Botswana’s telecoms regulator has warned the public against the importation, use, and resale of Starlink devices in the country.

The importation, use, and resale of Starlink devices are punishable offences in Botswana, according to the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA). Starlink is not yet licensed in the country and the regulator has stated that it is currently vetting the service’s application.

“Starlink has not authorised anyone to import, [use] and/or sell its devices in Botswana,” BOCRA said via email. “Anyone doing so without authorisation from Starlink would be committing an offence [against Starlink].” It is unclear what charges Starlink could bring against offenders but per Starlink’s terms of use, importation into and reselling in a country where the service is yet to launch is not allowed.

Reports indicate that some owners of Starlink devices, who claim to be using them for personal use, are being barred from entering the country with them at the Kazungula border post with Zambia, where the service has officially launched.


“I was told to return the device to Zambia, and I was not allowed to cross the border into Botswana with it,” one person, who asked not to be named, told TechCabal. Another person who tried to bring in a Starlink device was told by border control to call the regulator for permission. Their request was unsuccessful.

“Until BOCRA licenses the service and allows us to let the devices in, the devices will not be allowed into the country,” a customs agent told TechCabal.

Despite being against importation and reselling, using the “roaming” option, it is legal for Starlink users to utilise the devices in different locations on the continent, including countries where it is yet to be licensed. This requires that the user has legally bought the device in a country where Starlink has been licensed.


Starlink resellers like Starsat, based in Mozambique where the service has been licensed, seem to be taking advantage of this “loophole” to offer the import and delivery of Starlink units to countries including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. However, according to MyBroadband, last week Starlink cut off the accounts of hundreds of customers who bought the Starlink kits via Starsat and other resellers, citing a violation of terms of use.

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