Telecom Egypt, Liquid Telecom to complete fibre network from Cape Town to Cairo
Telecom Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with Liquid Telecom to enable the unlisted pan-African telecoms group to complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching across the continent, the companies said on Saturday.
Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global, has been building a fibre network across southern Africa covering Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also has a presence in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
“Under the MoU, Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross-border interconnection – bringing together a 60,000 km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt,” the two companies said in a statement.
As part of the strategic partnership, Liquid Telecom and Telecom Egypt will share network infrastructure and explore further areas of collaboration, including joint network services, a peering arrangement and a voice interconnection agreement.
The two companies did not provide a time frame for the completion of the network or any estimate of the cost.
“This MoU is a great step in our strategy to penetrate the African market and avail Telecom Egypt’s most advanced technology and global infrastructure services to customers across Africa. We look forward to working alongside Liquid Telecom to develop new network services and products that will help stimulate intra-regional trade.” Ahmed El Beheiry, chief executive of Telecom Egypt, said in the statement.
“Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa,” Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Econet, said in the statement.
“The roll-out of infrastructure, particularly high-speed networks, is crucial for stimulating intra-regional trade. The Cape to Cairo network sets a new standard for Africa and will open-up new trade opportunities across the region. Our congratulations to Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom for reaching an agreement to complete the Cape to Cairo network,” said Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).