Paratus Group invests US$14-million in Trans-Kalahari project

Paratus Group invests US$14-million in Trans-Kalahari project

Company says there is a need to increase capacity to Zambia due to increasing local demand for data, internet.

Pan African telecoms operator Paratus Group says it has spent US$14-million on the Trans-Kalahari fibre project that connects Zambia to the undersea cable in Namibia.

The project runs from the West Africa Undersea Cable System (WACS) landing station in Swakopmund, Namibia, and the Sesheke border with Zambia.

The company said it decided to increase capacity to Zambia due to the increasing demand for big data and internet capacity in the country.

According to a recent report from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), there is now a huge appetite for data services in Zambia due to the high adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices.

Paratus group CEO Barney Harmse said investing in telecoms infrastructure allows Paratus to solidify its position as a leader in quality connectivity across Africa.

Harmse said the project is also an indication that investment is telecommunication infrastructure is key for economic growth.

"We are confident that by continuing with our investment strategy, Paratus Africa will become the preferred pan-African operator," Harmse said.

In Zambia, Paratus faces stiff competition from other operators including liquid Telecom, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation, Microlink, the Zambia Telecommunications Company and MTN Zambia.

However, Paratus Zambia country manager Marius Van Vuuren said the Trans-Kalahari fibre project sets the company apart from its competitors by allowing it to leverage on the network installed in Zambia.

"Joined with the backhaul network from Namibia, we are now able to provide more options to our client base. With the group being able to provide backhaul, metro and various access options, we are more competitive and more ready to service our pan-African client base," Van Vuuren said.

Currently, Paratus has a presence in a number of countries including Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia and Angola.