Nigerian Starlink users face payment hurdles after price crash

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With the recent strengthening of the naira against the US dollar, Nigerian internet users are finding it more difficult to afford Starlink satellite internet service, despite a significant price cut.

SpaceX-owned Starlink reduced the cost of the hardware by over 45%, from the previous price of almost N1m to N440,000.

Clients using the company’s website to make payments are running into technical issues.

Starlink touted its offering as “unlimited high-speed internet available everywhere in Nigeria with speeds up to 160 Mbps, available for NGN38,000 per month.”

Due to Starlink’s constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in a low orbit around the earth, users are able to engage in activities that have historically not been possible with satellite Internet. The hardware kit, which is currently sold for N440,000, is typically installed at residences.

Internet users in Nigeria are becoming more and more irate, and they are taking to the social media site X, which was once known as Twitter, to express their frustration.

On the company’s website, a number of users complained about having trouble paying for Starlink with their naira cards.

“After we just finished paying N1.8m to buy two of your products just two weeks ago, I feel like just crying,” said Stanley, a disgruntled customer, about X.

Stanley’s worries were echoed by a number of other users, who brought attention to the website’s denial of naira cards and the difference in price for early adopters.

Paul Ehrima pleaded for alternative payment methods, stating, “I have used numerous naira and USD cards to make a purchase, but it didn’t go through. Kindly give us a better alternative payment method.”

Some, like Justin, said they received their hardware successfully but could not activate their subscription because their naira card payments did not go through.

Florence Abebe surmised that deposit verification could be hampered by a website malfunction.

“I tried to register, but it appeared your website may have an issue. It is unable to verify the deposit due,” she explained on X.

In response to the substantial price reduction and payment difficulties, Agozie Ani and Jasper Nwoko added their voices to the chorus of irritation.

In the meantime, the value of the naira significantly increased recently in relation to the dollar.

Since the beginning of January, the value of the naira has increased; it is currently trading at about N1,300, up from about N1,900 at the beginning.

Due to the high upfront equipment cost and monthly subscription fees, Starlink Internet service in Nigeria is still too expensive for the typical Nigerian consumer, even with its high-speed capabilities.

Additionally, it has joined forces with Jumia, the most well-known e-commerce site in Nigeria, to promote the product.

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Source: The Punch

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