Internet service provider (ISP) CEC Liquid Telecom had recently started a fibre to the home (FTTH) service named Fibroniks in February in Zambia (which we wrote about here). The project was initially made available in Lusaka covering the Rhodes Park, Northmead, Longacres, Sunningdale and Kabulonga areas first and was expected to cover over 8000 homes. It was worth $15 million in investment and was done in partnership with energy giant Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC).
Before FTTH was introduced, Liquid Telecom in Zambia had just expanded its network to head south of Zambia to Victoria Falls town (read more here). This has possibly made it easy for the project to migrate to Zimbabwe as well for the FTTH project. Liquid Telecom says the FTTH connectivity will move to Rwanda and Kenya next.
Like Zambia, Liquid Telecom’s FTTH connection in Zimbabwe will allow access by homes to some of the fastest fibre optic internet speeds, up to a 100mbps, for a fixed amount billed every month. According to Liquid Telecom, ‘broadband services in Victoria Falls have mostly been via ADSL links, WiMAX and cellular services such as CDMA and 3G/EDGE which offer speeds of no more than 512kbps. Fibroniks will provide the people of Victoria Falls with the fastest broadband available in Africa today’.
The FTTH connection allows users to use the internet from various devices at the same time within the household.
The only challenge for the companies contracted to lay these ducts in which the fibre optic cables are then blown into would be the weather which prohibits work from being done and ‘wayleaves’ from the City Council which give them permission to trench in those areas. Another issue is the detection of other service providers who may also have servitude underground in the same areas e.g water and sewer pipes.
It is being undertaken by the company ZOL Zimbabwe, who are part of the Liquid Telecom Group. Liquid Telecom’s CEO Nic Rudnick said “This is an exciting day for the people of Victoria Falls. Fibroniks is what we refer to as “The Real Internet”, a sophisticated superfast service which transforms how people access and share information. A Fibroniks connection provides endless possibilities for everyone using it and will revolutionise how homes and businesses are connected to the rest of the world. We are an ambitious and innovative organisation which will continue to invest in building Africa’s digital future.”
Let’s now see the advantages of Fibroniks:
- Faster connectivity compared to other coaxial cable or DSL (digital subscriber lines) connections.
- Offered at competitive prices
- FTTH technology generally has unlimited bandwidth capacity, which is most wanted lately.
- Allows for multiple OTT usage e.g, VoIP, messaging, streaming, at the same time, without slowing down on the same fibre line, unlike other internet technology that handles the different uses over different internet lines.
- Will support future technological advances as technology seems to be increasing in internet demand and capabilities.
The Fibroniks expansion under Liquid Telecom is set for two more countries, apart from Kenya and Rwanda, that Liquid Telecom is yet to announce.