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Cyberschuulnews 450 

Broadband Penetration:
Tertiary Institutions in North West Nigeria set to build SokREN Cluster

Recent report from North West Nigeria indicates that a Sokoto Research and Education Network (SokREN) Cluster has been conceived. 

With sponsorship of the World Bank, through STEP-B, ten institutions attended a one week workshop and meeting that gave birth to the Cluster. A communiqué to this effect was signed on November 18, 2011 and broadcast by Ahmed Isa Chafe of Usmanu Danfodyo University, the lead institution in this regional effort towards the emergence of National Research and Education Network. 

These institutions include: Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero; Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto; Federal College Education Technical, Gusau; Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto; Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Birbin Kebbi; Sokoto State Polytechnic, Sokoto; Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara; Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda and School of Nursing Sciences, Sokoto. 

SokREN and counterpart Eko-Konnect in Lagos are the first of regional networks leveraging proximity to establish physical networks to be connected by a national backbone into the Nigerian Research and Education Network 

For more information visit http://http://sokren.udusok.edu.ng and http://www.eko-konnect.org.ng 


Vodacom Business turns the power on in Lagos 

Midweek in Lagos, Louisa van Beek, Vodacom Business Africa Chief Executive Officer said that the re-branding of Gateway Business into a Vodacom Business brand is an ‘enormously exciting development’ for business, the Vodacom workforce and customers.  

According to him, Vodacom Business provides customers with a wide portfolio of Enterprise ICT solutions ranging from pure Access Solutions to fully outsourced Managed Network Services and Managed Hosted Services. As more Enterprise move towards cloud based services, Vodacom Business will launch innovative and competitive products that will transform the African landscape.  

A corroboration came from Mr. Guy Clarke, Vodacom Business Nigeria Managing Director in the form of a pledge that “The introduction of Vodacom Business to the Nigerian market is far more than just a new name, logo and colour. We have shifted the way we do things in Nigeria, with significant investment in our staff together with facilities upgrades and the deployment of our national terrestrial MPLS network.  This network roll-out is further supported by our carrier grade Broadband Wireless Access network allowing Vodacom Business to delivery services end to end”. 


Call for a step-up into Systems Engineering  

A call went out midweek to nation builders that the desire to empower Nigerians with ubiquitous communication infrastructure and resources requires that planners of development structures should be thinking in big complex systems away from small complex projects.  

Added to that is the need to consider that power plants, refineries, communications systems, smart highways and railways are subjects for systems engineering management.  

Titi Omo-Ettu, President of ATCON and Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne Cable Company both telecommunication engineers, made the points at a workshop and exhibition of Systems Engineering at the University of Lagos. 

According to Funke Opeke, there are so many examples of the infrastructure that enhances our daily lives and national development which would not occur without systems engineering. 

Titi Omo-Ettu commended the University of Lagos for being known for pioneering training programs which sought solution to problems far ahead of their times. He observed that the University of Lagos actually pioneered the local undergraduate training in law, mass communication, environmental science, surveying and systems engineering. He noted that much as our development is now entering the total engineering revolution no other faculty of engineering in Nigeria offers training in Systems Engineering but the University of Lagos.  

‘We are now entering a new era where big and very complex projects will have to be conceived, designed and delivered at a price that our people can afford and it is time our engineering rises to seeing the management of systems rather than of projects’ .  


ITAN adopts new Constitution as Olufuye hands over to Seriki 

Mrs. Florence Seriki, CEO, Omatek Computers, was elected President of Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) at its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja.  

Until her election, Mrs. Seriki, an engineer, was 1st Vice President. She pledged to continue to widen the Association’s global influence and to implement the radical innovations of its new constitution.

A highlight of the Annual General Meeting was the adoption of a revised constitution which prescribes a CEO to administer the Secretariat. 


    Press Statement 

    December 31 is SIM registration deadline    – Disclaimer by NCC 

    The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been drawn to an article in an online publication, Daily Times Ng titled: “December 31 is SIM registration deadline – NCC” which stated that the Commission has stipulated December 31, 2011 as deadline for SIM Card registration in the country. 

    In the publication dated November 28, 2011, the author, one Emmanuel Chidiogo, credited his information to the Head, Media and Public Relations of the NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka. 

    The Commission wishes to dissociate itself from this story as a false, mischievous and deliberate fabrication by the author to attract undue attention and cause confusion in the minds of the stakeholders and the general public. The author of this story is not known, seen, or spoken to by any official of the Commission on any subject matter whatsoever, not least on SIM Card registration. 

    For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to reiterate its commitment to the ongoing harmonization of registered SIM cards, involving the collation, reconciliation, cleaning, and consolidation of the captured data into a central data infrastructure for efficient management of Nigeria’s subscriber data base. Within this period, subscribers who have not registered their SIM cards for any reason whatsoever, still have a chance to register. 

