Cape Town – Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom announced at AfricaCom on Tuesday that it has extended the availability of the cloud-based Microsoft Azure architecture "from the Cape to Cairo".
Liquid Telecom already has five data centres on the continent, which are connected with a fibre network of close to 70 000km.
The company says its ecosystem brings cloud services in Africa together, offering customers a one-stop solution for Microsoft cloud computing, connectivity and professional services.
Nic Rudnick, group CEO of Liquid Telecom, explained that, by extending the reach of Microsoft Azure to an increasing number of countries on the continent, customers will have access to a single solution for their Microsoft Azure strategy.
"This is underpinned by (our) fibre network, strategically located data centres, a hybrid cloud architecture covering Azure and the Azure Stack, and an ExpressRoute connection to maximise the benefits of the cloud," said Rudnick.
"Together, Microsoft and Liquid Telecom are creating a modern business foundation for customers in Africa. For the first time people in Africa will be able to buy access to these services locally and in local currency and only pay for what they use, making it more affordable."
Liquid Telecom provides scale-out Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda, with more countries scheduled to go live during 2019.
According to Reshaad Sha, CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa, the new development in the group's offering in Africa allows for the cloud to be "co-located and closer" to its actual users.
"As location and data privacy laws change, we find governments want their data located in their own country. Azure, therefore, allows us to be 'closer' to our customers," he said.
Rudnick added that the importance of the new announcement is that for the first time the cloud will be hosted in Africa as opposed to being hosted somewhere in Europe or Ireland, for instance, and then just accessed from Africa.
"The investment we made in the combination of fibre networks and our data centres means the capacity is hosted within Africa and also the content that people are creating on the continent as well as their data," he said.
"As more and more data residency requirements come in, it is a good data security in any case not to have your data just stored 'somewhere'."
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