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A.    Roll Call of IT greats 

Most world-famous names are often accompanied with a world famous fortune. Names such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell are synonymous with huge fortune and wealth that it is forgotten that beyond the abundance of wealth, these men undoubtedly possess, fame and fortune has rarely been their immediate motivation. However they are individuals who have moved the IT industry and its technology inexorably forward. A passion for changing the world through technology is the hallmark of the IT Greats. Sometimes they have changed technology, sometimes they have transformed the way technology is marketed or radically altered the way IT is perceived by society.

Some have been involved in great leaps forward and are responsible for the greatest changes of our time.  Whatever the case, the industry today stands on the shoulders of these giants. In this commemorative edition, Cyberschuulnews is proud to pay tribute to some of them in the rollcall of IT Greats.

 

 Steve Jobs:

The 55year old co-founder and CEO of Apple Computers is an innovator who enjoyed a devoted global following he has generated through his pioneering work in personal computing and product design. A veteran of the industry, he showed a penchant from his high school years attending after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California where he met fellow Apple founder Steve Wozniak during a summer job at HP.

In the autumn of 1974, Jobs, who dropped out of university after one term, taking a job as a technician at Atari, a manufacturer of popular video games.  Apple Computer was founded as a partnership on 1 April 1976.drove the company ever deeper into the consumer electronics and computing market, launching the iMac and iPod. The rest, as they say, is history – computing history to be precise - and one in which his place is guaranteed. 

 

Tim Berners-Lee:

Another 55 year old and a Londoner is dubbed father of the web and champion of IT freedom. Dotcoms, bloggers and Google all have one man to thank for their place in the 21st century world. 20years ago, Tim Berners-Lee made the imaginative leap to combine the internet with the hypertext concept, and the worldwide web was born.

TBL’s interest has its roots in the fact that both his parents were mathematicians who were employed together on the team that built the Manchester Mark I, one of the earliest computers. Forever an innovator he was banned from using the computers at his university - Queen’s College, Oxford where he was caught hacking with a friend. Having worked at Plessey Telecommunications from 1976 as a programmer and in 1980 began working as an independent contractor at the European nuclear research centre Cern. This was when he proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. While there, he built a prototype system called Enquire. The first website built was at http://info.cern.ch/ and was put online on 6 August 1991. The URL is still in use today. It provided an explanation of the worldwide web, how one could own a browser and how to set up a web server. It was also the world’s first web directory, since Berners-Lee maintained a list of other websites.

In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His legacy is that he made his ideas available freely, with no patent and no royalties due.  He is now the director of W3C, a senior researcher at MIT’s CSail, and professor of computer science at Southampton University.

 

Bill Gates:

 

As joint founder of the world’s biggest software company, Microsoft, Bill Gates’ approach to technology and legacy is that he has been instrumental for bringing technology to the masses. Also 55, he had been keenly interested in computer and computer technology from the age of 13 and became deeply engrossed in software programming. In 1970 Gates formed a venture with fellow school student and Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters using the Intel 8008 processor. In 1973, Gates enrolled at Harvard University, where he met future business partner Steve Ballmer. Their first venture was to develop a version of the Basic programming language for the Altair 8800, one of the first microcomputers. He left Harvard to Microsoft Corporation, with Allen which began licensing his MS-Dos operating systems to manufacturers of IBM PC clones. Its drive to global dominance continued with the development of Windows, and though its dominant position in the software industry is often subject to challenge from time to time, one can not but admire what it has taken   to get Microsoft software pre-installed on most PCs shipped in the world making Microsoft the world’s largest software house and Gates one of the world’s richest men. Apart from being one of the biggest innovators of our time, Bill Gates is also one of the biggest philanthropists giving in excess of £20bn of his wealth, to charity.

 

James Gosling

Of our choice of the most influential people in IT, James Gosling is the true geek. Unlike Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, neither of whom finished college, Gosling completed a PhD in computer science and contributed to software innovation at a technical level.

Born in 1955 near Calgary, Canada, Gosling is best known as the father of the Java programming language, the first programme language designed with the internet in mind and which could adapt to highly distributed applications.

Gosling received a BSc in computer science from the University of Calgary in 1977, and while working towards his doctorate he created the original version of the Emacs text editor for Unix (Gosmacs). He also built a multi-processor version of Unix, as well as several compilers and mail systems before starting work in the industry.

In 1984, Gosling joined Sun Microsystems, where he is currently chief technology officer in the developer product group.

In the early 1990s, Gosling initiated and led a project code-named Green that eventually became Java. Green aimed to develop software that would run on a variety of computing devices without having to be customised for each one.

Although much of the technology developed as part of Green never saw the light of day, Gosling realised that some of the underlying principles they had created would be very useful in the internet age.

Sun formally launched Java in 1995. Gosling did the original design of Java and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine. For this achievement he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering. He has also made major contributions to several other software systems, such as Newa and Gosling Emacs.

Although some critics say Java has not lived up to its initial "write-once-run-anywhere" claim, Gosling's success in the Computer Weekly polls is precisely because Java has allowed the creation of robust, reusable code which runs on devices as diverse at mobile phones, PCs and mainframes.

 

 Linus Torvalds

As the creator of the Linux operating system, Linus Torvalds has been a driving force behind the whole open source movement, which represents not only an ever increasing challenge to proprietary software, but is also the inspiration for the industry to move to open standards. Torvalds remains the ultimate authority on what new code is incorporated into the Linux kernel.

 

Martha Lane Fox

 

Martha Lane Fox is certainly neither 55 nor a man but epitomises the entrepreneurial spirit of the dot.com era.  With Brent Hoberman, she created Lastminute.com in 1998, Her legacy is lies in the fact that the success of lastminute.com precipitated the proliferation of dot.com entrepreneurs – bringing together usually fresh, dynamic and hungry for success as well and venture capitalists who combined to raise the profile of e-commerce ever higher in the public consciousness. Having sold last of lastminute.com shares in 2004, she still remains prominent in the UK ICT industry as its Digital Champion setting very challenging tasks such as trying  to get UK citizen of working age online by 2012. She remains at the forefront of the fight to bring internet access to the disadvantaged, unemployed and retired as well as conducting a public consultation programme on how best the UK government can deliver efficient digital services.

 

ANALYSIS
Comparing ‘like with like’? Part 1

by
Abi Bilesanmi

 

‘Over the last 10 to 12 years, the mobile communications market has been booming. Before 1998 public debt crisis, mobile phone ownership was a privilege of affluent consumers; today the number of registered SIM cards greatly exceeds ……... This is not so surprising. Mobile phones are used even by pre-schoolers and grannies who no longer need to walk all the way downstairs for a chat with a neighbour.’

 

The above statement very much fits the description of the development in telecommunications particularly mobile telephony in Nigeria over the last 10 years. But in fact the above is about Russian telecommunications. This piece is intended to provide a comparative analysis of the development in telecommunications in Nigeria and Russia by focusing on, its history, user demographics and the policy choices of each country. Using Russia as a template because it is comparable on a number of levels, it will be necessary for the Nigerian government and telecoms industry to continue to provide users with the appropriate tools to allow them to understand the importance of ICT and telecoms, the context in which their information exists and to enable them to select appropriate levels of information sharing as well as enact appropriate protections upon their information is used to bring about empowerment and

self-determination that is meaningful to its populace.

 

In both countries like anywhere else on the globe, new applications and diversified holding companies are the key future trends in telecoms as mobile technology enters a new experimental phase. While we can readily celebrate the development in ICT particularly mobile telephony in Nigeria, development in Russia clearly indicates that we still have a bit to go.

Like Nigeria with a population of approximately 150 million, Russia has a population of approximately 143 million. The dominant player in Nigeria's mobile telecommunications industry is the South African company, MTN, with 43 percent market share with other major competitors Globalcom Nigeria and Zain. In the market is dominated by MTS which serves 33pc of Russian subscribers. The other members of the "Big Three" group of cellular operators include Beeline (VimpelCom) and MegaFon – each with a market share of 24pc.

In both countries major trends that underlie telecom development are liberalization of the long-distance telecom market and introduction of new operator interconnection regulations mobile-sector penetration and value-added services (VAS)-sector growth. Both are anticipating increased competition in the long-distance market segment where fixed-line operators will further diversify their services, particularly among broadband and convergent services with other leading market sectors including are digital subscriber line technology, Internet protocol television (IPTV) solutions, next-generation network equipment, and passive optical network technology. The mobile sector will feature increasing competition for subscriber loyalty, offering heavy VAS content (mobile television and interactive games) as operators deploy 3G networks. Cable television, broadcasting, and satellite operators will enrich content and expand their offerings to subscribers.

Despite similarity in population and comparable ambition, the reality is that on Russians have about 209.1 million SIM cards, mobile market penetration has reached 147.3pc in Russia compared to Nigeria’s 78.1million. The difference can be put down to the prevailing expansion of 4G and broadband internet access in the Russian telecoms market. Russian mobile operators are coming up with increasingly comprehensive service packages and are now about to roll out their fourth-generation project with faster data transmission. In 2009, MTS expanded its broadband customer base by 39.8pc over the 2008 level to a total of 1.3 million subscribers. Another prominent trend is consolidation of mobile companies seeking to maximise their service offerings. In order to gain a stronger foothold in the long-range communications and broadband market, MegaFon plans to acquire a 100pc stake in Sinterra, a national fixed-line operator. In Nigeria an inability to sell NITEL at a reasonable price to a reasonable suitor still poses a huge problem

Broadband penetration in Russia currently at 6 or 7pc though lacking in comparison to 15pc in Hungary and Poland and 30pc in Europe, still far exceeds Nigeria indicates vast potential for the market in both countries. An analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Mobile Broadband in Central and Eastern Europe, notes that the market generated revenues of €1.1b in 2009 and forecasts that revenues will reach €5.2b in 2014, with Russia accounting for 50pc of that growth.

