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Wiring up Zambia

Network operator Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of the Econet Wireless Group, said this week that phase one of its countrywide fibre network in Zambia is now live and providing broadband connectivity to mobile operators, internet service providers and enterprises, writes JAMES MIDDLETON.

Under a joint venture with Copperbelt Energy Corporation, phase one of the initiative is a fibre link between the capital city Lusaka and the Zambian Copperbelt. Phase two, the deployment of which has already been completed, is expected to go live by the end of 2011 connecting the towns of Chirundu, Ndola, Kabwe, Chingola and Chililabombwe.

Liquid Telecom is building a fibre network across Central Africa which will provide backhaul between most urban areas and last mile connectivity in the main cities. It will be directly connected to the submarine cables of Seacom, SAT3, WACS and Eassy.

The company said the network will provide broadband capacity within and into Zambia and should increase competition and reduce end-user broadband prices by more than 50 per cent in some areas. The company is also setting up a data centre in Zambia for hosting, servers, routers and the equipment of public and private operators.

Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, said: ‚We are investing heavily in the build-out of the largest and most reliable broadband network in Southern Africa. Our fibre networks are being built to last and to provide virtually unlimited capacity for decades to come‚ .

By the end of 2011 Liquid Telecom said it will have laid down more than 8,500km of fibre optic cable in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and plans to build in more countries in 2012 and beyond. This network has access to the submarine cables of East and West Africa for international connectivity.


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