CyberschuulNews Editions 456 - 460





Cyberschuulnews 460


Stakeholders want ICT Draft Policy to go back to starting blocks


Ministry of Communication Technology’s push for an urgent ICT policy received the cold shoulders of stakeholders who held that the draft policy lacks depth and good direction.


Also in contention is the desire to railroad a converged regulator which many observers said needed caution and deeper reflection to handle.


The draft ICT policy may just have been returned to the starting blocks because there was hardly a consensus on any of the issues picked on for review when the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, met with stakeholders in Lagos on Friday. In her words ‘This document is one that we want to work on and conclude as soon as possible so that we can document it and pass it to the executive’.


The Minister pressed for speed while many would prefer that a better result from a more representative Committee and deeper content was required.





Lagos –Kano Aerial Fibre backbone gets upgrade


Substantial redundancy which raises availability very close to 100% has been provided on the Lagos – Kano aerial fibre network operated by Phase3 Telecom. With this, quality of service to its clients would now be significantly enhanced as an alternate route for all traffic on its network between Lagos and Abuja has been provided.


According to Chief Operating Officer, Phase3 Telecom, Mr. Olusola Teniola, the achievement of the backbone redundancy was the fulfilment of a vision of the firm to ensure that its network would always be available to users in the event of any eventuality.


"In line with our determination to continually improve our services to our customers( IP and Clear channel), this backbone redundancy, effectively provides our clients currently enjoying peering, transit and MPLS VPN solutions and services from Lagos, a more reliable solution for their traffic, " he said.


He added that the new system now has a provision in which load has been configured to equally balance at peak periods, thereby eliminating clogs, saturation and bottlenecks. In addition, he explained that the system allows traffic load to choose the least saturated path during off peak periods and failover entirely in the event of discontinuity on any of the two routes.


"With this new arrangement, essentially our uptime has been greatly increased and we will see a 99.999% efficiency leap in service delivery for all our IP clients," Teniola added.





NCC and ATCON move to raise broadband penetration in Nigeria



The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ATCON are known to be working at pulling together to get broadband internet access to be widespread in Nigeria.




Dr Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC told a visiting team of ATCON members who came for a working meeting with the Commission that ‘the issue of broadband availability and penetration in Nigeria today is very dear to our hearts at the Commission, and you will recall that it is one of the key areas that we have indicated to occupy our focus in the next few years’.





Dr Juwah said that the Commission has developed a model based on ‘Open Access’ in which the role of the Network Operator is distinct from those of the Service Providers. ‘In this arrangement’, according to him, ‘the network provider offers access to the service providers on a non-discriminatory basis in a competitively neutral environment. Service providers, or corporations, or institutions, or even the public are allowed to access services in line with their needs’.





‘Underlining these models and strategies are issues of availability, affordability, stimulation of demands for services, attraction of investments, creation of more employment opportunities, penetration of services to the nooks and crannies of the country, improving governance and energizing the economy’.





President of ATCON, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu in a response told the Commission that ‘our reason for initiating this meeting is to enable us compare notes with the Commission on its Broadband Expansion Vision, and harmonise our plans with the Commission’s. Also, we seek the Commission’s listening ears when we would have latched unto its programme and require its support and intervention at any bend as we start implementing our plans. He thanked the commission for always supporting the programs of the Association.





The meeting discussed the ways of using Broadband to motivate investments, generate employment, improve governance and create an environment for investments to prosper.





The two teams agreed on the need to protect small businesses and to help big ones expand their networks.










Fibre Access spreads to Greater Lagos

Courtesy MainOne Cable Co.

(CyberschuulNews Lagos)

















Fibre sourced from the MainOne Cable Co network has been commissioned in the Ikeja area of Lagos to provide broadband internet access to the greater Lagos areas of Ojota, Oregun, Ikorodu Road and Ikeja airport.





Internet Service Providers, manufacturing companies, hotels and other hospitality outfits, media and advertising firms, FMCGs and other enterprises in the Ikeja area and its environs are the primary target of the extended infrastructure.





Ms Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne told and excited audience in Ikeja that ‘It is necessary, at this point, for excellent broadband Internet to be available to all enterprise concerns that require the capacity that Main One brings to Nigeria. This is the reason we have sought to distribute more of our capacity inland, especially across business areas in Lagos where demand for ubiquitous broadband is the driving force of successful businesses.”







eWorld’s Forum is for March 21, 2012

















eWorld Magazine will host this year’s Forum on Tuesday March 21, 2012 at Golden Gate Restaurant, Iloyi, Lagos under the chairmanship of the Hon Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson.





