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Market Snapshot

Microsoft to Deliver Microsoft Cloud from Datacentres in Africa
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Friday, 19 May 2017 13:07

Microsoft revealed plans to deliver the complete, intelligent Microsoft Cloud for the first time from data centers located in Africa. This new investment is a major milestone in the company’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and a recognition of the enormous opportunity for digital transformation in Africa.

Expanding on existing investments, Microsoft will deliver cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, from data centers located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa with initial availability anticipated in 2018. The new cloud regions will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency to help enable the tremendous opportunity for economic growth, and increase access to cloud and internet services for organizations and people across the African continent.

“We’re excited by the growing demand for cloud services in Africa and their ability to be a catalyst for new economic opportunities,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft Corp. “With cloud services ranging from intelligent collaboration to predictive analytics, the Microsoft Cloud delivered from Africa will enable developers to build new and innovative apps, customers to transform their businesses, and governments to better serve the needs of their citizens.”

Expanding Access & Opportunity: Currently many companies in Africa rely on cloud services delivered from outside of the continent. Microsoft’s new investment will provide highly available, scalable, and secure cloud services across Africa with the option of data residency in South Africa. With the introduction of these new cloud regions, Microsoft has now announced 40 regions around the world – more than any major cloud provider. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will connect businesses with opportunity across the globe, help accelerate new investments, and improve access to cloud and internet services for people and organizations from Cairo to Cape Town.

“We greatly value Microsoft’s commitment to invest in cloud services delivered from Africa. Standard Bank already relies on cloud technology to provide our customers with a seamless experience,” says Brenda Niehaus, group CIO at Standard Bank. “To achieve success as a business, we need to keep pace with market developments as well as customer needs, and Office 365 empowers us to make a culture shift towards becoming a more dynamic organization, whilst Azure enables us to deliver our apps and services to our customers in Africa. We’re looking forward to achieving even more with the cloud services available here on the continent.”

Investing in African Innovation: This announcement expands on ongoing investments in Africa, where organisations are using currently available cloud and mobile services as a platform for innovation in health care, agriculture, education, and entrepreneurship. Microsoft has been working to support local start-ups and NGOs, unleashing innovation that has the potential to solve some of the biggest problems facing humanity, such as the scarcity of water and food, and economic and environmental sustainability. One start-up, M-KOPA Solar, provides affordable pay-as-you-go solar energy to over 500,000 homes using mobile and cloud technology. AGIN has built an app connecting 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services, enabling them to share data and facilitating $1.3 million per month in finance, insurance and other services.

Across Africa, Microsoft has brought 728,000 small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) online to help them transform and modernize their businesses, and over 500,000 are now utilizing Microsoft cloud services, with 17,000 using the 4Afrika hub to promote and grow their businesses. The Microsoft Cloud is also helping Africans build job skills, with 775,000 trained on subjects ranging from digital literacy to software development. We anticipate the Microsoft Cloud from Africa will fuel extensive new opportunities for our 17,000 regional partners and customers alike.

“This development broadens the options available to us in our modernization journey of Government ICT infrastructure and services. It allows us to take advantage of new opportunities to develop innovative government solutions at manageable costs, as well as drive overall improvements in operations management, while improving transparency and accountability,” says Dr. Setumo Mohapi, CEO at SITA. 

The Microsoft Trusted Cloud: Microsoft has deep expertise protecting data, championing privacy, and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements. With Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud principles of security, privacy, compliance, transparency, and the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry, Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure supports over a billion customers and 20 million businesses around the globe.  

“By establishing hyperscale cloud data center capacity in South Africa, Microsoft is directly addressing customers’ concerns, and demonstrating commitment to the delivery of cloud services within the country and the region as a whole,” says Jon Tullett, senior research manager, IDC MEA. “The presence of local facilities will be greatly encouraging to South African customers, particularly those in regulated industries such as financial services and the public sector where data sovereignty concerns are paramount. This is a strongly positive development for the cloud industry in Africa, and particularly Microsoft’s ecosystem of partners, ISVs and customers.”

