12 Jun 2013

Connecting West Africa: See you next year | 10-11 June 2014

Share your thoughts on #ConnectingWestAfrica @allaboutcom 

The Connecting West Africa conference and exhibition closed today after two days of intense debate on connectivity developments in the region. 

The main theme was that the region needs better access to high speed communications in order to deliver the new services that consumers and enterprises demand. New technologies, partnerships and investment must be promoted. More cost-efficient solutions are being developed - whether over mobile, satellite or fibre - but there is still work to be done. The role of regulators and governments was often mentioned as crucial in promoting development in the market.

Attendees had an opportunity to hear from the region's leading operators, suppliers and governmental organisations who shared their perspectives on the market: Orange, Tigo, Expresso, ECOWAS, Intelsat, O3B Networks, WIOCC, Sierratel, Equateur Telecoms and more.  

"For our 10th year in the region, we decided to focus the event on issues of connectivity and network/infrastructure developments" says Julie Rey, Conference Director, Com World Series | Informa Telecoms & Media; "this proved to be a very important theme and it was fascinating to witness the very passionate discussions both in the conference and during the networking sessions".

Next events in the Com World Series will look at other areas of the market: Digital Services Africa in Johannesburg on 25-26 June, NigeriaCom in Lagos on 17-18 September and AfricaCom in Cape Town on 12-14 November.
We look forward to seeing you next year at Connecting West Africa 2014. 
What our attendees said about this year's show:    

“The Connecting West Africa Conference allows you to not only connect on the issues confronting the West African telecom sector, but also connect with the companies and individuals that can help you find solutions to your needs.” 
Kolubahzizi Howard, Director of Strategy, Liberia Telecommunications Authority

“Efficiency! Efficiency! Efficiency! This event has provided an insight into the challenge for all MNO in terms of exponential growth in bandwidth demand and how to balance network efficiency and profitability. Thank you for the great opportunity!”
Ismail Ibrahim, Satellite Services Manager, MTN Nigeria

“The idea of the Speed Networking was fantastic! It gave vendors the opportunity to have one to one interaction with the operators”
Chinedu Dike, Sales Director West and Central Africa, Tecnotree Finland  

“This conference was a great advantage for us. Well informed business insights, very focused presentations. The event is well monitored”
Komenan Celestin, Group Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Alink Telecom Cote D'Ivoire

“Very good and interesting presentations, showing good future prospects. Staff was very friendly and helpful, always ready to give a hand! I will come back!”
Francois Hernandez, Sales Director, Verimatrix Netherlands

“Great event!!! All topics were relevant and it is good to discuss the challenges facing mobile network operators! Keep up the good work!”
PJ Phike, CEO, MTN Guinea

“We really appreciate the opportunity of connecting operators to telco providers.
As a telecom operator, it will be very beneficial for us to get involved with the local vendors as we have done in Speed Networking. Presenting and working with the providers in the telecom field, will help us to continuously keep the connection between the companies. Thanks” Khadim Rassoul Diop, Field Operation Director, Expresso Senegal

“Today's event has been very interesting for us. There was a great amount of suppliers which we met in Speed Networking with a rich portfolio of products and solutions. The speakers and panellists were very experienced in the field” 
Ibrahima Toure, Head of Innovation Department, Orange Mali

Thank you to all the Sponsors of Connecting West Africa 2013 

TI Sparkle
Helios Towers
Mahindra Comviva

See You Next Year!     
To get involved early for the 2014 show,       
please visit our website: http://westafrica.comworldseries.com/
Connecting West Africa 2014 
10-11 June 2014 
Radisson Blu Hotel
Dakar, Senegal

11 Jun 2013

Connecting West Africa opened today at the Radisson Blu in Dakar...

***Join us for day 2 ***  Share your thoughts on #ConnectingWestAfrica @allaboutcom
Connecting West Africa opened today at the Radisson Blu in Dakar, Senegal, with very engaging debates on the means to improve connectivity across the West Africa region.

The key theme of the event was how to meet the networks and infrastructure needs in the digital era in the region. The conference included presentations and interactive debates with inspiring speakers from the entire digital ecosystem such as Operators (Sonatel-Orange, MTN, Tigo, Expresso, and Sierratel), OTT players (Google, Viadeo) and Satellite companies (Intelsat, O3B Networks) and much more. 
The discussions touched on some of the key challenges that remain in order to provide better, more reliable and more affordable communications: regulation, bandwidth cost, quality of service and cost-efficiency among others.

