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Starlink May be Too Expensive for Its ‘Ideal’ Rural Consumers in Africa

Sometime between July and September this year, Starlink expects to go live in two African countries: Nigeria, and Mozambique. The SpaceX-owned service, which provides internet connectivity using thousands of satellites in space, announced on May 27 that it has received regulatory approvals from both countries. Nigeria gave Starlink two licenses that took effect on May 1 and will expire in 2027 and 2032. The service is registered as an entity in the Victoria Island area of Lagos state. After securing the approvals, Starlink is asking consumers to order installation kits by making a $99 deposit. Already, sub-Saharan Africans spend the highest proportion of monthly income on smartphones, the chief means for accessing existing internet services. Where the global average is 26%, it is 45% in the region. In the US, Canada, and European countries where Starlink is currently active, the average user does not have device affordability problems on Africa’s scale.