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The Agile solution to Internet downtime

Updated: Apr 2

Last month, on the 14th of March, South African internet users experienced massive internet issues due to numerous subsea cable breaks, specifically the West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), MainOne, and SAT3 cables (MyBroadband, 2024).


The internet outage affected not only South Africa but large parts of Africa. A significant amount of internet traffic was disrupted across countries due to reduced internet capacity. Restoration plans are underway however, this has strained the remaining operational cables that feed South Africa’s connectivity.


When something like this happens, it results in general connectivity issues to business applications and operations says Dean Pillay, CEO of Agile Solutions Provider.  Businesses depend heavily on 3rd party applications such as Microsoft Teams that are hosted abroad and not having internet connectivity can impact business functions and delay processes.


Avoiding the Operational Hiccup

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding yourself being productive while working and suddenly your network goes down. We have all experienced a Microsoft Team’s call where you suddenly realise that you’re talking to yourself as the message pops; “Hold On, looks like something went wrong.” Microsoft Teams is just one example of an application where parts of it are hosted abroad explains Dean.


The application design ties back to the reliance on undersea cable capacity. When a cable breaks,  many customers and individuals are affected within the African continent, especially in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya where the dependency is exceptionally high. This impacts entire countries because mobile operators and cloud and content providers also depend on subsea cable systems for international traffic.


Various industries rely upon and have a dependency on the ICT sector which is directly impacted. In agriculture, for example, companies generally have a system responsible for accounting stock inventory to manage produce. Logistic companies have systems to manage and capture the data around imports and exports. Educational institutions such as universities have systems to manage and capture student data. The Banking sector uses systems to manage financial accounts and process payments.  All these systems are interlinked and dependent on access to the internet. It is the gateway that allows the world to communicate advises Dean.


More redundancy and resilience

Investing in more cross-border fibre is not cost-effective and can be difficult to maintain hence the investment in subsea cable systems. The best solution for South African companies to navigate the impact of subsea cable breaks is to utilise a service provider that has capacity on different subsea cable systems.


In the event of a subsea cable break,  Agile Solutions Provider (AgileSP) provides uninterrupted capacity to customers. As a Tier 1 IP Transit aggregator with resiliency across 5+ subsea cable systems, directly supporting ISP, WISP, Cloud, and Content providers, the company has designed and architected its network in alignment with subsea cable and network redundancy to cover the East and West Coast of the African continent.


Subsea cable and network redundancy to cover the East and West Coast of the African continent.
Agile IP Transit

















With upstream providers that ensure redundancy on coastal lines, AgileSP is fault tolerant. Avoiding the red tape and being agile is the ethos of the company says Dean. Our customers are provided with high availability due to network backup capacity and benefit from a network that is reliable.



“TouchNet’s Enterprise and Zadara Cloud customers were unaffected by the recent subsea cable breaks due to resiliency facilitated by AgileSP’s IP Transit, allowing TouchNet to maintain uptime on the cloud platforms without any disruption”, says Charly Bahous, CEO of TouchNet.


Whether you are a mobile network operator, cloud provider, content provider, internet service provider, or wireless internet service provider, our company can provide you with services tailored to your needs.


IP Transit

Our protected IP Transit services encompass multiple Tier 1 upstream providers with a great subset of subsea cable capacity. AgileSP has strategically engineered our IP Transit service to ensure our customers benefit from low latency routes, shorter as-paths, and optimal routing patterns both locally and internationally. Being a Tier 1 IP Transit Aggregator allows us to peer at all internet exchange points.


National Long Distance (NLD)

Alongside IP Transit services, we also provide NLD (National Long Distance), Layer 2, or IPLC connectivity services and remote peering services. AgileSP provides protected NLD services between all the data centre facilities that are highly scalable, burstable, and redundant.


Colocation

Our point of presence extends throughout South Africa in Johannesburg, KwaZulu Natal, and Western Cape in all the Teraco facilities, Africa Data Centres, and Open Access Data Centres.


Presence in the following Data Centres:

·        Teraco JB1 and JB3

·        Teraco DB1

·        Teraco CT1 and CT2

·        Africa Data Centre JHB1 and JHB2

·        Africa Data Centre CPT1

·        Xneelo Samrand JHB

·        Open Access Data Centre Isando JHB1

·        Open Access Data Centre Durban DUR1

·        Open Access Data Centre Rondebosch CPT1


With coverage that extends across multiple data centres, our clients benefit from reduced pricing, geographical redundancy and the convenience of utilising the data centre of choice that helps navigate disaster recovery issues.


Being Agile

The current economic state of South Africa requires business leaders to adopt an agile mindset. “There is too much red tape. At AgileSP, we focus on people and business needs therefore we understand that there are many variables at play and it's constantly changing”, says Dean.


The company respects the ecosystem by operating only within the carrier wholesale market. This allows our customers to receive tailor-made custom solutions that aid them in their growth strategies.


Our methodology is focused on helping our customers grow as we grow, explains Dean. We do this by providing expert advice and 24/7 365-day support to our customers.  The skills required for network guidance have become more of a demand now where customers want a closer working relationship with upstream internet service providers. Customers want to be able to call and speak to someone if there's an issue, not just log a ticket.


At AgileSP, our clients receive hands-on troubleshooting support and the pleasure of working with a dedicated internetwork and ICT expert engineer to assist with network inquiries.  The company’s network topology is architected with a hierarchical design to allow for scale and fault tolerance.


Bluedot Data’s customer base was among the fortunate to remain unaffected by the subsea cable breaks due to the outstanding network topology and redundancy provided by AgileSP”, says the CEO of Bluedot Data.


Growing Together

AgileSP has grown in alignment with the ICT sector and customer demands. Technology continues to evolve and selling IP Transit is very technical. Educating customers on the services that we offer and giving them the comfort of partnering with a provider that understands the technology and what is best for their business is what we pride ourselves on. How we do this is by taking the time to understand our customer's growth strategy, budget, and network design. All of these aspects drive the customer-centric solution for a robust growth plan explains Dean.


“Having received IP Transit services from AgileSP for over 4 years, we have grown together. Our wireless and fibre-to-the-home bandwidth demands have grown over the years and working with AgileSP has easily allowed us to scale up and increase our international capacity when required”, says Gersh Fritz, CEO of Open Link Communications.


Dean concludes by reflecting on the journey and tapping into what’s next for AgileSP. The company's journey has seen a lot of network growth that is directly proportional to bandwidth growth. From having one point of presence in Johannesburg Teraco to now having a presence in more than nine data centres speaks volumes about how AgileSP has grown.

 

The amazing thing about our growth has been the fact that we have grown with our customers. I hope to see this continue as we expand into Africa, notably Mozambique, Kenya, and Ghana. Growing our customer base and providing higher bandwidth capacity is what we look forward to. 



About AgileSP

AgileSP cares about developing the internet ecosystem by providing services as a Tier 1 IP Transit aggregator. Our motto is simple, yet effective – move with innovation. Based in South Africa and growing in neighbouring countries, we are a B-BBEE Level 1 Internet and Telecommunications Service Provider.  Our proven track record of expertise and adherence to regulatory standards allows us to deliver secure and reliable services to our customers.


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