Syniverse on Filling the Gap Between Legacy and Advanced Networks in Africa

In a recent interview with TechAfrica News, Dany Rahal, Sales Executive Director MEA at Syniverse, highlighted the company’s 30 years of industry expertise and addressing specific regional needs, solidifying Syniverse’s position as a key player in shaping the future of telecommunications on the continent.

Tell us more about Syniverse and your role in fostering a more interconnected global telecommunications landscape.

With over 30 years in the industry, Syniverse is a one-stop shop for all your roaming needs. We provide end-to-end solutions, including clearing services and innovative connectivity solutions. Our expertise, experience, and comprehensive product and service offerings set us apart in the market. Our core business revolves around global private networks, specifically our IPX network, which is essential for security and connecting customers worldwide. We are proud to be rated as the leading choice by industry analysts, covering over 60% of operators globally.

In regions where connectivity is still lacking, our innovative solutions help to enable private networks, allowing MNOs to provide connectivity to villages, universities, or businesses in remote areas, fostering synergies within Africa.

Dany Rahal, Sales Executive Director MEA, Syniverse

This advantage allows us to provide leverage to our customers and partners in Africa, connecting them seamlessly to the rest of the world. Even if we’re not directly connected to some mobile network operators (MNOs), we find a way to connect them, which makes us a key player in enhancing interconnectivity in Africa. We understand the unique priorities of African markets. Our cloud-based solutions offer cost savings, eliminating the need for significant capital investments, enabling our clients to start generating revenue immediately.

In certain African regions, like East Africa, the focus is on fintech solutions such as M-PESA. These areas require better connectivity and customer experiences, both domestically and internationally, which we help facilitate. In regions where connectivity is still lacking, our innovative solutions help to enable private networks, allowing MNOs to provide connectivity to villages, universities, or businesses in remote areas, fostering synergies within Africa.

In Africa, the mobile landscape is diverse, with a mix of legacy networks and advanced technologies like 5G. We bridge the gap between these generations to ensure seamless transitions, making it easier for operators to move from one technology to another. Our interworking function, such as 3G to VoLTE, is a critical part of this process, allowing legacy networks to connect seamlessly to newer 4G or 5G networks, which is especially important for operators retiring their 3G networks.

Let’s talk about the Evolved Mobility solution and how it addresses the challenges faced by 4G and 5G-only operators.

The Evolved Mobility solution was created in 2019 to address the challenges faced by MNOs phasing out their 2G and 3G networks and transitioning to 4G and 5G. When MNOs sunset their legacy networks, they often reallocate spectrum resources to support 5G, which can negatively impact inbound roaming. The rest of the world still relies on circuit-switched calls, and when legacy networks are retired, operators can’t roam for voice. In some cases, data roaming is affected as well.

Our Evolved Mobility solution addresses this gap by serving as an interworking function, ensuring that inbound roamers can seamlessly access the operator’s network, even if they’ve retired 3G.

Dany Rahal, Sales Executive Director MEA, Syniverse

Our Evolved Mobility solution addresses this gap by serving as an interworking function, ensuring that inbound roamers can seamlessly access the operator’s network, even if they’ve retired 3G. This solution is dynamic, so MNOs only pay for the capacity they use, making it a flexible and cost-effective option. We’re actively working with MNOs around the world to help them bridge the gap and ensure a smooth transition to 5G, especially as more MNOs retire legacy networks in the coming years.

You talked briefly about rural and semi-rural areas where your solutions can speed up processes. Can you provide examples of projects or initiatives in this regard?

In densely populated regions like Kenya and Nigeria, there’s a growing need to cover rural areas and empower the youth population. For this, we offer a product called Global SIM. With Global SIM, individuals in rural areas can access essential services like M-PESA for financial transactions. Even in areas where Tier 1 operators lack coverage, our Global SIM allows for seamless connectivity. This ensures that people in these regions can access critical services like medical aid, even in areas with no local carrier coverage.

Global SIM provides connectivity, even acting as a domestic roaming service through interconnections with local carriers. This enables users to access data and even make VoIP calls, improving their quality of life.

What makes this solution unique and a game-changer for Mobile Network Operators and markets?

Our solution addresses a critical industry need, providing realistic and active service in this sector. When a MNO transitions from 3G to 4G or 5G, they risk losing a significant portion of their revenue from inbound roamers. Our VoLTE solution is designed to bridge this gap and ensure a continuous stream of revenue, even as operators phase out legacy networks. The impact of retiring 3G can result in the loss of millions of dollars, making our solution vital to maintaining these revenues.

On the flip side, our solution also helps MNOs smoothly transition their outbound roamers to legacy networks when needed. We serve as an interworking function, ensuring that operators can monetize their business through VoLTE agreements and IoT transactions. This solution is a significant factor in helping operators in the region transition to new technologies, maintain revenue, and future-proof their systems.

Our solution also helps MNOs smoothly transition their outbound roamers to legacy networks when needed. We serve as an interworking function, ensuring that operators can monetize their business through VoLTE agreements and IoT transactions

Dany Rahal, Sales Executive Director MEA, Syniverse

How does Syniverse ensure the smooth and reliable implementation of its solutions across different networks?

Our core axiom for implementation is “low to no touch.” Neither the visited nor the home mobile network operator needs to make significant changes. While some initial implementation is necessary to connect our networks and run tests, it’s largely a seamless process. Our global network infrastructure allows us to work with existing connections, which simplifies the implementation.

Our cloud-based solutions also play a pivotal role in the ease of implementation. Since we handle everything at our end, our customers and partners don’t have to worry about complex installations or configurations. This approach streamlines the process, making it hassle-free for all parties involved.

How does Syniverse stay agile and adaptable to cater to additional needs in diverse African regions with varying infrastructure and connectivity dynamics?

Our IPX network infrastructure is a cornerstone of our ability to adapt to the evolving needs of our clients in different regions. We invest in security, latency, and capacity to meet the demands of an ever-changing market. With our agility and commitment to providing reliable, secure networks, we ensure that our solutions remain adaptable and well-suited to the unique requirements of the African market.

Our roadmap and expertise in global networking empower us to serve as a valuable partner to operators in Africa. We offer not only solutions but also insights and consultancy to help operators interconnect VoLTE networks and develop VoLTE agreements, ensuring they can monetize their business effectively, including IoT transactions and machine-to-machine communication.

Our IPX network infrastructure is a cornerstone of our ability to adapt to the evolving needs of our clients in different regions. We invest in security, latency, and capacity to meet the demands of an ever-changing market

Dany Rahal, Sales Executive Director MEA, Syniverse

Our commitment to bridging connectivity gaps and facilitating smooth transitions between different network generations, combined with our innovative solutions and global network infrastructure, makes us a key player in shaping the future of telecommunications in Africa.

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