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  SpaceX’s Starlink generated excitement in Nigeria after Elon Musk announced its arrival via tweet in May 2022. The fast internet speed offered by Starlink is a solution for Nigeria’s unreliable internet. It is popularly known that Technology has the potential to transform lives in rural areas, but only with internet access. On the other hand, Broadband enables telecommuting, online education, telemedicine, job applications, and skill building, which can improve economic outcomes according to the World Bank.
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Starlink is the largest satellite constellation in the world and uses low Earth orbit to deliver high-speed broadband capable of supporting various online activities. Unlike traditional satellite internet, Starlink is comprised of thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth at 550 km, resulting in low latency (20 ms) compared to high latency from geostationary satellites (35,786 km). With just a clear view of the sky, Starlink delivers high-speed, low-latency internet that can withstand harsh weather conditions. The hardware kit for Starlink was planned for launch in Q4 2022 and is now available in Nigeria as of January 2023. Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, the space exploration company owned by Elon Musk, offers a satellite internet service that spans 40+ countries globally. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Starlink, but before delving into that, let’s first understand how our mobile devices and computers can access the internet. The internet is a global network of information and data that enables us to send and receive data over vast distances. These data are stored in data centres which can be located thousands of miles away. The videos we watch on YouTube reach us through a complex network of optical fibre cables connected to these data centres. These cables form the backbone of the internet and are linked to cell towers that transmit data to our devices in the form of electromagnetic waves. Optical fibre cables are not the only way to transmit data from data centres. Satellites also play a role by broadcasting signals to and from satellites to users. This is the approach used by Starlink to provide internet access to its customers. The company creates a global broadband network by using a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites to deliver high-speed internet services. Starlink is not the only company using this method, but what sets them apart is their claim of providing low latency internet at faster speeds globally. Latency refers to the time it takes for the computer, the internet, and everything in between, to respond to an action taken by the user. The advantage of satellite internet over cable or wireless internet is its ability to reach rural areas or areas with poor internet connectivity and still offer the same quality, speed, and low latency as in urban areas.
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In conclusion, Starlink provides fast, low latency internet to over 40 countries worldwide through its constellation of low earth orbit satellites.

The Cost of Starlink’s Subscription In Nigeria

The cost for Starlink’s hardware device is $600 (₦269,130) and the monthly subscription fee is $43 (₦19,287.65). This may be too expensive for the average Nigerian, who earns a minimum wage of ₦30,000. In other words, they would need to prioritize spending over half of their salary on the internet over other necessities. The estimated monthly living wage for a Nigerian family is ₦42,300.

Where To Order Starlink

The Starlink device can be purchased on the company’s website. The kit comes complete with all necessary components, including the Starlink, WiFi router, cables, and base. Quick and easy setup is ensured with the self-orienting feature as long as there is a clear view of the sky. The Starlink base is meant for ground installation or for a temporary setup for testing the internet connection. Some customers prefer a permanent mount for optimal installation and service, and these mounts and accessories can be bought on the Starlink shop after the kit has shipped.

What’s Its Internet Speed?

Starlink can provide speeds of up to 250 Mbps in most rural or remote areas, as reported by Nigerian users with 238 Mbps download, 45 Mbps upload, and 42 ms latency. This makes Starlink a significant improvement compared to the average internet speed in Lagos, which is 11.84 Mbps download, 10.67 Mbps upload, and 17 ms latency according to Speedtest. The Starlink router can support up to 128 connected devices, as stated by the Starlink app.

How Long Before It Gets To Nigeria

Those who pre-ordered a device in October 2022 and received it in December after shipping. It took a week and a few days to arrive in Nigeria. For an accurate estimated delivery time, pre-order Starlink and check your account dashboard. Starlink will provide a quarter or month for delivery when your order is near. If you’re unable to wait, there are options to bypass the waiting list.
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What Is The Payment Procedure?

Nigerian domiciliary accounts from any bank will work. Alternatively, virtual cards such as Changera and Obriex can be used for hardware device payments.

How To Setup Your Starlink

  1. Download the App, which is available on both Android and iOS devices.
  2. Check For Obstructions.
  3. Unpack The Starlink Kit.
  4. Assemble And Install The Dish.
  5. Plug Everything In.
  6. Connect To Starlink.
  7. Use The App To Manage Starlink. Visibility. Statistics. Speed. Settings.
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This article was first published on 2nd February 2023


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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