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all about the Co-locationAgenda

Intro

Co-location is not a panacea to the problems facing the industry and should not be presented as such. It is one of many industry management tools that complement rather than substitutes existing infrastructure. Its importance is best served and understood in the context of an adherence rather than excessive reliance on fiat, legislation by industry players and managers who may have hitherto had a blasé attitude towards overall management and strategic planning. 

The objective here is to draw the right measure of attention in anticipation that it will motivate industry players to embrace co-location as a operational concept and a focal point around which they coalesce to reduce costs, save investment and  improve overall efficiency.

 

Extract from the Co-locationForum 2009  

The essence and objective of co-location, is encapsulated by an extract from the Co-location Forum back in May 2009 which contends:

………..Consequently, it is considered that to encourage co-location of telecommunications facilities for regulated telecommunications services in Nigeria through principles and processes that are consistent with the purposes and provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act, including the promotion of competition for the long term benefit of end users of Telecommunications Services in Nigeria ….. ’ 

To achieve this objective, a set of implementation programs is imperative and it was identified. While networking to push the co-location agenda to the fore, equivalent attention, resources and effort must be paid simultaneously to the following critical areas of development: 

  • Revision of the National Information and Communications Technology Policy
  • Restructuring of the industry to take account of converging technologies and consequently of the existing regulatory regime
  • Setting a national broadband agenda with goals for accessibility, penetration and quality
  • Capacity development in its totality, and
  • An agenda to include industry consultation/intervention on energy (electricity)

Industry Plan of Action is out.

 

Notice is hereby given to delegates to the Co-locationForum 2009 that delivery by courier of free personal copies of the Report and Industry Plan of Action on the proceedings of the above forum has now been completed.

 

A copy of the report was delivered to every delegate who provided a forwarding address and also to Chief Executives of the industry players they represented at the Forum. Agencies of Governments, Trade Associations, Foreign Embassies, and Public Libraries also received copies. Only a few were returned undelivered.

 

The scope and validity of the industry players' data focusing on industry networking and reproduced in the report was collated from what was provided at the Forum on May 19, 2009 including updates and information that were researched later.

 

Telecom Answers Associates is already facilitating implementation of the major issues of the forum at various levels.

The ‘Access’ question in Africa’s Telecommunications
 by
 
Ernest Ndukwe 

 

One of the main limitations we have to faster deployment of internet in the continent is the access challenge. Access is fundamental. Without access there is no internet. Internet is not real and cannot be experienced, used or valued by the individual who does not have access.

Access for me means being connected to the internet at the right speed and at the right price and linked to the right content at the right time and the right place.

In discussing the Access question, I will restrict my intervention to the enabling infrastructure especially with respect to regional and national backbones as well as security and safety issues.

Many developing countries lost out on the telecom revolution that happened before the advent of mobile communications, when the rest of the world developed copious installed capacities for fixed line transmission and last-meter cable infrastructure. With the coming of internet, the cable infrastructure became the access infrastructure in those more developed countries for linking homes and offices to the internet employing ADSL technology. Thus for many developing countries today, mass market last-meter access to the internet has to be wireless.

It is also important that last meter access is developed side by side with national and regional backbone infrastructure to ensure affordable bandwidth cost and interconnection/peering. Regulators and governments have a responsibility to encourage investment in the building of large capacity optic fibre infrastructure within the nations and across the region.

I recently launched a campaign for what I termed “Fibre Without Borders.” This followed the realization that some countries in Africa delay or deny rights of way for cross border or cross country OFC infrastructure projects. Some countries even deny landing rights to companies seeking to land sub-marine cables on their shores. These are serious policy and regulatory issues that must be addressed. Africa today needs optic fibre highways crisscrossing the continent. This no doubt will help aggregate African data traffic, reduce cost of access, increase regional transit footprints, encourage regional peering, facilitate development of local content and enhance the contribution of Africa to the knowledge resource in the World Wide Web.

On the issue of security of access, I wish to discuss the need for international Cable landing points redundancies and their protection as critical national infrastructure.

Recently in Nigeria we had a major cable cut of the link to the Sat 3 submarine cable infrastructure.  This affected voice and data traffic to and from the outside world.  Although this was an inadvertent and unplanned cable cut, it nevertheless disrupted critical business processes and social interactions.  This brought home the realization that a planned sabotage of unprotected critical communications infrastructure, whether State or privately owned can have far reaching consequences on the business and social life of a country and could grind certain critical activities to a halt and can escalate to disaster proportions.