Theme of the Forum is ‘Broadband Ecosystem: Issues for Regulators and Operators’.





The Forum seeks to contribute to ongoing discussions on Nigeria’s march towards accelerated broadband development in line with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the NCC vision and objectives.





The issues listed for discussion, according to Mr Aaron Ukodie, Publisher of the Magazine include: M-banking services and the role of regulators; Wireless broadband spectrum pricing; Open Access Regulation (Smart Regulation); Setting national broadband policies, strategies and plans; financing universal access; New Business Models for Broadband networks, etc.





Ukodie also said 'The Forum is also expected to contribute to efforts by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Communications Technology to chart a workable roadmap and policy for broadband development acceleration'.










Copy & Paste from Other Journals








'Investors not spooked by Zamtel sale reversal'


Michael Malakata, ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent, Johannesburg, 5 Mar 2012






Zambia's reversal of the sale of telecoms company Zamtel to Lap Green Networks this year has not damaged the southern African country's investment climate, says UK-based Economic Intelligence Unity (EIU).





Libya-based Lap Green Networks' purchase of a 75% stake in Zamtel in 2010, for $275 million, was controversially reversed by Zambia's administration in January. The move followed a government-sanctioned inquiry, which found the sale was marred by what it called “irregularities”.





But a report by the EIU said there appears to be some grounds for Zambia's U-turn on Zamtel.





The EIU said the sale of Zamtel lacked transparency and the organisation also alleges that there were irregularities in the awarding of a contract to Cayman Islands-based RP Capital to assess Zamtel's value. The EIU said the valuation method used by RP Capital does not stand up to scrutiny.





“The Economic Intelligence Unit is of the view that the reversal does not herald a severe deterioration in Zambia's investment climate,” the EIU stated in its report on the matter.





However, despite the EIU report, Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) chairperson Yusuf Dodia still believes the sale reversal is scaring away investors.





“The mechanism used in getting back the 75% shares in Zamtel is what has been the greatest challenge, because Lap Green Networks entered into a legally binding contract with the Zambian government, which cannot be dismissed easily,” Dodia said.





Zambia's decision to reverse the sale of Zamtel has, among other reasons, resulted in the downgrading of the country's economic outlook to negative from stable by Fitch Ratings, an international economic rating agency.





“The recent decision to reverse a privatisation deal without as yet compensating the investing parties could undermine property rights,” said Carmen Altenkirch, director in Fitch's Sovereign rating group.





Last month, the Zambian government, through attorney-general Mumba Malila, said it was looking into the possibility of compensating Lap Green Networks for the grabbed shares and for any investment the company made in Zamtel's network upgrade and expansion.





But Lap Green Networks decided to take the matter to court in a bid to force the Zambian government to reverse its decision to grab the company.





taken from









Cyberschuulnews 459






FG set to retire NITEL through ‘Guided Liquidation’


The National Council on Privatisation concluded in its midweek meeting deliberating that both the Technical and Legal Committees of the Council should work together to wind up the operations of NITEL through ‘Guided Liquidation’.



This has now brought to a defined station the Council’s seeming indecision over government’s sustained inability to achieve the objective of the privatisation of NITEL which commenced way back in 1999.



A recent special Committee of the Senate which probed the affairs of the Bureau (of privatisation) of Public Enterprises, BPE, gave damning recommendations, none of which government has shown the will to implement.



The Senate Committee fingered corruption and incompetence in the management of the Agency and made 45 recommendations part of which included reprisals for a few present and past officials who were found culpable.



The process of privatisation of NITEL has been nothing but an eleven-year catalogue of monumental failures which has taken the company from a buoyant but inefficient monopoly to a dumb and comatose enterprise.



Almost all analysts who commented on the development feared and prayed that the so-called ‘guided liquidation’ might just not be another commencement of the same cycle of corruption which has dogged the privatisation process from its inception.







Public Discussion on Draft ICT Policy for March 9







An expanded assembly of stakeholders will discuss the emerging ICT Policy which the Ministry of Communications Technology is midwifing and which the Ministry said has been reviewed by several professional and trade association of the communication technology industry.



The harmonised ICT Policy, a work-in-progress document which many worried over for its all-civil servants’ authorship and largely for charting an unclear direction may have gone through several fine-tuning and reworks.



Friday, 9th March 2012 has been announced by the Ministry when a wider stakeholder body will appraise the work in Lagos at the Lagos City Hall.



