customer-stories

Customer stories

Learn how our network, services and products are helping customers on their digital journey.

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    Enabling Precision Agriculture with IoT

    Liquid Telecom Kenya partnered with Twiga Foods to increase agricultural productivity through precision farming, enabled by Kenya’s rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT) network.

    Background:

    Twiga Foods is a technology enabled business to business food distribution platform that builds fair and reliable markets for agricultural producers, food manufacturers and retailers based on transparency and efficiency. It sources from more than 17,000 producers and delivers 3 times a week on average to over 8,000 retailers. Twiga’s digital platform and logistics network links retailers with farmers and food manufacturers, presenting a convenient and reliable alternative to the current inefficient and expensive farm/factory-to-market processes.

    To drive its mission, Twiga has set out to develop technology-driven commercial solutions and is looking to cooperate with existing industry players to solve the challenge of food security in Africa.

    Challenges:

    Twiga foods was looking to deploy a smart agriculture solution in one of their farms as a pilot, which could be replicated across their many farms in the country. Twiga’s Takuwa farm, which was chosen, had been experiencing restricted growth due to insufficient water. The farm was also struggling with proper soil and fertilization management owing to lack of precise soil moisture, weather and water quality data.

    Solutions:

    Liquid Telecom installed a comprehensive IoT system in Takuwa Farm that helped the 30 acre farm transform to an intelligent farm. The system takes advantage of Liquid Telecom’s extensive low-power wide area IoT network using 0G Sigfox technology covering 85% of the population in Kenya at lower costs than other technologies. With a comprehensive weather station, soil moisture and temperature probes, borehole water meters, and sensors for measuring irrigation water acidity and salinity, the farm managers were able to move away from manual readings and historic analysis to automatic and real-time/predictive analysis.

    Results:

    Twiga Foods is keen on leveraging technology to create reliable markets for agricultural producers and retailers. With Liquid Telecom as a partner, Twiga’s Takuwa farm is increasing farm production due to more precise application of inputs and faster reaction time to local weather and soil conditions. In addition, by applying inputs based on data received on hyper-local weather and soil and water content, Takuwa can also save on costs related to irrigation water / pumping, fertilizer and pesticides.

    Similar deployments of this IoT technology has resulted in farms seeing up to 30% savings on irrigation water, which translated to direct electricity cost savings, and up to 25% increases in crop yields. Man hours have also been reduced by 50%.

    Customer Testimonial:

    “Liquid Telecom has helped us increase business efficiency through its digital solutions. By using smart devices, we have automated multiple processes across the farm’s production cycle and had positive results. We are proud to have partnered with Liquid Telecom to deploy IoT solutions to aid in food security for our country”.

    Liquid Telecom’s Position:

    We understand that agriculture is instrumental to African economies and society and we know that technology is key to driving agricultural productivity. We are committed to working with a number of leading agriculture science and agriculture input companies to apply precision agriculture solutions and support their work with farmers across the country. With this, we aim to support Kenya’s Big 4 agenda that seeks to enhance large scale production, drive smallholder productivity and reduce the cost of food across the country.

    Accessing specialised medical treatment used to be extremely challenging for the 3.5 million people living on Kenya’s sparsely populated 1,420km of coastline. 

    Treatment was mainly available at referral hospitals based in the country’s second largest city of Mombasa. This meant journeys to and from hospital appointments could take as long as a day in each direction – which could also cost as much as $7 in bus fares, for residents who often earn less than $1 a day.

    To overcome these prohibitive distances, Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa has begun providing telemedicine services to its local clinics – delivered via Liquid Telecom’s high-speed network. Three clinics are offering specialist services in gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, and dermatology, with four more clinics due to roll out the video consultancy and diagnostic services.

    Challenges:

    • Establishing a 99.99% uptime guaranteed connection from Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa to its seven outreach clinics along the Kenyan coast.

    • Installing a fibre network connection of sufficient quality to support telemedicine services.

    Solutions:

    • Established a high-speed connection of 24Mbps linking the main hospital and six of its outreach clinics.

    • Installed Office 365 suite which offers Skype for Business, facilitating patient-doctor video appointments.

    Results:

    •  Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa now offers telemedicine services from its main hospital to its Ukunda, Kilifi and Voi clinics, which serve up to 200 patients a day. Plans are underway to further launch the service to its outreach clinics in Nyali, Changamwe, Mtwapa, and Bamburi Mwisho.

    • The hospital now runs e-learning courses covering Continuous Medical Education (CME) and Continuous Nursing Education (CNE) between the main hospital and its outreach clinics. 

    • It also now runs knowledge exchange forums using video conferencing with public hospitals, such as Rabai, Tsangansini and Mariakani hospitals, to exchange knowledge and discuss medical case management – in a collaborative process that drives best-practice treatment plans. The forums also help clinicians earn credits for their professional qualifications and credit transfers under Ministry of Health guidelines.

    Testimonial: 

    “Thanks to our new digital equipment and internet, specialists can now see in real-time, say, the condition of the skin, and other vital readings, then offer consultancy and diagnostics online,” said Sultana Shermana, Interim CEO of Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa.
     

    Overview:

    Liquid Telecom has helped Cairns Holdings move essential functions into the cloud by managing its migration to Microsoft Office 365, and has also supplied the network connectivity to make the suite work securely and dependably.

    The customer:

    Cairns Foods is a leading manufacturer and distributor of food and beverage products in both local and export markets.

    Formerly known as Cairns Holdings, Cairns Foods started out as a motorcar distribution company in the 1920s. From the 1970s, the group experienced major growth following the acquisition of several large companies in Zimbabwe at that time.

    The group has since merged its operations into one company; Cairns Foods. All of Cairns Foods products are produced locally in its manufacturing plants in Harare, Mutare, and Marondera and home to over 1500 employees.

    With such a large employee base, it is critical to ensure that the right tools are deployed to ensure productivity and seamless collaboration.

    Challenges: 

    Like many businesses, Cairns felt the need to move away from reliance on licensed software managed in-house. It realised that the best solution would be to move certain familiar tools into the cloud so that its staff could access them from any location and at any time. 

    This would remove the burden of continued capital expenditure on hardware and software and gain from a predictable monthly charge for all its IT needs. But it needed to marry this migration to the cloud with the right network solution so as to ensure a connection that its staff could rely on. It also wanted a solution that could be paid for locally to save the complexity of making overseas payments.

    Solutions:

    Liquid Telecom has supplied Cairns with Microsoft Office 365, along with connectivity needed to make the applications fly, and already employees have benefitted from secure access to a suite of market-leading applications based in the cloud.

    The organisation no longer has to maintain expensive physical infrastructure to run those applications, or pay for annual software licenses. It wanted a solution that was paid for locally, and with Liquid Telecom as the source of both its software tools and the network over which they run, it has that one simple local point of contact.

    The tools at its disposal include familiar desktop favourites like Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as Skype for Business with its web conferencing abilities, Outlook for all email needs, SharePoint to give staff the ability to collaborate over documents and share content with each other, and all the additional online storage that it could need through OneDrive for Business.

    Results:

    Cairns describes its mission as ‘leveraging technology to bring positive change to organisations in Africa’. With Liquid Telecom as a partner, it is now able to focus on that task without the distraction of managing upgrades to hardware and software. Workers are delighted with the freedom they now enjoy, and company managers are happy with the efficiencies and synergies that have resulted.

    Testimonial:

    “Liquid Telecom has supported us well throughout the process. Using Liquid Telecom for both connectivity and the supply of cloud-based services has given us guaranteed connectivity. We’d use them again.”

    Overview:

    Liquid Telecom has supplied the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) with Microsoft’s Office 365, revolutionising the way it accesses essential applications. With the cloud-based suite, Zinara staff have 24/7 online access to a number of vital tools regardless of their location. 

    The customer:

    The Zimbabwe National Road Administration was established in 2002 to play a key role in enhancing the country’s road network. Its job is to set and collect charges for road use, and to manage and disburse the resulting revenues in order to improve Zimbabwe’s national highway infrastructure. Its remit includes working with road authorities in the formulation of maintenance plans and assisting the government in the setting of relevant standards.

