By Martin Ekpeke
An Information and Communications Technology expert, Dr. Krish Ranganath has drawn the attention of stakeholders in the ICT sector to the risk of limiting data and cloud services to Lagos and Abuja, which he stated is less than 10 percent of the population of Nigeria.
Dr. Krish, who was speaking at Data Center and Cloud Round-table, organized by Cyber Africa, noted that though Lagos is Nigeria’s most populous city and commercial nerve of the country, a fundamental ICT infrastructure such as Data Centre and Cloud must grow exponentially across if Nigeria for the set objectives to be achieved.
“Studies have shown that Nigeria will be spending several billions of Dollars on Information Communications Technology (ICT), products and services by 2019. We must advocate that even though the market is still developing with multiple Data Centers in Lagos and Abuja, a minimum of 37 Data Centers need to be built to address local hosting and local cloud service delivery, which also takes the content near to the end user” Dr. Krish, who is the Chief Technology Officer at Medallion Communications Limited said.
He argues that since most critical services being used in Nigeria is hosted in the Cloud, connectivity can only be attained with Data centers in each of the States or critical regional states of the country, as remote locations where there is no or limited connectivity cannot access the cloud. He posited that intercity connectivity has to be improved to get the best experience of the internet.
He also asserted that though, the deployment of International Connectivity may be undermining the development of local cloud services as nearly 750,000 miles of cable already connect the continent to support our insatiable demand for communication and entertainment, having such global connectivity is still great as it also helps to have faster access to the contents that is hosted globally.
Dr. Krish cited content providers like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon who now own or lease more than half of the undersea bandwidth globally. He believes this is good for places like Lagos, where people can enjoy the fast access to the cloud even without deployment of localized cloud infrastructure, but called for the need to expand the edge network within the country to enable the users to have a better experience and even more revenue generation.
Asked about what Medallion is doing to support the drive, Dr. Krish revealed that Medallion is building additional Data centers in Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Asaba, Kano, Ibadan as Phase 1 to be completed in 18 months other than the ongoing expansion in Lagos and Abuja.
“Apart from expanding Data Centre across Nigeria, we are also in the process of building nine additional connected Data Centers in selected West African Countries which Include Accra, Togo, Abidjan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Niamey and Cameroon to contribute to the cloud growth in West Africa,” he added.