Starlink has not applied for operating licence: Potraz 

Source: Starlink has not applied for operating licence: Potraz –Newsday Zimbabwe

POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said internet service provider Starlink has not applied for an operating licence, amid allegations that the government intends to block the company from operating in Zimbabwe.

Addressing villagers in Chikomba West constituency during a consumer awareness campaign at the weekend, Potraz deputy director of economics tariffs and competition Vengesai Magadzire said the nation should know that Starlink is yet to submit its application papers.

“As the regulator, Potraz is mandated to license operators in Zimbabwe but now Starlink has not submitted its application for the licence. We are waiting to hear from it and once it submits Potraz will do what is required,” Magadzire said.

ICT minister Tatenda Mavetere recently announced that Starlink had indicated to Potraz that it is interested in coming to operate in Zimbabwe.

Several Zimbabwean companies and individuals are already illegally using Starlink network services.

In Manyame Rural District Council under Chikomba West constituency Alderman Mufakwadziya bemoaned poor network services stating that it was not in line with the government’s Vision 2030.

 “We are happy to receive the government and their partners as they teach consumers about their rights, however, network service providers like NetOne and Econet are letting us down. We have no network completely. It is so disappointing to buy weekly data bundles that you won’t use because of zero network. Consumers should be protected on this note and be educated on what they should do in such situations. It’s difficult to buy using electronic payment because of the poor network,” he said.

In an interview with NewsDay, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) director corporate services Philemon Chereni said government agencies needed to work with other players to protect consumers.

“As CCZ in terms of the complaints we encourage service providers to ensure that there is an internal mechanism to resolve disputes between services providers and consumers. If they fail, they are free to approach CCZ for alternative dispute resolution which we try to work with,” he said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe senior payment systems analyst, Howard Tundu said: “We are responsible for making policies that stabilise the exchange rates. We encourage consumers to use digital financial services to avoid losing their money in cash; however, we should all be aware of cybercrime.”

A Guruve-based Chinese mining company San He was last week fined US$700 by a Bindura magistrate for using Starlink internet services.