[Update] Starlink is working in Zimbabwe for as low as US$53 per month…but there is a catch

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

So yes. We finally got a live demo of Starlink working perfectly in Harare and the speeds are very good. 131Mbps download and 2.83Mbps upload (All VSAT has terrible upload speeds). What we have managed to gather is that our theory of how to get it working in Zimbabwe proved to be right.

Starlink has a worldwide network of satellites hovering 550km above our heads and their service coverage is split into regions. Continental regions. Looking at the Starlink satellite coverage map, Africa has very good coverage with Zimbabwe having some 4 satellites passing over it in some instances. It’s good enough to get a signal that can give you over 100Mbps download speeds.

The Starlink kit itself is region locked. This means if you buy a kit from the USA, UK, Nigeria, or Rwanda, those kits will be made to work in the respective countries they are being sold. For them to work outside of the country they are being sold to, they need to first be set up in the country of origin. From there you need to activate roaming which will then allow the kit to work outside of the country of origin.

Getting it to work in Zim

The kit that was tested was bought in the UK, it was set up there and had global roaming activated before being shipped to Zimbabwe. Once it got here it was just a matter of connecting everything, setting up the wifi name, and allowing the kit to connect to a satellite. Basically, plug and play. The process is like so:

  • Purchase Starlink Roaming from a country where Starlink is available (A country from the same continent is highly recommended)
  • Select Regional roaming on the roaming option (Only if the country of origin is on the same continent as the destination country)
  • Set it up in this country of origin and run any updates needed.
  • In your account settings ensure roaming is active.
  • Ship it to the destination country (In this case Zim)
  • Set it up and run any updates.

The catch. Roaming is not cheap

We talked about regional and global roaming. Think about it as the roaming you are familiar with on your mobile devices. The ability to use your Zimbabwean mobile service provider in another country. So Regional Roaming refers to roaming on the same continent and Global Roaming means access to the service from anywhere in the world.

Roaming is however not cheap. Especially if you pick Global Roaming. The price for the kit is the same at around US$599. What differs is the monthly subscriptions for the service. Here is a table to show the cost of the kit and roaming for select regions.

CountryEquipment costStandard subscription P/MRegional roaming subscription P/MGlobal roaming subscription P/M
UKUS$373.05* (US$572.01)US$93.26US$105.70US$248.70

*Currently there is a promotion in the UK where the equipment is discounted from the standard £460 to £300.

Looking at this table you will notice that subscriptions for Africa are a lot cheaper than those for the USA and the UK. I only included this selection of countries for purposes of comparison. Availability of Starlink is in a lot more countries than just these four but these are the ones most Zimbabweans will be interested in.

Roaming access lasts for 2 months

[UPDATE] Starlink’s roaming service will allow you to use outside of the country it was registered to for a maximum period of 2 months. After that, the kit will need to go back to its home country so that the roaming resets and you get another 2 months. So looks like at this moment this is not a permanent solution to accessing the service in Zimbabwe or other countries where the service is not yet available.

International Travel: Starlink can only be used within the same continent as the registered shipping address. If you use Starlink in a foreign country for more than two months, you will be required to move your account to your new location or purchase an additional Starlink to maintain service.

Starlink Website

US$53 for over 100Mbps of unlimited internet

If you are in Zimbabwe, the best place to get your kit is from Nigeria or Rwanda (Rwanda being the cheapest route). This is because we are in the same region meaning you will be able to enjoy the roughly US$53 monthly subscription under the Regional roaming package. US$53 for unlimited internet that has download speeds above 100Mbps. The cheapest unlimited internet package you can get in Zimbabwe right now is US$241 from Liquid Home (Z$ price converted to USD using the latest interbank rate) and its speeds are up to 20Mbps or 20% of Starlink speeds at best.

Choosing to get your kit from countries outside of Africa is going to make it a lot more expensive to use Starlink. You’ll be committing to the Global Roaming subscription which starts at US$200. If you are already paying this much for your unlimited fiber right now then it won’t be that big of a deal but if there is an option that is a quarter of the price for the same service then it’s a no-brainer. You just have to contend with the price of the kit and the shipping costs to get it to Zim.