    No telecom operator is permitted to disconnect any subscriber on account of SIM cards registration until the completion of the process which will be officially announced to the general public by the Commission and at which time those who are yet unregistered will be automatically disconnected.

    We therefore implore the general public, and all the stakeholders, to ignore this report in its entirety as false, fictitious and without foundation. 


    Reuben Muoka
    Head, Media & Public Relations.

    Dated this 30th Day of November, 2011.

    For further Information, Please Contact:

    Tel: 0803 664 5551, 08051110337



 Samsung PABX hits Nigerian Market

 As Study-group identifies its market leadership potentials  

Digital technology and office security combined with the latest IP technology has made Samsung IP PABXs the solution provider to watch in the next evolution of emerging local IP market.  

It is essential that the customer achieves a cost saving while simultaneously ensuring that toll speech quality of voice is maintained at all times. The PABX should have the capability of an integrated seamless least cost routing as well as VOIP functionality, so that all providers can be seamlessly integrated to one point.

That is the edge of Samsung PABX according to a studygroup which reviewed emerging IP PABX’s recently. 


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WHO disputes adverse impact of mobile phone usage on health  

The World Health Organization’s latest position on Mobile phone radiation and health came up for mentioning in a symposium ‘BTS: Keeping Our Environment Safe’ which took place in Lagos last week.  

In May 2011, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer published a review of the evidence on health risks of EMF, and concluded that there was limited evidence that cellphone users might be at increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma, and that there was inadequate evidence of any other health risks posed by EMF. This "possibly carcinogenic" classification was often misinterpreted, meaning only "that there is very little scientific evidence as to the carcinogenicity of cell phone use". 

Gateway Telecoms Changes Name to Vodacom Business Nigeria  

In a repositioning effort aimed at taking advantage of the Vodacom brand,  raise the quality standards as well as enhance customer satisfaction – all of which Gateway had already established a reputation, Gateway Telecoms Integrated Services Limited has announced the change of its name to Vodacom Business Nigeria. 

An announcement by the Company’s spokesperson in Lagos Nkechi Newton-Danila said midweek that this corporate repositioning will allow the company to be part of the Vodacom synergy, and increase the standard of quality expected from the company’s business partners while the company stands ready to provide all needed support to achieve necessary expectations. 

The CyberSecurity-Africa (CSA) Magazine Debuts  

CyberSecurity -Africa Magazine, also known as CSA Magazine will soon hit the news stands. The  maiden edition is expected to debut in December 2011 according to a press release signed by the publisher and head of editorial team, Mr. Segun Olugbile and made available to CyberschuulNews.  

According to Olugbile, “CSA magazine is the first exclusive bi-monthly publication focused on providing a voice for Africa in cyber space. The objective of the magazine is to offer exclusive reports on cyberspace, cyber crime and cyber security from an African perspective. The magazine, which will be available both in print and online versions, is committed to bringing to the fore the diverse and sometimes contentious issues that affect the Nigerian and more widely, the African cyberworld”.  

He noted that Europe, America and the Middle East have built a presence and consolidated their positions, for growth and investment flow via cyberspace, but that has not been the case for Africa despite being the land of fast growing emerging market. He insisted that it is time to change the status quo on rules of engagement as Africans become more prevalent in their use of cyberspace.  

“CYBERSECURITY-AFRICA Magazine, conceived as a public-private media collaboration, will provide the platform for the African voice to be heard” Olugbile confirmed, adding that CSA Magazine will provide insight into the preparedness, policy direction and citizenry expectations of African governments to engage competitively in cyberspace, while also seeking to promote investments, initiatives, innovations and developmental issues in cybersecurity from an African perspective.  


 Industry Review
 NITEL; Then and Now: Future still unclear

There are more than one version of information on what exactly the Nigerian Government now wants to do with the First National Operator; Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd, NITEL, and how it would implement its decision.  

What runs through all the versions is that there remains some considerable confusion in the minds of officials and that BPE’s structures may not be wholly relied upon in the implementation. 

Report of a recent probe into the affairs of BPE by the Upper House of the National Assembly exposes a catalogue of corruption and incompetence within the privatization agency and the case of NITEL has been particularly worse than any other of government companies listed for privatisation as the exercise actually stifled the company without completing the process. 

Corruption at very top levels of government in the past and even at the moment must have driven the Senate President, Mr David Mark, to request that Senators brace themselves to withstand ‘severe pressure’ when a review of the Privatization Probe Report commences next Wednesday on the floor of the Senate.


 UNILAG to host top ATCON Members 

The University Of Lagos Faculty Of Engineering will play host to very senior players in the engineering field on Tuesday November 29, 2011 at 10am. Venue: Unilag Main Auditorium, Akoka.


