SEYCHELLES – Airtel Africa has awarded Ericsson a turnkey project to relocate and modernize their existing network and core services to a new data centre in Seychelles.

Featuring a blend of legacy and virtualized network functions, the partnership will provide Airtel Africa with a new hybrid network cloud environment, bringing significant efficacy gains.

The hybrid network cloud environment will increase network and cost efficiency, reduce time to deploy applications, and enable developers to innovate and bring new applications to Airtel Africa subscribers quicker.

As Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) becomes the new standard for calling throughout the world it becomes necessary for service providers to have efficient infrastructure capable of providing VoLTE services.

The virtualization and cloud-based evolution of the Airtel Africa network will prepare the service provider for VoLTE and 5G network infrastructure in the near future.  

“Our newest partnership with Ericsson to modernize and relocate our network and core services to a new data centre in Seychelles brings us one step closer to our ambition to build a world-class network. The data centre will drive innovation and enhance our core services to help us develop the efficient infrastructure for the introduction of VoLTE and 5G services in the near future,” said Dina Amadou, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Seychelles.

On his part, Todd Ashton, Vice President and Head, Ericsson South & East Africa said that: “Partnering with Airtel Africa in modernizing their network and relocating to the data centre has supported them to meet the rapidly evolving demands of consumers and keep them prepared for the deployment of innovative services around VoLTE and 5G.  We have a long-standing partnership with Airtel Africa that led to multiple achievements in growing and developing the telecommunications network in the region, setting #AfricaInMotion, and we are committed to providing solutions across the region to meet today’s and tomorrow’s communication service needs. With 5G, the opportunities are endless from manufacturing to e-health solutions, only the sky is the limit.”

Onwards and upwards

The Africa data centre market by investment was valued at US$2 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a compound annual growth rate of 15% between 2020 and 2026, according to Reportlinker.

Contributing factors to this growth include renewable power availability, smart city initiatives and increased support for the digital economy, notes the report.

As data demand and cloud adoption continue to cause a surge in traffic, data centres are becoming increasingly important on the continent.

Africa Data Centres says its vision is to unveil various business opportunities and develop a strategic network of partnerships to further strengthen and grow its market share in Africa while providing high-quality interconnected, carrier- and cloud-neutral data centre facilities.

The company recently began the development of a second data centre of up to 20MW of IT load in Kenya and is securing land for a third facility in the country. It has also established other data centres in Lagos, Nigeria and Lomé, Togo.

Examining Africa’s growth trajectory allowed the company to make investment decisions on new locations and commit to expanding selected existing locations, stated Duproz of Africa Data Centres.

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