Econet Group, X’s Project Taara to deploy high-speed Internet technology across sub-Saharan Africa

Taara unitEconet Group, leading telecom and technology group in Africa, has teamed up with X’s Project Taara to expand and enhance affordable, high-speed connectivity to communities across sub-Saharan Africa using a new optical wireless technology developed by Taara

This is the first roll-out of Taara’s technology in Africa.

Taara is a project at X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory (formerly known as Google[x]), which works to bring affordable and abundant high-speed Internet access to unconnected and unconnected areas and communities through an innovative approach to wireless optical communication technology. Taara’s wireless optical communication links use light beams to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances.

In the same way that traditional fibre uses light to transmit data through cables in the ground, Taara uses light to transmit information at speeds as high as 20 gigabits per second as a very narrow, invisible beam. This beam is sent between two small terminals of Taara to create a link.

Taara’s links offer fibre-like speed Internet access in areas where it is not economically viable or too difficult to instal fibre, such as rivers, sea straits, mountains, rugged terrain, across national parks, or in areas where cable trenches are unsafe to dig.

Fibre networks require backup links to provide 99.99 % availability. By delivering fibre-like speeds, Taara Links offer an effective fibre backup solution with no other viable fibre backup route. Microwave and satellite backups are often unable to keep up with the demand for city-to-city bandwidth. Econet and Liquid Telecom will make the technology available to other telecommunications customers, such as mobile networks and ISPs, but also to National Research Education Networks.

Econet will deploy Taara’s technology across Africa through the Fibre Optical Backbone and Mobile Network Infrastructure of Liquid Telecom, starting in Kenya.

Econet’s executive for new enterprises Norman Moyo said, “This technology and our partnership with Taara forms an important building block towards realising our vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind.”

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