    Challenges:

    Zinara needed an IT solution that would save money on the considerable costs of maintaining its own in-house servers. It also wanted to create efficiencies for its staff, especially its field officers, by allowing them an easier way to access essential data regardless of where they were located. Zimbabwe’s data protection laws additionally meant that any solution would have to safeguard all essential documents against loss or theft.

    Solutions:

    Now that Liquid Telecom has supplied the organisation with Microsoft Office 365, as well as providing secure connectivity based on its world-class network services, Zinara’s staff have easy access to a large package of market-leading applications - all from their browser, with no need to maintain costly server hardware or pay for annual software licenses.

    The cloud-based tools now at Zinara’s disposal include Skype for Business with its web conferencing abilities, Outlook for all email needs, SharePoint to give staff the ability to collaborate over documents and share content with each other, and all the additional online storage that it could need through OneDrive for Business.

    Access to the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) has also helped the organisation better manage user identities and create intelligence-driven access policies, further strengthening security across its operations.

    Results:

    Following a smooth period of migration from its previous solution, managed by Liquid Telecom, Zinara has already made healthy economies on IT maintenance expenditure. Perhaps more importantly, it has noticed major dividends in flexibility and efficiency, with its staff now able to get hold of the data and software functionality they need wherever they are. IT management report that staff are very happy with their new cloud-based services. 
    Management is also reassured that all data is protected and backed up to a secure location.

    By using Liquid Telecom both as a supplier of connectivity and cloud-based applications, Zinara has gained peace of mind from the resulting reliability and simplicity. The connections it depends on are speedy and powerful. Payment for all services is straightforward and predictable. Liquid’s 24-hour support ensures that any issues are addressed in the shortest possible timescale. Liquid Telecom has followed up the deployment with regular calls to make sure that all is satisfactory.

    Testimonial:

    “We have received great support from Liquid Telecom’s technical team. The migration to the cloud was seamless, and no data loss was encountered. With the basic training we got from Liquid Telecom, we can administer the service ourselves.”

    Liquid Telecom South Africa has partnered with The Western Cape Government (WCG) to increase the number of free public Wi-Fi hotspots across the region from 178 to 1,600. This will mean that 6.6 million residents will soon have greater access to public Wi-Fi located at government buildings across the Western Cape.

    Challenges:

    • One of South Africa’s most enduring challenges is the lack of broadband infrastructure and services in rural areas.

    • The unavailability of broadband hinders government service delivery and limits access to economic and collaboration opportunities for the country’s citizens.

    • Many people in the province have never used the internet before and require education on how to use it effectively.

    Solutions:

    • The new expanded public Wi-Fi network will be available across all municipalities and provide 3GB of data per device per month at speeds five times faster than the current service.

    • Government websites will remain permanently free for users to access.

    • Cost effective Wi-Fi vouchers for additional data will be available at selected retailers in the Western Cape.

    • Each of the public Wi-Fi hotspots will allow users with Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to the hotspot without any logins or passwords.

    • The hotspots will be installed over the next 3 years, and the project will run for five years in total.

    Results: 

    • A total of 1,875 sites, including over 1,200 schools; over 200 libraries and approximately 400 other public facilities now have access to Wi-Fi.

    • 178 active hotspots at government buildings across 12 municipalities in the province.

    • The Wi-Fi network provides 250MB of free data per device per month, and just over 910,000 devices have connected to the network since it was launched in March 2016.

    • The extensive network of Wi-Fi hot spots across the Western Cape will also help open up opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals and companies to launch E-learning, E-health and E-commerce solutions that will further drive economic growth and improve the life of our citizens.

    Creating a seamless import and export clearance process

    Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) is a State Corporation under the National Treasury, which was established in January 2011 to implement and manage the National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya TradeNet System) that is designed to facilitate trade.

    Kenya TradeNet System is an online platform that serves as a single entry point for parties involved in international trade and transport logistics to lodge documents or make payments electronically. KenTrade developed and implemented two electronic platforms: one that provides an integration between Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) and another that offers a dedicated portal for providing information to importers and exporters.

    A robust hosted environment and network was required to operate and promote the use of electronic systems for cargo documentation and clearance.

    Challenges:

    • There was previously no single source or portal where traders could get information on procedures and levies due in cross-border trade. This led to confusion and misinformation due to different understanding and requirements from various organisations.

    • Manual documentation procedures resulted in delays to processing of trade documentation by respective Partner Government Agencies (PGAs).

    • Due to delays in processing, congestion of cargo was experienced at the port. The congestion and slow pace of clearance has led to demurrage costs to the importers of cargo.

    Solutions:

    • An MPLS management link to KenTrade offices and redundant replication links between Liquid Telecom’s hosted environments for the Kenya TradeNet system.

    • A hosted environment for the Kenya TradeNet system, consisting of servers, storage, links and security equipment.

    • Redundant point-to-point links between the primary and secondary site to enable the replication of data between the sites for high availability and fail over.

    Results:

    • The implementation of the Kenya TradeNet system has led to substantial reduction in cargo dwell times from seven days to three days.

    • Using the Kenya TradeNet system, there has been a reduction in the time taken for documentation processing.

    • Improved exchange of information amongst key Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) due to system-to-system integrations.

    • Improved payment processing through integration of the Kenya TradeNet system to various payment gateways, such as mobile payment solutions, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) iTax System and the government's eCitizen platforms.

    • Stakeholders can now track the progress of their documents through a dashboard by accessing the Kenya TradeNet at the comfort of their offices.

    Testimonial:

    “The hosted environment and network provision by Liquid Telecom has enabled us to move towards our vision of becoming a global leader in trade facilitation through innovative e-commerce solutions,”
    Mahsen Taher, ICT, KenTrade.

    Providing regional links for a multinational's country businesses

    Copy Cat is a multinational headquartered in Kenya that specialises in office automation and IT solutions.

    It has businesses in Kenya and Uganda which were run from two separate servers located in each country of operation. This prevented it from running a single Enterprise Result Planning ERP software platform and affected co-ordination and efficiency for its East Africa business.

    It has now connected its two businesses by deploying a single server with a seamless and dedicated point-to-point link, delivering reduced costs and increasing the two businesses' combined productivity. Copy Cat employs over 600 workers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

    Challenges:

    • Running two sites with separate servers in Kenya and Uganda.

    • Sourcing hardware and software to serve its combined businesses.

    • Reconciling the business transacted in every office.

    Solutions:

    • Established a single ERP server in Nairobi to support the two offices.

    • Established a P2P link from Kenya to Uganda.

    • Established an IP telephony system between the two offices.

    Results:

    • Savings from using a single ERP server instead of hosting one in Uganda and one in Kenya.

    • Copy Cat has brought its two East African operations onto one platform making it easier to manage and transact.

    • The cost of internal communications has been reduced considerably.

    Testimonial:

    "With the introduction of the P2P connection, we have been able to bring all our regional operations in the two offices under one roof,"
    Peter Kane, ICT Manager at Copy Cat.

    High-speed internet delivers telemedicine to Dadaab refugee camp

    Dadaab in northern Kenya was once the world's largest refugee camp, serving as a home to quarter of a million refugees across five neighbouring camps in a remote semi-arid area with scant infrastructure.

    Providing medical services to Dadaab's refugees has been costly and inhibited by the absence of specialists.

    Gertrude's Children's Hospital, which is headquartered 475km away in Nairobi, overcame the challenges of providing specialised prenatal healthcare for mothers and children by delivering medical consultancy over Liquid Telecom's high-speed internet. The telemedicine service is cost-effective, saving patients and doctors travel costs and time.

    Challenges:

    • Establish a point of connection at Dadaab, Northern Kenya.

    • Deliver uninterrupted 2Mbps internet connection with a guaranteed uptime of 99.99%.

    • Install a connection that supports telemedicine services.

    Solutions:

    • Deployed a 2Mbps MPLS fibre link to the site at Dadaab camp.

    • Deployed a managed 15Mbps fibre link at headquarters in Muthaiga, Nairobi.

    Results:

    • The hospital has successfully treated 56 patients requiring specialist doctors, without requiring them to travel to Nairobi.

