Jasco Networks has expanded its operations into Central Africa with the formation of Jasco Congo, a subsidiary company with a dedicated presence in the region.
Following this expansion, the newly formed Jasco Congo subsidiary has signed a partnership agreement with Warid Congo to manage and maintain a carrier-neutral co-location data centre in Congo-Brazzaville.
Warid Congo is part of the multinational Warid Telecom and is one of the fastest growing mobile operators in the region. As the owners of the data centre infrastructure, they will share in the revenues generated by the data centre and benefit from skills transfer as a result of the partnership. Jasco Congo will in turn benefit from the ability to tap into local expertise, knowledge and market presence.
‚Data centres are one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry, but the data centre built by Warid was not being used to full capacity. We were looking for a seasoned, highly experienced partner in the field to help us reposition our organisation to meet the needs of corporates around data centres and carrier neutral services. Jasco delivers on all of our requirements and are the ideal partner,‚ says Michel Elame, Managing Director of Warid Congo.
Market research conducted by Jasco in Central Africa showed that the Internet market is still in its infancy, being very expensive and only accessible via satellite due to lack of infrastructure. However, users in the region are well aware of technological innovations and businesses are eager to embrace connectivity. This is becoming easier to achieve thanks to the recent landing of the WACS undersea cable connecting West Africa to the world and growing investment into improving infrastructure. Local Internet in the region remains expensive as a result of a lack of local hosting and local Internet exchange.
Jasco Congo has entered into a service partnership with Warid Congo, using the local company’s existing infrastructure and taking over the operational costs and maintenance of the data centre. Jasco will be designing and building an Internet switch exchange and providing local Internet hosting from the Warid Telecom data centre, helping to drive down the cost of Internet access. The company will also be hosting local telecommunications operators, providing a carrier neutral switching location for international traffic.
‚Our research indicated that the region was ripe with opportunities, which are being held back due to the expense of building infrastructure. The situation is reminiscent of the South African market several years ago, and our experience in South Africa puts us in an ideal position to not only harness these opportunities but to assist with growth and skills transfer in the Central African region. The Jasco Congo operation, in partnership with Warid Telecom, enables us to expand our co-location solutions offering into Africa without the expense of physically investing in infrastructure, while creating local empowerment and business stimulation,‚ says Eckart Zollner, Business Development Manager for Jasco Co-location Solutions.
‚Expansion into Africa is an important part of Jasco’s growth strategy, and this venture offered the perfect opportunity to launch into a new market. Congo Brazzaville is one of the more stable and economically active countries in Central Africa, the government is on an aggressive growth drive and a lot of investment is being injected into the economy. Jasco Congo and our partnership with Warid Telecom will enable us to be a part of this development and to build relationships with local suppliers in this region. This in turn will provide a launch platform for future growth and expansion,‚ adds Paul McKibbin, Divisional Managing Director of Jasco Networks.
The Warid partnership and launch of Jasco Congo represent the start of an exciting growth phase for Jasco in Central Africa. There are many opportunities to take the full range of complementary Jasco solutions, from networks to broadcasting, converged communications, energy, security and more, into the region. Jasco Congo will be working with local shareholders, telco’s and Internet service providers to develop new business in the region in line with the ONE Jasco philosophy of fully converged, intelligent solutions that deliver value for customers and end users.
‚This type of business has high barriers to entry in Central Africa due to the cost of infrastructure, but there is not much competition so margins can be very lucrative and growth happens fast. However, we are also a fairly isolated region which can be difficult for companies to break into, as a result of vastly different clients and culture. Our partnership with Jasco is mutually beneficial and will enable both parties to leverage opportunities in this active and growing economic region. We are looking forward to working together and are also exploring further opportunities with Jasco,‚ Elame concludes.