Starlink coming to Zimbabwe through Dandemutande partnership? Is the wait over folks?

Leonard Sengere Avatar
Dandemutande corporate logo, Sophos

Dear friends, it appears Starlink will definitely be coming to Zimbabwe, one way or the other.

We have been looking out for Starlink to be licensed to operate in the country, especially when we got to the Q4 2023 they had promised us they would be here. Former ICT Minister Muswere says Starlink submitted an application but the current Minister says they are yet to apply.

We don’t know what to believe anymore. The good news is that it appears we won’t have to worry about that whole issue. Starlink will be officially and legally available in Zimbabwe even without a licence. How? – you ask, through partnerships of course.

Here are the words of Dandemutande COO, Ignatius Mpando, as captured on video here,

Starlink has launched disruptive technology like we indicated. And as a business I’m sure you also understand that we provide services through strategic partnerships with other players, ….. and it’s no different to Starlink.

In fact, for the record, we have signed an agreement with Starlink to be able to resell their services in the country. So, in addition to what we currently extend to the market. In the event that someone prefers to be on the Starlink service, we will be able to extend that through that partnership.

We have to note that the video could have been tampered with to make Mpando seem to be saying what he never said. Dandemutande has not communicated this news via official channels. However, the video looks legit and it supports what we had gathered before.

The man says “For the record,” so it seems legit. We had gotten that information before but it was still on the hush-hush. They are now going live with the information, apparently.

We have reached out to Dandemutande to get more information on the deal and what it will look like to us regular folk. We will update you once when we have more to share.

I love that Dandemutande has secured this partnership but I sincerely hope it is not an exclusive deal. I hope other players are free to approach Starlink and come into the same kind of “reseller partnership.” That way, they would all have to add a nominal extra fee to both the kit price and the subscriptions.

Let’s be honest, all most of you care about is how much will it cost. In Zambia for example it’s – $30 (ZW771) per month for subscriptions and $423 for the kit. If Dandemutande plays in that range then we would be golden.

We’ll hash it all out when we have more information but for now, you need to cancel that Nyanga trip, return that Johnny Walker bottle and save up for Starlink. It’s finally coming, for real this time.

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43 comments

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  1. Chimusoro

    All because potraz is playing tricks , to keep the prices competitive we don’t need the middle man

    1. Home schooled.

      Certainly we dont need the middle man, with or without Potraz approval Starlink is here to stay. Prices in Zambia are way too attractive.

      1. Chairman Wellington Will Tsepo Mswela

        I’m in Zambia 🇿🇲 it’s not true that Starlink is selling for US$423. And Subscription of US$30. The Kit is US$750 for 1 or US$600 when ordering 2 kits including DHL Delivery Cost. Subscription are £80 months.

    2. Mpesa

      Its high time Zimbabwe needs real competitors all these existing ones are giving us raw deal.
      If Starlink doesn’t get hijacked by greedy business people of Zimbabwe.
      Why can’t Starlink avoid those middle men , can’t they operate in telecoms business themselves.
      Currently am paying R600/month unlimited on Telkom in South Africa we don’t pay for router/connections. We would welcome anything in that range.

      1. Taraz

        Just a minor correction on the $30 to ZLW Conversion it certainly cant be as little as 771 even when using the official rate

        1. 771 its Zambian Kwacha not Bond

    3. Zola

      You can’t avoid middle man or resseller when it comes to any business. It’s called transaction

  2. Abraham g

    Thats good but still if there are to resale the price will rise again , still its not good

    1. Don’t tease me Leonard

      Starlink has proven to be flexible. They seem willing to take a hit in some markets to reach certain price points. Even if dandemutande don’t get a deal on units (remember, they will get them below retail price from Starlink), after tax, they’ll still be better than grey market. In the event they get drunk on power and start charging like $900 or more on the units, they open the gap for those grey market profiteers or even individuals to undercut them with Zambian et al units. As usual, the final bogey man will be gov. They’ll take a cut at each transaction so we may end paying more than some of our neighbours, but on the whole, I think that will still be better than what we currently have on the market.

