Raha to enhance pan-African operator’s connectivity options in Dar es Salaam.

Liquid Telecom has closed the acquisition of Tanzanian Internet provider Raha, a move that will enable it to boost its fibre footprint in the market.

The pan-African network operator announced the acquisition late last week, but did not disclose the value of the deal.

It intends to merge Raha into its 12-country, 40,000-km fibre network, which extends from Cape Town in South Africa, via Tanzania’s major city Dar es Salaam, to Nairobi in Kenya. The operator said Raha will also enhance its East Africa Fibre Ring, which links Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania with subsea cable systems.

"Tanzania is a rapidly growing and dynamic African market, and through this acquisition we will be able to greater support the demand for Internet access across the country," said Liquid Telecom’s group CEO Nic Rudnick, in a statement.

Raha has 1,500 business customers as well as "a growing number" of retail customers, Liquid Telecom said. In addition to its fibre infrastructure, which comprises a 400-km metro ring covering parts of Dar es Salaam, it also offers services using satellite, WiMAX and WiFi.

Liquid Telecom said it will invest in the rollout of fibre in Tanzania going forward, and will look into further developing Raha’s data centre facilities in Dar es Salaam. It has also pledged to increase the availability of free WiFi hotspots in the country; Raha has launched 150 such hotspots in major cities to date and claims to have 150,000 unique users.