SpaceXs Starlink, the low-orbit satellite service led by Elon Musk, has encountered a setback in its global expansion efforts, facing a denial of its application to operate in Botswana
The denial comes just ahead of the anticipated Q4 2024 launch.
Even though Starlink submitted its application in May 2023, the Botswanan regulator determined that it lacked necessary information, details of which have not been disclosed.
A source from Botswana’s communication authority stated, “There were some deficiencies in the application that we flagged. They haven’t addressed these concerns yet.”
To qualify for operation in Botswana, applicants, including Starlink, are obligated to pay a P5,600 application fee, an annual license fee potentially reaching P386,000 (approximately US$28,500), and 3% of their annual operating revenue.
Starlink faces regulatory challenges in entering the Southern African market, with the South African government rejecting their application for not complying with the mandatory 30% ownership by historically disadvantaged individuals.
Zimbabwe also declined Starlink’s application, citing an EU probe into another Musk-owned entity, referred to as X. Despite these challenges, Starlink has successfully obtained licenses in Zambia, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.