Elon Musk Starlink: Nigeria’s Connectivity Soars To New Heights

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Technology and telecom companies all over the world can’t seem to catch a break with Elon Musk breathing down their necks. Forbes’ richest man in the world has been steadily dominating these two industries for years. Even as he goes about making enemies on Twitter space, he’s nevertheless revolutionizing industries with disruptive technologies. Among that collection of disruptive innovations is Elon Musk Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX—his rocket manufacturing company.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation that uses low earth orbit satellites to provide high-speed internet services. It has over 1 million subscribers around the world. Ever since its launch by SpaceX in 2019, Starlink satellites have provided wide internet access coverage to about 47 countries. Nigeria has now joined the space race with the launch of Elon Musk SpaceX Starlink satellites.

When Did Starlink Launch In Nigeria?

On January 31, 2023, SpaceX took to its official Twitter page to announce that it has sealed the deal to begin internet service operations in Nigeria. The first African country to receive the Starlink satellite internet service. Many Nigerians were ecstatic about this development, pointing out how Elon Musk’s Starlink will take Nigeria’s internet service to the next level. Yet, others fear that there might be glitches in this service.

Back in May 2021, Musk deployed some of Starlink’s team to Nigeria to ally with its communications directorate. In order to acquire the license to introduce Starlink to Nigeria. The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta met with SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa to discuss this.

Then in May 2022, SpaceX received two licenses to launch Elon Musk Starlink in Nigeria. One is an International Gateway license, and the other is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) license. Both of which authorize Starlink to operate as Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd. The aim of launching Starlink in Nigeria was to provide affordable high-speed Internet access to disadvantaged communities in Nigeria. With a long-term goal targeted at offering remote areas in Africa the opportunity to enjoy reliable internet service.

How To Use Elon Musk Starlink Satellite Service

Starlink requires a clear view of the sky to stay connected with satellites since it operates by utilizing these LEO satellites. The satellites orbit around the earth, instead of staying fixed on a single point on the ground. Hence, tree branches, poles, roofs, and other objects can obscure the connection, preventing Starlink from receiving signals from the LEO satellites. More elevated locations give more visibility.

After installation, the Starlink App which is available on iOS and Android can be used to discover locations with the best service. Also, in the eventuality of interference, the app can detect it and provide better locations. Starlink is equally able to withstand extreme weather conditions; a true revolution in mobile internet service.

How To Get Starlink In Nigeria

Presently, the Starlink starter kits are only available on preorder from the official website. With an estimated 1-2 weeks shipment time frame from the day of order. The kit costs ₦274,098 ($595) which is a one-time purchase, while the monthly service is ₦19,260($42).

Starlink Kit comes with pre-connected access to the internet and offers speeds of about 50–200Mbps. Which is lightning-fast compared to the 9Mbps most Nigerian internet providers operate at. Many Nigerians have to pay through the nose to get as high as 10Mbps from the best providers.

In addition, ordering the Starlink kit from Nigeria is not feasible due to CBN’s ban on international money transfers. Since payment cannot be made in naira those who wish to go ahead and purchase it will ultimately experience some discomfort. The current dollar rates also pose a serious challenge.

Starlink’s availability map suggests an expansion to other African countries is fast approaching. More than 20 African countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Angola, Zambia, and Senegal, are slated to receive the service in 2023.

How Many Starlink Kits Are Available?

Starlink comes in 3 different specifications; Standard, High Performance, and Flat High Performance. The Starlink kit includes the Starlink dish, WiFi router, mount, cables, and other accessories.

Starlink Standard Dish Features

Comes with a Starlink dish, base, router, 22.9 m(75 ft) Starlink cable, and a 1.8 m(6 ft) AC cable.

