Navigating the Regulatory Maze
At present, Starlink’s services are not available in South Africa due to existing legislative restrictions. While it’s unclear when these regulatory hurdles will be cleared, we at Nomads Den weren’t willing to wait. So, we found a workaround.
The Roaming Subscription: A Silver Lining
Starlink offers a unique feature—a regional or global roaming subscription. This allows users to stay connected in any area covered by their subscription. South Africa is within Starlink’s coverage map, making this roaming subscription our key to unlocking high-speed internet connectivity.
The Journey to Mozambique: A Tale of Friendship and Logistics
We decided to order the Starlink dish and have it delivered to a friend’s business in Mozambique, a country that fully embraces Starlink’s services. From the moment we clicked the ‘Order’ button to the day the package arrived in Mozambique, approximately four weeks had passed. Eager to get started, we made the journey to Mozambique to collect the equipment ourselves.
A Change in Plans: Prioritizing Connectivity
Initially, we had also ordered a range of accessories to enhance our Starlink experience. However, due to delays, we decided to cancel those orders. Our primary goal was to establish a reliable internet connection at Nomads Den as soon as possible.
Crossing Borders: A Smooth Yet Lengthy Process
Importing the dish into South Africa was surprisingly straightforward. Although we spent about two hours waiting at the border, we encountered no issues or inquiries about the equipment we were bringing into the country.
Testing the Waters: A Promising Start
Before heading back, we tested the Starlink dish on the Mozambican coast. Despite facing strong winds and some obstructions, the internet speed was impressive—far better than any local WiFi options available.
A Word of Caution: Policy Implications
It’s worth noting that Starlink’s policy requires users with a roaming subscription to update their home address if the dish hasn’t been at its registered location for two months. While this is currently not enforced, it’s something to keep an eye on for the future.
The Financial Aspect: Costs Involved
The Starlink kit set us back 42,022 MZN, with a recurring monthly subscription fee of 2,497 MZN.
What Lies Ahead: The Next Steps
We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Ethernet dongle, which will allow us to integrate Starlink into our existing Unifi network system. We’ll be sure to share our findings on the system’s stability and speed.
If you’re in South Africa and are considering Starlink, it’s entirely possible with a bit of ingenuity and a trip to a neighboring country like Mozambique. And yes, with the right roaming subscription, you can enjoy the high-speed internet that Starlink offers, right here in South Africa and now also at Nomads Den.