Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Zimbos can pre-order Elon Musk’s Starlink but it has to register with POTRAZ first

Startlink, Elon Musk

Our friends over at ZimPriceCheck made an interesting discovery. Zimbabweans can now place pre-orders for Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink. If you have a USD prepaid card as well as US$99 burning a hole in your pocket you can place your order now but…

For starters, the service isn’t fully up yet. It’s in beta in North America and is basically a bunch of satellites constructed by SpaceX that will deliver the internet world.

The service promises to deliver internet to areas that would otherwise be overlooked or are yet to be served by ISPs. All you’ll need is the kit from Starlink and you’ll be ready to go wherever you are.

Starlink is essentially VSAT but not quite as expensive when it comes to set up costs. VSAT in Zimbabwe is also really technical and you’d need someone from the service provider to set it up. With Starlink most of the gear is plug and play and it includes a Starlink satellite, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables and a tripod.

starlink, satellites,

The equipment package whenever the service comes to Zimbabwe will cost around US$500. Granted half of a thousand is really expensive but if you live in an area without a service provider it’s a lot cheaper than VSAT.

On the Starlink website it says that the service will have low latency for ZOOM and online gaming. This means it’s pulling speeds north of what people on VSAT are getting here in Zim. One testimonial on the ISP’s website reads:

“We relied on dsl (tops out at 2.5mbs) and wireless (tops out at 3.5mbs) for over 15 years. Your service is blazing fast and we have been daydreaming of this for a long, long, time now!”

No exact speeds but they seem to be happy with the service. Also, this could be a PR thing but we can give Starlink the benefit of the doubt and say it may be quicker than VSAT in Zim.

And the service will cost US$99 a month. Which is cheaper than any uncapped package on offer here.

If it comes to Zimbabwe it’ll have to register with POTRAZ

So like with anything that wants to enter a new market it will have to register with the local authority. This is no different for Zimbabwe, for Starlink to operate here then it will have to go POTRAZ and register as an ISP.

This isn’t as big a hurdle as you might think because Starlink last month was in talks with the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA). And with preorders are now open in SA it stands to reason that there wasn’t much of an issue with the registration process.

You can check out the Starlink site with the link here.

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12 thoughts on “Zimbos can pre-order Elon Musk’s Starlink but it has to register with POTRAZ first

      1. Firstly what is that 10million for, how does that money benefit a Zimbabwean, doest make any difference from all the money that been looted from us. But I guess bcs of the propaganda they will want to control starlink to some extant. Personally I want starlink to be in zim bcs of the opportunity’s and the low fee on data. Ini I Will still oder the starlink even if PORTRAZ says no…vanopega. Net alone makes our leaves better and knowledge is accessible, they are many business that need net. I believe it will be stable pane these local company’s bcs starlink doesn’t have major infrastructure like these network…champ chete is buying the dish and connecting to the satellite, POTRAZ should lower that 10 milling to half bcs there is nothing they are providing but just a license….

  1. in terms of speeds says during beta customers can expect speeds of 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms

  2. When you place an order on their website, they look like they have plans to be here
    Order Starlink
    Borthwick Rd, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
    Starlink is targeting coverage in your area in 2022. Availability is limited. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.

  3. That will put it in direct competition with governments telone. They won’t get the license zvekumhanya. Remember strive masiyiiwa and econet

    1. You say it as if government/ZANU owns Zimbabwe. This is a very very sad normal in Zimbabwe. The “They” aspect of government…

      It reduces the citizen to a muyenzi (visitor) who has no say in anything and can easily be kicked out by government. This is false. WE… own ZImbabwe… we, the PEOPLE

    2. Blocking the the inevitable won’t work, because people will begin to poach it, what it might do is govern it.

  4. For us to catch Starlink satellites in Zim, They don’t need to register as we share the same satellitw footpeint qith most SA satallites. Thats why we can subscribe to DSTV SA bouquets or openview.

  5. Our current gvt does not like its citizens having easy access to information, especially infrastructure they cannot control. I do not think STARLINK will get a license.

  6. they say one can subscribe in any country in the rigion that has the service and apply for roamingcan anyone shed light on how much it takes for such as i cant wait for the usual RED TAPE that come with such developments in our beloved country

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