NAIROBI, Kenya & ESPOO, Finland -- Liquid Telecom Kenya, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, and Nokia today shared news about a two-year partnership to upgrade an existing fiber network that will support OTN/DWDM technology with an initial network capacity of 500G. As a result, customers will have a faster and more reliable connection along the route from the Indian Ocean to data centers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and neighboring countries.
Powered by the Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), the upgrade allows Liquid Telecom to meet the growing demand from its carrier, mobile operator and Internet service provider (CSP/ISP) customers for higher-capacity inter-networking services.
The network will support high-capacity connections from submarine landing stations in Mombasa, Kenya, to major data centers in Nairobi, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, plus surrounding markets. Liquid Telecom will become the first communications solutions provider to connect via its own network almost every country bordering Kenya, whilst also providing an alternate fiber route to submarine for other landlocked countries including Ethiopia, Rwanda and DR-Congo.
"We believe every individual on the African continent has the right to be connected. This is the vision that has been driving our network expansion across Africa," said Ben Roberts, CTO of Liquid Telecom, said." By teaming up with Nokia, we have been able to quickly adapt to the industry's rapid growth within the region and greater access to our high-speed fiber network and cloud services across East Africa. This comes at a time when more mobile operators are planning to increase their backbone bandwidth as they prepare for 5G which is driving the demand for high speed city to city Internet links."
The deployment began in October 2018, and is expected to provide enhanced services to thousands of corporate customers and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) users; it could reach over 85 million mobile subscribers across Kenya and neighboring countries.
"With our DWDM/OTN network, Liquid Telecom can offer the high capacity and low latency needed for its customers, ensuring an excellent customer experience and ultimately connecting all of Africa to the digital world. This network will be an important, additional backbone network with Nokia technology across Africa," said Daniel Jaeger, head of the Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia.
Liquid Telecom selected Nokia's DWDM and OTN technologies for increased capacity and bandwidth, and the ability to support long distances. The Nokia solution allows Liquid Telecom to reuse its existing Nokia DWDM infrastructure, which reduces its capital expenditures.
The solution will initially be available on the following routes:
Nairobi - Mombasa: high-capacity interconnections from Nairobi datacenters to the submarine landing stations at Mombasa
Nairobi - Kampala: opens a new high-capacity route to Uganda, Rwanda and beyond
Nairobi - Namanga: opens a new high-capacity route to Tanzania
Nairobi - Ethiopia: opens a new high-capacity route to Ethiopia and gives the landlocked country an alternate route to the submarine connection in Djibouti
Liquid Telecom serves 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, delivering high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services to mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies, and retail customers. To date, the wholesale and retail operator's fiber network is almost 70,000 kilometers long (about 43,496 miles). Liquid Telecom also operates data centers in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square meters (62,336 square feet) of rack space and 80 MW of power. It also offers cloud services based on Microsoft products, as well as over-the-top digital content and digital transformation services.
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