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... Read More →

Benin: Benin Secures Loan For 700-Km Expansion Of Fibre Optic Network Under PDRHD Project

On 14 September 2021, the government of Benin signed a concessional loan agreement with China to implement the Projet de Densification du Réseau Haut Débit (PDRHD). The loan was for 265 million Yuan (USD 41 million), according to an official press release. The PDRHD project includes the deployment of a further 688.9-km of fibre optic network: 484.1-km of fibre optic backbone network in Mono, Zou, Collines and Nord Benin, and 204.8-km of metropolitan fibre optic network in 10 cities. This follows the completion of the Projet de Développement des Infrastructures des Télécommunications et des TIC (PDI2T) project, which saw the deployment of an additional 2,000-km of fibre optic network in Benin. Source: ADN, Government of Benin  Read More →

Tanzania: TANESCO Signs Agreement To Expand NICTBB Fibre Backbone

On 7 September 2021, the Tanzanian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology signed a memorandum of understanding with Tanzania Electricity Corporation (TANESCO) to use the fibre optic network deployed along its powerlines to expand the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) operated by Tanzania Telecommunications Co Ltd (TTCL). Earlier this year, the Ministry also announced the signature of a contract for a 72-km extension running from Mangaka to Mtambaswala on the border with Mozambique (see Tanzania: NICTBB Building Cross-Border Fibre Link To Mozambique). Source: TANESCO  Read More →

Niger: Niger’s International Bandwidth Reaches 188 Gbps, December 2020

Niger’s international Internet bandwidth reached a total of 188.152 Gbps by December 2020, according to the latest figures released by Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et de La Poste (ARCEP) in its 2020 annual report. This was split between five operators: Zamani Telecom (previously Orange, with 72.5 Gbps), Airtel (Celtel) Niger (57.12 Gbps), Atlantique Telecom (44.928 Gbps), Niger Telecom (10.6 Gbps), and Liptinfor (3.004 Gbps). Of this total of 188.152 Gbps, 179.848 Gbps was supplied by terrestrial cross-border fibre links (Benin - 63.428 Gbps, Burkina Faso – 60.020 Gbps, Nigeria – 56.400 Gbps), and 8.304 Gbps was supplied by satellite. Niger Telecom’s national fibre optic backbone reached 4,000-km by 2019, with cross-border fibre links to Benin, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Meanwhile, during 2020, ARCEP authorized Zamani to build a fibre metro network in Niamey and also a new fibre route between Niamey and Petel Kolé on the border with Burkina Faso. ARCEP... Read More →

South Africa: Telkom’s National Fibre Network Reaches 169,000-km, March 2021

Telkom South Africa has reported that its national fibre network reached 169,000-km by March 2021, according to its annual results. This was a 3,100-km increase compared to 165,900 by March 2020, 163,800-km by March 2019, 157,400-km by March 2018, and 149,000-km by March 2017 (see also South Africa: Telkom’s National Fibre Network Reaches 165,900-km, March 2020). Telkom also reported that it had reached 549,957 fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) homes passed by March 2021, a 20.7% increase compared to 455,553 homes passed by March 2020, 430,659 by March 2019 and 356,684 by March 2018. Source: Telkom SA  Read More →

Gabon: Cross-Border Fibre Link From Gabon To Cameroon Enters Service

On 15 July 2021, a ceremony was held in Meyo Kye, Gabon to inaugurate the entry into service of the new cross-border fibre connection between Cameroon and Gabon. This follows the completion of a 22-km fibre link running between Kye-Ossi in Cameroon and Bitam in Gabon. In November 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Gabon and Cameroon relating to the interconnection of fibre optic networks between the two countries (see Gabon: Gabon And Cameroon Sign Cross Border Interconnection Agreement). In December 2017, the Ministère de l’Economie Numérique signed a contract with KT Corporation for the deployment of new fibre optic links in the north of Gabon (see Gabon: KT Corporation Wins Contract To Deploy Fibre Link With Cameroon And Equatorial Guinea). Forming part of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB 4) and Backbone National Gabonais (BNG) projects, this 528-km project comprises two fibre routes. The first 411-km route will link the city of Booué with neighbouring countries... Read More →

DRC: Liquid Intelligent Technologies And Facebook Partner To Build 2,000-Km Fibre Route Across DRC To Rwanda

On 5 July 2021, Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) announced a partnership with Facebook to build an extensive long haul and metro fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is expected to improve internet access for more than 30 million people and help meet growing demand for regional connectivity across Central Africa. According to a company press release, Facebook will invest in the fibre build and support network planning. Liquid Technologies will own, build and operate the fibre network, and provide wholesale services to mobile network operators and internet service providers. The network will help create a digital corridor from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo Rainforest, the second largest rainforest after the Amazon, to East Africa, and onto the Indian Ocean. The new build will stretch from Central DRC to the Eastern border with Rwanda and extend the reach of 2Africa, a major new submarine cable that will land along both the East and West African coasts... Read More →

Malawi: Second Phase Of National Optic Fibre Backbone Project Launched

On 25 June 2021, President Lazarus Chakwera officially announced the launch of the second phase of the National Optic Fibre Backbone Project. Comprising of 2,800-km, according to Xinhua, the second phase will be deployed by Huawei and will reach an additional 29 cities. The first phase of the National Optic Fibre Backbone Project was completed in January 2018, which spans 1,320-km and expanded the existing aerial fibre optic network already deployed on the transmission network of the ESCOM (Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi) (see Malawi: First Phase Of National Optic Fibre Backbone Project Completed). Source: Xinhua, The Nation  Read More →

DRC: SCPT Signs Contract With Benya Capital To Start Deployment Of 16,000-Km National Fibre Optic Network

On 23 June 2021, the Société Congolaise des Postes et Télécommunications (SCPT) signed a contract with Benya Capital to start the deployment of a 16,000-km national fibre optic backbone across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Previously, Benya Holdings announced in September 2020 that it had signed an agreement with the DRC’s Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and New Information and Communication Technologies (PT-NTIC) to deploy the 16,000-km National Fibre Optic Network (NFON) (see DRC: PT-NTIC Signs Agreement With Benya To Construct 16,000-Km National Fibre Optic Network). According to a company press release, the engagement between both entities will be executed in two phases: the first being the implementation of the network, and the second being the operation of the network. To this effect, Benya also signed a shareholders agreement with SCPT in April 2021 to establish a new local telecommunications operator in DRC. SCPT currently operates a 3,600-km fibre optic backbone... Read More →

Uganda: Uganda Digital Acceleration Project - GovNet (UDAP - GovNet) Project To Extend National Fibre Backbone By 1,500-Km

On 2 June 2021, the World Bank announced that it has approved in total USD 200 million financing for the new Uganda Digital Acceleration Project - GovNet (UDAP - GovNet). This project includes a USD 49.6 million subcomponent which will support the extension of 1,000 km of the national backbone fibre infrastructure, an additional 500 km of fibre optic network links between towns, mobile broadband connections for 900 government administrative units and service centers in underserved areas, and 828 Wi-Fi hotspots in select locations to support access to online services among rural and peri-urban, underserved and unserved communities. The first phase of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure (NBI/ EGI) project comprised 198-km of fibre network connecting Kampala (the capital), Mukono, Jinja, Bombo and Entebbe. The second phase comprised 1,400-km of fibre network connecting Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi,... Read More →