 Top on the list of Special Guests are Distinguished Prof V.O.S Olunloyo NNOM, a former President of Nigerian Academy of Engineering and Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe, President Nigerian Academy of Sciences and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Ebonyi. He was also Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos.


An announcement posted by the Faculty indicates that two senior members of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ATCON, its President Engr Titi Omo-Ettu and Engr Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne Cable Company will be Guest Speaker and Keynote Speaker respectively at the Workshop & Exhibition whose theme is ‘Systems Engineering: Contributions to National Development’.


They will be hosted by Unilag’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, Dean of Engineering Prof M.A Salau; and Ag Head of Department of Systems Engineering, Dr Olumuyiwa Asaolu.


ATCON Secretariat has confirmed that Mr Titi Omo-Ettu would speak on “Thinking in Systems, Processes and Deliveries: A Turning Point in National Development”


Chairman of the Event Planning Committee Dr Abayomi Ajofoyinbo said the Meeting will also host other dignitaries in the engineering profession.




IBM to expand operations in India


In recognition of its continued march on mantra-IT which has its roots in a successful strategy of building an export-led software industry, India, according to The Economic Times  has become  one of the most popular back-end IT destinations in the world.


For this reason, the technology giant IBM this week announced that its plans to set up offices in 40 cities across the country by 2013. In the short term, the company will open three regional offices in Dehradun, Guwahati and Raipur bringing the total number of branches to 18.


The move coincides with increased demand for information management, security, cloud computing as businesses turn to IT to reduce costs. The company is also forging relationships with socio-political, economic and educational institutions in India to support the growth of Open source technologies, foster innovation and promote local and sector-based technology talent.


IBM’s research lab in India is one of nine the company has around the world, and employs over 75,000 people in the country.



NSN to axe 17,000 jobs


 Nokia Siemens Network announced this week it is to cut 23% of its global headcount by end of 2013 as it aims to reduce operating expenses and production overhead and realign its business to focus on mobile broadband and services.




With Nokia and Siemens having each invested each invested €500m into Nokia Siemens Networks in a bid to strengthen the joint venture's financial position in September 2011, the company said it plans to axe 17,000 of its current 74,000 global workforce as part of ‘organizational streamlining’ which also includes cutting costs in areas such as real estate, information technology, product and service procurement costs, overall general and administrative expenses and significant reduction of suppliers - all expected to help the company save about 1 billion euros (US$1.34 billion) during this period.


The company, established in 2006, revealed plans to open a global operations centre in Brazil last year to support the firm's operations worldwide. The company completed its acquisition of the wireless network infrastructure equipment division of Motorola this year.


Rajeev Suri, CEO at Nokia Siemens Networks, said: ‘We believe that the future of our industry is in mobile broadband and services – and we aim to be an undisputed leader in these areas. At the same time, we need to take the necessary steps to maintain long-term competitiveness and improve profitability in a challenging telecommunications market.’


Nokia Siemens Networks held 13% of mobile carrier network infrastructure market share in 2010 worldwide behind Huawei and Ericsson.



US Government agencies urged to accelerate cloud deployment


‘Government IT organisations need to build up strengths in cloud security and related disciplines to better leverage public cloud opportunities, and they should aggressively pursue the use of public cloud computing.’


This call came from Andrea Di Maio, Vice president of Gartner in his paper, ‘The reality behind the hype: Government cloud’ in which he commended the US government’s lead in on cloud strategies saying governments worldwide have been following developments in Washington, D.C. as a source of inspiration. He concedes however that there had been asymmetry between the aspiration of a  more aggressive approach to cloud deployment through the so-called “cloud first” policy which forced agencies to identify at least three cloud migrations to take place within 18 months  (and one within 12 months), and reality. The U.S. federal government published a list of 78 candidate systems that agencies could actually migrate to the cloud in the next year.


Di Maio opined that the adoption of cloud strategy had been a case of ‘preaching to the converted’ and that while such adoption can be seen as a major achievement for those who believe in the transformational power of cloud computing, unsurprisingly, the areas of that are being targeted are, in most cases, at the edges of enterprise IT.


 ‘Cloud computing remains an important trend and, in the long run, will have a transformational impact on the way government organisations access and leverage IT. However, the path to the cloud is definitely slower and more tortuous than many wish to think’, he said.


 Back in February, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published notice to seek public comments on the first draft of Special Publication 500-293, ‘US Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap’, which was intended to be the mechanism to define and communicate interoperability, portability, and security requirement priorities that must be met in terms of standards, guidance and technology for U.S. Government (USG) agencies to accelerate their adoption of cloud computing.






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Google takes music up to the cloud


The Web giant Google has augmented its search technology by launching Google Music which has put millions of music tracks on the web and empowering users to search for, purchase, and download. With this new tool service, it enables users, using androids, to upload their music to the cloud, in order to stream it any time as well as tapping the tastes of a user's friends to recommend songs. 