However, everything may soon change on the Russian telecommunications market. Moscow and other major cities are actively developing wireless WiMAX networks, and two companies are already offering 4G internet access in the Russian capital, including Comstar-OTS. Nigeria, it appears, is following suit

All in all in both countries, though enveloped by socio-economic problems of endemic corruption, organised crime poor human right records, the telecommunications sector stepped into 2010 in good shape after having sorted out various domestic socio-economic issues and ridden the problems inflicted by the global economic downturn. The good news is that this positive trend is likely to continue.

 

 

 

 

 

B.    Global trends in ICT

Contemporary analysis in literature, coupled with expert consultation have confirmed that  ICT and its future direction, though still has technology and innovation at its core, its relevance and impact, particularly in emerging economies like ours, are likely to more pronounced in the realm of empowerment, education economic growth and improving governance. Such impact will be assessed on the indices of improved access, use, quality, affordability, trade, and applications, and they all relate to enabling policies and regulations.   Having visited the personalities that have influenced the growth of ICT, below are the top global Trends that will inevitably define our future.

 

Mobile Internet access.

Based on the sheer number of owners, it is safe to say new advances in hardware and software are making mobile “smart phones” indispensible tools and probably they have been around too long to refer to them as trend. But most certainly just as cell phones have leapfrogged fixed line technology in the telecommunications industry, it is likely that mobile devices with internet access and computing capabilities will soon overtake personal computers as the information appliance of choice.

 

Cloud computing.

Similarly as applications are increasingly moving onto server farms accessible through the Internet, we will see a corresponding diminution in the use of the stand alone desk top computer. The implications of this trend for business and education systems are huge as they will inevitably drive down the cost of information appliances available which do not require the processing power or size of the PC. The challenge will be providing the ubiquitous connectivity to access information sitting in the “cloud”. Accompanied by the emergence of increasingly robust infrastructure, connectivity will allow access “anytime, anywhere”.  

 

One-to-One computing

Particularly in emerging economies, the ambition and trend is to provide an information appliance to every learner and create learning environments that assume universal access to the technology. Whether the hardware involved is one laptop per child (OLPC), or  increasingly a net computer, classrooms should prepare for the universal availability of personal learning devices which will incorporate Internet access, virtual mentors or teachers, and/or opportunities for peer to peer and self-paced, deeper learning.

 

Gaming.

A true testament of the validity of the existence of a ‘global village’, computer gaming has brought people together be they in Abuja or Aberdeen. A recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveal that massively multiplayer and other online game experience is extremely common among young people offering the opportunity for increased social interaction and civic engagement particularly among youth. The phenomenal success of games with a focus on active participation and interaction provide the blueprint and suggest that the principle can be extended to other spheres especially business and education effectively fostering collaborative, cross-disciplinary people and interests.

Open content.

Cyberschuulnews.com

as systems are increasingly empowering different sectors to both identify, create and better utilise resources, the status quo  quickly becomes a relic. People are able to customize  procedures and processes their own purposes, so that their clients receive a tailored service that exactly suits them. Open does not necessarily mean free and so there are implications often challenge traditional notions of intellectual property and copyright.

 

Smart portfolio assessment.

The collection, management, sorting, and retrieving of data related to business will help various industry players to better understand theirs and other sectors others.  Tools are increasingly available gather information from their online portfolio which can be viewed y their clients, competitors and potential investors

These trends are expected to continue and will challenge many business models as it is practiced in most emerging markets bringing about change – sometimes fundamentally fundamental to formal education.  It will be interesting to reflect back on this list at the end of the year to see which ideas have gained the most traction; and what new ideas we discussing in a few years time. 

 

C.   
Competition ‘hotting up’ in the global ICT industry

 

One look at global strategic behaviour of the top  ICT multinationals – be it the smartphone market with serial litigation and counter litigation on patent infringement, the challenge  to companies’ anti-competition behaviours, or indeed  companies entering some new market or segments launching new products and services in direct competition to a number of other companies already in that particular market, what we definitely see is higher and more intense rivalry among the competitors in communication and electronics/equipment segments. 

 

A major factor in shaping these strategies is the emergence of the Chinese market. China's "attracting-in" (selective introduction of inward foreign direct investment, foreign technologies and import) and "walking-out" (export and outward investment expansion) strategies have enabled it to achieve a leadership position in the global ICT industry having overtaken the US to become the world's largest ICT exporter.

 

 Globally we are seeing a more increased dynamism in global competition precipitating a more intense head-to-head competition and increased specialization of multinational corporations. Here are a few that happened in one  week alone.

 

Samsung V Apple

In what it called "the first of the company's tablet devices", thus suggesting further models will be forthcoming, this week Samsung became the latest challenger to enter the tablet computer battle, unveiling its ‘Galaxy Tab’ at the IFA conference in Berlin.

The device will run on Google's Android operating system, with a capacity of 16 or 32GB, expandable by 32GB more.

Weighing 380g (14oz), and with an 18cm (7in) screen, it is principal rival to the iPad but smaller and lighter. The tablet can connect via 3G networks, as well as wi-fi and Bluetooth employing Samsung's "Reader's Hub" for e-books and the "Media Hub" for music and videos. It supports Flash video and will be able to stream content to a TV.

Samsung's head of mobile communications JK Shin said, "Samsung recognises the tremendous growth potential in this newly-created market and we believe that the Samsung Galaxy Tab brings a unique and open proposition to market,"

Technology analysts contend that that in a market with an increasing number of tablet competitors, pricing will become the crucial issue.

Sony Vs Apple

Also at the IFA technology fair in Berlin and coinciding with Apple’s media event in the US, Sony, another company squaring up to Apple, launched a new music and video download service in direct competition with Apple's iTunes.

The cloud-based service which will initially offer movies with music to be added towards the end of the year, will be available on Sony’s leading devices such as PlayStation 3s, Bravia TVs, Blu-Ray players and Sony's personal computers.

Sony's online services platform Qriocity has offered video-on-demand in the US since April this year but with is yet to debut in Europe as is its Music Unlimited service which will give users access to millions of songs, due at the end of the year.

Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe "Via Qriocity, Sony will deliver a variety of digital entertainment content and services... including video, music, game applications and e-books over time."

Commenting on the new service, Forrester analyst Mark Mulligan said it was a "necessary strategic move".

"It has done a wise thing launching a multi-media rather than just a music service. Apple has the glue of iTunes but Sony doesn't have this and it has recognised the need to join the dots between all its disparate devices," he said

Apple v Myspace, Twitter and Facebook

Apple, at a huge media event this week launched its new music-focused social network as part of the latest version of its iTunes software called Ping. The company reported that more than one million users joined in the 48 hours following its launch.

The service which allows users to build networks of friends and professional musicians in a similar way to services such as Twitter, also allows them to connect with friends, build playlists based on what they are listening to, discuss albums and songs online to as well as make musical recommendations.

Launching the application at the event in San Francisco,  Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs in San Francisco on Wednesday said, ‘It's a social network all about music ….It's sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes.’ said Mr Jobs,

"We think this will be really popular very fast because 160 million people can switch it on today," he said. Analysts said Ping is an ‘ambitious move’ and it represents a challenge to existing music-based social networks such as the ailing MySpace who they say face the greatest competition from Ping in the short term.

This can only mean good news for consumers in terms of innovation, choice and cheaper technology. Long may it continue.

 

ANALYSIS
'Comparing Like with Like?' Part 2
by
Abi Bilesanmi

There is a tendency when looking at a city like Lagos or Jarkata from one’s seat on the plane to have a mixture of emotions – apprehension about the unknown and excitement about the unpredictable. Both cities are heavily populated sizeable urban sprawls. Both cities are the respective commercial capitals of Nigeria and Indonesia and therefore a good barometer in assessing both countries.

As Nigeria approaches its 50th anniversary of its independence, now is probably as a good a time to make a comparative analysis. Back in 1975, the World Bank in its global development plan had grouped Nigeria as an emerging oil producing nation with Indonesia and other tiger economies of the far East like South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.  So how well have we done in comparison to a country like Indonesia?

Why Indonesia? you may ask, the answer is: because they are comparable. Both are the giants of their region, with a population of hundred of millions of people (Nigeria’s 154 to Indonesia’s 204). Both were formed as one nation by Europeans around 1900. Both were governed by the colonial system of "indirect rule". Both once made money from palm oil, and later discovered oil and gas. 50 years ago, the standards of living in the two countries were comparable on most measures. And since independence, both have suffered three decades of military misrule and corruption. Their first coups were launched within months of each other - in September 1965 in Indonesia and in January 1966 in Nigeria - and their military regimes died within 12 months, in May 1998 and 1999.

