The Paratus Group, a full-service network spanning the African continent and connecting customers internationally, has announced its expansion into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hard on the heels of a government tender win.
The tender, to activate a 620-kilometre fibre optic network link, was won by Paratus together with DRC-based local internet service provider Global Broadband Solution (GBS). The network spans the railway line between Muanda in the west and the capital Kinshasa, taking in six towns on the way.
Paratus and GBS have established FAST Congo, an entity that will deliver, operate and maintain the network link in an exclusive 15-year license contract. Earlier this week, a DRC fibre link deal with FAST Congo was officially signed and announced by SOCOF (Societe Congolaise de Fibre Optique), the government entity established to develop telecommunications infrastructure and equipment in the DRC.
The Paratus/GBS consortium creates a strategic public private partnership with SOCOF to activate, operate and maintain the fibre highway. The fibre highway itself was installed and funded by the World Bank.
By adding DRC to its terrestrial network Paratus says it now has operational offices in Angola, Botswana, DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia and provides ICT network solutions, satellite connectivity and infrastructure in more than 28 African countries.
Its unique and contiguous footprint in Africa now not only includes those offices in seven SADC countries but also four data centres; five satellite teleports with 6,000 customer sites; the Google Equiano Cable landing station in Namibia; an extended network through satellite connectivity-focused service in more than 30 African countries; and international points of presence (PoPs) in the UK, Europe and the USA.