South Africa: Fibre network expansion boost for MTN


MTN is inching closer to its goal of building a fibre broadband network as part of an aggressive expansion plan.

The operator announced on Tuesday that it concluded a transaction with Liquid Telecom to buy about 400km of metro fibre to connect Pretoria and Polokwane.

The deal is part of the company’s strategy to rapidly expand its own transmission network.

“Once MTN’s National Long Distance Transmission Network is completed, it will offer significantly larger bandwidth which will considerably increase data transfer speeds for all users; offer lower latency and improved network resilience,” said Devan Chetty, general manager of MTN South Africa about the acquisition.

Liquid Telecoms built the fibre optic route as part of the National Long Distance Transmission Network which saw a number of operators partner with the South African National Road Agency Limited to trench the country to develop fibre connections between Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.

“The transaction represents a meeting of minds and reflects the shared values of both Liquid Telecom and MTN. We hope that this deal heralds future co-operation in this space that will be underpinned by a common desire to provide our customers with an improved experience,” said Liquid Telecoms chief executive Willem Marais.

MTN has been on a drive to expand its fibre network and in 2015 joined the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable consortium which will connect 23 African countries.

“Our current priority however, is to connect Cape Town to Durban via East London. This will further enhance our National Transmission Network and reduce our operational expenditure for capacity from third party suppliers,” said Chetty. MTN and Liquid Telecoms did not disclose financial details of the deal.
Source: KaspaFM Online 24 February 2016