Starlink service will be available in Zimbabwe in 2023 with Zimbabwean neighbors Zambia and Mozambique getting it by the end of Q2 2023. Surprisingly there is no word on availability in South Africa yet and My Broadband reports that the delay could be related to a condition that to obtain an operating license in their borders, the business needs to have at least 30% black ownership.
How does it compare to VSAT in Zimbabwe?
Starlink is another satellite-based internet service provider just like Zodsat, Utande, and Telco. The only difference is that all VSAT providers in Zimbabwe are using a 3rd party satellite provider, predominantly Eutelsat and Avanti. Starlink on the other hand is actually launching its own satellites into space which in essence means they are involved in the process end to end. Of course and some point the Starlink satellites will need to connect to a ground station to efficiently route the data, something regular VSAT also does.
In terms of speeds, you can get 50 to 250Mbps on Starlink Internet and Starlink RV (Mobile home) and 150 to 500Mbps on Starlink Business with all 3 variants having unlimited internet. For comparison, the fastest VSAT speed you can get from Zimbabwean providers is 25Mbps with upload speeds going as high as 6Mbps.
Monthly package costs
As for pricing, Starlink Internet is US$110 per month, Starlink RV is US$135 per month and Starlink Business is US$500 per month. Comparing it with the highest-spec VSAT packages available in Zimbabwe, it’s actually quite reasonable. Utande’s 120GB package is US$363, Liquid Home’s Unlimited package is US$554 (Using today’s interbank rate), TelOne’s Unlimited package (650GB) is US$600, Zodsat’s Unlimited package is US$455. On unlimited packages alone, Starlink looks like the best deal.
Equipment cost is where it gets interesting. It’s US$599 for Starlink Internet and Starlink RV and US$2,500 for Starlink Business. And these prices exclude shipping and duty. Comparing this to local providers:
- Utande – US$183 (Equipment hire) US$487 (US$350 equipment only)
- Liquid Home – US$1440
- Telco – US$700 (US$600 equipment only)
- TelOne – US$580 to US$1360
- Zodsat – US$450
Starlink setup is pretty easy and can be user-installed. It’s got a built-in motor in the antenna so it can automatically lock onto a satellite on its own. Those interested can pre-order by clicking here but be ready to pay a US$99 deposit.
When will Starlink be available in Africa?
|2023||2024||Unconfirmed launch window|
|Burundi||Cameroon||Central African Republic|
|Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)||Comoros||Eritrea|
|Mozambique (Q2)||São Tomé and Príncipe||Niger|
Wow, this is exciting news for Zimbabwe! Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been making waves in the tech and space industries for years, and their Starlink satellite internet service is a game-changer for those who have struggled with slow or unreliable internet connections.
It’s great to see that Zimbabwe is one of the countries set to benefit from this service, with confirmation that Starlink is coming later this year. With faster internet speeds and greater reliability, this will open up a world of possibilities for businesses, education, and individuals who rely on the internet for work or personal use.
While there is still some uncertainty about the exact launch date for Starlink in South Africa, it’s encouraging to see that progress is being made and that this service is expanding to more countries in the region.
Overall, this is an exciting development for Zimbabwe and the region as a whole. Thank you for sharing this news and keeping us informed on the latest in technology and space exploration!