Starlink, the disruptive satellite internet service that Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launched in 2019, has been available for pre-order in Nigeria since the second quarter of last year.
In 2021, SpaceX started engaging the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to secure a licence to operate in the country. By December 2022, it started to ship to users across the country.
Why is Starlink disruptive?
The Starlink satellite internet service has gained mass appeal among tech enthusiasts mainly because of its ease of setting up and speed.
Unlike fibre optic internet, which demands users to pay for cable connections, set up and configuration by members of the internet service provider, Starlink comes with a kit that includes a dish and base, the WiFi router, cable, the AC cable and a manual to guide users to set it up. With Starlink, no strangers will be entering your home to set up the internet manually.
Users will need to download the app and follow the set-up instructions.
Already, Nigerians whose Starlinks have arrived claim that the satellite internet is faster than most Nigerian internet service providers, either cable or wireless. Based on speed tests by users whose orders have arrived, the internet speed is between 160 megabytes per second to 240 megabytes per second.
Because it uses satellite to provide its internet, users can travel ostensibly to almost every part of the world with a sky above it and get an internet connection. This would mean that Starlink users can travel to areas without technology and get internet access as long as they can power the router.
How to get the Starlink internet
Like other products by Elon Musk, users have to check if Starlink is available in their location by inputting their address on the website. Then users can place an order. To place an order, you will need to input your contact information, basically how the delivery agent will reach you, and your billing information, which is how Space X will take their fees from you.
Then it will take some time to get approved for shipping. Before now, approval took months for users who pre-ordered. But now that the product is available in Nigeria, it is expected to take a shorter period, mostly only a few weeks or less.
When placing the order, users pay a part of the charge. And then, after the approval, which is when Space X is ready to ship the product, users are invited to pay the balance charge in total, after which one can expect the product to arrive.
No user who has ordered Starlink in Nigeria has experienced same-day delivery yet. But since it started shipping to Nigeria in December, users have been experiencing faster delivery times.
Users whose orders have arrived have said that it took a week for their package to arrive after they were approved and invited to pay the balance.
According to Starlink, the deposit is fully refundable at any time while waiting for the product arrives. If users do not complete their payment after their device has been approved and is ready to be shipped, they also get their initial deposit fully refunded after some time.
How much does Starlink cost?
The hardware costs 600 dollars, while the monthly subscription costs 43 dollars. The deposit fee is now 43 dollars which will be paid when placing the order. The balance of 600 dollars will be paid when the device is ready to be shipped. There currently is no shipping fee.
Because of the restrictions on international transactions on naira debit cards, users looking to purchase Starlink would have to pay via a dollar card. It means they will need to buy dollars from the black market and pay for the product at the black market rate.
At that rate, users will pay $43 at N31,390 for the initial deposit and monthly subscription. And then the one-time $600 at N438,000 for the hardware.
Starlink starts charging for the internet 15 days after it has been shipped.
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