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HomebusinessElon Musk's Starlink Introduces Cheaper Data Plan for Kenyan Market

Elon Musk’s Starlink Introduces Cheaper Data Plan for Kenyan Market

Satellite internet service, Starlink, has introduced a new, cheaper data plan for Kenya, bringing competition to Safaricom and Airtel, which now dominate the category.

Starlink is now offering a 50 gigabyte (GB) monthly data bundle for Ksh 1,300.

Subscribers to Starlink will, however, have to pay Ksh 45,500 for installation gear that would grant access to the offering.

This is contrast to the approach used by local telcos, where consumers merely need to activate a registered SIM card.

The Starlink package is expected to create fierce competition for Safaricom and Airtel in the data space.

For instance, Safaricom offers a monthly package of 45GB at Ksh 2,500, while Airtel charges Ksh 3,000 for a similar package.

According to a report on Tech Cabal, satellite internet users grew ten times since Starlink made its entry to Kenya.

The country had only 405 satellite internet subscribers three months before the Starlink launch; that figure increased to 1,354 two months later and to 4,808 in March 2024, according to Kenya’s ICT watchdog, the Communications Authority (CA).

Starlink’s fast rates of more than 100 megabits per second (Mbps) have contributed to an increase in satellite internet usage.

Satellite internet services are especially appealing to users who are not served by regular broadband providers such as Safaricom and Telkom Kenya.

These consumers include specialist business clients who want more than basic fibre or fixed broadband, as well as residents in rural areas.

“The launch of Starlink’s internet services in the country played a major role in driving the uptake of broadband services. Generally, the sector is expected to keep growing following the rollout of new technologies and services,” the report showed.