlink service in 2023.
- The Republic of Congo
- Western Sahara
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
This marks a significant expansion for the service, which has so far only been available in a limited number of countries around the world.
However, it’s worth noting that Starlink is still in its early stages of deployment, and some of these countries may still be in the queue for service. The service is not yet widely available and the cost of equipment and service may be high for some people in these countries. There are also significant downsides to the service that must be acknowledged. One of the main downsides is the high cost of installation and service fees for customers.
In Nigeria, where Starlink has received approval, the cost of the hardware alone is $600 (₦340,000). This cost can be prohibitively expensive for many people in Africa, where the average income is lower than in developed countries. In addition, shipping costs $60 (N25,000) and subscription costs $100 (N43,000) per month.
Another downside of Starlink in Africa is the long waiting period for preorders to be delivered. Even in the US, where the service has been available for some time, customers have reported waiting months to receive their equipment. This waiting period can be especially frustrating for customers in Africa who are eager to access the internet but are held back by long delays.
It’s worth noting that even though Starlink is a satellite-based internet service, that doesn’t mean that it will have 100% coverage every time. The service might be limited to certain areas, and the signal quality might be impacted by the weather conditions, just as we know with DStv satellite dishes when it’s raining.
Starlink’s Availability in Africa 2024
Starlink is set to expand to several African countries in 2024 as well. These countries include:
- Burkina Faso
- Côte d’Ivoire
It’s worth noting that the availability of Starlink in these countries is subject to regulatory approvals. Each country has its own process for approving satellite internet services, and SpaceX will need to comply with these regulations before it can begin offering Starlink in these countries.
In conclusion, while Starlink has the potential to bring high-speed internet access to remote and underserved areas, the high cost of installation and service fees, along with the long waiting period for preorders, are significant downsides that must be acknowledged. These challenges may limit the accessibility of the service for many people in Africa, exacerbating the digital divide rather than closing it.
Share with us in the comment section, will you consider getting Starlink when it launches in your country?