Business and Technology

‘We were not blocking Starlink’: Potraz processes application

An internet revolution is on the horizon in Zimbabwe as the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) is currently processing the licensing application of satellite internet provider Starlink.

Also Read: Starlink formally applies to operate in Zimbabwe

Speaking to Parliamentarians during an induction workshop in Masvingo, Dr. Gift Machengete, the Director of Potraz, confirmed that Starlink has officially submitted its application.

Dr Gift Machengete asserted that the process of granting the necessary license is currently underway, TellZim reveals.

Right now, Starlink has applied, and we are processing their application. So if they meet their obligations, then they will be licensed like any other service provider.”

Dr Machengete went on to address the misconceptions that had previously surrounded Starlink’s entry into the Zimbabwean market. He rubbished claims circulating alleging that Potraz was delaying Starlink’s entry into Zimbabwe.

“We have no problem with licensing Starlink, but there was a lot of talk that Potraz was resisting licensing Starlink, which was not correct. That was a lie because, at that time when people were saying that Starlink had not even applied. It would not have made sense for us to beg Starlink to apply because people were making noise.”

The arrival of Starlink is anticipated to enhance internet connectivity across Zimbabwe significantly. Potraz highlighted the potential improvements in service quality, thanks to an increased availability of foreign currency, which will enable network operators to procure the necessary equipment for system upgrades and maintenance.

We are expecting network operators to improve because it seems foreign currency is now available. The challenge was on foreign currency for investments, which had reduced of late; hence, they could not bring in new machines to upgrade systems, and maintenance was even difficult,” Dr Machengete stated.

With Starlink’s entry, Zimbabweans can look forward to faster, more reliable, and more widely accessible internet services, a prospect that has ignited anticipation across the country.

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