Zimbabwe News

POTRAZ: Starlink to roll out in third quarter

The Postal and Telecommunication and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) says internet service provider Starlink plans to roll out its service in Zimbabwe during the third quarter of this year.

In an interview with The Herald, POTRAZ director general, Gift Machengete, said satellite services will enable remote parts of the country to access the internet. He said:

About Starlink, they have indicated in their application that they will roll out service in the third quarter of the year.

That is what they have said. In their application, they will provide backhauling connectivity and they can also enter into commercial arrangements with local players…

Satellite service providers provide high-speed internet services. There will be areas where they will be providing services that have not had the service, like the rural areas, where there is no optic fibre.

Backhaul refers to the set of copper, fibre, or wireless links that connect the core (or backbone) networks with smaller subnetworks at the network’s edge and these connections allow users to access the internet by connecting to the subnetwork.

The primary role of backhaul is to expand network coverage and facilitate high-speed data transmission.

In an interview with State media at the weekend, Information, Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Tatenda Mavetera, said:

There will be better service delivery by the Government — in schools and hospitals, the Government has an opportunity now to provide Internet coverage in remote places at a lower cost.

Tax revenue — increased digital transactions will result in a direct increase in tax revenue for the Government, which, in turn, will result in better service delivery.

On Saturday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced he had approved the licensing of Starlink by POTRAZ to provide advanced internet and related digital processing services in the country through IMC Communications (Pvt) Ltd.

SpaceX, the company that provides Starlink, is owned by South Africa-born American billionaire, Elon Musk.

Starlink is a high-speed internet service designed to offer reliable connectivity in even the most remote locations around the world.

It is currently officially offered in a few African nations, including Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Malawi.

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