In its inimitable way, Google already has the biggest music search tool in the world - YouTube.


It said midweek that the music store has over 13 million songs from artists on Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Merlin, as well as over 1 000 independent labels, including Merge Records, Warp Records, Matador Records, XL Recordings and Naxos. And you can purchase individual songs or entire albums right from your computer or your Android device and they'll be added instantly to your Google Music library, and accessible anywhere



  Globacom postpones Ghana Commissioning date


 Reports from Ghana midweek revealed that for unstated reasons, Glo Ghana Network commissioning which was originally scheduled for November 17 has been postponed - indefinitely.


Glo Nigeria Officials who were contacted to establish  reason for the postponement could shed no further light on the issue other than to rather put it down to ‘logistic reasons’.


How exactly Glo would to break into the Ghanaian market is a matter of supposition. Suffice to say that we can take pointers from how it did in Nigeria in 2003 when it commenced operation with the now popular per second billing regime, a platform which operators who had been in the market earlier almost wrote off as an impossibility.


Severely poor services are prevalent in Ghana’s telecommunication system so much so that the Regulator recently slammed various fines on all five operators.



UNILAG to host top ATCON Members


The University Of Lagos Faculty Of Engineering will play host to very senior players in the engineering field on Tuesday November 29, 2011 at 10am. Venue: Unilag Main Auditorium, Akoka.


Top on the list of Special Guests are Distinguished Prof V.O.S Olunloyo NNOM, a former President of Nigerian Academy of Engineering and Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe, President Nigerian Academy of Sciences and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Ebonyi. He was also Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos.


An announcement posted by the Faculty indicates that two senior members of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ATCON, its President Engr Titi Omo-Ettu and Engr Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne Cable Company will be Guest Speaker and Keynote Speaker respectively at the Workshop & Exhibition whose theme is ‘Systems Engineering: Contributions to National Development’.


 They will be hosted by Unilag’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, Dean of Engineering Prof M.A Salau; and Ag Head of Department of Systems Engineering, Dr Olumuyiwa Asaolu.


ATCON Secretariat has confirmed that Mr Titi Omo-Ettu would speak on “Thinking in Systems, Processes and Deliveries: A Turning Point in National Development”








Chairman of the Event Planning Committee Dr Abayomi Ajofoyinbo said the Meeting will also host other dignitaries in the engineering profession.



NCC, eBusiness Life host Conference on BTS and the Environment


eBusiness Life Communication Limited, publishers of eBusiness Magazine, in collaboration with the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is organizing a one-day forum tagged: “BTS: Keeping Our Environment Safe.”


The conference will hold on November 22, 2011 at Golden Gate restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos and will discuss the environmental implications of siting of telecommunication base stations.


Coordinator of the  Forum, Mrs Ufuoma Emuophedaro, Chief Executive Officer of eBusiness Life, who is very passionate about the environment told CyberschuulNews during the week that “With over 10,000 base stations around the country and more coming up, also with the issue of infrastructure co-location heating up in the industry, the need to find ways of reducing cost and improving services without necessarily endangering or compromising the health of Nigerians or environmental friendliness of the country should be our focus,” stated Mrs Emouphedaro.


It is expected to draw presentations from renowned industry experts while participation is open to industry players and other stakeholders.



 As Dr. Eugene I. Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC becomes Fellow of the NSCHE


The Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) wishes to felicitate with our industry chief regulator, Dr. (Engr.) Eugene Ikemefuna Juwah on his worthy and meritorious conferment of the fellowship of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, NSCHE, (A division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers).


This recognition is the manifestation of your eminent contribution to the growth of your profession and the country in general.


The entire ALTON membership wishes you a memorable day and congratulates you on this honour from your engineering community.




SA may commence driving in reverse gear


 South Africa which led Africa into prosperity in telecommunications may just also lead it into ruin as there are strong indications that the state may soon muzzle the powers of the regulator.






Draft of a proposed bill on changes to the Electronic Communications Act clearly heads to strengthen the powers of the Minister and reduce those of the ICASA, Independent Communications Authority of SA.


Not a new effort and neither confined to South Africa, the breakthrough of African countries in telecommunications arrogates to liberalisation in the late eighties largely arising from an embrace of strong regulation. One country copied from the other and telecom prosperity spread until politicians found that strong regulation which ruled in many climes removed them from access to the usual politically expedient largesse.


Almost everywhere, a minority within the political class labours to whittle strong regulation under disguise of reviews ostensibly to improve quality of service but actually to reverse things. It will require very strong advocacies to keep the effort under check.



Apple appoints new Chairman


As it seeks to re-define itself in a post-Steve Jobs era, Apple has appointed Arthur D. Levinson, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected leaders, as the company’s new Chairman of the Board. Levinson, one of the longest serving members of  Apple’s Board of Directors, was hand picked by Steve Jobs to join in 2000 when he chairman and CEO  , the multibillion-dollar biotech company, Genentech.


