Africell, Africa’s leading mobile operator and the largest provider in Sierra Leone, aims to create social development and economic prosperity for people in countries in which it operates. Last year, they took a big step towards delivering this, piloting an SMS-led educational tool in Sierra Leone, capable of providing quality teaching and instant feedback to millions of children. However, with only an 11% spectrum allocation for mobile networks in the country, mobile network operators need highly efficient networks.
For years, telecommunication has provided better access to healthcare, education, and the jobs market and aided economic, social, and cultural developments. However, for many nations, these benefits are hampered by inadequate network infrastructures and poor access to mobile technologies.
In Sierra Leone, access to formal education is a problem. Along with many socio-cultural obstacles like attitudes towards the value of formal education, gender discrimination, and early marriages, 57% of the population live in rural locations, making it difficult to travel to schools, which can also be unsafe learning environments.
As a result, few children complete their schooling, and other educational opportunities for non-school-age individuals are rare, impeding financial gains for millions of people. So, mobile devices and affordable data are an issue when providing access to education in Sierra Leone, particularly for rural communities.
To improve their offer, Africell appointed NetEngage and Squire Technologies to enhance their network. Previously, the two companies worked together on a successful project to deliver advanced real-time billing for Africell in The Gambia and were happy to partner once more for this project in Sierra Leone.
NetEngage’s online charging system (OCS) platform provides up-to-date rating and charging functionality, catering to next-generation network Voice, Video, SMS and Data needs. Squire Technologies’ Sigla platform was vital in integrating Africell’s multi-generation network with its Interworking Function (IWF).
The advanced OCS platform offers robust real-time rating and charging services while still being able to communicate with Africell’s existing core network. In addition to allowing the operator to extend its offer to new customers, Africell will save significant infrastructure costs by updating its network instead of overhauling it.
Squire Technologies’ highly flexible Sigla platform uses its IWF to enable integration of leading-edge OSS/BSS network components into next-generation and legacy networks. Traversing the hybrid mix of networks, it translates and converts between multiple standards and protocols.
We are delighted that our ongoing partnership with Squire Technologies is continuing to yield positive results for us, our customers, and communities in Africa.Hymie Marnewick, Chief Executive Officer, NetEngage
The continuous development of new technologies in telecommunications threatens to further the digital gap between developed and developing nations. So, we are thrilled to again work with the talented team at NetEngage and help to deliver the forwards and backwards compatible network solutions Africell needs in Sierra Leone.Ben Teversham, Sales Manager, Squire Technologies.