Airtel, Liquid Telecom in deal to provide fibre connectivity in Africa

NEW DELHI: India’s top telecom service provider company Bharti Airtel has tied up with Liquid Telecom to offer faster connectivity with the latter’s terrestrial fibre network in Africa.

The framework agreement enables Airtel operations to leverage Liquid Telecom’s existing 20,000km long fibre network across East, Central and Southern Africa, as well as access new purpose-built fibre infrastructure, to connect Airtel’s mobile base stations and enterprise customers with fibre.

According to Liquid Telecom, the agreement answers the need for mobile operators to increase the Internet speed delivered over their mobile broadband networks.

Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Telecom, says “Mobile operators are relying on Internet access and data services to grow their revenues. MNOs, and in particular Airtel, have managed to attract a large number of customers on their 3G and 4G networks and now need to strengthen their backhaul to deliver a super-fast Internet access service. Liquid Telecom’s extensive and fast-growing terrestrial fibre network is the perfect solution for Airtel to rapidly do so.”

Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria said “The agreement is a milestone in providing fast broadband services to customers in a cost-effective way. Airtel has invested significantly in mobile broadband technology across its African footprint and this agreement will deliver end-to-end fibre connectivity to our 3G and 4G base stations. This collaboration reinforces our commitment to providing affordable and innovative mobile services to all.”

The agreement enables Airtel operations to gain access to Liquid Telecom’s fibre infrastructure and to benefit from new fibre routes on an on-going basis. This will enable Airtel to rapidly connect its mobile base stations and enterprise customers with unlimited capacity.

Airtel has operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in Africa.

Liquid Telecom’s fibre network spans 20,000 km across Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and is complemented by its award-winning satellite service for rural areas.

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