CyberschuulNews Editions 436 - 440

 

 

Cyberschuulnews 440


FG targets 1.3million jobs from ICT


Nigeria's Communication Technology Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson told an assembly of stakeholders in Lagos last week that the direct job yield from ICT industry should be a minimum of 1.3 million by 2015. Locally assembled personal computers whose production figure, according to government, is less than 500,000 now would raise to 1million.
 

The Minister asked her audience to work together and with her Ministry to attain the set targets. She got the nod of industry players as one speaker after another rose to respond to her presentation.


President ATCON, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, who fielded email questions and follow-ups after the event said �we are on the same page with the Honourable Minister and her targets for 4 years largely synch with ours for 10 years as we said in our Broadband investment plans. The Honourable Minister has understandably projected for 4 years, we have projected for 10. These are technical estimations which are not mere arithmetic nor the usual wishful thinking. Go through the analytics if you have the skills and you will see that we are on the same page�.



The phone is now a wallet



It is now one week since Google opened its Google Wallet service � a tool which ultimately will let users with Android phones use their handheld to pay for goods at pay counters. 

The Wallet which uses near field communications (NFC) allows consumers to tap and pay using a PIN number in the same way as credit cards. Google says it is rolling out the service across all Android-operated Sprint Nexus S 4G phones which will contain an NFC chip recognized by a scanning device used by merchants to complete a sale as well as the transmission of coupons or loyalty cards.

Google is renowned for using existing technology and improving on it. Just as it has on internet search, the wallet itself functions similarly to eBay and PayPal, letting users link a credit card to their Google Wallet to provide funds. Within a Google Wallet app, users can set up different virtual credit cards to use before paying with their phone, including a prepaid Google Wallet card with a set amount of money in the account, or a virtual credit card from a bank or credit company. Citi and MasterCard, it is reported, are both backing the service, 
With its dominance in people�s communications, and the Android operating system taking more than half global smartphone market, Google once again steals a march on its rivals without compromising its core business. From all indication such a march is all it needs to crush its competitors who customarily arrive at the party late. 


Nigerian Universities self-help on broadband access


 
A balancing-act Africa report which said that countries like Nigeria, which will soon have access to 5 international submarine cables (SAT3, Glo 1, Main One, WACS and ACE), competition between the various providers has already pushed down prices and forecasting that this trend is likely to continue, has triggered a web chat on the march towards a widespread broadband access to universities in Nigeria. 
 
Motivated by the campaign that tertiary institutions constitute themselves into cluster/consortium of users, facts have emerged that beside University of Lagos and the Eko-connect, institutions like Benin, Zaria, Ife, and Ibadan are now working towards local clusters for both bandwidth savings and research collaboration. And there are probably other efforts that have not yet come to the fore. 
 
The major strategy of those who champion the broadband campaign in Nigeria is that the orientation should change from wishing things happen to making things happen. It has already been realised that a little effort and the will to work together makes things happen rather than the tradition of waiting for Government for God knows when.
 
One far-north chat-member revealed that it �is really very exciting to us as we continue to make efforts towards forming Sokoto Research and Education Network (SokREN). We have already identified 3 universities, 4 polytechnics, 3 colleges of education, a teaching hospital and a school of nursing in the first instance. Interestingly, except UDUS (Uthman DanFodio University Sokoto) and one polytechnic, all institutions have fiber within 2km of the campuses. I also gathered that Kano IXP is either on or will be shortly, making it possible for the SokREN cluster to connect to others in the country. Already UDUS is in partnership with one college of education and one polytechnic leveraging on STEP-B funds building virtual library contents�.
Those who said 50million users of telecommunications will be served from broadband access in 10 years may just know that they are talking about.


Target ICT indices for 2015
 
Nigeria�s Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, told a Stakeholders Assembly in Lagos during the week that the Nigerian administration would accelerate a rollout of broadband infrastructure, articulate e-government requirements, create ICT cadres in all Ministries, harmonize all relevant policies, increase online presence of Nigerian businesses, and refocus government agencies within the Communication Technology Ministry in the space of 2011 - 2015.
This according to her will upgrade the various ICT industry indices to new target levels. These include:
Broadband penetration 12%
 ICT Contribution to GDP 5%
 Internet penetration            34% 
 Mobile penetration 80 per 100
 Internet users 70million
She also announced 7 mandate issues and five major challenges which presently confront the industry and which the government�s reform agenda will attain in 2015.

Telcos celebrate Victor Haffner at 92
 

Mr Akintola Williams, Doyen of accountancy practice in Nigeria has counselled Nigerian professionals to work with such discipline that would make it severely punishable for any of them to be involved in failure of their professional work. According to him, 'my only worry is that I am yet to see engineers or architects being prosecuted in court of law or having imposed on them punitive damages for collapsed buildings�. 
 
Mr. Williams spoke as Guest Speaker at a breakfast which CEO�s of member companies of ATCON ate with Mr Victor Adetunji Haffner, a telecommunications engineer who, now 92, was the first indigenous Chief Executive Officer of the first Telecommunications Company in Nigeria. 
 
Engr Haffner as CEO of the erstwhile Nigerian External Telecommunications Ltd, NET participated in the launch of an experimental powerful rocket which sent a satellite into space from the United States Naval Ship, Kingsport, which moored outside Lagos harbour opposite 15 Marina, the headquarters of Nigerian External Telecommunications Ltd in 1963.
 
This remarkable feat called the Syncom Project of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, USA, counted on Engr Haffner along with his erstwhile deputy and Chief Engineer late Alfred Adebayo Bodede, as the duo led a team of Nigerian engineers and technicians to provide a communication link from Kingsport in Lagos to the Goddard Space Flight centre in the USA via the NET�s network allowing the transmission of telemetry signals for command and control of the Syncom Satellite which were then relayed to the UNS Kingsport in USA.
 
He went ahead to conceive and construct the 37-story NECOM House and joined his compatriots in the Nigerian Society of Engineers to canvas for the establishment of COREN. He was pioneer President of COREN in 1972.
 
President ATCON, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, said the purpose of the Breakfast meeting was to celebrate excellence if only to make a point against the rabid celebration of mediocrity which has ravaged the land. He made reference to �the NECOM House which Engr Haffner toiled to build in 1972  was now a subject of controversial sale when apparently very young men of today, hardly in their forties may have conspired to sell the edifice to themselves for a pittance 4 billion of today�s Naira�.
 
Nigeria, Ghana, now Uganda, and still counting
Computer Warehouse Group is set for Africa


 
A pan African aspiration may have condensed from various business plans emanating from the boardroom of Computer Warehouse, Nigeria�s leading systems integrator and ICT conglomerate.
 
This much was heavily demonstrated by the various corporate reports and stories which feature in the first edition of digital EDGE, a corporate communication initiative of the firm.
 
