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Kyle Whitehill to oversee ‘extensive upgrades and expansions’ to South African operator’s network.

Liquid Telecom on Friday named former Vodafone executive Kyle Whitehill as CEO of its South African operation, Neotel.

Whitehill most recently served as CEO of Vodafone Qatar, where he spearheaded the launch of its 4.5G network. He also spent three years as CEO of Vodafone Ghana, as well as two years as chief operating officer at Vodafone India.

Pan-African operator Liquid Telecom said that one of Whitehill’s objectives is to make extensive upgrades and expansions to Neotel’s network, improving access to high-speed Internet coverage across South Africa.

"This is an exciting time to be joining Neotel, as we look to reaffirm the company’s position in the market through improved services and products," Whitehill said, in a statement.

Liquid Telecom acquired Neotel from Tata Communications and minority shareholders in a €390 million deal in June 2016.

"As part of the Liquid Telecom Group, Neotel will for the first time become a truly pan-African player with access to an extensive network footprint across the continent, giving us a stronger competitive edge in South Africa and beyond," Whitehill said.

Whitehill’s appointment comes not long after Liquid Telecom named a new CFO of Neotel in Raj Jandu.

Jandu was until recently finance chief of Liquid’s East Africa region; he has been replaced by Willie Fryer.

In addition, former Airtel Kenya managing director Adil Youssefi was recently named CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya, freeing up Ben Roberts to focus on his parallel role as group CTO.

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