There is therefore need for regulators and policy makers to encourage the build out of redundancies and diversity in the provision of critical infrastructure and this may include satellite communications alternatives, even  where cable transmission access are available.

This is important to ensure that when connected we can always remain connected.  Communications networks and services remain critical life-wire for existence in the 21st Century.

 

Excerpted from a lecture delivered by Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC
at the November 2009 Edition of NITTA Awards in Lagos.

 

 

 

Nigeria National Broadband Strategy Project Initiated


The Nigeria ICT Forum, with support of the Nigerian Network Operators’ Group and the Association of Progressive Communications, has convened a group of ICT professionals, Librarians and Civil Society representatives under the name of Nigeria National Broadband Strategy Project Committee, to plan a stakeholder forum to facilitate the development of a National Broadband Framework for Nigeria.

Representing a diverse array of Nigeria’s communications providers, government institutions, national regulators, infrastructure providers, consumer groups, public interest groups, educators, content creators, and other stakeholders in Nigeria’s broadband future, the forum will deliberate on a framework for a national broadband strategy.

Committee Coordinator John Dada (Program Director of the Fantsuam Foundation) recently proposed a 9-point agenda which revolves around preparing a draft National Broadband Framework which will be presented for discussion at the forum scheduled for Abuja very shortly.


About the Nigeria ICT Forum
An initiative of Nigerian Research and Education Institutions, the Nigeria ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions (ng ICT Forum) is a platform that aims to develop the internal capacity of Nigerian higher education institutions to collaborate in the cultivation of a favourable policy environment, as well as the development, utilization, sustenance and advancement of their own ICT networks, services and shared resources, consistent with their proper role as foci for development. For more information, visit www.forum.org.ng

About the Nigerian Network Operators’ Group
Hosted by the ng ICT Forum, the Nigerian Network Operators’ Group is a forum for cooperation and the exchange of technical information between operators of Internet-connected networks in Nigeria.

For more information please visit http://forum.org.ng/ngnog/about

About the Association of Progressive Communications
A global network of civil society organisations whose mission is to empower and support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies to build strategic communities and initiatives for the purpose of making meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability.”

Learn more about APC at www.apc.org

For information: http://bb4ng.forum.org.ng
Contact: Omo Oaiya e-mail: bb4ng@forum.org.ng  Phone: 09-8746732
 

 

 

 

Time to define ‘Broadband’?



Telecom industry sector players in a few markets are known to have been asking their regulators to come forward with proper definition for broadband internet access by defining a minimum speed to ensure that internet network providers comply and extend the same level of service to all areas, especially rural.

It is known that while the requirement (for strict definition) has been taken for granted, regulators are not finding it easy making such definition in policy documents.

The truth is that broadband is a broadly used term and the speed at which a network connection is deemed to be broadband has different interpretations in different places.

ITU (International Telecommunications Union) defines broadband as a speed of between 1.5 megabits and 2 megabits per second (Mbps). Some have used 2Mbps as the minimum while some say anything above 512Kbps can ride on the word.

The consequence is that service providers use the word loosely in their promotional materials and it does not matter until provider-customer relationship runs into turbulent weather and ends up in litigation.


Industry Review
Cybercriminals still on the offensive

 


Automated cyber attacks set up by criminal organisations persist unabated leaving no business immune to data theft.


There remains a misplaced assumption among businesses that if they adopted a risk-based approach i.e. that if their risk profile is low, they are unlikely to be targeted. James Lyne, senior technologist at security firm Sophos, at an IT Security Conference in London hosted by IDC – a global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the ICT markets - said in no uncertain terms ‘this is not true because an increasing number of automated attacks target any business they can, irrespective of the company profile.’


In his speech, he talked of ‘invisible attacks’ such as those carried out using PDF documents that are used and trusted by most businesses and the use of automated search engines to look for vulnerabilities in web applications means that no business can bank on being overlooked.


Cybercriminality, in its current guise, involves an increasing number of legitimate websites exploited to carry out attacks using SQL-injection, which is also invisible to end-users.


Recently Yahoo had to block its jobsite – Yahoo Careers - vulnerability after hackers took aim and attempt to steal personal information from websites according to says security firm Imperva. The vulnerability of businesses and the permeable nature of their responses were highlighted by Amichai Shulman, Chief Technology Officer at Imperva who said the attack ‘is despite the fact that this form of attack has been around for 10 years and can be easily avoided.’


Imperva researchers recently warned Yahoo that the vulnerability of its jobsite was under discussion in hacker forums and how it might be exploited to access information on the website's database. Shulman, supposedly shooting from the hip, said hackers do not create vulnerabilities, they merely exploit vulnerabilities that are put in the coding of applications used by websites to process information.
Yahoo responded within hours to block the vulnerability by using more secure code for handling data in the web application.
In this case, the hackers were offering only a means of accessing the database, said Shulman, without any evidence that the site's database had been compromised.


Last month, similar vulnerabilities were exposed at the Guardian Jobs website which had been targeted by a sophisticated and deliberate hack, consequently breaching the security of the data on the site. Subscribers who had used the site to make one or more job applications were informed that their personal data, relating to those applications, may have been accessed.

In the UK and in a completely separate but relevant incident it was revealed that staff at mobile phone company T-Mobile passed on millions of records from thousands of customers to third party brokers. Details emerged after the firm alerted the information commissioner, Christopher Graham, who said his office was preparing a prosecution.
A T-Mobile spokesman said the data had been sold "without our knowledge".

 


Global Review
Kigali - Still setting the pace

A month after the announcement of a mammoth collaboration between telecoms players in East Africa of the initialization of a large scale Wi-Fi network deployment in the city Kigali Rwanda, a major Wiltshire town is to become the first in the UK to offer free public wireless internet access to its entire population, it was claimed.


Back in September it was announced that in the first phase of the project, about 100 WBS-2400 base stations are being installed on MTN Rwanda cellular sites and roof- tops, and will jointly cover the city of Kigali providing high-speed wireless connectivity for medium and small businesses as well as residences in Kigali – population 603,000.

In Wiltshire this week, Swindon Borough Council announced plans for all 186,000 citizens to have blanket "Wi-Fi mesh" coverage by April 2010. Subscribers to the service - to be called Signal - will have limited access but could pay for 20Mb upgrades.


This fee would be "significantly less" than current broadband suppliers, scheme bosses estimate. The £1m project will be run by Digital City UK Ltd, in which Swindon Borough Council has a 35% share. Some 1,400 secure access points will be fitted around Swindon, similar to those used in homes but with a much higher performance.


If successful, there is an intention of working on similar roll-outs of the technology in other towns and cities across the UK.
Swindon Borough Council leader Rod Bluh said: "This is a truly ground-breaking partnership which will have real benefits for everyone living in Swindon. "We're doing it, we've done it, and we're the first to do it."

In Kigali Waivon Ltd.- a company transforming the urban rural Wi-Fi market with a new category of base stations alongside Balton Uganda Ltd – a system integrator operating in both Uganda and Rwanda and MTN Rwanda – a leading cellular operator in Rwanda are combining to bring about this mammoth project


Last month Eran Kaplan, EVP of Sales and Marketing said "We are proud to be selected by MTN Rwanda for their first large scale metro Wi-Fi deployment. Our superior performance in terms of range and indoors penetration is a key enabler to cost effective city-wide deployments. Our cooperation with Balton Uganda will ensure the customer with a complete and successful turnkey project and ongoing support."

In the realm of ICT, it would appear that where Kigali takes the lead, Swindon follows and there are not many other sectors where one can say that.

 

 

Call for an ICT University?

A call may soon go out for the establishment of an ICT University if the discussion of  delegates to the National Stakeholders Workshop on ‘Development of Framework, Standards and Guidelines in Information Technology’ in Lagos, eventually  gets a ratification.

Delegates reviewed the IT sector and unanimously clamoured for severe improvement in the operations of NITDA.


 

Google goes 'voice'

By buying over Gizmo5, an online phone company midweek, Google may have signaled intention to become a phone company with prospect of doing cheap calls for its customers. There comes a challenge which should make legal pundits in major American phone companies to start brainstorming on how to give the new entrant a stud.


 
Digital Divide closing, Broadband Divide widening’

A new revelation came from the United Nations during the week when Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka, told the fourth World Electronic Media Forum in Mexico City, that while it is observed that the mobile phone has actually bridged the gap between the rich and developing economies, the truth really is that broadband access, a stimulant for economic growth of today, is still widening between the two divides. Using his exact words:

"A person in a developed country is on average 200 times more likely than someone in a least developed country to enjoy high-speed access to the Internet. ….In the case of Internet use, more than half of the developed world population is now online, compared to only 15 per cent in developing countries”.




