Smart Africa, Syniverse ink deal to lower roaming costs in Africa

By The Inspirer reporter.

Syniverse, an American giant company in providing mobile network and internet services worldwide, has entered a partnership with Smart Africa Alliance in a drive to reduce prices of making phone calls, sending text messages and using mobile data away from a 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 in 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 while reducing the costs of communication among the people on the continent.

Lacina Koné, Smart Africa DG, (right) and John McRae, the Syniverse Group VP and GM, Operations, EMEA and Asia, address the media in Kigali, Wednesday. Photo Courtesy.

After signing the membership, 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.”

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 boasts of huge connection with mobile operators in the world and 70% of African mobile operators are customers of Syniverse, an American giant provider of mobile network and internet services worldwide.

Smart Africa and Syniverse offcials pose for a group photo after signing the partnership in Kigali on Wednesday 

“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 Alliance is an innovative commitment from African Heads of State and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge-based economy through affordable access to broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). It has got its Head Office in Kigali, Rwanda.

Launched in 2013 by seven African Heads of State, the Alliance has grown to 26 member countries and dozens of 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 to name but a few.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,( is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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