Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of South Africa-based Econet Wireless Group, has enlisted French telecoms vendor Ekinops, to complete its fibre-optic network rollout in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Wholesale provider Liquid already has one of the largest fibre networks on the continent, running 13,000km from Uganda to Cape Town, South Africa. The company, which was established in 1997, provides backhaul between most urban areas and last mile connectivity in the main cities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa. Further, it claims that its 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; many of these areas are not served by wireless or satellite either.
Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick commented: ‘We choose to build and own our fibre networks in Africa wherever possible, and we trust Ekinops to help us cross the massive distances found in this continent’. For its part, the vendor has touted its dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology as an effective solution to ‘fibre exhaustion’ which happens when fibre-optic networks run-out of transmission capacity. ‘Typical long-haul optical networks require an amplifier site every 100km in order to amplify the signal. In rural Africa, with its wide open spaces, where the distance between towns can be more than 400km, this is a major challenge,’ the two companies said in a joint press release.