The agreement will see BPC lease excess optical fibres from its network to Liquid Telecom, creating a new telecoms network provider with extensive reach across Botswana.
The agreement was signed by Jacob Raleru, CEO at BPC, and Nic Rudnick, CEO at Liquid Telecom, at a ceremony held in Gaborone.
The joint venture, which will operate under the name Liquid Telecom Botswana, will enable BPC to make more effective use of its existing assets, while allowing Liquid Telecom to better serve the network needs of its wholesale and enterprise customers in the region.
BPC owns and operates an optical fibre cable network that is embedded on some of its high voltage transmission lines. This fibre network will be commercialised for the first time in order to provide networks services across the country.
BPC Board of Directors approved the commercialisation of its network in March 2016, and, following a period of competitive bidding, Liquid Telecom was selected as the preferred partner.
The use of BPC’s infrastructure will be granted to Liquid Telecom Botswana under an Indefeasible Right of Use Agreement (IRUA). Rather than taking any rental payments, the capital value of the IRUA will be used to purchase BPC’s equity stake, which is 42.5%. Liquid Telecom will be the majority stakeholder in Liquid Telecom Botswana.
Liquid Telecom Botswana will be making further announcements in due course.