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NAPAfrica achieves 4Tbps milestone as TikTok joins African peering community


Johannesburg, 14 Nov 2023
Michele McCann, Head of Platforms at Teraco.
Michele McCann, Head of Platforms at Teraco.

NAPAfrica, Africa's leading internet exchange point (IXP) and the sixth-largest exchange globally, has welcomed social media platform TikTok to its growing community.

At the same time, NAPAfrica announced a significant milestone in its growth journey by surpassing the 4Tbps (Terabits per second) traffic milestone, solidifying its position as the pivotal exchange for internet traffic across the African continent. NAPAfrica reached the 3Tbps traffic threshold in March 2023, representing a 33% growth in traffic volumes in under a year.

“The presence of over 250 carriers and networks is the drawcard for content providers like TikTok to join the exchange,” says Michele McCann, Head of Platforms at Teraco. “One of the most significant benefits of an active peering community (or IXP) is the cost-effective, efficient distribution of content to the consumer – and the demand for business services like cloud and entertainment just continues to increase.

“This continued surge in data traffic is primarily thanks to an African internet community that has embraced the value of peering, the increasing use of data-intensive applications, enterprises continuing to move into the cloud and the ever-increasing demand for video, content and gaming delivery services. These trends have driven greater traffic levels between cloud and service providers, enterprises and end-users.

NAPAfrica traffic growth.
NAPAfrica traffic growth.

“This rapid traffic growth mirrors the increasing demand by users for content and cloud services via NAPAfrica. Our steadfast commitment lies in propelling digital transformation throughout Africa, empowering our clients to cater to their user communities across the continent seamlessly,” she adds.

Content providers and enterprises looking to expand into Africa can accelerate their plans by partnering with the right infrastructure providers as businesses commit to moving more of their functions to the cloud. Increased investment by global cloud providers is driving wider availability of internet-based digital services across Africa.

Most enterprises in larger African economies prefer a hybrid cloud approach to their IT infrastructure, allowing them to select the most suitable workload solution, avoid large capital expenditure by moving from capex to opex, and better control their data. This includes adopting everything as a service (XaaS), which allows businesses to increase operational agility by deploying IT infrastructure without waiting for physical hardware to be deployed.

NAPAfrica has become organisations’ cornerstone, supporting their internet and communication needs and cloud adoption strategies. The continued investment into critical telecommunications infrastructure in Africa has contributed enormously to the growth of NAPAfrica, as has the continent’s demand for content and cloud services like Microsoft Azure and AWS.

Enterprises are leveraging the benefits of peering by connecting with cloud deployments, networks, security providers and content providers within the NAPAfrica ecosystem to move to a digital economy. Increased network demand to service remote users has driven the adoption of key cloud and security applications. These include Akamai, Amazon, Cloudflare, Microsoft and Zscaler.

Established in 2012, NAPAfrica today has over 560 members actively peering and has grown to become Africa’s biggest internet exchange and the sixth-largest globally by the number of members, playing a pivotal role in transforming Africa’s internet access and interconnection.

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NAPAfrica

Home to global carriers, cloud providers, content delivery networks (CDNs), ISPs, internet security, and gaming platforms, NAPAfrica is the continent’s largest aggregation point. In a world where the ease of interconnection, seamless peering arrangements, and platform reliability are essential, the NAPAfrica internet exchange delivers. NAPAfrica operates internet exchange points (IXPs) within Teraco’s Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg data centres that service the Southern Africa region. The IXP’s founding goal is to help make internet access more accessible for Africa. With more than 560 member ASNs from over 50 countries, NAPAfrica is the sixth largest IXP globally. Members are encouraged to participate in online discussions and meet at technical events throughout the year.

Teraco

Teraco, a leading carrier-neutral colocation provider in Africa, is the first provider of highly resilient, vendor-neutral data environments in sub-Saharan Africa. With its world-class data centre infrastructure and network-dense ecosystems, Teraco forms a vital part of the African Internet’s backbone and is essential to the modern enterprise’s digital transformation strategy. Teraco is majority-owned by Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) – offering customers a global data centre platform designed to enable digital businesses to scale within a highly connected data community across 300+ data centres in 50+ metros and 25+ countries on six continents – together with a continuing interest maintained by a consortium of private equity investors, including Berkshire Partners LLC and Permira. For more information, please visit teraco.co.za or follow us on LinkedIn and X.

Digital Realty

Digital Realty brings companies and data together by delivering the full spectrum of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions. PlatformDIGITAL®, the company’s global data center platform, provides customers with a secure data meeting place and a proven Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx®) solution methodology for powering innovation and efficiently managing Data Gravity challenges. Digital Realty gives its customers access to the connected data communities that matter to them with a global data center footprint of 300+ facilities in 50+ metros across 25+ countries on six continents. To learn more about Digital Realty, please visit digitalrealty.com or follow us on LinkedIn and X.

Editorial contacts

Amanda Chikara
GinjaNinja PR
(082) 652 3398
aloma@ginjaninja.co.za