Starlink intends to come to Zimbabwe between October and December 2023

Leonard Sengere Avatar

We know there is a lot of excitement around Starlink. We already knew that Starlink had indicated that they would be coming to Zimbabwe this year, 2023. It’s already June and we were starting to wonder when that would happen.

We now have an answer. Starlink intends to come to Zimbabwe in Q4 2023. That is from October to December.

Order now to reserve your Starlink. Starlink is targeting service in your area starting in Q4 2023. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.

So, we now know that Starlink is committed to serving Zimbabwe. It is the regulatory approval that they speak of that remains an unknown. What does the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) intend to do? Potraz is keeping its cards close to the chest.

Regulatory approval

We know that Starlink is facing regulatory challenges in Elon Musk’s country of birth, South Africa. On South Africa, Starlink says, “Service date is unknown at this time.” So should we be optimistic that that’s not the case for Zimbabwe?

A few months ago, the regulator said, “No application as yet from Starlink.”

It could be that Potraz received official notice of intent to come to Zimbabwe from Starlink since then. Or even an application but is still deliberating. They have been a little mum on the issue.

Or it could be that Starlink is using that strategy where you drum up interest in a product/service so much before getting regulatory approval that the regulators have no choice but to grant it. I imagine it is this.

If Potraz denies Starlink after all this, that would attract a lot of negative press for the government. Especially if the country’s Internet providers keep struggling like they are right now.

We still wouldn’t be able to do much about it if Starlink is denied but it’s something Potraz would have to consider.

Whatever the case, we welcome the competition. Starlink won’t be for everyone and because it is relatively expensive to get the equipment, it might not shake the industry up too much. It doesn’t matter, I hope they come in Q4 regardless.

Some Zimbabweans got their hands on Starlink kits and are already using them in the country. However, there was that whole question of what they are going to do in a couple of month’s time when they would have to send the kits back to the country where they were activated and use them there to get the 2-month roaming access renewed.

Well, if all goes to Starlink’s plans their prayers might be answered, even if they have to shut their kits down for a few months.

Also read:

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

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

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33 comments

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  1. Wavelength

    I’m always on the move so starlink is useless to me, but it’s good for those who work from home.

    1. Isaac

      Useless? But it’s being used on ships & planes isn’t it (I know they’re paying extra)? I could be wrong but I believe it’s not geo locked like the ZOL or TelOne lines in the sense that you can use it anywhere in your country.

      Can someone shed more light 🥺

      1. David

        It can be configured on temporary Roaming

    2. Internet Person

      Yes, you can travel with your Starlink kit if you purchase Starlink RV, or purchase the Portability add-on with the Residential plan. Starlink RV is the dedicated travel plan. You can pick between a Standard hardware kit, or the in-motion enabled Flat High Performance version if you need a connection while driving.

      1. Internet Person

        Something I got from a quick google search.

    3. Magi

      I believe you can travel with it, but you would need to pay a little extra

    4. Isaac

      So does that mean that if you were to travel with your residential plan without the portability add on let’s say to some other location in my town, it won’t work?

      1. King Bosso III

        From the previous starlink article the equipment is geolocked to your country of purchase not a specific area within that country. You can travel with your equipment as long you don’t cross the border else you pay the extra roaming fees

      2. Isaac

        🔥 that’s what I thought, thanks king

  2. Willard Shoko

    The easy part has been done, putting more than 4000 Starlink Satellites with Inter satellite laser crosslinks to 6 different Low Earth Orbital shells. Now comes the hard part, getting Regulatory Approval

    1. PaHasha

      Send link to order Starlink in Zimbabwe

  3. oh ok

    when potraz get their little grubby thieving tick like parasitic paws on it, it will no longer be viable for the end user financially

    1. Isaac

      😂 my guy, let’s not go there

      1. Saitama Face

        😅 you know someone somewhere is 200% definitely taking it there…

  4. Kim Jong Un The Emperor Of North Korea

    Is it Possible that Potraz can affect the pricing of these packages? 🥺

    1. Taiwan Number 1

      Very much so, unless Elon decides to eat the extra costs or potraz actually puts citizens first. Maybe instead of getting the discount other African countries got, we’ll end up paying around the actual full price with the difference going to some fee. So many ways this could go down, so many hands looking to be greased

  5. Greg

    Zambia has completed testing of start link after the president of Zambia approached starlink with a request to service his country.
    So a workaround if starlink is not approved in Zim is to basically use Zambia based start link with roaming, then cross border every 3 months.
    Impact of starlink will be that those that can afford can buy it and sell wifi access to their communities. Will spur an internet boom in Zimbabwe coupled with good solar anyone can become an is of sorts for their neighborhood. That’s huge. Internet prices will go down. Local is will be blown away out of business. Since companies can just switch to star link.

    1. Kim Jong Un The Emperor Of North Korea

      I Agree with you Greg this community internet thing will blow up the competition , they’ll probably ban these setups or make some sort of license out of it .

  6. The Empress

    Bury him or burn him

    It’s a beautiful dream but it’s just a dream. Starlink is never going to get officially authorised!
    Potraz is never going to make such a basic mistake.
    – Finance ministry would throw a fit because of the extra levels of forex that would be leaving the country on a monthly basis. And how this would the add extra downwards pressure on the rate of Zim $. And complain about how wasteful this would be of the little forex the country has.
    – Indigenisation ministry would also throw a fit about how Starlink has zero local ownership in direct contravention of the countries policy on black economic empowerment.
    – The communication minister would angrily ask if POTRAZ had lost their minds or being bribed because starlink would bring unnecessary competition into the country. And the only result would be the entire sector being dominated by a foreigner. Remember spacelink is a private company so it’s currently not possible to buy even one share in the company.
    – Econet/Liquid would mutter about how unfairly they are treated even though they are a local company and how if was not for RBZ constantly failing to allocate them forex to buy new equipment, they could have been offering a much service then they’ll quietly reduce their tariffs.
    – Telone, netone, telecel would cry themselves to sleep thinking about how they will now incur bigger loses as econet moves down market nd they would be forced to lower their tariffs to avoid a head to head battle with econet/liquid.
    So to paraphrase the great immortal DMX. For POTRAZ “….the only relevant question is do we bury him (ignore starlink application) or burn him (strongly deny application). Any suggestions?”

    1. ❌️

      Someone will also want an off switch in their office. After all, the season fast approaches😅

      1. Anonymous

        😂😂😂😂😂😂apa mandibata

    2. Isaac

      Empress imbomirai 😄

  7. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Kune arikuda 51% local ownership, manje Zuck haaite idzodzo.

  8. Visiting

    Zimbabwe might be in a more favorable position if the ruling party loses the August election.

    1. Kim Jong Un The Emperor Of North Korea

      Too bad the ruling party has already won

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  10. Romeo

    kkkkk putting up 4000 Satellites is the easy but getting approved by the Regulatory authorities is the had part

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