Born in Seattle in March 1950, Art Levinson, who had an interest in science from an early age, studied molecular biology at the University of Washington graduating with a B.Sc. in 1972. He received a PhD in Biochemstry from Princeton in 1977.


His career at Genentech began in 1980, when he was recruited as a research scientist its co-founder Dr. Herbert Boyer. His rise was meteoric becoming the Vice President of Research technology in 1989; senior Vice President of Research & Development in 1993; CEO in 1995; and Chairman of the Board in 1999.


In 2009, Levinson stepped down from his CEO duties at when Genentech was acquired by the pharmaceutical giant Roche for $46.8billion. He remains the company’s chairman. He also joined Google’s board of directors in 2004, but left in 2009. He has served as co-lead of Apple’s board since 2005, only relinquishing that title in August when Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO and became the company’s chairman.


‘Art has made enormous contributions to Apple since he joined the board in 2000,’ said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. ‘He has been our longest serving co-lead director, and his insight and leadership are incredibly valuable to Apple, our employees and our shareholders.’



  Ring-fencing a windfall


In a clear departure from the   customary doctrine of not meddling in business’ decisions, a report from the UK’s parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee proposed that mobile phone operator Everything Everywhere should be compelled to reinvest profits made from the upcoming sale of its 1,800MHz spectrum in the UK's mobile network which analysts estimate could fetch  up to £450m. The Committee report proposed, ‘Ofcom should explore whether it could compel Everything Everywhere to ring-fence a proportion of this windfall for investment in its network.’


With operators having acquired the spectrum for nothing back in 1991 on the premise that the government would be paid annually through licence fees, there was consternation at the prospect that the sale of a public asset would be diverted to foreign shareholders. The sale of spectrum however must be embarked upon on the insistence of the European Commission following the merger of Orange and T-Mobile to form Everyone Everywhere last year which stipulated the newly formed company must dispose of 25% of its spectrum in the interest of encouraging competition.


Whether it had been bounced into it or otherwise, Everything Everywhere announced it would reinvest the profits of the sale into the UK's communications infrastructure. It had tried to neutralise criticism by insisting that since the acquisition of the spectrum, it had paid the government some £33m annually in licence fees to the government. In a statement the company said, ‘It is our intention that all proceeds from the sale of this spectrum will be invested into our UK network to benefit our customers across the country.



PM pledges support for UK’s ‘Silicon Valley’


The UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron pledged continued support for the accelerated growth for East London Tech City – as the name implies, a designated area of East London with a high concentration of technology start-ups which has been dubbed the UK’s version of Silicon Valley.


The  Prime Minister launching an interactive map showing  the number of businesses operating in the area on  its first anniversary said, ‘One year ago we made a major commitment to helping the tech cluster in east London grow. The successful growth we see today is thanks to the talented, creative entrepreneurs who have decided to set up there.’


 The map shows the number of tech firms has tripled since last year, from 200 to over 600. In addition to the companies already in Tech City it is hoping to welcome Intel which earlier this week pledged it will make the area a high-performance computing cluster; as well as Google which announced back in September it plans to open a ‘launch pad’ for technological entrepreneurs there.




The PM also announced a raft of other measures aimed at improving the climate for technology and entrepreneurialism in the UK. These include an Entrepreneur Visa to enable people with good business ideas and financial backing to set up their business in the UK, and an independent six-month review of the Intellectual Property framework. UK Trade & Investment will also establish a presence in East London.




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ComTech Minister defines path to further investment into Nigeria



Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, told the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja during the week that her Ministry has started addressing several issues aimed to continue attracting investment into the Nigerian economy.


 Top on her list is the harmonisation of disparate policies into a single national ICT policy and the development and implementation of targeted initiatives for identified priority sub-sectors.


 She also listed issues of cheap and universal access, broadband infiltration, local software development, tax incentives and an alignment of Federal and State interests regarding taxation and levies on the ICT industry.


The Minister said it was desirable to create and implement frameworks to guide the establishment and governance of collaboration and partnerships between Nigeria and countries with developed IT industries.

The telecommunications sector has been stand-alone on attracting substantial foreign investment into the economy in the last decade but its strengths and weaknesses do not feature in economic summits of the past.


….and also on legislation priorities


The Minister also told legislators in another presentation on the roles they were expected to play that it was necessary that legal instruments were provided to deliver the necessary inputs for a profitable and sustainable ICT industry. She identified key areas such as cybercrime and cybersecurity, protection of intellectual property, and vulnerability of ICT infrastructure.


According to her, despite the perceived growth of the telecoms sector, Nigeria is at the bottom of the African Broadband download performance table with download speeds of 1.38Mbps compared to Ghana’s which is at the top of the table with 10.1MPbs.



