President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa recently disclosed that he has approved the licensing of Starlink internet services by the Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

The news that Starlink has been approved to enter the Zimbabwean market has been received with mixed reactions moreso after the government has been declining to give it the green light.

In his message, Mnangagwa said Starlink will be the game changer as one of the strategic pillars that anchor the 2nd Republic’s developmental agenda under Vision 2030 is innovation, science and technology.

He added that prioritization of the digital economy and the emerging importance of technology in day to day activities requires Government to lead from the front in providing an environment where investment in technology is promoted.

“In this vein, I’m pleased to announce that I have approved the licensing of Starlink by POTRAZ to provide advanced internet and related digital processing services in Zimbabwe through its sole and exclusive local partner, IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd.

“Starlink is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite operator wholly owned by global conglomerate Space X led by promiment multi-billionaire Elon Musk.

“The entry by Starlink in the digital telecommunications space in Zimbabwe is expected to result in the deployment of high speed, low cost, LEO internet infrastructure throughout Zimbabwe and particularly in all the rural areas.

“This will be in fulfillment of my Administration’s undertaking to leave no one and no place behind. The investment confidence expressed by Starlink in Zimbabwe’s telecommunications infrastructure also dovetails with the 2nd Republic’s mantra, “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

“I encourage more investment by foreign conglomerates in Zimbabwe as we are an investment destination of choice.

“I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, to congratulate IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd and Starlink on this commendable milestone aimed at revolutionizing the digital and communications technology landscape in Zimbabwe.

“Investments of this magnitude and strategic importance represent the cornerstone for achieving the 2nd Republic’s objective of having a fully digitalized, upper-middle income economy by 2030,” he said.

However, Starlink is not for everyone though it is going to be a game changer according to analysts, it might be jolt needed for local players to finally give their customers Gugabit Ethernet.

It has been just few days since Mnangagwa made the announcement, but a lot of people are confused about how they can get Starlink.

On the Starlink website visitors are welcomed by a message suggesting Starlink is not yet available, at the same time the IMC website is now offline.

The internet from Starlink offers a maximum download speed of 114 Mbps, while 5G technology can provide speeds up to 20 Gbps. This is a huge difference in internet speed, and can greatly impact what services you can use efficiently.

Roaming is however not cheap, especially if one picks Global Roaming. The price for the kit is the same at around US$599. What differs is the monthly subscriptions for the service.

So far, if one is in Zimbabwe, the best place to get the kit is from Nigeria or Rwanda (Rwanda being the cheapest route). This is because the country is in the same region meaning they will be able to enjoy the roughly US$53 monthly subscription under the Regional roaming package. US$53 for unlimited internet that has download speeds above 100Mbps.

The cheapest unlimited internet package one can get in Zimbabwe right now is US$241 from Liquid Home (Z$ price converted to USD using the latest interbank rate) and its speeds are up to 20Mbps or 20% of Starlink speeds at best.

Standard Kit includes Starlink, Router, Base & Power Supply Cables. Two service plans available: Residential & Roam; Residential: for use at a fixed location, may not be available in all areas, Roam: for use at any location where Starlink has coverage.

Starlink plans and pricing

Plan Price
Starlink Standard $120.00/month. Equipment fee $599.00.

Starlink Priority $140.00–$500.00/month, Equipment fee $599.00–$2,500.

Starlink Mobile $150.00–$250.00/month Equipment fee $599.00.

Starlink Mobile Priority $250.00–$5,000.00/month. Equipment fee $2500.00.

Judging from the above details, getting Starlink in Zimbabwe will not be for everyone.