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Starlink brings Wifi to Kenya

Starlink brings Wifi to Kenya amidst ISP dominance battle with Africa-based Satellite ISPs

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Dakota W.

Dakota W.

Tue Jul 18 2023Written by Dakota W.

Exciting news for Kenyan internet users! Starlink, the revolutionary satellite internet project developed by SpaceX, has officially started shipping to Kenya. With its ambitious goal of providing global, high-speed internet coverage, especially in underserved and remote areas, Starlink is set to transform the digital landscape in the country. As the first authorized reseller, Karibu Connect is gearing up to bridge the digital divide and improve connectivity infrastructure throughout the nation. However, it's not the only player in the game. Safaricom, Kenya's leading telecom company, has announced plans to introduce satellite internet services through a partnership with AST SpaceMobile, adding more competition to the mix.

Starlink's system operates through a vast network of small satellites positioned in low Earth orbit (LEO) at altitudes ranging from 340 km to 1,200 km. These satellites, deployed by SpaceX, offer several advantages over traditional internet infrastructure. The phased-array user terminals, commonly known as satellite dishes, installed on the ground automatically align with passing satellites, ensuring a stable and reliable internet connection.

One of the key advantages of Starlink is its capability to provide high-speed internet with low latency, making it ideal for various online activities, including video streaming, online gaming, and remote work. This is especially crucial for rural and remote areas in Kenya, where conventional internet services have often been limited or unreliable.

Though Starlink promises high-speed internet, the initial acquisition cost can be steep for individuals, with hardware priced at KES 89,000. However, this is a one-time purchase, making it a sensible investment for businesses or group use. The monthly subscription cost of KES 6,500 is competitive compared to traditional fiber services in Kenya. Considering the quality and speed offered by Starlink, the subscription cost is quite reasonable.

Karibu Connect, as the first authorized reseller of Starlink in Kenya, has achieved a significant milestone in its mission to improve internet access across the country. By partnering with Starlink, Karibu Connect aims to revolutionize connectivity infrastructure in rural areas, driving economic growth and fostering societal progress. As a reseller, there may be a slight markup on prices, but the benefits of enhanced internet connectivity are well worth the investment.

As Starlink takes its place in the Kenyan market, Safaricom, in partnership with AST SpaceMobile, is gearing up to introduce its satellite internet services. The move is aimed at disrupting traditional telecom services that have struggled to provide coverage in rural regions. AST SpaceMobile, backed by Vodafone, will collaborate with Safaricom for trials and subsequent widespread communications across Africa and beyond. This innovative project seeks to create a space-based mobile broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, offering an additional option alongside fiber optic cables, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks.

With multiple players vying to provide internet services throughout Kenya, including 5G, Fiber, and now Satellites, consumers can anticipate more competitive pricing and improved service quality. However, the government's role in creating a conducive environment for different players to expand easily and compete is essential to drive the industry forward.