If the World Wide Web is the skeleton of the Internet, data centers can be seen as fueling its nervous system. They are key enablers, acting to integrate information and communication technology solutions for individuals, corporations and government entities alike.
The need for real-time, 24/7 data accessibility has led to the multiplication of data hubs positioned in strategic clusters. As part of their urbanization plans, municipalities around the world now are considering future data-hosting needs with the same emphasis as transportation networks and electricity supply provisions.
The infrastructure required to support the expansion of this data universe constitutes a new economy, in which hardware regains its credentials in the technology arena. The task of realizing these ever-increasing requirements is both imposing and diverse.
Competition for data supremacy is just beginning in Africa, paving the way for attractive investment prospects. The continent will experience massive growth in digital communication over the next few years, driving the importance of data centers. Currently, there is a 10 percent Internet penetration rate in the region, but an explosive demographic and economic profile promises change.
Local telecom operators have begun to diversify data and voice package products to satisfy demands for improved internet access, while IT outsourcing and external data hosting services will support the growing need for IT equipment and network infrastructure.
Some countries have opted for a proactive approach in correcting connectivity shortfalls. Algeria, for example, has focused its efforts on telecom network infrastructure development and deployment of a large-scale fiber optic network across the country. This, together with access to inexpensive energy critical to data centers, has led Tell to place a strong focus on the development of this sector in Algeria.