Liquid Telecom recently completed a high-speed internet link between Cape Town and Cairo. Picture: 123RF/TEOH CHIN LEONG
Liquid Telecom recently completed a high-speed internet link between Cape Town and Cairo. Picture: 123RF/TEOH CHIN LEONG

Liquid Telecom is completing a 4G network, which it will offer to South African mobile operators and internet service providers from early 2019, it said in a media release on Friday.

The group, which acquired Neotel from Tata Communications in February 2017, recently completed its “Cape to Cairo” project, creating the first direct land-based terrestrial fibre link from Cape Town to Cairo.

It claims to own Africa’s largest independent fibre network, which is almost 70,000km long and is linked to more than 600 towns and cities in 13 countries.

Reshaad Sha, the CEO of Liquid Telecom's South African operations, described the 4G network as “a multi-billion rand” project.

“This is an exciting development that will enable us to provide mobile network operators and internet service providers with open access to our mobile 4G network,” Sha said in the media release.

“Using our 1800MHz spectrum, the network will handle 4G mobile data traffic to meet the needs of the most demanding users across the country.”

The UK government's development finance institution, CDC Group, recently invested $180m in Liquid Telecom.

“This investment will enable Liquid Telecom to expand its high-speed broadband connectivity to some of the most underserved communities across the African continent, including supporting Africa’s thriving tech start-up ecosystem with high-speed internet and cloud-based services,” Liquid Telecom said in a media release on December 11.

The group said its Cape to Cairo network took 10 years to complete and serves some of the most remote locations with the fastest network speeds in Africa.

“The network passes through some of the most remote corners of the planet and continues to provide new opportunities to connect underserved communities.”

laingr@businesslive.co.za