Industrial IoT set to shake up African oil & gas sector
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 11:51

By Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: West Africa at SAP Africa

The global oil and gas industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change and disruption. Falling crude oil prices have put immense strain on the entire oil value chain, while the increasing availability and affordability of renewable energy sources means oil & gas is no longer the de facto choice for energy generation.

An African perspective on oil & gas
In Africa, where the oil and gas industry drives the economic engine of several of its largest economies, the need for innovation in the oil and gas value chain is critical to its continued growth and success. By the end of 2013, Africa was estimated to have 228 billion barrels of oil-equivalent, with oil making up 56% of this and gas accounting for the remaining 44%, according to EY.

The US was until recently the largest buyer of African crude oil, but exports dropped from a high of 1.8m barrels a day in 2005 to only 274,000 in 2015. There is hope that the new administration's policy changes could herald an era of renewed oil exports to the North American market.

According to PwC, one of the key areas oil and gas companies should focus on if they are to weather the storm is in exploiting new technology to innovate, minimise costs and extract further value from existing infrastructure. And of all the emerging technologies, IoT presents the greatest benefit to the oil and gas sector.

The Internet of Oil & Gas
The oil and gas industry has long been at the forefront of automation and technological disruption. However, IoT is poised to completely revolutionise the industry, from extraction to operations to customer engagement. Connected devices open opportunities for oil and gas companies to improve safety, increase efficiency and ensure visibility across the value chain.

A Morgan Stanley report estimates that there's a global market of $100bn for autonomous vehicles in the trucking and logistics industry. With only a 50% penetration of IoT, the global manufacturing industry can see a potential cost saving of $500bn. In fact, IDC estimates that IoT revenue in Africa and the Middle East will reach $114bn by 2020.

Oil and gas companies have taken note of the potential of IoT and are investing vast sums into IoT to achieve improved uptime, ensure predictive maintenance, reduce the cost of compliance, and transform business practices. Asset uptime and maintenance has emerged as the key initial driver of interest in IoT: an ARC strategy report found that 60% of respondents named reduced asset downtime as the catalyst for their interest in IoT.

Fleet management stands to benefit greatly from IoT: construction contractor Essar Projects uses GPS and RFID systems to monitor equipment movement, fuel levels and consumption, achieving a 5% saving on maintenance and a 10% saving on fuel costs. The ability to use sensors to track equipment performance and proactively manage maintenance is helping oil and gas companies to ensure optimum equipment uptime.

Making IoT work for oil and gas companies
As sensors and connected devices continue to permeate every aspect of the oil and gas value chain, companies will start generating unprecedented volumes of data. SAP solutions powered by the SAP HANA platform enables companies to extract valuable insights from this data. Oil and gas companies can get real-time information from multiple locations, including information on location awareness, project status, environmental factors and safety. Environment, health and safety management professionals can mine employee data - including social media - to identify key risks to operations, while public information that forms part of the big data lake can be used to determine public sentiment on oil and gas operations.

Caution must be taken in terms of data security, as recent malware examples have shown control systems can be attractive targets for intruders wishing to harm or interrupt production. It is equally important that the correct technology partner is chosen: IoT brings together data from hardware, sensors, devices, apps, telematics and connectivity to the cloud. The software vendors that connect and process all this data need to have the depth of experience to reshape business processes to allow oil and gas companies to fully enjoy the benefits of IoT.

However, the real value of IoT for the oil and gas industry lies in connecting operational infrastructure to broader business software. In-memory computing combines IoT data with business transactional data in a single shared database, in real time. This allows oil and gas companies to gain real-time insight into key operations and asset performance indicators, equipping business leaders with better decision-making capability and opening the door to streamlined business processes and entirely new business models.

For oil and gas companies ready to transform their operations through IoT, the benefits are unquestionable. Choosing the correct technology partner that has the depth of industry experience and the robust cloud-based in-memory platform needed to bring the benefits of IoT to life is essential to their success

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa
For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Submarine Networks World 2016 announces speakers
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 10:36

Now in its 19th year, Submarine Networks World continues to be the only platform where the industry’s elite leaders gather annually to exchange knowledge, present new and upgraded cable projects, strategise and partner. For the 2016 edition, the conference is going beyond just discussing the issues critical to the core business, but exploring in depth the industry's role in relation to the global economy.