    • Through its services and innovative use of the internet to deliver universal healthcare, the hospital won the CIO 2017 award in recognition of excellent enterprise information technology adoption.

    • Liquid Telecom additionally delivered internet for use by other institutions and individuals near and around Dadaab refugee camp, enabling additional communication, economic and social benefits to the region.

    Testimonial:

    "Gertrude's Children's Hospital is leveraging the power of fast internet to launch telemedicine services to provide specialised neonatal care, which is one of the steps toward Universal Health Care for all, as envisioned in Kenyan government's big 4 agenda," said

    Peter Kanda, Head of Information Services, Gertrude's Children's Hospital.

    Summary:

    The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides vital support to Ugandans who are rebuilding from decades of war while hosting a growing influx of refugees. As a result, the organisation requires reliable and secure 24/7 internet access in order to coordinate its relief efforts across the country.

    Liquid Telecom Infocom has been working with IRC in Uganda over the last year to significantly improve its communications infrastructure, establishing dedicated fibre links between its headquarters in Kampala and other regional offices across the country.

    Thanks to Liquid Telecom Infocom, IRC has seen a marked improvement in its internal communications, enabling information to be relayed quicker between refugee settlements across Uganda.

    Customer:

    IRC's mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. IRC first began working in Uganda in 1998 to help the 1.8 million Ugandans who had been forced to flee their homes as a result of the LRA conflict.

    It has been committed to protecting women and children from violence and exploitation, and helping communities rebuild. As a growing number of South Sudanese refugees flee to Uganda, it has also been working in three of the main districts hosting them.

    IRC teams and partners currently reach more than 1,284,492 people in Uganda with lifesaving support. Its relief work focuses on three key areas; health, education and economic wellbeing.

    Challenges:

    As Uganda struggles to recover from the effects of war and hosts a growing population of refugees, IRC must be able respond to a refugee crisis or emergency anywhere in the country.

    It currently has refugee responses across four districts in Uganda: Kampala, Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe. The most recent of these is the Bidibidi refugee settlement in the district of Yumbe in Northern Uganda, which opened in August 2016 and now supports over 100,000 South Sudanese refugees. A new settlement area with a capacity for up to 80,000 refugees opened recently at Bidibidi, bringing the settlement's total capacity to 180,000. At the same time, IRC continues to be involved in programmes at refugee settlements in both Kiryandongo and Adjumani.

    Communications is critical to the day-to-day work of IRC staff at these settlements, which rely on the internet to process information about refugees as well as access files remotely.

    Solutions:

    Liquid Telecom Infocom deployed a dedicated fibre link between IRC's country headquarters in Kampala and regional offices serving the districts of Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe.

    This fibre connectivity provides IRC with greater bandwidth for its internal applications and systems, as well as offering higher speeds and quality of service. IRC staff also leverage the network to connect with colleagues in IRC's regional Africa headquarters in neighbouring Kenya.

    To ensure IRC has continuous connectivity throughout its operations in Uganda, Liquid Telecom Infocom established a secondary backup WiMAX link, which serves the organisation in the event of a fibre cut.

    Results:

    Reliable and secure internet connectivity has provided the foundations for IRC to advance its IT and communications strategy in Uganda.

    As a result of its improved network service, IRC has been able to migrate more systems, services and applications online to support its staff in Uganda. This includes introducing Office 365 and a new budgeting system.

    IRC is also working on a new virtual private network (VPN), which will bring its Uganda operations in-line with the wider IRC group's IT and communication strategy. It is a mandate from the global headquarters that all IRC country operations migrate to VPN connections in the coming years.

    Most importantly, IRC has been able to rely on Liquid Telecom Infocom's network for continuous 24/7 internet access, driving greater efficiency across all of its operations in Uganda and resulting in faster action at refugee settlements.

    Customer quote:

    “In the past, internet connectivity has been a major challenge for IRC across Uganda. Since becoming a customer of Liquid Telecom Infocom, we have seen a major improvement in our overall communications, which is enabling our staff to relay information quicker and resulting in faster action in the field.”
    Andrew Serekedde, IT Officer at IRC Uganda.

