You can now pre-order Starlink in South Africa

February 11, 2021

Delivery will commence in 2022 on a first-come, first-served basis.

South Africans can now pay a deposit to secure their delivery of Elon Musk’s Starlink – a new internet service provider. Starlink uses a constellation of lower-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to offer fast Internet connectivity to its users from space. 

Starlink has been taking deposits from users in many different countries recently. This is to prioritise the delivery of equipment to enable those users to connect to the internet via Starlink. According to the Starlink website, delivery of the connections in South Africa will take place in 2022. 

Users who are looking to secure their subscriptions now can fill in a form on the ISP’s website. After doing so, they will be required to pay a deposit of $99, which is about R1 500. The deposit is excluding any VAT and additional taxes. A further payment will need to be made when users receive their Starlink Kits – the equipment needed to access the internet through Starlink’s satellites. The kits are estimated to cost about R7 000 when they do become available in South Africa. The deposit will be subtracted from this amount.

Users looking to signup for Starlink locally should keep in mind that for it to work, it requires that the satellite which forms part of the Kit has a clear view of the sky. Any obstructions could lead to unstable connections and questionable download speeds.

The deposit is, however, fully refundable. Users can cancel at any time and receive their money back.

Currently, Starlink has about 10 000 beta users on its network. Further to this, they have 1 000 satellites in orbit, providing connection to these test-users. They are taking on moe beta users in various countries and they plan to have global internet coverage by the end of 2021. 

Beta users can expect speeds of between 50Mbps to 150Mbps. Starlink has warned that users who are testing their service might experience moments of brief blackouts – meaning they won’t have an internet connection per occasion as they optimise and work on their network. 

South Africans should keep in mind that paying the deposit for Starlink does not guarantee that you will receive the equipment when delivery starts. Starlink will, however, communicate with clients regarding this in advance.