In 2017, SEACOM will aggressively expand its coverage and grow its solutions portfolio for enterprise and operator customers.
This is according to SEACOM CEO Byron Clatterbuck, who said they made substantial investments in expanding network infrastructure during 2016 – which will continue during 2017.
“Over the course of 2017, SEACOM plans to bolster its position in the corporate markets in southern Africa and east Africa,” said Clatterbuck.
In 2016, it launched its first IP point of presence (PoP) in Kigali, Rwanda, and plans to add a PoP in Gaborone, Botswana.
SEACOM will also upgrade network bandwidth to cater for the growth of “big data”.
Another priority for SEACOM lies in enhancing its solutions portfolio for enterprise and operator customers.
During 2016, SEACOM increased the value-added services – including voice and security – in its enterprise product portfolio.
“During 2017, SEACOM will introduce new managed services for enterprises and invest in technologies such as software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN), network function virtualisation (NFV), and software-defined networks (SDN),” said Clatterbuck.
“These technologies will allow SEACOM more flexibility as it grows, reduce infrastructure costs, and enable SEACOM to roll out robust cloud computing offerings for enterprise customers.”
SEACOM also hit a milestone with the launch of its business services for corporate customers in Kenya in August 2016 – reaching a total of 1,000 enterprise customers by November.
“SEACOM now has more than 100 channel partners across Africa which support these enterprise customers, and is working with them to deliver more than 100 new services each month,” said Clatterbuck.
SEACOM also grew its reach in South African and Kenyan metros by establishing interconnect agreements with last-mile suppliers.
In areas where there is no last-mile fibre in the ground, the company secured wireless network access.
After the successful Kenyan and South African roll-outs, SEACOM plans to take its enterprise business to more African countries in 2017.
In South Africa, SEACOM acquired the business of Photon Fibre Link to strengthen its fibre Internet access business.
“SEACOM is evaluating several other small acquisitions, with an emphasis on companies in Durban, Cape Town, and Kenya that could add enterprise customers or last-mile assets to its portfolio.”
Recognising that demand for bandwidth is accelerating as media streaming and cloud usage grows, SEACOM has invested in shifting key elements of the network to 100G technology – which increases capacity throughput while reducing cost.
“Initially, SEACOM is lighting 500Gbps in new capacity on the new backbone platform from Africa to Europe that comes online in January 2017,” said Clatterbuck.
“Thanks to the new technology, additional upgrades can be done as needed with less than 30 days’ lead time.”