Opera (Nasdaq: OPRA), one of the world’s leading browser developers with more than 350 million monthly active users, today announced the successful installation of its new local servers in Mombasa, Kenya. These servers significantly increase browsing speed up to four times faster than before, meaning that millions of Kenyans who use Opera products, such as the popular Opera Mini browser, will enjoy a faster experience when accessing their favorite online content.
“Kenya is a hyper-connected country with 86% of its population already online. The challenge is supplying users with uninterrupted and quick internet connectivity,” said Krystian Zubel, IT Director at Opera. “With the installation of our local data servers in Mombasa, we are improving connectivity speeds and meeting the needs of millions of connected Kenyans.”
The new data servers are located in the iColo.io MBA1 data center facility, chosen for its strategic location, ability to cool high-performance computing, and its local and international connectivity.
“We feel privileged to be supporting Opera in their African growth and efforts to improve connectivity across Kenya. Using our strong community of connectivity partners, content delivery networks and global networks in Mombasa, Opera can reach their end users in the most reliable manner,” said Ranjith Cherickel, CEO at iColo.io.
With the installation of the new local servers, Opera is reducing connection latency and providing Kenyans with swifter browsing. According to the test results, the response time to servers has significantly improved, with a 4x increase in response time for users with the fastest network conditions. In addition, overall browsing has become even faster with the implementation of intelligent caching mechanisms.
Faster browsing saves 4400 hours on everyday life for Kenyans
Every day, Kenyans browse more than one hundred thousand web pages with Opera Mini using the data compression capabilities of the browser. By enabling the data compression technology of Opera Mini, and connecting to the local data server in Kenya, Opera will make every load page request faster, saving an amazing total of 4400 hours of time waiting for webpages to load. This improvement comes on top of all the great speed gains already provided in Opera Mini.
Saving more than two billion KES in mobile data
Opera Mini is a fast and lightweight application and is currently the most downloaded browser in Kenya on Android devices, according to AppAnnie in February 2020. The mobile browser is equipped with unique features that make it stand out from pre-installed browsers, such as offline file sharing, ad blocker, media downloader, and its popular data compression technology.
During the second half of last year, Opera Mini reported that users in Kenya saved more than one million gigabytes in mobile data, which translates into over two billion KES saved in mobile data.
“Data costs keep representing a major challenge for millions of people across Africa as it limits their ability to access the internet. In Kenya the cost of one gigabyte of mobile data is twice as expensive as in Nigeria. However, Kenyans enjoy better internet speeds than Nigerians and those in other African countries,” said Zubel.
New Opera data servers powered by green energy
Recent public and private funding for solar, wind, tidal and other natural resources has transformed Kenya into a hub for the development of greener energy. Today, 86% of the electricity in the country is produced by geothermal and hydroelectric energy. This energy also supplies full power and electricity to the new Opera data servers in the iColo.io MBA1 data centre facility in Mombasa.
Leading the digital transformation
Today, Opera has a fast-growing user base of more than 350 million monthly active users worldwide with 120 million of those users based in Africa. Last year, Opera also expanded its product portfolio beyond the development of its computer and mobile browsers, introducing new innovative online marketing platforms such as Opera Ads, OLeads and OList. With this strategy, Opera is bringing down connectivity barriers by empowering thousands of African businesses with easy-to-use solutions that help them maximise their online visibility and ramp up their sales.
The installation of the new Opera data servers in Kenya is also part of Opera’s strategy to continue leading the digital transformation of Africa. The company has ambitious plans to expand the presence of their data servers to more African countries and continue enhancing the digital lives of millions of internet users across the continent.