Liquid Telecom has today announced it has received regulatory approval to acquire the largest Internet Service Provider in Tanzania, Raha. The acquisition of Raha will see the company officially mark its entry into the Tanzanian market, a move similar to one used to enter the Kenyan market. In entering the Kenyan market, Liquid acquired the operations of one of Kenya’s pioneer ISP firms Kenya Data Networks. Liquid received the approval on December 8th from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) making it the majority shareholder.
Raha serves over 1500 businesses as well as a growing number of retail customers with connectivity solutions, including fibre, satellite, WiMAX and Wi-Fi. Raha also operates a metro network throughout the Central Business District of Dar es Salaam and operates WiMax and WiFi hotspots in over 150 locations across the country, including the cities of Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Mbeya and Tanga.
The acquisition means Liquid will be in a better position to take advantage of the growing number of internet users in Tanzania. According to TACRA, internet penetration in Tanzania stood at 34% in 2015, while mobile subscriptions increased by more than 24% in 2015 to 39.8 million, while the number of internet users rose 52% year-on-year to reach 17.26 million.
Liquid has been keen to cement its presence in the African continent, which saw the firm earlier in the year acquire Neotel, a South African ISP, with the goal of creating the largest broadband provider in the continent. The firm also announced earlier in the year plans to build 10,000 kilometres of sub-sea cable linking Africa to the Middle East and onward to Europe. The cable network will directly connect all coastal countries along the east coast of Africa and will include landing stations in several ports that are currently not served by existing subsea cables.