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A List of African Countries Where Starlink is Either Available or Soon to Be Launched

Starlink aims to revolutionise connectivity on the African continent by offering reliable, uncapped, and fast internet access.

Starlink, the satellite internet service developed by SpaceX, is on a journey to provide high-speed internet access to rural communities and underserved regions globally, particularly in Africa, where satellite networks and services are limited.

With its network of over 5,000 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, the satellite network aims to revolutionise connectivity on the African continent by offering reliable, uncapped, and fast internet access. This is a move that could significantly benefit the continent’s remote regions and help bridge the digital divide by offering high-speed internet access to those who were previously excluded.

Although relatively expensive, Starlink operates a vast constellation of LEO satellites that enable it to deliver internet coverage almost anywhere on the planet. Hence, it can be used anywhere, even in villages where broadband penetration is relatively low.

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Starlink is actively expanding in Africa and has made it one of its key markets. Its overall aim is to make its internet service available in every country on the continent. The process of subscribing to the services is simple. An individual just needs to install a Starlink dish in a location that has a clear view of the sky.

The number of African countries where Starlink is confirmed to be available or planned for launch has more than doubled since December 2022, when it was first introduced to the continent. Its expansion into African markets is contingent on obtaining regulatory approvals from each country.

As of October 2023, Starlink is officially available in seven African countries. Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi, and Zambia were among the initial entrants into the Starlink network, with Benin being the latest addition. These countries provide customers with the opportunity to order directly from the Starlink website.

What’s more, another 25 African countries that previously had unknown availability dates are scheduled to receive Starlink by the end of 2024.

However, South Africa remains conspicuously absent from the list of upcoming availabilities. This omission could be due to a requirement under the Electronic Communications Act, which mandates that all telecom licensees in South Africa must be at least 30% owned by historically disadvantaged groups. Hence, the nation was classified as a low-priority market for the company.

Starlink's African map

Roaming options and pricing for countries

In regions where Starlink’s service is not yet officially available, users can access it through global or regional roaming by importing the necessary kit from a country where Starlink delivers its service. While the roaming option provides access to Starlink, it comes at a slightly higher cost than using the service in the country of registration.

The satellite network provider also offers a flexible pricing structure tailored to different budgets, needs, and the PPP of a country’s currency.

Customers typically need to invest in equipment like the Starlink Kit, which includes a satellite dish and modem. Prices may vary depending on the country and specific package options. Furthermore, Starlink often provides instalment plans, allowing users to spread the equipment costs over several months.

Recently, the satellite internet service announced a price reduction for its hardware in Nigeria. The cost of the Starlink kit, essential for accessing the service, was slashed by 21%, dropping from ₦378,000 to ₦299,000, effective in October. However, the monthly subscription remained unchanged at N38,000 per month.

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For a comprehensive breakdown of Starlink’s status in all 54 United Nations-recognized African countries, please refer to the table below:

CountryEstimated Availability Date
AlgeriaNo Planned Launch Date
AngolaQ3 2024
BotswanaQ3 2024
Burkina Faso2024
BurundiQ2 2024
Cabo Verde2024
Central African RepublicNo Planned Launch Date
Democratic Republic of Congo2024
DjiboutiNo Planned Launch Date
EritreaNo Planned Launch Date
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)2024
Equatorial Guinea2024
GambiaQ2 2024
GhanaQ3 2024
Ivory Coast2024
LesothoQ2 2024
LibyaNo Planned Launch Date
MadagascarQ2 2024
MaliNo Planned Launch Date
Republic of Congo2024
São Tomé and Príncipe2024
Sierra Leone2024
South AfricaNo Planned Launch Date
South SudanNo Planned Launch Date
SomaliaNo Planned Launch Date
SudanNo Planned Launch Date
TanzaniaQ2 2024
TogoQ3 2023
Western Sahara2024
ZimbabweQ2 2024

While Starlink continues to expand its footprint in Africa, there’s hope that even more countries will soon benefit from the transformative power of satellite internet connectivity. However, challenges remain, particularly in regions where regulatory requirements and ownership restrictions may delay its arrival.

Source : Tech Next