In a world demanding faster internet connectivity, subscribers on the Airtel network can look forward to possibly higher speeds as Airtel and Liquid have signed a deal that will connect their terrestrial fibre network to Airtel’s mobile base stations.
The deal means that Airtel will connect its towers to Liquid Telecom’s over 20,000km stretch of fibre in the Southern, East and Central Africa.
In a statement, Nic Rudnick (above) who is Group CEO of Liquid Telecom says “Mobile operators are relying on Internet access and data services to grow their revenues. MNOs, and in particular Airtel, have managed to attract a large number of customers on their 3G and 4G networks and now need to strengthen their backhaul to deliver a super-fast Internet access service. Liquid Telecom’s extensive and fast-growing terrestrial fibre network is the perfect solution for Airtel to rapidly do so.”
Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria (above) added saying “The agreement is a milestone in providing fast broadband services to customers in a cost-effective way. Airtel has invested significantly in mobile broadband technology across its African footprint and this agreement will deliver end-to-end fibre connectivity to our 3G and 4G base stations. This collaboration reinforces our commitment to providing affordable and innovative mobile services to all.”
Yuyo Nachali-Kambikambi, Director of Corporate Communications at Airtel Zambia has confirmed this saying “The agreement was recently publicised at Group level and you will be glad to note that we are already in the process of formalising the agreement at local level, but we are already using some capacity on a lease agreement.”
Airtel has African operations in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
Liquid Telecom’s fibre network spans 20,000km across Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The exact date of when this agreement will be put to action is not yet stated.
In August 2015, MTN also signed a similar deal to improve internet access for their enterprise clients, and you can read more about that deal here.