Moonshooting and star-gazing

Elon Musk’s Starlink Rollout Poses Familiar Paradox In African Markets

By  |  May 31, 2022

If it all goes according to plan, locals in South Africa, Nigeria and Mozambique, who probably made the USD 99.00 deposit with considerable excitement and enthusiasm, would have the complete Starlink equipment in their possession before the end of the year.

Starlink is one of several moonshots that the current world’s richest man and admired serial visionary, Elon Musk, has made his life’s work.

Although not the most daring of his pursuits (not when he’s also the co-founder of Neuralink; a neurotechnology company that develops implantable brain-machine interfaces), Starlink is just as ambitious and could potentially be revolutionary, promising internet access for all.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by another Musk moonshot, SpaceX, providing satellite internet access coverage to 32 countries. It aims for global coverage. SpaceX started launching Starlink satellites in 2019, and the service currently has over 1,500 such satellites in near-earth orbit, as well as some 69,000 users in 12 countries (U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia, etc.) while boasting over a half-a-million pre-orders.

In Africa, Starlink appears to have obtained the necessary permissions to operate in South Africa, as well as Nigeria and Mozambique, most recently - as Musk himself announced in a tweet last week, though it probably serves up more questions than answers.

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