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  1. Panomara mai

    How do I get it from Rwanda or Nigeria?

    1. Anon

      Yep its gone, first company in the world to reduce internet speeds in the History of the internet.

  2. FourwallsInARoom

    Interestingly if you check the Liquid Home website, the 100Mbps package is gone.
    Are we saying that Liquid no longer actively sells 100Mbps to the home, because that would be regression and in which case, I would want star link once my 12 mo’s is up.
    I fortunately went for the 12 month subs at an opportunistic time, when the ZWL rate made sense.

    1. Anon

      Yep its gone, first company in the world to reduce internet speeds in the History of the internet.

  3. Jack

    Starlink according to press reports is officially available in Mozambique and Malawi already while wait for POTRAZ to try arrange for the prices to be sky high here.

    1. Jairos Chiwara

      This seems to be the best opportunity for for a lot of Zimbabweans to have internet at their homes. So how do buy from Rwanda and and how do I pay the subscription?

      1. Anonymous


  4. Bonita

    It’s far much cheaper to pay that $53 in terms of time. Imagine spending almost 10minutes uploading a one pages pdf document. We are spending a lot of time especially us who are in areas the Liquid things don’t work. I would opt for it.

    1. Anonymous

      Yes yes

  5. Y

    There is a a cap or throttling after 1T.
    Just don’t want to do business that are owned or has CEO who NAZI-adjacent and likely mentally unstable

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      If all CEOs made their views or ideologies public, you wouldn’t do business with anyone. They could even be worse than what you think of him.

    2. Musketeer

      A 1tb FUP sounds more than fair to me. A commercial grade fibre package might be a better fit if you are moving enough data to worry about that limit. As for not wanting anything to do without that ‘nazi nutso’, boycott away! It leaves more bandwidth for the rest of us🤣

    3. Starlink Rocks

      It has not yet been effected still theoretical

  6. Y

    There is a a cap or throttling after 1T.
    Just don’t want to do business that are owned or has CEO who N*ZI-adjacent and likely mentally unstable

    1. William

      When one subscribes do they have to pay the standard subscription fee PLUS the roaming fee, or can one just pay the roaming?

      Your article gives the impression of the latter.

      1. Edwin Chabuka

        If you are on the roaming package you pay the roaming subscription. The standard subscription is for those who do not need roaming. Think of it as DStv light and DStv compact. 2 different packages

  7. Q

    Somethings you have to talk in code. I am putting POTRAZ on alert and they will have customs seize your starling kits at the boarder. If it’s already in the country ZRP will be sent to seize your kit otherwise you all need to subscribing to my corruption surcharge plans!

    1. Louis

      Soon Externalization of internet will be a thing.

    2. DM

      Mr 10% has joined the chat!

      1. Mr 10%

        The 10% is for consultation fees. Just like you donate to police officers money to bu drinks. For the higher-ups drink is never enough!

  8. Joe Biden

    Do not worry mortals POTRAZ knows you like your prices sky high as soon as it’s finished setting up , it’ll be available for all to consume

  9. Anonymous

    I am sure potraz is already licking its lips, and coupled by pressure from local service providers to make sure Star Link’s data price is “competitive”

  10. zebra dube
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    earn money by watching videos. https://easy-earn.beauty/783408676622

  12. Anonymous

    Roaming has a window period inwhich you have to periodically return the Starlink to its address of initial activation. So lets see after 2 months if the mention Starlink will still be active. In my opinion thus the biggest Catch.

    Editor please give opinion on that

    1. Anon

      Very true, although its still cheaper to get 2 or even 3 than Zimbabwe options, and stagger the way you return them back to the country of origin e.g UK, then once activated in Mozambique, Zambia it will be a lot easier,

  13. Anon

    Is your Starlink Kit available for Sale or Hire ?

  14. Tariro

    Change is good and invertible but most people fear for change. Starlink is a change we must welcom and accept. We need a lot of competition on our network provider because their prices are insane for pretty messed up network. So i would agree on Starlink to come in play.

  15. Priscilla Sadomba?

    Confirm Portraz will not have jurisdiction over Starlink pricing in Zim editor?

