Nigerian mobile operator MTN to build West Africa’s largest data centre

The proposed data centre will contain around 67,000 computers (Alex Vasey/Unsplash)
MTN Nigeria announced on Saturday that it was planning to build West African largest data centre, business website Nairametrics reports.

The company, which is based in South Africa, has not said where it plans to build the centre, or how much it expected to pay for it, but has said it will have 1,500 “racks”, and will be a tier 4 facility. A rack typically holds around 45 computers, and “tier 4”, the highest designation of a centre, means that it is highly resistant to faults.

MTN is Nigeria’s largest listed company, with more than 34 million data users in the country.

Mohammed Rufai, MTN’s chief technical officer, said the project would be a significant enhancement of Nigeria’s digital infrastructure, and was necessary to meet the growth in demand for data among businesses and consumers.

He said: “Businesses that require data centre capacity can now forgo maintaining their server rooms. Our facility will provide the space and services needed, enabling companies to digitalise their operations and improve efficiency.

‘’The data centre will also enhance the delivery of content from major tech companies like Meta and Google, bringing content closer to Nigerian users and improving access speeds.”

By increasing its ability to host content within its borders, the country will benefit from greater bandwidth and network efficiency, he added. Businesses will have better access to cloud services and other digital solutions, which will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of Nigerian companies.

The local market for digital infrastructure is booming in Nigeria, with some $600m of investments in data centres announced in the past few months, and the total for 2024 expected to reach $1.5bn.

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