In an exciting development for tech enthusiasts and businesses alike, Starlink, the satellite internet project by SpaceX, has announced that its terminals will soon start shipping in Kenya. The news has generated a buzz among eager users who have already pre-ordered the service, while others are expressing concerns about the cost and performance.
Moses Kemibora, one of the Kenyan customers who pre-ordered the Starlink terminal, received an email notification that left his heart pounding with anticipation. After months of waiting since paying the pre-order booking fee online, the wait is almost over, and the terminals are set to arrive in just a few weeks.
However, the excitement turned to shock when Kemibora logged into the Starlink website to check the cost of securing his order. The Starlink terminal comes with a price tag of Kes. 89,000, which includes a shipping fee of Kes. 3,100. While this may be acceptable for some, the monthly subscription fee of Kes. 6,500 has left some customers questioning the affordability of the service. Despite its advantages, the cost is still higher than what many are currently paying for their home internet services.
But the biggest concern arose when Kemibora encountered a notice during the sign-up process, cautioning users about the initial performance of Starlink in the area. The notice indicated that Starlink’s typical high-speed internet might be affected by brief periods of intermittent service and high latency due to the usage of inter-satellite links. Although users can expect internet access suitable for common online activities like email, shopping, or streaming movies, the service may not support activities such as online gaming or video calls initially. However, the company promised significant improvement over the next year.
This revelation has left many potential customers puzzled. The question arises as to why they would invest in Starlink’s internet service if it is expected to be comparable to existing home or 4G/5G connections in terms of speed and reliability, especially when considering the higher cost of the terminal and subscription.
Despite these concerns, Kenya’s tech-savvy population remains enthusiastic about trying the next big thing in technology. Starlink is especially appealing to users in remote locations, known locally as “bundus,” where traditional internet infrastructure is limited or non-existent. In these regions, Starlink could potentially become the only viable alternative for reliable internet access.
As expected in a country with a tech-savvy population of over 30 million internet users, demand for Starlink is projected to outstrip supply from the very start. Kenyan consumers and businesses have demonstrated their commitment to embracing new technologies, and the launch of Starlink will likely be no exception.
While some remain skeptical about the initial performance and cost of Starlink, others are hopeful that improvements in service will make it a worthwhile investment in the long run. As the demand grows and feedback from early adopters is received, the future of Starlink in Kenya remains uncertain but promising.
Markets often adapt and evolve quickly, and with Kenya’s ever-increasing appetite for connectivity, it is clear that internet access is not taken lightly. As the Starlink launch approaches, the nation eagerly awaits to see how this ambitious satellite internet project will reshape the connectivity landscape in the ‘Internet nation’ of Kenya.