Cyberschuulnews.com

 

Editions 391 - 395

Home   Telecom Answers Associates   Telecommunications Training/
THE CYBERSCHUUL
  Telecom Gallery   Contact Us

 

 

 

African Governments embrace Broadband

 52 African countries which met in Abuja during the week under the auspices of Ministries of information and communications rose to say they all bow to the necessity for ubiquitous broadband presence in the continent.

 

That provides a basis for every government in the continent to find easy justification in making necessary investment in the subject matter.

 

NCC’s Boss meets with ATCON in Abuja

Representatives of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, paid an official visit to the new Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah last Friday during which they exchange views on the path to improving telecommunication services in Nigeria.

 

President of ATCON, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, told his host that the industry is encouraged that government has appointed one of its active players to the Regulator’s top post. He told Dr. Juwah to regard all on-going regulatory interventions such as SIM Card Registration, Number Portability and Co-location and sharing of telecommunications infrastructure as welcome by the industry players and advised him to fine-tune their implementation in areas where the processes required further review.

 

He advocated that SIM card registration should eventually be expanded to Telephone Subscriber Registration to enable the industry have a comprehensive database on which the management of information and data could be hinged. He specifically asked that the time earmarked for the exercise should be reviewed and revised if necessary

 

Mr. Omo-Ettu requested that the Commission considers expanding government delegation to international telecommunication business meetings and conferences by including members of ATCON.

 

Dr Juwah thanked ATCON for its visible support and consistently excellent, proactive intervention on industry matters and promised to look into the Association‘s request as soon as possible.

 

India makes a breakthrough on $35 laptop for students

 

India’s Institute for Science and technology announced during the week that it is now able to construct a laptop capable of browsing the internet, using a Linux-based computing device and whose cost is put at about $35. Government has indicated it will also subsidise the device up to 50% to enable every student of its 22000 colleges to obtain one unit.

The tablet gadget, which can be run on solar power, is equipped with an Internet browser, video-conferencing capability and a media player, with the prospect of costing as little as $10 if manufacturers take up a charge of its mass production.

 

 

A deal to avert Blackberry ban in Saudi Arabia:
A taste of things to come?

Following week of controversy,  reports from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  reveal there has been a preliminary agreement between Research In Motion (RIM) makers of the popular BlackBerry smart phone and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which government officials say grants them some access to users' data, will avert a ban on the phone in that country.

 

Bandar al-Mohammed, an official at the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission, told The Associated Press Research in Motion Ltd. has expressed its ‘intention ... to place a server inside Saudi Arabia.’ This will allow the government monitor messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes.

 

With this development, it is believed, RIM could be setting a worldwide precedent for the relationship between technology companies and governments. A number of countries including India and the United Arab Emirates see the devices as a security threat because encrypted information sent on them is difficult, if not impossible, for local governments to monitor when it does not pass through domestic servers. Saudi security officials fear the service could be used by militant groups to avoid detection demanding that within the server, messages must be unencrypted for sorting and distribution.

 

But Bruce Schneier, an author and Chief Security Technology officer at British Telecom believes this development takes us down a slippery slope. With similar deals struck in Russia and China, he says each time the company strikes a compromise, it undermines the argument that BlackBerry surveillance is technologically unfeasible. ’Now that they're doing it for small, oppressive countries — sure, everyone is going to ask for it’ he added.

 

Schneier says that e-mails sent by BlackBerry users are encrypted only as they pass between phones and the company's servers rendering the encryption irrelevant to the Saudi Arabian government. By demanding messages to unencrypted, ‘They'll read everything’.

 

Critics maintain the standoff is motivated at least partly by a desire in these countries to curb freedom of expression and strengthen already tight controls over the media. They believe RIM’s willingness to accept this compromise stems from its commercial imperatives. Over the past year and a half, its market presence has increased tremendously. They see the kingdom as a very lucrative market from which they do not want to be excluded.

 

 

Mobile telephony to take a bigger role in delivering public services

Mobile computing devices which integrate mobile cellular telephony with computers are not only shaping businesses but users will now use them to access to basic services. In the UK, London council services are being mobile-enabled both as a cost-cutting measure as well as interacting with residents without broadband access.

 

Using a number of platforms  such as Mylomo used for the delivery of council services,  and dotmobi – a  fast and easy mobile website which gives anywhere, anytime access, users will be able to contact their local council via text messaging for services such as Social Services, Health, Education, Transport as well as providing access to local news and job vacancies.

