Starlink plans to cover 23 African countries before the end of 2023 as part of its expansion on the continent. The company already offers its commercial services in Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi.
Starlink, the satellite Internet network of the American company SpaceX, announced on Friday November 3 that its services are now available in Benin. It is the sixth African country after Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi to benefit from the commercial services of billionaire Elon Musk’s company.
According to Starlink, the service will cost 30,000 FCFA ($48.66) per month with a one-time hardware cost of 400,000 FCFA (around $650) and shipping and handling fees of 15,000 FCFA. In addition, Beninese users will have to pay an additional 3,125 FCFA per month to the Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) in order to access the electromagnetic spectrum necessary to provide the service. The company says it is working with the regulator to reduce these prices in the future.
Starlink continues its expansion in Africa as part of SpaceX’s ambition to bring broadband everywhere on the planet, including remote and landlocked areas, therefore difficult to access for mobile operators’ terrestrial networks. The company will rely on its constellation of satellites in low orbit. According to the established launch schedule, a total of 23 African countries are expected to receive its services this year.
The advent of Starlink in Benin should notably make it possible to improve the quality and coverage of high-speed Internet there. The country has 10.14 million subscribers to mobile Internet services and 24,641 fixed Internet subscribers, according to the latest statistics from ARCEP (March 2023).