The Indian mobile giant Bharti Airtel is putting money into an African IP backbone, and Alcatel-Lucent is providing the technology behind it. Bharti has 17 affiliates in various spots around Africa, and is building an IP/MPLS transport and backhaul network to handle the growing data needs.
The network is intended to carry all of Airtel's international traffic back to their UK peering point, and includes a common platform for Layer 2 and Layer 3 service provisioning. It's built off of Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 service router and related gear, and while it won't solve all of the Franco-American giant's problems, every little bit helps.
Of course, also making the network possible is surely the boom in submarine cables connecting Africa to both Europe and Asia. Between SEACOM, WACS, TEAMS, MainOne, EASSY, ACE, and the proposed SAEx, WASACE, BRICS, and others - it's really quite amazing how many more ways there are (or will soon be) to get traffic into, out of, and around Africa.
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