I was Lou Holtz, a former American player and head coach, who once said, “Show me someone who’s done something worthwhile and I’ll show you someone who can overcome adversity.” Nigeria’s Galaxy Backbone is the network communications infrastructure and data hosting platform for public and private sector organizations. Just a few weeks ago, ICT and telecommunications organizations experienced an infrastructure outage. This incident tested the tenacity of its facilities, the reliability of its service and its ability to manage the customer experience. More importantly, the outage tested the skills of the Galaxy Backbone (GBB) team.
In all of these cases, the organization held firm, as it resolved the outage and returned the operations of the affected organizations to normal. I know that customers, stakeholders, and the wide range of global service providers who manage the kind of infrastructure that Galaxy Backbone manages realize that there is no such thing as a perfect infrastructure.
What is essential is to have a partner who will be there to guide them through any challenge that may arise and resolve it quickly and adequately. This is what GBB has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate in the lives of its customers and other stakeholders. GBB began operations in 2007 and has since focused on improving and improving its service infrastructure so that it consistently meets world class standards in terms of operation and management.
Thanks to the intervention of the federal government and a number of global partners, many investments have been made in the area of improving and expanding this infrastructure, not only in the territory of the federal capital, where GBB currently has the largest deployment of fiber optic cables, but also laid across the country as well. Nationwide, it continues to lay fiber optic cables and build world-class data centers that aim to improve Internet services for small businesses, government facilities and homes, while expanding broadband penetration. throughput and improving the standard of living of the population. One of GBB’s main focus areas, which the organization has expanded and strengthened over the years, is its network communications infrastructure capable of meeting the changing needs of its customers in the environment in which they find themselves. . Its state-of-the-art network monitoring and management center helps manage and control the connectivity and unified communications experience of its customers in the public sector.
The main objectives of GBB’s current efforts are to achieve the following: Enhance GBB’s strengths in service delivery; and Position GBB as a crucial partner for service providers in the public and private sectors. With the laying of high-speed fiber optic cables in more than 20 states in the federation and further deployments over the next 24 months in other parts of the country, the connectivity speed will be significantly improved in a short time. Investments have also been made in eLTE base stations currently in a number of cities across the country.
These will provide reliable alternatives to customers, based on their unique locations. This provides excellent multimedia communication services for voice, SMS, data and video for organizations, estates and homes. More importantly, it can be modulated to support 5G network. GBB has operated the only Uptime-certified Tier III data center in the national public sector for over eight years with no trace of downtime since its inception. This Tier III data center has been built and equipped with best-in-class equipment that enhances the colocation and managed services experience of all customers who currently have their applications or servers with this infrastructure. As part of its commitment to focus on a highly standardized infrastructure, a Tier IV data center is being built in Kano, which will be completed before the end of the first quarter of the year.
This will serve customers in this area and serve as a backup to the Tier III data center in the Federal Capital Territory. The medium to long-term plan is to ensure that a state-of-the-art data center is established in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country to ensure that everyone is covered in one way or another. of another. In addition to these investments in ICT infrastructure, GBB has also set up a Security Operations Center where customer applications on the GBB network are secured 24/7/365. This underscores the fact that security is an integral part of the Galaxy Backbone Infrastructure service experience.
A number of intelligence agencies and public service organizations rely on the Galaxy backbone infrastructure to keep the nation and its citizens safe. Muhammed Bello Abubakar, its Managing Director/General Manager, keeps the engine of GBB running. The Gombe State-born professor of petroleum geosciences and former oil and gas exploration research consultant to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He is an alumnus of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, where he obtained a B. Tech in Applied Geology and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in sedimentology/petroleum geology.
He is also a holder of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and has received several awards, including the best doctorate from the National University Commission. physical science dissertation awards from all Nigerian universities. Under the leadership of Professor Abubakar, Galaxy Backbone does a lot of work to maintain, manage and sustain the technology experience it wants its users to have. But the organization understands that with its huge responsibility, it would need the support and partnership of other service providers and customers to ensure its goals are met. It is true that Galaxy Backbone provides similar services to a number of other ICT organizations. However, few who provide similar services have the level and depth of infrastructure available for GBB. It is the hope of its leaders that private or public sector organizations see GBB not as competitors but as collaborators in Nigeria’s journey to become one of the world’s leading digital economies. Abubakar has on different occasions invited other origins to partner with Galaxy Backbone to leverage its massive infrastructure to help digitally transform the nation.
This call is heard because between 2020 and to date, no less than 10 partnerships and collaborations with the private sector have been concluded. These collaborations include; with DataSixth, SHELT Global Limited and Palo Alto on cybersecurity, Interra Networks and BCN on connectivity, Zadara on data centers and cloud services, Yahlink on satellite connectivity, New Waves on hosting services; all this in addition to the reinforced collaboration with Huawei, MainOne and others. These collaborations will further strengthen the public-private partnership, lower the price of bandwidth for the benefit of the end user, contribute to the nation’s GDP and improve the standard of living of the citizens.
• Dr. Ibrahim Idris Bello is a public finance analyst based in Abuja