Liberia had an effective telephone system before civil war erupted in 1989, though national connectivity relied on basic analogue switching stations situated in each of the 15 counties, interconnected using microwave links.
While this fixed-line network was neither efficient nor accessible to much of the population, the war rendered it virtually inoperable. As a result, Liberia became a country in which mobile networks essentially provide the only voice and data services available outside Monrovia. The fixed network was a monopoly of Libtelco (rebranded as LTC Mobile in early 2022), a company which became a by-word for mismanagement.
The government also lost interest in the company, though from 2020 there have been attempts to revitalise the company’s prospects by enabling it to operate mobile services in competition with MTN Liberia and Orange Liberia. Developing fixed-line infrastructure is largely in the hands of private enterprise, along with support from USAID and other agencies.
In July 2017 Google started a project with ISPs aimed at improving access to internet services and enhancing IP-delivered services in the health, education, and agriculture sectors. Google is being supported by its partner CSquared, which built a fibre network covering parts of Monrovia and connecting 51 government institutions. It has also designed small-scale fibre metro networks in Kampala and Accra. CSquared in November 2021 was awarded a licence to build an open-access fibre network across Liberia, which will be available to MNOs and ISPs on a wholesale basis.
This article was written by Bob Koigi and distributed by Africa Business Communities. You can start earning money by becoming our Independent Reporter or Contributor. Contact us at IR@downtownafrica.com
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