TCS | Starlink in South Africa – separating fact from fiction

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There has been considerable noise about the launch – or otherwise – of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service in South Africa, much of it conjecture. What’s the real story?
To unpack what exactly is required of SpaceX-launched Starlink to launch in South Africa – including the rules around black economic empowerment (BEE) – the TechCentral Show spoke to Dominic Cull, a legal expert on the subject.
Cull, who serves as the regulatory adviser to the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa), shares some surprising insights into the process.
Topics tackled by Cull in the discussion include:
• Who is really to blame for Starlink’s failure to launch in South Africa so far;
• What the law really says about BEE and the issuing of telecommunications licences?
• What Icasa’s licensing regime looks like, and which licence types Starlink needs to apply for to launch its services in South Africa.
• Why there is an artificial restriction on the issuing of new licences – and why this makes no sense anymore.
• How Icasa’s “type approvals” for communications equipment work and what they’re for.
• Why Ispa members are keen to work with Starlink.
Don’t miss a fascinating discussion that clears up some of the misconceptions in the market about Starlink in South Africa.
5 Dec 2023 3AM English South Africa Technology · Business

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