African Internet Exchange System (AXIS)

AU Launches the first Mobile Roaming Exchange in Africa at the Kenya Internet Exchange Point: “Contributing to lower roaming rates and quality of service in Africa”

AU Launches the first Mobile Roaming Exchange in Africa at the Kenya Internet Exchange Point: “Contributing to lower roaming rates and quality of service in Africa”

September 08, 2016
Press Release
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Nairobi, Kenya – 08th September, 2016: The African Union Commission (AUC), through the Infrastructure and Energy Department, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Communications & Technology of Kenya and the Telecommunication Services Providers Association of Kenya, launched the first Global GSM Roaming Exchange in Africa at the Kenya Internet Exchange Point on 08th September 2016.

Through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project of the African Union Commission, Member States with internet exchange points have increased from eighteen to thirty two.  The Commission has further provided grants to eight internet exchange points to be supported to become regional internet exchange points.

Under the grant awarded to the Kenya Internet Exchange point, the GSM Roaming Exchange (GRX) is one of the activities supported by the African Union Commission.

 “Within Africa, regulators and policymakers have expressed concerns about international mobile roaming (IMR), especially regarding prices. Considerable dialogue has taken place between regulators, policymakers and industry, which has at times been challenging due to the economic, commercial and technical complexities of international mobile roaming, Said H.E. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.”
 
The launch of the Global GSM Roaming Exchange (GRX) today which is Africa’s first and fourth in the world is a timely milestone towards addressing the issue of high roaming charges in Africa. By joining forces and pooling their roaming traffic, operators using the GRX facility will all benefit from lower rates and be able to make more attractive roaming offers to gain and retain subscribers. I therefore invite this GRX facility to establish synergies and linkages with the One Africa Network project of the SMART Africa Initiative to jointly address both the high roaming charges and quality of service in Africa, added H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.”

Dr. Catherine Getao, ICT Secretary, representing the Hon. Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology of Kenya thanked the African Union Commission for supporting the establishment of this important facility for Africa.

The launch was officiated by H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy and Dr. Catherine Getao, ICT Secretary, representing the Hon. Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology and attended by leaders of the Industry.
 
For more information on the African Internet Exchange System Project of the African Union, visit www.au.int/axis