On 17 to 19 October at Suntec Convention Centre, over 400 decision makers from across 150 organisations will convene at this high-level networking platform dedicated to the world’s submarine communications arena.  With the theme for this year set as "Global Connectivity's Next Frontier", the conference is embracing a forward-looking agenda, set to push the industry to reflect, think and create beyond traditional boundaries.

Confirmed speakers include:

  1. Antonio Nunes, Chief Executive Officer, Angola Cables
  2. Artur Mendes, Chief Commercial Officer, Angola Cables
  3. Eric Handa, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, APTelecom
  4. Greg Varisco, Chief Executive Officer, Aqua Comms
  5. Adolfo Montenegro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bluesky Pacific Group
  6. Donald (Yijun) Tan, Executive Vice President, Global Network, China Telecom Global
  7. Weiguo Chang, Director, Network Planning and Product Development, China Telecom Global
  8. Yanmin Xiao, Senior Project Manager, Global Business Department, China Unicom
  9. Steve Alexander, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ciena
  10. Ed McCormack, Vice President and General Manager, International Accounts and Submarine Systems, Ciena
  11. Anthony McLachlan, Vice President & General Manger (Asia Pacific), Ciena
  12. Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, Executive Vice-President, Cinia Group
  13. Pepe Fia’ailetoa Christian Fruean, Chairman, Samoa Submarine Cable Company and Chairman, Digicel (Samoa) Limited
  14. Anthony Rossabi, Managing Director - Colocation and Connectivity, Digital Realty
  15. Yoshishige Hasegawa, Chief Strategy Officer, DoCoMo Pacific
  16. Graham Evans, Chairman, International Cable Protection Committee andManaging Director, Global Subsea Cable Business, EGS Survey Group
  17. Sidheeque Machingal, Co-Chair, Investment and Agreement Subcommittee, AAE-1 Consortium andSenior Director – Strategy and Business Development, Etisalat
  18. Raymond Lai, Director, Sales – Asia, Application Engineering, EXFO
  19. Steve Grubb, Global Optical Architect, Facebook
  20. Hugh McGarry, Chief Executive Officer, Garnet Consulting
  21. Fabrizio Civitarese, President, Asia Pacific, Global Cloud Xchange
  22. Arlene Mae Jallorina, Vice President, International Facilities Investments, Wholesale Business, Enterprise Business Group, Globe Telecom
  23. Kent Bressie, Partner and Head of International Practice, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis
  24. Mike Constable, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Marine Networks
  25. Parag Khanna, Managing Partner, Hybrid Reality
  26. Sam Nkusi, Group Executive, East Africa, Liquid Telecom Group
  27. Paul McCann, Managing Director, McCann Consulting
  28. Bjørn Rønning, Chief Executive Officer, Midgardsormen
  29. Maui Sanford, Project Manager and Business Development, Moana Communications
  30. Muhammad Rashid Shafi, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Multinet Pakistan Pvt Ltd,
  31. Shoaib Aslam Syal, Head of International Carrier Business, Multinet Pakistan Pvt Ltd
  32. Bertrand Guiot, Head of Global Infrastructure and Projects, Australia, Natixis
  33. Kempei Fukuda, Director, Network Services, NTT Communications
  34. Pierre Tremblay, Managing Director, Ocean Specialists Inc
  35. Sohail Qadir, Vice President of Wholesale Business, Omantel
  36. Johannes Boersma, Senior Manager, Capacity and Submarine Cables and Head of International Business, Omantel
  37. Jamil al Koussa, Chairman, G2A IMC and Head of International Business Development, Sales and Procurement, Omantel
  38. Julia Robbins, Associate Director, Structured Finance and Insurance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  39. Yves Ruggeri, Chairman, Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) and Vice President, Submarine Systems Strategy & Business Development, Orange S.A.
  40. Troy Li, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Light Data Communications
  41. Rhinehart Silas, Chairman, Palau National Communications Corporation
  42. Jordick Wong, Senior Vice President, Product and Vendor Management, PCCW Global
  43. Joseph Chan, Co-Chair, Initial Management Committee, Africa-1 andVice President, Cable Planning, PCCW Global
  44. Rajesh Sreenivasan, Head, Technology, Media, and Telecommunications, Rajah and Tann Singapore LLP
  45. Russ Matulich, Chief Executive Officer, RTI
  46. Larry Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer, Seaborn Networks
  47. Byron Clatterbuck, Chief Executive Officer, SEACOM
  48. Linette Lee, Chairperson, SEA-ME-WE 5 Management Committee
  49. Hamish Lee, Sales Director, SubPartners
  50. Carl Osborne,
  51. TV Chalapathi Rao, Senior Vice President and Delivery Head – International, Tata Communications Transformation Services
  52. Pasquale Florillo, Head of Capacity Services, Marketing and Business Development, Telecom Italia Sparkle
  53. Alan Mauldin, Research Director, TeleGeography
  54. Mohamad Izani Karim, General Manager, Carrier Network Development, Global and Wholesale, Telekom Malaysia Berhad
  55. Nanang Hendarno, Network and IT Director, PT Telekommunikasi Indonesia International (TELIN)
  56. Iwan B Saputra, Vice President, Project & Consultancy, PT Telekommunkasi Indonesia International (TELIN)
  57. Andy Lumsden, Head of Network Services, Global Enterprise Services International, Telstra
  58. Michael Ruddy, Director of International Research, Terabit Consulting
  59. Michael Rieger, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, TE SubCom
  60. Elaine Stafford, Managing Partner, The David Ross Group
  61. Robert Bolouri, Chief Executive Officer, Tonga Cable
  62. Alexis Pinto, Chief Executive Officer, Trident SC
  63. Paul Brooks, Chief Technology Officer, Trident SC
  64. Albert Kis, Chief Marketing Officer, Turk Telekom International
  65. Stephen Dawe, Engineering & Business Development Manager, Submarine Systems Engineering, Vodafone Group Services
  66. Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer, WIOCC
  67. Natasha Beschorner, Senior ICT Policy Specialist, World Bank
  68. Tony Frisch, Senior Vice President, Repeater & Branching Units, Xtera Communications
  69. Robert Richardson, Vice President Sales, Global Submarine Solutions, Xtera Communications

