By Lucas Ajanaku
Elon Musk’s satellite company, SpaceX, is now available for customers in Nigeria, the first country to enjoy the facility in Africa.
The company has also slashed the costs of its hardware and subscription plan to N274,098 and N19,260 monthly.
In a post on its Twitter page yesterday, Starlink said its service is active in the country.
“Starlink is now available in Nigeria – the first African country to receive service,” the tweet read.
The company had said customers interested could preorder the starter kits at the price of $600 for the hardware and $43 per month amounting to about N438,000 and N31,000 at the parallel market rate for subscriptions to its services.
“Starlink is available in your area. Customers in your region typically see download speeds of 50-200 Mbps. No contracts, 30-day trial.
“Shipping times are currently estimated to be one to two weeks from order… N19,260/month for service and N274,098 for hardware,” the company said.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, described it as a milestone.
“We have made it again. @SpaceX thank you for hosting me in your headquarters, United States in December 2022 to complete the logistics for the deployment,” he tweeted.
Some Nigerians who pre-ordered the hardware last year paid the initial amount in dollars. But the company’s prices are now quoted in naira, which means that Nigerians can make payments using their naira debit cards.
Pantami had stated that Nigeria has achieved 100per cent broadband coverage with the operation of Starlink, whose satellite service covers the length and breadth of the country.
According to him, through the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025) Nigeria was targeting 90per cent broadband coverage by the year 2025 and this has been achieved ahead of time through the licensing of Starlink as Nigerians can now have access to high-speed internet from any part of the country.
Increased competition: With the price slash, the competition in the internet service provisioning space in Nigeria is expected to get stiffer as Starlink is now challenging the likes of MTN, Airtel, Globacom, 9mobile, and hundreds of Internet Service Providers in Nigeria providing services via different technology, including fibre and satellite.