The pandemic and its effects like the lockdown saw an increase in internet traffic in many economies, Uganda inclusive and this meant more pressure on broadband networks.
However, according to Robert Mullins, the Raxio Director, having set up a data centre in Uganda, the first of its kind in the country, they are set to construct a second one to complete a US$ 15 million(shs52bn) investment in the country as one of the ways to boost the country’s digital economy.
“This project is an anchor point for digitalization of the economy and the digital revolution in Uganda,” Mullins said on Tuesday.
James Byaruhanga, the Raxio Uganda General Manager says with such a facility in Uganda, the cost of internet will go down, whereas the user experience will improve.
“This will facilitate the growth of internet but also cheaper internet, improved user experience and fast speeds while using internet,”Byaruhanga said, adding that this will reduce the cost of doing business for many entrepreneurs.
In actual sense, every time someone uses internet, they are making use of a similar facility either in Europe, Japan and the US.
Officials from Raxio say that with the facility in place in Uganda, international organisations like facebook, google, Microsoft can all have their cloud space housed locally which in turn will ensure the cost of using social media and internet at large go down a bit since these services will no longer be imported but rather accessed right from a data centre located in the country.
“This is going to be the heartbeat of internet connectivity and storage in Uganda. Alot of data is being generated and this facility will catalyse the use of social media and internet at large,”Byaruhanga said.
According to David Emiru, the network operations centre manage at Raxio Uganda, when one sends an email, or a message on social media or use any other internet services, the message first goes to the cloud of the mother company ie google, or facebook before reaching the recipient, a process which see the cost of using the service increased.
In the process, telecom companies charge people for getting data from a cloud space abroad and bring it nearer.
He however says that if international companies like facebook, Microsoft and Google among others make use of the data centre in Uganda, the cost of using their services would automatically go down.
With 400 racks and a power of 1.5 MW, Raxio Uganda can also be used by local companies as their primary storage of their data or as back up storage.
“Telecom companies, banks, media houses and all other institutions that need to store their data can make use of the Raxio data centre in Uganda,”Emiru said.
Also referred to as a neutral-carrier, the Raxio data centre will be a Tier III facility,which means it will have an availability rate of 99.982% and experience an average of only 1.6 hours of downtime per year.
12 centres in Africa
According to Robert Mullins, Raxio group will construct 11 other data centres across Africa with countries like Kenya, DRC, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa among those to house the facilities by the American group.
These will be completed in the next two to three years’ time.