Firms sign Pan-African agreement on fibre connectivity
BHARTI Airtel’s mobile broadband subscribers in Africa will soon gain access to faster Internet speeds on its 3G and 4G networks. This follows an announcement that Airtel will use Liquid Telecom’s terrestrial fibre network to connect its mobile base stations and enterprises.
The framework agreement enables Airtel operations to leverage Liquid Telecom’s existing 20,000 km-long fibre network across East, Central and Southern Africa, as well as enjoy 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.
Group Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Telecom, Nic Rudnick, said: “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.”
Commenting on the agreement, 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 African 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.