Airtel and Cisco launch NaaS solution for African businesses

Airtel Africa has expanded its collaboration with Cisco to launch Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions across various service platforms.

The strategic partnership according to a statement from the two companies aims to empower businesses to seamlessly embark on their digital transformation journey. 

The NaaS offerings include an array of services such as enhanced security, surveillance, connectivity, and cloud solutions, all delivered through a secure cloud platform. 

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) represents a paradigm shift in how organizations consume network infrastructure, allowing users to operate networks efficiently without the need to own, build, or maintain physical infrastructure. This innovative approach reduces the challenges associated with traditional network models, including capital expenses, manual service provisioning, and lengthy issue-resolution processes. 

Airtel Africa’s NaaS offerings, powered by Cisco’s cutting-edge Catalyst and Meraki cloud-based platforms, promise to revolutionize connectivity for businesses of all sizes. The solutions are designed to replace hardware-centric VPNs, load balancers, firewall appliances, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections. With the flexibility to scale up or down based on demand, rapid service deployment, and reduction of hardware costs, Airtel Africa and Cisco are reshaping the future of business connectivity.

“As Africa transitions digitally, businesses will require a fusion of connectivity, mobility, security, and cloud into a service offering for every business irrespective of geographical spread or operational needs,” remarked Oliver Fortuin, CEO of Airtel Business Africa. “Airtel Africa NaaS also allows a managed service option, enabling Airtel Africa to fully manage the daily operational requirements of supporting such infrastructure as growth accelerates.”

The NaaS offerings will be accessible to all business customers, including small businesses, as well as global customers with operations worldwide. Airtel Africa and Cisco Systems are committed to facilitating a smooth digital transition for businesses, providing them with the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly connected world.

“At Cisco, we believe that every organization would benefit from simplifying powerful technology,” said Vish Iyer, President, Service Provider, Asia Pacific and Japan, Cisco. 

“Together with Airtel Africa, we are reducing networking complexities and securely connecting the world through Network-as-a-Service. This innovative approach is a great option for businesses wanting to shift to a cloud operating model without a heavy lift. Our partnership with Airtel Africa marks a pivotal moment as we pledge to deliver the majority of our cutting-edge technology portfolio to businesses across the continent in the most simplified, flexible manner imaginable: cloud-driven, cloud-delivered, cloud-managed, offered as-a-service, and, above all, fortified with unparalleled security.” he added.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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