At the launch of its Uganda operation last October, Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Apar the Uganda High Commissioner to Nigeria said ��..It becomes very interesting and encouraging when one see a fully indigenous organisation like CWG not only think within its confines but think African and indeed global too. The Columbia case study done on CWG after it was identified during a rigorous research by the Columbia Business School in the US, further gives absolute credence to this Company�


It�s the silly season at Yahoo


No doubt these are troubled times for Yahoo. Having been the pioneer internet search firm, it has for considerable length of time (coinciding with the advent of Google) struggled to not only to establish its market credentials but its identity. This has been compounded by the publicity it has attracted this week in the revelation that it is in the hunt for a new chief executive after dramatically ditching Carol Bartz - by phone!
It looks brutal (more knee jerk) but it would seem chairman Roy Bostock finally lost patience with Bartz, who was given her marching orders having been in the job for just over two and a half years. She was made to pay the price for a failure to revitalise Yahoo which continues to lag behind tech rivals such as Google which dominates the UK internet search market, with 89.7% of traffic with Yahoo has just 3.4% even Microsoft Bing has 3.7% and in the US, Yahoo at 18% seriously lags behind Google which has 65%.
Bostock will feel vindicated at least in the short term as shares rose 6% in after-hours trading on the shock news.
Bartz in a terse two-sentence email said, �I am very sad to tell you that I've just been fired over the phone by Yahoo's chairman of the board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best.�
Chief financial officer Tim Morse is said to be the interim chief executive. His appointment, hardly a ringing endorsement, had some analysts voice their feelings that Morse "is worse than Bartz". Yahoo, it is said, will now conduct "a comprehensive strategic review".
The executive musical chairs would offer no respite for Yahoo. As far back 2005 students from Harvard Business School and MIT's Sloan School of Management, in a comparative analysis between internet portals�delivered a brutally honest analysis of Yahoo's position saying that it is is doing so many different things that it may have neglected to figure out what it wants to be. Six years on, Justin Pearse, editor of New Media Age said, �Yahoo hasn't innovated fast enough. Although it has gigantic amounts of traffic, it doesn't know what to do with it. Asian operations aside, which are doing well, it does not really know what it is for. Facebook has been very focused on what it does and doing it brilliantly and focusing on the user experience. That's where Yahoo has fallen down.� Advertising revenues at Facebook are set to overtake those at Yahoo this year.
Thanking Bartz, Bostock said, �the Board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo can capitalise� but in the real world and for Yahoo - a darling of Silicon Valley during the first dot-com boom, the struggle continues.
 

UK IT workers to go on strike

 
In another imminent bloodletting and tangible sign of a fight back against the prevailing policy of cutbacks, Unite �the UK�s largest trade union and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) unions, have announced joint strike action over unfair pay for Fujitsu workers
In a dispute which is of and about IT, more than 1,000 Fujitsu workers have voted to go on strike on Monday 19 September, following disputes over pay. a breakdown in industrial relations in a bid to put maximum pressure on Fujitsu.
Both unions have separate disputes. PCS claims that pay rises of between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent which the union deems derisory despite workers meeting or exceeding their performance targets. Union involvement comes from the fact that the Fujitsu workers support essential public services Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) who will go on strike if it goes ahead.
 
For UNITE the dispute centres on what it perceives to be a breakdown in industrial relations, breaches of agreements covering issues such as benefits and redundancy, and redeployment. Its General Secretary Len McCluskey, said, �This dispute can only be resolved through negotiations and coming to an agreement with the workforce. We remain available to talk at any time and urge management to get around the table so we can have a negotiated settlement.�
Fujitsu said it was still in talks with the unions to avoid strike action.
 
A Tale of Two Countries



Paradoxically at a time when there is a call for strategies to grow broadband internet business awareness on infrastructure, content and value- added services in Nigeria, there are fears that the UK could fall behind other countries in delivering superfast broadband. 

The palpable fear was expressed by the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt in a speech to the Royal Television Society where the said that with consumer bandwidth is rising by 60% each year and  today�s average speeds of 7.5Mbps, the UK will achieve 1Gbit by 2020. Were that to be the case, he said the UK will lag behind other parts of the world like Singapore whose government is already planning universal access to 1Gbit.

Mr. Hunt expressed disquiet about the proper functioning of the market. In suggesting how to bridge the potential divide between the UK and its competitors, he re-iterated his unwavering belief in competition as the biggest driver of investment, both at the retail and infrastructure level. 

In his speech, Mr Hunt singled out BT for criticism over its broadband provision. �The process to reach a satisfactory conclusion on PIA [physical infrastructure access] prices for the use of BT's ducts and poles is taking too long. PIA has to be sorted out - and quickly - in a way that allows fair competition with different providers able to invest in our broadband infrastructure. It's also important that we have a properly competitive market in retail fibre,� he said.

In the same speech Hunt urged for the 4G spectrum auction which OFCOM had delayed due to technical and competition reasons, to press ahead as quickly as possible, as the growth in tablets and smartphones suggest mobile will be the primary devices used to access the internet in the future. A comparative analysis shows that Sweden completed this in 2009, Germany in 2010, while France and Italy will do so this year. "Mobile phone operators must put aside competitive differences and work together in their common - and our national - interest to make this happen.

In response to criticism, a BT spokesman said the company was keen to announce new PIA pricing earlier this summer but the trials were delayed due to some companies being slow to sign up.


Personality interview from another journal

�We need to rally round Minister to deliver on mandate� 
- Titi Omo-Ettu
.........taken from eWorld Magazine, Volume 7, September 2011 Edition 
 

The President of Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu in his reaction to the new Minister of Communication Technology�s mandate as she recently unveiled called on the industry to rally around her to ensure that she succeeds in the task ahead.

 

What is your take on the appointment of the new Minister of Communications Technology?

 
To the extent that Government has realised the need for a restructuring of our industry and responded, I think the creation of the Ministry of Communications Technology is good for our industry. My attention is more on the Ministry, not on the Minister if I must clarify. If by appointment you mean the pedigree of the new Minister, I think it is very good. She strikes me as cerebral and intellectually ready. And from what I have read in the media about her first outing with news people, it seems she has hit the ground running. I read that she has done a few things in the short time she has been in office. I would not have asked for more.


Did the appointment meet your Association's expectation?

 
As industry players, Government appointment needs not satisfy us. It only needs to be good. It behoves us to assist government to make our industry strive and progress in the belief that government has chosen who it thinks can deliver its mandate to the people. In this particular case the appointment is good because someone who knows the subject has been appointed and the remaining is for us to work with her. My take is that our attitude of having mindsets and thinking government must only be right if it does our mindset needs a fine-tuning. 


What do you think the new Ministry and minister should concentrate on to move the industry and the country forward?

 
 
From what I read in the media recently she has articulated them, and very nicely too. She might not have used the popular words we are familiar with, but that is what makes her intellectually ready and compliant. A Minister needs not be a conformist or an activist. He is more of a politician. If he is a politician that knows the subject and compliant, we say it is a round peg in a round hole and that is the best model but by no means the only model. 


The minister recently said she would focus mainly on access and use ICT to enhance productivity. How would you score her focus?

 
Excellent If that is what she said. What better thing would a Minister of Communications Technology have said? Our attitude is to hold her to that mandate and help her to succeed so that we can succeed and our industry and our investments can flourish. We would be wrong to be putting a Minister on a scale and dissecting her every word to pick holes when we should be spending time supporting her to take us to the place we have prescribed for our industry. Let me tell you this, it was not a particular government that took our industry to where it is, it is the attitude of players in the industry who adopted the �must work� attitude. 


Both NITDA, NCC will still operate separately in the new structure. NBC will be under the Information Ministry and not under Communication Technology. What is your take on this structure in the era of convergence?

