Japanese ICT firm in African first

7 December 2009

In a move demonstrating that the liberalisation of the South African telecommunications market has piqued international interest, UK-based Telehouse is partnering with Teraco Data Environments to establish its carrier-neutral data centre facilities in the country.

Under the agreement, dedicated data centre space within Teraco Cape Town and Johannesburg will be opened under the Telehouse brand and will be known as Telehouse Johannesburg and Telehouse Cape Town respectively.

The facilities will be operated, supported and maintained by Teraco to Telehouse’s global operating standards, which include detailed attention to power, cooling, security and customer-focused operations.

“Telehouse has an impressive heritage in the data centre industry, a very strong international carrier customer base and a reputation for high levels of reliability and security,” Teraco MD Lex van Wyk said in a statement last week.

“We have built a unique facility in South Africa and we look forward, through Telehouse’s global relationships, to further extending the choice of carriers, networks and service providers available to customers within our facilities.”

Carrier neutral data centres

Telehouse was the first company to pioneer the carrier neutral data centre market globally. It is owned by KDDI, the world’s 10th largest carrier, headquartered in Tokyo, and the expansion into South Africa is the first entry by a major Japanese telecoms company into the African continent.

The business started in 1988 in Docklands, London and has grown to now house The London Internet Exchange (LINX), over 60 carriers and over 700 ISPs, service providers, information and communication technology companies and enterprise customers in London. It also has over 20 data centres worldwide, spanning the UK, France, USA and Asia.

Telehouse business development director Andrew Fray said the partnership was a major step forward for the company as it sought to establish its footprint in Africa, and that Teraco was an ideal partner as it was the first carrier neutral and supplier neutral data centre operator in South Africa.

This would enable Telehouse to offer its customers secure managed colocation space in two major cities and a one-stop-shop for those seeking space in the UK, South Africa and Telehouse locations around the world, he said.

Fray added that it was a great opportunity for carriers, ISPs and enterprise customers to establish a firm foothold in Africa to support their critical ICT infrastructure.

Deregulation, rapid evolution

Teraco’s Cape Town site was opened in February 2009 and the Johannesburg site will open in early 2010, with both sites offering room for further expansion.

According to the statement, Telehouse Johannesburg and Cape Town will be attractive to any multinational company with physical operations in southern Africa, particularly as the telecoms market deregulates and diversifies, thereby making South Africa a natural communications hub in the region.

“With deregulation, we can predict rapid evolution of the market over the next two years,” Van Wyk said. “Already we are seeing significant activity in the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and now is a good time for companies to build a reliable point of presence here.”

SAinfo reporter

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