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Zimbabwe lifts ban on Starlink

Zimbabwe has officially granted an operating license to Starlink, the satellite internet service provider

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Saturday that Zimbabwe's telecom regulator has approved the licensing of Elon Musk's Starlink, allowing SpaceX's satellite unit to operate in the southern African country.

Mnangagwa stated that the decision "is expected to result in the deployment of high-speed, low-cost, LEO (low-Earth-orbit) internet infrastructure throughout Zimbabwe and particularly in all the rural areas."

Starlink approval comes amid a government crackdown and suspension last month due to unregistered users smuggling Starlink kits from neighbouring countries like Zambia.

 Starlink's kits

President Emmerson Mnangagwa also said Starlink will provide services through its sole and exclusive local partner, IMC Communications.

Although Zimbabwe's internet service is dominated by three major mobile network operators, a World Bank report in 2021 revealed that only 34.8% of the country's population had access to the internet. The approval of Starlink's internet service will hopefully change this narrative soon.