BPC and Liquid Telecom enter into joint venture
Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Liquid Telecom have agreed to enter into a joint venture that will see BPC leasing excess optical fibres from its network to Liquid Telecom, creating a new telecoms network provider with extensive reach across Botswana.
The agreement was signed by BPC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jacob Raleru, and Nic Rudnick, CEO at Liquid Telecom, at a ceremony held in Gaborone recently. The joint venture, which will operate under the name Liquid Telecom Botswana, is expected to enable BPC to make more effective use of its existing assets, while allowing Liquid Telecom to better serve the network needs of its wholesale and enterprise customers in the region.
BPC owns and operates an optical fibre cable network that is embedded on some of its high voltage transmission lines. This fibre network will be commercialized for the first time in order to provide networks services across the country. BPC Board of Directors approved the commercialization of its network in March 2016, and following a period of competitive bidding, Liquid Telecom was selected as the preferred partner.
The use of BPC infrastructure will be granted to Liquid Telecom Botswana under an Indefeasible Right of Use Agreement (IRUA). Rather than taking any rental payments, the capital value of the IRUA will be used to purchase BPC equity stake, which is 42.5%.
Liquid Telecom will be the majority stakeholder in Liquid Telecom Botswana. Further announcements to that effect will apparently be made in due course. 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 largest mobile network operators, ISPs, financial institutions and businesses of all sizes.
In June 2016, Liquid Telecom agreed to purchase Neotel, South Africa first converged communications network operator, for ZAR 6.55 billion, creating the first pan-Africa fibre player. Liquid Telecom has built Africa largest single fibre network currently spanning over 40,000km, including Neotel network (pending approvals), across borders and covering Africa fastest-growing economies where no fixed network has existed before.
Its joint venture with BPC consolidates its position as the leading broadband and connectivity provider in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Its network provides connectivity to the five main subsea cable systems landing in Africa; WACS, EASSY, SEACOM, SAT3 and TEAMs.
Working under various brands, the Liquid Telecom Group has operating entities in Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The company has been named Best African Wholesale Carrier for the last four years at the annual Global Carrier Awards.