Local firm plans Sh10bn investment in data centres

Friday November 13 2015

Fibre-optic cable being laid in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO

Fibre-optic cable being laid in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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A group of Kenyan investors under the trade name Icolo.io plan to invest Sh10 billion over 10 years to construct rental data centres.

The massive infrastructure, a part of which is set to be in place by 2016 in Mombasa and Nairobi, will more than double the current data-hosting capacity in the country, which now stands at 500 data centres, against a growing demand.

Icolo Chief Executive Officer Ranjiv Chenikel told the Nation they will set up 580 data stands, acting as a centre for equipment, space and bandwidth for rent.

EAST AFRICA MARKET

Through its 10-year strategy, firm expects to capture the East African market, as well as deepen penetration in the country.

The local firm has partnered with data providers Liquid Telecom, Jamii Telecom, Telecommunication Service Providers of Kenya (Tespok) and Seacom to boost their data capacity.

“Foreign internet firms are all looking at setting base in Kenya, we will provide space as well as good data centres for their servers,” said Mr Chenikel at the launch of their operations on Wednesday.

The firm is looking to plug a gap posed by lack of infrastructure in Kenya plaguing economic transformation, especially in connectivity to rural areas.

Despite the availability of submarine cables such as Eassy, Teams, Seacom and Lion2 in Mombasa, the supply of Internet services is still low in parts of the country.

SOFT BASE

Icolo is seeking to provide a soft base for Internet firms planning to enter Kenya by giving them ready infrastructure for data.

“It is in these remote places where terrestrial or copper-based technologies cannot reach and Internet Service Providers are forced to find creative ways of resolving the issues,” said William Makatiani, the managing director of an Internet security firm, Serianu.

Icolo states that its growth is hinged on the fact that Kenya is a hotbed of Internet growth and there is a huge demand for data infrastructure.