Liquid Telecom has announced at AfricaCom 2012 that it has extended its fibre network to the Democratic Republic of Congo connecting Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the DRC. This provides Lubumbashi with its first international fibre link and will increase capacity and availability as well as reduce the country’s dependence on satellite.
The West Africa Cable System (WACS) is unlikely to arrive in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, until at least March 2013 and so Liquid Telecom’s fibre network also provides the DRC with its first connection to WACS via Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
One of the DRC’s four mobile operators is already using Liquid’s fibre network to backhaul international traffic from Lubumbashi eliminating the satellite double-hops in its network.
Liquid Telecom has built the largest fibre network in Southern Africa providing backhaul between most urban areas and last mile connectivity in the main cities of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa. The company’s network is the first to cross country borders and covers some of the most challenging parts of the world where no fixed network has existed before. It operates as a wholesale carrier in all five countries as well as an operator in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Liquid’s network provides connectivity onto the four main subsea fibre systems of Africa; WACS, EASSY, Seacom and SAT3.
Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, said: “Our expansion into DRC is a major milestone both for us and the people of the DRC. Our fibre network is already the most extensive in Southern Africa. It is increasing the prosperity of ordinary Africans and the businesses which serve and employ them”.
Liquid Telecom will be investing heavily in expanding into new countries to ensure that for the first time all countries and operators in Central and Southern Africa are directly connected.
Nic will be speaking at AfricaCom on Wednesday 14 November at 1440 in the Connecting Africa stream on “Overcoming challenges and maximising efficiency in Infrastructure Projects to improve mobile networks”.
Liquid Telecom has been shortlisted in the annual AfricaCom awards in the Best Network Improvement category for its urban fibre network in Zimbabwe which has seen the Zimbabwe ICT Sector being ranked the second most dynamic globally by the ITU.
Chris Tredger, Online Editor