December 12, 2023

Ghana Warns Public Against Illegal Starklink Sale And Use

Ghana’s telco regulator has issued a warning against the sale and operation of Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite internet service.

Starlink has yet to obtain a license or type approval in the West African country, but citizens appear to be purchasing kits through intermediaries.

Starlink in Ghana

Starlink is an internet satellite constellation operated by American aerospace company SpaceX, providing coverage to over 60 countries.

Spearheaded by Elon Musk, Starlink is a network of satellites that promises to provide high-speed, low-cost internet access to remote and underserved areas.

Although SpaceX only expects to launch Starlink commercially in Ghana in the third quarter of 2024, the company’s sprawling low Earth orbit network already covers the country.

In a recent statement, Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) warned against the sale and operation of Starlink in the country.

The regulator said that it has not licensed Starlink to operate in the country and has not approved any of its equipment.

“Any entity which provides electronic communication services in Ghana without a license or authorization from the NCA is in direct violation of Section 3(1) of the Electronic Communications Act 2008, Act 775,” said the NCA.

The NCA cautioned the general public to desist from patronizing any equipment or service purported to be from Starlink and directed persons engaging in the sale or operations of the services to cease and desist immediately.

Starlink In Other African countries

Ghana is not the only country that has come out against the illegal operations of the company.

Regulators in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Senegal have recently issued similar warnings to the public and Starlink resellers operating without permission.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) cautioned companies against important and selling Starlink satellite Internet terminals in South Africa.

They called the practice illegal and warned that fines could be imposed.

ICASA said that anyone who provides a service without a license “is guilty of an offense” and liable to a fine of up to R5 million ($265,275) or 10% of their annual turnover for every day the offense continued.

Read: Senegalese Man Killed After Pleading With Elon Musk For Starlink Access Amid Unrest

Some X users, however, have expressed opposing views on banning Starlink and its services.

“Our leaders don’t think about the masses, people are playing games online and get paid using high speed and low latency internet connectivity,” said one user.

“You have MTN and Vodafone giving us mediocre services at increased prices, and you have done nothing about it. Is it Starlike that you are concerned about?” said another.

Starlink is cleared to operate elsewhere in Africa, including Nigeria and Mozambique, the first countries on the continent to approve the network last year.

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Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.