A statement from the office of the Minister of Communication Technology early this week recalled that the Draft ICT Policy was released by the Ministry for comments and suggestions from stakeholders and the general public on the 9th of January, 2012. ‘The Ministry since it unveiled the Policy document has received comments and inputs from industry groups, companies in the ICT industry, and other ICT industry stakeholders both in Nigeria and abroad that have been collated and the Forum will provide a platform for the Ministry to engage stakeholders for robust discussions on the comments received so far’.




ATCON establishes a Library of ICT Journals






A library of magazines, journals and periodicals which are published from within Nigeria has been established by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, (ATCON) in its Secretariat.



The Associations says ‘in appreciation of the significant role that publications have played and continue to play in the evolution of our industry, we adjudge that for the purposes of the past, the current and posterity, it is important to keep an accurate catalogue and archive of past publications of this genre.



The Library is conceived to be a Resource Centre in our Secretariat to be used by historians, researchers, students and businessmen for reference in their quest for information about our industry, its development and its impact on our economy’



Investments that flew into turbulent weather

Etisalat in India, Airtel in Nigeria







It is now confirmed that Etisalat is already in Court to press for heavy damages against Balwa, Goenka and Majestic Infracon, its joint venture partners and collaborators in the deal that made it buy Swan Telecom which it named Etisalat DB in India. The Supreme Court had ruled after a protracted litigation over misdemeanour that the license under which Swan Telecom, and therefore Etisalat DB, operated should be revoked.



Etisalat is crying blue murder that its collaborators played fraud and misinformation by not making appropriate disclosure at negotiation time.



It certainly has been one bad business which cannot be left unresolved.



In Nigeria, Airtel which bought the successors of Econet Wireless was ordered by a Nigerian Court to revert to the original name of Econet Wireless as the original conversion, long before several buy-over’s ended up in Airtel's basket, was irregular. Naturally an appeal is in court but at the end of the day compensation would have to be sorted out.



Except that Econet is known to have thrown a figure of $6.1billion demand into the bargain.



That may mean the lawyers on both sides have work to do.












The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved ‘guided liquidation’ as the strategy for the privatisation of Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd (NITEL) and its mobile arm, M-TEL, in view of the huge liabilities of both companies.



At its first meeting for 2012 which took place at Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, February 27, 2012, the body also approved that the Technical Committee (TC) and Legal Committee (LC), two standing committees of NCP, work closely to determine the modalities for handling Nitel/Mtel’s guided liquidation.



It also directed that all liquidators that have unresolved disputes with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) be excluded from the process for the appointment of a liquidator for the Nitel/Mtel transaction.


At its last meeting on December 15, 2011, the NCP had considered the presentations made by the management of Nitel and Mtel on the way forward for both companies.



The NCP had directed the management of Nitel and Mtel to submit detailed financial reports and other relevant information on the proposals for the resuscitation of both companies to the Technical Committee of the NCP; and tasked the Technical Committee to consider the submissions by Nitel/Mtel management and submit its recommendations to the next meeting of NCP.



The TC recommended that ‘guided liquidation’ should be adopted as the strategy for the privatization of NITEL/MTEL in view of the huge liabilities of both companies and that there was no viable financial alternative presented by the management of Nitel/Mtel.The NCP supported the recommendation of the Technical Committee that opted for ‘guided liquidation.’ The NCP also observed from the Nitel/Mtel presentation that they were receiving some revenues from SAT-3 which were not fully accounted for and in respect of which there had been no audit for several years. In spite of the revenues, the management of Nitel/Mtel had been obtaining their salaries from the Federal Government of Nigeria. Consequently, the NCP directed the Sub-Committee of the Technical Committee on Information, Communication, National Facilities and Agric Resources to immediately carry out investigations and ensure that all revenues received were accounted for.




BPE Spokesman



WAFICT 2012 to hold in Lagos May 8 - 10






The 4th West African Information and Communications Technology Congress (WAFICT 2012) has been confirmed for May 8 - 10, 2012.



The Theme for this years edition is ‘Bridging West Africa’s Digital Divide Through Broadband.’



Host, IT & Telecom Digest said during the week that “WAFICT 2012 is a grand platform to hear from Governments and Regulators in West Africa on their policies on broadband and strategies for deployment; from equipment manufacturers, mobile operators, telecom operators, Internet Service Providers, experts, and many more, from across the world, what potential exists in broadband and their offerings for the sub-region,”



INTERTEL is authorised JDSU Rep in Nigeria







JDSU, A leading provider of optical products and test and measurement solutions for the communications industry, has advised technology users in Nigeria that INTERTEL Nig Lt is its authorised representative in the region.



