International partnership boosts Namibia's internet connections
Telecom Namibia has joined forces with German Internet provider Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (De-CIX) and NewTelco SA, a Jasco Group company, to establish international access points in South Africa and Namibia to the German Internet exchange (DE-CIX).
This comes on the back of a recent move by Telecom Namibia in partnership with NewTelco SA to establish Points of Presence (PoPs) in South African and European communication hubs last year.
The access points will connect to the De-CIX Apollon platform, the world’s largest Internet Exchange, providing direct access for Namibia and South Africa to more than 550 networks connected to the De-CIX node.
Jasco will provide the physical platform to enable this interconnection. The establishment of this Internet Exchange is expected to deliver multiple benefits to customers of Telecom Namibia and to the economy of the region as a whole.
Isak Ouseb, Senior Manager: Product Management at Telecom Namibia, said: “We are very excited about the partnership with NewTelco SA which enabled Telecom Namibia to interconnect its PoPs to the world’s largest internet exchange, the DE-CIX.
“This interconnection will provide us with the ability to provide a speedy, reliable and robust connectivity to European digital ecosystem and beyond.
“It also dramatically improved routing efficiency and the quality of the Internet experience for end-users. Our partnership with NewTelco SA is a pioneering step in connecting Africa to the world, removing the reliance on third parties to connect internationally and driving down the cost of communications for the continent.”
Ouseb added: “This is just the first step in revolutionising telecommunications in Namibia. Further phases, such as additional PoPs and the extension of our national infrastructure will enable us to further extend these services.”
The establishment of these access points will create an optimal enabling environment for exchanging local, regional and international Internet traffic, facilitating Namibia’s vision of becoming the ICT hub in the West African region.
It will also allow for more efficient use of available infrastructure and capabilities, and will support the building of centralised infrastructure for content localisation.
Other benefits include substantial cost savings for network operators through a reduction in long-haul traffic costs, better resiliency and security of network infrastructure, massive reduction in latency and a reduced risk of outages, resulting in improved customer experience in Namibia and the region.
Eckart Zollner, Head of Business Development at Jasco, said: “With the establishment of the IXP, traffic is now under the direct control of Telecom Namibia, and can be sent directly over their own traffic routes to the De-CIX aggregation point, and from there to all of the European service providers connected to the hub.
“This lowers the cost of routing, with a knock-on effect to customers, and also improved speed and reliability. Given the close historical links with Namibia and Germany, having a direct connection makes sense from an economical point of view.
“The IXP will provide a direct interconnect between businesses in Germany and their customers or branches in Namibia, improving business,”
The IXP facility will not only function as an Internet Exchange switch, but will also enable data centre services to be offered, which will open up new avenues of business for both Telecom Namibia and other operators in the country.
The three-party agreement between NewTelco SA, Telecom Namibia and De-CIX was signed in August 2013 and the inter-connect has now been fully implemented effective from the beginning of September, enabling Telecom Namibia to begin rolling out new services and solutions to its customers.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.