But in reality from all socio-economic indicators, the two countries can not be more different. In 1960, Nigeria and Indonesia produced more than three quarters of the world's palm oil, since the discovery of oil and gas in both countries, Indonesia is now the worlds leading producer with more than half the world’s of palm oil, while Nigeria now only produces just 7%. The impact is that Gross national income, per capita of Indonesia is almost twice Nigeria’s $2,010 and $1,160 respectively; as is Gross Domestic Product $510.73 billion and $207.12 billion respectively; adult literacy in Indonesia stands at 92%, 20 points better than Nigeria.

In 1967 when Indonesia's second president, Haji Muhammad Suharto, took power and just about when war broke out in  Nigeria, the number of people living in poverty was about the same in both countries - around six out of ten. Three decades later, it had fallen from six to two in Indonesia while sadly in Nigeria it had risen from six to seven. Since 1960, in Indonesia the life expectancy of a child at birth had risen from 45 to 70 years. Over the last 50years life expectancy of the same child remains stuck just above 45; today it is around 47.

Certainly, Indonesia has had  many troubles not least the bloody secession of East Timor and Aceh very early on this century but today, for all its problems past, Indonesia is holding elections that the world applauds, while Nigeria's last elections, in 2007, were heralded as riddled with election malpractices and one of the worst held in Africa that year.

They are just as comparable on telecommunications. Like Nigeria, until 1989, the Indonesian government had a monopoly in the telecoms sector. In 2000, policies governing the telecoms sector were amended in order to create a competitive environment for the entry of new telecom players. Internet services were first introduced commercially in Indonesia in 1994. Before 1994, Internet access was only available to a few universities and research institutes through ‘IptekNet’, the National Science and Technology Network.

On the fronts where we have made considerable progress such as mobile telephone penetration with the number of subscription in excess of 70million, the mobile market in Indonesia has grown even more rapidly over the past decade Indonesia is by far regarded as the most profitable mobile market in East Asia with the highest mobile subscriber growth in the region. In fact, the country is the 3rd largest and most vibrant market in Asia with over 150million subscribers and projecting that growth in the number of broadband subscribers in Indonesia will increase by 24% in 2010, which will also enable reasonable revenue growth for digital content providers. While Nigeria suffered a slowdown in 2009 incorrectly attributed to the global downturn, it was a breakout year in Indonesia for broadband services, and Netbook PC's are seeing signifcant growth as is the Indonesian online gaming market

As Nigeria turns 50, Indonesia lies almost 50 places above Nigeria on the United Nation's Human Development Index. It is not to say that it is all bad but it sure is far from all good. A comparative analysis simply tells us where we are in comparison to where we need to be. After all a fool at 50 who takes no notice of their contemporaries likely to be a fool forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

A message from ITU

Build on Broadband

In the 21st century, the social and economic development
of every country on earth will depend on it.



It’s about completely transforming the way essential services are delivered – from e-health to e-education to e-commerce to e-government. And it’s about helping meet the Millennium Development Goals in every sector.


National Broadband Networks deliver benefits across the whole of society. That makes them incredibly cost-effective, especially when you look at the savings across multiple sectors.


This is why one of ITU’s key priorities is the delivery of equitable, affordable broadband access to the Internet. For all people – wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.


A National Broadband Vision needs to be driven by leaders at the very highest level. Leaders who clearly recognize the national interest and are not hampered by being tied to any individual sector like health, education or energy.


In the 21st century, broadband networks are basic national infrastructure – just like transport, energy and water networks.

For more please visit www.itu.int

Build broadband networks and everything else will follow:

The ability to control and use energy more efficiently.

The ability to manage healthcare in poor, ageing or isolated populations.

The ability to deliver the best possible education to future generations.

The ability to take better care of our environment.

The ability to streamline transport networks.

And, crucially, the ability to help meet the Millennium Development Goals.

 

     

 

 





Fortune favours the US ICT set as Gates stays top of US rich list

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and renowned philanthropist has been named as the wealthiest person in the US for the 17th year in a row. Forbes magazine estimates his fortune at $54bn (£34.5bn),
Software tycoon and Oracle founder Larry Ellison was in third place worth $27bn in this illustrious list of the 400 richest Americans for which it takes a net worth of at least $1bn to earn a spot in the rankings.  
One of the highest climbers to a lofty height of 35 and with the largest relative increase in this list is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. He has seen his fortune triple from $2 bn to $6.9 bn. Fellow Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin join the list with fortunes of $1.4 bn and $1.15 bn, respectively. Born eight days after Zuckerberg, 26-year-old Moskovitz is the world's youngest billionaire.
Others in the list included the investment guru Warren Buffet ranked second with $45bn, Wal-Mart heir Christy Walton ranked fourth, Malcolm Glazer and family who own Manchester United and Oprah Winfrey who comes in at No 130 and is one of 42 women on the list.
The collective net worth of the 400 billionaires rose by 8% from 2009, totalling $1.37 trillion - approximately the same as the GDP of Spain or Canada.

QUALCOMM joins African Telecommunications Union

 
Words came out of Nairobi Kenya Thursday that QUALCOMM Incorporated has joined the African Telecommunications Union, ATU, as an associate. It will join 18 other associates and 46 members of the Union to contribute to ICT development in Africa.
 
Founded in Kinshasa in 1977, as a specialized agency of the Organization of African Union (AU) in the field of telecommunications, ATU is the leading continental organization fostering developments of information and communications technologies infrastructure and services.

Qualcomm Incorporated is the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies.





Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria
PRESS RELEASE on 
MURDER OF
6 TELECOMMUNICATIONS MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL
 

A report which reached our Secretariat a few minutes ago told of a callous murder of six (6) personnel of MTN workgroup which had gone to carry out maintenance operation at a Base Transmission Station in Aba, Abia state.
 
The foregoing report of Valentine, a Project Manager of MTN based in Aba, tells the story as it happened.
 
Nobody living in Nigeria can pretend that this is a new development but this certainly is one murder too callous to be regarded as one of the usual stories.
 
We commiserate with Messes MTN and with the families of the murdered persons.
 
We invite attention of Federal Government to this murders and kidnappings which is now blatantly portraying Government as helpless. The essence of governance is now appearing to be meaningless while living and investing in our country may be becoming anathema to all peoples of the world.
 
Our Association pledges to do all things possible to assist the Police in investigating this incident and we invite the attention of the new Inspector General of Police to the need to see this as one case which requires speedy investigation and prosecution of those found culpable as this will determine where we go from here. Criminal acts of this nature have been encouraged because perpetrators are hardly ever caught and prosecuted.

Peace, investment, life and living, have now been threatened to a level that makes it necessary to invite President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to please intervene urgently.

Enough is enough and a country that seeks the loftiest theme of vision 20-2020 cannot continue to go on like this. 
 
Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu
President, ATCON.
September 19, 2010
Email report submitted by Valentine, MTN’s Project Manager (Aba) to his management staff is being reproduced here unedited
Subject: INCIDENT REPORT AT GABBY OIL AB0008 
This is to inform you that our team of engineers went out to work at Gabby Oil Aba Road Aba, Abia State and while working on the generator four Gun men walked into the BTS site while the team of engineers were waiting for the RBS to load after bringing up the generator and held them at gunpoint. 
 It was also recorded that the team met some Ericssion engineers on site working on the transmission link- one ericssion engineer, one driver, two mobile policemen, a rigger on top of the tower as well as the site security guard. 
The gunmen asked for PETROLSEAL car key, but apparently couldn't get it because the person with the car key went to the hood to use the toilet. The four gunmen, still holding everyone at gunpoint asked for the car key inside the BTS site and immedaitely the petrolseal engineer told them that the person in possession of the key went out to buy something and knowing fully well that the mopol was inside the shelter along side the ericssion staff and PETROLSEAL staff the gun men felt threatened and opened fire on everyone in the BTS site, and also came outside and shot the rigger on top of the tower while the other ericssion engineer and his driver hid behind the RBS units in the site, so the fired bullets missed them. 
 The armed robbers came out side the shelter an saw one of our petrolseal staff (AC TECHNICAN) and demanded for the car key, the technican told the gunmen that he didn't have the car key on him, so they collected the key that he had on him which was the site key- 1 Abloy and 1 CISA KEY. They went into the car and tried to use it to start the car but couldn't. Then gunshots were heard from afar. It was a group of mobile military men coming their way so the robbers ran away. 
The AC technician, the ericssion engineer and the driver were the only survivors of the sporadic firing, while six others (ONE PETROLSEAL ENGINEER, TWO MOPOL MEN, THE RIGGER AND THE SECURITY MAN) were killed outright while the second Petrolseal Engineer was died on arrival at the hospital. All bodies have been taken to the mortuary.
 
Valentine, Project Manager (Aba)






Nigerian telco officials head for SA
by Tracy Burrows, iWeek editor,
Johannesburg, 10 Sep 2010
 
A delegation from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) will visit SA next month to explore investment and partnership opportunities with South African companies.
 
The delegation aims to network with local broadband service providers and telecoms firms during the ITWeb Broadband 2010 summit in Johannesburg.
 
Titi Omo-Ettu, ATCON president and a speaker at the event, says that while the telecoms market in Nigeria is showing among the most rapid growth in Africa, the current broadband penetration rate in the country is still extremely low. “This translates into a lot of business available,” he says.
 