Regional Director for Middle East and Africa, Mr Youssef Bentahir explained that the authorisation covers upgrade, calibration, replacement, toolkits, equipment list, certified engineers and aftersales support, which are facilities that unauthorised dealers cannot give.



It emphasises that INTERTEL has in-stock various ranges of JDSU Demo kits for all classes of sales and maintenance support.




Taking African Entrepreneurship on the Ivy League Circuit


Austin Okere





On June 08, 2011, I received a letter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship), part of which read; ‘The remarkable success of CWG is a story that inspires entrepreneurs, academics, investors, and policy makers working in emerging countries. We are writing to ask if you would be interested in telling that story at the annual conference of the Legatum Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’.



Being an ardent entrepreneurial crusader, I was very excited at the opportunity and gladly accepted the invitation.



The Legatum Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to creating economic opportunity for ordinary citizens in low-income countries by supporting the innovative and transformative business concepts and technologies of aspiring entrepreneurs. They host a symposium in the fall of each year for entrepreneurs, investors, scholars and policy makers who convene to discuss global entrepreneurship. Many prominent people have spoken at the Center. They include six Nobel Laureates, four heads of state, prominent scholars, and renowned innovators such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.



At the end of my presentation to a very attentive audience from the academia and beyond, whose thirst for information about business in Africa seemed unquenchable from the number and variety of questions, I was approached by the founder and Director of the Centre Professor Iqbal Z. Quadir, a Wharton graduate himself and co-founder of Grameenfone in Bangladesh, who, having the difficult task of balancing the residual interest of the audience, with the need to press ahead with the program, asked if I would be kind enough to make a repeat visit to MIT during early March 2012 to share further insights when his class shall be taking the case study on the Computer Warehouse Group.







It will be recalled that the Columbia Business School published a case study on the Computer Warehouse Group in early 2008, which received sterling reviews from the Financial Times of London in the Business Education section. The comments of Prof. Murray Low, Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Centre at the CBS perhaps best summarises the overwhelming reception to the case study; ’I have used the case along with the video in both Tanzania and Kenya for audiences of entrepreneurs, faculty and MBA students. They all find it VERY inspiring!!’



In a world where only four out of every 100 start ups live up to their 10th anniversary, every emerging success supports the case for entrepreneurial pursuit.



While the emphasis on the BRICS countries by global investors is justified, it cannot be gainsaid the immense opportunities offered by the Sub-Saharan emerging economies.



This region offers a largely untapped market, where democracy has taken root, and trade barriers are being broken by regional economic integration blocs such as ECOWAS, COMESU, EAC, SADC and CEMAC. The region’s institutions are beginning to drive meritocracy as a yardstick of who gets ahead, and the burgeoning middle class provides ample entrepreneurial opportunities. The short summary is that Sub-Saharan Africa now provides much improved investment and regulatory environments, and is open for business.



The central message of my talk, which is mostly missed by global investors, is that Sub Saharan Africa may present today, the opportunities that were presented by the BRICS countries in the last decade.



To buttress this point, consider that at the height of the recent global economic downturn when business growth stalled around the world, one group of companies grew at an annual rate of almost 30% from 2006 to 2009, far outpacing their global competitors, including Standard & Poor’s 500 biggest American firms. These companies are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in one of the world’s most dynamic markets. They are the Multinational Corporations (MNCs) of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past decade, about nine Multinational Companies have emanated from East Africa and 21 from West Africa (14 from Nigeria alone).



This is not at all surprising, considering that Nigeria’s population constitutes almost half of that of West Africa, is the second largest economy, after South Africa, with a much higher GDP growth rate of 7.2% compared to South Africa’s about 4.2%, and targeted to surpass the South African economy by 2025.



These emerging Sub-Saharan Multinational companies such as Dangote Group, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Computer Warehouse Group, UBA to mention a few, have seen dramatic growth in the past several years. These companies are expanding across the region, and thriving in markets that Global Multinationals may have considered unprofitable, too complex or even dangerous.



The CWG story typifies the trials, challenges and triumph of entrepreneurs in the challenging but highly rewarding environment that characterises Sub Saharan Africa.


