SEACOM invests in fibre capacity to support cloud computing

Pan-African service provider SEACOM has announced plans to double the data capacity on its broadband submarine cable system from 1.5 terabytes to 3 terabytes. The move will see more businesses on the continent utilize emerging technologies such as cloud computing.

SEACOM CEO Byron Clatterbuck says the decision is informed by the increasing demand for cloud-based data processing by companies with multinational operations across the continent.

“It’s not just about connecting from Africa to Europe and Asia anymore,” Clatterbuck said. “A lot of content and computing power is moving onto the continent, so connectivity requirements are becoming more regional, and specifically interregional. With such a complex environment, greater capacity is essential.”

SEACOM is already providing direct broadband access to corporate customers through its SEACOM Business arm.

As a partner to African business, the undersea broadband cable services provider has already enabled cloud-based operations for a variety of companies through high-speed, secure and reliable connectivity to platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Going forward, the company says it plans on expanding further inland, widening fibre access across the continent while targeting large and medium corporations with its premium offerings.

“You will see more terrestrial cables being laid, and the quality of those builds will get better,” Clatterbuck explained. He added “This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges. There is a long way to go in terms of basic infrastructure provision, relating to roads, rails and highways, all of which make it easier and more affordable to deploy fibre-optic networks.

In April, SEACOM announced the conclusion of the agreement for the 100% acquisition of FibreCo Telecommunications in November 2018. FibreCo owns and operates a national open access dark fibre network, providing infrastructure and connectivity services across South Africa. Acknowledging its benefits for the South African economy and local citizens, the South African Competition Commission approved the acquisition in March.

The FibreCo acquisition represents another significant step for SEACOM in fulfilling its vision to increase the company’s 2019 national footprint in South Africa and Africa as a whole through the consolidation of fibre assets. SEACOM believes this is necessary for the evolution of the market, particularly with the increased demand for data owing to the growth in fibre based connectivity and emergence in technologies such as 5G.

The acquisition of FibreCo further enables SEACOM to scale and upgrade its African Ring by connecting its East and West coast submarine assets with a robust network of trans-South African fibre.

While SEACOM connects South Africa to the east coast of Africa, India and Europe, FibreCo network runs along South Africa’s highest-traffic transmission routes and connects over 60 points of presence across the country that include key data centres in major metros like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban and East London.

Additional end-to-end fibre connects the SEACOM subsea cable system (which lands in Mtunzini on the east coast of South Africa) to the WACS cable (which falls at Yzerfontein, on the west coast of the country), ensuring fully redundant high-speed ring protection around the African continent.

By expanding its wholesale portfolio to include several national long-distance services and last mile metro connectivity, SEACOM has become the provider of choice to local and international data communications customers.

Lighting up additional fibre across South Africa also creates a platform for SEACOM to deliver affordable, high-speed Internet connectivity and cloud services to traditionally-underserved mid-tier cities and towns along the new routes.

www.seacom.mu

SEACOM launches direct-to-corporate connectivity and cloud services in Uganda

Pan-African telecoms enabler SEACOM has further extended its corporate market offering into the East African region, under its SEACOM Business brand, by providing its Internet connectivity and cloud services directly to corporate customers in Uganda.

SEACOM has been a leading data connectivity provider in Uganda enabling access though the service provider segment.  It is now bolstering its presence in Kampala by expanding its enterprise reach and will now be able to provide corporate organisations in Uganda with reliable data connectivity and cloud services. SEACOM will provide a corporate-grade consistent service quality by leveraging SEACOM’s existing high-speed fiber-based network infrastructure that extends from Kampala onto its diverse subsea international backbone.

Speaking during the launch, SEACOM’s Managing Director for the Eastern North and East Africa region, Tonny Tugee, said the new development is part of the telecoms provider’s plan to strengthen its position as the regional connectivity provider with the ability to link businesses together within Africa and globally.

“We own and operate our core data backbone network end-to-end, enabling us to offer seamless and cost-effective solutions across the region. In addition, we have highly skilled experts here in Uganda with all the tools customers will need to scale up on the services that they may require now or in future,” said Mr. Tugee.

Since its launch in July 2009, SEACOM has steadily increased the availability of international bandwidth and now operates more than 1.2 Terabits of lit capacity on the SEACOM subsea cable system. SEACOM has risen to the forefront of providing hyper-scale data infrastructure, starting as a carrier’s carrier before diversifying to managed data network services and now cloud computing services. The company aims to leverage its existing high-speed fiber network infrastructure in Uganda that currently covers Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Mbarara and Gulu.

In addition to the services that are already being provided locally through local last-mile partners, SEACOM will be riding on its abundant and scalable capacity to deliver cloud services, dedicated, low latency transmission connectivity and VPN connectivity through international partner networks.

“Migration to Cloud Services will help our customers to improve business processes and significantly reduce costs. This, in addition to our redundant connectivity ring around the continent, will provide an ultimate ‘data home’ for your business,” explained Francis Ndegwa, SEACOM Senior Product Manager.

Recently, SEACOM partnered with Microsoft to launch a cloud service that allows customers to extend their on-premises networks into the cloud without going over the public internet. The service, dubbed Azure ExpressRoute, enables customers to create private connections between data centres and infrastructure on their premises or in a cloud environment.