  
It is not exactly as we had canvassed. That should not be a headache for us to move on. It is no different from the situation we had in 1992 when an NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) was established in response for our request for an NTRA (Nigerian Telecommunications Regulation Authority). But we accepted it and made it work for us. We kept fine tuning it until we got a fine Act in 2003. We are already asking for a further fine-tuning now if you listen to us very well. 
From media reports I noticed that the Minister has identified the divergence of the current scenario from the popular expectation and she has prescribed how she would work to achieve the common good even in spite of the imbalances in expectations and reality. What else can we be asking for!
 

It seems that in totality, you are satisfied.

 
To be satisfied is to drop dead. My take is that I call for a cling to the attitude of making things work rather than finding reasons why they do not work and spend our time quarrelling. I am saying that we should be less stereotyped and more pragmatic and embrace change with a view to managing it rather than fighting ourselves over it. In my 38 years of practice in the industry, we have had over 20 Ministers and Ministers of State and only about 7 of them have been cerebral, and compliant in my estimation. But we have worked with them and it has been better for our industry. It is that �must-work� attitude that I will ask my members and colleagues to let us continue to adopt. Ministers usually come and go but we, you and I, and our investments remain.
 
If you want to know what my fears are, I will tell you. 


Please tell me.

 
Public Electricity system!
 
Cyberschuulnews 439
High stakes for investment into Broadband in Nigeria

Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, said in Lagos that a report on the Broadband Investment Summit which it held in July is ready complete with recommendations and an implementation plan. Highlights of the report include a clamour for broadband policy for Nigeria, opting for an open model and pushing for an industry-wide stimulation agenda that can breed broadband retailer service providers.



ATCON Secretariat indicates that indeed a document may well be on its way to government on matters which the Association says will bring relief to service providers if attention is focused and real.



The Association is certainly uncomfortable with the public electricity reform agenda which it views with great skepticism and bereft of good strategy. It calls for true program of liberalisation of the energy sector rather than paying it lip service. It objects to a narrow definition of privatisation where government resources are used to subsidize the few businesses who are willing to buy public utilities at bargain basement prices and give nothing back to the public.



NCC, police nab SIM Card registration fraudsters
The Monitoring and Compliance Department of the Nigerian Communications Commission, with the collaboration of the security agencies, arrested persons who they said engaged in the fraudulent sale of pre-registered new SIM cards to subscribers. 



The suspects were arrested from two locations after they sold such cards to undercover agents - in the areas surrounding the offices of one of the operators, in Maitama district, and the GSM Village in Area 1, Abuja.



Phone users are expected to register their phones and not to buy phones registered with biometric identification data of people they do not know as this is capable of creating a multiple layer of criminal activities. 



NCC said those arrested will be handed over to the police for immediate prosecution.



ATCON thumbs down FG�s Electricity Trading Board
The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria is nailing its colours to the mast in declaring its opposition to the type of reform that is going on in country�s energy sector. Responding to questions on the recently established Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Board for energy, its President Mr Titi Omo-Ettu said, �the fact that the craftsmen of the reform have identified the need for that Board is an admission of the dangers that the entire concept portends for that all important sector�. He also contends that the initiative is tantamount to establishing a bureaucracy to solve a problem which needs a private sector orientation and solution.



Posing a counter question, Mr Omo-Ettu asked �How can they be breeding another bureaucracy after the establishment of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, which from all readings and inferences does not have a focus as things stand now? They want to use an illegal body to confuse a legal but impotent body. We need private sector initiatives to run in parallel with government bodies if they insist on perpetuating government companies to provide electricity and allow our people have a choice to make. We cannot and should not keep breeding bureaucracies which are fundamentally sluggish enterprises and put civil servants in charge of businesses that mean much to our economy.



By privatising Generating Plants, they are merely going to dash away our commonwealth and also discourage private initiatives from providing alternatives that are needed. In the telecommunication sector, what we did was to allow the private sector to compete with government bureaucracies and you can see that when they killed NITEL we still have alternatives to fall back to. 



�What is amazing is that the whole thing is made to look like everything is about finance and about Okonjo-Iweala who only needs to be frustrated and once she vacates, then they leave us in the cold. The only good thing about that Board is the fine qualities of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala and nothing more�. Sorry we do not support it. In any case Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala is an international civil servant, she does no know business�.




European Commission blocks scrutiny of wasteful �500m IT spend
Despite the benefits of European integration, irrefutable criticisms of the project as exemplifying a democratic deficit and wastage persist. The criticism gives succour to opponents of integration who use them to buttress their narrow isolationist credentials but criticism are justified when, as was the case this week, it was revealed that European Commission lawyers have blocked the publication of proposals to tackle extraordinary levels of waste in its �500m IT budget.



Such obfuscation is even more remarkable when the Commission itself made startling revelations about the state of its IT, including the admission that more than half its IT costs go unaccounted. It also admitted to having 2,498 different business systems performing just 15 different business functions supporting revelations about wastage in the European Commission�s IT spending.



The lack of both political will and a sense of urgency in addressing the issue of waste is also on show given that initial proposals were put before president Jos� Manuel Barroso in October last year, and that almost a year on, the Commission is yet to come up with an adequate streamlining strategy or indeed curtail runaway IT support costs epitomised by its prevarication over upgrading 36,000 of its PCs with �50m of Microsoft software; a workable strategy which harmonises working procedures across all 54 European institutions before proceeding with plans for a cost-cutting European cloud; or its open source software strategy; and how to eradicate conflicts of interest over the allocation of its �500m budget.



Catherine Day, secretary general of the European Commission�s assertion that it would not release draft proposals, because �no final decisions have been taken on these specific issues� and that deliberations must remain secret until the EC has made its decisions, simply confirms the negative perception of the EC.



"Disclosure of these parts could lead to external interferences which would be highly detrimental to the decision-making process of the Commission, on a subject which has significant security and budgetary implications," she said. But to think that those considerations trump the dire need to put in place a workable strategy of addressing the aforementioned issues � particularly costs - is lamentable. There however is the perception that the slow pace of reform is in part due to intense lobbying from the software industry who are delaying the propagation and review of policy. While that may well be the case, it offers little or no explanation of why the Commission suppressed publication of a report which it conducted behind closed doors where it deliberated a decision to upgrade to Microsoft Windows7 software without an open competition for the �50m of public money allocated.





It�s all about Spectrum Management
In what is deemed a first of its kind in Europe, Ofcom, the U.K. government's communications regulator said that it is to give the go-ahead for internet providers to employ unused TV spectrum to enhance the delivery of its Wi-Fi and broadband services.



The technology which Ofcom expects to be launched in the UK in 2013, works by searching for unused areas of the airwaves or gaps called "white spaces" that exist in frequency bands and have been reserved for TV broadcasts which are then used to transmit and receive wireless signals.



Ofcom said the white space spectrum provides a considerable unused resource, comparable to the amount of spectrum currently used for 3G cellular communications. This spectrum which typically lie between 470- and 790MHz. is not used in all locations at all times in the U.K. but its signal�s ability to travel large distances and its permeability through walls makes it suitable for a wide range of consumer applications that could include rural broadband and Wi-Fi with up to twice the range of today's technology. 





Ofcom said it was also considering the extension of the scheme to white spaces in the bands used by FM radio services particularly utilising bands which have been freed up from the switchover from analogue to digital. Following the completion of its preliminary consultation process, it is now seeking Parliamentary approval to make white space devices licence exempt, which will involve a change to The Communications Act 2003. This will mean providers will not need anOfcom licence to use the technology, as long as it does do not interfere with existing spectrum usage.





Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said, �The solution we have devised creates the opportunity to maximise the efficient use of spectrum and opens the door to the development of a new and exciting range of consumer and business applications.�




Tales from the confused

These are indeed confusing times. As battle rages on between Keynesians who believe in increased government spending to boost demand and those who saw our woes are down to fiscal irresponsibility and call for swingeing cuts. From a plethora of conflicting stories, it is hard to tell who to turn to or indeed to believe. There is a mirror reflection of what is going on in the global IT industry. In June Ovum revealed its latest predictions for IT services spending, with annual global growth expected to be 4.4% between 2010 and 2015 anticipating healthy spending growth of over 4.5% to return in 2013. However, events in the last month i.e. the decline of the U.S. economy despite the rescue package, market volatility and the re-ignition of crisis in the Eurozone corroborate Ovum�s new revelation that he value of global IT services sales plummeted 40% in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.



Ovum analyst Ed Thomas revealed there were no deals worth more than $1bn signed in the three-month period which, according to him is a clear indication of a lack of buoyancy. Customarily and contrary to the claims of the fiscal conservatives, it is the public sector that has always shored up privates sector aversion and caution. However in austere times like these when government spending takes a big hit, inevitably IT services projects are bound to suffer hence a conspicuous lack of large-scale projects on offer. The net effect is that the number of deals slumped 20% compared to the previous year. 



�After a disappointing start to the year, things went from bad to worse in the second quarter of 2011 with this very weak performance in contract signings�.The distinct lack of large deals on offer was a major contributing factor,� said Thomas.



The total value of deals was just over $19bn in the quarter, with a lack of big deals in the public sector exacerbating a drop in private sector contracts.
 
 
Cyberschuulnews 438

A strike is imminent at Telkom S.A.


The 15,000 strong workforce of Telkom South Africa may have to declare a strike next Thursday if the company�s management does not come up with acceptable wage increase early in the week. Negotiations which have been on ding-dong for several months seem not going bright enough to assuage the nerves of workers who demanded, at last count, for 7% and 8% increases for low and higher earners, figures which themselves were negotiated down form 10% and 12% respectively.




Is SMS in its last throes?





Smartphones may have brought another radical depression to the popular rise of SMS text messaging system. As the global mobile telephony community�s appetite and investment in smartphones increases because of the popularity of mobile internet, the need for �SMS� messaging appears to be in decline.


It is unsurprising therefore that, due to demand elasticity, the cost of subscription for 24/7 internet access via the smart phones has suddenly turned out cheaper and better for short email messaging thus constituting a threat to the surge in revenue from �sms messages which, in some emerging markets, have been exploitative.


For example in Nigeria, service providers have been somewhat disingenuous in their claims they have reduced cost of SMS messaging when in reality and unknown to many users, they have reduced the amount of text allowable in each unit of charge thus making it sometimes very expensive to use. 


However with the proliferation of smartphones and improved internet access, operators may have to devise more �imaginative� ways or even better, behave more ethically in the face of these new developments and realize that their days of fleecing consumers with impunity may well be over. 






 

ATCON rejects power sector management strategy and implementation�..




The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria has, again deprecated the chosen path of power reforms and its mode of implementation on the grounds that it lacked focus, hinders investment and above all, may not serve the public interest.


Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, President ATCON responding to a question on Internet access at a recent meeting in Lagos said, �Internet access is now about providing it at broadband level because it is the total concept solution to the problem of reach, access and affordability. If well managed, we should be able to provide substantial broadband access to our citizens at a price they can pay. The greatest challenge is Public Electricity supply which incidentally does not seem to be getting a focused attention.


As things stand our Association does not see hope in the reform which current managers of the power industry are adopting. The posturing of Minister of Power who is working a four year plan to assure steady public power is untrustworthy as it is devoid of quality strategy and thoughtfulness. A true liberalisation strategy in which licensees for power service delivery are permitted without any encumbrances and linkage to existing inefficient power management of PHCN system is required. An attempt by Prof Nnaji to work a minimum four year plan exposes short-sighted planning as he himself will have to break a longevity record if he stays in the post long enough to see such weak plans implementable. 


We invite the Country�s power sector managers and indeed all other sectors of the economy to deliberately embrace the workable aspects of the liberalisation strategy adopted in the telecommunications sector while making sure that the mistakes of the telecom sector are not repeated�.


�. as do State Governors




The Chairman of Governors� Forum Mr. Rotimi Amechi, Governor of Rivers State, at a press briefing in Abuja, has called on the Federal Government to reappraise and refocus the direction of power reforms by �deregulating and decentralising� power system management. The briefing took place immediately after a meeting at which all Governors decided to reject the chosen method of implementation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act which President Jonathan recently signed into law.


NCC bars operators from texts on SIM Registration status




The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has issued a directive to all telecom operators to refrain from sending alert messages to subscribers on account of the status of their SIM card registration. 


Head, Media and Public Relations of the Commission, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said the directive had become necessary as service providers are sending conflicting information to subscribers, thereby causing unnecessary anxiety among the Nigerian public.


In what he deemed unacceptable behaviour by operators, he said that it had been discovered that some operators are sending text messages to those who have already registered their SIM cards and that some operators are reported to have also issued a code to their subscribers to check the status of their registration - an action which he said is not necessary. 


Mr. Muoka said the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the NCC appointed agents, due to the mobile nature of their work, have no facility to send a similar texts to all concerned reassuring them that they had already correctly registered with the NCC appointed agents.


�The SIM registration data being gathered by the operators, and those of the NCC appointed agents, all belong to the NCC. It is only the NCC that will be in the position to tell any subscriber about the status of his or her registration, and that will only happen after the completion of the project�, he said.


The NCC spokesman also assured subscribers that no operator is permitted to disconnect any subscriber on account of SIM card registration until after the expiration of the exercise when the Commission will issue appropriate directives to the operators on the matter.


He advised the subscribers to ensure that the data being supplied at the registration centres are accurate by crosschecking with the registration officers at the point of the registration as those handling the registration have computer monitors where all subscribers can easily verify and validate the data supplied. 



After the going gets tough, RIM gets going with BB7�..



Like a phoenix rising out of smouldering ashes, Research in Motion makers of Blackberry whose fortunes and reputation had taken a battering this year, is launching a comeback with the launch of its new smartphones devices which run on its operating system, Blackberry 7. Three of the Blackberry �Curve� models to run on the operating system were unveiled earlier this month. In the UK and US some of the �Torch� and �Bold� models will also run on this Operating system.

�These new models will build on the incredible success of the Blackberry Curve line and further expand the largest global launch of Blackberry smartphones in our history,� said Mike Lazaridis, President at Research In Motion (RIM).

The Blackberry OS 7 - which was showcased at Blackberry World � not only integrates with Blackberry Balance, which allows better controlled and secure business e-mail data via the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), but also includes voice-activated searching as well as support for HTML 5 in the web browser which RIM claims is up to 40% faster in comparison with the preceding Blackberry 6 operating system.

With this launch, it appears that RIM is having a frank conversation with itself. It acknowledges that it had been slow and complacent in the face of massive changes in the market such as Apple�s smartphone profits, Google�s smartphone market share and the collaboration between and Nokia and Microsoft.


RIM earlier this year announced it was looking to slash jobs and streamline its operations as it struggles to regain ground in the smartphone market. It has also been forced to respond to claims that it played a prominent role in the recent London riots because of the high penetration of Blackberry phones among the age group that largely participated in the riots who were able to co-ordinate their action due to the fact that BBM cannot be monitored in the way that other social media such as Facebook and Twitter can.



