LIQUID Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, spent over US$33 million on network infrastructure development in 2013 while its fibre market share increased to around 70 percent, managing director Mr Wellington Makamure has said. In an interview, Mr Makamure said the company has injected over US$110 million into the economy since 2009 when the optic fibre project was commissioned.
“Liquid Telecom has spent nearly US$33 million on network infrastructure development in 2013 going into 2014.
“The focus in 2013 was on expanding the network footprint with the Bulawayo to Victoria Falls and the Harare to Kariba routes,” he said.
Mr Makamure said the bulk of the capital outlay went into the trunk fibre build, setup of the inter-city links and general network infrastructure.
Liquid sources optic fibre cables from China and India and are the major suppliers.
In terms of coverage, Liquid is now present in all major cities and towns with the exception of Mutare which is connected via microwave links as they have not yet been given permission to put fibre in Manicaland province.
“We can now provide service to customers throughout Zimbabwe.
“Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe is building very secure and robust VPNs for corporate customers or point-to-point connections for small businesses and residential customers in most parts of the country,” Mr Makamure said.
Last year the company embarked on a fibre to the home FTTH project with most areas in the Northern Suburbs of Harare having been covered.
“The FTTH project is based on the Gigabit Passive Optical network (GPON) technology is now fully operational and continues to expand throughout the Harare northern suburbs.
“The areas currently covered in Harare include Milton Park, Belgravia, Kensington, Borrowdale Brooke, Borrowdale East and West, Ridgeview, Vainona, Mount Pleasant, parts of Avondale, Avenues and the CBD,” he said.
He added the infrastructure has been setup in Eastlea, Gunhill, Chisipite and Highlands, with the service expected to be available soon.
“GPON is very capital intensive and the initial capital outlay is high,” said Makamure.
Liquid fibre capacity use DWDM technology and is unlimited. The current capacity is 100G in Metro links and 30 on truck routes.
The company employees just over 250 in both Liquid Telecom and ZOL. Makamure said Liquid has over 5,500kilometres of fibre in and around Zimbabwe which increases at an average of 4 kilometres per week.