The ExpressRoute partnership has already recorded success with a number of corporate customers such as M-KOPA – the world’s leading pay-as-you-go off-grid solar company, which is now able to deploy its IT technologies in a seamless and reliable manner to bring power to over 750,000 homes across East Africa.

SEACOM launched the first broadband submarine cable system along the East African coastline in 2009 linking South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique with several major hubs in Europe and Asia. The company has been pivotal in ICT infrastructure development in Africa through ensuring the provision of high-speed, reliable and secure connectivity to cloud services and other online tools across the continent. Today, SEACOM offers a redundant connectivity ring around Africa’s east and west coasts, optimal traffic routing, and resiliency through multiple tier-1 upstream partners in Europe and Asia. It also offers direct connectivity to African routes and content.

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SEACOM adds eight new PoPs across Africa for more African businesses to connect to worldwide cloud facilities

The PoPS will also enable the businesses to connect to the continent’s first Microsoft Azure data centres, in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider SEACOM is adding eight new Points of Presence (PoPs) across Africa to enable more African businesses to connect to cloud facilities worldwide. The PoPS will also enable the businesses to connect to the continent’s first Microsoft Azure data centres, in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  

In Kenya, SEACOM has extended its presence in the brand-new icolo data centre in Mombasa. This full-service facility acts as an on-ramp to SEACOM’s resilient network, providing better support to service provider and enterprise customers in the country. It offers both premium IP/MPLS and transmission services from this new PoP.

SEACOM’s Mombasa PoP is also significant as it connects Kenya’s first truly open-access data centre onto the SEACOM open-access data network. Rare in the region, in comparison to operator-owned data centres, these carrier-neutral facilities encourage competition in the local ICT sphere, helping to increase cloud-based service offerings for customers while driving down costs.  

SEACOM has similar plans for new open-access PoPs that are coming in Nairobi and Kampala. In preparation for higher demand and expanded services to business customers in the region, SEACOM has upgraded its backhaul connecting Mombasa to these new PoPs to include four separate and resilient routes.

In South Africa, SEACOM is deploying a new PoP within the carrier neutral Teraco Bredell data centre. Robert Marston, Global Head of Product at SEACOM, explains, “This new facility is a key location, catering specifically to content providers and enterprise customers. It will also serve as an important data recovery site for many operators.”

Although it already owns Africa’s most extensive international ICT data infrastructure, SEACOM says it is continually investing in strategic upgrades and expanding its PoP footprint within Africa. The company’s recent acquisition of FibreCo has added more than 60 network nodes across its South African network – including six core PoPs in major metros – vastly extending its reach. Internationally, SEACOM is the only African carrier to cover all five of the largest exchange points in Europe (London, Frankfort, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Marseille), in addition to Mumbai.

SEACOM’s PoPs are key to the provider’s direct access offerings, which bypass the public Internet in connecting company networks to digital business solutions. The standard-setting service sees line rates reach from 100 Mbps up to 100 Gigabits per second. By connecting onto a SEACOM PoP that is in closer proximity to their core business sites, customers can experience the SEACOM network’s speed and reliability with more convenience, and generally less cost.

Marston concludes, “The moves that SEACOM is making to improve our infrastructure on the continent will benefit African companies with greater high-speed, reliable and secure connectivity to cloud services and other online tools. One of our major objectives is to add simplicity to cloud migrations wherever possible.”

www.seacom.mu

Seacom to provide direct connectivity for Kenyan businesses to South Africa

Leading Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider, SEACOM has announced that it will now offer direct connections from its East Africa network to public cloud networks and data centres located in South Africa. This follows the launch of Microsoft’s enterprise-grade data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

SEACOM’s offering, available to business customers, will deliver direct, high-speed, dedicated and secure connectivity to the Microsoft data centres via resilient network connections from Kenya to South Africa. The SEACOM subsea cable, which connects Kenya to South Africa, offers a fibre express route that carries Terabytes of capacity with speeds from as low as 50 Mbps up to 10 Gbps. In addition to this, SEACOM’s recent acquisition of FibreCo’s network allows it to extend this capability across South Africa and into the major data centres where cloud providers, such as Microsoft, have a presence.

Ten years ago, Pan-African Internet provider SEACOM first brought its high-speed Internet connectivity directly to Africa, opening the continent to the technological advancements we enjoy today. In 2016, SEACOM upscaled its commitment to Africa, offering business customers high-speed, reliable Internet connectivity and cloud-based business solutions, without relying on middlemen.

Through years of experience with global cloud providers such as Microsoft, SEACOM has provided solutions to businesses that are considering cloud migration. One such example is the launch of the Azure ExpressRoute offering together with Microsoft, that allows SEACOM customers to extend their on-premises networks into the cloud without going over the public Internet. Until now, this solution had been limited to data centres outside of the African continent.

The opportunity for Kenyan businesses to leverage SEACOM’s ExpressRoute to connect directly and reliably to these Microsoft data centres will enable more Kenyan businesses to embrace the cloud and enhance digitisation.

www.seacom.mu