Telcos in the Middle East and Africa harness strategic partnerships with global hyperscalers to accelerate cloud adoption

Telecommunication companies can now start entering the next wave of their go-to-market approach and play a more active role in connectivity, consulting, and the management of locally accessible cloud services, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Cloud Computing in Africa and the Middle East: Telco Cloud Offers, Best Practices and Market Opportunity’, noted that 2019 marked an important milestone in the development of telco cloud market strategies in Africa and the Middle East (AME), as the first regional points of presence were opened by Microsoft in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as AWS in Bahrain. Microsoft further announced plans to establish a cloud datacentre region in Qatar in 2021.

Tomasz Kulinski, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Historically, major AME telcos started offering enterprise cloud computing solutions as early as 2011-2013. Then, after a wave of investments geared towards data center establishment, improvement and expansion, telcos started strengthening their cloud offerings – focusing on expanding their portfolios through partnerships with leading market players in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) spaces.”

In 2019, global cloud providers became present in the Middle East, with the first data centers opened by Microsoft in the UAE (partnership with Etisalat) and by AWS in Bahrain (partnership with Batelco).

Kulinski continued: “Cloud services from these global providers were previously provided through data centers located outside of the region, which could hamper adoption where low-latency and data-residency are important requirements.”

Telcos that have partnered with global cloud providers can start entering the next wave of their go-to-market approach and play a more active role in connectivity, consulting and the management of locally-accessible cloud services.

Kulinski concludes: “Local residency of data may significantly accelerate the migration of government services to the cloud and support public initiatives involving sensitive and personal data such as smart city projects.”

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