KDN, the largest wholesale network provider in Kenya rebranded to Liquid Telecom Kenya after an acquisition by Liquid telecom Group, a Network Infrastructure multinational which operates in several countries mainly in Africa. These include Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and UK under wholesale enterprise and retail brands.
The most recent entry is Kenya with the acquisition of Kenya Data Network (KDN). Liquid Telecom aims to consolidate 14 african countries with 11 brands and has currently connected a single cross-country fiber network that stretches over 15,000KMs. This fiber will deliver increased capacity with the highest redundancy, network response time and the lowest latency rates continent-wide.
Liquid Telecom enters Kenya provide the full range of services and products for both Enterprise and wholesale markets and these include fully redundant fiber network, Low Latency MPLS and IP TV. IP TV will be first introduced in Southern African countries starting with Zimbabwe from next year. Other countries will get this later as it’s a service that requires intense planning and programming.
Liquid Networks Kenya CEO Shahab Mehski says Liquid will ensure retail customers get good service by setting strict standards of service delivery that resellers then have to adhere to so as to ensure that the Liquid internet service is of the best quality across the board. This will be accompanied by clear Service Level Agreements (SLA) with providers that customers then can use to judge performance.
Shahab added that the main difference between Altech and Liquid is that Altech put in money to expect return in investment while Liquid Telecom is a Network Infrastructure company that has a focus setting up infrastructure to implement the best levels of service delivery.
Among the things Liquid Telecom plans is introduction of a Namanga – Tanzania fiber link and Low Latency MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) across Africa. Shahab noted that there is demand for basic connectivity infrastructure driven by devolution which required formation of county offices. Liquid Telecom will also be setting up a 16 lane highway in Africa with the idea to keep local African traffic within Africa to reduce latency rates instead of channeling traffic through other continents even for locally hosted websites.
“Technology is meant to make life easier, not to make things difficult,” said Shahab. “Within the countries that Liquid will operate, customers will require a single SLA across the continent without the need to deal with several players,” he added commenting that Liquid has achieved 100% fully redundant metro in Kenya even with the ongoing construction.
A maximum of 5 minutes downtime a week is the commitment that Liquid Telecom gives adding that Liquid Telecom will be totally carrier neutral, providing equal level of opportunities to other players who use Liquid Telecom’s infrastructure like Jamii Telecom and Safaricom.