MainOne/SEACOM partnership earns Best Pan African Initiative award


 Two open access submarine cable providers who also have a partnership running; Nigeria’s MainOne Cable Company and East Africa’s SEACOM were picked for recognition as organizations that have taken initiative to improve telecommunications services at regional and continental levels.


 Organisers of Africacom conferred on them the ‘Best Pan African Initiative’ Award at the 2011 edition of the Awards in Cape Town, South Africa.


 Elated CEO of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke said: “Through this partnership, MainOne and SEACOM have extended their individual cable systems to the opposite coasts of Africa without the efforts required to construct brand new routes. The ability to connect the east and west coast of the continent directly results in improved throughput but also provides a system around most of the continent which provides improved redundancy for telecommunications operators.”


SEACOM’s CEO, Mark Simpson, also feels honoured ‘to be recognized once again for our efforts in continuously extending pan-African connectivity by investing in infrastructure, products and services that meet the continent’s insatiable demand for bandwidth.  This partnership shows our determination to find viable ways to extend our system with partners who share our vision of building the African Internet on an open and equitable basis.”



Glo set to commence operation in Ghana November 17, 2011


Globacom announced recently that it would roll out mobile telecommunication services in Ghana on November 17, 2011. Glo Mobile Ghana network would be supported and augmented by Glo 1, its high capacity state-of-the-art submarine cable  which has a landing in Ghana.


This is coming at a time when the Telecom Regulator in Ghana, National Communications Authority, NCA has just imposed heavy fines on all 5 mobile operators whose quality of service were considered to be intolerably poor.


Airtel, MTN, Expresso, Vodafone and Tigo received sanctions in form of fines which graduated downwards in that order.



Abia State Polytechnic wins ISPON Software Innovation Cup


 Abia State Polytechnic has won the maiden edition of the ISPON National Software Innovation cup competition with their Biometric Finger Print Voting System application. The winner beats 19 other tertiary institutions across the country that made it to the finals in Tinapa, Calabar. The University of Lagos was the 1st runner-up while, Delta State University, Abraka was the 2nd runner up.


The Abia state Polytechnic team was given N1million as reward; 1st runner-up N500,000; 2nd runner-up N250,000; and N100,000 to the remaining 17 teams from the different tertiary institutions that contested.


Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State who hosted the competition was so impressed with the performance of the students that immediately announced additional monetary rewards to all of them.



WATRA to establish permanent head office in Abuja


The West African Telecom Regulators Assembly, WATRA, may soon erect a permanent headquarter building in Abuja to house the WATRA Secretariat.


 This indication emerged when the Council of the organization led by its President Mr. Almoustapha Boubacar, who is also Chairman of National Council on Regulation of the Republic of Niger, paid a visit the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja during the week.


Mr Boubacar appreciated NCC’s support for the Assembly and sought cooperation for the execution of the agreement for the headquarters building of WATRA so that the Nigerian government will give official recognition to the existence of its secretariat as a multilateral international institution.


Technology/Business Solutions 

JDSU Delivers the Industry’s First Field Tester

that Doubles 10 G Network Rollout Efficiency

With the increase in Internet and mobile traffic, the deployment of 10 G circuits is growing at a rate of 14 percent worldwide. To help service providers meet this challenge, California based JDSU is one vendor that continues to innovate field testing by offering two 10 G ports on the Multi-Services Application Module (MSAM) for its leading T-BERD®/MTS-6000A and -8000 platforms, enabling unheard of testing efficiency.

MSAM was presented at a launch during the week.

The new MSAM provides several important benefits that make it an ideal solution for service providers:


    • Doubles the speed of 10 G network rollout by turning up two circuits concurrently

    • Decreases the time to repair on troubled 10 GE links with in-line bidirectional monitoring capabilities, including field-proven line-rate capture, WireShark decode, and J-Mentor expert analysis

    • Supports unparalleled Gigabit Ethernet troubleshooting by monitoring and generating traffic in optical transport network (OTN)-wrapped ODU-0 payloads

    • Eliminates the requirement for multiple testers with one device covering service installation and troubleshooting needs as well as core transport network operation and maintenance.

    The new MSAM delivers:

    • the industry’s first multitechnology compact field tester supporting dual 10 G interfaces in a single module.

    • the industry’s smallest dual 10 G multitechnology test set when installed in T-BERD/MTS-6000A, and in T-BERD/MTS-8000 simultaneous 4/10 G testing.

    • unequalled industry technology leadership in OTN that enables Ethernet and IP testing inside a multiplexed ODU-0 OTN signal.

JDSU’s product lines include Lab and Manufacturing Test, Field Network Test, Premises/Enterprise Test and other network systems.

