Paratus Botswana, the leading telecommunications and network services provider, announces that the last leg of its fibre route has now been completed to create the new Botswana Kalahari Fibre (BKF) route.

A total of 840km of fibre was laid between the Namibian border and Lobatse and was activated at the end of March 2024.

This new fibre route represents an investment of approximately BWP-70m in Botswana and is the largest significant investment in its own infrastructure by Paratus Botswana to date.

The BKF completes the last leg of the Paratus-built Trans Kalahari Fibre (TKF) route which runs from Johannesburg to Swakopmund in Namibia. The new route creates the lowest latency primary transit path through Botswana and Namibia to Europe.

The new BKF will connect Botswana and neighbouring countries to various international subsea cables, and to the rest of the world.

Paratus Botswana and Paratus Namibia have worked closely together in the bid to connect South Africa to the Equiano cable in Swakopmund. By connecting to Equiano in Namibia, the BKF route will assist in enabling more product options and will help stimulate economic growth.

According to the economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, commissioned by Google, Equiano is forecast to more than double internet speeds and increase internet penetration by 7,5% in the next three years alone, while acting as a catalyst for considerable growth, job creation and sustainability in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

The news comes a few months after Paratus announced the launch of its Gaborone metro fibre ring and, as country MD of Paratus Botswana, Shawn Bruwer says: “The Botswana Kalahari Fibre Route is part of our ongoing investment in our network infrastructure to meet the growing demand for telecommunications services in the country.

“The Paratus quality network services offering is now even more compelling, particularly for the financial services and banking sectors or indeed any industry sector that needs to have an independent, reliable, and fully resilient connection all the time.”

This section of the Botswana Kalahari Fibre route has taken around 18-months to complete, and involved building infrastructure that includes 15 000 gum poles and 10, 68 splices on 216 termination joints. It was built entirely by local Botswana contractors and, indirectly, created around 100 jobs.

The new route runs from Lobatse and Tlokweng borders, via Gaborone, Molepolole and Letlhakeng, and then from Kang through to Charles Hill and the border into Namibia. This will connect Botswana to the 144 Terabit Equiano subsea cable, for which the Paratus Group built the landing station in 2022, and which will provide even faster, reliable connections and more diverse routes and redundancy across the region.