Liquid in $80m investment

HARARE - Econet Wireless Global (Econet)’s subsidiary Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe (Liquid) says it has invested over $80 million in setting up fibre optic network in the country.

Wellington Makamure, Liquid’s managing director, yesterday said the company’s objective is to “provide reliable and high-speed Internet access countrywide”.

“Our current capacity is 10G and we will soon be upgrading it to 30G by end of August this year,” he said.
Makamure noted that Liquid has already completed its main optic fibre routes — with a total footprint of 2 700km — which cross from South Africa through Zimbabwe all the way to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In total, its fibre network spans more than 13 000km across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho and South Africa.

Liquid’s fibre network is the first to cross country borders and covers Africa’s fastest-growing economies, where no fixed network has existed before.

This comes after Liquid and its technology partner, Ekinops recently received an award for the “Best Fixed Network Innovation” at this year’s Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards in London.

The prestigious award celebrated the joint work of vendors and operators in innovative projects that better serve the telecom industry’s end customers.

Liquid — which has built Africa’s largest fibre network that runs from the north of Uganda to Cape Town — was also recently appointed the official fibre connectivity provider for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly to be held next month in Victoria Falls.

“So far we have connected all major hotels, lodges and restaurants in Victoria Falls through fibre in preparation for UNWTO. We have also installed Wi-Fi coverage in most hotels in the area,” he said.

Zimbabwe is co-hosting the tourism event with Zambia with more than 3 000 foreign tourists expected to grace the occasion.

Economic experts said the UNWTO conference presents a perfect opportunity for the country to boost its tourism sector.

The country’s tourism industry suffered after the year 2000 due to the political and economic crisis Zimbabwe endured.

Makamure highlighted that data and telecommunications company’s international links with five undersea cables in Africa has improved its connections with the world — and has led to a spike in investment in the telecoms sector.

“Zimbabwe’s telecoms industry is lucrative but very competitive and we will continue to invest more resources into the sector so that we remain ahead of our competitors,” he said.

Liquid is a broadband, data, voice and Internet provider through fibre and satellite.

The company connects Zimbabwe through fibre nationally and also provide international carriers services and connects Africa to the rest of the world.

 

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