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Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite Internet Rejected in Botswana


Botswana has rejected Elon Musk’s Starlink’s request for approval to operate in the country, just ahead of its planned launch in Q4 2024.

Starlink had submitted its application in May 2023, but the regulatory body found that crucial information was missing from the submission, as reported by Techcabal.

An insider from Botswana’s Communication Authority disclosed, “There were issues regarding missing requirements with the application, which were identified and pointed out. They are yet to respond to the issues.”

Entities like Starlink are required to pay specific fees to operate in Botswana, including a P5,600 application fee, an annual license fee potentially reaching up to P386,000 (~$28,500), and 3% of their annual operating revenue.

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Starlink’s experience in Africa

Starlink’s experience in Africa has encountered regulatory challenges, especially in a continent where only 40% of the over 1.3 billion population has internet access, the lowest rate globally.

In South Africa, Starlink faces a ban due to non-compliance with a legal requirement outlined in the Electronics Communications Act (ECA).

This law mandates that historically disadvantaged groups (HDGs) must own 30% of a company before it can obtain the necessary telecoms licenses to operate a local broadband service.

Additionally, Zimbabwean legislators rejected Starlink’s application, citing an EU investigation into X, Elon Musk’s social media platform.

Despite these setbacks, Starlink has obtained licenses in countries like Zambia, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.



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