The country becomes the sixth in Africa to have access to the service.

Starlink has officially launched in Zambia today, October 5. The company initially engaged with the country’s government in September 2022, and following a year of ticking off regulatory and technical boxes, it has gone live. The service got its operating licence in June, and its distribution in the country will be handled by Paratus Zambia.

“Starlink is now live in Zambia,” tweeted the country’s president Hakainde Hichilema. “Access to technology and information is no longer a luxury for our people.  A great step, as we work towards affordable digital access for all.”

According to the Starlink website, the service will cost 10,744 Zambian kwacha ($505) for the hardware and 507 Zambian kwacha ($24) for the monthly subscription. Data by UK research firm Cable shows that Zambia has the fourth most expensive data prices in Africa. On average Zambia’s data was priced at US$8.01 for one gigabyte, with the cheapest pegged at US$0.45, while the most expensive one was at US$45.33.

Zambia becomes the sixth African country that Starlink has launched in. The others are Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In Zimbabwe, the government has announced that it is in the process of vetting the company’s application for an operating license.

Despite making strides on the continent, the service is still facing pushback in South Africa where its importation and usage have been banned. According to the country’s competition regulations, the service’s South Africa subsidiary must allocate 30% ownership to historically disadvantaged groups, a provision the company seems to be pushing back against.

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