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Potraz tough stance on innovative SpaceX losing relevance

by Staff reporter
11 Mar 2024 at 11:55hrs | Views
POTRAZ, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, maintains a stringent stance on the utilization of Starlink internet, but this position is increasingly losing relevance amid calls for a policy reconsideration.

Although the authorities haven't outrightly banned the usage of SpaceX's Starlink internet, they assert that the service provider must seek licensing through the regulator, akin to other entities in the sector.

Consequently, the use of Starlink internet remains prohibited in Zimbabwe, with individuals caught accessing the network illegally facing prosecution. Nonetheless, the surge in fines levied by the regulator suggests a growing number of Zimbabweans may be tapping into the high-speed internet signal.

Recent revelations from SpaceX further complicate the nation's stance. SpaceX disclosed that their satellites have successfully communicated with various unmodified Samsung, Apple, and Google devices, utilizing T-Mobile's PCS G Block spectrum across diverse environments.

Specifically, SpaceX tested unmodified phone models from the Galaxy, iPhone, and Pixel series, noting uninterrupted communication during satellite passes without interference from neighboring devices.

In its effort to expand the service, SpaceX plans to launch over 800 Direct-to-Cell satellites in the upcoming months.

Given these technological advancements, industry observers caution POTRAZ to adopt a more receptive approach and embrace SpaceX's technology, which is rapidly gaining prominence.

One technology expert remarked, "Resisting the widespread adoption of StarLink internet poses a growing risk for our local regulators. Soon, they may struggle to discern which smartphones are connected via Starlink. They must act swiftly to embrace this technology before it's too late."

Despite attempts to reach POTRAZ Director General Gift Machengete for comment, calls and messages went unanswered.

Source - newzimbabwe