Starlink and Nigeria’s Economy
When you think about internet service you think of ISPs like Spectranet, and ipNX, as well as telcos like MTN and Airtel. Despite the presence of multiple players offering internet services, Nigerian users continue to lament poor network connection, excessive data usage, and many others.
On May 27, 2022, Elon Musk announced that Starlink is now available in Nigeria and Mozambique. Starlink is a satellite internet service provider that provides satellite internet access to 32 countries. While people in urban cities dominate internet use, Starlink is targetting those in rural areas and locations with inconsistent internet connectivity.
Starlink’s website reads, “…unbounded by traditional ground infrastructure, Starlink can deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable or completely unavailable.” This is not an exaggeration because the download speed varies from 50 to 150 megabits per second and latency from 20 to 40 milliseconds in most locations. Elon Musk tweeted that the service will reach 300 Mbs by 2021.
Starlink’s entry into the Nigerian internet service market promises to catalyze business efficiency, individual productivity, and economic growth.
How? You may be wondering.
How Starlink will Impact the Nigerian Economy
- Making the internet accessible for anyone regardless of where they are in the country means rural schools can access the internet to watch, stream and download at a breakneck pace.
- Startups and emerging unicorns will also be able to access faster broadband to build products that compete with global brands.
- It will accelerate company performance and speed up business processes because corporate organizations can connect to the corporate network anywhere in the world.
- It will create more job opportunities for youths in urban and rural areas by enabling remote Nigerian workers to work effectively regardless of where they live.
Although Starlink claims to target rural areas and less privileged communities that do not have access to faster internet broadband, its receiver dish’s one-time hardware installation fee is $599, and the monthly subscription is $500. This is expensive, especially since the living wage is $111 for individuals and $354 for families.
However, for Starlink to make their internet accessible for the underserved community, the pricing strategy could be subsidized to offer lower prices. This will be an advantage to these communities and increase its penetration in the Nigerian market.