- What is Starlink?
- How does it affect you ?
- Is it cheap?
The worlds second richest man (Worth $151 Billion) announced that his low-orbit, satellite-based broadband service will be available for everyone in August. With an ambition to get everyone connected to the internet, Musk said the service is not for everyone.
“It’s really about getting to parts of the world that are the hardest to reach, the most difficult to reach,” he said. “It’s a nice complement to fibre and 5G.” Said the multi-billionaire
This statement itself answers questions surrounding the speed of the connection and which should be your first choice as between a fibre, mobile internet and satellite-based internet connection. Satellite broadband compliments the connections that we already have because it has no barrier as it can be accessed by anyone from anywhere.
The Starlink service is expected to be faster than other satellite-based internet service providers because its fleet of satellites( over 1800) are stationed in lower orbit hence it will have shorter latency (the time it takes signals to travel between Earth and the satellites).
“The latency for the Starlink system is similar to latency for ground-based fibre and 5G, so we’re expecting to get latency down under 20 milliseconds,” Musk said
Satellite-based broadband is not new to Zimbabwe after Telone partnered with Eutelsat communications, one of the worlds leading satellite operators which also has a global fleet of satellites and associated infrastructure earlier this year in its efforts to bridge the digital divide in the Country.
Is Starlink cheap?
Starlink is expensive for a service that is meant to bring connectivity to the unconnected. It will cost a monthly subscription of $99 per month plus a whopping time fee of $499 for the physical kit, which includes a router, tripod and satellite dish. Once set up, the kit connects to 1,300 Starlink satellites that beam the internet down to Earth.
People located in the marginal areas and villages here in Zimbabwe are less privileged since Starlink may fail to make a name for its self in developing countries as it’s just rather too expensive.
On the other hand, we noticed that Telones voice over satellite service (Vsat) costs even more demanding a one-time fee of $670 for its setup and a monthly subscription of $51. Thus the price for the Starlink service may not be as expensive as we think but from an African remote village perspective, it’s expensive.
The Starlink project cost Elon Musk and his SpaceX company between $5-$10 Billion which explains the high prices.