Congolese regulator ARPTC (Autorite de Regulation des Postes et Telecom) has granted Liquid Telecom a licence to build a second submarine cable landing station.
Currently, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) only has one submarine cable landing – the West Africa Cable System (WACS) – which was damaged in January this year, resulting in greatly reduced internet speeds across the country. The Congolese Society of Post and Telecommunication (Societe Congolaise des Postes et Telecommunications) has held an effective monopoly on the sector.
Within the DRC, Liquid Telecom provides a terrestrial fibre backbone network, and its new landing station will likely connect to Google’s Equiano cable. In November 2019, the company confirmed that it had successfully built the first overland fibre link between East and West Africa, which connects Muanda on the DRC’s west coast to Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam.
DRC also appears to be looking to satellite as a means of improving connectivity, with Agence Ecofin reporting that the country’s telecoms ministry has met with Rascom (Regional African Satellite Communication Organisation) to discuss the possibility of “support[ing the DRC] in its digital transition”.