�.as does Nokia with Symbian Belle




Similarly Nokia has unveiled three smartphone devices running its new operating system (OS), Symbian Belle. 
Nokia vice president Ilari Nurmi said, �Symbian Belle and the three new handsets we are launching today show our commitment to continue delivering Symbianproducts that allow people to choose what is most important to them in terms of user experience, design, functionality and price. These will not be the last products or updates we will deliver on Symbian.�
The Nokia 700, 701 and 600 will have features including 1GHz processor, five megapixel camera and 2GB of internal memory, near-field communication (NFC) support and run Symbian Belle -. The Nokia 600 includes a built-in FM radio antenna and 60 hours of music playback; while Nokia claims the 700 is the company's smallest and most eco-friendly smartphone; and the 701 is based on the Nokia C7 design and includes a 3.5 inch ClearBlack display and active noise cancellation for better sound quality calls. 
Nokia once an impregnable super-brand and market share leader has fallen to the third largest smartphone manufacturer after Apple iOS and Google Android at the end of the second quarter of 2011. Its decline is total -one of loss in unit sales in smartphones, declining average sales prices and lost revenues. Its announcement of a two-year shift from Symbian to Microsoft as the operating system for its smartphones, is believed would damage short-term sales. 


Catch�em Young (Part 2) 







Most parents think their children are gifted and as natural instinct always try not only impress that on others, but also try to secure and perpetuate the perceived advantage of their gifted offspring. They incur the wrath of other parents as they continually challenged to define and demonstrate their children�s gift especially academic competence.


No such problems for Chris Imafidon from Waltham Forest in North East London whose twin children Peter and Paula who both attended a normal state primary school now enjoy celebrity-esque status and serially courted by the media having have already broken world records when they passed A/AS-level mathematics papers at the age of 7, went to secondary school at 9, became became the youngest school pupils to pass A-level maths. 

The �wonder twins� as they known, have surpassed their own records were among the youngest students to pass A-level ICT examinations. They were awarded grade Es after studying at the Wilson Foundation "Excellence in Education" programme. The twins come from a line of high achievers. Their sister Samantha, aged 13, passed A-level ICT with a grade D last week whilst the eldest AnnMarie Imafidon, aged 20, became one of the youngest students to receive a double masters degree in Maths and Computer Science at Oxford University last month.

�We are very proud of all our children and their achievements,� said father Chris Imafidon. Everyone can achieve regardless of postcode, age, creed or race.� Comforting words in the light of what we have seen and perceive of black youth in London recently.


Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO



Steve Jobs, one of the global modern computer industry�s most prominent and founding figures who has twice run Apple - arguably the world�s most dynamic and innovative company - once from its creation in 1976 until he was ousted in 1985 and again, 20 years later, when he returned to rescue a company on the brink of collapse, has resigned from his position. 

In a statement, Apple said that Jobs had been elected chairman and that Tim Cook had been elected CEO.

In his resignation letter, Jobs said: "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

�I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the board sees fit, as 
chairman of the board, director and Apple employee.�

The 55-year-old Apple co-founder who turned the company around and presided over the release of a series of hit products of our time from the iMac and iPod, through to the iPhone and iPad, has been dogged with health problems reported to be linked with a liver transplant for pancreatic cancer in 2009. He has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since 17 January. 



To : The Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community: 

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. 


I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. 


As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. 


I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. 


I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you. 

Steve



 
 
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Broadband Vendors canvass open access as preferred policy thrust

 
MainOne Cable Company, VDT Communications Ltd. and Phase3 Telecom were the leading proponents of Open Access regime at the recent Broadband Summit in Lagos. Using different perspectives, almost all advocates of a renewed policy for broadband canvassed Open Access as the industry�s best.
 
Mr. Olusola Teniola, Chief Operating Officer of Phase 3 Telecom told the Summit in a presentation that for a largely underserved market such as Nigeria�s, Open Access would help to reduce capital expenditure, control operating costs and embrace innovation and competition. He told his audience which included senior government officials, senior industry strategists and investors that Phase 3 Telecom had operated an open policy since 2007 and it is the only truly open access terrestrial fibre network in Nigeria and ECOWAS countries.
 
Delegates at the summit attested and gave unequivocal support to the effectiveness and efficiency of Open Access but with a caveat that it is based on trust and a uniform standardised access policy.


NIGERIA's SAT-2, SATX go into orbit


 
Nigeria�s latest satellites, Nigeria SAT-2 and Nigeria SAT-X went into orbit last Wednesday in USSR. Nigeria Sat-X, was built by Nigerian engineers who received their training at the same time the Sat-2 was being built. The satellites have capabilities for terrestrial monitoring for weather, agriculture and general surveillance.
 
 
 
BPE exposed at Senate Committee probe session
NITEL�s creditors may never be paid



 
 
It was revelations galore at the Senate Committee probe into the affairs of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE. Most astonishing was the story that the BPE process did not allow for payment of about N500million which NITEL owed various local contractors between 2004 and 2006 when Messers PENTACOPE decimated the Company to its bare bones. To say NITEL would be sold to a third party discounting its debt to creditors in the auction process was met with incredulity by the media and analysts alike who saw it not only as an indication that due diligence has perhaps not been adhered to or as reflection of the incompetence of the BPE to give accurate information on the subject.
 
Whichever, what is irrefutable is BPE�s incompetence which spans a number of administrations having done nothing to protect the public purse or establish public trust and confidence as its bare minimum objectives.

A former senior executive of the Bureau who announced publicly that he received cash as bribe from a local businessman was not reported to have been picked up for interrogation by anti-graft agencies. 
 
 
Google acquires a �Mobility� component



As far back as 2008, there had been discontent about Google's dominance of the online market, with its collaboration with Yahoo only serving to fan those flames and terms like �anti-competitive� being banded about. Earlier this year, Amazon rolled out its Android application store and it is anticipated that the company would eventually launch its own tablet by autumn
But Google�s race gathers further momentum as it attempts to make foray in to the hardware and smartphone market by its acquisition of Motorola�s mobile phone business Motorola Mobility for �7.6billion ($12.5bn) - it�s biggest-ever deal. The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to be sealed by the end of this year, or early 2012.
Announcing this momentous acquisition and the mutual benefits it confers on both companies, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page, in a blog post, writes that the acquisition was based on Motorola�s strength in Android smartphones and devices as well as a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business with a reputable patent portfolio (more than twice as many Apple�s) which he said will �enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies�.
Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, �This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility's stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world.�
Some analysts say that Google has paid over the odds for Mobility which spun off Motorola as a separate business in January this year, but the companies have already have a collaborative partnership as Motorola was the first mobile maker to partner with Google and releases phones based on its Android operating system. With analysts predicting that half of the world's smartphones will use Android software by the end of 2012, manufacturers are more inclined to adopt Google's operating system rather than develop their own. It is win-win situation for Google who say they will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. Other manufacturers, including Samsung and HTC, will still be free to release phones using Google's Android software. The deal also pits Google, against the handset giant Nokia which hopes to rebuild its ailing fortunes with a similar strategic deal with Microsoft. 


