We do it different over here in Southern Africa. We were exploited once and we decided, no more. Starlink will not easily get our business – oh no sir.
Starlink was planning to launch in Botswana in the fourth quarter of 2024. They submitted their application way back in May 2023 and were hoping to be up and running in Q4 2024.
That launch period may need to be revised as Botswana rejected their application. Why?
There were issues regarding missing requirements with the application, which were identified and pointed out. They are yet to respond to the issues.A Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority source told TechCabal
We do not know the exact missing requirements. Is it merely some missing information, is it some ownership structure problem or something else? We don’t know.
However, the fact that Starlink applied in the first place shows that whatever missing requirements there are, they are likely easy to rectify.
In South Africa, Starlink has not applied because they are not willing to give up 30% shareholding to locals. I don’t see Starlink ever becoming willing to relent on this one. It’s the government that will have to relent.
In Zimbabwe, Starlink has not applied because of reasons which may include the requirement to work with local internet access providers who don’t want to play ball or charge too much.
Or it could be that the Zim govt needs access to data and legal intercepts, for legit reasons of course, that Starlink is not willing to give up. Who knows?
In Botswana, Starlink must pay an application fee of the equivalent of $410, an annual license fee of up to about $28,500, and 3% of annual operating revenue.
While Zimbabwe is not that much more expensive with an application fee of $50, annual licence fees of $50,000 and 3.5% of gross turnover, we have a history of politicians asking for their own annual fees which are usually higher than what the government collects.
While all this is going on, Starlink is already licensed in Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.