Success stories such as that of the Computer Warehouse Group contribute immensely to the attraction of capital to the region, which combined with the entrepreneurial acumen and youthful population pool unleashes waves of economic boom which in turn lifts the pile at bottom of the pyramid into the more desirable networked economy of the emerging global village.


Austin Okere is the CEO of the Computer Warehouse Group




EU ‘unhappy’ about Google’s new privacy policy






Google’s long anticipated and behemoth new unified privacy policy took effect from Thursday. The new policy means all the information Google collects about its users on its platforms — including YouTube — will be put into one database so advertisers can get a better idea of consumer patterns and behaviour. Such consolidation means that Google can treat a user as a single entity across Google+ and YouTube, Gmail and Google search which is useful for their purposes as articulated by, Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy for products and engineering, who says the unification of 60 different privacy policies across Google products and information sharing is about helping consumers giving them more tailored searches and recommendations. But critics remain sceptical arguing that Google has implicitly assumed its users’ consent not only in its collection of information such as age, sex, sexual orientation, health, location, religion and all kinds of other really personal stuff about them. It also means browsing data and web history gathered when a user is signed in with a Google account, can be shared across all of the websites from which they cannot opt out of unless they stop using Google's services.



The sternest opposition thus far has come from the EU's Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding who told the BBC that the changes made by Google to its privacy policy are in breach of European law because ‘transparency rules have not been applied’.



There is also dissatisfaction at the fact that on logging out of Google's services it will still store anonymous data about web activity so much so that France's privacy watchdog CNIL wrote to Google earlier this week, urging a "pause" in rolling out the revised policy. ‘The CNIL and EU data authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of personal data across services,’ the regulator wrote.



Needless to say Google rebuffs all criticism claiming the new policy complied with EU law. ‘We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles,’ the company said in a statement.



Apple and Samsung battle out ‘a no score draw’ in Germany





The long running battle between Apple and Samsung over phone and tablet patents seems to has degenerated to some kind of farce with patent lawsuits - taken out against each other and one often demanding a bans on the other’s key products around the world.. But a new low was reached this week when both had their patent lawsuit thrown out by a German court.



A spokesman for the Mannheim state court said judges had dismissed both cases involving ownership of the "slide-to-unlock" feature used on their respective smartphones.



Apple has been victorious in Germany having won a patent dispute against Motorola Mobility regarding ‘slide-to-unlock’ in Munich last month and won a court decision in Australia to ban the sale of Samsung's Galaxy tablet in that country - a decision that was later overturned.



Samsung wanting to level the score in a statement said: ‘We are disappointed that the court did not share our views regarding the infringement by Apple of this specific patent in Germany … We will continue to assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple's claims to ensure our continued ability to provide innovative mobile products to consumers.’ It has vowed to appeal four alleged patent infringements still pending in Mannheim!



This war is a naked display of power with each company hankering for domination. Power however is finely balanced between them as Apple sells the best-selling iPhone and iPad devices, while Samsung sells a range of phones that use Google's Android software. However with the advent of Apple’s iPad 3 later this month, both their lawyers must be rubbing their hands with relish.



Cyberschuulnews 458


Electricity Supply Reform suffers second setback in one year










It was announced in Abuja early in the week that the opening bids for the privatisation process of 17 succession companies of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, has been delayed until October 23, 2012 – some 14 months into the allotted time for the planned reform process of electricity supply in Nigeria.





It had been announced back in November 2011 that the process, fraught with a multitude of problems, especially to allow for the incorporation of issues raised at a conference, had been pushed back from the first to second quarter of 2012.





Reform Managers were also, early this week, hosted by the Senate Committee on Power to a questions and answers session over an 800% increase in electricity tariff. Minister of Power, Prof Bath Nnaji explained to the Senators that although an increase was indeed contemplated, such increase varied from 11% for individual consumers to a high of 800% increase for industry users. The Minister laid the problem at the media’s door saying ‘The newspapers decided to report only the high end increase.’





He explained that it was all an attempt to make operating tariff attractive to yet-to-emerge investors to whom the existing power generating facilities would eventually be sold.





He probably convinced the Senators who based their worry over newspaper reports and whose questions belied a deep understanding of the politics of privatisation.





Power Ministry officials said in June 2011 that four thermal and two hydro power plants and 11 electricity distribution firms would be sold by the first quarter of 2012 but this was shifted back to second quarter of 2012 on November 29, 2012.





Public Electricity supply in Nigeria is renowned for its obstinacy. A previous government spent $10billion (or $16billion depending on whose account is to count) without any result and industries have cried themselves hoarse on effect of lack of the essential raw material of production.





