Elon Musk to roll out broadband services in Africa

South African-born American billionaire Elon Musk joins forces with African e-commerce platform Jumia to extend the services of Starlink, his satellite internet provider, across the continent.
On Monday, October 2, 2023, Jumia, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, and Starlink, a satellite internet connectivity service designed by Elon Musk’s aerospace company, announced a partnership aimed at boosting broadband internet access in Africa.
Jumia will be entrusted with the distribution, to users on the continent, of the terminals required to use Starlink. “Initially, the agreement will cover Nigeria, with expansion plans envisaged in Kenya and other African countries where Jumia is present”, says the press release.
The e-commerce platform, which operates in 11 African destinations, will thus expand into countries not served by the ISP, with the exception of Nigeria and Kenya. Starlink is also available in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and (again) Zambia.
To reach 23 countries by the end of the year, Starlink is gradually acquiring operating licenses. With this in mind, on September 22 the company recently joined forces with the Paratus group, specialists in the provision of Internet access in Africa.
This expansion strategy should enable Starlink to capitalize on a continent where the internet penetration rate was 43% in 2022, according to Statista, far behind the global average of 68%.
Elon Musk’s service, which offers Internet access via a constellation of Earth-orbiting satellites, has a decisive advantage: a minimal physical infrastructure capable of reaching the most remote areas of Africa.
Although Starlink is already present in 60 countries, affordability remains an obstacle. In Nigeria, the cost of the equipment required for a standard Starlink service is 435,000 naira, or over 350,000 FCFA. Added to this are monthly subscription fees ranging from $120 to $250.

About Geraldine Boechat 2735 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia