Menu

Metorex

International Rescue Committee

Fast and reliable broadband connectivity is transforming mining operations across Africa.

Find out how Liquid Telecom is working alongside mining customers such as Metorex to provision networks that can support future high-bandwidth applications, while allowing employees to communicate, collaborate and make decisions in real-time far more easily and effectively.

Customer:

Metorex is an established mid-tier mining company with two mines in the DRC and one in Zambia. Its African HQ is in Johannesburg and its corporate HQ is in Hong Kong. It is a subsidiary of the Jinchuan Group, which is ranked 32nd in China’s top 100 multinational enterprises 2015 ranking.

In 2013 Metorex completely reorganised its ICT infrastructure and functions to create a central management platform for employees to work more productively. However, following the introduction of the new platform – to a very positive reaction internally – it soon became clear that Metorex needed to review its connectivity.

Despite spending US$40,000 per month on C-band V-SAT connectivity into its African operations, Metorex was only receiving 4 Mbps shared between all of its sites. All traffic had to transit via South Africa, resulting in latency of more than 600ms. To make matters worse, expensive truck rolls were required to fix issues in the field.

This situation simply could not support Metorex’s new way of working – particularly as the company was now using VoIP and video conferencing, as well as transferring large files whilst doing live transactions on ERP systems.

Challenges:

Fast and reliable links were essential between its three mines, South Africa and Hong Kong HQ.

Metorex knew it needed connectivity with guaranteed SLAs and QoS. It wanted to centralise around one full-service supplier responsible for connectivity across Africa – and into Hong Kong: a supplier that would also be a long-term partner.

Metorex is technology-agnostic and understands that sometimes it isn’t economical to connect a site with fibre; in fact because the airwaves are uncluttered in mining areas, the optimum network can be provided through a combination of fibre and wireless.

Following detailed research into its options and after recommendations from industry experts, Metorex chose Liquid Telecom to provide a single solution for all its connectivity requirements.

As part of the ongoing build of its award- winning pan-African fibre network, Liquid Telecom included the mining areas of Southern Africa into its plans from the beginning. It is the only MPLS provider within Africa, and therefore the only company able to provide MPLS within a mine. MPLS is of particular importance for mining companies as it provides flexibility for those who run legacy systems.

Solutions:

Metorex and Liquid Telecom restructured the network topology and calculated the most cost-effective way of connecting each site using an MPLS EP-LAN solution.

In Zambia, new fibre was laid to the Chibuluma mine from Liquid Telecom’s existing fibre network, and the mine was connected within just one week of Liquid Telecom being appointed.

 

Mill feed at Chibuluma mine
Four months later, the Ruashi mine in the DRC was connected using a 5.8GHz point-to-point wireless link to cover the 4km from the existing Liquid Telecom POP at Lubumbashi airport - which connects to Liquid Telecom’s pan-African fibre network.

 

The Kinsenda mine in the DRC was the next to be connected, with a 5.8GHz link covering the 20km from Liquid Telecom’s existing POP at Kasumbalesa.

The Metorex HQ in Rosebank Johannesburg was also connected by Liquid Telecom’s fibre. Meanwhile Hong Kong was connected using the Liquid Telecom network via Fujairah in the UAE, which provides very aggressive latencies from Africa to the Far East.

Result:

Liquid Telecom has provided Metorex with a fully integrated network with no third party dependencies.

All five connections now receive 10Mbps, enabling Big Data transfer. The network has almost 100% availability, so Metorex no longer needs a backup V-SAT service; while a multitude of new services have been made possible, including the creation of a new VLAN and global video conferencing over private IP and the Internet.

Metorex has been able to standardise and develop its ERP system to improve the user experience, drive costs down and introduce standard reports and financial processes. It has also achieved cost savings by centralising various tools for planning, geology, engineering, surveying, maintenance etc. Metorex now has a network which can support future high- bandwidth applications which are being developed for the mining industry.

International Rescue Committee

International Rescue Committee

Summary:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides vital support to Ugandans who are rebuilding from decades of war while hosting a growing influx of refugees. As a result, the organisation requires reliable and secure 24/7 internet access in order to coordinate its relief efforts across the country.

Liquid Telecom Infocom has been working with IRC in Uganda over the last year to significantly improve its communications infrastructure, establishing dedicated fibre links between its headquarters in Kampala and other regional offices across the country.

Thanks to Liquid Telecom Infocom, IRC has seen a marked improvement in its internal communications, enabling information to be relayed quicker between refugee settlements across Uganda.

Customer:

IRC's mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. IRC first began working in Uganda in 1998 to help the 1.8 million Ugandans who had been forced to flee their homes as a result of the LRA conflict.

