Starlink Zimbabwe: Where to buy and how to setup equipment

The internet industry in Zimbabwe has just taken the next step forward through the now approved and licenced operation of Starlink services in the country. With Starlink in the play you can now get a fast and reliable internet connection from anywhere even at your grandmother's place in Chivhu.

All about buying starlink in Zimbabwe | Tino Mazorodze

7 important things everyone should know about Starlink in Zimbabwe

Starlink, a satellite internet constellation project by SpaceX, has gained significant attention worldwide for its promise of providing high-speed and reliable internet access in remote and underserved areas. Before you start planning on buying Starlink Internet here are 10 things you should definitely know:

Starlink Kit Components in Zimbabwe - Tino Mazorodze Blog

1. What Starlink is in Zimbabwe:

Starlink is a satellite Internet service provided by SpaceX, aiming to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband globally. Despite its global presence, Starlink faces regulatory challenges in Zimbabwe due to the absence of proper licensing.

2. Starlink Availability in Zimbabwe:

The go ahead to buy starlink has been given by Zimbabwe's telecom regulator POTRAZ. A firm statement also came from the President himself saying that Starlink will have a role in the countries vision for 2030.

3. Starlink Price in Zimbabwe:

Buying the starlink kit in Zimbabwe will cost you around $600 to $700 depending on your supplier. As for the installation it might cost anywhere between $70 to $200.

4. Starlink Installation Process in Zimbabwe:

The Starlink kit installation process is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly. Here's a brief overview of the steps involved:

  1. Unbox the Kit: The Starlink kit includes a satellite dish (Dishy), a Wi-Fi router, power cables, and a mounting tripod.
  2. Set Up the Dish: Choose a location with a clear view of the sky. Place the dish on the mounting tripod and ensure it's level. You can also use a permanent mounting option if preferred.
  3. Connect Cables: Connect the dish to the Wi-Fi router using the provided cables. Then, plug the router into a power source.
  4. Power On: Turn on the router and the dish. The dish will automatically start adjusting to find the optimal position for satellite connectivity.
  5. Configure Wi-Fi: Use the Starlink app (available on iOS and Android) to configure your Wi-Fi settings. The app will guide you through the setup process and check for any obstructions that could affect the signal.
  6. Connect Devices: Once the Wi-Fi network is set up, connect your devices to the network and start using the internet.

The process is designed to be quick, typically taking about 30 minutes to complete, with minimal technical expertise required.

5. Starlink Internet Speed in Zimbabwe:

While Starlink is known for providing high-speed, low-latency Internet services globally, the actual speed in Zimbabwe would depend on various factors, including local infrastructure, satellite coverage, and user demand. With limited usage data what is known for now is the pricing for different speeds which are as follows:

Plan Speed Monthly Cost (USD)
Starlink Standard 20 - 100mb/s $50 - $120
Starlink Mobile 5 - 50mb/s $150 - $250
Starlink Priority 40 - 220mb/s $140 - $500

6. Where to Buy Starlink Kit in Zimbabwe:

Option A: You can buy directly from the Starlink Website using your VISA Card or Mastercard. Mind you this might be more expensive in terms of shipping costs. It might also take a while for the kit to arrive at your door step.

Option B: You can buy the Starlink kit from local retailors in Zimbabwe which are now publicly avialable since the recent licensing of Starlink usage in the country. At the moment I do not have any recommendations for local retailers but all I can say is becareful who you buy from if not directly from Starlink.

7. Disadvantages of Using Starlink in Zimbabwe:

Using Starlink, while offering many benefits, also comes with a few disadvantages. Here are some of the key drawbacks:

  • Cost: The initial cost of the Starlink kit is relatively high, and there is a monthly subscription fee for the service. This can be a significant expense compared to other internet service options, especially in areas with lower average incomes.
  • Weather Sensitivity: Satellite internet, including Starlink, can be affected by weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or thunderstorms. These conditions can cause interruptions or slower speeds.
  • Line-of-Sight Requirements: For optimal performance, the Starlink dish requires a clear line of sight to the sky. Obstructions like trees, buildings, or mountains can interfere with the signal, necessitating careful placement of the dish.
  • Network Congestion: As more users sign up for Starlink, there is potential for network congestion, which could lead to slower speeds during peak usage times. This is particularly relevant in densely populated areas or regions with high demand.

While Starlink offers a promising solution for high-speed internet in remote and underserved areas, there are some disadvantages which raise the need to consider all factors before making a decision. Overally I think authorizing the use of Starlink in Zimbabwe was a good decision for the country economically as well as for its citizens. For those who decide to go ahead and buy the kit be sure to share your experience with others.

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