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MTN invests in Liquid Telecom fibre network

MTN invests in Liquid Telecom fibre network.

MTN has announced a transaction with Liquid Telecom to purchase almost 400 kilometres of Long Distance and Metro fibres connecting Pretoria and Polokwane.

The mobile operator has not revealed the cost of the purchase except to say the deal marks a significant milestone in MTN's self-provisioning strategy and the company's quest to build its own transmission network.

MTN says the newly acquired fibre route will boost its plan to provide customers with high speed connectivity.

"The route forms part of the National Long Distance fibre network, a consortium-led initiative that saw a number of operators in partnership with the South African national Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) trench thousands of kilometres across the country to deploy a terrestrial fibre network connecting Gauteng to both Cape Town and Durban. The fibre optic route, which was built by Liquid Telecom, supports many hundreds of Gbps of traffic and is scalable to meet future requirements," MTN explained in its announcement.

Devan Chetty, General Manager of MTN South Africa says the acquisition is a strategic asset that marks a significant step in MTN's quest to build its own transmission network, while optimising both cost and efficiency.

"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. This acquisition nudges us closer towards the attainment of our vision of leading the delivery of a bold, new digital world and will go a long way towards making our customers lives a whole lot brighter," says Chetty.

Willem Marais, CEO of Liquid Telecoms expressed satisfaction at having sold the route to MTN in particular. "We are pleased to have worked with a like-minded organisation such as MTN on this deal. 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 cooperation in this space that will be underpinned by a common desire to provide our customers with an improved experience."

Chetty added that MTN will continue to be aggressive in exploring opportunities for deploying its network, be it terrestrial, fibre or undersea.

MTN is part of the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable consortium which plans to connect 23 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 3rd party suppliers. This will provide full end-to-end resilience for transmission connectivity to and between all of the undersea cable systems which land on both the East and West coastlines" MTN's announcement concluded.

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