Liquid Telecom, Intelsat to expand broadband services in Africa

Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, and Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), a provider of integrated satellite communications, have agreed to introduce high performance Intelsat EpicNG satellite services into the Liquid Telecom network, the companies said.

As part of the new, multi-year agreement, Liquid Telecom has committed to dedicated services on the Intelsat 33e satellite, which began operations earlier this year. The solution features ground networking equipment based upon the Newtec Dialog VSAT platform, including technology developed under the ESA-funded Project Indigo announced previously by Intelsat and Newtec.

By taking advantage of Intelsat´s high-throughput satellite (HTS) solutions, Liquid Telecom will be able to deliver more bandwidth with greater efficiency to meet the growing needs of businesses across Africa. The new Intelsat EpicNG services will expand Liquid Telecom´s coverage and network capabilities across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, where demand has grown for VSAT technology to deliver connectivity to underserved remote or rural areas.

Intelsat 33e, the second in the global Intelsat EpicNG HTS fleet, is a next-generation, high-performance satellite that delivers improved performance, better economics and simplified access for satellite service providers such as Liquid Telecom. Designed as a complementary overlay to the world´s largest fixed satellite network, Intelsat EpicNG is backwards compatible with Intelsat´s existing global satellite fleet of approximately 50 satellites and is connected by the global IntelsatOne terrestrial network.

Engineering work is currently underway and Liquid Telecom is expected to begin using the Intelsat EpicNG platform at the end of July.

Liquid Telecom is an independent data, voice and IP provider in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa´s largest mobile network operators, ISPs, financial institutions and businesses of all sizes. In June 2016, Liquid Telecom agreed to purchase Neotel, South Africa´s first converged communications network operator, for ZAR6.55 billion, creating the first pan-Africa fibre player.

Liquid Telecom has built Africa´s largest single fibre network currently spanning over 40,000km, including Neotel´s network, across borders and covering Africa´s fastest-growing economies where no fixed network has existed before. Working under various brands, the Liquid Telecom Group has operating entities in Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Intelsat operates a globalized network, delivering high-quality, cost-effective video and broadband services anywhere in the world. Its network combines the world´s largest satellite backbone with terrestrial infrastructure, managed services and an open, interoperable architecture to enable customers to drive revenue and reach through a new generation of network services. Thousands of organizations serving billions of people worldwide rely on Intelsat to provide ubiquitous broadband connectivity, multi-format video broadcasting, secure satellite communications and seamless mobility services.