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PCCW Global and TESPOK to launch first African roaming IPX

HKT (SEHK:6823) – Hong Kong, April 11, 2019

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and Kenyan technology service provider TESPOK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide Africa’s first mobile data roaming exchange point, an IPX based networking infrastructure that will keep roaming data on the continent while dramatically improving user experience, gaining network efficiencies, decreasing costs, and reducing loads on international cable infrastructure.

Growing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications such as YouTube, Netflix, and WhatsApp are fueling demand for 3G and 4G high-speed mobile networks throughout Africa. However, providing these services to roaming mobile users is fraught with difficulties because most roaming data currently transfers via the closest data Internet exchange points located in distant locations. The increased latency caused by this inefficient network scenario explains why roaming customers are frequently frustrated by poor service quality.

The PCCW Global and TESPOK solution is to set up a local African data roaming Internet exchange point strategically located in Kenya. The exchange point itself will be connected to PCCW Global’s world-class tier one network consistently ranked within the top 10 for global IP peering.

Africa has the fastest-growing youth population in the world, a rapidly growing number of Internet users, and an increasing demand for connectivity. Keeping pace with demand from African countries, PCCW Global has continued to enhance network diversity across the continent, increasing bandwidth capacity by up to 400% over major African backbone routes in the past few years and dramatically improving network availability, speed, and quality in the region.

PCCW Global is also heavily investing in the infrastructure for Africa, including the 12,000km Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable system that will connect three of the largest and most populous continents in the world - Asia, Africa and Europe. When complete, the cable will provide the shortest and most direct route between the continents, resulting again in reduced latency and a correspondingly improved end-user experience.

All this commitment to high-speed and low latency networking infrastructure will benefit the new data roaming Internet exchange point, providing world-class connectivity for African network operators across the continent and the world.

Mr. Sameh Sobhy, Vice President, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, PCCW Global, said, “Since African data roaming traffic is doubling year on year, the collaboration with TESPOK is an important step for the continent. Once an MNO is connected to the service, roaming customers will benefit from vastly improved quality in Africa, while facilitating cost efficiencies.”

Ms. Fiona Asonga, Chief Executive Officer of TESPOK, said, “With PCCW Global, we finally have a partner with the technical expertise, world-class international network and dedication to the African market to realize a vision that will benefit the continent. PCCW Global is one of the largest network providers in Africa. We expect that the company’s unique routing capabilities will decrease connectivity costs for operators who make use of this African Union supported GRX (Global Roaming Exchange).”

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About PCCW Global

PCCW Global is the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider, which is majority-owned by PCCW Limited. Covering more than 3,000 cities and 150 countries, the PCCW Global network supports a portfolio of integrated global communications services including connectivity, applications, and tailored solutions facilitated by the on-demand digital platform.

PCCW Global is headquartered in Hong Kong, and maintains regional centers in Australia, Belgium, China, France, Greece, Japan, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. To learn more about PCCW Global, please visit www.pccwglobal.com

About HKT

HKT (SEHK: 6823) is Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider and leading operator in fixed-line, broadband and mobile communication services. It meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sales, outsourcing, consulting, and contact centers.

HKT offers a unique quadruple-play experience in Hong Kong delivering media content on its fixed-line, broadband Internet access and mobile platforms jointly with its parent company, PCCW Limited.

HKT also provides a range of innovative and smart living services beyond connectivity to make the daily lives of customers more convenient, whether they are at home, in the workplace, or on the go. For more information, please visit www.hkt.com 

About TESPOK 

Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK) is a professional, non-profit organisation representing the interests of technology service providers in Kenya. Established in 1999, the strength of the association rests on its ability to be truly representative of the Kenyan industry as a whole. Prior to Kenya’s IXP development, there was no IXP on the African continent between Morocco and South Africa. In early 2000, TESPOK undertook to organise a neutral, non-profit IXP for its members.

To date there are 48 members peering at the KIXP - ranging from ISPs, government networks, education networks, the ccTLD Operator, Internet Backbone Gateway Operators, mobile operators and Value Add Services Providers. KIXP has in place as value added services to the industry three DNS root servers, Routing looking glass, Network Time Synchronization Server, Global Google Cache and various security monitoring tools for the Industry CSIRT.

For more information, please contact:

Ivan Ho
PCCW Group
Tel: +852 2883 8747
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Salma Shabaan
TESPOK
Tel: +254 7278 60639
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