Starlink now available in 99 countries, becomes third-largest ISP in Nigeria

Starlink also became the third-largest internet service provider in Nigeria
Starlink in Kenya

Starlink internet service has again proven to be the fastest growing internet service in the world as it is now available in 99 countries. This was revealed by Elon Musk, the Founder of Starlink’s parent body, SpaceX in a cryptic message on his X account.

The development was confirmed by the internet service provider following a successful launch in the Republic of Fiji which comprises over 300 islands.

“Starlink is now live across the 300+ islands in the Republic of Fiji, marking the 99th country, territory or market around the world where Starlink’s high-speed internet service is available,” the company said.

The development comes a day after Elon Musk visited Indonesia for the official launch of the internet service in one of the largest economies of Asia. With the launch, Mr Musk says he hopes to reach people living in the more remote areas of the country with quality internet service.

Starlink to compete with MTN, Airtel and Glo as it set for direct-to-phone launch in 2024
Elon Musk

Just like Fiji, Indonesia boasts a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, the largest in the world. The people living on these islands are not currently hooked up to reliable internet services, a problem Starlink is expected to solve.

This is also coming after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that Starlink became the third-largest internet service provider by subscriber count in the fourth quarter of 2023, less than a year after its January 2023 launch in the country.

According to the NCC, the Elon Musk-led company recorded an aggregate of 23,897 active subscribed customers by the end of 2023. This represents a 113 per cent increase from 11,207 customers recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2023.

But while the service continues to record impressive success in these markets, it is still struggling to establish a presence in several African countries. A month ago, the government of Zimbabwe ordered the company to shut down its services in the country. In a mail sent by the company to its users, the company said it had been ordered to shut down its services by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).

You are currently using Starlink in an unauthorised territory, As a result. Starlink has been directed by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to disable your service. As described In your Terms of Service, Starlink does not guarantee when or where its Mobile or Mobile Priority Services Plans will be available. Use of such services Is dependent on many factors, including obtaining or maintaining the necessary regulatory approvals which are subject to change,” the mail read in part.

The company has also experienced difficulties in South Africa where the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa(ICASA), the country’s telecoms regulator, has ordered IT Lec, the sole importer of Starlink kits, to cease the importation.

Here's how to get Elon Musk's Starlink internet in Nigeria

Although SpaceX, makers of Starlink, are yet to secure an operational license, IT LEC found a workaround for its customers. But now, the ISP has been warned to abandon this workaround in a strongly worded notice by the ICASA.

In Botswana, the importation, use and sale of its kits and services was officially prohibited by the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA). The prohibition also came with a warning of legal repercussions for those who defied the ban.

The company also faced regulatory squabbles in Ghana although Ghanaian authorities have assured the public that it would grant the internet company a licence once it fulfills all regulatory requirements.

However, its present failings in Africa are balanced out by its astounding success in Southeast Asia, with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Starlink boasts a constellation of nearly 6,000 satellites, with over 5,200 operational and beaming internet access to 2.7 million subscribers

See also: Naira appreciation: Starlink slashes router price to N440,000

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