Wanted: UK Digital Champions


As 2012 draws closer, the ambitious policy/ aspiration/ commitment to get everyone in Britain online, has been given a shot in the the arm with the launch of Race Online 2012 which is seeking to recruit Digital Champions to support some of the nine million adults in the UK who�ve never used the internet. 
The UK government is conducting the recruitment drive via its public services website www.directgov.org.uk stating that the digital champion will be someone with basic computer skills; confident with internet browser as well as good organisational, social and communications skills as they will need to be able to get to know people, understand their interests and have patience with people who are learning something for the first time. Most importantly, they should have an enthusiasm about the empowering attributes of internet.
Back in 2009 Martha Lane Fox, who was then chair of the government-created Digital Inclusion Task Force said that getting the 10m Britons who have never used the internet to go online could generate at least �22.6bn in economic benefit � including at least �10.6bn over the lifetimes of the 1.6m children who have never used it. The aim was to put everyone in the UK online by 2012 � when London will be hosting the Olympic games. There was a pledge to publish interim annual targets so that progress can be measured against them.


UK government announces public and private partnership investment in broadband



Despite an extensive program of cuts in public expenditure and arguments in certain quarters that the proliferation of broadband is not a problem that requires a government solution, the UK government has announced �363m in investment to improve broadband speeds in homes and businesses.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that counties in England are set to receive �294.8m, Scotland �68.8m, Wales �56.7m and Northern Ireland �4.4m as part of the �530m intended to provide 90% of UK homes with superfast broadband by 2015 and for everyone to have access to a minimum of 2Mbps. The remaining �106m will be deployed as a contingency fund while a further �300m is due to be allocated in 2017, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has is yet to crystallize its plans for allocation.
Though the sums involved appear quite substantial, there is some scepticism about whether �530m will be enough to deliver the broadband rollouts and improve speeds it aims to achieve. Matthew Howett a Senior Analyst at Ovum � a research company that provides advice to the technology, telecoms and other business sectors � said, �there is a real danger that this pot of money alone will not be enough. In other countries investment in broadband has been much higher.�
The private sector involvement is expected to take superfast broadband to around two-thirds of UK households and businesses, mainly in urban areas where investment is commercially viable as expected while government will cover the remaining third where it expects the market will fail to deliver superfast broadband to enough premises on its own according to the DCMS.
The proliferation of Telecom and broadband industry has proven as one of the fastest industry over the last two decades with growth in the sector giving birth to massive demand of service provision through the realization that internet access is a key factor in today's fast-moving business world and contracts can be won or lost on the speed and efficiency of communications - something which is spurning new entrepreneurs to step forward and invest. 
 
Catch�em young



Young people today live in a world characterized by dramatic cultural, economic, social and educational differences. Whatever dialectic process which describes the global and the local exist as �combined and mutually implicating principles whether we call it the information or informational age, technocapitalism, or global media culture, it is incontestable there is a proliferation of technologies is causing rapid transformations in all areas of life particularly for young people.

As the �Microsoft generation� leave their teenage years, CyberschuulNews - which has customarily trumpeted the case for a symbiotic relationship between the youth and ICT, look at an extra ordinary young man John Prehn who at 18 has recently completed training on mainframe computer systems and currently works for the Danish IT company KMD. 

In an interview with IT works, Mr Prehn talks of his love for computers from the early age of 6 and how at 8 he was altering computer games and at 12, having read �Getting Started with Visual Basic�, he wrote a program that made an address book which he modestly said Windows XP did not have that feature at the time.

He said he was destined to work in IT starting as a data technician working with maintenance and operation of Windows servers while at a technical school after which he applied for apprenticeship at KMD. The company allowed him to continue his training and after a year offered him a traineeship in the mainframe department.

Asked about what advice he will give school children seeking a career in IT, he said �I would definitely suggest that you try to think out of the box, not just taking the same work as everybody else. Try to find an area of IT that you enjoy working with and where there is room to develop and become very talented. It was mostly luck, and being at the right place, the right moment, that led me to my job, but I would suggest that you try to pursue just exactly the thing you want. You don't always find happiness in doing the same as everybody else.�

Indeed �wise head on young shoulders
 
 
 
 
Cyberschuulnews 436
�Electricity management reform is like running on one spot�
 

 
 
The above quote was actually used by coordinator of the recent high-level Broadband Investment Summit which the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, held in Lagos, himself President of the Association. He had in an open welcome address said his association weighted the problems of the ICT industry and allotted 70% to �poor electricity which refused to go away�. He also rejected the liberalisation model which current effort at reforming electricity was adopting and gave it expletives. One was that the drug being used is �Dollar-Naira�mycin while the liberalisation model is �nothing but NEPAlisation�. He refused to see the two ideas working for the problem at hand.
 
He talked more at the syndicate sessions and especially during networking tea-times. Samples: �If you ask me to come an invest in generating electricity an contribute it to a National Grid which will eat up my product and waste it down the line to an inefficient distribution system, which is still technically a NEPA system, I will not come forward except I am a friend of Government of the day who is assured of collecting his fees. If you don�t know them you won�t be paid for your services. I want a license that will enable me generate my electricity, transmit it to my customers, distribute for their use and collect my money using my own method. That is what we did in telecommunications. If they are not prepared to learn from that model, which has worked anyway, they will be running on one spot�.
 
A similar thought process is contained in an essay titled Nigeria�s Electricity Act- How Could Anyone Realistically Expect Marginal Improvement from Anything So Obsolete, published on Saharareporters website on July 27, 2011. In it (reproduced in this edition), Ifeanyi Amajuoyi argues that Nigeria does not have the policy framework upon which tangible gains can be made.
 
An apparently angry Ifeanyi also burst out very early in the essay saying �Would you as a scientist or an engineer carry out industrial process scale-up of any experiment that produced marginal yield in the lab? No, you do not; instead you go back to the lab and redesign the experiment until you have an experiment that gives optimal yield in a laboratory scale before you carry out any industrial scale-up! Would you start an experiment if you are not done with the designing of the experiment? Of course not and even more so when it is quite obvious that the hypothesis upon which the experiment is based is obsolete or peer-reviewed as flawed�.
 
The new (not new really as he had been parading that circuit for a while) Minister of Electricity has been busy sacking General Managers of NEPA and using it as public information to defend reform.
 
 
ICANN Appoints Lanre Ajayi into GNSO
 

Mr. Lanre Ajayi, telecommunications engineer and immediate Past President of Nigeria Internet Group, was appointed into the Generic Names SupportingOrganisation (GNSO) Council of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) during the week.
 
GNSO is one of the three supporting organizations of ICANN to help in promoting the development of Internet policy and encourage diverse as well as international participation in the technical management of the Internet.
 
A congratulatory message from ATCON Secretariat says of Lanre Ajayi �you were in the First Eleven team of Nigerians who brought the sermon of the internet to our shores. And for one of the true pioneers of internet appreciation in Nigeria, your appointment is a true reflection of the point at which you should be representing Nigeria and Africa and without doubt this is one appointment that we find very worthy and timely�.
 
ICANN formulates policies that ensure the stability of, and also determines the way we use the Internet. This appointment into this ICANN leadership position gives the developing countries, Nigeria in particular a voice when critical decisions are being taken.
 
 
 
"Transforming Data Dust to Data Gold"
   - An Inaugural Lecture
 
Mrs. Adenike Osofisan, a professor of computer sciences, will give an Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ibadan on Thursday August 25, 2011  at TrenchardHall, University of Ibadan. Time is 5pm.
Title of lecture "Transforming Data Dust to Data Gold"
 
UI hosts a SPAC Event on techoprenuership
 
 
SPAC, a Student.Professional.Awareness.Conference initiative of student members of the IEEE, University of Ibadan students sector will host a techo-preneurshipseminar on Wednesday, August 17 2011 at the Faculty of Technology Lecture Theatre. Time 10 am.
 
