Ghana’s only telecoms industry interconnect clearinghouse (ICH), Afriwave Telecom emerged the Interconnect Service Provider of the Year as the maiden Foreign Investors Network (FIN) Awards in Accra.
The awards event climaxed the maiden African Cashless Payments Systems (ACPS) Conference in Ghana, where several industry players discussed how to use digitalization and cashless payments to drive intra-continental trade within the context of the AfCFTA (Africa Continental Free Trade Area).
The ICH was licensed under the Electronic Communications Amendment Act, 2016, Act 910 to provide a wide range of services including, in the main, building and operating a common platform for both domestic, outbound and inbound interconnect traffic between all local service providers and between international traffic carriers and domestic operators.
Currently, the ICH has fully connected to all four telcos and now carries all interconnect voice and SMS communication traffic in the country.
One hundred percent interconnect traffic, according to Afriwave, comes to an average of about 600 million minutes of calls month on month.
This means as of today, any call or SMS going from one network to another in Ghana, goes through the ICH before terminating on the intended network. It makes reconciliation between the telcos much easier and also replaces the hitherto complex peer to peer arrangement.
Additionally, at least seven International Wholesale Carriers (IWCs) who operate international gateways that bring in calls from outside Ghana into the country have also connected to the ICH.
Out of the seven IWCs, five are fully active and they route at least 20 per cent of all inbound international calls through the ICH, with the rest going directly to the telcos’ networks under different arrangements.
Meanwhile, the ICH is also all set to deliver on its other regulatory mandates pending approval of its additional state-of-the-art data center by National Communications Authority (NCA).
It is also to be the single connection point between value added service (VAS) providers in Ghana and the telecoms operators in the country and their subscribers, plus a myriad of other services within its mandate, including building and operating an internet exchange point (IXP).
Since starting operations on the back of Act 910, Afriwave Telecom has established two major data centers in Accra and Kumasi to carry interconnect traffic and offer other services.
It started with 40 per cent of interconnect traffic, but since September 2021 it has been carrying all domestic interconnect traffic between the four telcos – MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Glo.
This was possible because Afriwave, in collaboration with technology partner, Huawei and some local banks, have built a US$38 million facility, hosted by globally acclaimed data center and IXP operators, ONIX at their Accra Data Center.
Indeed, this year, Afriwave went into a strategic partnership with ONIX, and that gives Afriwave access to Ghana’s second internet exchange point (IXP), also hosted by ONIX, plus a formidable data centre offering with a solar powered Tier 4 certified facility that is connected to most of the main carriers in Ghana.
Afriwave is now therefore well positioned to deliver a world class offering of data centre, connectivity, Cloud and Value-Added Services into the Ghanaian and regional market.
Speaking of regional market, the company recently joined the Smart Africa Alliance as a senior member and the first Ghanaian private sector industry player to have done so, with the aim of fostering strategic collaborations across the continent within the framework of the AfCFTA (Africa Continental Free Trade Area).