DE-CIX has announced plans to establish interconnection platforms across Africa through the DE-CIX as a Service (DaaS) partner model. As an initial step on the continent, DE-CIX has established strategic partnerships to host the Africa Cloud Interconnection Exchange (AF-CIX) at the Rack Centre data center in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as with the ISP and hosting provider UNITED S.A. in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to establish the Africa Congo Internet Exchange (ACIX), and with the Libyan International Telecom Company (LITC) in Tripoli.
All three new African platforms are aimed to be ready for service by the end of 2022, delivering international capabilities and next-generation interconnection services, including cloud connectivity, to the respective markets. The partners will also extend the coverage of their platforms to further territories using their own infrastructure, enabling an initial reach of the platforms to a total of 9 African countries – in addition to the three home markets, coverage will also span Cameroon, Congo, the Republic of Central Africa, Chad, Niger, and Sudan.
The DE-CIX-as-a-Service program offers a turn-key solution for the operation of an interconnection fabric and the development of a connectivity ecosystem for data center operators or other third parties. DE-CIX is planning to open more locations in various regions and metro markets on the African continent in 2022 and beyond.
With this announcement, the number of interconnection platforms operated and announced by DE-CIX under the DaaS model passes the milestone of 10 and rises to 12, joining such success stories as “UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX” in Dubai and “SEE-CIX powered by DE-CIX” in Athens. The DaaS program is a fully-fledged turn-key solution for building new ecosystems. It includes a set of services – such as installation, maintenance, provisioning, marketing, and sales support – designed for data center operators or other third parties to create their own interconnection platform fully operated by DE-CIX.
“The hundreds of millions of users in Africa deserve digital services of state-of-the-art quality. This requires the best local infrastructure possible. DE-CIX is delighted to contribute to this to serve the broader need for interconnection, with modern interconnection services designed for businesses such as cloud connectivity and direct access to cloud-based applications. It’s time for Digital Africa,” explains Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International. “We will start with three complementary markets: Nigeria is a strong economic motor that contributes a huge amount of African digital content; the DRC has an excellent geographical position to bridge east and west in the African equatorial corridor; Libya’s unique geographical location, being at the heart of the northern coast of Africa and facing Europe, offers an alternate route for traffic and low-latency connectivity between Africa and Europe. DE-CIX is proud to support Rack Centre, UNITED, and LITC in the operation of the new interconnection platforms, which are set to become the African crossroads for intra and inter-continental traffic flows, creating both east-west and north-south connectivity corridors for the continent. This will unleash the potential of these established and emerging digital economies by providing better performance and user experience of content and applications, and affordable and high-quality Internet access for enterprises and individuals.”
DE-CIX is building connectivity bridges to and within Africa
Lagos, in Nigeria – the most populous country and strongest economy in Africa – is a major strategic interconnection hub for the continent. It offers a robust local interconnection infrastructure to serve a growing domestic demand closer to the end users. This is boosted by booming Internet and mobile usage, a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the so-called “Nollywood” – a flourishing media and entertainment industry. With six international submarine cables landing in the metro area and two more expected by 2023, Nigeria is well positioned on the West Coast of Africa, able to offer a low-latency gateway to Europe through Lisbon.
Kinshasa (DRC) is strategically located between the two most densely populated regions of the African continent. Forming an interconnection bridge between the neighboring countries from the Atlantic on the west to the Indian Ocean on the east, the new interconnection platform will, over time, create a connectivity corridor across equatorial Africa, with Kinshasa as the hub where networks can exchange data and house content at a significantly reduced latency to users.
Libya is located on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, and its coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean. Libya has built a strong international connectivity footprint, with 3 different submarine cables landing on its shores and one planned for 2024. These link the east and west Libyan coast with Europe and Asia, offering the shortest path to Africa.