He feels that while new submarine cables have indeed opened massive possibilities for broadband growth in the Nigerian market, the potential has yet to be realised.
 
“The first national operator, NITEL, is at this time, comatose. The second national operator, GLObacom, has been constructing countrywide fibre networks but has yet to open to traffic. Its own Europe-bound submarine fibre cable, Glo1, is just about to also open up to traffic. Other local fibre providers with intent on selected regions have also been licensed, but the results are yet to show. And, of course, MainOne just opened on the international route.”
 
All of which translates into a wealth of business opportunities, he points out.
 
Omo-Ettu will outline business opportunities in Nigeria during his talk at the ITWeb Broadband 2010 Summit on 5 - 6 October at The Forum in Bryanston.
 
Taken from
http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36703:ni



NCC reaffirms support for IXPN

 
Nigeria’s efforts to keep local Internet traffic local received a boost at the weekend in Abuja when the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, reaffirmed the Commission's continued support for the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, IXPN, to ensure its tangible success.
 
Dr. Juwah spoke during the presentation of the status report of the organization to the Commission by its board and management, led by its Chairman, Mr. Chima Onyekwere.
 
He said the Commission will improve on its funding of the organization to ensure that the objectives of keeping the local Internet traffic localized within the country is fully realized. The NCC boss also advised the board and management of the company (limited by guarantee) to ensure it entrenches an attractive business proposition and good corporate governance that will attract the participation of all the key operators in the industry, and ensure delivery on its mandate.
 
IXPN which commenced operations with initial funding from the Commission was formed to interconnect all Internet Service Providers, Private Telecom Operators, and higher institutions in Nigeria was set up to ensure that Internet users in Nigeria do not have to hit the global Internet resource outside of the country on the touch of the button when each nation has developed exchange points to reduce cost of intercontinental Internet traffic and also enable additional applications within the country.
 
Chairman of the Company, Mr. Chima Onyekwere, informed the NCC management that 22 Internet Service Providers, ISPs, including the two of the big GSM operators, MTN and Zain, have connected to the Internet Exchange of IXPN located in Lagos. Mr. Onyekwere also said that IXPN has also received support from Nigeria Information Development Agency, NITDA, to set up additional exchange points in Abuja and Kano while efforts have reached advanced stage for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to fund several exchange points that will interconnect financial institutions across the country.
 
Managing Director/CEO of IXPN, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, listed some of the current initiatives of the company to include the successful launch of the Lagos Higher Education Connectivity Project (Eko Konnect) initiated by the University of Lagos in partnership with IXPN and Datasphere Solutions. The aim of this project, he said, is to facilitate and support connectivity between all higher institutions in Lagos including the universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and research institutions.
 
Our strategy is to position us as the center of gravity to all the HEIs in Nigeria and thereby giving us the opportunity to be the hub for West and Central African Research Educational Network in the near future”, he said.
 
Mr. Rudman also said that IXPN has activated CommunityDNS, the first in West Africa. CommunityDNS hosts 353 top and second tier level domains for ccTLD operators which are about 12.8 Million names which mean the localization of critical Internet resource within the country.
 
 
 
 
Past CEO of NCC reveals secret of market growth in Nigeria

 
Mr. Ernest Ndukwe who presided over the affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission from year 2000 to 2010 disclosed in Lagos at the weekend that the simple reason for the phenomenal growth of telephony in Nigeria during the Obasanjo regime was the freedom which government gave the NCC to deliver on its mandate. In the interest of continuity, he advised future governments to emulate such an effective policy.
 
Ndukwe was responding to goodwill messages from industry players who commended his tenure at a party held in his honour by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON.
 
President of ATCON, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, in a welcome address told his guests that his Association was receiving Ernest Ndukwe back to the industry after ten years of meritorious service to the country. In his words “in most African communities, when a son goes to war and comes back victorious and with laurels, the community rolls out the drums. That is what we are doing here tonight” He commended Federal Government for finding one of the players in the industry suitable to regulate the market as shown in the appointment of both Ernest Ndukwe and the current incumbent, Eugene Juwah.


Nokia turns to Microsoft to pick CEO

 
 World’s leading mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, announced on Friday it has hired Stephen Elop, 46, who is coming from Microsoft to serve as CEO. He replaces Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who will continue as chairman of Nokia Siemens Networks.
 
Nokia must be counting on Elop's software expertise and record of very hard decisions that are capable of turning things up in the US market.
 
Several news journals had reported in recent time that Nokia has been restructuring to give verve to mobile software services business. Africa Telecom & IT Business quoting other sources in its July/August 2010 edition reported that “Nokia’s new organizational structure is designed to speed up execution and accelerate innovation both short-term and long-term”.


Global Disparity in the Global Village

The global disparity in fixed broadband access and cost has been revealed by UN figures ahead of the UN 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit in New York on 19 September. The figures represent a comparative analysis in relation to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals which are a set of targets intended to reduce global poverty and improve living standards by 2015 -

Despite the tremendous growth, the figures reveal unsurprisingly that the five most expensive places to get a fixed broadband connection are on the African continent with The Central African Republic being the most expensive where broadband connection costs nearly 40 times the average monthly income. Other countries include Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea and Niger where when landlines and mobiles are also taken into account, is the most expensive place to access communication technologies. In most of these countries, there is no data on broadband subscriptions per inhabitants ratio so the picture may be worse than the figures reveal.

By contrast Macao in China is the cheapest, costing 0.3% of the average monthly income. Others in this elite club include Israel, Hong Kong, United States and Singapore where cheapest fixed line broadband as a proportion of monthly income is on average 0.44% and there are on average 25.87 broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

Ahead of the summit in New York, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr Hamadoun Toure told BBC News, ‘Access to broadband in an affordable manner is our greatest challenge.’

Highlighting the fact that five years to the stipulated deadline, progress remains uneven with some countries having achieved many of the goals, while they remain elusive to others - mostly in the developing world and along with specific goals target on education, fighting disease and promoting gender equality, Dr Toure contends that access to communications technology is a part of one of the targets.

While questions are raised by experts who contend that the root causes of poverty - access to clean water, adequate food, free healthcare and education - must be addressed first, as to the cost, effectiveness and indeed necessity of the approach, Dr Toure said that he believed technologies such as broadband could be used to "accelerate" progress on the goals and help countries achieve them.

"Unfortunately many observers will say that we run the risk of not meeting the goals. But I think the focus should be on how we meet the goals," he said.

"I am putting ICT [Information and Communication Technologies] as an opportunity of meeting the goals."

In particular, he said, broadband and connectivity could be used to develop e-health and e-education programmes allowing people in rural and remote areas to access "state of the art" health and educational facilities.

"That can only be done if [connectivity] is accessible and affordable," he said.

Dr Toure is campaigning for all countries to have a framework that enshrines broadband as a public service to which every citizen should have access. Currently more than 30 countries have agreed. ‘Access to broadband - access to information - should be a universal human right’, he said.

On the role of the state he said, ‘Governments should put the right regulatory framework in place and leave it to the private sector to invest.’
 
HP in hot sauce (again)
It seems US computer manufacturer Hewlett Packard can not buy good publicity for love nor money. This week four years ago, it launched an investigation of its own board members causing one director to resign and another not being re-nominated to their position; then early this year it became the unacceptable face of corporate greed when it was revealed that Mark Hurd, its CEO, despite a 29pc pay cut last year still collected $30.3m (£18.6m) and last month, Hurd lost the aforementioned lucrative job after a former contractor had accused him of sexual harassment, with whom he has reached an amicable agreement.

Now HP has agreed to pay $55m (£35m) to settle claims that it defrauded the US government by paying "kickbacks" to other technology companies to recommend its products, and by overcharging federal agencies.

The case centred on claims, dating back to 2004, that HP was integral to the ‘alliance relationship’ - a group of IT and consultancy vendors which included Sun Microsystems and Accenture, who paid "influencer fees" to each other in return for recommendations that federal agencies should purchase their products.

The payment – one of the biggest of its kind in recent years – was hailed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) as a victory against chicanery from contractors who are ‘scamming’ the government. Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the civil division of the DoJ said of the settlement, ‘As this case demonstrates, we will take action against those who seek to taint the government procurement process with illegal kickbacks.’

HP also resolved a second charge that it had misled America's General Services Administration (GSA) over the pricing of a contract to supply computers and software to various federal agencies. Under US law, HP had to provide accurate information about its commercial operations so that the GSA could agree a fair price for government customers who bought HP equipment. HP now admits that it may not have complied with all these provisions. GSA’s Inspector General Brian Miller said, ‘Americans deserve the best deal possible when their hard-earned tax dollars are used ……We will aggressively pursue companies that overcharge the government.’

HP, despite the agreed settlement, denied that it had broken the law. Accenture and Sun both denied the charges, and are yet to come to a settlement with the DoJ.

 
Vodafone in a ‘Chinese takeaway’
Vodafone is poised to put the brakes on its global ambitions breaking up its sprawling portfolio of assets by selling its stake in China Mobile the world’s biggest mobile phone operator valued at £135bn.

The decision to offload Vodafone’s stake in China Mobile about 3.2% could happen in a matter of weeks and raise about £4bn as it adopts a more focused approach concentrating on Europe, India and Africa.

Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone, is also understood to be contemplating bringing the long-standing issue of Vodafone's 45% minority stake in its US joint venture with Verizon Wireless to some form of conclusion. This diversion in strategy for Vodafone is expected to include significant changes in the way it offers data services. In the UK, Vodafone had been expected to bid for the next-generation mobile licenses due to be auctioned in 2011. However that process has been thrown into confusion after Everything Everywhere, the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile threatening legal action.

Selling out of China Mobile is likely to please those Vodafone shareholders who have been angling for the company to divest some of its minority stakes in other mobile operators around the globe which they believe could boost Vodafone's value and even lead to higher dividends.

Vodafone, though believed to be currently worth just over £81bn, is reported to be undervalued by 40% because of its array of minority interests – many of which shareholders believe to be ‘disastrous’ sparking a protests with some calling for the head of Chairman Sir John Bond and opposing his re-election 's.

Vodafone having just returned to organic revenues growth after 18 months, news that it may be getting shot of its stake in the world’s biggest mobile operator is enough to make most shareholders weep, but apparently not in this case.




 



ASSOCIATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES OF NIGERIA
10, Mojidi St., Off Toyin St., Ikeja, Lagos; Tel: 01-769369, 01-8963488, 08066629111
Email: secretariat@atcon.org.ng Website: www.atcon.org.ng 
Details of the Broadband Forum
at THE FORUM, Bryanston, South Africa,
October 04- 06th, 2010 
The 1st Phase of a Three Phase Agenda for the (Broadband for Nigerians) BB4NG implementation for the business sector is the identification of investment opportunities to equip ATCON Members and other entrepreneurs on investment in broadband infrastructure construction within the Nigeria, is here.

ATCON with NCC's endorsement will participate actively in the Broadband Forum scheduled for October 4 to October 6, 2010 in Bryanston, South Africa during which investors who are interested in Nigeria will be presented to Nigerian entrepreneurs.


Name of Event BROADBAND FORUM
Organisers ITWeb Events Department, ITWeb Ltd, Rivonia, South
Africa
Nigeria’s Delegation Government Officials, NCC Officials, ATCON members, other interested players 
International Delegation Potential Foreign Investors & Technical Partners 
Nigerian delegate means A person who normally lives in Nigeria regardless of his nationality 
Time Schedule 
Monday October 4, 2010     
The Nigeria Business case: Meeting of Nigerian investors with international delegates specifically on Nigerian opportunities and partnerships
Tuesday October 5, 2010                 
The SA Business Case (See http://www.itweb.co.za/events/broadband/2010)
Wednesday October 6, 2010   
Products & Customer care
(See http://www.itweb.co.za/events/broadband/2010) 
Conference Fee  R4 736.70 (Naira Equivalent N99,470.7) 
Travels Delegates to make private arrangement for their travels. 
Accommodation in SA Delegates to make private arrangement for their Accommodation in Bryanston, South Africa.

Visas ATCON will be coordinating visa’s for its Members only 
Travel Consultancies ATCON is open to endorsing travel Consultants with track record in working for delegates. Please contact Ajibola Olude (0806 662 9111) for advice. 
Conference fee Payable in NGN N70,000 only for all Nigerian delegates
Pay to ATCON, A/C No 201/1072867110, G/Trust Bank 
Conference Coordination ATCON handling 
ATCON Fees for the Nigerian Meeting
Coordination N50,000 per delegate.
Pay to ATCON, A/C No 201/1072867110, G/Trust Bank 
Total Fee for Conference
and Nigeria’s Event N120,000 payable to ATCON. 
Deadline for all payments September 25, 2010  
ATCON
secretariat@atcon.org.ng ; +234 806 662 9111





Nigeria to Train Computer Crime Prosecutors
 
The Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke S.A.N, has announced in a press release the approval for the setting up of a Computer Crimes Prosecution Unit under the administration of the Federal Director for Public Prosecution (DPP).
 
The Computer Crimes Prosecution Unit (CCPU) will provide the necessary structure for equipping state counsel with the skills and knowledge of investigating computer crime, and collecting digital evidence. The Hon Minister noted that cyber crimes cannot be prosecuted successfully without adequate capacity and a technically relevant structure. The CCPU will thus incorporate federal prosecutors and investigators who are fully web compliant and knowledgeable.
 
The CCPU will also provide directives for cybercrime policy formation, liaising with the NCC and other ICT and technology regulators to propound laws that address lacunas in Nigeria's cybercrime laws. Training in cyber prosecutor courses and electronic evidence handling is set to commence soon.


SHU Researchers secure funding for web search project
Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have been awarded a €370,000 grant to develop the next generation internet search tools.
The grant, part of a €4m semantic web project led by German software house SAP a market and technology leader in business management software, will develop methodologies and a platform that combines essential features of semantic technologies and business intelligence.
The Semantic Web is about common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources, where on the original Web mainly concentrated on the interchange of documents. It is also about language for recording a relationship between data and real objects that allows oscillation between an unending set of databases not connected by wires but by content. This is particularly useful for business users who usually have to visit multiple websites to find all the information they need. The SAP-led Cubist project aims to provide a single interface to those multiple sources.
Simon Polovina, senior lecturer in Enterprise Computing at the Communication and Computing Research Centre (CCRC) at SHU, said: ‘Semantic technology will be the next big breakthrough for the World Wide Web and will better enable computers and people to work together’
‘Cubist will create new visual tools to help businesses make sense of the vast amounts of data that are out there’, he added.
 
 
‘Size ain’t everything’ says IBM UK boss

IBM, the company that invented the PC, has undergone significant changes since putting its PC business up for sale some 6years ago. While there is significant emphasis on size and market share as a manifestation of success, IBM and its executives these days, take a contrarian view.
This view was articulated IBM UK’s CEO Stephen Leonard who, in an interview with Computer Weekly was keen to spell out IBM’s vision and the reality of that vision in the global ICT industry.
For example he was keen to emphasize that IBM Is not a hardware company as it was once known by stating that less than 10% of their revenue is hardware, more than 55% is services, the rest is software.
On the transformation the company and highlighting the role of acquisitions on which it has spent $35bn on some 100 businesses in the last 10 years, it now has a portfolio so vast which covers business analytics capabilities through mortgage servicing platforms to healthcare process improvement and information technology consulting services, Leonard said, ‘IBM's business model has changed a lot even in the last three years. Acquisitions have been a key part of helping us develop and change, but we have also changed our business and service lines with the move into management consulting and business process outsourcing.’
He was also quick to latch on to the prevailing UK economic policy in saying, "If you look at the deficit and the intent of the coalition government, they are going to have to apply some of the best practices in the private sector which have not been applied in the public sector until now. It is about asking how do we adopt things quickly especially in an environment where there is very little capital to spend and we have to save more than we spend."
Leonard says IBM expects much of its growth to come from the increasing interconnectivity of devices worldwide and the resulting explosion in information that is already starting to produce. Drawing on projected population expansion which will put more pressure on water and supplies will require businesses, governments and citizens to adopt new strategies, he said IBM is ‘doing work with a number of cities to see how they can use these technologies to make cities work better - to make transport systems more effective, and use less resources.’
It will appear from this interview that size is everything

Closed door talks held on opening internet

 
In what public and consumer advocacy groups adjudge to be detrimental, an industry body representing some of the biggest names in technology hosted a closed-door meeting to discuss the future of the open internet. US regulator The Federal Communications Commission FCC caught between a rock and a hard place with the courts thwarting its regulatory powers had hitherto halted closed-door meetings, now faces criticism over the meetings by groups that support net neutrality in principle.
The meeting follows the publication of a controversial plan by Google and Verizon who having hatched a separate deal to allow faster speeds for web sites that pay for the privilege, could allow net providers certain types of internet traffic to be given priority over others.
Some ISPs are in favour of this hierarchical structure because they argue that the rise in internet traffic is putting an ever growing burden on the infrastructure of the net which could stifle innovation and therefore contend it is reasonable that those responsible for heavier internet traffic or users with bandwidth-intensive services such as web video pay more.
Their opponents say net neutrality is a central tenet of the internet and guarantees free and open access to all. Consumer bodies called those proposals an "internet killer".
Last week a crowd of about 100 people marched to Google's headquarters in California to present boxes that they said contained 300,000 signatures upholding the values of net neutrality, a founding principle of the net that states that all web data is treated equally no matter where it comes from. Protestors urged the search giant to honour its famed "don't do evil" motto.
Amid the present impasse, this latest meeting conducted by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in Washington was held with big players industry players such as Verizon, AT&T, Skype, Microsoft, Cisco and the Communications Workers of America all represented to try and find a way forward.
In a statement to BBC News, the Council's president Dean Garfield said that "great progress has been made to develop internet openness principles in recent weeks" but more needed to be done "to ensure cross-sector support and to preserve internet access, innovation and investment.


SIM card Registration in Nigeria: A registrant’s account


Mr. Sunday Soyinka Managing Director of First Gloria Ltd Abeokuta whose company is retained by GSM operators to register SIM cards of old subscribers has described the exercise as necessary, important and going fine in his Domain.


He was contributing to a television discussion on SIM Card Registration early in the week.

According to Mr. Soyinka, not more than 100 subscribers could be registered per day with the one equipment which the telephone operator supplied his company to carry out the exercise and he therefore suggested that the limitation of the registration period to only six months to cover 78 million subscribers nationwide was unrealistic.
 