Submarine Networks World 2016
Date: 17 - 19 October 2016
Conference opening hour: 9.00am
Venue: Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore


Subsea FO market booms, major announcements up 33%
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Friday, 27 May 2016 08:38

Anyone following the submarine fiber optic cable market this spring has to be impressed by the level of activity.  In history of the NewsFeed, I can’t remember many stretches where there have been so many major announcements across such a broad range of topics.  Is it my imagination, or is the market experiencing a period of tremendous activity and optimism?

Maybe, but can this be quantified?  Well I gave it a shot.  I counted the number of major announcements (new projects and products, contracts, cable station and marine services activities, acquisitions, etc.) that I have gathered during the period from April 1 through May 20.  This period includes the SubOptic and International Telecoms Week events.  I compared the number of announcements made in 2016 to those during the same period (which did not have the triennial SubOptic event) in 2015.

The result was exactly a 33% increase (51 vs. 34) in major announcements in 2016.  Some of that may be attributable to SubOptic, but as I eliminated the “fluff” announcements and only included serious developments that you would expect to be reported regardless of whether there was a major event or not, I hope to have minimized SubOptic’s impact. 

Regardless of the impact, 51 major announcements in a seven-week period represents a huge amount of activity (about 1.5 announcements per business day).  This is definitely a healthy indicator for the industry.  

Conference season is about to begin!
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Friday, 26 February 2016 14:59

The next few months are going to be huge for conferences in the submarine cable industry.  Of course, there's SubOptic 2016 right around the corner (April 18-21), but there are others as well.  In fact, next week (2-3 March) will be a submarine cable conference sponsored by Subsea Cables UK, a forum of national and international companies that own, operator of service submarine cables in the UK and surrounding waters.  Check out their website at  

Super Bowl shows how Internet is not just the medium for entertainment video, but is entertainment itself
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 08:52

We have been writing for some time about the Internet's metamorphosis from a research network to an email and information service to what is rapidly become the world's primary medium for entertainment.  In the US, for example, many major cable television operators now have more broadband subscribers than television subscribers, as more and more of the population chooses to get its video entertainment from the Internet.  This is not just a trend in developed economies, but is seen in the developing world as well.  Facebook recently reported that 88% of Nigerians watch videos on their mobile broadband devices at least monthly.

