CAIRO: Telecom Egypt has signed a memorandum of understanding with Liquid Telecom to enable the pan-African group to complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching across the African continent, the companies said over the weekend.
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.
“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.
They did not provide a timeframe for the completion of the network or any estimate of the cost.
Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairperson of Econet, said that completing the vision of building a single network running on land all the way from Cape Town to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa.
“Wherever the One Africa network has been completed, we have seen a dramatic increase of data traffic between nations connected to it,” he said.
“We expect to see a lot of traffic between Egypt and the rest of Africa. Where there is improved communications, improved trade follows as well. We need to see more trade between African countries.
Ahmed El Beheiry, TE’s managing director and CEO, said that the MoU is a great step in their strategy to penetrate the African market and avail TE’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,” he added.
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.
TE will offer Liquid Telecom unrivalled reach through interconnection services, while Telecom Egypt will benefit from access to Liquid Telecom’s pan-African fibre network.