Airtel has signed an agreement with Liquid Telecom to use the fibre provider’s terrestrial fibre network to connect Airtel’s mobile base stations and enterprises, in a bid to increase internet access speeds on Airtel’s 3G and 4G networks in Africa.
Under the framework agreement, Airtel can leverage Liquid Telecom’s 20,000km-long fibre network across East, Central and Southern Africa, as well as make use of new purpose-built fibre infrastructure connecting Airtel’s mobile base stations and enterprise customers with fibre.
Airtel said the move reflects its focus on providing high-quality mobile broadband services to its customers across African markets.
“The agreement is a milestone in providing fast broadband services to customers in a cost-effective way. Airtel has invested significantly in mobile broadband technology across its African footprint and this agreement will deliver end-to-end fibre connectivity to our 3G and 4G base stations.
“This collaboration reinforces our commitment to providing affordable and innovative mobile services to all,” said Airtel Africa chief executive officer, Christian de Faria.
Liquid Telecom says this type of agreement provides a solution for mobile operators’ need to deliver on higher internet speeds on their mobile broadband networks.
“Mobile operators are relying on internet access and data services to grow their revenues. MNOs, and in particular Airtel, have managed to attract a large number of customers on their 3G and 4G networks and now need to strengthen their backhaul to deliver a super-fast Internet access service.
“Liquid Telecom’s extensive and fast-growing terrestrial fibre network is the perfect solution for Airtel to rapidly do so,” said Nic Rudnick, group chief executive officer of Liquid Telecom.
Airtel currently has African operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Liquid Telecom’s fibre network spans 20,000km across Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Under the agreement, Airtel will be able to gain access to Liquid Telecom’s fibre infrastructure and to benefit from new fibre routes on an on-going basis.

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