Starlink has not yet obtained authorization from the Senegalese authorities to provide its Internet services in Senegal. The company plans to cover the country starting in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The Telecommunications and Postal Regulatory Authority of Senegal (ARTP) announced on Monday August 7 the arrest of five alleged agents of the American satellite Internet service provider Starlink. According to the local press, these five individuals were caught in the act of marketing terminals allowing access to the company’s services, without the prior authorization of the Senegalese authorities.
Starlink has yet to comment on the situation.
Offenders risk imprisonment for a period of 1 to 5 years, as well as a fine ranging from 30 million FCFA ($50,112) to 60 million FCFA ($100,224) in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 2018- 28 on the electronic communications code. Exposed to the same penalties any person who exercises “ one of the activities subject to obtaining a license or authorization without the required license or authorization or has continued it in violation of a decision of suspension or withdrawal ”.
Starlink, a subsidiary of billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, continues its expansion in Africa where it is already present in 5 countries, namely Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi. As for Senegal, it should start benefiting from the company’s commercial services from the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the established launch schedule. A total of 23 African countries are expected to receive Starlink services before the end of this year.