Elon Musk is quite the character in the world today and for all the things he’s doing wrong at Twitter, he has revolutionized many other industries like the electric car space and space exploration. One of his initiatives under SpaceX is Starlink.
Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to over 60 countries. Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency service is made possible via the ‘world’s largest constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in a low orbit around the Earth‘.
With Starlink, users can engage in activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet such as streaming, online gaming, video calls, and more. Recently, Starlink has become available in Kenya and in this post, we cover all the bases with everything you need to know about Starlink in Kenya.
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How to Get Starlink in Kenya
Starlink has made it pretty straightforward to order Starlink in Kenya. The process is easy and
- Go to https://www.starlink.com/
- Enter your Address in the search box and click on your nearest landmark
- You should then see your quotation for how much it will cost you.
- Proceed to fill in your contact information and billing details and that’s it!
How much is it to get Starlink set up?
Starlink hardware will run you a cool Ksh 89,000 (USD 625) but this is a one-time cost. Shipping and handling will run you another KES 3100 (USD 22). Add the monthly subscription fee of Ksh 6500 (USD 46) and that gives you a total of Ksh 92,100 (USD 647) as your initial cost for Starlink in Kenya.
Worth noting is that you will need to pay this using your card as M-PESA is not an accepted payment method at the moment.
How much will Starlink cost per month in Kenya?
The basic Residential plan which does offer users Unlimited Data will cost you Ksh 6,500 (USD 46) monthly. However, there are other tariffs for users that might want to use Starlink for business purposes. Here are the tariffs and their rates.
|StarLink Packages||Package Details||Cost||Additional Information|
|Residential||Unlimited Data||Ksh6,500 monthly||Shipping fee for the kit is Ksh3,100|
|Business Option 1||1 TB priority data + unlimited standard data||Ksh13,572 monthly||Businesses are given a 30-day trial period|
|Business Option 2||2 TB of data||Ksh27,144 monthly||Businesses are given a 30-day trial period|
|Business Option 3||6 TB of data||Ksh81,432 monthly||Businesses are given a 30-day trial period|
|Roaming - Mobile (Regional)||Can be used anywhere on land within the regional coverage area||Ksh7,900 monthly||Hardware costs are separate (between Ksh89,000 and Ksh110,000)|
|Roaming - Mobile (Global)||Can be used anywhere on land within the global coverage area||Ksh32,800 monthly||Hardware costs are separate (between Ksh89,000 and Ksh110,000)|
|Roaming - Mobile Priority (50 GB)||Can be used on both land and at sea while in motion||Ksh34,910 monthly||Hardware costs are separate (between Ksh89,000 and Ksh110,000)|
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How fast is Starlink Kenya?
Well, Starlink says that it is currently available in Kenya using inter-satellite links.
You can expect Starlink’s typical high-speed internet with brief periods of intermittent service and high latency. Users will be able to engage in common internet activity like email, online shopping, or streaming a movie, but they won’t be able to engage in activities like online gaming or video calls. Service will improve dramatically over the next year.Starlink
Early adopters in Kenya have been able to get close to 300Mbps down but the upload speeds are reportedly not as impressive. Many peg it at around 30Mbps up on a good day but usually it is less than that.
Ping is, however, pretty bad, around 200-300ms with the best being seen to be 76ms. Users have also reported outages, some reporting 1 to 2 outages every 8 minutes. However, the situation is set to keep improving as SpaceX launches more and more Starlink satellites.
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Is that As Fast As Fiber?
Well, yes! Most fiber-to-the-home internet providers in Kenya like Safaricom Home, Faiba, Zuku, and others max out at 20Mbps plans. In this sense, Starlink is 10 times faster than Fiber to the Home in Kenya.
Even business fiber installations for institutions and other office blocks max out at 100Mbs so still, Starlink is faster than these.
Competition is Stiff
Safaricom has announced plans to get into the satellite internet space in conjunction with its mother company Vodafone but little is known about this. That notwithstanding, both Safaricom and Airtel Kenya have committed to expanding their 4G coverage across the country.
Safaricom’s 4G network covers 77% of the Kenyan population and their 3G network covers 94%. Airtel doesn’t say how vast its network is but it keeps expanding. With this, there might be little need for an expensive satellite internet service but there might be space for such a service.