Corporate telecommunications service provider MTN Business plans to build data centres in as many as five African countries in 2010.
That’s the word from MTN Business head Angela Gahagan, who says there is significant demand for data centre services in countries elsewhere in Africa.
Though MTN Business must still decide which markets it will target first, Gahagan says it is likely that it will build facilities in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire this year.
The decision to expand more aggressively in Africa comes on the back of MTN Business winning a significant contract last year from Standard Bank. The deal will see MTN Business rolling out the banking group’s network infrastructure footprint in 17 countries across the continent.
“The idea, eventually, is to offer MTN Business services in all MTN territories in Africa,” says Gahagan. “There is a lot of interest from places like Ghana where people want the full suite of services.”
She says the business cases for each market are still being developed and so she can’t provide details yet of how much the investment will cost MTN Business. But she says the idea is to build a data centre in each of MTN’s key African markets.
“We have the knowledge of these countries already because we operate mobile businesses there,” she says. “Some markets, like Uganda, have fibre in the ground already.”
The data centres will complement MTN’s investment in two new submarine cable systems, the East African Submarine System and the the West African Cable System.
MTN rival Vodacom is also planning to build data centres on the continent. The group’s Vodacom Business division recently said it was going to build two new data centre facilities, one in Nigeria and another in East Africa, either in Tanzania or Kenya. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral