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Increased investment by global cloud providers is driving wider availability of internet-based digital services across Africa with content providers and enterprises looking to expand into the continent and businesses committing to moving more of their functions to the cloud. As a result, firms are busy looking to find regional infrastructure providers and the latest example of this phenomenon is the arrival of global social media platform TikTok to the growing community of NAPAfrica.
Established in 2012, NAPAfrica has over 560 members from more than 50 countries actively peering and claims to be Africa's leading internet exchange point (IXP), the continent’s largest aggregation point and the sixth largest exchange globally by number of members. NAPAfrica operates IXPs within the Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg datacentres of carrier-neutral colocation provider Teraco, the first provider of highly resilient, vendor-neutral data environments in sub-Saharan Africa.
With a stated founding goal of helping to improve internet access for Africa, the company sees itself as playing a pivotal role in transforming Africa’s internet access and interconnection market.
Home to global carriers, cloud providers, content delivery networks, ISPs, internet security, and gaming platforms, the company claims that in a world where ease of interconnection, seamless peering arrangements, and platform reliability are essential, its internet exchange delivers. It says enterprises are taking advantage of the benefits of peering by connecting with cloud deployments, networks, security providers, and content providers within the company’s ecosystem to move to a digital economy.
NAPAfrica says increased network demand to service remote users has driven the adoption of key cloud and security applications. These include Akamai, Amazon, Cloudflare, Microsoft and Zscaler.
NAPAfrica also announced a significant milestone in its growth by surpassing the 4Tbps traffic milestone, representing a 33% growth in traffic volumes in under a year. NAPAfrica reached the 3Tbps traffic threshold in March 2023.
“The presence of over 250 carriers and networks is the drawcard for content providers like TikTok to join the exchange. One of the most significant benefits of an active peering community is the cost-effective, efficient distribution of content to the consumer – and the demand for business services like cloud and entertainment just continues to increase,” said Michele McCann, head of platforms at Teraco.
“This continued surge in data traffic is primarily thanks to an African internet community that has embraced the value of peering, the increasing use of data-intensive applications, enterprises continuing to move into the cloud, and the ever-increasing demand for video, content, and gaming delivery services. These trends have driven greater traffic levels between cloud and service providers, enterprises, and end-users. This rapid traffic growth mirrors the increasing demand by users for content and cloud services via NAPAfrica. Our steadfast commitment lies in propelling digital transformation throughout Africa, empowering our clients to cater to their user communities across the continent seamlessly.”
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