  3. Blur

    I would expect a subscription price of between $70 and $99 for Zim

    1. Bhinikwa

      In Zam if you swipe kwacha it ll cost you what you said, but in Zim we have use visa cards, we pay that $423 thereabout because or rate flactuations. USD is firming against Kwacha.

    2. Don’t tease me Leonard

      That’s what I fear, but there’s still hope Elon cuts us a deal😅

  4. T k

    You know local companies when it comes to equipment they’ll murder you. Right now Dandemutande LTE equipment is about US$350(i guess that’s for a router).

    1. Don’t tease me Leonard

      You can have your own account directly with Starlink (unless they block payments from individuals). The benefit of having Dandemutande in the mix will be convenience of paying in cash (if that’s part of the deal) and getting units and some accessories on the same day from their stock, supply willing, instead of waiting on international shipping. If they get carried away on price, you can always jump the border for the hardware and still have a legit Zim account.

    2. Petros J

      That’s not true, equipment from Dandemutande for LTE I got for 229, and I paid for my installation 100 making it 329. But they also offered me a 3 month installment which made is easy on my pocket.

  5. Mudumwa1

    With their funny prices its a disaster

  6. Robert Ndlovu

    Someone is crying help uncle Sam.

    Some jobs will be lost. Utande’s and infant ALL providers living on a sharp edge. They badly need this but MY fear is the powers that be may set higher license prices , providers then up on equipment pricing and some reworked monthly data bundles with caps.

    We are watching .

  7. The Last Don

    Dandemutande must always know that we have men and women who are not afraid to cross the Zambezi, Limpopo and the Eastern Highlands borders and flood the market with those gadgets and subs as is already happening with Neville. Ask DeadBC.

  8. M2

    News of the year if true and there is no greediness on the part of Dandemutande. Why aren’t they making noise about it though?

    1. Robert Ndlovu

      They can’t stay nothing. They have several clients connected to their VSAT network whose bandwidth is probably 10 times more expensive.

      Mind you the prices are determined by YahXlick or Eutelsat etc Utande has nt much to do here other add mark .

      Not just a utande all isps , telcos could go under the bridge because of Starlink.

      This gives them time to reflect on the way they have been treating clients poor connectivity, poor customer service for most MNOs.

      Starlink is piloting Starlink Mobile. There will be gnashing of teeth. We are seek an tired of expensive and low SLA from local ISPs who I can’t blame 100% .
      ZESA is their largest enemy that eats into their revenue streams as back up power for base stations , spares , fuel and up stream bandwidth are sourced using hard currency and most end users top up using RTGS.

      I know several tech executives who have left the industry.

      Starlink is the best thing that can happen next year. More youth online to dive into 4IR technologies.

      It’s no a question of if one can use Starlink in Zimbabwr but when one can get hold of the kits.

      POTRAZ must be decisive because issuing threats alone without parallel enabling regulation will cause more chaos.

      You can’t ban disruprive technologies.

      Once upon a time it was illegal to make a phone call over the internet. Yes before 2006 it was a jailable offense. But what is happening today ? Whatsapp stop the game as a contest.

  9. Lulu

    The middle man will make the price exorbitant in Zimbabwe😏This is just unnecessary red tape…middle maning in Zim makes everything too expensive.

  10. Victor Dumisani Sithole

    That would be a major milestone for our beloved country, it’s about time we open the space for major international players so ordinary citizens can get value of their hard earned incomes

  11. Flysiddthesoulutionexe

    Kkk hanzi return that johnie walker bottle. Since you said thy are to resell that means vachaisa markup yavo

  12. Tich

    I hope you charge reasonable prices

  13. Nail em

    If the local agent charges more than the other countries he shouldn’t be allowed to have the agency

  14. Yall

    Our corrupt government officials will make it difficult for starlink to operate. In the mean time we shall continue using the Zambian network

  15. Timetravellerswife

    Huh the fact yekut they know kuti elon ane mabhirioni ndoyatichamamira iyoyo 😆😆

  16. Griton

    The moment a Zimbabwean company gets their dirty hands on this deal 😢😢.
    Service charge …
    Installation charge …
    Fixed Monthly service charge..
    VAT …
    Sky Tax …

  17. Bill

    I certainly hope govt not waiting for them to Greece some palms????

  18. Anonymous

    Ko starlink ngaigadzirewoka ma sim cards

  19. Cyber-Net

    link53-22.zimra-vfalls.ecoweb.co.zw

  20. Stavi

    The reason why data will always be too expensive in zimbabwe as long as there is a local middle man is that the market is too small. And to be able to meet operational cost and generate profits is a big hustle. The people who use the services are too few.

  21. Data adv

    The reason why data will always be too expensive in zimbabwe as long as there is a local middle man is that the market is too small. And to be able to meet operational cost and generate profits is a big hustle. The people who use the services are too few.

    1. Don’t tease me Leonard

      That’s the unique benefit of starlink. Nothing extra needs to be built on the ground. The user capacity and key infrastructure is already buzzing over our heads, underutilized. It won’t cost them much of anything (…outside of ZANU) to add thousands of Zim users or just 10. The equation might look different on the Distributors side though. Still, costs should not compare to setting up a true ISP from scratch. A little extra warehousing space, training of techs, re-tasking of some logistics assets, setting up an account to integrate to SpaceX service backend… that stuff won’t justify 100%+ mark-ups (… outside of ZANU 😅).

      But hey, if others in Africa can handle not screwing their citizens over, maybe we can have a small cause to be very cautiously optimistic.🤞🏾

      1. Comment

        Remember all internet connectivity in zim is under POTRAZ control and Starling will be out of their reach

    2. Michelle

      What about Telecel for example, it’s 2023 or 2024 but their services are too bad

  22. Muzimba Wenyu

    I really hope its going to materialize but I must say I don’t really see how this deal is going to work out well for us. The only good thing that I see coming out of this is the fact that people will now be able to use Starlink officially without the risk of being arrested( if POTRAZ follows through with their current threats).

    It is also very strange that Dandemutande has not made an official announcement and to date, they actually do not appear on the list of authorized resellers as per https://starlink.com/resellers . This begs the question whether any actual agreements have been made between Starlink and Dandemutande. Also how has Dandemutande manage to navigate the whole POTRAZ licensing issue? Last we heard from POTRAZ, Starlink was not authorized to operate in any form in the country and they has been no new announcements to indicate a change of position.

    Also Starlink themselves have pushed the potential launch date from Q2 2024 to Q3 2024, which could indicate that the licensing issue still persists.

    1. Anonymous

      If I recall correctly, more than a couple of people came to the comments in Techzim’s early coverage, claiming to have at least agreed on some kind of framework on working with Starlink. The business interest is definitely there on SpaceX’s and local business’ sides, but dividing them is POTRAZ and its own political and financial interests. This is one of those very clear public litmus tests where we see who serves who (yes, we all strongly suspect how it will go and what’s holding things up, but its an interesting case study almost every Zimba can understand).

  23. bvumazvipere

    even if that studio 263 Minister who doesnt know anything about ICT blocks starlink, we will find ways to use it… we wont pay thru the nose for ZOL whilst a cheaper option is out there.

  24. Dennis

    Very nice

  25. Anonymous

    I very much doubt E Musk will allow people to be ripped off by a 3rd party directly or even go into partnership with one. He is aware how some people like to operate.

    His objective is to get rural people, businesses around the world connected.

  26. Nigel Muzanenhamo

    I dont like the idea

  27. Shumien

    Wow

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