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Kenya: recent IT entrant launches new data centres

Kenya , 11 Nov 2015

Kenya: recent IT entrant launches new data centres

Icolo, a new player in the IT space in Kenya, has announced plans to launch two new data centres in Nairobi and Mombasa, to provide colocation services.

The company will initially focus on establishing the Mombasa data centre (MBA One) that will be carrier neutral and allow all internet service providers to pass their capacity through the facility.

Speaking at the launch in Nairobi, Icolo CEO Ranjith Cherickel said that the decision to set up in Nairobi was propelled by the internet and broadband growth projections in the coming years, making Africa the fastest growing continent in terms of connectivity.

"Africa is very exciting because we have 20 times growth in data. In Kenya we are growing an average of 15 times and almost all of that has been driven by mobile phones," Cherickel said.

"By the end of the decade we expect that there will be 930 million mobile subscriptions where 557 million will be on smartphones," he said, justifying the need of regional data centres in Africa.

Cherickel said that all the undersea cables that have been connected in Kenya land in Mombasa, hence their decision to firstly set up there, and provide faster connection to the centre.

He added that by hosting data locally, ISPs will save the international bandwidth costs and in time lower the cost of broadband in Africa.

The speed of accessing data being hosted outside the country would be 200 to 900 milliseconds compared to 20 to 70 milliseconds when hosted within the country. This gives internet users faster access to information.

The data centres will be PCI-DSS certified giving them the right to host credit card transaction and information, which is in line with attempts to attract the banking sector.

The Mombasa facility has cost approximately between US$4 and 5 million to set up and will have 180 racks spread over 4500sq feet. It is scheduled to open by July 2016. Nairobi's facility is likely to cost more according to Cherickel and is expected to open in September 2016, .

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