Starlink internet service is now available in Zambia, over a year since government officials met with SpaceX representatives.
SpaceX offers Starlink internet connection in the country for ZMW 771 (about $35.90) per month, and the hardware for the service costs ZMW 10,744 ($502.97).
Starlink noted that through its services, users would be able to “engage in comment internet connectivity,” including sending and receiving emails, online shopping, and even stream movies. The internet provider also cautioned that online gaming and video calls “may be challenging at times.” However, Starlink hinted that its internet services in Zambia would “dramatically” improve over the next year.
@Starlink is now live in #Zambia!— Hakainde Hichilema (@HHichilema) October 5, 2023
Access to technology & information, is no longer a luxury for our people.
A great step, as we work towards affordable digital access for all. 🇿🇲 #CMO @InstituteGC https://t.co/eVbDf4j4jL
The SpaceX Starlink team met up with Zambia government officials last September. After the first meeting in 2022, SpaceX conducted pilot projects of Starlink’s internet service in nine provinces across the country. By June 2023, SpaceX was granted a license to provide Starlink connectivity in Zambia.
Last week, the President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, announced Starlink was live in his country. He emphasized that technology and information would no longer be a luxury for people in Zambia. As of January 2023, Zambia had 4.30 million internet users with a total population of 20.29 million. The median mobile internet speed from cellular networks was 15.14 Mbps, while the median fixed internet connection spent was 8.66 Mbps.
According to a digital economy diagnostic report by the World Bank, universal and affordable internet coverage could raise growth per capita by 2% points per year. Accessible internet may also reduce the poverty headcount by 1% point per year.
Starlink connectivity is available in Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Malawi, making Zambia the sixth African nation to license the internet service. SpaceX is expected to offer Starlink services in Angola and Eswatini soon. Starlink internet is available in all 7 continents, including Antarctica.