Starlink now live in Eswatini months after licensing
Starlink, Elon Musk's satellite internet service provider, officially launched in Eswatini. The company had initially applied for a license to operate in March 2023, and after meeting regulatory and technical requirements, it received the license in June.
Starlink deploys a low earth orbit to provide broadband internet to both urban and remote areas, supporting activities such as streaming, online gaming, and video calls. For the "Residential" package in Eswatini, customers can expect to pay R1,070 (~$58) per month, with additional costs of R12,450 (~$670) for the Standard rectangular antenna and shipping.
The recent expansion of Starlink into Eswatini marks the company's presence in the eighth country and the tenth overall market in Africa where its services are now available. Starlink has also established a presence in other African countries, including Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Nigeria. In Zimbabwe and Botswana, regulatory authorities are currently vetting Starlink's application for an operating license.
Points clés à retenir
Without a doubt, the advent of Starlink in Eswatini holds promise for bridging the digital divide and enhancing connectivity for the country's population. It has the potential to bring about a significant transformation. Starlink offers high-speed internet connectivity through a network of satellites in low Earth orbit. This means that even in remote areas, residents can now access fast and reliable internet without relying on traditional infrastructure like fiber optic cables. Eswatini has over 710,000 internet users out of a population of just over 1.2 million but the high poverty rates in the country may position Starlink as more of a premium service. According to the World Bank, over 55% of the country's population lives on less than $3.65 a day.