Cell C has become the first mobile operator in the country to support open peering, via NAPAfrica.

NAPAfrica is South Africa’s first open and free public peering facility and one of the largest multi-lateral peering internet exchanges in the country.

Lex van Wyk, CEO of Teraco Data Environments, says: “Open peering is an excellent opportunity for Cell C to have access to an immediately visible and ever growing network of partners housed within the Teraco facility, including carriers, internet service and content providers both locally and internationally. The sharing of online content and network capacity impacts on the price of connectivity, ultimately lowering bandwidth costs to the consumer.”

He adds: “Cell C, which has taken the lead in providing cost-effective internet to users, will now also be able to offer a better overall internet experience in terms of quality and speed, especially when it comes to application downloads such as Facebook, YouTube, Google and Microsoft updates.”

Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of Cell C, says the decision to support open peering with NAPAfrica is an indication of how serious the mobile operator is about providing quality internet solutions at affordable prices.

“Peering with NAPAfrica means we can ensure quality and speed in data downloads. It also offers us access to several internet infrastructure partners and content providers, opening up opportunities within the internet service market, locally and internationally.”

Knott-Craig says Teraco’s recent connection with the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) which links directly to the peering service NAPAfrica, is an exciting move. “This brings Africa closer to Europe in terms of content, and offers opportunities for European carriers to connect across Africa.

“Cells C’s decision to support open peering is innovative, contributes to economic growth and makes them a leader when it comes to providing quality service at affordable prices.

“From an initial exchange with 64Mbps of traffic, NAPAfrica is now reaching over 2Gbps. This capacity excludes the more than 1 500 existing private peering connections within the Teraco facility. In the last 12 months NAPAfrica has effectively saved Teraco clients a combined R1,47-million in bandwidth usage.  We’re hoping other mobile operators will understand the immense benefits of peering and follow in their footsteps,” says Van Wyk.