Durban recently played host to the ITU Telecom World 2018 conference, one of the largest events of its kind on the African continent and hosted by the Department of Telecommunications and Post of the Republic of South Africa.
Among many of the significant announcements made during the conference was that of Liquid Telecom SA made by their CEO, Reshaad Sha, that they were going live with their Cape to Cairo network.
The Cape to Cairo line is a terrestrial fibre network that connects 13 countries and 660 towns along the length of the continent. The first of its kind, it is the result of a number of partnerships made between African telecoms groups, such as Telecom Egypt and Sudatel. The network makes use of existing infrastructure as well as newly laid fibre.
Also referred to as the “One Africa” network, there is the hope that the network will reinvigorate Pan-African trade. Being the first direct land-based connection will allow Liquid Telecom to afford their users a significantly reduced latency compared to subsea cables. The network will also open up greater channels for business and trade between the connected countries. This is all in line with the teleco’s vision to give every individual on the African continent access to fast, affordable internet.
“Each country that has been connected to the One Africa network has experienced a dramatic increase in data traffic between the other nations connected to it,” says Sha, adding that the announcement was made at an opportune time because African Union members recently agreed to continent-wide free-trade, having the potential to create a market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.