Integrated ICT Services Provider Internet Solutions is in the process of piloting a consumption-based billing service for its connectivity business as the demand for bandwidth rises in the country.
According to the company’s Managing Director Richard Hechle, increasing bandwidth demand in the enterprise space is being driven mostly by firm’s embracing cloud computing, cloud storage and data centre virtualisation.
There are a number of other factors giving rise to exponential bandwidth demand. For instance, many companies are using video-based training and unified communications technologies, like Skype, for meetings. And as emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) become more prevalent in Kenya, more things will be connected to the Internet and will require ubiquitous connectivity.
Private data exchange capacity between enterprises is also fast outpacing growth of data traffic on the public Internet and looks set to comprise nearly six times the volume of global internet protocol (IP) traffic by the end of the decade, according to a new study produced by Equinix.
But even as enterprises become bandwidth hungry and business margins shrink, Hechle says most clients want to consume bandwidth as a utility, where they only pay for what they use every month.
Currently, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kenya and in Africa at large charge their clients and customers a fixed flat rate fee for connectivity services per month.
“Bandwidth is widely considered a utility like power and water and users want it where and when they need it. Enterprises are demanding convenience and flexible consumption models that respond to their needs,” said Hechle.
He reiterated that even as enterprises are hungry for bandwidth, there is a need for networks that are intelligent, secure, stable, flexible, expandable and that are able to replace the need for guaranteed and fixed throughput.
Currently, the company is testing the viability of the service with some of its clients and expects to launch it commercially in two-months’ time. The service will allow enterprises the flexibility of controlling how much data they want to consume and only pay for what they use monthly.