Starlink, the low-orbit satellite service owned by SpaceX, has faced a setback in its efforts to offer its connectivity services in Botswana.
According to industry reports, the African nation has rejected Starlink’s application to operate in the country ahead of its planned Q4 2024 launch.
While Starlink had submitted its application in May 2023, the regulator found that the company had failed to provide all the necessary information. It is unclear which information was missing from Starlink’s original application.
To operate in Botswana, companies like Starlink must pay an application fee of US$408.50, an annual license fee of up to $28,500, and 3% of annual operating revenue.
Despite facing regulatory pushback in Southern Africa, Starlink is licensed in Zambia, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. However, the South African government rejected its application for failing to comply with a mandatory requirement of 30% ownership to historically disadvantaged people.
In Zimbabwe, legislators based their rejection of Starlink’s application on an EU investigation into X, the Musk-owned social media platform.
It remains to be seen how Starlink will address the issues with its application and whether it will be able to expand its services to Botswana in the future.