Orange pushes collaboration to drive One Africa Network project
French telecommunications firm Orange, a platinum member of the Smart Africa Alliance, supports the One Africa Network (OAN) project, established to help reduce the cost of communication and keep the traffic generated and destined for Africa within Africa.
According to a statement released to the media, the Smart Africa Secretariat has emphasised the need to collaborate effectively with the private sector and create synergies with existing infrastructure.
For many years, Orange has provided infrastructure through its African subsidiaries to directly interconnect African operators. The Group will pursue this strategy by localising voice and roaming data hosting and transport on the continent.
The telco has 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.
The company believes these initiatives will help boost quality of service and data security for all users across the continent.
Orange says it is also working to facilitate voice traffic connections between regions in Africa, with the creation of two new Voice Tier-1 Points of Presence (PoP).
“Through these PoP, Orange offers a diverse range of services to all African mobile operators, allowing the routing of traffic across Africa,” the company asserts.
It is also focused on the objective to expand internet data network coverage thanks to an ambitious IP and IPX Tier-1 Points of Presence (PoP) deployment plan in Africa.
“Orange has announced the creation of a new IP PoP in Accra, Ghana (end of September 2020). These PoP ensure a local connection to African and international content for its customers, as well as the exchange of roaming data,” the company’s statement continues.
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.
According to Orange a Data Clearing House to host roaming data in Africa Orange has several interconnected datacentres in an open, seamless network to host data locally in Africa.
Since 2015, Orange has established a Roaming Operational Centre in Abidjan, 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 customer roaming traffic between operators in Africa will be hosted by a data clearing house located in a datacentre in Africa,” the company adds.
Lacina Koné, Director General & CEO Smart Africa, says: “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. Therefore, this partnership with Orange goes a long way in operationalising these principles and making the One Africa Network a reality.”
Jérome Barré, CEO Orange Wholesale & International Networks, adds: “With the creation of new voice points of presence and a data clearing house for roaming traffic in Africa, Orange is emphasising its position as a leader in international interconnection in Africa, as well as its ability to provide a local solution to African operators for all voice, data and roaming services. Orange’s ambition is to keep all traffic and flows in Africa, in order to contribute to the development of the continent’s digital economy.”
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle-East and Africa says: “We are working hard to promote the emergence of a dynamic digital society, a key driver of African development. From this year, Orange will endeavour to keep African traffic in Africa.”