Published Thursday , on 15 August 2019, 15:24:03 by Christophe Hitayezu

Syniverse, an American giant company in providing mobile network and internet services worldwide, has joined Smart Africa Alliance as a Gold Member with an aim to reduce prices of making phone calls, sending text messages and using mobile data from outside of one’s home country.

The partnership was signed in Kigali on Wednesday by Mr. Lacina Koné, Director-General of Smart Africa, and Mr. John McRae, the Syniverse Group Vice President and General Manager, Operations for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The joining of Syniverse as a private sector member of Smart Africa will mainly support the Alliance’s One Africa Network project, which aims to end roaming charges among Member States, according to officials. This partnership will also help to create a mobile network hub on the continent to keep voice and data traffic on the continent.

It is expected that in a few years ahead, there will be a free roaming within the Smart Africa space, hence reducing the current high costs of mobile phone and internet data as people cross the borders from countries to others on the continent.

While awarding the membership to Syniverse, Lacina Koné said “Smart Africa’s joint efforts with Syniverse represent a giant leap towards greater integration of African continent to support the free movement of people, boost trade, and foster economic growth and partnership."

Syniverse’s John McRae said “Using our IPX Network and blockchain solution, we will provide a versatile world-class quality roaming network backbone, a quicker and easier billing and charging process to bring mobile users more cost-efficient voice and data roaming and cross-border mobile payment.”

He added that Syniverse has huge connection with mobile operators in the world with 70% of African mobile operators being customers of Syniverse.

“We collaborate with over 750 mobile operators around the world. We process 4 billion transactions and 2 billion messages a day and we connect 7 billion devices daily. We want to leverage those contacts to support the SmartAfrica mission,” said McRae.

Smart Africa DG Lacina Koné awards a certificate of membership to Syniverse Group Vice President John McRae on Wednesday in Kigali

With its headquarters in Kigali, Smart Africa Alliance is a continental governments and private sector’s initiative which is defining Africa’s Digital Agenda and driving the Continental Single Digital Market.

Launched in 2013 by seven African Heads of State, the alliance has grown to include 26 countries and several prominent private sector and academia members. Its founding members include the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the GSM Association (GSMA) and ICANN.

The Alliance also boasts of dozens of other private sector and academia members including Inmarsat, Ericsson, Econet Wireless, Huawei, CIB, MTN, Microsoft, Orange, Facebook, Intel, Rohde & Schwarz, Intelsat and Carnegie Mellon University Africa, among others.