Paratus FAST Congo cements company’s DRC ambitions
Paratus Group has announced expansion into the DRC, with news that the company - together with DRC-based ISP Global Broadband Solution (GBS) - secured the government tender to activate a 620km fibre optic network link between Muanda, on the West Coast, to DRC capital city, Kinshasa.
Paratus and GBS have established FAST Congo to deliver, operate and maintain the network link in an exclusive 15-year license contract.
Earlier this week, the DRC fibre link deal with FAST Congo was officially signed and announced by SOCOF (Societe Congolaise de Fibre Optique), the government entity established to develop telecommunications infrastructure and equipment in the DRC.
Paratus formed a consortium with GBS to create a strategic public private partnership with SOCOF to activate, operate and maintain the fibre highway that was installed and funded by The World Bank.
The network spans the railway line between Muanda and Kinshasa which, en route, takes in six towns.
With the objective of increasing connectivity throughout the region, FAST Congo is working towards activating the fibre link in the third quarter of 2022.
Paratus group Chief Technical Officer, Rolf Mendelsohn said, “This is an extremely important strategic development for Paratus. We are not only uniquely qualified to open this fibre highway in DRC, but we’re also uniquely placed to connect the country to Angola, Zambia and beyond via our own network in the SADC. This presents great potential for the region’s economy and for quality connections and increased capacity to be offered as standard to businesses and consumers alike. We are very proud to be the lead company in making this happen.”
Managing Director of FAST Congo, Francois-Xavier Kabemba added: “We have already started work on installing the necessary equipment to expedite the fibre optic network’s activation.As our company name implies, we are committed to delivering fast, secure, quality network connections to the people and businesses of DRC so that they may benefit from the unlimited opportunities offered by fibre.”
By adding DRC to its terrestrial network, Paratus group’s footprint includes offices in seven SADC countries; four datacentres; five satellite teleports with 6 000 customer sites; the Google Equiano Cable landing station in Namibia; an extended network through satellite connectivity-focused service in more than 30 African countries; and international points of presence (PoPs) in UK, Europe and the USA.