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.
“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,” says Isak Ouseb, Senior Manager: Product Management at Telecom Namibia.
“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. 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,” Ouseb added.
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.
“In the past, traffic to and from Namibia either could not connect, or had to be routed via multiple different countries, depending on how service providers were connected to each other. 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,” says Eckart Zollner, Head of Business Development at Jasco.
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.