New fibre plans for SA, Zimbabwe, Zambia

Liquid Telecom announced in a press statement today (2 July 2013) that it has chosen Ekinops as a supplier for its new long-haul DWDM network across South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

According to Liquid, the network spans more than 2,500km and features the longest uninterrupted fibre spans on the continent.

“This expansion of Liquid’s Pan-African network will help bring the Internet to areas starving for reliable, high-speed access,” Liquid said in its statement.

The new network carries multiple 10G (10 Gigabits per second) wavelengths and Liquid said it can scale to support many more 10G and 100G services.

Liquid said that it and Ekinops have been awarded the “Best Fixed Network Innovation” at this year’s Global Telecoms Business Innovation awards for their joint work in this project for building Africa’s longest single span fibre links.

They have successfully deployed spans that cover more than 310 km without inline amplifiers, Liquid said.

According to Liquid, typical long-haul optical networks require an amplifier site every 100km to amplify the signal. In rural Africa where the distance between towns can be more than 400km this is a major challenge.

The costs of building an amplifier site every 100 km, including the power generator, site security, and roads to access the site, are enormous, Liquid said.

This is one of the key reasons Liquid said it chose Ekinops. With the DynaFEC dynamic forward error correction technology from Ekinops, Liquid said it was able to reduce the amplification sites its network would have needed from 16 to 5.

“Congratulations to everyone who worked on this project, which has set the standard for the industry,” said Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom. “We choose to build and own our fibre networks in Africa wherever possible, and we trust Ekinops to help us cross the massive distances found in this continent.”

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New fibre plans for SA, Zimbabwe, Zambia