Nigeria’s thriving telecommunications industry which grew its telephone subscriber base from 400,000 fixed lines to 90million mobiles in ten years has consistently said it would no longer be able to grow more business until power supply for industry use was improved.





President of a Telco’s Association, ATCON, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, who has consistently criticised the ‘direction of travel’ of the power reform process said recently that his Association would sue the Federal Government to Court and press for damages if by end of 2013 there was no remarkable improvement in public power supply for use of industry.








A Reuter’s Report of November 29 2011 reproduced





Nigeria's power privatisation delayed to Q2 2012

Reuters Africa, Tue Nov 29, 2011








Nigeria's power sector privatisation will be completed by the second quarter of next year, the presidential task force said on Tuesday, later than previously promised as another key reform for Africa's most populous nation is delayed. Nigeria holds the world's seventh largest gas reserves and is Africa's largest crude oil exporter but only produces enough electricity to power a medium-sized European city.





President Goodluck Jonathan unveiled power privatisation plans 15 months ago and it was pledged that state power generation and distribution assets would be sold off this year.





Jonathan has set out a 'transformation agenda' for Nigeria but plans to end fuel subsidies and reforms to the mainstay energy sector are locked in parliamentary dispute, while a sovereign wealth fund and next year's budget are delayed.





Power ministry officials said in June that four thermal and two hydro power plants and 11 electricity distribution firms would be sold by the first quarter of next year but this has been shifted back again.





"Nigeria expects to complete privatization of power sector by Q2 2012," Azu Obiaya, head of the regulation and transactions in the presidential task force on power, said at an industry conference in the commercial-hub Lagos.





He said Nigeria was hoping to produce 6,000 megawatts of power by the end of next year, up from the current 4,000 but still only scratching the surface of the 40,000 megawatts needed for a nation of around 150 million people.





Decades of Nigerian administrations have cashed-in on crude exports rather than investing in plants to refine fuel or developing gas for domestic consumption, which means diesel has to be imported at a huge cost for private generators.





Nigeria estimates it will need $10 billion a year of investment over the next decade to meet its energy needs.





Taken from











Mobile Number Portability confirmed for Q4-2012










Information came during the week that with the SIM Card registration in its final phase and about to be wound down, the proposed Mobile Number Portability will commence in the last quarter of this year.





Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah, told the media in Abuja midweek that a ‘combined registration of 110,433,976 SIM Cards have been registered and the data is going through processing and cleaning at the moment’.







INEC’s INTRANET Infrastructure for South East










A connectivity solution, built on fibre, was recently lit for Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Enugu. The network provided by Phase3 Telecom provides perfect intranet for the Commission’s operation in South East geo-political zone comprising of Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Benue States; and links them to INEC headquarters in Abuja.





Phase3 Telecom complemented the infrastructure with a training program which gave the operatives in the various states the necessary skills to tackle any issues that may arise on connectivity to and from the Abuja headquarters.









Minister, Stakeholders set for March 9 Dialogue over New ICT Policy










The Ministry of Communication Technology announced during the week that it would augment its consultation process to involve a larger audience of stakeholders to review the recent draft ICT Policy which emanated from collaborative work which critics said is pro-establishment coming at a time when deeper private sector investments had revolutionised the Nigerian telecommunications market.





Minister Omobola Johnson said having met with industry Associations and professional bodies, it would now hold an assembly with the larger stakeholder group ‘for robust discussions on the comments received by the Ministry on the Policy’.






Proview wages war against Apple in US Court











Apple’s woes in China seem to be never-ending. This time it is facing a challenge to its use of the iPad trademark which Proview Electronics Co. - a unit of Proview International Holdings, claims it owns the iPad name. Proview filed a lawsuit against Apple's use of the trademark in mainland China at the Santa Clara Superior Court last week.




At the heart of the legal skirmish between Apple and Proview is the claim by the latter that the sale of the iPad China trademark to a company representing Apple by its Taiwan affiliate in 2009 was invalid. Proview has not challenged the sale of other worldwide rights to the iPad trademark to Apple in the 35,000 British pound ($55,000) deal.




In considering Proview's application for a provisional injunction to force Apple to halt iPad sales, a court in Shanghai agreed to Apple's request to suspend the decision until its appeal against an earlier ruling on the iPad name dispute is heard on 29 February. Sales of Apple's iPad will be allowed to continue until then.