NEWSreview
Wanted: Management, not combat in restructuring the information and communications technology, ICT, industry

by
titi omo-ettu

A news item, early in the week, said the Minister of Information and Communications pledged to recommend the merger of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC before the end of the year. Using THIS DAY’s version as guide, the story is that the Minister of information and communications

The whole report has been presented as if what the Minister said is a fresh reaction to an identified problem namely that “ though frictions between the two agencies had led to calls for the two to be merged, the merger could only be done through a legislative process and not through fiat’.

The impression is at best misleading originating either from the Minister’s presentation or of newspaper reportage. One important reason there is need to take communication with public as an important business of government is to handle delivery of government decision in a manner that leaves no room to incorrect interpretations of government intensions or decisions by the public. It is an irony in this particular case.

The story also alluded to the call by Mr. Nduka Obaigbena Publisher of THIS DAY newspapers a few says ago for the merger of NCC and NBC and it might just look as if it was that call of Mr. Obaigbena that government was reacting to in effecting the merger.

For starters, we have argued relentlessly in the past five years when the matter of restructuring of the ICT industry became loud that the matter of restructuring has a few fall-outs one of which would be the unification of regulatory regime for the ICT industry. To present it as a merger of NCC and NBC ( infact some would mischievously say it was a merger of NBC ‘with’ NCC). Some would even say it was a scrapping of NBC and strengthening of NCC both position which would be dead wrong and against the spirit of driving the industry forward.

The compelling consequence of emerging technologies is the need to reorder how the industry is managed so that our citizens can take full advantage of its benefits. If not properly structured we stand to find us investing much to get so little and our citizens would implied bear the brunt of such mismanagement. We use the very good example of how some operators have been able to provide international calls for N12.00 per minute while they offer local calls for N20.00 per minute?

Why is that?

The reason is that the technologies they rely on use different strengths at the different levels.

The other issue we have always stressed is that restructuring must be holistic, transparent reasonable and focused and it should be devoid of talking about personalities when the issues are the main focus.

That the industry is regulated unitarily is different from saying two agencies are merging or worse that one agency is to be consumed by another. That leaves us with solving a problem and creating another, the one being altruistic, the other being frivolous.

The first mentioning of the need for restructuring was in 2005 and it emerged from the consequences of emerging technologies. It has nothing to do with agencies quarrelling with each other and the two agencies under consideration here did not at any time allow the possible overlap of their functions to generate any bad feelings. It was when some folks who wanted to entertain the public started talking about merging NCC and NBC that bad blood became pronounced and human being since they are not computers started talking camps and polarizing the discussion.

In 2007 the regime of President Obasanjo went ahead to pronounce the merge of the ministries of information and communications apparently in ignorance of the amount of work required to make a holistic restructuring. The committee the government constituted to do the preliminary work eventually came up with comprehensive plans which the government probably found too engaging to embark on within the little time it had to live. It then left the implementation for the incoming government which since it cam in 2007May has not shown direction.

If such good plan is what government is intending to implement at this time it cannot be presented as a merger of NBC and NCC. Just as it will be mindless to think that the only thing government will do is to merge the two agencies. That will mean nothing beyond creating new management problems for the future of the industry.

 

titi omo-ettu is a Lagos based telecommunications Consultant

 

 





Akunyili to Propose NCC, NBC Merger
by
Efem Nkanga, THIS DAY 11.09.2009


Information and Communications Minister Dora Akunyili has said the ministry will make recommendations to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the call for the merger of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) before the end of December. Akunyili, who stated this over the weekend in Lagos in an interactive session with journalists, said the merger of the NCC and NBC would guard against functions overlapping.
She expressed the belief that though frictions between the two agencies had led to calls for the two to be merged, the merger could only be done through a legislative process and not through fiat.


NCC and NBC are the two main regulatory agencies in broadcast and telecoms but function overlap occurs in the area of licencing of spectrums. Some had called for a merger to ensure that the communications industry has a single regulatory body as obtainable in other parts of the world.


On his part, Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY Newspaper, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, last week questioned the relevance of NBC as a regulator in an age where technology has created a borderless world.


Obaigbena was delivering a lecture to participants at the Executive Intelligence Management Course at the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja. He called for the merging of NBC with NCC because, according to him, NBC has lost its relevance because of nature of modern news media.


