MDXi, a dominant data centre startup in West Africa has highlighted the need for edge data centres to help consumers in Africa enjoy great online experiences with significantly less latency and reducing the cost of transit. Gbenga Adegbiji, MDXi’s general manager for the company’s expansion into West Africa, stated an ACG Research which projects that catching local content in a metro with a population of around 1 million can cause a 50% reduction of the cost compared to a prolonged method of transport within five years.
Mr. Adegbiji was taking during the recently concluded Data Centre Dynamics Conference that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was giving a talk on the theme ‘Deploying at the Edge – Bringing content closer to West African eyeballs.” He challenged the dominant providers of application and content in Africa to maximize the rising edge data space to have a traffic exchange in Africa. According to him, this will significantly reduce costs, improve content space performance and allow the use of new technology in the continent like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Electronic Gaming.
Adegbiji said that the 1.3 people in the continent bring huge opportunities. It has the highest growing digital consumer market globally estimated to get to 600 million in the seven years to come and a GDP growth of 6-7% by 2020. Adegbij added that many of the main concerns about the continent had been worked out. Local data centres have gone beyond issues of the power supply by leapfrogging distribution bottlenecks and traditional transmission with direct grid connections. Moreover, local colocation tools are being put up to meet the high requirements and less domestic data centres awards of sports industries and worldwide recognition like Uptime Institute’s Tier III Constructed Facility certification (TCCF), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), 27001 and ISO 9001 certifications. He said that increased rate of investments with growth in fibre infrastructure and increased number of local companies developing networks that are easily accessible to improve interconnection opportunities.
Geography cannot allow many latency issues to be resolved by the use of technology. Therefore, global players should augment the portfolios of their data centres with edge installations more so in Nigeria. This will help to reap a lot from the internet. Adegji added that Nigeria is a strategic location for hypersaline players who are focused in West Africa to give real-time processing of data. This is given the fact that Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, the 8th user of internet globally and 45% of internet users in Africa. The country is also expected to be the third most populous country by 2050. The high Internet Exchange Points with access by the use of local interconnection points, allows the likes of MDXi to offer a platform for the various network to interconnect directly with other different operators. It also allows them to exchange Nigerian traffic to assure lower costs of bandwidth and better margins pricing for owners of content and OTTs. Furthermore, it offers less latency with a better experience for users locally.
According to him, MDXi is developing a Data Centre space within West Africa. This is evident from its investment in Tier III Lekki Data Centre in Lagos. It is also planning to put up others in Dakar Senegal, Abidjan Cote D Ivory, Accra Ghana, and Sagamu Ogun State. This will be part of its commitment in ensuring digital transformation across the region by investing in data centers and fibre infrastructure.