Starlink was officially launched in Zambia yesterday, October 5. This makes Zambia the sixth country in Africa to have access to the service.
Starlink is the name of a satellite network owned by the private spaceflight company SpaceX to provide low-cost internet to remote locations.
This launch follows after an initial interaction between the tech company and the country’s government in September 2022.
As part of ticking off regulatory and technical boxes, Starlink got its operating licence in June, and its distribution in the country will be handled by Paratus Zambia.
Last year, Zambia was reported to have limited access to international communication infrastructure, as it relied on satellite links or interconnection agreements with other countries.
This internet service will ensure that access to technology and information is no longer a luxury for the people of Zambia.
According to Starlink, their service will cost 10,744 Zambian kwacha ($505) for the hardware and 507 Zambian kwacha ($24) for the monthly subscription. Data by UK research firm Cable shows that Zambia is amongst the top five most expensive data prices in Africa. On average, Zambia’s data was priced at US$8.01 for one gigabyte, with the cheapest pegged at US$0.45, while the most expensive one was at US$45.33.
Zambia now joins Starlink sphere of African countries, which includes Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Other African countries anticipate Starlink’s arrival, one of which is Zimbabwe which has the most expensive internet service in the world. The country’s government has announced that it is in the process of vetting the company’s application for an operating licence.
According to Starlink, Botswana and Malawi are scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2023, while Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Angola are expected to follow in the fourth quarter of 2023.