The Zimbabwean government has warned against the unlicensed use of SpaceX’s Starlink service months before its roll-out. As Tech Cabal reports, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) issued the warning to Starlink users and resellers.
SpaceX claims a Q3 launch for its satellite internet service in the African country. However, it appears the company has yet to apply for the necessary license from POTRAZ. With the current situation, it would be illegal for anybody to use the service in Zimbabwe.
However, POTRAZ offers a workaround for SpaceX. The company could partner with a registered network to provide the service or ask its subscribers to register for private network licenses.
POTRAZ decried the existence of unlicensed satellite service providers as the use of Starlink becomes more popular in the country. Pictures of the dish are popping up on social media, with the national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation, among confirmed Starlink users.
Dr. G.K Machengete, director general of POTRAZ, commented, “Being found in possession or operating telecommunication equipment/system without a valid license, certificate or authorisation from POTRAZ is a statutory offence punishable by law.”
South Africa recently took action against Starlink use pending the time SpaceX completes its licensing process, despite CEO Elon Musk’s ties to the country. One of the conditions Starlink must satisfy is to give up a 30% equity stake in the country.