Here is a recent bit of information that also demonstrates the Internet’s use as a source of entertainment, as well as the scale of the data (mostly video) being sent across it.  At the Super Bowl last weekend, AT&T reports that fans at the stadium in Santa Clara used more than 5.2 Terabytes, setting a new mobile data usage record for any championship sporting event or football game on AT&T’s network.

The carrier reported that total data usage from the network serving the stadium and surrounding tailgate party areas was equal to more than 15 million super selfies. Sunday night’s data traffic was about 205% greater than what was experienced at Super Bowl last year. At kickoff alone, we saw more than 202 Gigabytes of data cross its network.

But here is the real mind-blowing number. Mobile traffic from event-related activities taking place Saturday 1/30 through Sunday 2/7 in the Bay Area, including fan fests, concerts, the game and more, totaled more than 28.4 Terabytes. That is equal to 81 million social media posts with photos.

While little of this traffic ended up on submarine cables, it illustrates once again how the Internet and entertainment is becoming synonymous.  In the case of the Super Bowl, fans at one of the most popular entertainment events in the world were spending almost as much time creating their own entertainment by sending pictures and videos to each other as they were watching the game.  

Mobile devices continue to drive Internet growth in Africa
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Friday, 05 February 2016 10:27

The growth of the Internet in Africa is one of the biggest stories in telecommunications so far in the 21st Century.  The Internet explosion in Africa was initiated by mobile broadband, given the lack of fixed-line infrastructure in much of the continent.  For the submarine fiber optic cable industry, this development has meant a building spree of new cable systems that is continuing to this day. 

None of this seems to be changing anytime soon.  New cables are being installed (ACE extension) or are under development (Liquid Sea and the West Africa-Brazil cables), faster and cheaper mobile broadband devices are being introduced and demand for the Internet continues to grow.

The latest indication of the latter comes from Facebook.  The company announced today that 16 million people in Nigeria visit Facebook every month with 100% of them coming on mobile. Each day, 7.2 million people visit Facebook with 7 million on mobile.  Facebook also noted that 65% of Nigerians use two or more devices to access the Internet and 88% of Nigerians watch online videos at least monthly. 

Equinix to speak at PTC 2016
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Friday, 15 January 2016 11:40

Equinix, Inc. announced Ihab Tarazi, chief technology officer; Jim Poole, vice president, Global Service Providers; and Frank Salley, submarine cable network architect, will be speaking at the Pacific Telecom Council 2016 taking place January 17-20, 2016 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In his first engagement, Tarazi will be speaking at the submarine cable luncheon, "Who Will Fund the World's Next Cables?" on Sunday, January 17 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in room Coral 1-2. Tarazi and an expert panel will be discussing the changing face of the market from the purchaser perspective, with the growing influence of OTTs, increasing number of co-builds & fiber pair purchases, role of private cables in supporting these models, evolution of consortium projects with not only traditional big-name carriers, but also new players.

In his second engagement, Tarazi will participate in the roundtable, "The Shifting Data Center" being held on Tuesday, January 19 from 3:30-4:45 p.m. (location not yet assigned). This discussion will explore the challenges customers face, the solutions data center providers are applying to those challenges, and the ways in which the broader data center, cloud and network ecosystem must work together to meet the public to private data center transition trend.

Poole will be participating in roundtable discussion, "The Intersection of IoT, Cloud and Big Data" on Sunday, January 17 from 2:30-5 p.m. in South Pacific 1. This session will explore the intersection of IoT, cloud and big data. Experts across all three areas will distill the definitions of each and provide examples of how you can increase your competitive advantage and help your customers succeed in the digital era.
Lastly, Salley will be participating in the roundtable discussion, "Submarine Cable – Balancing the Extremes: Connectivity, Cost and Diversity" being held on Tuesday, January 19 from 2-3:15 p.m. in Coral 2.

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