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Starlink intends to come to Zimbabwe between October and December 2023

Starlink intends to come to Zimbabwe between October and December 2023

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.

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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.

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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.

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