News Starlink’s speed competition is fierce

Satellite internet provider Starlink went live in Nigeria on Monday, exciting many users who can afford it with its ultra-fast capabilities.

Starlink hardware and shipping cost N276,000 (US$600). A monthly subscription costs N19,780 (US$43), making it the most expensive internet service in the country. But many Nigerians, especially entrepreneurs and businesses, may be more driven by speed than high cost. Nigeria is the first African country where the service will go live, Starlink said.

“Most companies rely heavily on the Internet, including banks, government agencies, SMEs, and large multinational corporations. Individuals such as developers, digital marketers, and remote workers may all attest to inadequate bandwidth, poor connections, frequent downtime, “unlimited” Plans have challenges like caps, and some concerns. With Starlink, this will be a thing of the past. Starlink is one of the fastest and most reliable Internet service providers in the world, according to surveys conducted so far in 2021,” said cybersecurity expert Abdulrahman Tunde .

Tayo Oviosu, CEO of fintech company Paga Communications, released the results of his speed tests of Starlink and fiber broadband in Lagos. Two graphs he posted on verified Twitter show Starlink’s bandwidth lead of 230Mbps compared to 14Mbps fiber internet. Starlink also had a latency of 132 milliseconds in Lagos, compared to 6 milliseconds for fiber.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends 100 Mbps as the minimum bandwidth. Ookla, a company that tracks internet speeds, found that the median internet speed for fixed broadband in the US in October 2022 was about 182 Mbps download and 22 Mbps upload. Nigeria, on the other hand, had fixed broadband download speeds of 11.40 Mbps and upload speeds of 9.87 Mbps, making the country one of the lowest-ranked countries at 145th. MTN’s recently launched 5G service boasts speeds of 130 Mbps.

Hence, internet download speeds of 200 Mbps and 20 Mbps are considered to be a giant leap forward and will inspire the country’s budding tech-driven entrepreneurs. Any device with 200 Mbps is capable of handling multiple online activities of a large number of users without interruption.

As such, Starlink brings new competitive pressure to existing operators. According to Ookla, Airtel led the industry with a download speed of 22.42 Mbps, although it had a latency of 26 milliseconds compared to 9Mobile’s 33 milliseconds.

Nigerian users, however, can only order Starlink from the website using a US dollar card, which may cost more considering the additional fees.

“Noted that although the pricing on the website (using the official exchange rate) is in naira, you can only pay for Starlink in Nigeria with a US dollar card,” said Temidayo Oniosun, managing director of Space Africa. “Someone needs to solve this foreign exchange remittance problem; otherwise, very soon, naira cards will become useless,” he added.

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