Zimbabwe’s telecom regulator, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), has issued a warning against individuals and businesses that are selling and advertising equipment to access Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service.
The regulator has been conducting nationwide raids to arrest those found to be utilising Starlink, which has yet to be formally registered in Zimbabwe. Some have been advertising the internet service kits, particularly on social media sites such as Facebook, leading to the authorities’ irritation.
Starlink is a satellite internet system that covers more than 60 countries and is operated by SpaceX. The service began in 2019, and a mobile phone service is expected to start this year, albeit with only text services. The voice and data services to cellphones are expected to begin in 2025.
According to industry reports, POTRAZ officials have warned that it is illegal to sell or use Starlink in Zimbabwe, and the police will soon conduct raids and arrests.
The official said that anyone who advertises the gadgets is placing themselves at risk and advises them to stop selling and using them. The nature of the arrests would be centred on the fact that Starlink services have not been granted licences to operate in the country.
The report also notes that the POTRAZ official says arrests have already been made, with two persons arrested in Vic Falls and Bulawayo, and their cases are in court. Starlink is officially offered in various African nations, including Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya, and Malawi.