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Liquid Telecom eyes listing on a European Stock Exchange in 2016

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Liquid Telecom, the pan-African telecoms infrastructure carrier which is part of the Econet Wireless Group, is eyeing a listing on a European Stock Exchange in 2016.

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According to a statement from Econet Group, this alternative is being explored as an option to the repeated multi-billion dollar offers that the Telecoms company has received and repeatedly turned down.

The statement released by the Econet group cites Strive Masiyiwa, the company’s founder and chairman as having said,

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We have received several unsolicited offers for Liquid, but we want it to remain an independent access provider for Internet in Africa. We are going to raise more capital in the market and strengthen its market leadership in this vital space.

Liquid Telecom is one of the largest telecoms operators on the continent, with a fibre optic network presence in 15 countries across East, Central and Southern Africa.

According to Masiyiwa, Liquid is keen on expanding its terrestrial fibre presence in regions like West Africa where the company has only managed to establish a presence through satellite and payment systems.

This presence has been fortified by moves such as partnerships with other major operators like MTN and agreements with operators like Airtel, which form a part of Liquid’s long list of wholesale clients. Liquid has maintained a strong demand for its services which, according to Masiyiwa, will result in the need for 20,000km of fibre over the next 3 years.

One aspect pointed out by Masiyiwa is Liquid’s unique ability and capacity to offer reliable cross continent support to services which rely on connectivity, like Netflix, something which he concedes requires further investment.

The mention of a VOD service, specifically the Netflix example, seems to suggest an interest in value-added services which effectively expand the potential of Liquid Telcom’s infrastructure investments.

With the right amount of capital and an extended presence across the entire continent, Liquid could be angling for a lead position in Africa’s content and services food chain.  This is the same play that other global telecoms players like HKT, through PCCW Global, have gone for especially with the recent launch of a VOD service, ONTAPtv.

This separate listing of Liquid Telecom will make this the second company under the Econet Wireless Group to be publicly traded after Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The other subsidiaries under the Econet Wireless Group, namely Econet Wireless (which operates the group’s mobile networks in 10 countries, including Zimbabwe) and Cassava Connect are privately held.


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9 thoughts on “Liquid Telecom eyes listing on a European Stock Exchange in 2016

    1. nope stock options for the directors. how else can you reward them without breaching regular salaries. I mean someone has to say stop at 200 odd thousand us a month!

  1. I just admire the determination of Strive. Its had to imagine that Liquid is a company owned by a Zimbabwean which has fibre spanning acrossa the continent. But back home i wonder what is wrong with our data speeds? Isnt there serious development in terms of our backbone capacity. Could there be other factors affecting connectivity. With so much fibre capacity u would think we would have world class internet connectivity. Can someone share with us the data speeds in fellow countries like South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia as compared to our own speeds? Who really rules the roost in southern Africa??

  2. hahaha last laugh now the factt hat they hounded him out of Zim means Zim cant take advantage and charge tax on this transaction.
    Imagine that if politicians stayed outof business unless neccessary the countyr could be getting more money as zimbos launch multinational companies from the country instead of other nations

  3. South Africa – over 5Mb/s Gauteng – depending on where you are.
    Botswana – 1.5Mb/s average
    Use: http://www.speedtest.net and share the speeds you are achieving in Zimbabwe, Harare. (Warning the test consumes your bandwidth).
    As long as your operator has not dimensioned and provisioned properly, the speeds will continue to be pathetic even though Harare has optical fiber (same like any other global model cities like New York.

    1. Did that. 98mbps on ZOL. Provided by Liquid Telecom. Much better than Gauteng and faster than most parts of New York or London. Not available everywhere though.

      1. Jimara mentioned Mbps
        @Daren, you mentioned mbps

        There is a clear distinction and difference.

        Are you saying ZOL is 98Mbps or 98mbps? I find the former hard to believe, but I could be wrong.

  4. I guess here its a combination of many factors , eg power cuts leaving base stations overloaded. I think operators in addition to fibre linking their base stations should have high capacity backbone microwave and access microwave . Networks should also be configured to be self organising and self aware.

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