In August 2015, MTN Group and Liquid Telecom entered into a partnership to extend their footprint across Africa, exploring ways to jointly offer customers access to the largest fixed and wireless footprint across the continent.
Building on this partnership, Liquid Telecom has since successfully deployed a long-distance fibre route across South Africa with MTN Group as an anchor tenant. The project was delivered on time and on budget, helping MTN Group extend its reach across South Africa and reaffirming Liquid Telecom's position as a leading wholesale managed fibre network infrastructure partner.
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN”.
As of 30 April 2016, MTN recorded 230.3 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.
The partnership between Liquid Telecom and MTN Group covers wholesale, carrier-to-carrier, high-speed broadband, enterprise and fixed data services, and enables both parties to access each other's fixed and wireless networks in countries on the African continent.
The partnership took on a new dimension in South Africa last year when Liquid Telecom began a project to connect the city of Polokwane in the north western province of Limpopo with Centurion; a region located between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
MTN Group was a key anchor tenant on the new route, which is designed to support the demand for reliable and high-speed connectivity across South Africa.
Liquid Telecom had just 12 months to complete the project, which included securing ‘wayleave' application approvals required to carry out work on privately-owned land as well as managing subcontractors.
The project also had to overcome some issues related to ground conditions for trenching.
In spite of this, it was completed on time and on budget.
In November 2015, Liquid Telecom completed the long distance fibre route connecting Polokwane and Centurion.
The route provides MTN Group and other anchor tenants with almost unlimited capacity on a national basis, enabling access to two of South Africa's major hubs.
As an anchor tenant, MTN Group has the advantage of owning dark fibre on the route, which now forms part of its wider transmission network across South Africa.
Furthermore, Liquid Telecom is currently in the process of deploying another long distance fibre route with MTN as anchor tenant. The 1037km route will stretch from Polokwane east and southwards all the way to Ladysmith in the Uthukela District of KwaZulu-Natal, and is expected to take 24 months to complete.
The first phase of the project is due for completion in 2016.
Thanks to Liquid Telecom deploying the new route connecting Polokwane and Centurion, MTN Group has been able to extend its network reach across South Africa.
The route further allows MTN Group to serve its customers with gigabit-speed services supported by Liquid Telecom's network maintenance SLAs.
By deploying additional routes, Liquid Telecom is introducing greater diversity and competition to the South African market, offering MTN Group and other telecoms operators alternative routes for network traffic.
The route is also further testament to Liquid Telecom's commitment as a partner for carriers as they look for greater access across the region.
“Liquid Telecom successfully delivered the project connecting Polokwane and Centurion in South Africa within time, cost and scope.”
Devan Chetty, General Manager Core, IP & Transmission Network Planning & Optimisation, MTN South Africa