African high-tech company inq. is gearing up for a huge expansion in Africa, with plans to venture into the private 5G market on the continent.
The Convergence Partners-owned company, which connects more than 1,200 companies across the continent, says it sees a ripe market for cutting-edge IT developments in Africa and is poised to expand to more. other countries.
The company offers edge-based artificial intelligence services to organizations in South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Lagos, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and the United Kingdom.
Naresh Thukkani, Engineer and Product Manager and Fabric Group Leader at inq. Group, told ITWeb that a large part of the company’s growth strategy is fueled by increased investment in data centers on the continent. This presents opportunities not only for edge computing, but also for other verticals, such as private 5G, he noted.
The expansion will see inq., founded by businessman Andile Ngcaba, expand further into Africa.
“In the second phase of our expansion, we will cover adjacent markets and expand to 15 locations. We will begin our phase two expansion in January, so people should expect that by the end of March some of the adjacent markets will have been established.
“There is a huge demand for the edge in Africa and inq. is a major player in enterprise connectivity. We are developing our own IP and technology stacks in-house, to become the leading technology provider on the continent,” Thukkani explained.
As data demand and cloud adoption continue to drive increased traffic, data centers are becoming increasingly important on the continent, he added.
The rapid growth of the cloud industry in Africa is prompting more international players to choose to invest in the market.
With hyper-scalers such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services establishing a presence in Africa, and other big players, such as Google, set to open their cloud region locally, this is expected to further drive the continent’s digital transformation.
As such, inq. has identified opportunities in the private 5G market and plans to provide fifth-generation networking technology offerings in the future, he continued.
“Our next division will be in the private 5G space, which is primarily aimed at enterprises. Industry 4.0 use cases are more prevalent in Africa – more so than in other regions – due to the important mining and manufacturing sector Mining companies typically use IOT, spread over a wide area, and enterprises cannot simply rely on WiFi for connectivity, which has its own security issues.
“This is a new revolution that companies have been waiting for for a long time. Our intention is to help them reduce the barriers to transitioning to 5G. So that’s where our innovative solutions will come from, as we work in the private 5G space to help businesses innovate faster. One of the services we plan to offer is private 5G as a service. »
It is a managed service that makes it easier for organizations to deploy, operate and scale their own private mobile network, with all required hardware and software provided by the managed service provider.
Earlier this month, inq. unveiled Fabric, a network-as-a-service software solution for automated network provisioning and routing.
After an 18-month development cycle, Fabric was introduced to provide enterprises – from multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises – with increased data sharing efficiency, more secure connections, and to help with networking and access authorization for users, devices and services, according to inq.
“Across the continent, Africa is improving its digital infrastructure with new data centers, terrestrial connectivity and undersea cabling. But between these new developments and a growing number of hyperscalers, we need a unified platform to bring together these complex pieces of infrastructure,” Thukkani noted.
In June, the Competition Commission approved the investigation. Digital’s proposal to acquire Syrex, a fiber and virtual private network provider.
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