Earlier this week, the London Internet Exchange (LINX) announced a strategic partnership with Nairobi-based data centre company IXAfrica.
The partnership will see LINX establish a new interconnection facility in Nairobi, marking its first footprint in Africa.
The partnership will also help improve interconnectivity in the region and allow IXAfrica’s clients, “and those in other data centres, access to almost 1,000 networks around the world and puts Nairobi on the map for global connectivity.”
According to LINX, the agreement is part of the company’s global expansion plan.
This partnership comes just months after LINX signed a similar agreement in the Middle East with Saudi operator STC to extend interconnection services to new Internet exchange points in Riyadh and Dammam.
Another internet exchange operator, Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX), on June 1, 2022, announced the establishment of interconnection hubs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and Libya, cementing its African expansion.
Since 2020 the demand for broadband internet services has increased due to the accelerated digital transformation and shift in usage.
The strong interest of major Internet exchanges in the African market is driven primarily by increased Internet traffic across the continent.
The growing interest is also driven by the increasing number of subsea cable infrastructures landing on the continent, including Facebook’s 2Africa and Google’s Equiano.
And also, Kenya recently connected to PEACE, its sixth subsea cable system.
According to the Internet Society (Isoc), Africa should mirror the experience of Kenya and Nigeria by investing in Internet exchange points to improve connectivity on the continent and reduce access costs.
Furthermore, the two countries were able to increase the volume of internet traffic they exchanged from 30 per cent to 70 per cent in 2020.
By doing so, they were able to save on expensive and recurring IP transit costs, reduce latency, and increase content usage and internet service providers’ revenues.
Commenting on the partnership, Nurani Nimpuno, LINX Head of Global Engagement, said, “Kenya is a key location for East African connectivity. We look forward to working with IXAfrica to help further develop interconnection services for networks throughout the region. We will continue working with local partners to build infrastructure and boost local and regional connectivity.”