Everything you need to know before you bring your Starlink kit to Zimbabwe

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

Ok. So the question of whether or not Starlink will work in Zimbabwe even though it’s not officially available yet has been answered. It works and the speeds are pretty good. Now the question is how does one buy it and use it in the motherland. In this piece, I will be giving you all the essential details you need to know before parting with your dollars. 

Where and how do I buy it?

The best place to buy your Starlink kit is on the Starlink website or through any of their authorized resellers if you wish to buy it from a physical store. You can click here for a list of all the Starlink Authorized resellers. The more relevant ones for Zimbabweans are resellers with an African presence which include:

How much is it?

The kit will cost the equivalent of US$583.49 in Nigeria and US$515.45 in Rwanda. This excludes any transaction charges of your preferred mode of payment, Shipping costs for the kit to be delivered to the Nigeria or Rwanda address, and shipping and duty costs to deliver this kit to Zimbabwe.

The monthly subscription for the Roaming service will be the equivalent of US$52.52 in Nigeria and US$52.99 in Rwanda and subscriptions will be deducted from the bank account used to purchase the kit. So just like your Netflix subscription, you will need a card that can work online for you to purchase the kit and pay the monthly subscriptions.

CountryEquipment costRegional roaming subscription P/M

How do I get the kit to Zimbabwe?

You can use a courier service like FedEx, DHL, or UPS to get it from Nigeria or Rwanda to Zimbabwe.

If you have someone who frequents Rwanda or Nigeria they can buy it, set it up, and bring it for you. Knowing Zimbabwe there is probably someone working on a business venture to make this process easier.

What do I do so it works in Zimbabwe?

When buying your kit I would recommend that you use the Starlink portal to purchase your kit. From there you must ensure that:

  • You select Roam
  • You select either a Rwandan or Nigerian address
  • Make sure you initially set it up in either Rwanda or Nigeria before bringing it to Zimbabwe.
  • Check your account to ensure you are on the Roam package before bringing the kit to Zimbabwe

It is very important to note that Starlink’s roaming service will only allow you to use the kit in a different country than the one it was activated in for TWO MONTHS. After these 2 months, the service will be disabled and you will need to send the kit back to the country where it was activated and use it there for you to get the 2-month roaming access renewed. You don’t pay any additional fees on top of your monthly subscription for this renewal.

If you use Starlink Roaming Services for more than two months in a country that is different than your shipping address, Starlink may require you to move your registered address to your new location. Starlink does not guarantee when or where Starlink Roaming Services will be available. Starlink Roaming Services are dependent on many factors, including obtaining or maintaining the necessary regulatory approvals which are subject to change.

Starlink Roam terms of service

How many users does Starlink support?

The bundled router that comes with the kit supports up to 128 devices connected to it. However, it is a terminal and so if you require more users for applications in an office or school setup you can just expand the network to allow for as many devices/users as you desire.

Ordinarily, such large-scale applications are better served with the Starlink Business package however Roaming is not available on Business packages so as much as Roaming can work for an office or school, it’s not really geared towards that. Some performance issues will be faced when the number of connected devices exceeds 128.

Service coverage and performance

Starlink is a VSAT service meaning the service coverage is 100% of Zimbabwe. There is no area too remote for it to work. The download speeds are amazing and in the region of 100+Mbps according to tests done in Zimbabwe. However, the upload speeds are not at all great. The best we have seen so far is 6.5Mbps. So if you frequently upload large files or make frequent backups of large files to the cloud, Starlink is not ideal for that. You are still better off with fiber.

Starlink has a Fair Usage Policy for roaming. The first is that the roaming service is Best Effort meaning they will not guarantee consistent download speeds. In their terms of service, they quote 5-50Mbps download speeds and 2-10Mbps Upload speeds. How we are getting 100+Mbps download speeds is still a mystery.

The other is that there is a 1TB data cap. After this, you will start experiencing slow speeds similar to what Liquid Home unlimited subscribers experience. On standard and business packages you can purchase additional data at US$0.25 per GB to get the regular speeds back. This is however not possible on roaming packages that you will be on for those outside of the countries where Starlink is active.

Will Starlink send ISPs out of business?

Starlink is a fixed internet service that is going to complement the already existing Fiber, ADSL, and Fixed LTE service providers we have available. MNOs are not at all affected since you cannot use Starlink whilst in motion unless you are not on land and on the Maritine package.

As good as the download speeds are, the upload speeds are terrible and so if your requirements are predominantly packing up files to the cloud or uploading content to the internet. These applications are still better served by Fiber or LTE/5G which have much better upload speeds.

