Data Centers: the Hottest Growth Area in the African ICT Market?

The African data center colocation market is arguably the hottest growth area in the African ICT market, according to a new report by research and analytics firm Xalam Analytics.

The report, titled “African Data Center Boom” notes that African data center market growth has reached an inflection point. “More multi-tenant data center facilities will be built across Africa over the next two years than were established over the past three combined. Data center colocation space, power, and revenue are all set to double over the next five years.”

This, the report says, reflects the vital role played by data center facilities as Africa enters the fourth industrial revolution. “Data centers are critical infrastructure for African digital transformation, nearly as much as mobile data or fibre connectivity” notes Guy Zibi, Xalam Principal Analyst and one of the authors of the report. “The supercharged growth we are starting to see is a testimony to their increasing importance.”

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Why AWS went to Bahrain – and what that means for Africa

This market brief is available for download to Xalam members only (free registration required)

Last year, global cloud services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it would open its first AWS Middle East region in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bahrain choice was a surprise for most observers of Middle East cloud and hosting markets, for it bucked conventional Middle East cloud wisdom. Alibaba, Microsoft and Google are all building their Middle East cloud regions out of Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, the region’s largest data center metros.

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Fixing Rwanda’s Ailing 4G Wholesale Model

Rwanda’s 4G wholesale model seemed like a good idea when it was first conceived. But it hasn’t been working, and should be scrapped.

In 2013, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) set up a joint venture, Olleh Rwanda Networks with South Korea’s KT Corp, to roll out a 4G network that would cover 95% of the country. KT Corp pledged to invest $140m in the project; for its equity stake, the GoR contributed its (then-)newly built country-wide fibre infrastructure, 4G spectrum and a wholesale-only operator licence. The new venture was allocated spectrum in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands, and critically, a 25-year exclusivity to operate a 4G network.

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