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Continental coast to coast optic fibre link under one single Autonomous System Number

Continental coast to coast optic fibre link under one single Autonomous System Number

African telecommunications group, Paratus, announced that is has inaugurated its contiguous fibre network from southern Africa’s west coast all the across the continent to the east coast. Digitally traversing this almost 5000 kilometre stretch now only takes 31 milliseconds.

The Trans-Kalahari Fiber (TKF) network extends 4160 kilometres from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) cable landing station in Swakopmund to the EASSY cable landing station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Moreover, the route is under one single Autonomous System Number (ASN), a feat that has been eluding most African operators. The fiber network interconnects with selected operators in various countries en route to ensure reliability in the overall management of the fiber network across the continent.

Paratus Group COO Schalk Erasmus said this project is part of Paratus Africa’s aggressive infrastructure expansion strategy with Nimbus Infrastructure. “Nimbus Infrastructure is a Paratus Africa strategic partner and a significant shareholder in Paratus Namibia.”

Paratus started with construction of the cable route from Windhoek to Swakopmund in 2017 and at the end of April 2018, completed the second-phase route from Windhoek to the Botswana border. Part of the capital used for this project through Namibia was funded by Nimbus Infrastructure.

“This is a huge milestone and also a massive achievement. We can now deliver WACS capacity to land-locked countries in which we have operational branches including Botswana and Zambia,” he said.

Operators on both the east and west coast of Africa are dependent on undersea cable access and when outages occur, are mostly reliant on alternative cables on the same side of the continent. According to Erasmus, this new route allows operators to think differently about their requirements for diverse routes within and around the African continent. “Paratus Africa will continue to extend fiber routes with own infrastructure builds in order to maintain uptime, reliability and scalability to its clients, should there be any degradation in service levels,” he said.

“We believe that the fiber optic network provides high-quality reliability and scalability with high access speeds to contend with the demand on bandwidth. We certainly want to take advantage of the countless opportunities in Africa and we’re therefore engaging other land-locked nations to leverage our fiber backbone and WACS capacity,” he concluded.


 

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.