The duty of NBC is to regulate and license broadcasting stations but with advent of the Internet, voice and video can be transmitted from anywhere in the world, thereby rendering NBC irrelevant. A merger with the NCC, he advised, would be more appropriate for management, including frequency and spectrum allocations. "Technology has changed the media. I wonder what the role of the NBC is anymore since all videos and voice can be delivered online. Then what are they regulating or licensing? NBC’s time is gone. What we need is merging it with the NCC so that together they can properly manage frequencies," he said.


On the proposed sale of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL),  Akunyili stated that though NITEL had been a disappointment, like many other national projects such as Nigeria Airways, government is doing something to bring something good out of the organisation. She said with NITEL valued at over $600 million, Nigeria would try and get as much value as it could out of the company. Describing NITEL as a big national resource, the government, according to her, does not joke with the organisation and is threading carefully with the issue.


On the status of the 2.3GHz spectrum sale, Akunyili said NCC was working towards a repeat licensing process of the spectrum as ordered by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. She said 21 days notice would be given when the time for the licensing process to commence begins.


On the re-branding project, Akunyili said the National Re-branding Project is a systematic response to address the country’s image problem.


The re-branding initiative, according to her, draws heavily from the internal components of the previous image project, “Heart of Africa,” and is conceived as an internal process to address Nigeria’s negative image.


She said it is designed to be people-centred through the paradigm shift- PPPP – Private, Public and People Partnership.
Disclosing that plans had been put in place to set up rebranding clubs in schools across the country, Akunyili stated that the campaign is a holistic one and homegrown geared at bringing about attitudinal change, re-orientation, reviving cultural values and instilling a renewed spirit of patriotism and hope in all Nigerians.

 

Taken from www.thisdayonline.com

 

 


Market Review

Up there, Who is dominating who?

by
Abi Bilesanmi

In business, particularly in the cut-throat competitive world of technology, players are hankering to reach the top but how far is it from the bottom? The answer is no one really knows. Only that if you are at the top, apart from it being lonely (so they say), the one thing that is guaranteed is that your competitors want your crown – possibly with your head attached to it.

It has been a turbulent year for those at the top of the tree. Take Nokia for example. Despite being the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, controlling more than 50.5% (Oct 2009 figures) of the handset manufacturers market, its dominance has been shaken. It has largely been a turbulent year for the mobile phone giant some of which had been self-inflicted. Earlier in the year it was hit by an economic boycott in Iran as consumers sympathetic to the post-election protest movement begin targeting a string of companies deemed to be collaborating with the regime with reports that demand for Nokia handsets fell by as much as half in the wake of calls to boycott.

 

The market has offered no respite as Nokia's profit margin for its handset division has been shrinking in the global economic downturn of 2009. Nokia is struggling to hang on to its leading position in smart phones as competition increases from BlackBerry and Droid. Nokia lost 6 points of smart-phone market share in the third quarter as it posted its first-ever quarterly loss. This slump could not be clearer to Nokia as it is being unseated in handset profitability by Apple to become the most profitable handset vendor for the first time on the strength of its popular iPhone. According to analysts Apple’s third-quarter operating profit from iPhone sales was estimated at $1.6 billion, in comparison with Nokia’s operating profit of $1.1 billion from its handset unit.


In a similar (and parallel) universe, Microsoft who controls 92.5% of the US PC market is also feeling the heat from Apple who controls just 6.6% of the market. In reasonable circles, one will say Microsoft is being paranoid by giving this ‘perceived threat’ any credence. After all it has not long released the much-anticipated Windows 7 which by most accounts is the best version of its operating system in a decade. However MS should be nervous especially after its poorly reviewed last operating system Vista which meant that many people with the eight year old XP. Apple can smell this nervousness and plans to poke fun at Microsoft’s ‘cack- handed’ upgrade for XP owners where they have to back up their files to an external drive, reformat their PC and then reinstall all their old programmes. Apple is waiting to pounce on Windows 7’s burdensome characteristic. Senior VP for marketing Phillip Schilling says ‘Any user that reads all those steps is going to freak out. If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?’


With global handset sales set to rise yet again in 2010, the question is whether other mobile manufacturers succeed in their bid to tighten the gap with Nokia and increase their success within the handset replacement market and as Microsoft continues to waste time and resources figuring out how to win a sideline game it has already lost--Internet media--their shareholders have bigger things to worry about namely, the future of the NokiaN900 and Windows 7 respectively. It has been so long since Nokia and Microsoft had anything real to worry about in these businesses that it is easy to take their perpetual domination for granted. Well don't.

