Starlink, the internet company spearheaded by Elon Musk, has taken a significant step to enhance its presence in Nigeria’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) market by reducing the cost of its hardware. The company has lowered the price of its hardware to N299,500, marking a 21% reduction from the previous rate of N378,000. This move is expected to make Starlink services more accessible to Nigerians, particularly those seeking reliable internet connectivity options. However, the monthly subscription fee of N38,000 remains unchanged.
In addition to the price reduction, Starlink has extended an offer to provide partial refunds to Nigerian customers who recently purchased their hardware within the last 30 days. This discount opportunity is set to be available until November 15th, 2023, according to BusinessInsider reports.
Starlink made its entry into the Nigerian market in January 2023, generating considerable interest among Nigerians, particularly tech enthusiasts seeking alternatives to traditional internet services. Initially, the first Starlink customers in Nigeria paid in US dollars, with hardware costing $600 and a $43 monthly subscription fee. Subsequently, the company shifted to pricing its services in Naira, with prices initially pegged to the prevailing exchange rate.
However, as the Naira’s value depreciated, the costs of both hardware and subscriptions increased to N378,000 and N38,000, respectively. In June, the Guardian reported that Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had plans to engage with Starlink to negotiate price reductions.
The recent reduction in hardware costs will likely come as a relief to Nigerians interested in acquiring Starlink’s services. The NCC reported that as of June 2023, Starlink had already garnered a customer base of 6,756. This customer base surpasses that of some local ISPs in Nigeria, despite Starlink’s relatively recent entry into the market.
Starlink is now poised to compete for data subscribers alongside established telecom giants like MTN and GLO. Starlink’s network is known for delivering faster internet speeds and boasts a broader coverage area, offering a promising alternative for Nigerians seeking reliable and high-speed internet connectivity.
As the company continues to adjust its pricing strategy to align with the Nigerian market’s dynamics, the reduced hardware costs are expected to further stimulate interest in Starlink’s services and bolster its position in the Nigerian ISP sector.