FOR Nigerians willing to explore the Internet via Elon Musk Starlink platform, the firm has offered two alternative payment channels to order its hardware.
Starlink, at the weekend, said Nigerians can use either Payday or barter, which are platforms that allow people to create virtual dollar cards and fund them with naira.
Starlink is a satellite Internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 48 countries. It also aims for global mobile phone service after 2023.
SpaceX’s Starlink went live in Nigeria on January 31, 2023. The firm had tweeted to announce its operations in the country, “Starlink is now available in Nigeria – the first African country to receive service.”
According to industry analysts, the Payday or barter options might have come because of the inability of many Nigerians to complete their orders after getting to the payment stage. With the suspension of international transactions on naira cards, only those who have dollar cards can make payments for Starlink, even though the price is quoted in naira.
A notice by titled: Order Starlink reads: “Lagos, Nigeria, order now to reserve your Starlink. Starlink expects to expand in 2023. You will receive a notification once your Starlink is ready to ship. Prices are based on the official rate. For Naira payments, please use Payday, Barter, or similar. N19, 260 (mo) for service and N268, 584 for hardware.”
Report has it that while Payday is still actively providing the service and has been latching onto Starlink’s operation in Nigeria to promote its service, Barter, which is a service offered by Flutterwave was shut down in July last year.
According to report the listing of Flutterwave’s Barter as one of the alternatives may be a result of a recent announcement that the service is being revamped to come back stronger and better.
MEANWHILE the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has said that the operation of Starlink Internet service and the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) will propel the success of the startup ecosystem in Nigeria.
The Minister stated this at the weekend in Abuja, when he officially received two Nigerian Startups that were among the winners at the LEAP Rocket Fuel pitch competition which took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The startups were RiceAfrika Technologies, a tech-driven agriculture optimization service provider, and Wicrypt, a start-up innovation that enables for sharing of the internet to people anywhere.
Pantami said Starlink has covered the entire landscape of Nigeria, making it possible for startups to access fast-speed Internet from any part of the country.
While noting that the Federal Government would continue to make efforts to provide the enabling environment for innovators and startups to continue to amplify the positive image of the country, the Minister said: “Recently, we initiated the Nigeria Startup Act which is among the most important legislations we have in Nigeria particularly when it comes to addressing the challenges confronted by our innovators.
“Also, after my visit to the US SpaceX, a few days later Nigeria happened to be the first country to have Starlink. As of today, Starlink covers the entire landmass of Nigeria approximately 920,000 square kilometers.
“These are some things that will drive the sector and the ecosystem to succeed.”
Already, Nigerians, who have acquired Starlink have commended the service and disclosed that they have been getting between 50Mbps and 230Mbps download speeds depending on their areas.