Archive - November 2018

 

Scale-out of the Microsoft Cloud, announced at AfricaCom 2018, offers customers across Africa limitless opportunities for agility, innovation, and secure, compliant growth

Cape Town, November 13, 2018

Liquid Telecom has extended the availability of Microsoft Azure from the Cape to Cairo, continuing its lead in the African cloud revolution. This breakthrough scale-out of the Microsoft cloud-based architecture, announced today at AfricaCom 2018, offers customers across the continent limitless opportunities for agility, innovation, and secure, compliant growth.

The Cape to Cairo capability for Microsoft Azure is enabled by Liquid Telecom’s forward-thinking ecosystem: five world-class data centres, connected via a pan-African fibre network approaching 70,000km; five regions offering the Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud; and the company’s position as a Microsoft Tier I and Tier II Could Solution Provider.

A private, high performance CloudConnect for Microsoft ExpressRoute service, together with Liquid Telecom’s expert cloud enablement services, also enable customers to accelerate their cloud deployment and achieve faster time to value.

“By extending the reach of Microsoft Azure to an increasing number of countries and customers, Liquid Telecom is helping Africa realise its digital future,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom. “We offer customers a single, unified solution for their Microsoft Azure strategy. This is underpinned by an unrivalled fibre network, strategically located data centres, a hybrid cloud architecture covering Azure and the Azure Stack, and an ExpressRoute connection to maximise the benefits of the cloud. Together, Microsoft and Liquid Telecom are creating a modern business foundation for customers in Africa – one that inspires innovation, cloud-paced change, compliance, and business growth.”

The Liquid Telecom ecosystem brings cloud services in Africa together, offering customers a one-stop solution for Microsoft cloud computing, connectivity, and professional services.

Scale-out Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack: Liquid Telecom now provides this modern hybrid cloud in five regions – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda – with more countries scheduled to go live during 2019.

  • Expansive, cloud-ready connectivity: Liquid Telecom has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network approaching 70,000km, running from the Cape to Cairo – covering most of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
  • Award-winning Tier 3 data centre infrastructure: Designed, built and operated to the highest standards demanded by today’s leading cloud providers, carriers, and enterprises, Liquid Telecom’s network of data centres provides customers with scalable and secure Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack services. They also act as a one-stop shop for data centre solutions across the Continent and a local data centre resource for all private, secure hybrid cloud needs.
  • CloudConnect for Microsoft ExpressRoute: Microsoft ExpressRoute, part of Liquid Telecom’s CloudConnect offering, allows customers to establish flexible, private connections to Azure for better performance, tighter security and lower latency. Liquid Telecom is the only Microsoft partner to be providing an ExpressRoute service across eight African countries on its own fibre. CloudConnect also delivers additional direct connection products to other global and local African providers, facilitating flexible hybrid cloud solutions.
  • Innovation partnerships: Emerging African start-ups have access to this Liquid Telecom infrastructure to support the new generation of innovators and become tomorrow’s technology leaders. For example, Liquid Telecom provides free internet to Nairobi Garage’s Entrepreneurship Centre, supporting up to 300 co-workers with free high-speed fibre connectivity.

 

“This increased availability of Microsoft Azure answers the call from customers across Africa for a truly modern hybrid cloud,” said Dean Erasmus, Azure Business Lead for Africa, Microsoft. “It enables customers across the continent to simplify IT implementation and reap the benefits associated with cloud operating models, either hosted or delivered on-premise. Liquid Telecom is a trusted partner of Microsoft to drive this strategy forward. The breadth of their fibre network, data centre infrastructure, market reach and expertise enable customers to realise their business objectives more quickly and effectively.”

Johannesburg, South Africa, 1 November 2018 – In order to maintain its position as a leader in broadcasting innovation in Africa, Econet Media has reviewed its business strategy and service offerings, to align them to changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector, and growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband on the continent.

The strategy review will see Africa’s leading multiplatform broadcast network focus on three core services; Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play. KFS is Africa’s largest free-to-air TV service, Kwesé iflix is Africa’s leading mobile video-on-demand sports and entertainment platform while Kwesé Play is a leading edge video streaming service with more than 200 sports, entertainment, kids and news channels including Red Bull TV, NBA, YouTube, TED and Bloomberg.

With increased focus on these three services, Econet Media will streamline its direct-to-home satellite television service. This will see the reduction of third party channels available on the bouquet, as well as the removal of Kwesé branded sports (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels. The broadcaster’s new bouquet will carry FTA, religious, and news channels which will be available to viewers for a minimal fee, as the broadcaster will waive monthly subscription fees. Kwesé subscribers who have already paid their subscriptions for the month of October, or in advance, will receive a full refund.

Kwesé was launched at a time when the global pay television industry was in transition. Business models were evolving from traditional content rights linked to linear broadcast channels, to premium content rights moving towards digital media platforms.

Kwesé has built a satellite TV business with presence in 11 markets, a free-to-air business across 27 countries, delivered the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ across Africa to a network of 115 sub-license broadcasters across 37 countries – reaching over 200 million households, acquired a controlling stake in a leading mobile video-on-demand service, and launched its own OTT service Kwesé Play. The business has also managed to secure leading sports rights and general entertainment channels to build a compelling content offering across its platforms, making a significant shift in the continent’s complex and competitive media industry.

Having recognized the importance of carrying original local content, Econet Media will also establish its own content creation hub, Kwesé Studios. Through Kwesé Studios, Econet Media will invest in developing its own original programming and provide a platform for African producers, script writers, actors and directors to tell authentic African stories on a pan-African broadcast network.

These changes are in keeping with Kwesé’s commitment to providing affordable premium content, maintaining an innovative approach to content delivery and being attuned to audience viewing and purchasing habits.

As a consequence of the revised business model, Econet Media is reviewing its operational structures across all markets where Kwesé TV has presence which may result in changes to the company’s various business units.

Joe Hundah, Group President and Chief Executive of Econet Media, says the business’ repositioning is perfectly timed in response to market trends.

“We believe these changes will safeguard the future success of our business as we continue to make an indelible impact on Africa’s media industry. The revised business strategy will also ensure that Kwesé TV continues to remain competitive within the industry. Refocusing our business offering across markets is a strategic move which aligns our business to OTT and video-on-demand trends which present significant growth opportunities for Kwesé. This renewed focus on digital services will see us provide new compelling offers for our customer’s enjoyment.”

“Additionally, through the development of the Kwesé Studios content hub, Econet Media will now have a legitimate claim to being the home of African content, as we will now create a place where Africans can tell their own stories and shape their own narrative.”

“Kwesé’s entry into the market had a game changing impact on the media industry. With these changes, we believe Kwesé will continue to positively disrupt the industry for the benefit of African consumers, as we continue to provide affordable premium content through digital media services.”

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