It’s not just a partnership with MTN that has kept Liquid Telecom, the infrastructure concern busy. Recently, the telecoms company announced the launch of Hai, a new Internet Service Provider and retail internet brand.
Hai opened its doors in Zambia first, and there are plans to establish a presence in Rwanda and Kenya shortly. Hai offers the same suite of retail internet services (Fibre, Broadband and VSAT) for residential and small businesses that are offered by ZOL Zimbabwe, another retail internet brand that is part of the Liquid Telecom group.
Liquid telecom has been making huge plans for the Zambian market this past year. In February, the company announced plans to introduce Fibroniks, the name for the Liquid Fibre to the Home product, to the Zambian market.
20,000 homes have been targeted with this Fibre rollout, with CEC Liquid Telecom (the Zambian mash up of Liquid and the Zambian Power company CEC) highlighting how $15 million has been set aside for this drive. To distribute Fibroniks, Liquid Telcom was working with other internet providers contracted as authorised Liquid Telecom resellers.
This retail internet arrangement was later followed up by Liquid’s acquisition of Realtime, another Zambian ISP that focuses on Private Network Licence holders, which effectively played out as a deal to provide enterprise internet solutions. Part of the reason behind the deal with Realtime and not other ISPs, we assumed, was the fact that CEC owns 50% of Realtime.
The launch of Hai now means that Liquid has its own retail internet distribution channel in Zambia which dovetails with its intensive cross continent expansion drive for both wholesale and retail internet services.
At the same time, the fact that Liquid has created a name for itself in enterprise internet services makes it easier to roll out its enterprise solutions like VoIP and Crashplan for Africa ,which Hai has already started introducing to the Zambia market.