ATCON prompts private sector initiative to latch into broadband for all
 
Private sector players of the Nigerian ICT industry have been advised to take up the challenge of making practical investment plans towards spreading the benefits of the emergence of intercontinental submarine cables to lead the spread of broadband infrastructure while government is being expected to drive the effort.
 
The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, in a recent memo to its members, announced that it is spearheading a three phase implementation agenda in this direction. These include
Building infrastructure across the country
Managing Internet/Data services in a new way
 Stimulant funding campaign for local entrepreneurs
 
The Association said it is packaging a business focused interaction between its members and international investors and technical partners who wish to do business in Nigeria to exchange notes in South Africa in October 2010. It advises its business sector leaders to constitute themselves into formidable teams to enable government find a workable structure to deal with when it eventually decides to support the efforts.

 
Intel acquires McAfee

The world's biggest chip maker, Intel, announced this week that has acquired McAfee, maker of anti-virus and other security software, for $7.68 billion in cash, or $48 per share.  
With the ubiquitous nature of the internet and online threats now posing a systemic risk, Intel's deal with McAfee is yet another attempt to ensure that consumers remain confident about interconnectivity. The firm says the acquisition, part of its strategy to support the billions of devices that will be internet-connected using cloud-based services - would provide such services with a combination of security software and hardware from one company, which would ultimately better protect consumers, corporations and governments.
The deal, it is believed, will bring mutual to both California-based companies. Intel will benefit from McAfee’s entrenched position in the security field bringing about the integration of security into hardware that powers much of our computer-driven world while McAfee may be able to optimize its notoriously performance-hungry software now that it is a part of the company that provides the CPUs to most of the world’s computers.
Founded in 1987 and with over 6,000 employees, McAfee will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel and will report to its Software and Services Group. News of the impending acquisition had seen McAfee shares jump 58 percent after the deal was made public to $47.42 in pre-market trading, while Intel shares dipped 2.5 percent to $19.11 mid last week.
Tim Danton, editor of PC Pro magazine in an interview with the BBC said Intel is looking beyond the laptop and desktop market and recognised the big growth area is mobile.
‘For a company like Intel, it's nowhere near as strong in the mobile area as it is in the laptop and desktop areas, so it's probably looking for new ways to get streams and revenues in the future’, he added.
 
UK government urged to outsource its IT to India

Despite the hostility instigated and perpetuated by UK governments (of both and persuasion), citizens and media coverage in which the facts are sometimes distorted and misinterpreted on outsourcing as the root cause of its socio-economic woes, the analyst firm Ovum which provides practical, actionable advice to the technology, telecoms and other business sectors has said the UK government should consider off-shoring IT work to India to achieve spending cuts.
Ovum analyst Ed Thomas predicts a reversal to the status quo which will see the UK public sector offshore a higher proportion relative to the scale of its total IT outsourcing, to India. ‘In the past the government struggled because of the political implications of outsourcing to India, but as it looks at costs with greater scrutiny I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more contracts coming from this area," he said.
With the Chancellor George Osborne still hard at work identifying "wasteful spending" and with some government departments already told they would have to cut costs by up to 40%, there is already talk of  many public sector staff employed in IT and back office jobs being axed. Off-shoring would definitely signify that hundreds, if not thousands, of job losses.
The UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron recently took an unusually high-powered delegation including six cabinet ministers and about 60 businessmen on a visit to India. Standing on the grounds of India's best-known IT institution, he made his pitch for building a "new special relationship" between Britain and India and went on to point out that despite Britain being one of the most progressive countries in terms of being open to outsourcing, no Indian firms were present in a recent meeting with the government and its top IT suppliers.
There is still some level of uncertainty in the market with a number of reports indicating the number of outsourcing contracts has risen by 11% than a year ago; a 12% - 16% increase in the number of global IT service deals in the second quarter compared to the first; but more worryingly, a contraction in the total contract value by some 14% to $30.8bn.
"Since the recession, companies have become more wary about signing long-term outsourcing contracts. There has also been a trend to using multiple vendors as businesses become more savvy about how they use outsourcing, so rather than sign one large deal, they'll sign three smaller ones with more specialist vendors," said Ed Thomas but he also added that most IT contracts are still made up of public contract deals,. 
 
 
All not as it seems with UK broadband speeds
One of Ofcom's primary duties enshrined in the Communications Act 2003 is to further the interests of UK consumers and securing the availability of a wide range of electronic communications including broadband services.
 
 In its most recent broadband briefing, Ofcom's boss Ed Richards resisting pressure from journalists to be brusque, was nonetheless unambiguous in the regulator’s interpretation of the latest study of the broadband speeds consumers are actually getting and concluded that:
 
• the advertising of broadband speeds in Britain is scandalously misleading
• British Telecom's copper medium is incapable of delivering decent speeds and Fibre optic as used by Virgin Media is the future
• the digital urban/rural divide is widening
 
The survey shows that although there has been a small increase in average speeds largely due to a doubling of what cable customers are getting, Customers still getting their broadband down a copper wire do not seem to be getting what they have paid for. In his presentation, Mr Richards' showed the average download speeds for people on "up to" 20Mbps copper deals, an unimpressive 65% were getting less than 8Mbps, a paltry 32% between 8 and 14Mbps, with just a measly 2% getting 14-20Mbps.


Suffice to say some operators were shown to deliver real speeds much closer to those advertised than others but championing the consumers cause, Mr Richards opined that if ISPs advertised speeds of up to 20Mbps, then at least some 10% of their customers ought to be able to get those speeds.
The bone of contention here appeared to be broadband is advertising with Ofcom keen to stress it is one for Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) if adjudged to be misleading.

Ofcom was keen to promote a new voluntary code which should come into force over the next year, allowing consumers to get out of their contracts if they are not getting what they were promised.
Independence. Always a regulator’s byword.



UK government urged to outsource its IT to India

Despite the hostility instigated and perpetuated by UK governments (of both and persuasion), citizens and media coverage in which the facts are sometimes distorted and  misinterpreted on outsourcing as the root cause of its socio-economic woes, the analyst firm Ovum which provides practical, actionable advice to the technology, telecoms and other business sectors has said the UK  government should consider off-shoring IT work to India to achieve spending cuts.
Ovum analyst Ed Thomas predicts a reversal to the status quo which will see the UK public sector offshore a higher proportion relative to the scale of its total IT outsourcing, to India. ‘In the past the government struggled because of the political implications of outsourcing to India, but as it looks at costs with greater scrutiny I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more contracts coming from this area," he said.
With the Chancellor George Osborne still hard at work identifying "wasteful spending" and with some government departments already told they would have to cut costs by up to 40%, there is already talk of  many public sector staff employed in IT and back office jobs being axed. Off-shoring would definitely signify that hundreds, if not thousands, of job losses.
The UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron recently took an unusually high-powered delegation including six cabinet ministers and about 60 businessmen on a visit to India. Standing on the grounds of India's best-known IT institution,he made his pitch for building a "new special relationship" between Britain and India and went on to point out that despite Britain being one of the most progressive countries in terms of being open to outsourcing, no Indian firms were present in a recent meeting with the government and its top IT suppliers.
There is still some level of uncertainty in the market with a number of reports indicating the number of outsourcing contracts has risen by 11% than a year ago; a 12% - 16% increase in the number of global IT service deals in the second quarter compared to the first; but more worryingly, a contraction in the total contract value by some 14% to $30.8bn.
"Since the recession, companies have become more wary about signing long-term outsourcing contracts. There has also been a trend to using multiple vendors as businesses become more savvy about how they use outsourcing, so rather than sign one large deal, they'll sign three smaller ones with more specialist vendors," said Ed Thomas but he also added that most IT contracts are still made up of public contract deals,.
 
All not as it seems with UK broadband speeds

One of Ofcom's primary duties enshrined in the Communications Act 2003 is to further the interests of UK consumers and securing the availability of a wide range of electronic communications including broadband services.
 In its most recent broadband briefing, Ofcom's boss Ed Richards resisting pressure from journalists to be brusque, was nonetheless unambiguous in the regulator’s interpretation of the latest study of the broadband speeds consumers are actually getting and concluded that:
• the advertising of broadband speeds in Britain is scandalously misleading
• British Telecom's copper medium is incapable of delivering decent speeds and Fibre optic as used by Virgin Media is the future
• the digital urban/rural divide is widening
The survey shows that although there has been a small increase in average speeds largely due to a doubling of what cable customers are getting, Customers still getting their broadband down a copper wire do not seem to be getting what they have paid for. In his presentation, Mr Richards' showed the average download speeds for people on "up to" 20Mbps copper deals, an unimpressive 65% were getting less than 8Mbps, a paltry 32% between 8 and 14Mbps, with just a measly 2% getting 14-20Mbps.

Suffice to say some operators were shown to deliver real speeds much closer to those advertised than others but championing the consumers cause, Mr Richards opined that if ISPs advertised speeds of up to 20Mbps, then at least some 10% of their customers ought to be able to get those speeds.
The bone of contention here appeared to be broadband is advertising with Ofcom keen to stress it is one for Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) if adjudged to be misleading.
Ofcom was keen to promote a new voluntary code which should come into force over the next year, allowing consumers to get out of their contracts if they are not getting what they were promised.
Independence. Always a regulator’s byword


ATCON, ITAN go into Alliance


 
Two Nigerian industry Associations – Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria, ITAN, and Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, have signed an agreement of understanding to work together so that input to government work on the emerging information technology industry will be bless discordant. Presidents of the two Associations say it is good for the emerging ICT industry.
 