    1. Free Starlink!

      I fear we may have to pay close to the actual price in comparison to our discounted African brothers, maybe even over. Portraz might not be the only one trying to get a slice of the pie

  16. Geralt of Rivea

    Point of correction: Starlink is not offering an unlimited package. It has a fair use policy: https://www.starlink.com/legal/documents/DOC-1134-82708-70

  17. Q

    I don’t think the starlink dish needs to be placed on the roof like on the picture at the top. All other pictures of owners of starlink I have seen show the dish placed on the ground. Anyway the dish on the picture above is not secured which is indeed dangerous because high can send it flying and it harm people and property.

    1. LOS Advisor

      The dish needs a reasonably clear line of sight and may refuse to lock on during setup if even a tree gets in the way. If your yard can meet ideal conditions on the ground, that’s great. For some, however, they may need to go to opposite extremes and pole-mount their units to clear all obstructions. There are first party mounts from Spacex, 3rd parties and DIY guides for this. Don’t worry though, the Starlink App will guide you through detecting potential issues during setup so you can relocate if need be.

  18. Charity mushayi

    So are there starlink agents who wil be responsible for the shipping and setting up of this netwek? I mean if yu want yo make an order how wil yi ho about it.im sick and tired of liquid home..service is poor ..netwek is only available when there is electricity.as for price yoo!!We want starlink now.asap

  19. rjcdube

    Guys! Let’s do serious business! Who wants to form a club for buying kits?? 😄
    Nothing to wait for. The only way for our laggard ISPs to learn how to act right is to shift en masse to Starlink. Let’s go!

  20. Samantha Muchanyara Manyande

    How do i get it in Zimbabwe, how do i subscribe it from Zimbabwe and how efficient ia it?

  21. Steve

    So what if you buy it from Nigeria, set it up and ship it to Zimbabwe, will it be cheaper

    1. cheney

      you can contact us at cheney@bio-greenstar.com

  22. Nhimba

    This thing will be very expensive in Zimbabwe because you need to know some one who knows someone with a connection with someone who knows someone with the link to someone who can sell it to you🙄🙄🙄 the price will be double with all these roadblocks

  23. el gordo alberto

    Edwin – I sent mine in early March and its working a treat ;with best speed 300 mbps in last few weeks – expecting the two months to expire around 15 May so – I have just shipped another router to swap with when the two months expire. FedEx cost me £45 so will swap in another two months hopefully when Mozambique comes on line will transfer my account there so I can swap easily or take advantage of the proximity. Don’t worry about Potraz finding out mine is in the back yard just above the side window and they wont find it or know about it neither do they have the tech to find if im using one. They cant block the downlink signal so they is nothing they can do – maybe banning them. A ban on any IT tech opens a flourishing blackmarket; charging extortionate import fees does the same. The best is to charge a flat fee for importation and let the market punish laggrds like Econet and telone

  24. M2

    Deposit is now $9.00 (used to be $99.00 I think) on the Starlink pre-order page. Placed mine today

  25. Anonymous

    The Zim dollars crushing again, why did the governor lower the high interest rates , bring it back 450% and monitor the stock exchange activities, make sure companies are doing business for which they are registered, if not stiff penalties and prosecution, our money mustn’t undermined in this way.

  26. Greg

    By the end of 20123 Q2 we should have starlink in Zambia which means a closer country to renew the global roaming

  27. T

    Is anyone aware of any alternative solutions currently available in Zimbabwe that can provide comparable internet speeds and reliability to Starlink? It would be interesting to explore other options while waiting to see if starlink ever arrives in Zim.

  28. Brentwood

    I’ve been using Starlink for the last year. It is an outstanding service and incredibly reliable. There is an app that goes on your phone that allows you to work out where you can get reception and how strong the signal will be. It is highly usable unfortunately for you guys I am in Australia but I do have a business in Zimbabwe and a very interested in your topic and would appreciate to work out how I can get a unit up and running this subscription seems to be a problem. However, if you close enough to the border to Mozambique, I wonder if that would make a difference and whether Zambia has a similar situation

  29. 007


  30. Janine Bredenkamp

    no good if you have to return to country of origin every two months. not truly roaming is it?

  31. Ethan

    Where can I get it in Zimbabwe and how much is your full set

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