The internet is no longer just a means of information and communication anymore, but a basic necessity that many of us need to conduct our work. Sadly, while most of our cities are blessed with fast fiber networks that allow us to enjoy a connected world (even if it’s overpriced) there are still many parts of South Africa (and especially the greater African continent) that don’t have a decent enough access to the internet.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to fix the worlds internet access problem in remote areas with its Starlink service, which is putting a number of interconnected satellites into space. These will traverse most of the globe and allow people to connect from remote places where fiber cables and 5G infrastructure haven’t gotten to yet, giving them access to a fast internet service (though one with a slightly higher latency than what Fibre would give you).
And the best news about it is that unlike some of the latest streaming services that seem to think we don’t exist, Starlink is making sure that South Africa is getting access to its service early with the company announcing (as reported in Business Insider) that it’s officially launching in the country in 2022.
It’s not specified when in 2022 though and the company has not revealed what the monthly subscription fee and equipment costs will be just yet, but customers will need to pay a $99 (R1,441) deposit to gain priority access within their respective regions. That might be a tad high for some people, but a fee that could be worth it when in need for connectivity, especially in remote places.
Starlink is still in a beta phase in some countries like the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Poland, New Zealand, and Australia, and can reportedly hit speeds of between 50Mbs to 150Mbs with a latency of between 20ms to 40ms. Though the service would also be weather-dependent as well. The real test though will be when it releases in places like Africa which could benefit the most from its technology and the more than 1400 small satellites they claim to have launched thus far for the project.
Last Updated: April 16, 2021