The signing of the MoU which was in the presence of a large Nigerian media held over the weekend with the two Associations represented by members of their Executive Committees. They explained that what the MoU means is that each of the parties in the alliance will henceforth forward a copy of an input it has already made to government to the other party for information only. The purpose is to enhance understanding and minimize discordance in the different input from which governments base their decisions.
 
 'That is to say the independence and the right of content of opinion on input to governance are retained for every party involved. It shall be possible for any other association to come into the alliance if it so pleases provided every party involved in the alliance is so agreeable. The alliance is limited to only two Associations (ATCON & ITAN) at take off in order to allow for any other willing Association to have known the scope before opting for being part of it' so says a document which the two bodies jointly released to the media in Lagos.


Tough times ahead for Telecom Regulators in Africa

 
For a multitude of reasons, there appears to be friction between politicians and their respective telecommunication regulators in major African telecommunication markets. In South Africa there are moves afoot via a new amendment Bill, currently in its draft stage, that empowers the Minister of Communications to subjugate the powers of ICASA, the regulator for the South African communications sector, under the guise of making the regulator more efficient.
 
In Nigeria legislators have had running battles with NCC, the regulator for the Nigerian communications sector, with the former laying the charge that the regulator is over-independent and the politicians are stridently working to whittle it. Legislators who had been threatening the independence of NCC have however been exposed recently as corrupt as they demanded bribes from nominee-officials before screening them for top positions in NCC. Their chicanery had been unearthed culminating in the Senate President having to clear Government nominees on the open floor of Senate instead of relying on the secret work of a screening committee.
 
The Minister of Information and Communications in Nigeria has consistently asked operators to reduce tariff without doing much reform in the industry. Operators bear a collective sigh of resignation leaving them with an overwhelming sense that the Minister is somewhat aloof.
 
Without appropriate action, there is the chance that the industry in Nigeria may lose the gains accrued from the independence of its regulator sending it right back to where it started just as South Africa is already making the reverse steps in its renown presence in markets across Africa.
 
The story is not dissimilar in Ghana but the executive arm is opposed to legislative maneuvers to make the regulator to do their bidding.
 
 
MainOne Cable, Phase 3 Telecom, 3 others join ATCON.

 
The Association of Telecommunications Companies in Nigeria announced recently that it has received expressions of interest to join its membership from 5 major telecommunications companies and to which it has duly accepted.
 
MainOne Cable Ltd which launched a cross-Atlantic submarine cable in Lagos recently and Phase 3 Telecom Ltd, a backbone infrastructure provider, which recently deployed Internet Protocol service in Abuja, there are others such as Raeanna Nigeria Ltd, Flory Struct-Tech Ltd, Jibson Dynamics Ltd which are involved in major infrastructure construction business in the Nigerian market.
 
Executive Secretary of ATCON, Mr. Ajibola Olude, explained that the membership of such strategic companies are important to the Association because of its vision of forming a broadchurch and using the strategic expertise of many executives of the member firms in the propagation of ideas, the provision of advice to governments and implementation of policy initiatives in order to take the industry to higher levels.

Mr. Olude said one of the input of his Association to the recent BB4NG Stakeholders Forum was its insistence that the private sector be made to play very strategic role in promoting the agenda yielded results as representation of those who would move the implementation very fast once government has shown a direction was very strong on the attendance list. In fact the chairman of the Stakeholders forum Mr. Olusola Teniola, a Chief Operating Officer of Phase 3 telecom was adjudged the best superintendent of such wide gathering in recent times.
 
Ajibola said proudly that “ We chose him and sent his name to the planners of the Forum”. 
 
 
Nigeria’s Layer3 Ltd set to build Campus Fiber Network

 
 
The University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM), Benue State, Nigeria's premier agriculture university, has selected Layer3 Ltd, one of Juniper’s certified partners, to build one of the most sophisticated campus networks in Nigeria with 10 Gigabit Ethernet solutions from Juniper Networks.
 
The network will enable the university to deliver high-speed Internet and intranet access to its over 8,000 students and staff respectively in its campuses in Makurdi and will enable the university to facilitate e-learning, online applications and multimedia communications services for staff and students.
 
With the objective of building an infrastructure capable of creating a world-class e-learning environment and to cope with a fast-growing staff and student population, UAM opted for a company that had the technical expertise and a network platform that was reliable, scalable, and could accommodate future technology advancements. The network will support the convergence of storage, data and multimedia at consistent speeds.
 
Layer 3 is one of Nigeria’s major players in Broadband Internet, Managed Services, Managed VPN, Network Security, Virtualization and VoIP and is a member of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON.
 
 
 
Android edges Apple as smartphones drive mobile sales growth

Mobile device manufacturers sold an astonishing 325.6 million units worldwide in the second quarter of 2010 - an increase of 13.8% compared to 2009 - according to research firm Gartner The firm also revealed that smartphone sales grew more than 50%, accounting for 19% of worldwide device sales compared to the second quarter of 2009.
In this quarter, the Android became the top smartphone operating system (OS) in the US and the third most popular globally overtaking Apple's iOS but behind Research in Motion (18%) and Symbian (41%)
Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice-President at Gartner said innovation which had given rise to launches of updated operating systems as well as strong brand awareness with ordinary and enterprise customers had contributed to the aforementioned strong growth. She indicated that market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from mobile telecommunication companies and developers.
According to the report, Android's popularity had also been down to a shortage of components, such as active matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays resulting in stunted sales volumes of more popular smartphones.
Nokia, Samsung, Research in Motion (RIM) and Apple maintained top positions for mobile device sales with 34.2%, 20.1%, 3.4% and 2.7% respectively of market share in the second quarter. HTC's debut in the worldwide top 10 for mobile device manufacturers took a respectable 1.8%.
 
RIM reassures Blackberry users as governments demand encryption key

 
Having been on the back foot and following threats by respective governments in India and the UAE to block encrypted Blackberry corporate e-mail and messaging services if its security agencies were not granted access to them, Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) says it will not make country-specific deals as it attempts to work with governments threatening to block its services.
RIM issued a statement in which it insisted that although it cannot disclose regulatory discussions with any government, the company will preserve the "lawful needs of citizens and corporations" while co-operating with governments in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements.
RIM also said it has drawn a firm line by insisting that any capabilities it provides to carriers for "lawful" access purposes be limited by four main principles: Such access has to be legal, it must not exceed access imposed on RIM's competitors, it does not change the security architecture for Blackberry enterprise customers, and does not require a country-specific deal that does not conform to RIM's global standard for lawful access, the company said.
Despite an alleged deal being struck with the government in Saudi Arabia, the Indian government said it would move to impose a block on encrypted e-mails and messaging services by the end of the month following discussions at a meeting between the Indian government and telecoms and internet operator associations on 12 July.
RIM is facing a similar threat from the United Arab Emirates if it does not open its services to scrutiny by 11 October.
The Indian government is set to pursue similar concerns with Google, Skype and other communications services, according to the Financial Times.
 
 
IBM boosts its middleware portfolio by another acquisition

 
It was towards the end of 2004 that IBM made a gradual retreat from the PC market announcing its intention to sell its renowned PC division to the Chinese company Lenovo Group who agreed to pay $1.25 billion for the business. Ever since, IBM has been extending and diversifying into first into data mobility and storage, then network performance monitoring and service management software for wireless services.
But now as part of augmenting its Information Agenda initiative, IBM is looking to build its middleware portfolio. Middleware is the "adhesive" between software and software components and the network. The firm has expanded its IT transformation services with the acquisition of Unica, a company specialising in cross-channel marketing automation – a third in a trilogy of middleware acquisitions - following on from the £1.4bn acquisitions of business-to-business integration firm Sterling Commerce and web analytics firm Coremetrics.
Unica provides technology which aims to help marketing people manage marketing planning and execution to help them analyse customer preferences.
The acquisition expands IBM's portfolio of industry software designed to help companies automate, manage, and improve core business processes across marketing, demand generation, sales, order processing and fulfilment which in industry parlance is also known as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) mediating between applications in the transformation and routing of data and the orchestration of business process flows.




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 exchanged 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.  

 

PRELIMINARY REPORT OF
BROADBAND FOR NIGERIA (BB4NG) STAKEHOLDERS FORUM

held on Wednesday July 28, 2008 in Abuja


RELEASED TO THE PRESS
AS PUBLIC INFORMATION

 

NIGERIANS WANT BREAD AND BROADBAND!



The just concluded Broadband for Nigeria Stakeholders Forum was indeed a meeting that delivered on its objectives. It was held on Wednesday July 28, 2010 at the NCCE Hall, Central Business District, Abuja. 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

 

After kicking off with exchange of pleasantries and a welcome address, the first Nigerian Broadband Stakeholders Forum got down to serious business with the presentation of a Broadband framework supported with a background document.

