Home Science Technology Starlink Secures License to Operate in Zimbabwe

Starlink Secures License to Operate in Zimbabwe


SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, has officially been licensed to operate in Zimbabwe. This significant development comes through an exclusive partnership with IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd, marking a major step for the satellite internet provider in the Southern African region.

“I’m pleased to announce that I have approved the licensing of Starlink by POTRAZ to provide advanced internet and related digital processing services in Zimbabwe through its sole and exclusive local partner, IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd.,” stated President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This announcement follows Starlink’s recent service shutdown in Zimbabwe. The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) had previously ordered the shutdown due to Starlink’s unauthorized operation in the country. Despite this, illegal usage persisted, with users smuggling kits from Zambia where Starlink was licensed. Even the Zimbabwean public broadcaster was among those using its roaming services illicitly.

POTRAZ mandated that Starlink either apply for a direct license or partner with a registered local public network company. Starlink has now fulfilled this requirement by teaming up with IMC Communications, which will be the sole distributor of Starlink hardware kits in Zimbabwe.

With regulatory approval in hand, Starlink can now offer its services legally in Zimbabwe, including the mobile subscription plan, which is typically more affordable than roaming. However, specific pricing details for Zimbabwe have yet to be announced. Notably, Starlink has been increasing its rates in various markets recently, with Kenya seeing a doubling of monthly rates for roaming clients.

This licensing marks a pivotal moment for Starlink, potentially transforming internet access in Zimbabwe by providing high-speed satellite internet services to previously underserved areas.

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