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Orange commits to keep intra-African data traffic in Africa

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Orange has announced it is creating two new international voice points of presence (PoP) in Lagos, Nigeria, and plans to open a data clearing house in Africa to host roaming data for its African customers. Both projects are aimed at boosting quality of service and data security for users across the continent.

"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," said Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle-East and Africa, in a statement.

Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa  (Image courtesy of Orange)
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa
(Image courtesy of Orange)

The planned investments are in line with Orange's membership of the Smart Africa Alliance and its commitment to the One Africa Network project, which aims to reduce the cost of communication on the continent and keep the traffic generated and destined for Africa within 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," Ndiaye added.

For many years, Orange has provided infrastructure through its African subsidiaries to directly interconnect African operators. The group will continue to pursue this strategy by localizing voice and roaming data hosting and transport on the continent.

The new Lagos Voice Tier-1 PoP will allow Orange to offer a diverse range of services to all African mobile operators, allowing the routing of traffic across Africa. The telco already opened two IP PoPs in Nigeria in early 2019 and another one in Accra, Ghana, in September 2020.

"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," the group said.

African data clearing house

Orange will next year establish a data clearing house to host roaming data in Africa. The French company already has several interconnected data centers to host data locally in Africa.

Since 2015, Orange has established a Roaming Operational Centre in Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire, a global center of expertise which supervises testing and new roaming routes, either directly with its regional and global partners, or via its Roaming Hub – with over 100 operators connected.

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

"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 operationalizing these principles and making the One Africa Network a reality," added Lacina Koné, DG and CEO of Smart Africa.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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