Google Cloud is not yet planning a cloud region or data centre in Africa but is excited to get into the African market "at some point".
This is according to Dominic Preuss, director for product management at Google Cloud, answering a question from ITWeb at a press briefing at the Google Cloud Next 2019 conference in San Francisco.
"There are a tremendous number of customers there and we are constantly talking to customers that are trying to support the various African markets and go into that space. So really, it's going to be dependent on what demand we see from customers. We see lots of exciting things happening [in Africa] and we are excited to be in the market at some point, but we are not able to make any big announcement on that today," Preuss said.
In three years, Google Cloud has opened 15 new regions and 45 zones across 13 countries, but none of these are in Africa.
At Google Cloud Next 2019, the company announced two new additions to its global infrastructure: new Google Cloud regions in Seoul, South Korea and Salt Lake City in the US, bringing the total number of global regions to 23 in 2020.
The company plans to have the Seoul region up and running in early 2020, followed by the Salt Lake City region shortly thereafter. In the coming weeks, its planned Osaka, Japan region will open to customers, and the Jakarta, Indonesia region is expected to launch in the first half of 2020.
The Google Cloud platform, however, is available in South Africa, and Google Cloud services and support are provided through its partner network, which includes Siatik, Opennetworks and Dotmodus in SA.
Google Cloud also has 134 network edge points of presence (POPs) including one in Johannesburg, as well as POPs in Mombasa, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria.
Google Cloud is considered one of the top three players in public cloud storage, along with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft, according to the Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant.
AWS and Microsoft Azure both have a significant footprint in SA already. Last month, Microsoft opened two data centre regions in SA, unveiling cloud data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town. AWS will also bring its data centres to SA, launching its AWS Africa (Cape Town) infrastructure region in the first half of 2020. In March, Huawei Cloud started offering commercial services in SA.