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New pan-African datacentre firm announces US$500m-plus investment

New pan-African datacentre company Open Access Data Centres (OADC) has announced a US$500-mllion-plus, multi-year investment programme to construct and operate a network of more than 20 world-class, carrier-neutral, GreenStar and Uptime Institute Tier III accredited datacentres across Africa, optimised to serve the needs of the cloud provider and wholesale community.

This follows recent news that the wholesale network infrastructure firm WIOCC Holding Company Limited had created the new datacentre firm and completed a US$200-million debt and equity capital raise, to be used to expand its operation.

According to a statement released to the media, OADC, a WIOCC Group company, will deploy datacentre facilities “strategically” throughout the continent, focusing on key locations for connectivity in each country “… and with each delivering an exceptional client experience - from initial contact to consultative development and deployment of future-proof solutions tailored to clients’ specific needs and to world-class, ISO-certified standards.”

OADC’s Chief Commercial Officer, Kevin McLoughlin, explained: “We are really excited to be working in partnership with the vibrant wholesale community, including cloud and content providers, telcos and internet service providers (ISPs), helping them to expand their businesses into new territories and markets across Africa. With content moving ever closer to the edge of the network for improved availability and performance, a single high-capacity regional data centre in Africa is no longer sufficient. Instead, our clients increasingly require access to a network of high-quality, open-access, carrier-neutral datacentres across multiple countries and cities; one that will sustain and enrich Africa’s digital ecosystem, supporting their needs for flexibility and scalability to meet whatever the future demands. This is exactly what we are putting in place, working in tandem with leading global organisations to support their deployment plans for Africa.”

First two datacentre facilities

OADC stated that it has already started construction of its first two datacentre facilities, sited in Africa’s largest markets: Nigeria and South Africa.

Rapid progress is being made on deploying OADC Lagos on a four-hectare site in Lekki - the largest datacentre campus in West Africa, it added.

OADC Lagos facility, image supplied by company.
OADC Lagos facility, image supplied by company.
OADC Lagos

According to the datacentre company the first phase will be ready for clients from early 2022, and when fully operational this US$200-million, Tier III certified datacentre will support up to 20MW site power load across more than 7,200 square metres of white space – sufficient for up to 3,275 racks and “making it one of the largest facilities on the continent outside South Africa”.

In addition, the site power load is fully scalable to 40MW as market demand grows.

The Equiano submarine cable will be landing directly in the data centre, which is also close to all other major subsea cable landings in Lagos. This makes OADC Lagos the ideal location for companies looking to maximise uptime through direct access to international subsea connectivity, avoiding the costs and risks traditionally associated with vulnerable terrestrial backhaul links from facilities on Victoria Island, OADC confirmed.

OADC Durban, image supplied by company.
OADC Durban, image supplied by company.
OADC Durban

“OADC’s Durban facility is also under construction, and will house the cable landing for the Durban branch of the 2Africa submarine cable. It is also designed to Tier III standards to deliver the highest levels of flexibility, scalability and client service. OADC’s proximity to Durban CBD makes it ideally located to be a key component in Durban-based companies’ primary colocation and disaster recovery solutions,” read an excerpt from the statement.

“In addition to offering direct and completely diverse international connectivity through the new 2Africa submarine cable, which will interconnect 33 countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan and India, OADC Durban will also offer exceptional connectivity into South Africa’s terrestrial fibre network, including direct access to the NLD5 and NLD6 terrestrial fibre routes stretching 1,700km between Durban and Cape Town along South Africa’s southern coastline, and to the NLD1 fibre route direct to Johannesburg,” the company continued.

The initial phase of OADC Durban will be ready for clients in early 2022. When fully operational, the data centre will offer more than 2,200 square metres of white space, with a further 2,000 square metres of A-grade office space also available on-site.

A third OADC facility is being deployed in Mogadishu, Somalia housing the cable landing for the Mogadishu branch of the 2Africa submarine cable and offering a range of colocation services to domestic and international businesses. OADC Mogadishu will be open to clients before the end of 2022.

All OADC facilities will operate as fully open-access, carrier-neutral facilities, supporting cloud providers and the international wholesale community in extending their businesses further into Africa.

The company added that all major fibre network providers will be present in the facilities, and new dedicated diverse fibre routes will be available to existing data centres and internet exchange points (IXPs).

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