Starlink is a satellite broadband service run by Elon Musk’s private space company, SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California, USA.

Its development began in 2015 with the prototype satellites launched into orbit in 2018. In the years since, SpaceX has deployed thousands of Starlink satellites into constellations across dozens of successful launches. As of December 2022, it consists of over 3,300 mass-produced small satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which communicates with designated ground transceivers.

The first two countries on the African continent confirmed to be getting Starlink are Mozambique and Nigeria. It will be launched in Rwanda in the first quarter of 2023, other countries where it is slated to be rolled out include Angola, Eswatini, Gabon, Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi.

The launch of Starlink in the first quarter of 2023 will surely come with many benefits to internet users in Rwanda. It will provide high-speed broadband internet with low latency (Starlink’s latency ranges between 20 ms to 40 ms and the latency of conventional satellites sometimes goes above 300 ms) worldwide unlike conventional satellite internet. The higher the latency, the faster the internet and the lower the latency, the faster the internet.

“The launch of Starlink in Rwanda is exciting news to me as an internet user. I sometimes have issues every time I go to the village, my first worry is poor internet connection but from what I have heard and read, my worry will be no more and I cannot wait,” Grace Umutesi, an internet user said.

Using advanced low-orbit satellites allows you to communicate in video chats, streaming and other high speed data activities, which was previously impossible via satellite internet.

“At times I get frustrated when I cannot have my zoom classes due to internet connection issues and I end up missing lectures which obviously affects my grades in the end. As a student, the launch of Starlink in our country means I will not miss lectures and I am really hopeful,” Kenneth Kamali, a university student said.

Users can expect download speeds from 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps and delays of 20 ms in most places. Therefore, Rwandans will easily use current generation broadband applications.

The Starlink kit or terminal comes with everything you need to connect to the internet including a Starlink device, WI-FI router and cables. It does not communicate directly to handsets but through a terminal mounted on a flat surface such as the ground or roof of a house. This makes it very easy to set up since it is a matter of placing the terminal in an ideal location. Any Rwandan interested in using Starlink will install it with a lot of ease.

Starlink internet does not suffer any internet outage due to disasters. The fact that it has very many base stations around the world, internet can be restored when the sky clears up. This assures faster disaster recovery. This will serve as a guarantee to internet users in Rwanda who think that they will have connectivity issues in case a catastrophe happens.

Most studies have shown that Starlink has more pros than cons, therefore, it is worth embracing for more technological advancements.  By , New Times