Liquid Telecom Acquires Major Stakes In Tanzania’s Raha and South Africa’s Neotel
Liquid Telecom has received final regulatory approval to become the majority stakeholder in Raha, one of Tanzania’s leading Internet Service Providers which currently serves over 1,500 businesses as well as a growing number of retail customers with a range of connectivity solutions, including fibre, satellite, WiMAX and Wi-Fi. Raha operates a metro network throughout the Central Business District (CBD) of Dar es Salaam as well as other areas of the Tanzania capital. It also operates WiMax and WiFi hotspots in over 150 locations across the country, including the cities of Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Mbeya and Tanga.
In South Africa, almost concurrently, Liquid Telecom received unconditional approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) for the ZAR 6.55 billion acquisition of Neotel, following approval from South Africa’s Competition Commission in October 2016. Liquid Telecom will invest in Neotel’s products and services in order to support the rising demand for network services in South Africa and other African countries. Neotel connects over 5,000 businesses and passes close to another 100,000 addresses.
The Neotel transaction includes two of Neotel’s Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which offer a combined 1700 square metres of rack space. Neotel has fully redundant backhaul fibre to landing stations with access to all five of the international subsea cables serving South Africa (SAT-3, SAFE, SEACOM, EASSy and WACS). It is either an owner or landing partner on all these cable systems. Neotel also operates one of the largest Ethernet networks in Africa, which was the first to be certified as fully MEF compliant in South Africa. Liquid Telecom has also assumed a market leadership role with Carrier Ethernet, becoming the first pan-African fibre operator to receive the MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) services certification.