(Ecofin Agency) - Starlink plans to cover 23 African countries by the end of 2023 amid expansion on the continent. The company already offers its services in Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi.
Starlink, the satellite internet network by U.S. company SpaceX, announced on Friday, November 3, the availability of its services in Benin. This marks the 6th African country to access the commercial services of billionaire Elon Musk's company, following Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya, and Malawi.
The service in Benin is priced at CFA30,000 ($48.66) monthly, with a one-time equipment cost of CFA400,000 (about $650) and shipping and handling fees of CFA15,000. Users in the country will need to pay an additional CFA3,125 per month to the national telecom regulatory authority (ARCEP) to access the electromagnetic spectrum necessary for service provision. The company is collaborating with the regulator to reduce these fees in the future.
Starlink continues its African expansion as part of SpaceX's ambition to provide high-speed internet worldwide, including in remote and underserved areas inaccessible to mobile network operators' terrestrial networks. The company relies on its low-orbit satellite constellation, with a launch schedule aimed at delivering services to a total of 23 African countries this year.
Starlink's arrival in Benin is expected to significantly improve the quality and coverage of high-speed internet in the country. According to the latest statistics from the ARCEP (March 2023), the country has 10.14 million subscribers to mobile internet services and 24,641 fixed internet subscribers.