There is a growing demand for Starlink, a satellite internet service, in Zimbabwe. While the government has not yet banned it, there is a desire to regulate its licensing. As a result, an unofficial market has emerged for Starlink kits in the country.
The Starlink kits, which enable users to access the satellite internet service, are being sold by various individuals primarily through platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. The prices range from $700 to $2000, with most sellers charging around $1400. However, it is worth noting that the actual cost of the kit is approximately $650 in neighboring Mozambique, making some of these sellers significantly more expensive.
In addition to purchasing the kit, users also need to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the internet. Some sellers offer to handle the subscription payments on behalf of the customers, similar to the practice of DStv decoder sellers in South Africa. However, it is advisable for customers to make their monthly payments themselves using a Mastercard or Visa card.
Furthermore, there is a requirement for reactivating the Starlink kits in foreign countries where licensing has been obtained every two months. While some sellers claim that their kits have not needed reactivation for several months, the option for assistance with reactivation is available. Customers would have to send the kit away to a location outside the country for the reactivation process.
The demand for Starlink in Zimbabwe is evident, with many people interested in accessing the satellite internet service. However, caution is advised when dealing with sellers, as some may require upfront deposits and fail to deliver the promised kits. There is hope that Starlink will eventually be licensed in the country, eliminating the need for the unofficial market and providing a more convenient way for people to access the internet.
It is important to note that engaging in the illegal acquisition of Starlink kits through the black market poses risks, and customers may not have recourse if they are swindled. Contacting local authorities or waiting for official licensing is recommended to avoid potential issues.