It is high time Liquid Telecom made the transition from a wholesale carrier, to a home and business broadband connection internet service provider. This good news comes courtesy of the CEO Nick Rudnick, who was quoted by TheAfricaReport saying that the company will now focus on access networks – such as fibre rings – that mobile operators can use to support the rollout of high-speed LTE broadband, and fibre links to homes and businesses.
Our initial analysis is that this is positive news in a market plagued by low speed, unreliable and unstable networks. For consumers, this is good news as finally they can have access to high speed internet and reliable connectivity, without having to fork out large sums in equipment, access fees at steep prices.
That Liquid Telecom is now expanding its revenue streams to include new market segments, even though it is littered with many ISPs, this announcement will mean that it will now compete with its own customers – for whom it carries data. In as far as Licensing and Competition Policies in each market are concerned, the other players will have to up their game in terms of pricing, service delivery, technology used to provide access and the overall customer experience to justify keeping Liquid Telecom out.
In Zambia, CE Liquid, the local subsidiary of the Mauritian-based Group, has already started expanding their access networks within the suburbs nearest to their location. For about $1, 000, an office or small business will have access to high-speed broadband and connectivity, which is accessible through cabled connections to their network.
The initial pricing, though unconfirmed, should be affordable for a premium service, in this market. However, if the vision of the CEO is anything to go by, we can say we shall see significant improvements in the market for internet access. Rudnick, further added that most of Europe internet is accessed via fixed connections, and “we don’t believe Africa is any different.”
Not only is he a tech visionary on our radar, we applaud his view, that Africa is the next frontier in internet access. “As we are rolling out our fibre connectivity solutions, the amount of data that has been carried across the region is obviously increasing exponentially,” says Rudnick. High-end technologies and services or applications should be built for Africa no different than they are built for Europe, US or Asia. So we shun and give a blind eye to those who throw USSD, SMS and sub-standard web applications or apps for accessing things like Facebook. Thus, we agree Africa also needs the throughput!