The users of Starlink in Nigeria have expressed their dissatisfaction over the usage of the satellite internet service due to several challenges plaguing the service. Barely two months of its operation in the country, some Nigerian customers have taken to their social media accounts to give their reviews of the product, which have mostly been critical. A notable Nigerian tech YouTuber, Fisayo Fosudo, shared on Twitter a screenshot showing a failed attempt to run a routine internet speed check on the service in rainy weather.
Along with the screenshot, Fisayo wrote, “This is a screenshot from last night when it rained. Starlink wouldn’t even run the speed test.” In addition, a Nigerian rising tech content creator, Kagan Tech, shared in one of his recent videos some of his reservations about the satellite internet service. He said, “satellite internet is the real definition of it rains it pours, the minute it gets cloudy and rains a little bit, that internet speed that everybody is so in love with is going to go kaput.” He also added that the internet speed is still horrible when at its best and the sky is completely clear and sunny.
Negative reviews deterred some Nigerians from purchasing the service.
These and many other negative reviews of the product have somehow deterred some Nigerians who had the intention to purchase the satellite internet service to hold back. Some have even disclosed that it makes no sense to pay for a service so expensive, yet it is plagued by occurrences such as rainfall and cloudy weather. The rainy season is approaching and these users are worried that the internet service may get worse and become unbearable for use.
Starlink operates on a satellite internet service technology that has existed for decades. Instead of using cable technology, such as fiber optics in transmitting internet data, the satellite system uses radio signals. Experts have disclosed that this company’s internet service signal weakens during weather conditions like rain and storms because its signals are transmitted via radio waves. These signals travel best through open air but can get deflected and dispersed when it passes through buildings, water, or heavy foliage.
Even the product at its optimal performance, the upload speed is terrible.
In a video, Kagan Tech gives some reasons why it is not advisable to buy satellite internet. At least, not yet. One of them is the price of the product. There is the issue of incorrect pricing on Starlink’s website. The amount written on the website to purchase is not the amount that buyers will have to pay. This is because of the difference between the dollar-to-naira bank rate and the rate at the parallel market, which is quite much. Kagan also mentions that even the product at its optimal performance, the upload speed is terrible.
For a content creator like him, uploading videos to different social media platforms simultaneously with different devices is his domain. So, it does not make economic sense to invest in a product that would not do its job. Furthermore, quality control leaves much to be desired. Kagan claims that the company sent a broken device to one of his friends. Of course, this would not have been an issue if their customer service had been reachable. He claims that the buyer had to void his warranty to get the device fixed.
Lack of certain features and extra payments add to skepticism of others.
First, the device does not have a battery pack option. So, it needs constant power supply to function. This is a big deal in Nigeria where constant power supply is a dream. Starlink users have also complained about the fact that setting up the product in a location means it must be there permanently. If a user wants to move the device to another location, an extra subscription fee has to be paid to be able to move it. This is a practice alien to Nigerians as other local products gives that option with 4G WiFi or 5G router. These and other issues add to the skepticism of potential customers.