Nigeria’s Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria (ICN) is a company licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to provide and operate Interconnect Exchange Services throughout Nigeria.
While the organization is focused on facilitating adequate interconnect capacity between operators and service providers, it is looking forward to new age technological advancements in Network Function Virtualisation in order to create better value proposition for its customers.
Uche Onwudiwe, Chief Operating Officer, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited, speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com on how the company is enabling prompt settlement of interconnect usage charges and provision of cost effective co-location space for its customers, what are the challenges it is facing and where is the future growth likely to happen?
What are some of the key priorities for ICN today?
ICN is set to leverage the gains in the development of the Nigerian Telecommunication industry and provide for the growth in data and value added services.
Some of our priorities include the expansion of our service coverage outside of Nigeria and diversification into more of the general IT services field as it relates to our target market.
How does the operator look towards providing next generation services for its customers?
We are very focused on upgrading our technology and making sure that the solutions we upgrade to are those that will enable our clients migrate to newer technology more seamlessly. That being the case, we are always aware of and continue to look for new trends and solutions coming out that will benefit our clients.
The core business processes of ICN have been designed for zero debt tolerance and cost effective delivery of telecom services. We have therefore, spent considerable time and resources putting together processes we consider the most appropriate for the Telecom Industry in Nigeria.
A lot of network providers are now looking at ways to enhance their focus towards targeting the enterprise community. How does ICN look at the enterprise market today? what are some of the offerings for this space?
ICN does not necessarily focus on the enterprise market as we serve the service providers who support the enterprises but while that is the case, we are looking into the cloud services and expanding our co-location services so that our clients can better serve their clients more cost effectively and efficiently.
What is your opinion on Network Function Virtualisation today? are there any NFV trials happening with ICN?
NFV is definitely the trend of technology and various industries. We are very much in support of the trend and are doing our part to make sure that we offer services that enable our clients take advantage of the efficiencies provided by virtualization. We also work with our clients and their various business processes to see which parts can be virtualized and automated.
What are some of the technological challenges that the company is facing today? How do you look at improving upon these challenges?
Some of the challenges especially as a central point of data and voice clearing is the integration of the numerous technologies available and requested by our clients. The other area is the high cost of various solutions that are in the market and making sure that the right solutions are picked which will grow and scale as we do. We also need ones that can adapt to new technology changes in the industry without a total overhaul of the solution each time.
What kind of growth are you looking at? And where is this growth likely to come from?
We are looking at growth in volume of business but more so in expansion across regions to offer our same solutions to other markets that can benefit from it but all in Africa.