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Starlink is live Eswatini after acquiring license

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Elonstarlink
Elonstarlink

Elon Musk’s satellite internet service provider, Starlink, has officially launched in Eswatini after obtaining a license in June.

The company initially applied for a license to operate in March 2023 and after ticking off regulatory and technical boxes, received the license in June.

This comes at a time when Starlink has been declared illegal in a number of African countries, including Ghana, Zimbabwe, Senegal, South Africa and others due to licensing issues.

Starlink uses a low earth orbit to deliver broadband internet to urban and remote areas which is capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, and video calls.

“Starlink is now live in Eswatini, marking the 8th country and 10 overall markets in Africa where service is available,” the company posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. Starlink’s most common “Residential” package will cost R1,070 (~$ 58) per month. Hardware and shipping will cost customers another R12,450 (~ $670) for the Standard rectangular antenna.

The other African countries Starlink has a presence in are Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Nigeria. In Zimbabwe and Botswana, the regulators have announced that it is vetting the company’s application for an operating license.

Despite making strides in the southern Africa region, Starlink is still facing regulatory pushback in what could be its largest and most lucrative market, South Africa. Its importation and usage have been banned as, according to the country’s competition regulations, Starlink’s  South Africa subsidiary must allocate 30% ownership to historically disadvantaged groups, a provision the company seems to be pushing back against.

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