Kathy Gibson reports – Connectivity is vital for the future of Africa, enabling solutions that can drive digital inclusion.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is today celebrating a massive milestone, with its Africa-wide network now reaching 100 000kms.

The network now extends to most of the African continent, says Nic Rudnick, group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies. “I often tell people the fibre footprint is three times larger than the US.”

He explains that Liquid’s terrestrial network now runs north to south from the bottom to the top of Africa, and east to west from coast to coast across the continent.

“We have also reduced latency,” he says. “Cloud services across Africa are now possible because of low latency. Even countries that are land-locked can now run the most complete cloud services.”

The Liquid network now impacts more than 100-million people in more than 640 towns and cities, Rudnick says.

“We have achieved a huge number of firsts, making history over the last 20 years – and we continue to make history.”

Among the projects currently underway, Liquid is building links to connect East Africa to West Africa through the Democratic Republic of Congo; it is working on a low-cost Nigeria-wide network after completing a Lagos metro ring; and building new undersea cable landing stations around the continent.

“We provide one network for many countries, with low-cost connectivity and high-speed access across the continent,” Rudnick points out.

Liquid will soon grow its data centre footprint, with presence in more than 10 countries. It is also expanding its cloud ecosystem. “For customers, this means for customers that we have a network that is part of an ecosystem, including cloud and data centres, and also linking to our newest division, which is cybersecurity.

“This is all based on the foundation of our 100 000km network, which can deliver Africa’s digital future.”

Rudnick points out that connectivity is one of the biggest accelerators of economic prosperity. “When this is accelerated further with cloud, the impact is probably greater than any other industry is able to achieve.

“This has been our ambition in building this network and continuing beyond that.

“Consider that 20 years ago most Africans hadn’t made a phone call,” he adds. “Today, most haven’t used cloud services, but in years to come cloud will be seen to be as revolutionary as the arrival of the mobile phone was.”