It has been committed to protecting women and children from violence and exploitation, and helping communities rebuild. As a growing number of South Sudanese refugees flee to Uganda, it has also been working in three of the main districts hosting them.

IRC teams and partners currently reach more than 1,284,492 people in Uganda with lifesaving support. Its relief work focuses on three key areas; health, education and economic wellbeing.

Challenges:

As Uganda struggles to recover from the effects of war and hosts a growing population of refugees, IRC must be able respond to a refugee crisis or emergency anywhere in the country.

It currently has refugee responses across four districts in Uganda: Kampala, Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe. The most recent of these is the Bidibidi refugee settlement in the district of Yumbe in Northern Uganda, which opened in August 2016 and now supports over 100,000 South Sudanese refugees. A new settlement area with a capacity for up to 80,000 refugees opened recently at Bidibidi, bringing the settlement's total capacity to 180,000. At the same time, IRC continues to be involved in programmes at refugee settlements in both Kiryandongo and Adjumani.

Communications is critical to the day-to-day work of IRC staff at these settlements, which rely on the internet to process information about refugees as well as access files remotely.

Solutions:

Liquid Telecom Infocom deployed a dedicated fibre link between IRC's country headquarters in Kampala and regional offices serving the districts of Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe.

This fibre connectivity provides IRC with greater bandwidth for its internal applications and systems, as well as offering higher speeds and quality of service. IRC staff also leverage the network to connect with colleagues in IRC's regional Africa headquarters in neighbouring Kenya.

To ensure IRC has continuous connectivity throughout its operations in Uganda, Liquid Telecom Infocom established a secondary backup WiMAX link, which serves the organisation in the event of a fibre cut.

Results:

Reliable and secure internet connectivity has provided the foundations for IRC to advance its IT and communications strategy in Uganda.

As a result of its improved network service, IRC has been able to migrate more systems, services and applications online to support its staff in Uganda. This includes introducing Office 365 and a new budgeting system.

IRC is also working on a new virtual private network (VPN), which will bring its Uganda operations in-line with the wider IRC group's IT and communication strategy. It is a mandate from the global headquarters that all IRC country operations migrate to VPN connections in the coming years.

Most importantly, IRC has been able to rely on Liquid Telecom Infocom's network for continuous 24/7 internet access, driving greater efficiency across all of its operations in Uganda and resulting in faster action at refugee settlements.

Customer quote:

“In the past, internet connectivity has been a major challenge for IRC across Uganda. Since becoming a customer of Liquid Telecom Infocom, we have seen a major improvement in our overall communications, which is enabling our staff to relay information quicker and resulting in faster action in the field.”
Andrew Serekedde,
IT Officer at IRC Uganda.

Edgars

Edgars

Helping Edgars increase sales and customer loyalty: Liquid Telecom connects retail stores across southern Africa.

Who

Edgar, a South African luxury clothing brand, needed to bring its infrastructure up to date, to help boost sales and improve customer loyalty.

The Challenge

Edgars is the largest non-food retailer in southern Africa with over 50 stores in Zimbabwe alone. But, until recently, only five stores had any voice or data connectivity and many essential functions such as stock re-ordering still used printed, mailed forms – wasting time and money. Plus, customers couldn't pay for goods using external credit cards, and couldn't even use their Edgars loyalty cards in every shop because the data wasn't supported.

The Solution

Edgars tasked Liquid Telecom with building a company-wide voice and data communications infrastructure to automate business processes, supported by a round-the-clock service desk, and with a guaranteed 99% network uptime. After an in-depth review of Edgars' needs and analysis of their infrastructure, our team built an MPLS VPN between the stores and the company in Bulawayo using a range of technologies. Now Edgars has a true network of stores – and by making customer purchases easier, has increased revenue too. In addition, automation of the logistical processes has increased flexibility, making Edgars more responsive. And Liquid Telecom has continuously met and exceeded the 99% uptime guarantee.

Testimonial

“From the moment we contacted Liquid Telecom, we have been impressed with the expertise and experience of its team. This is a company which has built a world- class network with outstanding customer service. The private network Liquid built for us has made our business much more efficient and cost-effective.”
Mbuso Ndlovu
IT Executive, Edgars

Africa Sun Group

Africa Sun Group

Summary:

African Sun Group is one of Zimbabwe's leading hotel chains. With internationally recognised brands and respected home-grown brands, the group operates hotels, resorts, casinos and timeshares in some of the country's prime tourist locations.

Thanks to Liquid Telecom, Africa Sun Group has been able to significantly improve the internet experience for its guests across all 11 of its hotels and resorts, enabling the group to migrate more systems online and better manage its customer internet usage and cost.

