Yesterday, Liquid telecom announced that it has completed phase one of a fibre network it’s building in Zambia in a joint venture with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). The completed fibre so far stretches from the Zambian capital city of Lusaka to the Copperbelt.
Phase two, according to Liquid, will link up the whole 500km route from Zimbabwe’s border with Zambia at Chirundu through Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola and Chingola to Chililabombwe, a town near Zambia’s northern border with the DRC. This second phase is expected to go live by the end of this year. In future the fibre cable is expected to reach further in to the DRC making it one of the longest terrestrial fibre cables in the region.
CEC Liquid has also announced that it will be setting a data centre in Zambia for hosting, servers, routers and the equipment of public and private operators in the country.
Commenting on the announcement Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, explained that the company is investing heavily in installing 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”, he said.
The joint venture between Liquid and CEC, worth US $30 million, was created in March this year and later approved in July by the Zambian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Liquid telecom and CEC each have a 50% stake in the joint venture.
Liquid telecom is a subsidiary of the Econet Wireless Group, the company that also owns Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Liquid Telecom expects to have laid down more than 8,500km of fibre optic cable linking South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia.