Liquid Technologies and Facebook announced a partnership to build an extensive long haul and metro fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The metro fibre network is expected to improve internet access for more than 30 million people and help meet the growing demand for regional connectivity across Central Africa.
Facebook will invest in 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.
Liquid Technologies has been working on the digital corridor for more than two years, which now reaches Central DRC. This corridor will connect DRC to its neighbouring countries including Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
The new build will stretch from Central DRC to the Eastern border with Rwanda and extend the reach of 2Africa, a major undersea cable that will land along both the East and West African coasts, and better connect Africa to the Middle East and Europe.
“This is one of the most difficult fibre builds ever undertaken, crossing more than 2,000 kilometres of some of the most challenging terrain in the world,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
“Liquid Technologies and Facebook have a common mission to provide affordable infrastructure to bridge connectivity gaps, and we believe our work together will have a tremendous impact on internet accessibility across the region.”
Additionally, Liquid will employ more than 5,000 people from local communities to build the fibre network.
“This fibre build with Liquid Technologies is one of the most exciting projects we have worked on,” said Ibrahima Ba, Director of Network Investments, Emerging Markets at Facebook.\
“We know that deploying fibre in this region is not easy, but it is a crucial part of extending broadband access to under-connected areas. We look forward to seeing how our fibre build will help increase the availability and improve the affordability of high-quality internet in DRC.”
Liquid Intelligent Technologies is present in more than 20 countries in Africa, with a vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind.
Liquid Intelligent Technologies, formerly known as Liquid Telecom, is expanding its operations into Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Last month, the company raised $840 million in a bond and loans to refinance debt and expand further into the continent.
The company that is majority-owned by African telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa is also building one of Africa’s largest data centres in Nigeria.
Nic Rudnick, the CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, said the group has appointed a CEO in Nigeria and has been recruiting staff.
He added that the company’s new data centre will be live in a few months’ time. “We are building the largest data centre in Nigeria and it will be ready to launch in a few months.”
Rudnick said the company’s fibre network is ready to launch and committed to expanding it further.
The company also completed a fibre project, which connects East and West Africa with a new high-capacity fibre link running 2,600-kilometre across the DRC. The project has been ongoing for the past decade.