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Liquid clarifies role in Project Taara

Liquid Telecom will be the core backbone operator that will bring the recently-launched Project Taara to other service providers in the quest to expand and enhance affordable high-speed internet to previously unreached communities across Africa.

This is according to Liquid Telecom’s Chief of Technology and Innovation, Ben Roberts who said the company will provide the last mile access as the project’s wireless optical communication links technology, adding that this will provide customers with an opportunity to leverage its fibre network and extend their services.

Addressing any suggestion of role duplication, Roberts said: “We have always been an open access network. As a core backbone operator, we have other operators as our wholesale customers all over Africa.”

Liquid Telecom is also focused on helping service providers leverage its fibre network and deliver broadband services to residential areas.

Project Taara will support Econet Group (and its subsidiaries including Liquid Telecom) to bring the internet to customers, beginning with Kenya.

“We are bringing this technology to other providers such as ISPs and MNOs. They use our internet bandwidth and the last mile access,” said Roberts.

Taara links should enable Liquid Telecom cover for fibre cuts that sometimes affect certain cities that don’t yet have backup fibre routes. It will also open up new routes, locations and countries to connectivity through speeds that exceed radio links at 20Gbps capacity.

According to Roberts, locations with very high bandwidth demands and difficulty deploying fibre were chosen for the trials in Kenya, including the Mombasa-to-Diani case where the traditional route is via a ferry crossing with no possibility for fibre, or a very long road trip around the creek.

The trial’s success serves as a platform for the possible deployment of the Taara connectivity at a new 10,000 acres of residential housing development that is over 10km from any fibre optical cable.

Outside Kenya, three projects with impact on five countries (including crossing difficult terrain and providing backup to fibre across land border crossings) are in progress.

Roberts added: “Our expansion across the African continent is going to focus on intra African connectivity, North South, East West, to interconnect the main data centres and connectivity hubs in the continent. Coupled with this we aim to bring connectivity to as many users as possible, leaving no African behind.”

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