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Starlink to Disconnect South Africa by May 2024

Operating a Starlink kit in an area other than areas designated as ‘Available’ on the Starlink Availability Map violates the Starlink Terms.

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Starlink to Disconnect South Africa by May 2024

Starlink has announced that they will be switching off their roaming service in South Africa by the end of April 2024.

The SpaceX-operated broadband service has sent an email to users of its roaming service, which includes all South African users, notifying them that they will have to access the service in an area where Starlink is officially available from the end of the month.

It pointed out that its regional and global roaming plans were intended for temporary travel and transit, not for permanent use in locations outside officially-launched areas.

The company said users who have been using its roaming plan for more than two months outside of the country where they ordered service must either change their account country or “return to base”.

Otherwise, your service will be restricted,” it warned.

Starlink previously said it would require those with a roaming subscription to access their service in their home registered country every two months for it to remain active.

However, it had not enforced that rule for well over a year.

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Starlink to Disconnect South Africa by May 2024

In its email about the imminent cutoff, it also said that operating a Starlink kit in an area other than areas designated as ‘Available’ on the Starlink Availability Map violated the Starlink Terms.

Starting 30 April 2024, you will be unable to connect to the Internet except to access your Starlink account where you can make updates to your account,” Starlink said.

This restriction does not apply in areas designated as ‘Available’ on the Starlink Availability Map.”

Some South African Starlink users on a Facebook group suggested this change would lead to a market of people willing to offer a paid service to transport the kits to officially supported neighbouring countries like Eswatini and Mozambique for the two-month “check-in”.

However, based on Starlink’s email, it does not appear it would allow any access to its roaming plans in countries where Starlink is not yet available.

Therefore, those South African roaming users “checking in” with Starlink in a country where it is officially available and registered every two months might find the service doesn’t work upon their return.

Starlink has the ability to switch off coverage in certain countries, as it has done in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, after receiving requests from these countries’ communications regulators.


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