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Liquid Telecom, KETRACO pen power deal

Liquid Telecom, KETRACO pen power deal

Liquid Telecom has announced a ten year deal that will enable the company to leverage Kenya's electricity transmission grid and expand its fibre network.

The deal signed with the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) will see the telco gain access to 1,791.5km electricity transmission network. It is estimated that by 2020, KETRACO will have additional 8,000 km of network making this partnership crucial for internet connectivity.

"A resilient telecommunications network requires reliable connectivity, and KETRACO's overhead fibre cable is a technology that is far superior to buried fibre or microwave connectivity," said George Kuria, Liquid Telecom's Infrastructure Build and Deployment General Manager (East Africa).

"This new backbone fibre cable will significantly expand our network and add resilience to our internet connectivity with a limitless capacity to carry any amounts of data bandwidth. We will invest in high-capacity equipment at the terminating points to ensure we achieve the largest data capacity possible and serve the region with the fastest and most stable internet ever achieved in East Africa," Kuria added.

Since being granted the Network Facility Provider Tier 2 (NFPT2) license in 2014, KETRACO has evaluated ways to to operationalise and take advantage of its network to also provide connectivity. This is also a new revenue stream for the company.

Kenyans connected to the national power grid with high voltage lines of 132kV and above will have access to the fibre connection. This service will extend to various towns including Garissa, Isiolo, Garsen, Lamu, Rabai, Namanga, Meru, Machakos, Makueni, Wote, Sultan Hamud, Mwingi, Konza, Kitale, Eldoret, Kisii and Kisumu.

"We are delighted to be doing more than extending power lines. With KETRACO and Liquid Telecom coming together, we are now taking fibre to where it has never been before whilst diversifying our company's revenue base," said FCPA Fernandes Barasa, KETRACO's Managing Director.

The power company aims to use 2% of the optical fibre for its own communication and in gathering information about its power systems, metre reading and interchange points, status of equipment, and voice communications between KETRACO's power dispatchers and line maintenance crews.

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