After deploying its fiber network connecting South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, CEC Liquid Telecom is moving to set up data centers in mainly landlocked countries.

Liquid Telecom operates satellite services in 18 African countries, providing transaction systems for international banks, ISPs and mobile operators. The entry of fiber optic cables in the Eastern and Western Africa regions, however, has led to a shift in the telecom business, forcing many satellite companies to diversify to fiber.

To set the stage for the provision of data center services, Liquid Telecom has set up countrywide broadband networks, hoping to ease some of the challenges of doing business in the region.

"The CEC Liquid Telecom network will provide virtually unlimited broadband capacity within Zambia and is already increasing competition and reducing end-user broadband prices by more than 50 percent in some areas; it is also the first fully-redundant network in the country," said Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom. "Because CEC Liquid Telecom has end-to-end ownership of the network, it is able to provide Service Level Agreements at a level not previously experienced in Zambia."

The broadband network in Zambia will connect with similar networks set up in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo, connecting directly to the Seacom, SAT3, WACS and EASSY submarine cables.

"CEC Liquid Telecom is also setting up a data center in each country for hosting, servers, routers and other equipment for public and private operators," added Rudnick.

Africa's coastal countries have enjoyed increased competition in bandwidth pricing fueled by fiber optic cables, but landlocked countries are yet to have significant reduction in bandwidth costs.

Policy and regulatory challenges have hampered the growth of the fiber network in the Southern Africa region but Liquid telecom said that it has established partnerships in order to comply with regulations and policies set up by various countries.