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HomeFEATURED STORYElon Musk Eyes Safaricom's Lunch as Starlink Launches

Elon Musk Eyes Safaricom’s Lunch as Starlink Launches

Kenyans looking to get connected to Starlink Internet will have to purchase the required hardware including a satellite dish, in addition to paying a monthly subscription fee

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Starlink has announced the rollout of its satellite internet service in Kenya. The company, owned by Elon Musk, had announced at the start of the year that it would launch in Kenya in the second quarter of 2023.

Kenyans looking to get connected to Starlink Internet will have to purchase the required hardware including a satellite dish, in addition to paying a monthly subscription fee. Kenyan users will be charged Ksh89,000 for the full hardware kit and a Ksh6,500 monthly fee, as well as Ksh3,100 in shipping and handling costs.

Starlink targets underserved regions and high-density cities with its satellite internet service.

Confirming the rollout of Starlink in Kenya, Musk highlighted benefits for travellers,  tweeting; “Starlink for sale in Kenya!

Note, buying a Starlink with global roaming allows you to travel almost anywhere.”

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The entry of Starlink into Kenya represents new, well-heeled competition for internet service providers (ISPs) such as Safaricom, Wananchi Group-owned Zuku and Jamii Telecommunications’ Faiba.

Starlink currently provides satellite internet access to users in 45 countries, and plans to roll out mobile phone coverage after 2023.

Notably, Kenya’s market-leading telco Safaricom this week disclosed plans to roll out its own satellite internet service, in partnership with a firm known as AST SpaceMobile.

AST SpaceMobile has agreements in place with Safaricom’s parent firm Vodafone Group Plc. Vodafone is among investors in AST SpaceMobile.

“AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 satellite underwent basic functionality testing in 2022, prior to a formal trial in the second quarter of 2023, in partnership with Vodacom and Safaricom in Kenya,” Vodacom Group Limited disclosed in its latest annual report.

“After successful completion of the trial, AST SpaceMobile will scale up their satellite deployments in partnership with Vodacom to provide ubiquitous communications to 4G devices across Africa and beyond.”

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