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Zenlayer and MainOne Partner to Expand Connections in and out of West Africa

Zenlayer and MainOne have partnered to greatly expand connectivity between international companies and West Africa. As an edge cloud provider with a global private backbone and far-reaching connections, Zenlayer will pave the way for businesses to seamlessly connect with West Africa’s technological hub in Nigeria. MDXi Lekki, MainOne’s Tier III data centre in Lagos, will be the primary point of presence (PoP) for these connections.

The MDXi Lekki data centre will provide quick entry and scale-up opportunities for international companies looking to establish a presence in West Africa. It is the largest purpose-built commercial data centre in West Africa designed with a strong focus on high power availability, security and open-access connectivity. It offers service level agreements (SLAs) of up to 99.99%, with investments in a private substation guaranteeing 95% grid power availability, alongside backup generators in a N+1 configuration. The Tier III data centre currently provides services to a large customer base made up of local and global businesses, providing world-class interconnection via fiber to over 30 telecom operators in the West African telecom ecosystem; and plays host to the West Africa Internet Exchange (WAF-IX) and Nigerian Internet Exchange (IXPN).

Speaking on the data centre, MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke stated, “We are extremely proud of MDXi Lekki. The data centre has been effective in reducing latency and network delay from 200 ms to 100 ms for businesses that had previously been accessing services through Europe and Singapore. Within a few years of operation, MDXi has become the go-to destination for global content seeking a home close to the West African users and for local companies who have digitized their operations and are seeking to enable their customers do business online.”

Zenlayer CEO and Founder Joe Zhu has been impressed by MainOne’s dedication to improving connectivity in West Africa. “Zenlayer is always looking for partners with deep local expertise. MainOne not only has the expertise, they’ve been putting it into practice by deploying multiple PoPs, a 7,000 km submarine cable, and an IP/MPLS network. They’re a perfect partner for us as we introduce our clients to the growing West African market.”

Speaking on the partnership, Director of MDXi, Gbenga Adegbiji said, “We’re excited to be working with Zenlayer as a partner. We want to expand our offerings beyond infrastructure, and Zenlayer’s SD-WAN and Cloud Networking services will be very appealing to our Cloud customers. Furthermore, international users will be able to instantly purchase compute and networking services from any of our data centres across the West African data region through Zenlayer’s Customer Portal. It is a win-win for both our companies, and we are very excited about this partnership.”

Internet growth in Africa has been explosive in recent years. Just 2% of the population had access to the internet in 2005. Last year, that number had climbed to 24% and as of August 2019 was already as high as 40%. West Africa is home to more than 187 million of those internet users, with 56% of them located in Nigeria. That effectively places Nigeria at the centre of Africa’s technological revolution.

MainOne’s submarine cable and data center infrastructure have been critical enablers of African broadband services. As the largest wholesale internet service provider across West Africa, MainOne continues to expand its footprint having recently connected Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal to its submarine cable system and launched its Abidjan Data Centre, with plans to launch the Appolonia Accra Data Centre in Ghana in 2020. The MainOne system traverses the coast of West Africa with fully operational landing stations from Seixal in Portugal through Accra in Ghana to Lagos in Nigeria, the addition of new branches in Dakar, Senegal and Grand Bassam, Cote D’Ivoire and additional branching units in Morocco and Tenerife yet to be connected.

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