Photos from the launch of the AngoNAP data centre in Brazil

Brazil is a fascinating country, very similar to South Africa and also very different. Both have tremendous beauty to offer — stunning landscapes, fascinating cities, and friendly people.

As I roamed around at the launch of Angola Cables’ new data centre in Fortaleza, I noticed a security guard hovering at the entrance to the building.

He was geared in a bullet-proof vest with a pistol holstered at his chest — a reminder that just like South Africa, Brazil is a country that struggles with crime.

Though it has seen a decline in murder rates from 83.48 per 100,000 residents in 2017, to 69.15 per 100,000 in 2018, the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice still ranked Fortaleza as the city with the ninth-highest rates of homicide in the world in 2018.

To put this in context, Fortaleza has a higher murder rate than Cape Town – which had the eleventh-highest homicide rate in the world in 2018.

For the launch of Angola Cables’ new data centre, we were 5km away from Meireles beach and about five blocks away from the nearest beachfront — Praia do Futuro — a popular location for undersea cables to emerge on Brazil’s northern cost.

The launch was well attended, with government dignitaries and media from Angola, Brazil, Portugal, and South Africa represented among the guests.

Grand plans

The data centre forms part of Angola Cables’ vision to interconnect the southern hemisphere, and better connect the Portuguese-speaking world.

Angola Cables is also more than 50% owned by the Angolan government through entities like Angola Telecom and Movicel, and it is Angola’s instrument to establish a hub for Internet connectivity in the country.

Its ultimate aim is nothing less than for Angola to overtake South Africa as the premier location for undersea cables and Internet traffic exchange in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To achieve these goals, Angola Cables built and operates the South Atlantic Cable System which runs from Sangano in Angola to Fortaleza. From there it connects to the MONET undersea cable—which Angola Cables has a stake in—to link to Miami, Florida in the United States.

With its newly-built data centres, the idea is that Brazilian developers and content owners will be able to deliver their products to more Portuguese-speaking nations cost-effectively, while also opening up the Brazilian market.

Below are photos I took at the launch, and a selection of pictures taken around Fortaleza.


AngoNAP launch in Fortaleza

AngoNAP Fortaleza opening speech
AngoNAP Fortaleza opening speech
AngoNAP Fortaleza ribbon cutting ceremony
Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of AngoNAP Fortaleza
AngoNAP Fortaleza commemorative plaque
AngoNAP Fortaleza commemorative plaque
AngoNAP Fortaleza queue for tour
Queueing to take a tour of the data centre
AngoNAP Fortaleza tour
Corridor in AngoNAP Fortaleza data centre with fire suppression systems
Server racks inside the AngoNAP Fortaleza data centre
Server racks inside the AngoNAP Fortaleza data centre
Undersea cables equipment cage at AngoNAP, Fortaleza
Undersea cables equipment cage at AngoNAP, Fortaleza
AngoNAP Fortaleza cable trays
Overhead cable trays in AngoNAP Fortaleza
AngoNAP Fortaleza power distribution room
Power distribution room in AngoNAP Fortaleza

Fortaleza

Buildings in central Fortaleza, photographed from the Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Buildings in central Fortaleza, photographed from the Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture
Playground in central Fortaleza with skyscrapers in the background, photographed from the Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Playground in central Fortaleza with skyscrapers in the background, photographed from the Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture
Planetário Rubens de Azevedo
Planetário Rubens de Azevedo
Wall art protected by camera in Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Wall art protected by camera in Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture
Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture exterior wall art
Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture exterior wall art
Wall art near public library in Fortaleza
Wall art near public library
Bridge between Planetário Rubens de Azevedo and Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Bridge between Planetário Rubens de Azevedo and Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture
Dome of Planetário Rubens de Azevedo between between Fortaleza rooftops
Dome of Planetário Rubens de Azevedo between between Fortaleza rooftops
The obelisk at Praça do Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer Square) is being renovated
Praça do Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer Square) is busy being renovated
Fortaleza with the towers of Catedral Metropolitana São José in the distance
Fortaleza with the towers of Catedral Metropolitana São José in the distance
Tar meets cobblestones in Fortaleza
Tar meets cobblestones in Fortaleza
Catedral Metropolitana São José
Catedral Metropolitana São José (St. Joseph’s Cathedral)
Statue of Dom Pedro II in Fortaleza
Statue of Dom Pedro II
Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção ("Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption")
Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (“Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption”)
Monument of the soldier in front of Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção ("Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption")
Monument of the soldier in front of Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (“Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption”)
Praça dos Mártires ou Passeio Público (Martyrs' Square or Public Promenade)
Praça dos Mártires ou Passeio Público (Martyrs’ Square or Public Promenade)
Lamp and tower in Praça dos Mártires (Martyr's Square), Fortaleza
Lamp and tower in Praça dos Mártires (Martyr’s Square)
Old station building at Praça da Estação (Station Square), Fortaleza
Old station building at Praça da Estação (Station Square)
Water park and restaurants at Praia do Futuro (Futoro Beach), Fortaleza
Water park and restaurants at Praia do Futuro (Futoro Beach)
Praia do Futuro (Futuro Beach), Fortaleza
View of Praia do Futuro (Futuro Beach) from Guarderia Brasil

Jan Vermeulen was a guest of Angola Cables in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Now read: From Brazil to South Africa and back in 98ms

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Photos from the launch of the AngoNAP data centre in Brazil