• Amazon on Thursday announced its first Edge location for its CloudFront service in Cape Town.
  • The first such location in Africa, in Johannesburg, went live in June.
  • The rapid rollout of the industry-killing giant makes for much faster streaming from its cloud – and some serious competition for local ISPs.

An Amazon CloudFront Edge location is now live in Cape Town, Amazon announced on Thursday, joining its first such location on the continent, in Johannesburg, which it launched in June.

Until this year Amazon's cloud services have been largely located in North America and Europe, making for relatively long latencies – giving local internet service providers (ISPs) a slight technical advantage over the global giant.

But with Cape Town now live, South Africa's two major cities will both have low latency on CloudFront services. 

South African customers have already seen a 75% average improvement in latency, Amazon says.

The CloudFront system is particularly impressive when used to stream audio or video, such as for TV-type services, but it is popular for a range of services where the speed of delivery counts – which increasingly includes ordinary websites with dynamic content, which users may abandon if they do not load quickly enough.

Amazon also offers highly granular on-demand pricing rather than fixed monthly fees, which have proven popular for a range of customers.

Using the South African Edge servers to serve data to others on the internet is some 30% more expensive than using the equivalent US or European servers under Amazon's differential pricing – but considerably cheaper than its rates for South America, India, and Australia.

Amazon's corporate customers in South Africa include Pick 'n Pay and Absa.

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