 

Thumbs Up for BarcampAfrica 2009


More than 150 delegates attended this weekend’s BarcampAfrica 2009 event at Vodafone Headquarters in London. The big Vodafone sponsorship apart, the organisers also received sponsorship from Betavine, a site where you can explore all things mobile — including a new site area devoted to mobile solutions in the developing world; the Social Exchange that helps people solve challenges in the developing world using mobile technology.

Keynote Speaker, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) addressed the means by which the international community can help bridge the digital divide and achieve social and economic development, by delivering to developing countries unique knowledge-sharing programmes in the use of Information and Communication Technologies.

CyberschuulNews presented an interpolation of its Publisher’s recent dissertation on ‘Politics and the reality of telephone subscription in emerging markets’ which appraises the perspectives, successes, challenges of mobile telephony in emerging markets with particular reference to Africa.

Other presentations cover a multitude of developmental topics including ‘Improving Transparency in Public Sector Operations’, ‘Management Culture and Business’, ‘Securing Africa’s new broadband for development’

It was one big Africa event which network potential is publicly endorsed by many delegates. One said "You could just feel the buzz of enthusiasm. People really want to work together for change."

The event leader Richard Tandoh expressed his delight and appreciation with the diligence and professionalism of the conference organisers and reiterated the increasingly important role of attendees to push on further on issues themes discussed.

 
Nigeria:
Co-location and sharing of telecom infrastructure up to a fine start


Telecom Answers Associates which hosted the Colocation forum on May 2009 in Lagos released a statement during the week that all the 225 delegates and 121 corporate organisations which they represented would receive the Report and Implementation Plan of the forum in the coming week.

Rashidat Adebayo who spoke for the firm said implementation of the main decisions of the forum was already in progress and was remarkably up to a fine start and positive reaction of all those concerned with the process. She said the report was also on its way to all implementation agencies of government, trade associations, foreign embassies and research institutes. It will also be available on newsstands to cater for the interest of all those who may want to use the strategic industry information contained in the report for investment in the ICT industry.
 
HURRAY! The internet is 40

It was in 1969 that the first computers which linked themselves in the manner that kept transforming until it became what is the internet today were actually born.

Professor Leonard Kleinrock who led the team at the time celebrated the day 29th October last week in California.
 
Fine words on the celebration went out from Tajudeen Ejalonibu, Chairman, Publicity, Events & Trade Committee Nigeria Computer Society who congratulates Prof Kleinrock and his colleagues. He expressed the hope that the psyche of those who only loot, ride hummer cars with scant regard for technology would change, now that Nigeria’s judiciary is setting a pace in hunting the looters of society.
 
 
WITSA champions coordinated global ICT Policy
 
The Bermuda meeting of World Information Technology and Services Alliance, WITSA, which ended this weekend has made a declaration which focus on raising public and institutional awareness and attention to the benefits of a coordinated global ICT policy. It also sets to stimulate increased ICT investment, projects, and opportunities and re-commit WITSA to the continued global promotion and development of ICT solutions.
 
News came in early in the week that Information Technology Association of Nigeria, ITAN, has secured the hosting right for the Regional Headquarters of WITSA in Africa. Its President, Dr. Jimson Olufuye was also elected into the Board of the WITSA at the ongoing summit in Bermuda. The meeting will end at weekend.
 
Internet facilities for Nigeria’s secondary schools

The Universal Service Provision FUND, USPF, said during the week that 474 schools, spread across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, have so far benefitted from complete set of Internet tools and facilities provided under the FUND’s School Access Programme. The USPF is also known to have established Community Communications Centers, CCC, and subsidized Base Station Transceivers, as part of its mandate to achieve national and grassroots connectivity.

The most recently commissioned schools which got the facilities early this week are in Katsina and Kaduna states.

Chairman of Senate Committee on Communications Senator, Sylvester Anyanwu who was present at the commissioning in the school in Kaduna said “The 21st Century is technology driven and any student whether in nursery secondary or tertiary institution without access to computers and Internet, or do not have the skills to use these facilities would consider him or herself illiterate in the next five years”,
 
 
Number Portability takes a new turn

Vodafone Ghana’s officials recently stirred up the hornets nest as they pushed for immediate implementation of Mobile Number Portability in spite of the obvious cautious approach which Ghana’s National Telecommunications Authority has favoured. The authority is looking at a 2011 implementation date. On top of that another Vodafone official, Eric Valentine, mouthed a statement that CDMA deployers would not be able to port GSM numbers and vice versa because of the difference in technology. That was the aspect that set nerves loose as a Kasapa Telecom official told anybody who cared to listen that Eric Valentine was dead wrong. Apparently Eric has not known about the truism that in engineering, nothing is impossible even if cross-porting porting GSM/CDMA numbers was not his kettle of tea, he needed to be more circumspect. More operators are now accepting the reality of Number Portability and they are now saying all would be well to introduce Mobile Number portability in Ghana any time.

