Starlink, a satellite internet provider founded by Elon Musk, has launched services in the Kenyan market, paving the way for more intense rivalry with competitors such as Safaricom, Jamii Telecommunications Limited, and Zuku.
The multinational company aims to offer impressive download speeds of up to 250 Mbps and upload rates of up to 35 Mbps to Kenyan users. The purchase of a terminal to allow the connections will cost a Kenyan home user Ksh89,000 ($628) plus a Ksh3,100 ($21.88) delivery fee, while the monthly membership rate will be Ksh6,500 ($45.89).
This information is shown in a notice that is posted on Starlink’s website. For commercial usage, however, the price of the gear will be Ksh349,106 ($2,465) plus Ksh7,500 for shipment, while Ksh13,572 ($95.81) each month is the cost of the subscription.
Starlink’s fixed monthly cost falls within the average compared to that of other internet service providers. For example, market leader Safaricom offers an 8 Mbps bronze fibre package for residential usage for Ksh2,999 ($21.17) per month, while a 20 Mbps silver bundle costs Ksh4,100 ($28.94).
Gold with 40 Mbps speed and Diamond with 100 Mbps speed are two Safaricom office-use packages available for Ksh6,299 ($44.47) and Ksh12,499 ($88.24), respectively. While JTL charges Ksh5,250 ($37) per month for a 40 Mbps speed plan, Ksh10,500 ($74.13) for a 65 Mbps package, Ksh15,750 ($111.19) for a 90 Mbps package, and Ksh21,000 ($148.25) for a 140 Mbps package.
However, Starlink technology will provide services not supported by conventional terrestrial communications methods, enabling unmodified smartphones to connect to satellites in coverage-gap zones.