The telecommunications industry in Kenya has been largely monopolized for quite a long time. From the very beginning with its oldest parastatal Teleposta, to the introduction of the privatized company’s like Safaricom.
Kenya joins countries like Papua New Guinea in gaining access to the global wireless internet system in 2023. Business magnate Elon Musk’s Starlink wireless internet service continues its monthly expansion across the globe.
Elon Musk/Getty Images
According to SpaceX’s interactive coverage map, the service is already available in 44 countries around the globe which could double by 2023. Starlink’s coverage map currently shows plans to start providing services to Africa — and the majority of regions where the network is currently unavailable — in 2023.
Reports state that Starlink will be charging Kenyans Ksh 13,431 per month with an additional Ksh 73, 318 for hardware with prices subject to change.
“Order now to reserve your Starlink. Starlink is targeting service in your area starting Q1 2023. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.” This is the response one gets when they visit the Starlink website and input Kenya as the location.
Musk further stated that Starlink intends to reach the hardest to serve customers who have been struggling through the use of landlines.
Starlink is a byproduct of Elon Musk’s company SpaceX that was launched in 2019 and has launched more than 3,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit. Starlink differs from standard broadband because it uses satellites to send signals to its users as opposed to standard broadband which relies on copper and fiber optic cables.
The project has also been delayed in many regions across the globe as a result of regulatory approval which is something SpaceX is busy working towards.
Will this improve competition in our Kenyan industry, or will this be another case of monopoly?