Nearly 90% of the Burundian population does not have access to Internet services, according to DataReportal. The Burundian government wants to bridge this technological gap as part of its digital transformation ambitions.
The American company SpaceX has initiated negotiations with the Burundian authorities to launch the services of its Starlink satellite Internet network in the country. The President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye, received in audience a delegation from the company on Tuesday, September 19, on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly which is currently being held in New York in the United States.
According to its official website, Starlink plans to launch its services in Burundi from the second quarter of 2024. The company specifies that the availability of its commercial services in the country is subject to approval from regulatory authorities.
Starlink’s low-orbit satellite constellation should enable the government to accelerate coverage of the entire Burundian population with high-speed Internet connectivity, including communities living in remote rural areas that are difficult to access for operators’ terrestrial networks. telecoms. Furthermore, the Telecommunications Regulatory and Control Agency (ARCT) plans to launch commercial 5G in the country from July 2024.
According to statistics from the DataReportal data platform, Burundi had 1.33 million subscribers to Internet services in January 2023, representing a penetration rate of 10.2%. The number of users of mobile telephone services was 6.99 million for a penetration rate of 53.5%.