Starlink, the company of billionaire Elon Musk, is expected to launch satellite internet services in 23 African countries in 2023, including Morocco. The company has worked out a launch schedule based on the time needed to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals in the countries involved.
Starlink is now available on all continents. Worldwide, the number of connection kits to access Starlink passed the one million mark last September. Launched at the end of 2020, Elon Musk’s company service offers internet access, mainly in areas poorly served by fixed and mobile networks, paying for the purchase of an antenna and a modem and a subscription with prices that vary according to the country .
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It must be said that SpaceX, its parent company, continued to expand the Starlink service. In total, it has deployed more than 3,000 Starlink satellites since 2019 and is performing about one launch a week with its own Falcon 9 rockets to accelerate its constellation deployment. And the company does not intend to stop there, as it intends to launch up to 42,000 satellites to offer a broadband connection from space, as the regular sending of new satellites is essential to maintain a sufficient quality of service.
Thus, within the scope of its parent company SpaceX’s ambition to bring broadband to all parts of the planet, including the most remote and landlocked areas, which are therefore difficult for mobile operators to access, Starlink intends more than ever to pursue its African expansion strategy. It was in 2021 that the company began prospecting the African satellite Internet market, initiating negotiations with the authorities of some African countries in order to obtain the necessary authorizations to provide its services there. Currently, the company has already obtained licenses in Mozambique, Nigeria and Malawi in February, May and October 2022, respectively.
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For 2023, Elon Musk’s company sees much bigger: it announces the launch of its services in 23 African countries, including Morocco. To this end, it developed a launch schedule based on the time required to obtain the necessary regulatory authorizations in the countries involved. The Kingdom and Mauritania are currently the only countries in Starlink’s sights. From now on, billionaire Elon Musk’s company invites Moroccan consumers to order to reserve their Starlink. “Starlink is targeting coverage in its region in 2023. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Orders will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the operator on the Kingdom for which a deposit of US$99 is required as a reservation.
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As of September 2021, the Starlink service serves customers in a dozen countries, and the number has grown to 25 countries as of February 2022. Today, the network is available in approximately 40 states. In addition to the United States and parts of Australia, the list of countries where Starlink is currently available also includes the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and, outside of Europe, parts of Chile and Brazil. Almost all of South America, Africa and parts of Asia should soon benefit from Starlink’s services.
It remains to be seen whether this service, which requires paying US$ 499 for the equipment (satellite dish, tripod, power cable and router), then US$ 99 a month for the connection, is not too far from the purchasing power of Moroccans. Especially because Musk promotes this SpaceX service as a solution capable of connecting areas not covered by optical fiber or 3G and 4G frequencies.