Teraco Data Environments, South Africa’s first provider of vendor neutral data centres, has announced that it has now connected with the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), which interconnects over 550 IP networks, making it the world’s leading Internet hub. The direct link to Teraco’s peering service NAPAfrica, which is effective from March 2013, brings Africa substantially closer to Europe in terms of connectivity, and ultimately offers endless opportunities for European carriers to connect across Africa.
Lex van Wyk, chief executive officer of Teraco Data Environments, says that the perfect storm now exists for African Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to tap further into global carrier networks through vendor-neutral peering at NAPAfrica, thereby offering African consumers access to high speed connections at a dramatically reduced cost as well as rich global content from international carriers.
Job Witteman, chief executive officer of AMS-IX, says that the connection between Teraco and AMS-IX provides exciting opportunities through reduced rate connections to Africa and likewise from Teraco’s peering point for African carriers to its own exchange. “By peering at NAPAfrica in Teraco, we are able to broaden our own horizons into the African continent and allow African parties to access more than 550 IP networks at our exchange. We’re excited to be able to play our part in bringing global content to citizens across Africa in this way.”
Van Wyk says that with the initial introduction of route servers by NAPAfrica early in 2012 there has been a subsequent overall reduction in ISP operating costs in the South African market through the simplification of the peering process. He says that route servers lower the barrier to entry for African ISPs that do not necessarily have the resources or hardware to manage multiple connections to numerous peers. There are over 50 peers live at NAPAfrica with access to over 21 local and international carriers.
Teraco offers the choice of both multi-lateral and bi-lateral peering which then helps all members to connect to the exchange based on what is preferable to their business. Teraco is the most connected data centre facility in Africa already offering connectivity to major international carriers including SAT3/SAFE, Seacom, WACS and EASSy; mobile carriers including Vodacom, MTN and Cell C; local carriers including Telkom, Neotel and Broadband Infraco, fibre infrastructure provider Dark Fibre Africa, and many more.
“Colocation in a facility such as Teraco creates a virtual marketplace for ISPs and the providers of various products and technologies to white label, buy and sell services within the data centre without incurring transit costs to reach one another’s infrastructure. Through NAPAfrica and Africa Cloud eXchange (ACX) these ecosystems are a reality, providing smaller ISPs and many start-ups with world class infrastructure and enabling them to compete on an equal footing,” says van Wyk.
Van Wyk says that joining the Teraco environment should be equally attractive to international carriers looking to tap into mobile data potential on the African continent. “Peering through a vendor-neutral facility like NAPAfrica provides a simple and secure portal for international carriers to connect with African carriers and ISPs.”