Kasapa Telecom is the only CDMA network in the Ghana competing with five other GSM operators - Glo Mobile, MTN, Tigo, Vodafone, and Zain.

 

CyberschuulNews goes fully commercial.

April 21, 2010 is the date publishers of CyberschuulNews have set as launch date for commercial services at a public event in Lagos. A recent release by the publishers to its subscribers says a new world of opportunities would emerge from the stable of the e-publications. The document reads thus:

News, Views, Reviews and Analysis.     
We will continue to provide industry news when you want – as you want it based on well grounded and sourced research; by professionals, experts, and investors and from other reputable publications. 

Technology & Industry Review
Your on-line magazine about global technological innovation, invention and application accompanied by online articles on specific technologies and a focus on the process by which new
 technology gets out of the lab and into your homes and businesses as well as reviews by current industry players and for prospective industry players and consumers 

Training & Job Opportunities
We are committed to providing a trans disciplinary networked learning community devoted to excellence in learning both conceptually and as expressed in innovative practice and development i
n the pursuit of excellence for and by:

  • students
  • jobseekers
  • communities of IT practice
  • academia.

Conferences and Industry Events
We will continue to cover intra and international events, symposiums and communiqués that promote the industry in its broadest sense, recognizing its multifaceted and interdependent nature, ensuring the integrity, completeness and inclusiveness of the ICT environment at large, and supporting the emergence and evolution of other dynamic sectors.
 

Regulation
The industry needs an adequate regulatory framework. To this end we will persevere with our analytical look at regulation with the aim of promoting an efficient, orderly and fair telecommunications industry where all stakeholders get a fair deal. We will look at issues such as:

·
         Access to information about Regulation
·
         Licensing Processes
·
         Cabling services
·
         Collocation and infrastructure sharing
·
         Repair and maintenance of telecommunication facilities  
·
         Consultation guidelines of broadband deployment   

Data
We are a leading provider of industry data. Our market knowledge is backed by years of acquiring valuable commercial information in the installation of ICT business solutions as well as extensive experience at the sharp end of telecommunications engineering as a basis of providing project management tools and technical support. Such data will include: 

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         Industry Subscriber data
·
         Players and their market share 
·
         Private investment trend
·
        

Weblinks
To domestic and international newspapers’  magazines, journals and other websites.

NEWS
ISPON GETS NEW EXCO

 The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, at its AGM held in Lagos midweek elected a new leadership. The new Executive Council is made up of: 

  • Chris Uwaje                            President
  • John Tani Obaro                      1st Vice-President
  • Pius Okigbo Jr .                       2nd Vince-President
  • Chinneye Mba-Uzoukwu        Gen. Secretary.
  • Adeyinka Oyewumi                Asst Gen Secretary
  • Salisu Afolabi                         Treasurer

ISPON is the apex body of computer and related services industry in the software-driven IT industry in Nigeria. It was formed in 1999 with the primary objective of being a catalyst for the growth of the software-driven IT industry. It was specifically set up to facilitate business and trade in software and related services and to encourage the advancement of research in software technology.  

The new executive is a team of very highly rated professionals of the software industry. 

 

NEWSreview
ZAIN hands its operation maintenance to Nokia Siemens Networks:
A challenge for Regulation?

 

Zain in Nigeria has again announced that it signed a deal with Nokia Siemens Networks late October to handle its operation for reason of ‘maintaining network availability across Nigeria’ a disguised way of saying the company has problem managing its network and got a bailout from NSN.  

In June 2009,  Zain made public what it termed an agreement the first of its kind on the African continent, when it teamed-up with Ericsson, a leading technology vendor. The deal then was to make Ericsson responsible for managing most of the network and field operations for Zain’s wireless networks and operational support systems, serving almost 4,000 sites across Nigeria. Also as part of the agreement, about 450 employees were to be transferred from Zain Nigeria to Ericsson under their existing terms and conditions of service, where they would undergo further development in the latest wireless technologies.  

