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Elon Musk’s Starlink to cost Nigerians N479,035; MTN, Airtel, others to benefit



Nigerians will have to pay almost half a million to buy and access the internet network package offered by Elon Musk’s company, Starlink.

In a statement obtained from Starlink, it was revealed that the cost of the firm’s network hardware is $600 and the price for subscription is $43.

The statement, which revealed Starlink would start operation in 2023, stated that, “Starlink expects to expand service in your area in 2023. You will receive a notification once your Starlink is ready to ship. US$43/mo (month) for service and US$600 for hardware.”

MTN, Airtel, others to benefit from Starlink’s bottleneck

The $600 in the black market is N447,000 based on N745/$1 rate (N479,035 including the cost of subscription), while in the official market, the cost of the hardware is N277,002 (N19,851.81 including the cost of subscription) based on N461.67/$1 rate of Wednesday.

Aside from the cost issue, Starlink isn’t accepting payment in naira. This comes at a period of foreign exchange (forex) scarcity and the $20 limit placed on most naira cards for international transactions.

Also coupled with some banks restricting payment for foreign transactions on the naira card, as well as the dollar card offered by the commercial banks only performing $1,000 transaction per month.

READ ALSO:Finally, NCC includes Elon Musk’s Starlink on Nigeria’s ISP list

Network providers like MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom, 9mobile and Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the country will benefit from these bottlenecks around acquiring and accessing Starlink network.

Many Nigerians will not be able to switch from major mobile network operators to Starlink due to cost and impact it will have on their dollar spend per month.

While those with naira cards have been ruled out from purchasing Starlink due to the $20 monthly limit and restriction, persons with the dollar card might not be encouraged to allocate $600 out of the available $1,000 to internet service based on priorities.

These bottlenecks reduce the volume of losses the likes of MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom, 9mobile and internet Service Providers will suffer when Starlink commences operation this year, as declining purchasing power will compel many to stick with the traditional network providers.

MTN and Airtel have been preparing for the entrance of Starlink into the Nigerian internet network market by acquiring the 5G spectrum, which currently cost MTN customers N50,000.

The acquisition is to boost their internet service and speed against Starlink, giving them a fighting chance against Musk’s firm that offers satellite internet, which has a longer reach.

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