WIOCC's data centre co to host Equiano and 2Africa landings

25 November 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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The facilities being developed by WIOCC Group's new data centre company will host cable landing stations for the 2Africa and Equiano subsea cables.

As Capacity reported yesterday, WIOCC completed a $200 million debt and equity capital raise and intends to put those funds into connectivity across Africa and internationally, including through the activities of its new data centre company, Open Access Data Centres (OADC).

Further details on the facilities were shared today as OADC revealed it would leverage a $500 million, multi-year investment to build and operate a network of more than 20 facilities across the continent. According to WIOCC CEO, Chris Wood, the additional $300 million increase on yesterday's figure represents "reinvestment over the next five years of cash flows from the business”.

OADC’s chief commercial officer, Kevin McLoughlin, said: “We are really excited to be working in partnership with the vibrant wholesale community, including cloud and content providers, telcos and internet service providers (ISPs), helping them to expand their businesses into new territories and markets across Africa.

"With content moving ever closer to the edge of the network for improved availability and performance, a single high-capacity regional data centre in Africa is no longer sufficient. Instead, our clients increasingly require access to a network of high-quality, open-access, carrier-neutral data centres across multiple countries and cities; one that will sustain and enrich Africa’s digital ecosystem, supporting their needs for flexibility and scalability to meet whatever the future demands. This is exactly what we are putting in place, working in tandem with leading global organisations to support their deployment plans for Africa,” McLoughlin

Although OADC was largely kept under wraps until yesterday, the firm has started construction on its first two facilities, located in Africa’s largest markets, Lagos State, Nigeria, and Durban, South Africa.

In Nigeria, WIOCC reported that "rapid progress is being made on deploying OADC Lagos on a four-hectare site in Lekki – the largest data centre campus in West Africa".

With a massive $200 million budget, the first phase of the OADC Lagos is due to be ready for clients in early 2022. Located in proximity to multiple cable landings, in future, it will become the landing point for Google's Equiano submarine cable.

The Tier III certified data centre will support up to 20MW of site power load – scalable up to 40MW – across more than 7,200 square metres. According to OADC's calculations, that's sufficient for up to 3,275 racks, making it one of the largest facilities on the continent outside South Africa.

Meanwhile in Durban, that facility is expected to house the cable landing for the Durban branch of the 2Africa submarine cable. It is also designed to Tier III standards and OADC’s proximity to Durban CBD makes it "ideally located to be a key component in Durban-based companies’ primary colocation and disaster recovery solutions", according to the firm..

In addition OADC Durban will also offer connectivity into South Africa’s terrestrial fibre network, including direct access to the NLD5 and NLD6 terrestrial fibre routes stretching 1,700km between Durban and Cape Town along South Africa’s southern coastline, and to the NLD1 fibre route direct to Johannesburg.

A third OADC facility is being deployed in Mogadishu, Somalia housing the cable landing for the Mogadishu branch of the 2Africa submarine cable and offering a range of colocation services to domestic and international businesses. OADC Mogadishu will be open to clients before the end of 2022.