News24

Seacom extends across E Africa

2009-08-26 09:32

Johannesburg - Seacom, Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL) and Rwandatel SA (RTL) on Tuesday announced a major partnership that further extends the reach of international broadband capacity across eastern Africa.

Through concurrent deals, UTL and RTL, both subsidiaries of the Libyan Africa Portfolio LAP Green Networks, have purchased a significant amount of international broadband capacity from Seacom whilst Seacom has in turn secured a backhaul solution for Rwanda on the two regional players' terrestrial networks between Kampala, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, both entities will have immediate access to the Seacom network.

Whilst Uganda has been connected to the Seacom network since its commercial launch on 23 July 2009, this agreement means that Rwanda will benefit from the newly available broadband capacity as soon as September 2009.

This development is in line with Seacom's objective to provide connectivity solutions to landlocked countries across the east and southern African region.

Commenting on the partnership, Brian Herlihy, Seacom CEO, said: "From the outset of this project, we realised the importance of connecting inland countries to our international network and today's agreement is testimony of our commitment in that regard.

"Many countries set out to deploy massive terrestrial networks in anticipation of the arrival of real and affordable international bandwidth connectivity.

"With more and more countries getting connected to the rest of the world via our system, we are eagerly awaiting to see the direct socio-economic benefits this will have on the entire region."

Immediate connection

Seacom has realised the importance of ensuring that Kigali and the greater Rwanda were connected as soon as possible to the international global network.

Seacom's purchase of the UTL and RTL's backhaul solution guarantees that Rwanda will be connected immediately.  
 
"Lap Green Networks has always had a strong focus on international data connectivity and this is an approach shared by Uganda Telecom and other regional players looking to achieve first mover advantage in their respective markets.

"The capacity purchase by Uganda Telecom on the Seacom network will dramatically modify the local internet market and we look forward to a new era of true broadband across the region," commented Eng AbdulBaset Elazzabi, MD of Lap Green Networks and Uganda Telecom Ltd.

Lap Green Networks is a telecommunications operator owned by Libyan African Investment Portfolio and specialising in the acquisition and management of telecommunications networks across Africa.

Lap Green Networks' representatives for this deal were Ghadfi Mohamed, Chief Technical Officer and Donald Nyakairu, Chief Legal Counsel.

Other than UTL and RTL, current investments include Sonitel Niger, Sahel Com Niger and Oricel Green Cote D'Ivoire.

Patrick Kariningufu, CEO of Rwandatel SA, concluded: "In line with our strategy to extend connectivity to the population, and in anticipation of the arrival of affordable international bandwidth, Rwandatel took major steps in developing its infrastructure.

"We are excited about our deal with Seacom and look forward to delivering affordable broadband to our customers."