Afrihost have partnered with MTN to offer a premium ADSL service to our clients. By joining the biggest telecoms network on the continent, we have ensured the future of our products, services and clients. Over the past 3 years, MTN has been investing approximately R4 Billion annually on infrastructure upgrades to make their Broadband Services the very best on offer.
Why move to MTN?
Afrihost is one of the fastest growing ISP's (and IT sector businesses) in the country. As such, our demand for premium upstream services necessitated the move to a bigger provider. Another major reason for our move was the need to more directly manage our products and our clients; and to offer more personalized products and service, as well as better value, to our clients. MTN have recently invested heavily in their Broadband capacity, not only nationally, but internationally, with improved access on multiple undersea cables. MTN is also a company focused on the future. Aside from delivering state of the art Hosting and Broadband Services, MTN are pioneering amazing environmental and socially responsible projects throughout the country.
What do Afrihost ADSL Clients currently enjoy on the MTN Network?
We have a large amount of IPC capacity nationally on the MTN network, with more than 20Gbps of international capacity over SAT3, WACS and EASSy undersea cables. In terms of national core network infrastructure, MTN have more than 10Gbps (and more in implementation) between Johannesburg to Cape Town and more than 10Gbps linking Johannesburg to Durban. Added to this, with the National Long distance segment to Durban in its finale stages, capacity between Johannesburg and Durban becomes virtually unlimited. The IPC capacity is split between MTN's Switching Centres in New Doornfontein and Randburg (with a dedicated fibre link between them). Both Switching Centres have state-of-the-art systems, with 100% redundancy should there be any equipment failure or maintenance required to any component. The system is run by multiple traffic management systems, each individual unit capable of managing 32Gbps bandwidth. State of the art systems from the global leader in internet traffic management used by leading ISPs in America and Europe have been implemented.
MTN have multiple switching centres located all over the country, so their network is fully redundant and is extremely unlikely to ever go down completely. MTN also has direct peering links to JINX (The Johannesburg Internet Exchange), the primary open peering point which most major South African ISPs use, as well as CINX in Cape Town. MTN also peers directly with many International ISPs in London (at LINX) and Amsterdam (at AMS-IX).
What's still in store for Afrihost Clients?
We are still in the process of rolling out the full network we have planned with MTN. Even though many of our clients are already reporting a much improved service, our fully deployed network will be completely mind blowing!! For the less techno savvy, here is the gist of what follows. Greater bandwidth capacity nationally, as well as local infrastructure in Durban and Cape Town, to improve service to local sites and servers. Improved international service on multiple overseas cables (based on your location) to give the best speeds and latency. Better city to city links, more efficient routing of traffic within the MTN core network, as well as a host of network upgrades and new equipment. It's Pure Internet Joy - made even better.
MTN will be installing significant amounts of local IPC capacity in Durban and Cape Town. As subscribers located in Cape Town and Durban will automatically migrate to local IPC capacity, additional capacity will become available in Johannesburg. International capacity is currently being upgraded with MTN being the first EASSy shareholder to light a 10Gbps service on the system, while WACS has already been upgraded to STM-64 (10Gbps)- this all ensures ample dedicated and guaranteed capacity for our clients.
MTN will also be continually enhancing their national infrastructure, in the short term they are adding additional capacity as follows: 10Gbps between Johannesburg and Cape Town has just been completed and another is in implementation, 10Gbps between Johannesburg and Durban is expected to be completed in December as well as 10Gbps between Cape Town and Durban expected in the first quarter of 2013.
For the best possible international service, ADSL routed via Johannesburg and Cape Town will be directed onto the WACS cable near Cape Town, while East Coast traffic will "break out" directly onto the upgraded EASSy cable near Durban.
MTN will be implementing a transparent caching system, which is widely regarded as the best platform for scalable video, media, P2P and web caching solutions, reducing network bandwidth and time to view or acquire commonly accessed media. MTN will also be introducing additional caching capacity in Cape Town, making services such as YouTube™ much more accessible and responsive for our clients. They are already in the process of deploying a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to accelerate the delivery of web content and applications. MTN will also introduce new BGP route reflectors to reduce downtime in the case of failure anywhere on the network to mere milliseconds.
You'll find a detailed page on the current and planned network infrastructure here.
Some more awesome stuff you may not know about MTN
We are learning more and more everyday about our network partner, and when it comes to a vision for South African IT and Telecomms, they are truly unsurpassed. With the biggest telecomms network in Africa, everything they do is geared toward the future. Here are some examples of the amazing innovations they are involved with.
MTN's Headquarters are located at their Innovation Centre in Fairland. The entire facility, including its state of the art next-gen Data Centre, is powered by their Trigeneration (TRIGEN) power plant. The R22 million project delivers 2.6 Megawatts of clean, green energy - minimising the load on municipal power, with little or no impact on the environment. Gas piped in from Mozambique is converted into electricity, as well as cooling and heating for MTN's utilities, with increased energy efficiencies of up to 85%. The Trigen project has prompted other major businesses (including banks, airports, hospitals and shopping malls) to look into cleaner, more sustainable energy. MTN's next project will be to build a similar facility at their New Doornfontein Data Centre, which houses Afrihost's main IPC and bandwidth servers, and is the soon-to-be home of Afrihost's internal system servers. The facility will represent a significant investment into downtown Johannesburg, hopefully signaling other corporates to do the same. The TRIGEN, along with other high-tech investments, put MTN's centre into the Tier 4 category (which is the most stringent and highest level of service provision) as they have a fully operational, 100% backup system - as well as diesel generators for additional failover, each capable of an additional 1.6MW of power. The plant is certified Silver Level by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an internationally recognised green building program.
MTN's Data Centres are built to the highest possible standards, and exceed those standards significantly. MTN aims for 100% redundancy/failover on their systems. Where most providers work on the N+1 principle, e.g. if two network components are required, a provider has one spare - MTN has 2 units to spare for any possibility in this scenario. They also conform to highest security standards, as demanded by banks and credit card companies, with state of the art biometric, computerised monitoring and cameras (which are administered locally and remotely) and 24 hour security teams. Just one of their Data Centres pumps over 20,000 litres of water per day, through multiple cooling towers, to ensure that temperatures are consistent. The same facility has 3 x 1.6MW generators (originally designed to power ships!), where only one would be needed to power the entire facility.
To top it all off, MTN's Innovation Centre, as the hub of their development, testing and live environment is encased in a electronic interference resistant shell. At an incredible investment of R100,000 per square meter, MTN have ensured that their facility, and your hosted data and MTN network services, are protected from any electronic interference. In fact, should an EMP weapon ever be launched in the area, the MTN facility (and services housed there) will be unaffected! Regardless, MTN have favoured redundancy over aggregation in their approach to their network layout, so in the unlikely event that an entire data centre or switching centre should go offline, services will be uninterrupted. What some would call overkill, MTN call an essential requirement.
We're truly proud to be partnered and associated with MTN, and we look forward to many years of awesome service from them.