StarSat Africa cuts price for Starlink kits in South Africa despite ban. Mozambique-based importer of Starlink in South Africa, StarSat Africa is planning to cut prices for Starlink equipment by between 13% and 20% towards the tail end of February 2024.
StarSat Africa Cuts Price for Starlink Kits in South Africa
The satellite connectivity provider announced plans to reduce the price of Starlink units from R14,999 ($789.56) to a range between R12,000 ($631.69) and R13,000 ($684.33). This price adjustment by StarSat Africa includes all shipping, VAT, and import fees, making satellite internet services more accessible to several African countries. This move aligns with StarSat’s objective to bridge the digital divide across Southern Africa and beyond. StarSat Africa facilitates the importation and delivery of Starlink kits to 17 sub-Saharan countries, including notable markets like Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Kenya.
Rwanda offers the most cost-effective option for acquiring a Starlink kit in Africa, with a price tag of 485,000 Rwandan francs ($377). Prices in the other African countries where Starlink operates vary, ranging from $389 to $631. South Africans looking to benefit from these lower prices in neighboring countries must consider additional expenses such as taxes and shipping fees upon importing the kits to South Africa.
Challenges Faced by StarSat Africa
Due to high demand, Starsat Africa is experiencing extended delivery times for Starlink kit orders, currently up to four months. The company is working through a significant backlog, including 300 units for Namibia, 72 for South Africa, and an additional 300 units from Black Friday promotions expected to arrive shortly. StarSat aims to clear all pending orders by the end of March, promising customers a quicker turnaround time of two days post-delivery thereafter.
What The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Thinks About This Development
However, regulatory challenges persist. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has indicated that the use of Starlink services without the requisite operating and spectrum licenses is illegal in South Africa, despite the service’s popularity among over 14,000 users in the country.
Similar regulatory hurdles have emerged in Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Botswana, with each country taking steps to restrict the use of Starlink services due to various compliance issues. These developments highlight the complexities and regulatory challenges facing the deployment of satellite internet services in Africa, underscoring the need for compliance with local telecommunications regulations.
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