Engr. Titi Omo Ettu, President, Association of Telecommunication Companies in Nigeria, took the audience through these documents, spicing his presentation with examples and inside information which only long-time IT practitioners in Nigeria were privy to. Thereafter, delegates were invited to make their input. The BB4NG team had made efforts before the event to ensure a wide dissemination of the two key documents, through print and internet, and this seemed to have paid off as attested to by the quality and passion of contributions made by participants at the Forum.


The discussion and observation that followed the document presentation was rich and diverse, and it was one of such observations that seemed to have captured the essence of what the Nigerian Government needed to do, and do quickly. It was observed that Nigerians are at various levels in awareness of and demand for Broadband internet access, and the consensus is that this should not be a question of choosing either Bread or Broadband. Nigerians need both Bread and Broadband!

It was observed that beyond ensuring that the Broadband for Nigeria framework document, synergizes with ongoing and previous efforts of Government, it must be made explicit and clear to Government that

BROADBAND IS THE MEDIUM THAT IS NEEDED TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL, SUSTAINABLE, AND INCLUSIVE ACHIEVEMENT OF OUR MGD COMMITMENTS AND VISION 2020-20.

This message came through this stakeholders forum loudly and clearly and it presents the Nigerian Government an opportunity to make Nigeria’s MDG commitments and Vision 2020-20, not a pyrrhic victory but a lasting reality. The message is that :

Broadband is the critical and efficient medium needed for the timely delivery of MDGs, Vision 2020-20 and ICT4D. In order to ensure that Nigeria’s MDG commitments and Vision 202020 reach their target audience in ALL the 774 Local Governments, it will require a substantial completion of fixed Broadband infrastructure that gives optimum connectivity within the country and to the global internet.

The First Nigerian Broadband Stakeholders Forum has delivered on its objectives and it has presented us the opportunity to make Nigeria’s MDG commitments and Vision 2020-20 a reality. The next crucial steps is to ensure that this message reaches all the people who will be responsible in developing the policy that will make this a reality.

The Forum, under the chairmanship of Mr. Olusola Teniola, Chief Operating Officer of Phase 3 Telecom, brought together a wide range of stakeholders. Senior Civil servants such as Dr. Moses Olateju Ojo Director, NCCE; Mr Obi Adindu, Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Communication made contributions.

Chairman of NITDA, Hon Mohammed Bulama gave an inspiring speech while Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Prof Jibril Dahiru Aminu pledged the full support of Nigerian Universities for this effort and this was echoed by representatives from several research and educational institutions.

The IT industry had Dr Armstrong Takang, and other Senior Executives from IEEE, Monarch Communications Ltd, Linkserve, and President of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria, Dr Olufuye, were key contributors at the Forum.

Mr. Adrian Wood the pioneer MD of MTN, now CEO of BryMEDIA Consortium was there while President of Computer Professionals of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Uwadia sent goodwill message and endorsement to the Forum.  The presence of grassroot politicians, such as Councilor Ibrahim La’ah from Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State, showed the extent to which information about this event had been circulated. The Nigerian Military through Navy Commodore James Oluwole and Air Commodore Pat Udabor and other very senior Military officers also expressed full endorsement of the framework document.

Civil society organisations such as Life Impact Foundation Intl., One World UK, Abuja Photographers Association, Center for Information technology & Development, Telecommunications Consumers Association of Nigeria, Development Information Network, The MEDIA and national youth corps members were also present.

6 additional items were accepted to be made to the Framework Document.

Delegates represented the following organisations:

Abuja Photographers Association
Adamawa State University
African Science & Tech Digest
Ahmadu Bello University
All Voices
Analytical Technology Ltd
ATCON
Bayero University Kano
Brymedia Group Ltd.
Businessday
Center for Information technology & Development
Committee of Vice Chancellors
Compass Nigeria
Consultancy Support Services-CS2
Daily Independent
Data ZA Ltd
Datasphir
DCOMMS-Defense Hqtrs.
Development Information Network
Fantsuam Foundation
Far Eye Marketing & Communications Ltd
FCE Kano
FCT Secondary Education Board
FCTA
Fed. Ministry I & Cs
Federal University of Tech. Akure
Financial Standard
Galaxy Backbone Plc.
Globacom Ltd.
Goga Investment Nig. Ltd.
Grassroot Systems Ltd.
Hafasco Communications Ltd.
Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Ltd.
IEEE Nigeria
ITAN
Kasuf Continental Ltd.
Kaura LG. Kaduna
KJ Technologies Ltd.
Kolmart Nig. Ltd
Layer 3
Life Impact Foundation Intl.
Lifeboom Century
Linkserve Ltd.
Media Trust
Megadi Security Service
Ministry I&Cs
Muhtasib Resources Ltd. Sokoto
National Planning Commission
National Teachers Institute
National Youth Service Corps
NBTE
NCCE
News Agency of Nigeria
ng ICT Forum
Nigerian Airforce
Nigerian Navy
Nigerian Tribune
NITDA
NITEL
One World UK
ONSA
Phase 3 Telecomm Ltd
Rural Electrification Agency
Sapphire Consult
Self Employed
Special Advisor ICT, Sokoto State
Step B
Swap Technologies & Telecoms Plc
Technology Support Centre Nigeria
Telecom Answers Associates
Telecommunications Consumers Association of Nigeria
Tinitop Technologies Ltd.
Unetcom Technologies Ltd.
University of Agriculture, Makurdi
University of Ibadan
University of Mkar
Vanguard
Wise Point Technology
Yentech Services





Dr. John Dada, CEO, Fantsuam Foundation - Chair of BB4NG Project Team
Dr Ibrahim Aminu, Nigeria ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions – Convenor, BB4NG Project
Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, President, ATCON – Consultant to the BB4NG Project Team



BB4NG Project Team
Abuja
August 1, 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

Nigerians demand broadband access from FG

Thursday, 05 August 2010 03:10 Nigerian Compass

http://compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64925:nigerians-demand-broadband-access-from-fg-&catid=37:info-tech&Itemid=709

 

•ATCON boss decries crippling poverty

 

Nigerians across the six geo-political zones in the country have tasked the Federal Government on the need to toe the line of other countries in making broadband access available to its citizens.

 

Arising from the Broadband for Nigeria, BB4NG, Stakeholders’ Forum, convened in Abuja recently to develop, refine and adopt an appropriate plan for the country, delegates at the event unanimously endorsed the Broadband Strategy Framework documents for Nigeria.

 

They argued that access to broadband internet should be seen as a Fundamental Human Right of every Nigerian. As such they said government should be actively involved in providing this access instead of regulating the providers.

 

Meanwhile, the president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Titi Omo-Ettu, has decried the alarming poverty rate in the country, saying the development has made access to basic neccessities of life elusive.

 

According to him, access to health; education, literacy, water, shelter as well as internet have remained poor in Nigeria, with a poverty rate of about 74 per cent, according to 2009 statistics.

 

While giving the BB4NG Presentation of Background and Framework Documents, he pointed out that there is uneven distribution of benefits to the over 150 million Nigerians.

 

In addition he said access to telephone has been confined to urban communities with less than 30 million subscribers, as such widening the gap between the “rich and the poor, the have’s’ and have-not’s’, literate and illiterate, urban and rural, e-literate and illiterate, access and no access, narrowband and broadband.”

 

The ATCON president said there is a need to plug these gaps as the benefits of broadband in the economy is immense especially as it will make those in the urban as well as rural areas to become more productive, thus calling for government intervention to expand access and coverage beyond what is economically feasible.

 

The participants at the forum noted that countries like Australia and the United States have already invested a total of US$43 billion and US$7.3 billion respectively in harnessing broadband services to their people, because of the huge benefits to their countries and asked government to copy these countries.

 

Reviewing the document, the stakeholders’ stressed that government agencies must be encouraged and empowered to share resources which will help to reduce cost and waste. Equally, educational institutions must be given broadband internet access for training and research purposes and consumers in rural areas protected by government, they said.

 

However, they called for synergy between similar documents past and present especially in terms of statistics, details and content that will used as a benchmark to measure what is in the final e-document.

 

“The framework should address what government, private institutions, civil societies and other agencies should do in making the broadband a reality particularly reduction in cost”, the delegates advised.

 

Earlier on in his keynote address, the BB4NG Team Chairman, John Dada, noted that Nigeria’s success in improving access to voice communication has not been reflected in broadband connectivity.

 

Dada said broadband access gap between Nigeria and the rest of the world, including some African countries is getting wider. “Many of us here may be aware that South Africa has gazetted its broadband policy and broadband process in Ghana is now at a ministerial sub-committee level,” he said.

 

Thus, he advised the stakeholders to come up with the right document that will convince government of the urgent need for broadband in the country.

 

Members of the military, consumer advocacy groups, telephone operators, academic community, consultancies, international agencies, Federal Government, state legislature, civil society organizations, infrastructure providers, internet service providers (ISPs), research and education institutions, professional associations, trade associations, the press, NYSC members among others were represented at the forum.

 

The agreement for the BB4NG project was signed in July 15, 2009 between the Nigeria ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions (ng ICT Forum) and the Association of Progressive Communications (APC) and was supported by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) the Institute of International Education, Fantsuam Foundation, ATCON and Telecom Answers Associates.

 

The Framework document is being fine-tuned by the project team and in due course will be available for submission to government.

 


 
 
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.
 
 


 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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