By Abel Muhatia @abelmuhatia
Liquid Telecom has installed the largest independent fibre network in Africa, spanning over 18,000km across the continent.
Out of this distance, 4,640km is installed in Kenya alone – where the company has laid fibre in 40 of the ….country’s 47 counties and connected now 80 per cent of the country’s banks to fibre.
Speaking at the 12th Annual East AfricaCom Conference in Nairobi Ben Roberts CEO Liquid Telecom Kenya, said the company’s target to provide broadband Internet to all of Africa is seeing it deploy a range of technologies to provide the best possible connectivity.
“There is a need to make cheap reliable broadband available to the mass market, and investors must work around obstacles that hinder connectivity for those who may need it in isolated areas such as quarries, tea estates and safari lodges,” said Mr. Roberts.
Currently, broadband penetration in Kenya stands at.. 0.1 per cent, far below the global average of 9.4 per cent, according to the State of Broadband Report 2014.
The distance between users in the far-flung and remote regions of East Africa, topography, unfavourable climatic conditions and frequent flooding all add costs, as do the way-leaves, which are the levies made by the counties for permission to dig and lay fibre.
This mission has seen Liquid Telecom focus on both its fibre infrastructure and on other advanced technologies to optimise the quality and cost of hi-speed connectivity, where fibre costs prove prohibitive.
Liquid Telecom is now pioneering advanced VSAT – Very Small Aperture Terminal – technologies, and wireless networks, undertaking 151 VSAT installations and over 380 wireless installations across Kenya in just the last two years, in a bid to ensure that broadband connectivity is available beyond urban areas.
The 12th Annual East AfricaCom 2 day Conference focuses on unlocking growth through broadband rollout and affordable access, refining inland and rural connectivity, devolution and digitising Africa.