Starlink sets roll out dates for Zimbabwe

Starlink offers fast internet speeds of between 200 and 250 megabytes per second at a monthly cost of about US$100

American internet service provider, Starlink will begin operating in Zimbabwe in the next quarter with local internet and mobile service providers gearing up for a battle in the data market.

Starlink offers fast internet speeds of between 200 and 250 megabytes per second at a monthly cost of about US$100

While it costs between US$600 and US$700 initial setup costs, which may rise through a third-party service provider, Starlink’s monthly service charge of about US$100 or below for unlimited downloads will make it the cheapest residential offering locally.

Starlink’s availability map of its services on Friday showed that it will formally enter the local market next month.

“Starting Q3 2024,” Starlink said.

“Estimates are contingent on government approval and network expansion.”

Starlink, a satellite internet service provider and wholly owned subsidiary of American aerospace company, SpaceX, is fast becoming the world’s top choice in providing fast and reliable internet.

SpaceX is owned by the world’s wealthiest man, American, Elon Musk. President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month announced that Starlink had been given the nod to provide satellite internet services in a deal involving IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd, which is owned by Wicknell Chivayo.

Mnangagwa and Chivayo have developed a close relationship, which has seen the controversial businessmen becoming a prominent feature at high profile state events.

Zimbabwe became the eighth country to license Starlink. Soon after the licensing, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe said it was working on regulations to guide Starlink’s operations.

Before the licensing, the authorities clamped down on Zimbabweans that were using Starlink services.

One of the prominent people, who were arrested for using the internet service was Zanu PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa’s son Neville.

When the state controlled broadcaster, ZBC, forced out its then chief executive officer Abiigail Chikunguru in March it accused her of acquiring a Starlink kit despite the fact that it was not permitted in Zimbabwe.

The board claimed that the Starlink kit at ZBC was a threat to national security as it was not regulated.

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