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Friday, August 25, 2006

Experts call for aggressive deployment of VoIP

Experts in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) sector have called for more deployment of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology on the African continent to improve connectivity.

The experts spoke at the just ended third Africa VoIP forum in Lagos, Nigeria. According to the experts, it would be advantageous and easier to connect different people any where on the continent with IP technologies such as Wireless Fidelity (WiFI) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) among others.

They also pointed out that if these IP solutions are implemented carefully and are properly regulated, they have the capacity to change the lives of many people on the continent.

Video and Internet Protocol (IP) Manager at Eutelsat, Mr Gaethan Donlap Kouanga, noted that Africa has been a continent with the lowest number of telephone lines and with the deployment of VoIP people could have better access to voice networks at affordable prices.

Responding to the assumed success of similar VoIP forums held in different countries, he said, people have talked so much about VoIP but have not yet realized its potential in enhancing business growth through its networking opportunities and percentage of growth in terms of traffic.

He also said that, there will be more opportunities in the developing countries if voice services are offered for free both internationally and nationally based on VoIP technology.

"VoIP has improved the working capacity of many countries and with all the services being provided, for example, wireless, and Internet services - they could reduce the cost of Internet access to 10 dollars per month", he said.

The number one challenge, according to him, is the availability of the technology to those that desire it most and stating that in some European countries and in the United States these are basic services.

African countries therefore need voice technologies in order to develop other aspects of VoIP.

Kouanga added that if there have been voice network solutions as is the case in the United States and Europe, the African continent, would have surmounted several of its problems over time, especially in closing the communications gap.

The chief executive Emperion, Mr Morten Hald, equally stated that the forum was a success in the end despite the lack of proximity of many participants. He noted that with such awareness about the issues of interconnectivity between African countries, call traffic experience has improved greatly as customers can now call their voice outlets without much trouble.

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