DRC: LIT Connects Kinshasa and Brazzaville With Wireless Optical Communication (WOC) Network

On 15 September 2021, Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) announced that it has a deployed a cross-border network connecting Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazzaville, the capital of Congo, using Wireless Optical Communication (WOC) from Project Taara at X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory. According to a company press release, Internet is more expensive in Kinshasa than in Brazzaville, despite the two cities being just 4.8 kilometres apart. The reason being, the two cities are separated by the Congo River, the second fastest and deepest river in the world, making it difficult to lay fibre across it. Historically this had resulted in operators directing traffic through their respective cable landing stations over 400-km away to create high-capacity information flow between them.

In the same way traditional fibre uses light to carry data through cables in the ground, Taara’s Wireless Optical Communication links use narrow, invisible beams of light to deliver high-speed connectivity. Capable of transmitting up to 20 Gbps each, Taara’s links across the Congo River will help the 17 million people in these cities have access to much faster and more reliable connectivity. This high-capacity link is expected to bring down the cost of broadband access for millions of people, and a second optical link provides redundancy and resilience to this critical segment of Liquid’s network.

According to Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, “Our work with Taara has allowed us to use WOC technology to provide cost-effective, high-speed connectivity to the people in the two cities. Thus, ensuring that Liquid can enable economic prosperity by creating a connected future across the African continent despite the difficult terrain.” “We’re delighted to be helping bring more affordable and reliable internet access to people in Kinshasa. Taara’s mission is to expand global access to fast, affordable internet and we’re proud to be supporting Liquid in their mission to close the connectivity gap between these two cities,” said Bhavesh Mistry, Head of Project Taara in Africa.

Some nine years ago in September 2012, the first international fibre optic link was completed between Brazzaville and Kinshasa connecting Congo Telecom and Société Congolaise des Postes et de Télécommunications (SCPT), crossing the Congo river (see also Congo: Cross-Border FIbre Link Completed Across Congo River Between Brazzaville and Kinshasa (DRC)). Previously in 2002, mobile operator MSI Cellular which had subsidiaries in both countries established a direct microwave connection between the two cities.

Source: Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT), Project Taara at X

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© Hamilton Research Ltd 2022.

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