Ghana’s Internet ecosystem has received a welcome boost from a collaboration with leading local player, Ecoband Networks and Workonline Communications, one of the largest IP transit providers on the African continent.
Workonline, a wholesale provider of Internet connectivity services, announced its presence in Ghana last year, just as the number of Internet users in Ghana breached 15 million in the country. Ecoband were chosen by Workonline as a provider of dark fibre infrastructure services to assist with Workonline’s connection from its point of presence at PAIX to the cable landing station.
West Africa’s demand for faster, cheaper, and better access to quality content has grown exponentially of late. The past year of lockdowns and the change in work style has increased the need for high quality Internet in the country. Latency and a lack of locally hosted content are ongoing issues. When content providers deploy in a market, latency (or the time it takes to load and retrieve information on the Internet) is reduced. Although many content networks have now deployed in South Africa, it is still currently estimated that around 80% of Africa’s Internet capacity goes back to Europe where the content is hosted.
This being said, the future for West Africa looks bright as more data centres and content networks are investing in Ghana. Locally served content also assists in the reduction of the cost of Internet services, and in so doing, positively impacts economic growth. Notably, PAIX operates Ghana’s leading carrier-neutral data centre, with the highest concentration of networks and is coincidentally where the Workonline and Ecoband networks meet.
Workonline offers high capacity, low-latency and high stability IP transit and connectivity services up to speeds of 100Gbps at all major Internet hubs across sub-Saharan Africa. The pan-African nature of Workonline’s network allows them to keep local traffic in the continent (without necessarily routing it via Europe or other continents), whilst ensuring the most optimal path when delivering traffic outside the continent.
The benefits are passed on directly to Ecoband’s customers as they can now access additional, more efficient routes in Africa. These rewards scale across the entire Ecoband network including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo.
“Our drive is to find ways of continually improving the Internet ecosystem in West Africa,” says Eric Gbeho, CEO of Ecoband. “In delivering a world-class quality experience, Ecoband carefully selects providers that can deliver the very best in connectivity solutions. Teaming up with Workonline has opened the door to improved access and experience for our customers, whilst driving down costs. Workonline’s innovative approach to a symbiotic business model will help us continue to grow and improve the African Internet ecosystem together,” he adds.
“West Africa, and indeed Ghana, is an important focus for us to extend the reach of our network and support our mission of further developing a robust pan-African Internet ecosystem,” says Benjamin Deveaux, Head of Business Development for Workonline Group. “We’re pleased to have partnered with a pivotal player like Ecoband to help us achieve this mission.”