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Elon Musk’s Starlink’s planned entry into Kenya could threaten Safaricom’s market share


The internet service provider announced that it would establish its services in Kenya by the second quarter of the year, which inevitably poses a threat to other service providers in the region.

For years now, the telecommunications company Safaricom has enjoyed an almost uncontested market presence in East Africa’s most technologically advanced country. However, with the recent entry of Canadian based telecom Iristel and now, Elon Musk’s Starlink, it is entirely possible that Safricom’s dominance in Kenya is under threat.

Starlink announced that it is currently “pending service coverage or regulatory approval”. According to the company, Kenyans would be able to order the service once the regulatory approval falls through.

“Order now to reserve your Starlink. Starlink is targeting service in your area starting in Q2 2023. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis,” the company stated.

A few key sub-regions of interest for Starlink includes, Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru, all of which Starlink services could be made available to by the mid-point of the year.

Based on its satellite computing and coverage, Starlink has been designed to function effectively in any region, regardless of how remote said region is. According to the company, Starlink has unlimited service locations and is suited to function in rural and remote locations, making it perfect for some regions in Kenya.

With initiatives like digitizing its government records and building a tech hub, aptly dubbed the Silicon Valley of Africa, Kenya’s tech push is something tech companies across the world are beginning to pay attention to.

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