BREAKING NEWS: Starlink Shutting Down Internet Services in Zimbabwe Following Government Directive


Starlink is shutting down its services in Zimbabwe. Technology publication, Techzim, has reported that people using Starlink received an email today telling them the Zimbabwean government has demanded that the service be shut down.

Here’s a screenshot of the email they received from Starlink:

You are currently using Starlink in an unauthorised territory, As a result. Starlink has been directed by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to disable your service.

We will continue to work with POTRAZ to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to turn on Starlink services in Zimbabwe as soon as possible. We encourage you to contact POTRAZ at the.regulator@potraz.gov.zw or +263 242 333032 to communicate your support for Starlink to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals in Zimbabwe.

As described In your Terms of Service, Starlink does not guarantee when or where its Mobile or Mobile Priority Services Plans will be available. Use of such services Is dependent on many factors, including obtaining or maintaining the necessary regulatory approvals which are subject to change.

You may pause service and billing by following the Instructions here or continue service and use your Starlink service in an area we currently serve (see map here), If you opt to pause service, you can reach out to support and we will issue a service credit for any remainder of the current billing period.

As soon as we receive regulatory approvals turn on Starlink services In Zimbabwe, we will let you know.

The Starlink team

According to the Techzim report, Starlink has about an estimated 5,000 users of the service in the country.

In February, the telecoms regulator in Zimbabwe POTRAZ, said that while Starlink had expressed interest in getting a license to operate in Zimbabwe, it had actually not applied for one. Users of the service were therefore essentially breaking the law.

Last month, reports suggested that government was holding meetings with officials from Starlink over licensing of the service in Zimbabwe.

Pindula spoke to one user familiar with the situation who commented on how such a shut down works:

So what this means is that Starlink are not able to offer service to their customers in Zimbabwe.

If someome who has a Starlink kit travels to Zimbabwe, Starlink are not in a position to offer service.

If the user goes somewhere else, like any of the countries they’re registered in (Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Eswatini, Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, etc) or any other country that they’re not banned in (Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, etc) then the device will work

Zimbabwean users are not the first to receive such a notice from Starlink. Reports last month suggest users in DRC also had their Starlink terminals shut down in similar circumstances.

Starlink offers the cheapest means to communicate to the internet in Zimbabwe. At roughly $38 a month, its users get unlimited access to the internet.

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