SOURCES privy to market sources allege that local Internet Service Providers (ISP) are jittery over the latest innovation which will see global customers accessing SpaceX reliable internet.
Starlink is a satellite internet provider of satellite internet access across the globe through its fleet of satellites that are in low-earth orbit.
Sierra Leone became the fifth African country to grant a license to Starlink, the satellite broadband service launched by California-based SpaceX, the spacecraft company founded by Elon Musk.
The country joined Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Mauritius as African nations connected to Starlink. According to the map displayed on Starlink’s website, an additional 19 African countries are scheduled for launch in 2023 and 2024.
On the back of revelations that SpaceX could be granted a licence to operate in Zimbabwe, local service providers are reportedly jittery over fear of a considerable market share.
Already these ISPs have been failing to reach out to most rural communities which gives the Starlink internet considerable advantage to tap into the existing market.
Locals who have been clamouring for stiffer competition in the face of the ‘reluctant’ ISPs are also excited by the new kid on the block.
Even without being granted licences, locals can still access the SpaceX innovation through the roaming services.
2023 marked the year when Musk’s Starlink makes its debut on the African continent. Last January, Nigeria became the first African country to experience Musk’s satellite-based internet service. Since then, it has become available in Rwanda, Mauritius, and Mozambique.
Compared to traditional internet satellites, which are positioned approximately 35,000 km from Earth, Starlink’s Low-Earth Orbit satellites orbit at a much closer distance of about 550 kilometers from the planet’s surface. This proximity enables them to provide coverage to remote parts of the continent at no extra cost compared to land-based telecom towers and subsea fiber cables.