AFRICA – Orange, French multinational telecommunications corporation with over 17 subsidiaries in Africa has joined Smart Africa’s One Africa Network initiative which aims at reducing the cost of communication and keeping the traffic generated and destined for Africa within Africa.

To demonstrate its commitment to the One Africa Network, Orange announced the creation of two new international voice points of presence (PoP) in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as the hosting of roaming data for its African customers at a data clearing house in Africa.

“These initiatives contribute to the Smart Africa objectives and demonstrate Orange’s willingness and investment to facilitate and expand the use of roaming and international voice services in Africa,” Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle-East and Africa

Orange also said that it working on a number of initiatives in order to always better serve the needs of all customers on the continent and play a role in digital inclusion by allowing direct connections between African countries.

The first initiative was on facilitating voice traffic connections between regions in Africa, and thus would be greatly supported with the creation of two new Voice Tier-1 Points of Presence (PoP).

Through these PoP, Orange says it will offer a diverse range of services to all African mobile operators, allowing the routing of traffic across Africa.

The France- based multinational also said that it had plans to expand internet data network coverage thanks to an ambitious IP (internet protocol) and IPX (Internetwork Packet Exchange)  Tier-1 Points of Presence (PoP) deployment plan in Africa.

Orange has also announced the creation of a new IP PoP in Accra, Ghana which will ensure a local connection to African and international content for its customers, as well as the exchange of roaming data.

These new PoP, combined with the IP points of presence, as well as all points of presence which Orange operates through its 17 subsidiaries, will allow it to host and route all voice traffic in Africa between connected operators.

While welcoming Orange into the One Africa Network initiative, the Smart Africa Secretariat emphasised the need to collaborate effectively with the private sector and create synergies with existing infrastructure.

“We value Orange’s commitment to strengthen Africa’s capacity to manage and retain her own data. This is important for ensuring universal access through cost savings and data sovereignty which is a hallmark of our data policy,” Lacina Koné, Director General & CEO Smart Africa said.

Prior to the One Africa Network initaive, Orange has been working to directly interconnect African operators and since 2015, it has had an established Roaming Operational Centre in Abidjan.

The centre according to Orange is a global centre of expertise which supervises testing and new roaming routes, either directly with its regional and global partners, or via its Roaming Hub (over 100 operators connected).

To supplement this approach, from 1 January 2021 Orange says that a customer roaming traffic between operators in Africa will be hosted by a data clearing house located in a data centre in Africa.

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