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VoIP Beats Skype for Niger State Offices

By Wayan Vota on September 16, 2009

There is no denying the usefulness of Skype in facilitating communication across Africa. In fact, at Inveneo, we’ve found Skype to offer the best connection to African phones – beating USA cellphones, landlines, and commercial VoIP services in call quality and ability to connect to any phone in Africa, anytime.

But its not always the first choice for African offices.

Registering a pilgrim for haijj

With the poor infrastructure of Nigeria, where power and phone lines go out constantly, and Internet connectivity is slow an expensive, Skype has serious limitations.

Yet as we learned from the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board in Nigeria, a private, battery powered intranet with custom VoIP functionality can be an always-on solution allowing for free intra-office communication.

Each year, Nigeria sponsors devout citizen’s travel to the Haijj in Saudi Arabia, through state-level Pilgrims Welfare Boards. In Niger State, the Pilgrims Welfare Board is housed in a large building, with the pilgrim intake on the ground floor by the main entrance, and the administrative offices in the back, top floor of the building.

Aurora Wireless, a Inveneo Certified ICT Partner, installed a custom VoIP solution that allows the administrative offices to speak directly to the intake office for free.

This intra-office telephone saves the Pilgrim Welfare Board countless hours of lost time walking from one end of the building to the other, and increases the psychological connection between the Board’s administration and intake personnel.

So the next time you’re praising Skype, remember that custom VoIP still has viable use cases, especially where power and Internet connectivity are rare, unreliable, or expensive.


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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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2 Comments to “VoIP Beats Skype for Niger State Offices”

  1. techmasai says:

    interesting article

  2. Wayan Vota says:

    To help technical staff install a VoIP line, here’s a step-by-step guide to configuring an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) in the ICTworks Knowledge Base:

    Configuring the Linksys PAP2T ATA