How To Use Elon Musk Starlink Satellite Service
The Standard Starlink Kit Credit: Starlink.com

Dish Specs:

  • Antenna – Electronic Phased Array
  • Field of View – 100°
  • Orientation – Motorized Self Orienting
  • Dish Weight – 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs) without Cable and 4.2 kg (9.3 lbs) with 22.9 m (75 ft) Cable
  • Environmental Rating – IP54
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F)
  • Wind Speed – Operational: 80 kph+ (50 mph+)
  • Snow Melt Capability – Up to 40 mm/hour (1.5 in / hour)
  • Power Consumption – Average: 50-75 W

Router Specs:

  • Wi-Fi Technology – 802.11ac Dual Band
  • Generation – Wi-Fi 5
  • Radio – Dual Band -3 x 3 MIMO
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F)
  • Weight – 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
  • Security – WPA2
  • Range – Up to 185 m² (2000 ft²) *Varies on placement, interference, and building materials
  • Environmental Rating – IP54 – Configured for Indoor Use
  • Power Indicator – White LED | Base of Router
  • Mesh Compatibility – Compatible with up to 12 Starlink Nodes
  • Devices – Connect up to 128 devices

Starlink High Performance Features

Elon Musk Starlink: Nigeria's Connectivity Soars To New Heights
High Performance Starlink Kit Credit: Starlink.com

It comes with a Starlink dish, base, power supply, and router. AS well as with a 1.8 m(6 ft) AC cable(Router), 1.8 m(6 ft) AC cable(Power Supply), 2 m(6.5 ft) router cable, 5 m(16.5 ft) Ethernet cable, 25 m(82 ft) Starlink cable.

Dish Specs:

  • Antenna – Electronic Phased Array
  • Field of View – 140°
  • Orientation – Motorized Self Orienting
  • Dish Weight – 6.9 kg (15 lbs) without Cable and 9.4 kg (21 lbs) with 25 m (82 ft) Cable
  • Environmental Rating – IP56
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F)
  • Wind Speed – Operational: 80 kph+ (50 mph+)
  • Snow Melt Capability – Up to 75 mm/hour (3 in / hour)
  • Power Consumption – Average: 110-150 W
  • Wi-Fi – Dual Band Wi-Fi 5 – 3×3 MIMO
  • User LAN – RJ45 Cable

Router Specs:

  • Wi-Fi Technology – 802.11ac Dual Band
  • Generation – Wi-Fi 5
  • Radio – Dual Band -3 x 3 MIMO
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F)
  • Weight – 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
  • Security – WPA2
  • Range – Up to 185 m² (2000 ft²) *Varies on placement, interference, and materials
  • Environmental Rating – IP54 – Configured for Indoor Use
  • Power Indicator – White LED | Base of Router
  • Mesh Compatibility – Compatible with up to 12 Starlink Nodes
  • Devices – Connect up to 128 devices

Power Supply Specs:

  • Environmental Rating – IP56
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22 to 122°F)
  • Weight – 1.5kg (3lbs)
  • Grounding – Dedicated Earth Terminal
  • Power Specifications – 100-240V – 6.3A 50 – 60 Hz
  • Mounting – Wall Mount

Flat High Performance Kit Features

Comes with a Starlink dish, wedge mount kit, router, router mount, power supply, power supply mount, and cables. Including enhanced GPS capabilities.

Flat High Performance Kit Credit: Starlink.com

Dish Specs:

  • Antenna – Electronic Phased Array
  • Field of View – 140°
  • Orientation – Fixed
  • Dish Weight – 5.9 kg / 13 lbs without Cable and 6.7 kg / 15 lbs with 8 m / 26.2 ft Cable
  • Environmental Rating – IP56
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F)
  • Wind Speed – Survivable: 280 kph+ (174 mph+)
  • Snow Melt Capability – Up to 75 mm/hour (3 in / hour)
  • Power Consumption – Average: 110-150 W
  • Wi-Fi – Dual Band Wi-Fi 5 – 3×3 MIMO
  • User LAN – RJ45 Cable

Router Specs:

  • Wi-Fi Technology – 802.11ac Dual Band
  • Generation – Wi-Fi 5
  • Radio – Dual Band -3 x 3 MIMO
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22°F to 122°F)
  • Weight – 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
  • Security – WPA2
  • Range – Up to 185 m² (2000 ft²) *Varies on placement, interference, and materials
  • Environmental Rating – IP54 – Configured for Indoor Use
  • Power Indicator – White LED | Base of Router
  • Mesh Compatibility – Compatible with up to 12 Starlink Nodes
  • Devices – Connect up to 128 devices

Power Supply Unit Specs:

  • Environmental Rating – IP56
  • Operating Temperature – -30°C to 50°C (-22 to 122°F)
  • Weight – 1.5kg (3lbs)
  • Grounding – Dedicated Earth Terminal
  • Power Specifications – 100-240V – 6.3A 50 – 60 Hz
  • Mounting – Wall Mount

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