 

Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi said, "Mylomo works on any phone, any network and is not cost-prohibitive for consumers. Local government now has a new way of interacting directly with people that will bring financial benefits as well as new services that are accessible and inclusive."

 

This development is particularly encouraging given that as many as 10 million people in the UK have never accessed the internet according to the UK’s Digital Champion Martha Lane.  She had recently commented that 80% of government interactions are with the bottom 25% of income earners - who are least likely to have internet access. By keeping them offline, the cost of local government is being made unnecessarily high, she added.

 

Critics say that the public sector is still using texts in a very generic way with bodies often sending information about a whole plethora issues whereas people want a more personalised service where they receive information that is pertinent to them. They also say that while some people, given the opportunity are happy to self serve, a healthy prop0rtion still prefer to be dealt with face-to-face.

 

The ‘smart’ money is on Android as Nokia leads the way

Word has it that the Android rules in smartphone kingdom.  This is according to the reputable annual report form market analysts Canalys which specialises in comparative and qualitative analysis of market trends, top-level market share and shipment estimates, performance and forecasts for the leading mobile telephone manufacturers. 

 

In this, its ninth year, Canalys, following the latest batch of handset makers' quarterly results, reveal there has been an astronomical 886% growth in shipments of Android-based phones from HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, among others. It’s Vice-President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones said Android's momentum was "impressive".

 

According to Canalys, Nokia leads the global smartphone market retaining 38% of market share. The company shipped a record 23.8 million smartphones during the quarter, 41% up on a year ago. But the market as a whole grew 64% year on year in the second quarter 2010. The report says this is primarily down to its delivering affordable smartphone offerings, such as its popular 5230 touch-screen handset, based on the Symbian operating system (OS).

 

Despite various problems with either their respective products or parent companies, Canalys reports a 61% growth in Apple shipments, due mainly to demand for the iPhone 4; and 41% growth in shipments of RIM's Blackberry smartphones, The report says the US was now the largest market for smartphones where Verizon which grew market share 41% year-on-year was pushing high-end Android phones heavily with 14.7 million units shipped, a 23% share of global shipments, he said.

 

In China, the world's second-biggest smartphone market, Android devices reached almost 475,000 units in Q2 2010 from zero a year ago. China Mobile is developing its own Android-based platform, OMS, and shipped an additional 174,000 OMS smartphones during the quarter. Analysts say a combination of Google's substantial involvement in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), its improving relationship with the Chinese authorities and consequently the renewal of its operating licence have spurred growth and reduced concerns over the future of Android in China.

 

They say smartphones would represent more than 27% of mobile phone shipments worldwide by 2013 with market penetration would exceeding 60% in Western Europe and 48% in North America.

The ‘smart’ money is on Android as Nokia leads the way

Word has it that the Android rules in smartphone kingdom.  This is according to the reputable annual report form market analysts Canalys which specialises in comparative and qualitative analysis of market trends, top-level market share and shipment estimates, performance and forecasts for the leading. 

In this, its ninth year, Canalys, following the latest batch of handset makers' quarterly results, reveal there has been an astronomical 886% growth in shipments of Android-based phones from HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, among others. It’s Vice-President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones said Android's momentum was "impressive".

According to Canalys, Nokia leads the global smartphone market retaining 38% of market share. The company shipped a record 23.8 million smartphones during the quarter, 41% up on a year ago. But the market as a whole grew 64% year on year in the second quarter 2010. The report says this is primarily down to its delivering affordable smartphone offerings, such as its popular 5230 touch-screen handset, based on the Symbian operating system (OS).

Despite various problems with either their respective products or parent companies , Canalys reports a 61% growth in Apple shipments, due mainly to demand for the iPhone 4; and 41% growth in shipments of RIM's Blackberry smartphones, The report says the US was now the largest market for smartphones where Verizon which grew market share 41% year-on-year was pushing high-end Android phones heavily with 14.7 million units shipped, a 23% share of global shipments, he said.

In China, the world's second-biggest smartphone market, Android devices reached almost 475,000 units in Q2 2010 from zero a year ago. China Mobile is developing its own Android-based platform, OMS, and shipped an additional 174,000 OMS smartphones during the quarter. Analysts say a combination of  Google's substantial involvement in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), its improving relationship with the Chinese authorities and consequently the renewal of its operating licence have spurred growth and reduced concerns over the future of Android in China.

