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africa|engineering|engineering-news|service|services|infrastructure|cables

Africa’s first software defined network offers ‘pay as you use’ bandwidth for data centres

9th November 2022

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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Wholesale network provider Liquid Dataport has launched Africa’s first software defined network (SDN) service.

The service involves a client-controlled network that can be scaled and customised to suit the needs of individual businesses.

The software solution provides instant quotes that are tailor-made to companies’ bandwidth and route requirements.

Liquid Dataport’s SDN ushers in flexibility and controllability for small, medium-sized and large enterprises alike. CEO David Eurin says this improved visibility allows users to define secure network pathways and offers customers better control than most other network options.

“If African businesses are to level the playing field against their counterparts in more developed economies, SDN is the answer,” he states, adding that customers now expect to pay for services as they consume them.

Eurin elaborates that SDN allows customers to select and scale their network requirements according to their individual needs and only pay for what they use.

Phase 1 of the SDN will be deployed in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, the UK and France, with more countries and points of presence to follow within the next year.

The SDN is accessed through Liquid Dataport’s website that allows for efficient and easy selection for checking costs, choosing speed and bandwith, managing traffic demand and choosing destinations.

Eurin notes that one of the most significant benefits of customers partnering with Liquid Dataport is that the SDN solution is deployed on the company’s owned network; therefore, customers can break away from the traditional approach of siloed networking and take advantage of Liquid Dataport’s 100 000 km fibre backbone across the continent.

The company also has 11 subsea cables and 5 000 satellite connections, which forms part of its “One Digital Africa” network. Liquid Dataport has won the award for Best African Wholesale Carrier for eleven consecutive years at the Global Carrier Awards.

Liquid Dataport is targeting existing customers with data centres on its parent company Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ network with this initial rollout of SDN.

Commenting on Africa’s connectivity inhibitors, Eurin tells Engineering News that Africa’s lack of infrastructure makes it harder to achieve universal access, as does its geography in many instances. However, he is confident that the continent holds great prospects for growing digital economies, especially if supportive policies such as the African Continental Free Trade Area start being implemented.

He suggests that, at country-level, governments should make the process of licensing easier. Otherwise, digital development will be left to the wayside.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies hosted Engineering News in Cape Town for Africa Tech Festival 2022.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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