Apple won its first court battle against Proview in Hong Kong but a mainland Chinese court later sided with Proview, prompting Apple to appeal. Suffice to say this will run and run.





Europe’s Supreme Court to review ACTA










As a result of a spate of protests across Europe in opposition to the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – the international treaty aiming to standardise copyright protection measures, – there is evidence that the authorities are reconsidering its legality and implications as the European Union's highest court has been asked to undertake a judicial review on the agreement.




Despite the fact that the agreement has so far been signed by 22 EU member states as well as Japan, Canada and the United States, this development lends credence to rights campaigners who argue it could stifle free expression on the internet.




EU trade head Karel De Gucht said the court will be asked to clarify whether the treaty complied with ‘the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms’.




The European Commission said it ‘decided today to ask the European Court of Justice for a legal opinion to clarify that the Acta agreement and its implementation must be fully compatible with freedom of expression and freedom of the internet’.




While countries can individually ratify the terms of the agreement, the EU whose backing is considered vital if the proposal's aim of implementing consistent standards for copyright enforcement measures are to be met, has decided to proceed with caution.




Acknowledging the role of mass opposition to the agreement, Mr De Gucht told a news conference this week, ‘Let me be very clear: I share people's concern for these fundamental freedoms... especially over the freedom of the internet.’




However, he articulated the argument of the agreement’s supporters that its purpose was to protect the creative economy.




‘ACTA aims to raise global standards for intellectual property rights," he said, adding that the treaty "will help protect jobs currently lost because counterfeited, pirated goods worth 200bn euros are currently floating around’.




Acta's backers face strong opposition within the EU. Viviane Reding, the commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship. In her unambiguous opposition, she wrote on Twitter:




‘For me, blocking the Internet is never an option. We need to find new, more modern and more effective ways in Europe to protect artistic creations that take account of technological developments and the freedoms of the internet.’




ACTA is set to be debated by the European Parliament in June.






Etisalat, STel shut down









On the heels of Supreme Court’s ruling that Etisalat DB’s license be revoked, the Company announced during the week it would shut down and look up to a future of renewed investment in the Indian market. It also hinged its future interest on ‘clarity on the auction process and telecommunications policy and greater legal and regulatory certainty and stability’





STel also announced it would shut down and transfer its customers to other networks.





Meanwhile, there were indications that Etisalat was on its way to court to press for damages against its Joint Venture Partners whom it claimed offered misinformation in its acquisition process of Swan.




Cyberschuulnews 457


Hacktivists promise to shut down The Internet

March 31is target date

(CyberschuulNews New York)








The infamous Hacktivists group Anonymous, Internet’s Boko Haram, has threatened to shut down the Internet for a period of time on March 31 to protest SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act).




The group pledges to bring down the 13 root DNS servers of the Internet,  and in their estimation “by cutting these off the Internet, nobody will be able to perform a domain name lookup, thus, disabling the HTTP Internet, which is, after all, the most widely used function of the Web.” The group says anybody entering or any other URL, will get an error page, and consequently “they will think the Internet is down, which is close enough”.




The group says it is aiming at ‘our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun’.




They say, however that the act will last about an hour. 'Maybe more and may be even  a few days' according to the statement.







Prospects for early broadband penetration emerge

(CyberschuulNews Essex)








There is anecdotal evidence to support that the prospects of further proliferation of broadband internet access in Nigeria.




Various critical collaborations which promise to augment access and provide a basis for expansion of broadband infrastructure are known to have emerged from the 2011 Broadband Investment Summit which was hosted by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria.




On one hand is the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC whose Chief Executive Dr Eugene Juwah told a Lagos audience two weeks ago that Consultants are at work on the Commission’s inroad process. There are also collaborations in which various interests are already confirmed. Included in these synergies are ATCON, MainOne Cable Co, Phase3 Telecom, Dancom Technologies, Layer3, and several others.






Access to Technology:

New Law provides mandatory access for people with disabilities

(CyberschuulNews Lagos)





                                Babatunde Fashola




Lagos State Government is known to be putting together an implementation Agency for its Law against discrimination of people with disabilities which was enacted in 2011. The Agency will be called The Office for Disability Affairs.




The Law known as Lagos State Special People’s Law 2011 provides a safeguard for people living with disability against all forms of discrimination and equalise their opportunities in all aspects of living in the society. It provides mandatory welfare for citizens who live with disabilities on matters of employment, access to technology on the job training, compensation, social interaction and communication.




