Advanced Television

Starlink disconnects South Africa users

February 15, 2024

By Chris Forrester

A Mozambique-based company, Starsat Africa, has reportedly been supplying Starlink equipment into South Africa. These ‘grey market’ cross-border supplies and active in South Africa have now been disconnected.

The reason, says SpaceX, is for unauthorised reselling but might have more to do with not upsetting South Africa’s licensing authorities. Mozambique has licensed Starlink.

The official statement from SpaceX talks about “suspected trademark and copyright infringements”.

Other African and non-licensed nations have also complained about Starlink. Ghana’s National Communications Authority warned users in December last year about unlicensed usage, saying: “We wish to inform the general public that, the NCA has neither licensed the operations of Starlink in Ghana nor type-approved any of their equipment.”

Ghana is expected to grant approval later this year and Starlink remains hopeful of starting an authorised service during Q4 2024.

Other nations have issued similar warnings including Zimbabwe and nearby Botswana. Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) on February 12th stated: “that the importation, use, and sale of Starlink kits or services is illegal in the country, and violators will face legal consequences.”

Mozambique’s Starsat Africa is not connected with Chinese-backed StarSat which beams hundreds of satellite DTH channels into South Africa.

Categories: Articles, Broadband, Policy, Satellite

Tags: , ,