SEACOM landed 10 years ago as the first undersea cable to provide internet services in Africa. This was after a 2-year construction project that cost more than $500 Million (KSh51.5 billion) and pooled together different investors.
Since then, we have witnessed tremendous growth of various internet-powered businesses like Financial institutions, Tech Hubs, FinTechs, business process outsourcing companies and most recently data centers.
In 10 years SEACOM has moved from just providing the undersea internet infrastructure to powering up businesses in major cities across Africa. Started in 2015 in South Africa, SEACOM Business is a way that allowed them to sell their connectivity directly to businesses. SEACOM Business allows businesses to evolve into a new-age business by leveraging SEACOM’s expertise combined with a full suite of flexible, scalable and high-quality communications and cloud solutions for the Enterprise. This reduce risk, enhances efficiencies and enables business digitisation.
SEACOM Business was later launched in 2016 in Kenya and it has seen tremendous uptake. This success prompted the company to launch in Uganda this year, with a view to power up more corporates in Kampala.
But with this inland expansion, came the challenge of reaching more businesses and the need for faster terrestrial connectivity. To address these challenges, SEACOM had to invest more in terrestrial and metro fibre.
Earlier this year, SEACOM finalized the acquisition of FibreCo, a terrestrial fibre provider in South Africa.
According to the CEO, Byron Clatterbuck, this acquisition enables them to get to office parks and corporate headquarters to provide their service directly. Subsequently, the acquisition offers resiliency and protection for the undersea cable on the east coast of Africa allowing for routing of traffic to the West coast of Africa.
Keeping up with increasing demand
Africa is mainly composed of a young generation. The median age is about 19 years. This coupled with very high mobile penetration rates has caused an ever-increasing demand for internet connectivity.
The increasing popularity of OTT providers like Netflix and Showmax, across the continent, is further driving the demand for the internet through the roof.
To cater to this demand, SEACOM has built their entire network over fibre for scale and affordability. They recently announced plans to double the capacity on their undersea cable from the current 1.5 Terabytes per second (Tbps) to 3 Tbps.
This will help not only consumers but also business benefit from emerging technologies like cloud computing and Internet of Things.