They say smartphones would represent more than 27% of mobile phone shipments worldwide by 2013 with market penetration would exceeding 60% in Western Europe and 48% in North America.

Nigerians want Broadband for all

Stakeholders at the one-day Broadband for Nigeria (BB4NG) Forum which held in Abuja midweek requested that Federal Government, in intent and deed, brought forward initiatives that would make broadband internet access a right of Nigerian citizens.

 

Virtually all stakeholder groups identified by the organizers of the Forum were represented by delegates and the discussion went from the paucity and quality of infrastructure through awareness and monitoring platform for a sustainable broadband access initiative. 

 

Notable among the participants were Hon. Mohammed Bulama, Chairman NITDA, Hon Ibrahim La’ah ,a Councilor at Kaura Local Government. Kaduna State, and Prof. Jibril Dahiru Aminu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice-Chancellors.

 

Telephone operators, backbone infrastructure providers, Internet Service Providers and senior military officers from the Navy and Air force were also present. The likes of Mr. Adrian Wood, pioneer CEO of MTN in Nigeria and currently CEO of BryMEDIA Consortium, Mr. Kim Fraser, CEO of Monarch Communications Ltd. and Navy Commodore James Oluwole, Director of Signals all made notable contributions to the issues of infrastructure, awareness and monitoring.

 

 From the academia came the likes of Prof. Moses Ajewole, Director, Computer Resource Centre, Federal University of Tech. Akure; Dr. Abdulganiyu Raji Chairman ICT/Director MIS, University of Ibadan and Dr. Abubakar D. Alhassan, a lecturer at Bayero University Kano. Several civil society organizations were represented and senior civil servants were present at the forum.

 

President of ITAN, Dr Jimson Olufuye, President of ATCON Engr. Titi omo-Ettu and Dr John Dada were unanimous in their request to government that it was time broadband access became ubiquitous in Nigeria.

 

Chairman of the session, Mr. Olusola Teniola, Chief Operating Officer of Phase3 Telecom Ltd in an opening address called on Nigerians to make their voice and desire on broadband known to government so that the country’s political leadership would have a basis to take the appropriate decisions.

 

The Framework document was endorsed by the stakeholders who insisted that apart from making broadband access a fundamental right of every Nigerian, government must also move to empower its agencies to share broadband resources in order to reduce cost and improve access. Civil Society Organizations pledged to use modern media to monitor the public services and flag up necessary alerts when things are going the wrong way in the polity.

 

The Forum was hosted with the objective to ratify a framework document which would soon be presented to Federal Government as a roadmap to viable broadband resources for the country.  Association for Progressive Communications (APC) provided the support funding while Fantsuam Foundation, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON; Nigeria ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions and Telecom Answers Associates supplied the faculty which put the forum together.   

 

A botched committee screening:
Senate approves FG’s Nominees into NCC

 

After what at best could be described as not its finest hour, the Senate Committee on Communications which was assigned to screen the 4 nominees of government into senior positions in the Nigerian Communications Commissions, was sidelined and the Federal Government’s has appointed Mr. Peter Egbe Igho as Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah as Executive Vice-Chairman, Dr. Okechukwu Itanyi Executive Commissioner and Mr. Mohammed Bintube as Commissioner.

 

Industry watchers suspected a deliberate attempt by the screening committee to unnecessarily delay the screening under the guise of unavailable papers. Public discontent spread fast and senate leadership was put on the alert. The President of Senate had to direct that the screening be done by the entire Senate in session disbanding the Senate Committee on Communications immediately after the screening.

 

Ironically, the prevarication coincided with an on-going Broadband for Nigeria Forum - a short distance from the National assembly - where stakeholders had called on civil society organizations to use modern media to monitor and influence public performance. It was believed that the screening was taking unduly too long as the committee obfuscated by requesting for endless papers which the nominees duly provided. Qualification papers, security report papers, clearance papers and it was becoming clear the way was being cleared for the impasse in NCC to continue while the senate went on recess. Had confirmation by Senate not happen before the Senate went on recess on July 29, 2010, the story of who became the appointees of government in NCC might be altered and that was the palpable fear by concerned Nigerians who thought that was the game plan and intervened to save the day.

 

One committee member after the other came out to confirm that no screening was going on and a hurried ‘successful screening’ report submitted to the Senate was rejected while an open floor screening was ordered. President of Senate, Senator David Mark, intervened, showed visible displeasure, and disbanded the Senate Committee on Communications immediately after the screening.