JDSU’s accredited representative in Nigeria is INTERTEL.
[http://www.intertel-ng.net/ CTRL + Click to follow link] 


The ‘Third Sector’ calls for the full utilisation of the power of the Internet


 All over the world whether it is protesters encamped outside St Paul's Cathedral in London, the indignados of Spain or the Occupy Wall Street movement in the USA, there is an overwhelming clamour for  the worst excesses of global capitalism be reined in. Having secured the support of the Vatican last week, Oxfam has called on government, non-government and academic organisations to work together to use technology to help alleviate poverty and hunger.


Using the London Cyber conference as a platform, Oxfam, on behalf of the third sector, is urging all stakeholders to use the internet and its far reaching and empowering characteristics as a catalyst for change. Speaking to delegates at the cyberspace and international development session at the  opening of the London Conference on Cyberspace, Sarah Jordan, head of digital communications at Oxfam  said the internet is a tremendously enabling technology but the challenge is working out how we all work together to grasp these opportunities. She called on all the groups represented at the conference to collaborate to set up the system required to enable the transformative power of technology and the internet.


 ‘The internet is changing everything in our lives, and that is true in the context of Oxfam and the work it does around the world. The internet is changing our perceptions; our world view; our way of doing things’, she said.


The London Cyber Conference which aims to ring together representatives of governments, civil society and business, to is hosted by the Foreign Secretary William Hague who, at the opening session said the UK will always be on the side of those aspiring to greater political and economic freedom anywhere in the world.


‘We will always champion freedom of expression on the internet as well as in every other aspect of life. I can assure you that this will be very much at the centre of discussions here at the London Cyber Conference, and look forward to hearing your ideas’, he said. 

All that glitters…. 

More evidence of the UK’s inadequate broadband infrastructure, and consequently access, was revealed this week by the regulator, Ofcom, in a series of maps on the UK's communications infrastructure which shows that large regions of the country have poor superfast broadband coverage and 3G mobile access.


 The maps which are part of the regulator's first report on the UK's communications infrastructure and to be submitted to the government every three years, displays broadband speed, availability and adoption rates had been created using data the regulator had collated back in July.


 The maps show that around 73% of premises and 13% of the UK's landmass can receive a signal outdoors from all five 3G networks, with lower coverage in less densely populated areas. This means that approximately 7.7 million UK premises do not have a choice of all five 3G mobile networks.


The maps however show that superfast broadband speeds remain patchy outside of the country's main cites and Northern Ireland, with good 3G mobile coverage almost exclusively and inevitably confined to London.


The UK government recently announced £363m in investment to improve broadband speeds in homes and businesses in England and Scotland, and committed £150m to improving mobile phone coverage.


Ofcom said it is working with the government to consider how to use the £150m it has allocated to help address mobile "not-spots".


Analysts say it was imperative for the UK to improve its mobile coverage as inadequacy in connectivity has a negative has a negative impact on business.


Mathew Howett, analyst at Ovum, said the regulator's exercise was a useful in measuring the government's progress toward its broadband commitments, but ongoing monitoring would need to take place in between the three-year reports.


"One of the interesting things from this report is that fixed line is still seen as the number one means of accessing the internet for consumers and business users," he said.



Is Samsung the new kid on the block?


Apple has experienced its yet another post-Steve Jobs setback as it was revealed that the company suffered its lowest levels of shipments in two years and to compound matters it was overtaken by Samsung in worldwide smartphone shipments.


According to research firm Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 44% year-on-year to reach a record 117 million units in the third quarter of 2011, with Samsung shipping 28 million smartphones, grabbing 24% market share in comparison to Apple’s 21%.


Analysts say that the figures reflect the Google's bourgeoning Android ecosystem and the success it has brought to handset manufacturers. This is evident in the fact that Apple's share of the tablet market also shrunk by 29% to 67% in the third quarter which also attests the popularity of Android.


Alex Spektor, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics said, ‘Samsung's rise has been driven by a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution.’


Others see Samsung's growth as temporary and put Apple’s slowdown in the quarter down to the fact that consumers and operators awaiting the launch of the new iphone4S in the fourth quarter. The reason of volatile economic conditions in several key countries has also been offered but that cannot hold since those conditions apply to all manufacturers. Undoubtedly there is tougher competition but it should not detract from the fact that Samsung's  Galaxy S2 model is very popular.

 Samsung Electronics and Apple have an acrimonious relationship which saw the former filing filed a massive patent-infringement lawsuit against the latter last month. It is seeking bans on the sale of the Apple iPhone 4S on the grounds that Apple continues to flagrantly violate its patents. The company says it is considering lawsuits in other countries as well.


 Suffice to say that with the figures revealed, Samsung has drawn first blood


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ATCON canvasses emphasis of broadband widespread on SME Players


 A strong case was made during the week for broadband penetration to the hinterlands in Nigeria to be predicated on growing the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME’s) in the internet resale and content development sectors of the ICT industry.


 Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, in an invited speech to a group of US-based Nigerians in New York, urged them  to take advantage of the emerging business opportunities.


Mr Omo-Ettu told his audience that his Association was refocusing its advocacy in several ways. ‘We are shifting emphasis of our advocacy from how many telephone lines we produce to how many people we empower with the telephone lines. We are also going to work with government on the realisation that the indicators of our success will be manifested in the growth of  small-scale businesses which will extend services and content to the last man at the end of the service provision chain’.


According him, ‘it is SMEs that provide jobs, not the big players. It is therefore imperative that we create and perpetuate an environment that is conducive for all of us including the big players to operate. Besides, we shall consult and collaborate with the government in bringing it home that it is small-scale players who are engines of growth and who retain their profit within the industry. This does not take anything away from the role of big and foreign investors but we need not delude ourselves that they are in it for altruistic reasons but rather the preservation of the bottom line - for every dollar the foreign investor brings in, he wants to take  two away and he provides very few jobs in the process. The small scale players on the other hand abound in larger number, employ more hands and keep a bulk of  their profit within the system for internal re-use’.


 He then explained that ‘Our Broadband  Expansion Participation Program will therefore be in the form of advocacy to create awareness on the businesses that are available to do, empower the small players with the wherewithal of access to funding and working with government to protect their investments’.



NCC issues final warning on Quality of Service to 3 Mobile Operators


 Nigeria's Telecom industry regulator, NCC, sent out a final advance warning to three Mobile telephone operators, Airtel, Globacom and MTN that they had up to November 30 2011 to provide acceptable quality of service or it will commence taking sanctions in the form earning a ban on further increase in subscriber base and also paying fines for a breach of the penalty.


NCC’s head of media and public relations, Mr Reuben Muoka said in a Press Release midweek that the deadline follows a dismal performance by the three operators on quality of service from the result of an independent monitoring exercise carried out by the Commission across the country which showed that all the three operators failed to meet with four key performance indicators that are crucial for quality of service improvements as set by the Commission.


Consequently, the Commission has notified the three operators of its intention to issue a direction that with effect from November 30, 2011, any of the operators that fail to meet the targets will be barred from further sale of its SIM Cards or addition of any new subscriber to its network. Any new SIM card sold, or additional subscriber added to the network in contravention of the direction, will attract a penalty of N1,000,000 ( One Million Naira) per subscriber added.


The Commission also indicated that after the expiration of the 30-day deadline, it will strictly enforce the impending direction whose contravention will attract a penalty of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira), and additional N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) per day that such contravention persists.


In addition to the above, failure of any of the operators to meet the quality of service targets from November 30, 2011 will attract a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) for every month of failure.



Career path in IT security initiative launched in the UK



A new skills development initiative was launched in the UK this week with the aim of encouraging more young people to start a career in IT security.


Certification body The Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) and the Sector Skills Council for Business and IT - e-Skills UK - have introduced the professional placement programme to  introduce high quality young people into the information assurance industry and support their development; encourage and train more people in information security to alleviate the current and future skills problem; address the unwillingness  of companies to invest in new graduates with no experience;  as well as creating greater awareness of penetration testing and network forensics as a career choice – all represent part of an on-going commitment to establishing more structured training and development.


Ian Glover, President of CREST said, ‘Given the changes in the UK workforce we will be competing with all other engineering disciplines and must position the information security industry as being a career of choice.’


Through the e-Skills Professional Placement programme, companies can offer short and long term positions of between three and 15 months to people in further education. In its recruitment drive, e-Skills is canvassing businesses who specify the skills they are looking for and is working with more than 50 universities in a bid to match businesses’ skills requirements.


On the collaborative effort, Glover said, ‘From now until the Spring is the best time for employers to start advertising their placement opportunities and e-Skills UK is helping to manage the process by liaising with employers, universities and students.’


Janet Richards, Director in higher education programmes at e-Skills UK said, ‘By working with organisations such as Crest, we can certainly make a difference. If we can encourage the brightest young people into our industry and show that there are companies willing to support them during their early careers, I am confident we can increase the take up of information assurance as a profession.’

IBM appoints new CEO


IBM has moved to push on what has been an eventful year behind as it formally announced the appointment of Virginia Rometty as its new President and Chief Executive.


Ms Rometty who is currently IBM senior vice-president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, succeeds Samuel Palmisano, currently IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. Who will remain chairman of the board.


Credited with IBM’s long-term strategic thinking and client focus in driving IBM's cloud computing initiative, Rometty has successfully led several of IBM's most important businesses over the past decade - from the formation of IBM Global Business Services to the $3.5 billion acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting in 2002.


"She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company's future. I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century," said Palmisano.


Before joining IBM, Rometty was with General Motors, where she was responsible for application and systems development. She starts her new role on January 1, 2012.


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