Liquid Telecom acquires ZOL
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
Liquid Telecom is to acquire Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) - one of Zimbabwe’s biggest ISPs – for an undisclosed amount.
The merger of the two ISPs will come into effect immediately, according to sources, which will create the largest ISP in Zimbabwe and give Econet a strong foothold in data services provision in the country.
Liquid Telecom, a sister of Zimbabwe’s Econet, is a leading independent data, voice and IP provider, supplying wholesale fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to telecommunications operators in developing countries. A company official confirmed the development this evening to Biztechafrica, but refused to be shed more light on the deal.
ZOL officials remained tight-lipped and referred all questions to holding company Econet.
It is also not clear if regulatory approval, necessary in such transactions, had been sought or granted.
Liquid Telecom is currently rolling out USD400 million-plus project to build the first extensive regional and international optical fibre network in southern Africa. It has already built 8,500 kilometres of cable linking towns and cities in four countries, and will soon reach another three countries, says CEO Nic Rudnick.
Since it was founded 16 years ago, ZOL has evolved into one of Zimbabwe’s leading ISPs, selling nearly 700 mbps of Internet bandwidth a month.
Among its services, it offers a combination of dialup, Broadand, Wi-Max, UHF, fibre, VPN services, secure email and webhosting, collocation, PBX management and operates nearly 100 hotspots countrywide.
It also hosts over 3,000 domain names, runs 55 servers in 3 continents.