Starlink yet to apply for Zimbabwe operating licence, says POTRAZ


HARARE – The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has stated that Starlink, the internet service provider, has not yet applied for an operating licence. This comes amidst reports of individuals and companies advertising Starlink Internet services in recent months. 

Starlink not yet legal in Zimbabwe says POTRAZ
Image: TechZim 

POTRAZ has issued a warning that those found distributing and advertising Starlink Internet Services’ gadgets will face arrest. Despite this, many have already installed Starlink internet gadgets, attracted by the promise of cheap and high-speed internet.

Vengesai Magadzire, POTRAZ's deputy director of economic tariffs and competition, addressed villagers in Chikomba West constituency during a consumer awareness campaign. 

He stated, "As the regulator, POTRAZ is mandated to license operators in Zimbabwe but now Starlink has not submitted its application for the licence. We are waiting to hear from it and once it submits Potraz will do what is required."

In a related development, San He, a Chinese mining company operating in Mashonaland Central Province, was recently fined US$700 for using Starlink in Zimbabwe. 

The National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPA) reported that the San He Mining company in Guruve was ordered to pay the fine by a Bindura Magistrate for contravening the Postal and Telecommunication Act.

Zimbabweans are increasingly eager to switch from local internet service providers to Starlink, citing poor service and high cost of data packages. 

Starlink, developed by Elon Musk’s space exploration company SpaceX, is a satellite internet network that provides high-speed broadband internet services.

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