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East Africa: BCS Plans 4,850-Km Expansion Of Fibre Network In DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda And Zambia

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On 25 November 2018, Bandwidth and Cloud Services (BCS) Group announced that it had signed a USD 18 million long-term financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the expansion of its fibre optic network in Eastern and Central Africa. According to a company press release, this includes the deployment of 4,850-km of fibre optic networks in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This total length of around 4,850-km includes the deployment of 3,850-km of terrestrial fibre cable and around 1,000-km of submarine cable in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Albert.

In February 2017, Facebook announced that it was participating in a 770-km fibre build in northwest Uganda along with Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS) and Airtel Uganda (see Uganda: Facebook Partners With BCS And Airtel Uganda For 770-Km Fibre Network In North West Uganda). In 2014, BCS and Airtel Uganda undertook a 1,300-km fibre co-build project which was completed in April 2015, and included the deployment of a 537-km aerial fibre route between Kampala (the capital) and Mbarara via Fort Portal.

During 2015, BCS also announced plans to deploy a fibre backbone in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Speaking at the Indo Africa ICT Conference in November 2015, Executive Director David Owino said that the operator planned to build a fibre route running from Goma – Bukavu – Uvira – Kalemie, with cross-border interconnections to Rwanda via Goma and Bukavu, and to Burundi via Uvira (see DRC: BCS Plans 600-Km Eastern DRC Fibre Route).

Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS Group) is a wholesale telecommunications provider that offers wholesale bandwidth, fibre construction and transmission services to mobile operators and Internet service providers in East and Central Africa. According to a company press release, the Group owns over 2,500 kilometres of terrestrial fibre in Uganda and up to 50 Gbps capacity in The East African Marine System (“TEAMS”), through its shareholding in the undersea cable system. Since 2014, BCS Group has leveraged its construction expertise in several markets to lay over 2,000 kilometres of fibre as an EPC contractor for third parties and as a co-build partner to other operators. In 2019, BCS Group will embark on projects in Zambia, marking the company’s inaugural expansion beyond East Africa and enabling connectivity in further countries in Southern Africa.

Source: Bandwidth and Cloud Services (BCS) Group, European Investment Bank (EIB)

 

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© Hamilton Research Ltd 2019.

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