 

Senator Sylvester Anyanwu who headed the disbanded Committee admitted that a mistake was made and apologized to Nigerians for doing a shoddy job.

 

 

Nigeria Engineering Family meets in Abuja

 

Engineering personnel in Nigeria will assemble for their annual family meeting in Abuja on August 3 & 4, 2010. Theme of the meeting is ‘Nigeria @50: Challenges for sustainable infrastructural development’. It is the 19th edition. 

It will be hosted by Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN.

 

 Blackberry potentially faces the chop in India

 Research In Motion's (RIM) Blackberry service may be banned in India if the company does not resolve government concerns over security. The news comes just days after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government said it was concerned that the Blackberry smartphone is open to misuse and poses a security risk.

According to US reports, back in 2008 the Indian government demanded that RIM motion give it access to encrypted BlackBerry Messenger traffic and email. It had demanded that RIM set up a proxy server in the country to enable security agencies to make monitoring easier. To this end, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs  asking  the Department of Telecommunications to instruct  Research In Motion that their email and other data services must comply to formats which can be monitored by the Indian intelligence and security agencies.  The MHA has indirectly accused RIM of double standards as it has addressed security concerns in other countries such as the US and thus sees no reason why the BlackBerry maker should not do the same in India.

Research In Motion has resisted such a move and two years on, nothing has been resolved – until now. For just last week the Indian telecommunications ministry gave RIM until the end of the month to provide said access, otherwise it could ban BBM altogether -- much as it tried to do two years ago.

According to recent reports emerging from India, RIM’s resistance is now beginning to thaw and the firm has now apparently given the Indian government their assurance they will address the security issues. Utthan Kumar Bansal a Special Security spokesperson in the MHA told reporters ‘BlackBerry has assured the Ministry of Home Affairs that the issue of monitoring of the BlackBerry will be sorted out soon…I am sure we will soon be on the same page and our concerns will be addressed.’

RIM has declined to comment, but issued a statement saying the company was committed to delivering secure products that satisfy both the needs of consumers as well as governments.

Indian government sources said authorities are aiming to resolve the matter by mid-August.

Meanwhile, in the UAE, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has issued a statement claiming that "[c]ertain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions." We're not certain if things will go quite so far in Abu Dhabi as they seem to be in New Delhi, but the government assured everyone that it will find "a solution that safeguards our consumers and operates within the boundaries of UAE law."

 

3G revenues repressed as Wi-Fi mobiles rule the waves

Most consumers will be using mobile handsets with chipsets that provide Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS (Global Positioning System) within the next five years, according to market researcher ABI Research. It revealed that the past four quarters of decline in mobile handset sales had reversed with a 4% growth in sales in the fourth quarter of 2009. It expects this to continue for the next five years as consumers opt for handsets that deliver better performance and battery life as well as those with multi-core processing using the latest apps and mobile capabilities.

The report revealed that it expected that Wi-Fi chips would deliver the highest revenue of the three connectivity chips over the next five years; penetration rates for bluetooth will average 57% in 2010; and GPS to double between 2010 and 2015.

ABI Research industry analyst Celia Bo forecast 4% revenue growth this year for handset semiconductors. "Components such as baseband processors and application processors, which account for more than 60% of revenue in this segment, are expected to show revenue increases of 3% and 8% respectively in 2010," she said.

Bo said Qualcomm's dual core Snapdragon processor, announced in June, signalled a new era for technology architecture development in which the market is set to see some significant improvements in application processor performance and power consumption, even as sales increase and average selling prices drop.



 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CyberschuulNews
Previous Editions
 
 

411 - 415

406 - 410

401 - 405

396 - 400

391 - 395

386 - 390

381-385

376 - 380

370 - 375

366 - 369

361 - 365

356 - 360

351 - 355

346 - 350

341 - 345

 336 - 340

 331 - 335

326 - 330 

321 - 325

316 - 320

311 - 315

306 - 310

301 - 305

296 - 300

291 - 295

286 - 290

281 - 285

276 - 280

271 - 275

266 - 270

261 - 265

231 - 260

201 - 230

171 - 200

151 - 170

141 - 149

130 - 140

1 - 129

 

 

To subscribe to CyberschuulNews, send request to subscribe@cyberschuulnews.com
CyberschuulNews.com Group is published in Abuja, Manchester & Long Island.
Letters to Editor: cyberschuulnews@yahoo.co.uk 
Editor: abi@cyberschuulnews.com