Outside the conference, the exhibition and break areas were busy with meetings and continuing discussions. Some attendees joined a busy Speed Networking session to make new contacts. The day closed with a seaside networking drinks reception sponsored by Mahindra Comviva. 
The second day will continue the debates around investment, partnerships, cost-efficiency and rural telecoms, with speakers from ECOWAS, IFC/World Bank, WIOCC, Orange, Helios Towers Africa, Azur Telecom, the Liberian regulator and much more.
Make sure to join us for Day 2 
There is an outstanding speaker line-up for day 2 of the event as well -  
make sure to join us tomorrow! 
Venue Information: http://westafrica.comworldseries.com/venue/
Day 2: 
Registration: Opens 8:30 
Conference: 9.30am – 15.30pm 
Exhibition: 9.00am – 15:30pm 
Hear from a Connecting West Africa Day 1 Attendee 
Nirina Rambelo, Regional Sales Manager, France and Francophone Africa, Transition Networks
"For my first participation as visitor I am fully satisfied. The event's concept is suited to the target market ie the telcos. The quality of attendees is of very high level: I'd say 100pc are decision makers. For us as suppliers it is very important. On the first day of the event I achieved nearly all of my objectives. We'd recommend vendors in our field to attend" 

"Pour une 1re participation en tant que visiteur je suis entierement satisfait. Le concept est adapte par rapport au marche vise (les telcos). La qualite des personnes qui viennent rst de tres hautniveau; a 100pc ce sont des decideurs. Pour nous en tant que constructeur c'est tres important. Meme le 1er jour j'ai acheve presque tous mes objectifs. Nous recommandons aux constructeurs dans notre domaine d'etre presents".

Sponsors of Connecting West Africa 
TI Sparkle
Helios Towers 
Mahindra Comviva 

10 Jun 2013

IPX to Stop the Many, Many, Many, Many Network Interconnect Chaos

Dialogic is exhibiting at Connecting West Africa, taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dakar, Senegal tomorrow and Wednesday 11th of June.

Jim Machi is the Vice President of Product Management at Dialogic. Today he shares his views on Network Interconnect Chaos.

A while back, I spoke at the US Telecom “Voice Innovation Summit”. I was placed in the part of the conference titled “From POTS to Communication Free-For-all”. My point of view is that even though yes, there are many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many different types of IP Networks, it really doesn’t have to be a free-for-all. First of all, connectivity is happening today, so it’s fine in a certain respect. But it can clearly get better, and if you are running a business and need to connect from one country to another, IPX is one such framework to stop the chaos.

This blog is not going to be a treatise on IPX and if you want to learn more about it, please read our whitepaper here.

What I spoke about is that because of different types of signaling on IP networks (because of SIP variants for instance) and because of different types of media for the IP networks (different voice and video codecs), and that fact that the IP networks still need to connect to the PSTN, you get into a need to translate all of these things when crossing network boundaries. This is no different than before, and why gateways exist. However, in the IP centric world, this is why Session Border Controllers exist.

But carriers don’t want to run their services over the public internet. There isn’t any control over the quality, nor the security. So the IPX framework deals with this. It’s essentially a very large private IP network. So if you are IPX enabled, then as you cross network boundaries the signaling and media conversion is taken care of, and the security as well. One can join and participate just as a pipe (called bilateral transport), or be service aware and charge for minutes for instance (called bilateral service transport) or be a multilateral service hub, which is where the QoS and this differentiated, premium services can live.

I then gave some examples of different networks and their needs when crossing boundaries, such as fixed networks to mobile networks (even if both are IP), etc.

If one thinks of the IPX as a big “cloud” then you can put IPX aware equipment in there that can accommodate transcoding, etc. I gave an example of a live press conference demo we did at the past CTIA – where we demonstrated mobile video conferencing on the Verizon network where we had a few people on the LTE network in New Orleans, one on the 3G network in Times Square, one on a WiFi network and one on a wired IP network, all with differing endpoints. It worked. But imagine if we had tried this from different countries! No way at this time. But if IPX was in place, it definitely could have worked.

So in summary, if you don’t know about IPX and want to learn more, go read something J But IPX is a mechanism that can provide for internetworking with IP and legacy networks, can be a platform for enabling value added offerings that enhance the user experience, and can be a common platform for cost efficient optimal global routing of IP traffic. A way to end pending chaos.

Find out more; meet Dialogic at Connecting West Africa, visit Stand 15. Visit the website: www.comworldseries.com/westafrica