    Liquid Telecom Kenya partnered with the Nakuru County Government to launch high capacity free Wifi in Nakuru. This has seen the residents of Nakuru County enjoy a free, fast and reliable public street Wifi connection, enabling rapid access to information vital for economic and educational advancement.

    The project was awarded the prestigious Changing Lives award at the Africacom Awards, which recognises an inspiring initiative that has significantly impacted African communications in the community and contributed to economic and social development.


     

    In September 2016, Liquid Telecom Kenya partnered with BRCK Education to deliver world-class internet to the remote Kiltamany Primary School in northern Kenya.

    Kiltamany is approximately 160km from the nearest town and 20km from the nearest telecoms base station, which made it difficult for BRCK to connect its Kio Kit; an award-winning, rugged ‘Digital School in a Box'.

    Watch our new video to find out how Liquid Telecom Kenya worked alongside BRCK to transform the speeds of the school's new KioKits, connecting the school with the rest of the region.


     

     

    Liquid Telecom provides satellite backhaul for cellular base stations in rural Zimbabwe, helping Econet move closer to its goal of countrywide coverage. 

    Customer:

    Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is the country's largest provider of mobile cellular services. With large areas of Zimbabwe still without cellular cover, Econet hired Liquid Telecom to provide an advanced VSAT system.

    Challenges:

    Building and operating commercially sustainable networks in remote areas throws up problems including transporting kit on poor roads, generating power in areas with no electricity, and equipment maintenance.

    Solutions:

    We helped Econet improve coverage by implementing a VSAT system which provides backhaul to their rural cellular base stations in Marymount, Masase and Sango Border Post. Our satellite connection includes:

    • a DVB-S2 shared bandwidth downstream carrier – enabling dynamic adjustment of bandwidth to suit demand.

    • dedicated SCPC return links – an always-on connection utilising the latest modulation and coding techniques to maximise efficiency.

    • guaranteed service levels for specific types of traffic, e.g. voice, SMS and Internet traffic.

    Every BTS is connected to a VSAT which then uses a dedicated IP backhaul link back to a state-of-the-art VSAT hub in Harare. The VSATs, satellite backhaul link and hub are all provided by Liquid Telecom. Both the BTS and VSAT run on minimal power so they can be powered by solar.

    Results: 

    Econet is now able to provide GPRS and EDGE coverage to even the most remote villages – changing people's lives today and in the future.

    Testimonial:

    “Liquid Telecom has enabled us to provide cellular services to remote areas where it has always been extremely difficult for operators to make the business model work. Liquid has built a reliable and cost-effective VSAT link and, in the process, has helped change the lives of many people in Zimbabwe for the better.” 
    Francis Mahofa, General Manager, Network Planning and Deployment, Econet

    Customer:

    EcoCash is an innovative mobile payment solution that enables Econet customers to complete simple financial transactions. We helped launch Econet's new mobile money payment product by integrating the Ecocash platform with financial institutions and implementing over 10,000 POS terminals across Zimbabwe.

    Challenges:

    A long-standing wholesale customer of Liquid Telecom, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe provides telecommunications services and payment solutions. To ensure success of the new Ecocash product, they needed to open up the ecosystem by integrating their platform with financial institutions for transfer of funds between the end user, their Ecocash Wallets, banks and third party billers such as DSTV. POS terminals were also required to enable printing of customer and merchant receipts.

    Solutions:

    We implemented a Postilion payments platform for payment switching, as well as HSMs (Hardware Security Modules) and Stratus fault-tolerant servers to ensure uptime. We developed Interfaces to financial institutions, the mobile money payment platform ‘Mobiquity' and third-party billers. And we supplied 10,000 POS terminals – as well as a customised terminal application and management system.

    Testimonial:

    “Liquid's technical expertise, local understanding and previous experience integrating mobile money platforms with financial institutions meant there was simply no partner better placed to help us launch Ecocash. The resulting success has been phenomenal, with uptake by over 2.3m Zimbabweans in less than two years – over 30% of the country's adults.”
    Econet Wireless Zimbabwe employer

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