It is also affected by weather and obstructions so if the cloud cover is heavy or it is raining, you will experience a degradation in service the same way you do with DStv. Both use similar methods of operation.

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  1. Free Tibet

    2 months window for roaming outside registered country is a deal breaker. I am going back to dreaming!

  2. t1

    haaa we will wait until chauya pa next door sata africa

    1. Bristol

      Ye if u r I Beit Bridge Plumtree Mutare Vic Falls Kariba Chirundu it would be ideal

  3. Anon

    The Startling router does not come with an ethernet port, you will have to get an adapter in order to extend the network https://www.starlinkhardware.com/starlink-ethernet-adapter-setup-and-review/

    1. Anony

      Indeed. If you are thinking of using a wired router or mainlining the connection to a device, order the adapter. In fact, go through the accessories and see what you might need for your setup in advance.

    2. Tinashe Arnold Samhungu

      Starlink will be in Zambia by 2024 and Probably in Zim by the same time if these illegal sanction do not disturb Elon’s thought process

  4. Moomin

    Connectivity is lifeblood for some. The inconvenience is real, but the benefit is still great. And who knows, by the time you have to take you kit on its bimonthly visitation to it’s registered home, Starlink might be a go in Zim! 🤣Who am I kidding! Mankind will be back on the moon surfing on the Starlink lunar constellation before Zim gov gives a go ahead!

    1. Max Power

      If you are guessing how much Starlink will be in Zimbabwe, remember the “consultation fee” or money for drinks for the intermediaries and political connected are some of the highest in the world. Go figure.

      1. XCLR80R

        Aaaa..munomu hamuna kana plan munomu , vakabvumirwa ava kava mototenda mwari , government haidi zvakanaka izvi

    2. Muns

      By the time Starlink gets here, if it does, it will cost $249 because liquid home and POTRAZ, our telecom cartel/overlords will make sure they pay -bigly- to play.

  5. Kamikaze

    Starlink doesn’t have 5G connection yet that’s why the uploads are terrible.

    1. Yukikaze

      The technogies and frequencies are just different. There can’t be ‘5G’ Starlink. That doesn’t mean there won’t be improvements and greater overlap in optimal capabilities in the future.

  6. Anonymous

    Starlink is just overrated especially if you live in a country with good internet infrastructure..most people are complaining that the connection is far inferior to 5G.

    1. Anonymouser

      The likes of urban South Korea were never the target market. SpaceX knows this. We know this. On the consumer side, it has always been aimed at mostly underserved areas around the globe where fibre, high bandwidth cellular and VSAT are either unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
      In our current circumstances, most of Zimbabwe fits that criteria so for us, the hype is real. Anyone claiming Starlink would be a 1 to 1 analogue for 5g was grossly missinformed or is willfully trying to muddy the waters.

      1. Max Power

        Realtime Starlink Satellite visualization: https://satellitemap.space/index.html

    2. Bhinikwa

      I guess we wldn’t even be talking of Starlink if Zim had good internet infrastructure. We live in hell here. Too much govt control and oversight, over priced products, unreliable services. We are in IT Hell

      1. Anonymous

        You can say that again “IT Hell” there’s no better word to describe the service provision, they want our money and yet they at the same time can’t provide decent internet

  7. Kung fu Panda

    so it`s time to now have a VPN from Nigeria or Rwanda right ?

    is that even possible ?

    1. Tai Lung

      Unfortunately, the kit itself has GPS (to help locate and track satelites) and the app also uses your phones GPS to assist in setup. Unless Starlink is blocking orders from Zim IPs with delivery addresses in Nigeria/Rwanda, a VPN would be pointless. SpaceX will always know what country each Starlink unit is in.

      1. Bhinikwa

        Who knows what other listening devices wld be embedded in the chips inside 😂😂😂 basopa lo inja

    2. Tambudzayi

      I know ProtoVPN provides Nigerian routing.

  8. James Trevelyan

    Speedcast has entities in Angola, Algeria, Eygpt, E. Guinea, Ghana, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique and South Africa. Speedcast is the largest authorised reseller of Starlink Business. Contact info@speedcast.com

  9. Thanos

    Mozambique Starlink setting up shop ,by August will be operational

  10. Bvudzijena

    Wait until you hear the Zim government dropping some STATUTORY INSTRUMENT chakuti chakuti making it illegal to import these setup kits.

  11. Anonymous

    This is nonsens 2 months and take it back

  12. IGWE

    Have you also noticed that somehow Zim banks have blacklisted starlink.com as illegal site to make purchases

    1. Anonymous

      Which banks are these? I do understand that some websites do not accept some Zimbabwean issued cards

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