(Ecofin Agency) - Since 2020, demand for broadband internet has been growing due to the accelerated digital transformation and shift in usage. The growing market is therefore attracting international investors.
UK operator London Internet Exchange (LINX) announced, Monday (June 13), a strategic partnership with Nairobi-based data center company IXAfrica. Thanks to the partnership, LINX will establish an interconnection facility in Nairobi, marking its entrance into Africa.
The partnership will help boost interconnectivity in the region and allow IXAfrica’s clients “and those in other data centers in the region, access to almost 1,000 networks worldwide and puts Nairobi on the map for global connectivity.”
The new partnership is part of London Internet Exchange's global expansion plan. It comes just months after the company signed a similar agreement in the Middle East with Saudi operator STC, to extend interconnection services to new Internet exchange points in Riyadh and Dammam. Also, on June 1, 2022, another internet exchange operator, Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX), announced the establishment of interconnection hubs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya, and Nigeria, marking the beginning of its African expansion.
The strong interest of major Internet exchanges in the African market is driven by the increase in Internet traffic across the continent amid an accelerated digital transformation and new consumption patterns. The interest is also driven by the growing number of subsea cable infrastructures landing on the continent, including Google's Equiano and Facebook's 2Africa. Recently, Kenya connected to PEACE, its sixth subsea cable system.
According to the Internet Society (Isoc), Africa should emulate the experience of Nigeria and Kenya by investing in Internet exchange points to improve connectivity on the continent and reduce access costs. Thanks to IXPs, the two countries increased the volume of internet traffic they exchange from 30 to 70 percent in 2020. By doing so, they save on expensive and recurring IP transit costs, drastically reduce latency, and increase content usage and internet service providers’ revenues.
“Kenya is a key location for East African connectivity. We are very much looking forward to working with IXAfrica to help further develop interconnection services for networks throughout the region. Working with local partners to build infrastructure and improve local and regional connectivity is very much in the spirit of LINX and its community. It’s a very exciting project for LINX to be involved in,” indicates Nurani Nimpuno, LINX Head of Global Engagement.
Isaac K. Kassouwi