What is Starlink?
Starlink is a satellite internet service provided by SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
With the goal of providing high-speed, low-latency internet access to people around the world, Starlink utilizes a constellation of small, low-Earth-orbit satellites to deliver internet service directly to homes and businesses.
The service is particularly aimed at areas where traditional internet infrastructure is limited or unavailable, making it an innovative and potentially game-changing solution to the problem of internet access in underserved communities.
With its cutting-edge technology and ambitious goals, Starlink is poised to revolutionize the way we connect to the internet and usher in a new era of global communication.
According to SpaceX, Starlink was launched as a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites to provide low latency, high bandwidth internet to consumers across the globe.
A low latency network connection is one that generally experiences small delay times, while bandwidth refers to the amount of information that a connection to the internet can handle at a given time.
Starlink internet is said to work by sending information through the vacuum of space, where it travels much faster than in the fiber-optic cable.
Starlink in Nigeria?
There has been significant interest in Starlink in Nigeria and other countries where internet access is limited or unreliable, and many people are eagerly awaiting the service’s expansion to their areas.
In February 2022, Starlink began accepting pre-orders for its internet service in Nigeria. The company has stated that it aims to offer coverage to the entire country in the near future, providing high-speed internet access to underserved areas.
As of February 2023, Nigeria became the first African Country to receive the ISP.
Starlink is now available in Nigeria – the first African country to receive service! → https://t.co/slZbTmZmAt
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 30, 2023
Here’s what you need to know about Starlink in Nigeria, Price, Subscription costs:
- The website says its approximately NGN268, 584 for hardware, but that is assuming you earn in dollars. The reality is that $600 (X750 black market rate) is NGN450k. And that $48 subscription is not N19,260 monthly but NGN36000.
- No Naira card accepted. Hope you have dollar card? If not, as much as they are as bad as the rest, try GTBank and avoid Zenith at all costs. No vex. This is why I always always nag about Payoneer. Get one – it’s like PayPal – but better.
- Before you hurry and go and buy your Starlink, check first if they are in your area, so you don’t blow 500k like that.
- Shipping is expected to take 3-4 weeks.
- Note: While Starlink offers unlimited Internet data, it added a 1TB monthly softcap. This means that once you use more than 1TB in a month, your Internet speed will become slower. Also, the Starlink router supports up to 128 devices at once.
Worth it or Overpriced?
Everyone is hyped about Starlink in Nigeria, but is it worth it? Let’s do the math.
Monthly, we spend an average of 100gb – 200gb monthly here at Pishon. That’s because we prefer MTN’s devilry to the other pathetic mobile plans – looking at you, Globacom. That costs about 30k monthly at a download and upload speed of 238Mbps and 53.9Mbps. I like those odds.
If you look at the image for Karu Site, where we currently are, as at the time of this post, you’ll see that the DOWNLOAD SPEED WAS approximately 50-200 Mbps. So almost the same thing, though I’m sure it’s higher for those in the main city.
Starlink is not currently targeted at everyday internet users/consumers in Nigeria. Starlink’s target audience includes the private bourgeoisie, companies, businesses, and tech individuals who want superfast internet speed for their operations and can also afford the installation costs in their residences and facilities, respectively. – Techcabal
Advantages of Starlink
Obviously Starlink isn’t for you if you’re not a high end user, and by that I mean, using data like food, but here are some advantages of Starlink:
- High-speed internet: Starlink is designed to provide high-speed, low-latency internet access to even the most remote and underserved areas. With download speeds of up to 300 Mbps, (em, in 1st world countries) the service is significantly faster than traditional satellite internet and can support bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming video and online gaming.
- Low latency: Starlink’s low-Earth-orbit satellites are positioned much closer to the earth than traditional geostationary satellites, which results in significantly lower latency or delay in data transmission. This makes the service more responsive and better suited to real-time applications such as video conferencing or online gaming.
- Reliability: Starlink’s satellite constellation provides redundancy and resiliency in the event of network disruptions or outages. This means that even if traditional ground-based infrastructure is damaged or destroyed, Starlink can continue to provide internet service to affected areas.
- Access to underserved areas: One of the main advantages of Starlink is its ability to provide internet access to areas where traditional infrastructure is limited or nonexistent. This includes rural and remote areas, as well as areas affected by natural disasters or other disruptions.
- Cost-effectiveness: While the cost of the service is still higher than traditional broadband options in some areas, Starlink’s pricing is competitive with other satellite internet providers and may be more cost-effective than traditional internet infrastructure in remote areas. Additionally, the service does not require the installation of physical infrastructure such as cables or fiber, which can be costly and time-consuming to install.
Disadvantages of Starlink
There are a few potential disadvantages of Starlink:
- Cost: Although the cost of Starlink’s internet service is competitive with other satellite internet providers, it may be more expensive than traditional broadband options in some areas.
- Limited availability: As of now, Starlink’s service is still in the beta testing phase and only available in select regions around the world. While the company plans to expand its coverage over time, it may be some time before the service is available in all areas.
- Environmental impact: Starlink’s satellite constellation has raised concerns about its potential impact on the environment, particularly in terms of light pollution and potential interference with astronomical observations.
- Regulatory issues: The deployment of Starlink’s satellite constellation has also raised regulatory issues in some areas, particularly in terms of the potential impact on other satellite services and the need for coordination and regulation of space activities.
- Technical issues: Like any technology, Starlink’s service may experience technical issues, such as network disruptions, outages, or equipment failures. While the company has implemented redundancy and resiliency measures to mitigate these risks, there is always a possibility of service disruptions.
Generally Starlink in Nigeria is a great thing to have and gives our lacklustre mobile companies a run for their money, so hopefully they do well.