Liquid Telecom expands South Africa data centres
Thu 1 Feb 2018
South African telco Liquid Telecom has invested 1.3 billion Rand (approx. £77 million) into its data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town in order to bring cloud providers to Africa.
As a result of the investment, the sites will more than double in size. The Johannesburg site will provide a power capacity of 7MW, and the Cape Town site will provide 5.5MW.
They will both be carrier-neutral and branded as South Africa Data Centre rather than under Liquid Telecom’s brand. According to Angus Hay, who is heading up the data centres, this is a deliberate attempt to assure competitors that Liquid Telecom will not receive preferential treatment.
Speaking to TechCentral, Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick said: “On the data centres alone, we have invested over R1.3bn in the last 12 months. For the first time, a lot of the cloud providers will be hosted here in Africa.
“Until now, if you wanted to access cloud services, you’ve been accessing a data centre in Ireland or Europe or the US. They’ve never been hosted here in Africa. This means huge improvements in quality and latency for all the cloud services we’re using and the ones we are yet to use.”
The firm acquired Neotel for R6.5bn from Tata Communications a year ago, which Rudnik believes has helped improve the company’s position. “We’ve had a very busy 12 months since the acquisition of Neotel was finalised,” he said.
“You’ll recall that we started with the rebranding of the company to Liquid Telecom Neotel. It’s now been completely rebranded to Liquid Telecom. We’ve been putting a lot of effort and investment into the network. Some of the customer dissatisfaction we had a year ago is now gone. We still have a way to go, though.”
Though the company didn’t comment on specific clients, there has, according to TechCentral, been talk of Microsoft using one of the facilities to bring Azure to South Africa. Microsoft announced last year that it will be building two of its own Azure data centres in the country, while AWS has also expressed an interest in doing the same.