Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom and Intelsat S.A., operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications, have announced a new agreement that will introduce high performance Intelsat EpicNG satellite services into the Liquid Telecom network.
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.
“Breakthroughs in technology continue to position satellite as a more compelling connectivity solution for businesses across Africa. By teaming with Intelsat, Liquid Telecom will be at the forefront of satellite communications, ensuring we can meet the future bandwidth needs of our customers no matter where they are in the region,” said Scott Mumford, Liquid Telecom’s Group Managing Executive of Satellite and VSAT. “We are also delighted to be Intelsat’s local partner as it continues to introduce the suite of Intelsat EpicNG services to Africa.”
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 EpicNGplatform at the end of July.
Furthering the relationship between the companies, Liquid Telecom has been awarded a three-year contract from Intelsat to provide fiber backhaul and uplinking services from its South Africa teleport that will be integrated into the IntelsatOne network as Intelsat extends its managed services platform into Africa. The gateway service will enable Intelsat to accelerate the introduction of Intelsat EpicNG services, building on its leading position in the broadband and enterprise sectors.
“Our goal is to support customer growth in Africa and to work together to enhance the infrastructure that connects broadband and enterprise customers in Africa. Teaming with Liquid Telecom, the leading independent IP, voice and data provider across Africa, will enhance their service platform and add to our capabilities as we build upon the footprint we’ve already established in the region,” said Brian Jakins, Intelsat’s Regional Vice President, Africa Sales. “We currently have the largest satellite presence in Africa, and with Intelsat 33e soon to be joined by Intelsat 35e and Intelsat 37e, two upcoming satellites in the Intelsat EpicNG program, we will expand our high throughput capabilities to benefit the entire continent.”
Liquid Telecom is the leading 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.
The company has been named Best African Wholesale Carrier for the last five years at the annual Global Carrier Awards.