Internet Society: advancing digital economies in Africa
Titled “Anchoring the African Internet Ecosystem: Lessons from Kenya and Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Points Growth,” the recent report released by Internet Society the organisation highlights how better connectivity within the region could present opportunities for countries to develop a more resilient digital economy.
A critical piece of the technical infrastructure that improves internet access is the internet exchange point (IXPs) where internet service providers (ISPs) and other network operators meet to exchange internet traffic. Without a local IXP, Internet Society explains that ISPs have to use expensive international internet connectivity to exchange and access content, having a local IXP results in faster and more affordable Internet access.
The latest report made by the organisation further expands on its study in 2012 which looked at two of Africa’s more advanced IXPs in Kenya and Nigeria.
The report highlighted the significant growth of both IXPs, as well as the cost savings made from exchanging traffic locally as opposed to using expensive international methods.
In Kenya, the IXP grew from carrying 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) in 2012 to 19 Gbps in 2020, with cost saving totalling US$6mn a year. While in Nigeria IXP grew from carrying only 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 125 Gbps in 2020, with cost savings of US$40mn.
“Kenya and Nigeria are in a better position than ever before to cope with – and contribute to – the digital revolution that COVID-19 has accelerated as the Internet becomes a lifeline for many people. It’s clear Africa is ready to embrace the digital revolution to spur economic development. But reaching this goal will depend on our community of passionate people on the ground, policymakers, regulators and businesses embracing IXPs and working in collaboration to create these essential local traffic anchors,” explains Michuki Mwangi, Senior Director of Internet Technology and Development for the Internet Society.
This significant growth for internet development in Kenya and Nigeria, highlights the critical role that IXPs and the infrastructure needed plays in establishing a strong and sustainable internet ecosystem. The achievements made in Kenya and Nigeria is also a significant step towards achieving 80% of Africa's internet traffic being local.
Within the report detailing Kenya and NIgeria’s progress, the organisation gives credit to the governments of the two countries which have adopted policies that have made it easier for the ecosystem to thrive. Not only did the governments make it easier for different service providers to develop submarine communication cables, but they have also adopted data protection regulations that have ignited confidence and attracted international service providers.
This ecosystem is vital for both countries in order to develop their service economies which thrive on financial trade and professional services.
For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.