Botswana gives green light to Starlink to operate

Botswana is the latest African nation to approve Starlink services in their country.

In a Facebook post announcing the decision, President Mokgweetsi Masisi celebrated the move. He also confirmed that he had asked government regulators to fast-track Starlink’s application and to make a decision within two weeks. The President noted that his decision to move forward was made clear after meeting with Starlink executives in Dallas earlier in the month.

Botswana hopes Starlink can provide a bonified internet solution to its limited broadband network. The goal is for the satellite internet service to connect farmers and those living in remote areas without access to fixed broadband. It is unclear if Starlink will also be available in areas with existing broadband services.

However, Starlink is not a new option in Botswana. As reported by Bloomberg, individuals have been accessing Starlink services through roaming kits for months. The kits have been popular throughout southern Africa as governments continue to lag behind in terms of approvals for the service.

SpaceX knows the issues that the roaming kits have caused and has been under increasing pressure from the media and governments to crack down on its use outside its jurisdiction.

Even so, it is unclear if Starlink is prioritizing a crackdown or simply discussing the issues as they continue to push forward with approvals and licencing in the region.

Starlink has not released its pricing nor confirmed when it will officially go live.

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