Congo primed to become Central African hub

05 September 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Jasco Networks’ recent expansion into Congo Brazzaville will herald investment needed in fibre backbone for the country to emerge as a central hub in Africa, according to a senior executive at the company.

Congo was the largest country in the world without access to international connectivity, until the WACS cable went live in May 2012 and landed there.

Jasco Networks, which predominately operates in South Africa, has formed a subsidiary unit named Jasco Congo, and has partnered with Warid Congo to operate and maintain carrier neutral co-location data centre infrastructure.

Eckart Zollner, business development manager at the company, claims carrier neutral facilities are largely “non-existent” in Central Africa, and this new concept to countries like Congo will reduce costs and ensure efficiency.

“There are now a lot of countries in the region connected to the global internet by undersea cables, but there is no infrastructure in place to exchange traffic between networks because every service provider has built its own carrier backbone.” Zollner claims this is hindering other sectors, from banking to mining, from investing in this area.

As a relatively emerging region, analysts have commented that countries like Congo have so far struggled to fully utilise access to undersea cables because present infrastructure doesn’t allow ISPs to localise traffic, increasing the cost of operating the internet.

“Fibre-based networks and carrier neutral capabilities would mean Congo is positioned to become a small hub for neighbouring countries,” claimed Zollner. “With cloud technologies and fibre networks that can certainly happen.”