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World Telecom Labs: Leigh Smith's 2015 Trends

A year ago we predicted that during 2014 there would be a significant increase in the number of operators in Africa rolling out VoIP services.

This did indeed come true and VoIP has now firmly established itself on international links into and out of Africa.

During 2015 we predict that the next wave of 2nd Generation VoIP deployments will connect cities within African countries where congestion, network overload and the high cost of building new links are all issues.

Breeze Micro, one of Nigeria’s six new interconnect exchange carriers, has already provided a successful model. It has built stand-alone POPs in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano which are all connected by VoIP links.

Breeze Micro enables the four main mobile operators in Nigeria to transport inter-city calls over the VoIP links which has taken traffic off their overloaded networks thereby freeing up capacity, increasing speeds and reducing latency. The VoIP links also mean that there are now many more points of interconnection between the operators so that calls between operators are much more likely to succeed.

2015 will be the year that 2nd Generation VoIP within the network backbone is widely deployed. It is now a proven technology in Africa that can address a multitude of issues; congestion, infrastructure costs and capacity as well as being a relatively straightforward way of bringing competition into the market.

Leigh Smith is the MD of WTL (World Telecom Labs).