Starlink Opens Up New Markets

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Update time : 2024-06-28 14:01:26

The Starlink system of SpaceX, a US company, has become the world's most competitive space-based network service provider with its first-mover advantage in global coverage and commercial space-based communication capabilities. Since 2023, the Starlink system has steadily occupied the commercial space-based network service market in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and other regions, and has used its first-mover advantage to focus on developing the space-based communication market in Asia and Africa.

After Japan became the first Asian country to launch the Starlink service in October 2022, SpaceX vigorously expanded the Asian Starlink market in 2023. In February 2023, SpaceX began to provide Starlink network services to the Philippines, making the Philippines the first country in Southeast Asia to launch Starlink services. SpaceX said that Starlink customers in the Philippines can enjoy network download speeds of 50-200Mbps and a 30-day trial service. According to the order, the service fee for Starlink in the Philippines is US$49 per month and the hardware fee is US$533. In March, SpaceX of the United States established a Korean subsidiary of Starlink in Seoul, South Korea, and plans to launch Starlink satellite network services in South Korea in 2024. In June, the Karenni Human Rights Organization stated that some areas in Kayah State, Myanmar, began to use Starlink satellite network services with restrictions. However, due to the high cost of its network services, the scope of use has not yet reached the level of popularization in Myanmar. In July, Mongolia approved SpaceX's Starlink system to provide network communication services for it. Mongolia stated that millions of Internet users in Mongolia will be able to obtain high-speed network connections through Starlink. In the same month, Malaysia issued a license for Starlink, allowing it to provide network communication services in Malaysia. In November, REDtone, a Malaysian integrated telecommunications and digital infrastructure service provider, and SpaceX signed an authorized dealer agreement to provide high-speed Internet services based on Starlink satellites throughout Malaysia. Malaysian Minister of Communications Fahmi said that Starlink will provide services to schools and higher education institutions and help solve network access problems in remote areas. Fahmi also said that the government is ready to cooperate with satellite communication companies including Starlink to ensure 100% Internet coverage in densely populated areas. The minimum package of Starlink in Malaysia is 220 ringgits (about 47 US dollars) per month, and the minimum price of the standard version of the hardware equipment is 2,300 ringgits (about 493 US dollars), which can enjoy a 30-day free trial. In terms of performance parameters, the standard version of Starlink can provide a download speed of up to 100Mbps in Malaysia, and the premium version can reach a speed of up to 220Mbps, with a network connection reliability of 99% and a network delay of 25-60ms. In November, Kazakhstan used the Starlink system to conduct network connection tests in 10 rural schools and achieved the expected results. On this basis, Kazakhstan plans to use the Starlink system to provide Internet services to 200 rural schools.

SpaceX has successfully opened up the African communications market and has gradually promoted the landing and application of Starlink in Africa. As a space-based communication network with global coverage, Starlink will play an important role in solving Africa's network access difficulties and bridging the digital divide. In February 2023, SpaceX officially provided Starlink services to Nigeria, marking Nigeria as the first African country to access Starlink services. SpaceX said that Starlink services will cover the entire territory of Nigeria, which is of great significance in filling the gap in rural Internet access, supporting national government administration and improving public education. In the same month, Rwanda launched Starlink services, using 500 unconnected schools as service pilots, and plans to access Starlink network services for 3,000 unconnected schools by 2024 through financing from the World Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. According to statistics, as of early 2022, Rwanda's Internet penetration rate accounted for only 26.3% of the total population. Starlink will help the country expand Internet access in areas where ground Internet infrastructure is difficult and costly to install.

In June, SpaceX launched Starlink in Mozambique, making it the third African country to use Starlink. Starlink's residential package in Mozambique costs 3,000 Nigerian shillings (about $47) per month, the same price as services in Nigeria and Rwanda. Mozambique has a population of over 30 million, but the Internet penetration rate is only 25%. In July, SpaceX launched Starlink Internet services in Kenya and Malawi.

In October, SpaceX launched Starlink in Zambia. According to the World Bank, only 44% of Zambians have access to the Internet. In November, the Starlink system provided services in Benin, making Benin the seventh African country to open Starlink services after Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Malawi. It is reported that the price of Starlink service in Benin is 30,000 CFA francs (about $48.66) per month, and the equipment cost is 400,000 CFA francs (about $650).

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