Pan-African wholesaler carrier Liquid Telecom has launched a new data center company that is among the largest in East and Central Africa to offer, among other services, dedicated hosting, interconnect services, data recovery and application and cloud services to network providers.
The new company, East Africa Data Center Ltd., aims provide technology and services to solve data storage problems currently facing the African region.
The biggest challenges of building new data centers in the region have always been connectivity, security and power supply problems.
Several African countries including Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Malawi and South Africa are faced with power outages due to lack of investment in renewable energy and electricity power generation. Many African governments are currently facing the challenge of raising funds to invest in power generation to ensure the region has power to support growth of the telecom sector.
With this in mind, the new company's 11kV power service is backed up by two diesel generators. The company hopes that the new data center will ease the region's reliance on Europe and the U.S. for data backup and broadband services.
Dan Kwach, general manager at East Africa Data Center, said quality data centers are important elements in the creation of an independent African telecom infrastructure.
He said the company's significant investment in the data center has been driven by demand from across Africa.
Kwach said by keeping African data in Africa, "we can continue to help to build Africa's digital future."
The construction of the data center by Liquid Telecom comes in the wake of continued take-up of IT by many companies in the region, which has caused an increase in demand for safer data storage facilities.
Africa's subscriber base for voice communication is still expanding but the growth curve has began to flatten in the region's more mature markets, including South African and Nigeria, forcing operators to compete more aggressive on the provision of data services.
The raise in data usage has mainly been caused by a number of undersea cables servicing the region. The cable companies are competing for customers and have significantly lowered wholesale broadband pricing to mobile operators. In some cases, operators providing data services are also investors in the cable system.
Andrew Makanya, managing director for Internet solution Zambia, said Zambia, like many other countries in the region, needs data storage facilities that are reliable and secure.
"The idea of taking data to other regions of the world for storage has never been good for security purposes. But the coming of such big data centers will help the region store data within the region," Makanya said.