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  • Updated: October 02, 2023

Musk's Starlink, Jumia Partner To Boost Satellite Internet In Africa

Musk's Starlink, Jumia Partner To Boost Satellite Internet I

Elon Musk's Starlink satellite firm is collaborating with e-commerce company Jumia Technologies AG to improve satellite internet services across Africa.

Jumia, which is backed by Pernod Ricard SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., plans to sell Starlink satellite terminals and kits in a number of African nations.

According to Hisham El Gabry, Jumia's Chief Commercial Officer, the maiden launch will take place in Nigeria in the following weeks.

Jumia has established itself as a go-to destination for individuals interested in obtaining these kits by establishing a strategic foundation in the market.

This exclusivity in sales and distribution establishes Jumia as a prominent player in the sector, giving them a distinct competitive advantage and potentially increasing their market share and influence in the region.

“We have seen Starlink do these types of deals in Southeast Asia and South America, and now Africa will also have the opportunity to access the fast-speed internet services,

“The plan is to start selling through our sites and agents in Nigeria this month, and then Kenya,” he said.

Big IT companies have tried a variety of innovative methods, but their attempts to provide high-speed internet in Africa have been unsuccessful.

As a result, they have had to revert to using traditional fibre and undersea cable infrastructure.

For example, Facebook, operating as Meta Platforms Inc., started a project to build a huge drone for high-altitude communication across a continent but had to put it on hold.

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., pursued a comparable project involving helium-filled balloons two years ago but has since abandoned it.

Thousands of tiny satellites connected by user terminals in Elon Musk's network, meanwhile, have the ability to connect individuals across vast continents.

However, the price of a typical Starlink terminal in Nigeria, which is 435,000 naira ($557), might be a deterrent.

“We had to establish our own business models and transportation network, even mapping to a certain extent when we started building an African e-commerce business. 

“So we have the needed experience in navigating the retail and merchandise landscape in Africa,” said El Gabry.

El Gabry disclosed Jumia's long-term strategy for distributing Starlink's goods throughout its 11-market footprint in Africa.

In order to provide internet access in remote and underserved places worldwide, SpaceX has launched Starlink in Nigeria.

Due to Starlink satellites' greater proximity to Earth than conventional satellites—over 60 times closer—they have lower latency and can offer services that are normally not supported by ordinary satellite internet.

Recent statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission show that just 140 million of the 200 million people in the country, or around 47 percent, are currently online in Nigeria.

With the aim of bringing high-speed internet to remote and underserved places, Starlink delivers a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites that enable access to high-speed internet.

As a result of this new relationship with Jumia, regional ISPs might be more eager to offer their services in locations that were previously deemed to be too far away or expensive to reach.

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