Liquid Telecom expands Africa offerings with Nokia partnership

Part of mission to build Africa's digital future.
Liquid Telecom, Nokia, Africa, Kenya, DRC, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nairobi, Connectivity, Services, Society, Data, Data centres

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Terrain along the road from Moanda to M'Vengue El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba International Airport near Franceville, Gabon. Photo credit: Ben Mack

Liquid Telecom Kenya (part of pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom) and Nokia have announced a two-year partnership to upgrade their existing fibre network. This will result in a faster and more reliable connection along the route from the Indian Ocean to data centres in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and neighbouring countries.

Powered by the Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), the upgrade allows Liquid Telecom to meet the growing demand from its carrier, mobile operator and Internet service provider customers for higher-capacity inter-networking services.

The network will support high-capacity connections from the submarine landing stations in Mombasa, Kenya, to major datacenters in Nairobi, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, as well as surrounding markets. Liquid Telecom will become the first communications solutions provider to connect through their own network with nearly every country that borders Kenya, whilst also providing an alternate fibre route for countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ben Roberts, Liquid Telecom's CTO, said: "We believe that every individual on the African continent has the right to be connected. This is the vision that has been driving our network expansion across Africa. By teaming up with Nokia, we have been able to quickly adapt to the industry's rapid growth within the region and greater access to our high-speed fibre network and cloud services across East Africa. This comes at a time when more mobile operators are planning to increase their backbone bandwidth as they prepare for 5G which is driving the demand for high-speed, city to city Internet links."

The deployment began in October 2018, and is expected to provide enhanced services to thousands of corporate customers and FTTH users, and has the potential to reach over 85 million mobile subscribers across Kenya and its neighboring countries.

Daniel Jaeger, head of the Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia, said: "This network will be an important, additional backbone network with Nokia technology across Africa."

Liquid Telecom selected Nokia's DWDM and OTN technologies for increased capacity and bandwidth, and the ability to support long distances. The Nokia solution allows Liquid Telecom to reuse its existing Nokia infrastructure, which reduces its capital expenditures.

The solution will initially be available on the following routes:

• Nairobi - Mombasa: high-capacity interconnections from Nairobi data centres to the submarine landing stations at Mombasa
• Nairobi - Kampala: opens a new high-capacity route to Uganda, Rwanda and beyond
• Nairobi - Namanga: opens a new high-capacity route to Tanzania
• Nairobi - Ethiopia: opens a new high-capacity route to Ethiopia and gives the landlocked country an alternate route to the submarine connection in Djibouti

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Liquid Telecom's quest to build Africa's digital future is the cover story for CommsMEA's April 2019 print issue, out now.

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