Customer:

African Sun Group operates 11 resorts and hotels located in highly-sought tourist destinations across Zimbabwe. This includes resorts and a safari lodge in and around the popular Victoria Falls, as well as locations in Nyanga, Kariba and the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. It also has hotels in major cities such as Harare and Bulawayo.

With a rich array of wildlife and captivating landscapes, tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in Zimbabwe. Africa Sun Group serves the country's growing number of international and business visitors with luxury, mid-range and value accommodation, through a mixture of home-grown brands and affiliated hotels under the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) brand, such as Holiday Inn.

Challenges:

Wi-Fi access now forms an integral part of a hotel offering – which guests expect as much as they do electricity and water.

African Sun Group required a connectivity solutions provider with extensive reach across the country, which was able to deliver high-quality broadband services to all of its hotels and resorts. This included remote regions of the country, such as safari lodges with extensive grounds located within national parks.

It required ubiquitous connectivity so that its guests could enjoy Wi-Fi - whether in their room, by the pool or in a conference hall.

It also required next-generation voice and data services that could support the group's growth, helping it to better control the usage and cost of its voice and data services, as well as migrate more of its operating systems online.

Solutions:

In 2013, African Sun Group selected Liquid Telecom as its exclusive connectivity provider, and today the operator provides high-speed broadband services to all of its hotels and resorts across Zimbabwe.

Liquid Telecom operates the largest and most extensive fibre network in Zimbabwe. By connecting eight of African Sun Group's premier locations directly to our fibre network, Liquid Telecom offers greater reliability, higher bandwidth and lower latency.

In three remote locations where access to fibre is limited, Liquid Telecom provisioned a high-quality microwave solution, capable of fibre-like performance.

More than just a connectivity provider, Liquid Telecom delivers a number of value added services to African Sun Group. It has, for example, migrated the group's traditional landline services to Voice-over-IP (VoIP), and is able to offer managed SLAs for this and other types of traffic.

Liquid Telecom offers round-the-clock network support through its Network Operations Centre (NOC), and provides African Sun Group with a dedicated account manager to ensure any issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.

Results:

Today's travel consumers require mobility and easy real-time access to information. Liquid Telecom has been able to significantly enhance the customer experience at African Sun Group's hotels and resorts by providing seamless connectivity that guests can enjoy throughout the duration of their stay. African Sun Group has been able to introduce a Wi-Fi voucher scheme, which enables guests to connect multiple devices to the internet.

The introduction of VoIP provides guests with greater quality voice calls throughout their stay. All of this also helps African Sun Group to better manage and control the cost and usage of its voice and data services. Through delivering high-quality connectivity, Liquid Telecom also enables African Sun Group to grow its reach online and attract more customers to its hotels across Zimbabwe. The group, for example, has migrated its hotel reservation system online, making bookings more secure and efficient for its guests.

Liquid Telecom is continuing to explore ways to deliver even greater bandwidth to African Sun Group's hotels, ensuring their customers always have the very best internet experience throughout the duration of their stay.

Rainbow Tourism Group

Rainbow Tourism Group

Bringing reliable voice and data to Rainbow's employees and guests: Liquid Telecom provides a new network for prominent hospitality company.

Who

Rainbow Tourism Group is one of Zimbabwe's most respected hospitality companies. They turned to Liquid Telecom to guarantee a fast, reliable broadband services and the result was a new private network running over Liquid Telecom's fibre, which connects Rainbow's hotels to each other, to HQ and to the web.

The Challenge

Rainbow Tourism Group's existing network, a blend of WIMAX and satellite, had become slow, unreliable and expensive. Increasingly frustrated by the network's poor quality, they approached us to provide a modern and efficient voice and data solution across the entire company.

The Solution

After analysis of Rainbow's infrastructure, it was clear that the optimum solution was to deploy an MPLS VPN over Liquid Telecom's fibre network. The fibre already ran close to the majority of Rainbow's operations in Zimbabwe. A short expansion to the last mile was all that was needed to connect to Zimbabwe's fastest fibre broadband network. The VPN allows individual hotels to communicate with each other and their HQ. This means the booking and internal systems are now centralised, reducing paperwork and increasing efficiency. Employees and guests also benefit from fast voice and data services. With Liquid Telecom's help, Rainbow Tourism Group can focus on growing its business in quality accommodation, hospitality and conference facilities.

Testimonial

“There's no doubt that Liquid Telecom's fibre network is far more stable and reliable than either wireless or satellite that we have used in the past. Thanks to Liquid, our internal and external communications are faster, plus our guests are always able to make a call or get online.”
Tendai Madziwanyika
CEO, Rainbow Tourism Group