Chair of the body Mr. Olaolu Adisa said e-savvy practitioners in the ICT industry would lead discussion on the subject �Building Entrepreneurs of Technology�. Those who will be there include Gbenga Sesan (Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria); Lanre Aina (Business Analyst, Google Nigeria) and Segun Olugbile (CEO, Global Netwrk for Cybersolutions).
 
Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, a telecommunications engineer and President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, is a Special Guest at the event.
 
 
ESSAY
BROADBAND POLICY IMPERATIVES IN NIGERIA
by Funke Opeke
taken from ATCONNEWS THIS WEEK
 
Main One is appreciative of the recognition we have received from ATCON in their invitation to anchor this first of a kind Broadband Investment Summit. We commend Engineer Omo Ettu and the ATCON executive for the initiative and hope that the dialogue over the next two days results in actions that result in the connection of the next 50m users in Nigeria to the Internet within 5 years.
 
We address the summit with this connectivity objective in mind and based on our experience having raised and invested $240m in the Main One Submarine Cable system to facilitate this same objective. Having had one year of successful operation behind us, we have proven our ability to deliver what we promise and during this first year, we have connected the majority of the large telecom operators and internet service providers in Nigeria and Ghana to the Main One network. But this is not enough!
 
We are not pleased with the progress we have made in bringing broadband services to the overall population in Nigeria because we hear feedback from consumers daily that they are not feeling the impact of our network. Nigerian consumers tell us in very clear terms that they want faster speeds, lower prices and improved quality from their retail Internet service providers. Recently, a senior official of a National institution described how he experienced faster access to the institutions� web page from outside Nigeria, than from within Nigeria and how disappointed he was that critical web sites of National significance are currently hosted offshore. This is the opportunity that we are here to address today. Main One as a pioneer in this area has removed the bottleneck of limited international bandwidth, high cost, and unreliable connectivity, and Nigerians and the Nigerian economy need to feel more impact from what we have done.
 
Why is it important for Nigerians to feel the impact? Drawing on the example in the United States, which is the most technologically advanced nation in terms of ICT, the country in 2010 published a National broadband policy because �broadband is becoming what electricity was to the industry and for economic development to take place, and to ensure that the United States remains competitive, we must have easy and affordable broadband access for all citizens�.
 
Likewise, the International Telecommunictions Union (ITU) has called for a multifaceted national broadband policy in Nigeria because they see that it as critical to development. As stakeholders in the broadband economy of Nigeria, we could not agree more that there are critical policy imperatives to increasing broadband penetration in Nigeria which if not addressed will have an adverse impact on the nation�s development objectives.
 
So, what are the development objectives for broadband and how exactly do we define broadband?
 
We choose to adopt a World Bank definition which describes broadband as an interconnected, multilayered ecosystem of high-capacity communications networks, services, applications. These elements create an ecosystem because:
 
-          Investments in high-speed networks improve the quality of service and promote the creation of even more complex or bandwidth-intensive applications.
-          Applications attract more users by increasing the value of broadband and supports wider investments in networks and quality of services.
-          Wide spread access to services allows users to create their own content, again driving the demand for high quality services that can do more than simply download� content, but also allow sharing among users.
 
The World Bank has found that in low- and middle-income countries every 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration accelerates economic growth by 1.38 percentage points�more than in high-income countries and more than for other telecommunications services.
 
Developing other elements of the broadband ecosystem also provides economic benefits. For example, the growth of Internet-related services and applications has created jobs and led to the creation of new businesses. For example, in November 2009 Google had a market capitalization of $168 billion ($199 billion July 2011) and employed 19,000 people in 20 countries. China�s leading Internet search engine, Baidu.com, has a market capitalization of more than $14 billion and over 6,000 employees, and in 2008 had revenues of $460 million.
 
Annual sales of applications for Apple�s iPhone exceed $2.4 billion, as well as stimulating additional hardware sales. Needless to say, broadband creates significant economic opportunities for users, service providers, application developers, and network operators alike. McKinsey estimates that ―bringing broadband penetration levels in emerging markets to today�s Western European levels could potentially add US$300�420 billion in GDP and generate 10�14 million jobs.
 
But perhaps we have heard these statistics before, so let us take a look at some country examples:
Starting close to home in Kenya:
The Kenyan Government recognized the role of ICTs in the social and economic development of the nation and promulgated a national ICT Policy based on the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation from 2003. The policy is based on four guiding principles: infrastructure development, human resource development, stakeholder participation and appropriate policy and regulatory framework.
The policy set goals to create a comprehensive policy, legal and regulatory framework to:
-          Support ICT development, investment and application;
-          Promote competition in the industry where appropriate;
-          Ensure affordability and access to ICT nationally;
 
 
Examples of policy objectives include:
-          Providing all primary schools with affordable internet access by the year 2015; and all secondary schools and tertiary institutions to have affordable internet access by the year 2010;
-          Encouraging Kenyans to participate in the sector through equity ownership. Consequently, any firm licensed to provide telecommunication services is required to have at least 30 percent Kenyan equity ownership.
-          Facilitate shared infrastructure, right of ways etc.
 
 
Needless to say, Kenya is already reaping benefits as a destination for new ICT investments in Africa today and is being billed as Africa�s SiliconSavana. For example, within 3 days of Seacom launching in 2009, Kenya reported an increase in Internet speeds, Safaricom reported a 200% increase in data traffic and international bandwidth supply increased by 700%. When Google was seeking to open a head office for sub-Saharan Africa, it chose Nairobi with one of the few reasons cited being that the Government has adopted the Internet as few African nations have. Same for head office of Airtel Africa and the story goes on.
 
 
Korea:
- Korea is another classic example of a country that pulled itself up from poverty in the mid-1950s to a booming economy based on heavy industry and manufacturing in the 1970s and 1980s, then a pioneer of the information society in the 1990s and 2000s and has moved from being a middle- to high-income country. The exceptional success in developing broadband, and ICT generally there is also based on a mix of highly competitive private-led markets and government leadership, use, support, and regulation.
 
The country has seen a transformation from less than 1 Internet user per 100 inhabitants in 1995 to one of the world�s most highly penetrated broadband markets. By June 2009 fixed broadband penetration was 32 percent, and market penetration of 3G services was 77 subscribers per 100 inhabitants and the highest broadband penetration in the world.
 
The rapid growth of demand, driven both by the market and government use, played a key role in accelerating broadband development in the early stages of its market development. The key services that drove the take-up of broadband in Korea were online trading of shares, Internet-based school education, and online interactive games. E-government, e-commerce, and e-learning applications were also important drivers of the high broadband adoption pursued by the Korean government. For example, all procurement producers are handled online through the Korea Online E-procurement System (KONEPS), introduced by the central procurement agency for access by all public organizations, including the central and local governments and public organizations. Since its introduction in 2001, KONEPS has become one of the world�s largest e-commerce markets, with total transactions of $34 billion in 2007, when 92 percent of all bidding was done electronically. ICT also plays a significant role in education: EDUNET, introduced in 1996, had 5.8 million members by September 2008.
 
