Starlink, the high-speed satellite internet service owned by Elon Musk, has finally begun service in Sierra Leone.

The announcement was made at Sierra Leone Innovates Tech Summit opening up new possibilities for connectivity and innovation. The arrival of the service makes Sierra Leone the 100th market to receive it.

Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister, David Monina Sengeh in June 2023 announced that the country’s National Communications Authority (NATCA) granted a license to Starlink after “extended technical evaluations”. 

“This is a huge step forward in achieving the goal of universal connectivity across the country and for transforming education,” Sengeh said.

One year later, the service is finally available to Sierra Leoneans which could mean better internet connectivity in rural and suburban areas of Sierra Leone which internet providers in the country have overlooked.

Sierra Leone has one of the least accesses to internet in the world. According to DataReportal, internet penetration stood at 32.4 percent with 2.67 million users. This means that 67.6 percent of locals in the country do not use the internet.

According to Starlink’s website, it is “ideally suited for areas where connectivity has been unreliable or completely unavailable”. Checks by Sierraloaded shows Starlink service in Sierra Leone costs NLe1,020.00/Month, the Hardware costs NLe7,860.00 while shipping & handling costs NLe517.00. Once purchased, it takes about 1-2 weeks to ship Starlink to Sierra Leone.

“Per the Telecommunications (Subscribers Identification and Registration) Regulations 2020, customers in Sierra Leone must register with Starlink before the Starlink service can be activated. In the future, customers will be required to submit a copy of a photo ID.

“After you place your order, you will receive a Support Ticket in your Account Portal where you can provide the additional information to complete registration. Please note, your order will not be shipped until the information is submitted.

“No in-person Customer Support.” Starlink said.