Pioneering work completed by Liquid Telecom and its technology partner EKINOPS (Euronext Paris: EKI) has been named “Best Fixed Network Infrastructure Innovation” at this year’s Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation awards.

These prestigious awards, organized by the much-respected GTB magazine, celebrate the joint work of vendors and operators in innovative projects that better serve the telecom industry’s end customers.

Liquid Telecom and EKINOPS picked up the award for their joint work in building Africa’s longest single span fiber links.

GTB Winner in 2013
GTB Winner in 2013

Liquid Telecom is the leading wholesale carrier in Africa. It has built Africa’s largest fiber network, which runs from the north of Uganda to Cape Town. In total, its award-winning Pan-African fiber network spans more than 13,000 kilometers across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho and South Africa. Liquid’s fiber network is the first to cross country borders and covers Africa’s fastest-growing economies where no fixed network has existed before.

Typical long-haul optical networks require an amplifier site every 100 kilometers in order to amplify the signal. In rural Africa, with its wide, open spaces where the distance between towns can be more than 400 kilometers, this is a major problem. The costs in building an amplifier site every 100 kilometers, including the power generator, site security, and roads to access the site are enormous.

Photo: Debbie Rowe/Global Telecoms Business
Photo: Debbie Rowe/Global Telecoms Business

Researchers at Liquid Telecom and EKINOPS worked together to develop pioneering and innovative techniques for increasing the distance of fiber links. In December 2012 the first commercial link went live. At 310 kilometers, it is the longest fiber link in Africa and a vital part of the fiber which connects Harare to Victoria Falls via Hwange (around 585 kilometers). Since then another 10 long-distance links (more than 300 kilometers) have gone live – and more are planned.

Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, said: “Congratulations to everyone who worked on this project which has set the standard for the industry. At Liquid Telecom we firmly believe that we are helping to create Africa’s digital future by investing in technology which is why, unlike others, we choose to build and own our networks wherever possible.”

“EKINOPS technology allows carriers to deploy long-haul networks with ultra-long spans and we are very proud to win the GTB award with Liquid Telecom for this project,” said Jonathan Amir, EKINOPS vice president of Sales in EMEA. “We estimate that Liquid has so far reduced the number of amplification sites from 16 to 5, which translates into major cost savings on both CAPEX and OPEX.”

About Ekinops

EKINOPS is a leading provider of open and fully interoperable Layer 1, 2 and 3 solutions to service providers around the world. Our programmable and highly scalable solutions enable the fast, flexible and cost-effective deployment of new services for both high-speed, high-capacity optical transport as well as virtualization-enabled managed enterprise services.

Our product portfolio consists of three highly complementary product and service sets: EKINOPS 360, OneAccess and Compose. EKINOPS 360 provides optical transport solutions for metro, regional and long-distance networks with WDM for high-capacity point-to-point, ring and optical mesh architectures, and OTN for improved bandwidth utilization and efficient multi-service aggregation.

OneAccess offers a wide choice of physical and virtualized deployment options for Layer 2 and Layer 3 access network functions.

Compose supports service providers in making their networks software-defined with a variety of software management tools and services, including the scalable SD-WAN Xpress. As service providers embrace SDN and NFV deployment models, EKINOPS enables future-proofed deployment today, enabling operators to seamlessly migrate to an open, virtualized delivery model at a time of their choosing.

A global organization, EKINOPS (EKI) - a public company traded on the Euronext Paris exchange - is headquartered in Lannion, France, and EKINOPS Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary, is incorporated in the USA.

EKI Euronext

ISIN Code : FR0011466069
Mnemonic code : EKI
Number of shares: 5 084 061