Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Liquid Telecom to invest $740,000 in Ugandan fibre network

Out-Law News | 12 Nov 2014 | 3:42 pm | 1 min. read

Liquid Telecom (LT) is to invest $740,000 in its Ugandan subsidiary Infocom, to extend its pan African fibre cable infrastructure across Kampala’s central business district and to rural towns.

Infocom chief executive officer Hans Haerdtle told Biztech Africa: “Fibre represents a completely superior quality of internet.”

Haerdtle said: “Our aim in investing so heavily in this new Ugandan internet infrastructure is to achieve better service delivery and improve the country’s internet penetration, which stands at 133rd position globally, with 16.2% of Ugandans currently accessing the internet.”

LT’s Uganda project follows plans announced last month to expand its operations in Rwanda to boost access to high-speed broadband for businesses and homes in Rwanda and neighbouring countries.

LT said that over the next two years Liquid Telecom Rwanda, the wholesale business in Rwanda, will invest a further $34m laying thousands of kilometres of new fibre across the country and to the borders of neighbouring Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The LT group, working under various brands, has operating entities in Botswana, the DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A joint report published in 2012 by the World Bank and African Development Bank, with support from the African Union, said that, at the start of 2012, Africa’s mobile telephony market was “bigger than either the EU or the US. Some 68,000 kilometres of submarine cable and over 615,000 km of “national backbone networks” had already been laid to boost connectivity across the continent, the report said.

According to a survey published last June (8-page / 224 KB PDF), total mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa stood at about 70% at the end of 2013, compared to about 92% globally, and digital technology is “fast becoming a part of everyday life” in the region.

Africa’s mobile data traffic is predicted to grow around 20 times between the end of 2013 and the end of 2019, the survey said.

Editor's note 13/11/14: this article previously stated that Liquid Telecom's investment was $740m, not $740,000. We apologise for the error.