- Airtel Africa has launched Nxtra by Airtel (“Nxtra”), a new data center business, as demand for data centers continues to rise across the continent.
- Nxtra aims to build one of the largest networks of data centers in Africa, with high-capacity data centers strategically located in major cities across Airtel Africa’s footprint, complementing its existing edge sites.
- Airtel Africa’s Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya, said that a rapid increase in data center capacity is needed to support the growth potential of Africa’s digital economy.
Airtel Africa has launched Nxtra by Airtel (“Nxtra”), a new data center business, as demand for data centers continues to rise across the continent.
Nxtra aims to build one of the largest networks of data centers in Africa, with high-capacity data centers strategically located in major cities across Airtel Africa’s footprint, complementing its existing edge sites.
Airtel Africa’s Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya, stated that a rapid increase in data center capacity is needed to support the growth potential of Africa’s digital economy.
“We’re proud to drive the future of Africa’s digital infrastructure, unlocking opportunities for businesses to grow and fueling economic prosperity. Airtel Africa’s team has consistently demonstrated our ability to deliver on infrastructure projects across Africa, and we are confident that our next-generation data centers will support our ambition to become the partner of choice for global customers and Africa’s newest tech unicorns alike,” he said.
Nxtra to serve growing data needs of African enterprises
Nxtra’s ambition will enable it to address the growing needs of African enterprises, and its data center infrastructure will be designed to host the next generation of computing while providing multi-MW capacity in a phased manner.
These facilities will adhere to stringent global security requirements and achieve ‘five nines’1 availability. Combined with Airtel Africa’s extensive fiber footprint, Nxtra offers secure and scalable integrated solutions to global hyper-scalers, large African enterprises, startups, SMEs, and governments.
By providing locally available data center capacity, Nxtra aims to improve the speed of access to digital services and reduce the cost of managing data. This, in turn, will facilitate increased innovation and support a new generation of African tech talent. Furthermore, Nxtra enables customers to meet data sovereignty requirements while simultaneously allowing for the provision of more local cloud services in the countries where Airtel Africa operates.
Airtel Africa Nxtra data centre in Lagos
The first major Nxtra facility in Lagos, Nigeria, will deliver a total power of 34 MW. It is designed to host high-density racks and integrate the latest best practices in construction to achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3. The facility is expected to go live in mid-2025.
To realize Nxtra’s vision, Airtel Africa has appointed Yashnath Issur, the former head of Global Data Centre Portfolio Management at Amazon Web Services, as the CEO of Nxtra by Airtel. Yashnath brings 16 years of experience in the industry and, over the past year, has built a team of experts to execute the strategy.
The demand for data centers across Africa is projected to exceed supply by 300 percent in the coming years.
According to Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), there is 250 MW of installed data center capacity across Africa, forcing reliance on data centers thousands of miles away, in South Africa or outside Africa.
AIIM states that a rapid increase in capacity to 1,200 MW by 2030 is needed to support the growth potential of the continent’s digital economy.
“New ways of doing business digitally, a rapid acceleration in mobile data consumption, and a booming tech sector across the continent’s major industrial hubs are putting new strains on Africa’s digital infrastructure,” AIIM says in their latest report, adding that, “Data centers, fiber-optic broadband expansion, and telecom towers are set to become the new backbone of Africa’s economic growth. Investment in this new wave of digital infrastructure requires extensive local knowledge and a growth mindset.
The report says more businesses and households are connecting to the internet for the first time, and the continent is experiencing the fastest increase in internet penetration worldwide. Mobile data consumption across Africa is expected to increase by 40 percent each year until 2025.