Botswana’s telecoms regulator, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), has issued a warning to the public against the importation, use, and reselling of Starlink devices in the country.
BOCRA emphasized that these activities are punishable offenses, as Starlink is not yet licensed in Botswana, and the regulator is currently reviewing the service’s application.
Starlink Gave no Authorization for Importation, Use, or selling of its Devices in Botswana
BOCRA stated that Starlink has not authorized anyone to import, use, or sell its devices in Botswana. Offenders could face legal consequences, although the specific charges are unclear.
Reports suggest that individuals attempting to enter Botswana with Starlink devices at the Kazungula border post with Zambia, where the service has launched, are being denied entry.
Some users, claiming personal use, have faced challenges at the border, being instructed to return the device to Zambia.
BOCRA has asserted that until the service is licensed, the devices will not be allowed into the country. Customs agents at the border are enforcing this directive, requiring users to obtain permission from BOCRA before bringing in Starlink devices.
Despite restrictions on importation and reselling, Starlink users can legally use the “roaming” option, allowing device usage in different locations across the continent, even in countries where Starlink is not yet licensed. This is contingent upon users legally purchasing the device in a country where Starlink has obtained licensing.