Liquid Telecom, the leading wholesale carrier in Africa, has chosen Ekinops, a leading supplier of next generation optical transport equipment, for its new long-haul DWDM network across South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The network features the longest uninterrupted fiber spans in the continent.
Liquid’s new optical network spans more than 2,500 km and was built to accommodate the growing demand for bandwidth in the region as well as the need for an ultra-long-haul transmission network. This expansion of Liquid’s Pan-African network will help bring the Internet to areas starving for reliable, high-speed access.
The new network carries multiple 10G wavelengths and can scale to support many more 10G and 100G services.
Liquid Telecom 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 km 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.
Liquid Telecom and EKINOPS have been awarded at this year’s Global Telecoms Business Innovation awards the “Best Fixed Network Innovation” for their joint work in this project for building Africa’s longest single span fiber links. They have successfully deployed spans that cover more than 310 km without inline amplifiers.
Typical long-haul optical networks require an amplifier site every 100 km in order to amplify the signal. In rural Africa, with its wide open spaces, where the distance between towns can be more than 400 km, this is a major challenge. The costs of building an amplifier site every 100 km – including the power generator, site security, and roads to access the site – are enormous.
This was the main challenge for Liquid Telecom and one of the key reasons it chose Ekinops, a company that specialize in long spans thanks to its DynaFEC dynamic forward error correction technology.
With normal spans, the network would have required 16 amplification sites but thanks to the long spans, Liquid Telecom was able to reduce the number of spans to five.
Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, said, “Congratulations to everyone who worked on this project, which has set the standard for the industry. We choose to build and own our fiber networks in Africa wherever possible, and we trust EKINOPS to help us cross the massive distances found in this continent.”
"Liquid Telecom is the leading wholesale provider in Africa," said Jonathan Amir, Ekinops’ vice president of sales in EMEA. “With our long haul technology we helped Liquid expand their optical network cost-effectively and overcome geographical challenges. Their network will enable millions of new people to connect to the Internet and we are very proud they chose us as their partner.”
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