Apparently a u-turn has now made the reality of a deal with Nokia Siemens which, shortly after June, was reported to have been signed into a commitment to deliver 'high standards of service' to Nigerian consumers. The agreement covers full network management, operations and maintenance. 

What puzzles industry watchers is how operators repeatedly conclude deals with equipment vendors whenever management of their systems goes into stress. It confounds when it is vendors that operators run to when maintenance go awry. Some times such deals are even signed with Consultants whose tuff is not network management either. 

In developing economies, questions are not asked who bears the brunt of the consequences of those decisions and confusions. Of course consumers and local employees take the bashing. That makes the subject an interesting issue for African regulators to look more closely into these whitewashed stories of endless search for bailout when moneybags dig into telecom investments in circumstances where their technical competence is ab initio  suspect.  

 

 

Feature
Forget Orange, the future is Red

For reasons of Communist propaganda (by this is meant distorted western kind rather than the Communist Party propaganda), China has long been treated unfairly in international trade for its non-market economy country (NMC) status, despite its WTO accession back in 2001. As a matter of fact, China has already established a market economy system after over 20 years of reforms and opening-up. The distortion stems from the fact that China has followed its own template of a market economy and strictly adhered to its own pace of development.  As a result China, it will appear, is forever having to prove its market economy status but the reality is that according to a report entitled Report on the Development of China's Market Economy 2003, as far back as 2001 China was about 69 percent a market economy measured by the internationally accepted standard, exceeding 60 percent which is the accepted threshold.

For those who question the objectivity of this report and dismiss as more evidence of Communist propaganda, we can at least agree that access to production; fair trade and consumption are major criteria of a market economy status.

On October 1, the iPhone3G went on sale through Apple retail outlets, China Unicom's stores and other retailers in China for about 5,000 Yuan ($733). It is unclear whether that price was for the 16-GB iPhone, the 32-GB iPhone.

The move gave China Unicom exclusive rights to the iPhone in China and an advantage, for the moment, over rival China Mobile Ltd, which is China's largest wireless carrier and also said to be in talks with Apple to carry iPhone. This represents further evidence to the propagandists who incessantly go on about the need for competition (often while they enjoy monopoly power) to be introduced, that it is alive and kicking in the Chinese telecoms industry. China Unicom’s move to sell iPhones, analysts say would limit sales to high-end buyers and force most of them to sign a contract with the carrier and in all probability ended O2's iPhone exclusivity later this year in the U.K. The tail has wagged the dog –if you wish

According to market economy advocates, choice is another indicator of a market economy. Propagandists say the Chinese consumers (like its electorate) lack choice. But the iPhone 3Gs has eight different service plans to choose from, and include 120 to 880 SMS messages, 15 to 95MMS messages, 450MB to 4GB of mobile data and 320 to 3,000 minutes of talk time.

Despite 3G service launch, China Unicom is offering a Samsung phone on Google's Android platform that will be available starting in December, and that further 3G phones are expected in 2010.

Apple is courting China because having ironed out a three-year agreement with China Unicom - the country's No. 2 carrier which about 140 million subscribers - to sell the iPhone, the upside is immense. Wall Street analysts say
 

Apple will sell somewhere between five and seven million iPhones in China in 2010 as a result of this deal.

 Brian Marshall, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech says the devil of the Apple’s windfall with China Unicom is in the detail. He estimates that only about half of its subscribers are pre-paid customers, which is not the market that Apple is going after, but China Unicom has about 70 million post-paid customers -- the kind that Apple wants - while China Mobile has approximately 92 million post-paid customers.

Another factor was that China Unicom has been aggressively building its 3G network, a necessity for the iPhone. China Unicom's 3G network, the only one of the three state-sanctioned carriers that is compatible with the iPhone, will be in place by the end of the year, according to company's chairman and CEO, Chang Xiaobing, during a news conference in September.

Marshall says ‘With 70 million post-paid customers, and assuming flat sales, which are conservative, I think Apple will sell between five and seven million iPhones in China during 2010," said Marshall. He projects that Apple will sell 37 million iPhones worldwide in 2010.

"That means China will account for 15-20% of all iPhone sales next year," said Marshall, rounding up the actual numbers of 13.5-18.9% generated by his math.

That is a whole lot of cream – which ever way we look at it and the big winners are Apple and iPhone customers. The fact that Apple –an iconic brand is putting it weight behind selling its iconic device - the iPhone - in the world’s largest market tells us the balance of consumer power has shifted. The future is not orange, its signal red.

 

 


 

 
 
 
 
 
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