Today we attended an operations update and what was also a “Who are we” update by Liquid Telecom in Zimbabwe. At the event, the Zimbabwe managing director, Wellington Makamure addressed the press, customers and business partners on the strides Liquid has made in Zimbabwe in recent months especially to do with its now 2,700 km fibre network.
One of the key updates shared was that the company, as UNWTO conference official partner, has connected all major hotels and lodges in Victoria Falls via fibre in preparation for the General Assembly conference to take place next month. We live tweeted the event with hashtag #LiquidTelecom so some of you are already in on the updates. Here are the main points presented:
- The company now has total 10G capacity and is upgrading to 30G capacity by end of September
- Liquid now has rings of self-healing fibre in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Victoria Falls
- It also has direct customer links totaling 1,600km of fibre with fibre now available for residential customers in Borrowdale Brooke, Milton Park, Belgravia, Kensington, and parts of the Harare CBD and the Avenues. Asked why they were not laying fibre to homes in high density suburbs, Makamure said that it was purely a business decision to connect high value customers early and recoup some of the investment in the infrastructure. Their strategy for low income neighbourhoods, he said, was to install WiFi hotspots using fibre that is available along main roads even in those areas.
- The company is laying about 2.6 km of fibre a day with sometimes even 4 km laid a day.
- The Fibre to the Home (FTTH) that is now available in some residential areas and is being laid will allow Liquid customers to have other services like voice calls of the internet (VoIP), Video On Demand services (services like those offered by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime in the US).
- In future, said Makamure, the company looks to partner content providers, both locally and globally to have TV services that use the fibre.
- Makumure said Liquid Telecom is the first in Zimbabwe, and one of the first on the continent to implement fibre using the a new technology of fibre called Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON)
- Liquid also gave an update on the continental operations saying they are now in 9 countries on the continent and they feed connectivity to their operations from 5 undersea cable systems; SEACOM, WACS, SAT-3, EASSy and TEAMS.