Governments embrace Broadband
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
provides a basis for every government in the continent to find
easy justification in making necessary investment in the subject
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The ‘smart’ money is on Android as Nokia leads the
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
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
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
Virtually all stakeholder groups identified by the
organizers of the Forum were represented by
delegates and the discussion went from the paucity
of infrastructure through awareness and monitoring
platform for a sustainable broadband access
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.