What you need to know:
Aim. Firm says it wants to achieve better service delivery.
Kampala. Liquid Telecom, a data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa, has announced a Shs2 billion investment in its Ugandan subsidiary Infocom.
The money is meant to extend the firm’s pan African fibre cable infrastructure across Kampala’s Central Business District (CBD) and other towns including Mukono, Jinja, Masaka, and Mbarara.
“Fibre represents a completely superior quality of internet, in line with the advanced Internet offering from Infocom. Utilising Africa’s largest cable network to reach rural towns in Uganda, and to offer a world class service within Kampala’s CBD, is in line with our vision of fuelling the country’s accelerated economic growth,” said Mr Hans Haerdtle, the Liquid Telecom chief technical officer East Africa and chief executive officer Infocom last week.
He added: “Our aim in investing so heavily in this new Ugandan internet infrastructure is to achieve better service delivery and improve the country’s internet penetration, which stands at 133rd position globally, with 16.2 per cent of Ugandans currently accessing the internet. The continued expansion of Internet infrastructure in Uganda will impact positively in improving the country’s economic situation.”
Improving economic situation
His remarks are echoed by the World Bank in its study Building broadband: Strategies and policies for the developing world, which notes that low-income and middle-income countries experienced about a 1.38 percentage point increase in GDP for each 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration.
The World Bank further found that the development impact of broadband on emerging economies is greater than for high-income countries.
“We are setting up Metro towns in order to give these towns a network connection that will see their businesses access the kind of speed, reliability and affordability of internet that users are getting in the capital Kampala. E-business and governance are taking shape and therefore we need to incorporate the whole population into this frontier in order to realise balanced development,” said Mr Haerdtle.
The demand for data services is growing in Uganda at a time when data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) shows the country as leading the East African region in attracting FDI in 2013..
About liquid telecom
Liquid Telecom owns the largest independent fibre network on the continent stretching over 18,000kms, and has a presence in East, Central and Southern African. Its fibre connection is linked through the Malaba border from Bungoma, where Liquid Telecom in Kenya has a Point of Presence. This main fibre cable links to the international Internet gateway in Kampala, from where it heads westwards into Rwanda across the Katuna border.