Another mechanism for government intervention was the Informatization Promotion Fund, which was introduced in 1993. This is a Government fund set aside to finance projects fostering information use. The primary objective of the fund is to ensure that profits from the ICT industry remain in the ICT industry. Money from the fund is used to support ICT-related R&D, to develop and diffuse standardization in ICT industry, to train ICT human resources, to promote broadband network rollout and to promote e-Government. The Informatization Promotion Fund includes contributions from both the Government and the private sector, through spectrum licensing fees, revenue-based contributions from operators and earnings from the operation of the fund, including loans.
 
Finally, these actions were supported by a dynamic regulatory policy that mirrored the evolution of the broadband market
-By initially providing light regulation to promote competition in the early, growth, and market maturity stages of broadband, through 2005.
-This was followed by a period of increased regulation from 2005�07, in response to the growing dominance of KT and operators� financial crisis.
-Finally, the market saw a return to lighter regulation in some areas as the market matured in 2007.
 
Singapore:
Finally, we focus on Singapore where the Infocomm Development Authority is guiding the implementation of a National Broadband policy that includes the implementation of a new national backbone network that will reach every household and business in Singapore with fiber with a 1 Gbps connection by 2013. The project is partially funded by the Singapore government and on top of the pyramid sits a service company to provide wholesale and backbone services on an open access basis and level playing field to all comers at the retail level. The service company is a private consortium with government funding.
 
Needless to say, there are numerous models with further examples of broadband strategies from countries including France, Japan, UK and neighboringGhana.
 
So, where does that leave us in Nigeria?
 
Given our broadband penetration rates of less than 3% or no significant measure, we believe there is an urgent need to develop and implement a National Broadband policy under the auspices of the new ICT ministry.
 
The policy needs to:
Create demand and drive promotion strategies by allowing government intervene in market creation and facilitation, by promoting broadband adoption and use; make broadband access and services more attractive and accessible to potential subscribers and users by helping to lower prices, putting public services online, and encouraging the diffusion of access devices such as computers.
Establish an enabling environment for competition and investment by removing market entry barriers with supply-side policies that enable the development of access to broadband�enabling network operators and service providers to enter the market easily, operate on a level playing field, and, where necessary, provide financial support to reach high-cost areas. We believe the situation where calls from Lagos to London cost less than calls within this room in Lagos must stop. Bulk capacity has no valid economic reason to cost more from Lagos to Abuja than Lagos to London. Based on global best practices, policies that facilitate competition are the most typical and important and have been implemented consistently and compellingly from the initial to maturity stages of market development to drive growth. Such Government policy support allows new market entrants to compete effectively with dominant incumbents such that economies of scale and network externalities do not play significant roles in determining the success of communications providers.
 
This is the broadband policy imperative for Nigeria.
 
First, for visionary leadership to set ambitious goals for broadband penetration and devise and actively implement strategies to achieve e.g. 40 % penetration nationwide, Access to all geo-political zones and indeed all local government areas and interconnection of educational institutions, especially from secondary to university level.
 
Next, is for competition policies to promote market growth by facilitating shared access and fair pricing of terrestrial backbone networks which dominant operators leverage to block new competitors. Indeed, the collapse of Multilinks shows that building a national backbone is no assurance of commercial success, though lack of access proves a high barrier presented by existing facilities based operators to block out new players. Recall the battle between GSM companies at inception and NITEL over interconnect; and
 
Finally, for the government to facilitate demand through the funding of initiatives in ICT adoption, e government and e commerce in order to create local content and jobs.
We hope that in 2020 when ten years of Main One cable�s operations will be celebrated, the implementation of these policy initiatives will have reshaped the history of broadband in Nigeria.
 
This was a Keynote Address delivered by Funke Opeke, CEO MainOne Cable Company, 
at ATCON's Broadban

 

 

We stand for
A Free and Open Internet


We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:


Expression:
Don't censor the Internet.
Access:
Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
Openness:
Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.
Innovation:
Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don't block new technologies, and don't punish innovators for their users' actions.
Privacy:
Protect privacy and defend everyone's ability to control how their data and devices are used.

 


 

Vision
To be a responsive world class communications regulatory organization

Mission
To support a market driven communications industry and promote universal access

 

 

 

 

For Phase3 Telecom, the ease in user experience in all facets of telecommunications has always been the objective and goal in our service delivery; it drives our commitment to the customer and the industry. We also believe this must be of paramount importance to our clients - the GSM operators, large ISPs, and multinational companies. Our business uses a proliferation of technologies in providing innovative solutions to our clients.

Every day, we nurture and sustain an intellectual product that has become of great characteristic importance in day-to-day life, engagement and the pursuit of the new age of man. And for ten years, our team of dedicated and innovative young men and women has on a daily basis, given 100% to the deployment of quality and consistently evolving broadband delivery and connectivity solutions. We are not unmindful and do not take for granted the honor that we have been blessed with today.

This International Arch of Europe Award has reinforced our resolute dedication to our vision and commercial guarantee to our clients and invaluable partnerships to always back up our brand promise with high quality service delivery

 

 

 

Innovative
Affordable
Reliable

Within three years of operation, our company has established a reputation as a preferred provider of wholesale capacity and Internet services to Service Providers and Enterprises in the region. In addition, the company has extended its reach of services both organically and through partnerships within Nigeria and Ghana into the neighboring West African countries of Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso. In addition, the company recently established an office to service Francophone West Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.


Our customers stand to benefit from our increasing portfolio of services that will enable businesses in West Africa to participate meaningfully in the global digital economy. This innovative bouquet of products and services includes a Metro Ethernet network offering with over 200 kilometers of fiber optic access within business districts in Lagos, a brand new 2.5MW, 600 Rack Data center currently construction for completion by Q2 2014, and partnerships and new points of presence to serve major cities of Abuja and Port Harcourt.

 

 

 

Mission
To maintain ICT professionalism in deploying our products and services with focus on excellence, integrity and affordability." Therefore, KITS TECHNOLOGIES plans to position itself as a center for international and local contacts, for project development & implementation as well as center for transfer of knowledge, experience and expertise.

 

 

 

Telecom Consulting
Capacity development
IP Empowerment
Summits/Conferences Management
Youth Empowerment

 

 

 

Capacity Development

 

 

 

 

Mission
To provide a structured
and organised approach
to career education,
guidance and support

 

 
 

SERVICES.GOV.NG
A services single window portal where you can get all the information on all government to citizens, government to business and government to foreign national services in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Phase3 Telecom has partnered with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the implementation of her Intelcom II Program aimed at providing telecommunication infrastructure to ensure interconnection of ECOWAS member states.

In this regard, ECOWAS has been providing the needed support to facilitate the granting of rights of way to Phase3 Telecom from relevant power authorities across the region in addition to securing required permits to operate in each of the member countries. The West African Regulatory Assembly (WATRA) has also facilitated relationships with various regulatory agencies towards procurement of appropriate permits for our operations.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is currently collaborating with Phase3 Telecom and has endorsed and recommended the project to financial institutions for consideration. The Phase3 Telecom project is considered one of the major ways by which the Connect Africa initiatives of the ITU can be realized.

Our project is in total agreement with the goal formulated at the Connect Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2007, one of which was "to interconnect all African Capitals and major cities with ICT broadband infrastructure and strengthen connectivity to the rest of the world by 2012". The ITU has therefore been providing avenues for the promotion of the Phase3 Telecom project and creating the necessary awareness on the progress that is being made in its implementation.

  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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