Botswana Denies Approval for Starlink Internet Bid

Botswana has rejected Starlink’s application to operate in the country ahead of a planned launch in Q4 2024 because regulators found that the company did not provide all the required information.

According to an insider from the Botswana Communication Authority in a Techcabal report, “There were issues regarding missing requirements with the application, which were identified and pointed out. They are yet to respond to the issues.”

The specifics of the missing information Starlink did not provide in its original application submitted in May 2023 have not been disclosed. To operate in Botswana, entities like Starlink are required to pay an application fee of P5,600, an annual license fee of up to P386,000 (~USD 28,500), and 3% of annual operating revenue.

Starlink has been facing regulatory challenges in Southern Africa. The South African government recently rejected its application because of non-compliance with a mandatory requirement of 30% ownership by historically disadvantaged individuals. Additionally, Zimbabwean legislators rejected the company’s application on an EU investigation into X, an Elon Musk-owned social media platform.

Nonetheless, Starlink has been licensed in other South African countries such as Zambia, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.