Safaricom to give Starlink competition in Satellite internet space


Elon Musk’s Starlink will face a new rival in Kenya’s satellite space as Kenya’s top telecoms company, Safaricom partners with AST SpaceMobile to launch satellite internet services.

Safaricom signed the agreement through its parent company, Vodafone Group Plc, which is an investor in AST SpaceMobile.

AST SpaceMobile is a company based in Texas that designs and manufactures satellites that provide cellular broadband internet access to people all over the world. Their technology is designed to work with unmodified smartphones, so you won’t need to buy any new hardware to use it.

AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 satellite passed testing in 2022 and partnered with Vodacom and Safaricom for a trial in Q2 2023. After a successful test, AST SpaceMobile will scale up satellite deployments with Vodacom to provide ubiquitous 4G coverage across Africa and beyond.

The future of internet service in Kenya already looks bright!

The revenue-sharing agreement between Safaricom and AST SpaceMobile will be split 50/50, with both entities agreeing to maintain mutual exclusivity in their respective markets as part of the arrangement.

Safaricom’s satellite launch is coming shortly after Elon Musk announced Starlink’s launch in Kenya. The entry of satellite internet providers into the Kenyan market is a positive development. It is likely to increase competition, drive down prices, and improve access to Internet services in rural areas.


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