It specifically provides for every company whose business entails attending to the general public shall within 5 (five) years transitory period have in their employment personnel who are properly trained, adequately knowledgeable and sufficiently competent to attend to its customers or clients who are persons living with disability.




It also requires that public buildings must be constructed with the necessary accessibility aids such as lifts, ramps and others that shall make them accessible and usable to persons living with disability and forbids discrimination against a person living with disability in any manner.




On employment, the law requires that employers of labour employing up to 100 persons shall reserve at least 1 % of such workforce for qualified persons living with disability




There are inculcations that the law is a popular one among employers of labour many of who think the law is as it should be.




President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ATCON Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, for example said in Abuja at the weekend that the telecommunications industry will welcome and embrace the law which he described as ‘necessary, sensible, and commendable’. He said these are the kind of steps that will take Nigeria out of underdevelopment into the rank of ‘soon to be developed economies’





Promos/lotteries clarified

as Communications Commission and Lottery Commission sign MoU

(CyberschuulNews Abuja)





                                                              Eugene Juwa and Peter Igho




The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has absolved itself from any responsibility for  lotteries as it says their regulation belongs firmly in the jurisdiction of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC.




Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC and Mr. Peter Igho, Director General of the NLRC signed an MoU in Abuja during the week putting to rest the confusion over telecom operators who engage in lotteries and who probably claimed that their recognized regulator is NCC. According to Dr. Juwah, “It is the lottery Commission that would say whether an activity is a lottery, who has to pay what, how much to pay to a winner. And the operators need to know that the lottery Commission does not need our approval to enforce their laws against any operator who defaults in the practice of lottery”,




The two Commissions advised phone users to differentiate between promos which are mere incentives given to subscribers, and lottery which is a game of chance where people are advised to enter based on some form of payments or deductions after which a draw takes place where a winner is selected by chance. He also explained that when the rules are followed, the NLRC ensures that the winners get the exact thing promised by the lottery operator and that the operators also pay appropriate fees and deductions to the government in such way funds realized will be used for social and infrastructure development and not for profiteering by the operating company.




Google's deal on Motorola Mobility

(CyberschuulNews Long Island)





                                                           Larry Page




Google's impending US$12.5 billion acquisition of mobile-phone and tablet maker Motorola Mobility has moved ever close to reality following the approvals the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission respectively.



The deal is not in the bag yet as Google is still waiting for approvals from China (with which it has a strained relation), Israel Taiwan and Canada.



Though the regulators on both sides of the pond have given their approval, they remain sceptical of Google – due to its dominance. It will appear that they had approved the acquisition by default i.e. they could not make a case for the acquisition not to go through. They went out of their way to warn Google not to abuse the patents and they would be watching.



Earlier today, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia was quoted as saying "This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices. This is our worry. … We might be obliged to open some cases in the future. This is not enough to block the merger but we will be vigilant.’


























Copy &Paste from Other Journals





ICT Minister urges ‘joined at the hip’ MTN, SPTC to cease hostilities

Telegeography, 17 Feb 2012








Swaziland’s Minister of ICT Winnie Magagula has publicly called for an end to the ongoing hostilities between national telecoms regulator the Swaziland Posts and Telecommunication Corporation (SPTC) and the country’s sole wireless operator MTN Swaziland. According to the Times of Swaziland, Magagula said that she hopes that the dispute – which relates to SPTC’s attempts to launch fixed-wireless services under the ‘ONE’ brand name – can be solved in the boardroom rather than the courtroom, arguing that the two entities cannot do without one another as they are ‘joined at the hip’. MTN believes that ONE contravenes the long-standing Joint Venture Agreement that forbids SPTC from competing with it, but SPTC maintains that it faces financial collapse if it abandoned the fixed-wireless initiative, on account of the substantial sum already invested in it.




During a tour of MTN’s facilities this week, Magagula told board members and staff: ‘I have to see to it that there is harmony between the two companies. There is no way that the government can sit back and watch the fight. Swazi MTN is a child of SPTC and therefore there is no way you can run away from each other. You are a creature of statutes. You are stuck together. I also told SPTC the same thing. I urge you to harmonise your relationship. We have to move out of court corridors and to the boardroom. I urge MTN and SPTC to rekindle the relationship that existed from 1997. Once you harmonise you will give cheaper services to citizens’.




taken from








Student Facebook hacker gets eight months

by Chris Matyszczyk February 18, 2012 for news.cnet








A software development student in the U.K. who hacked into Facebook via an employee's account is jailed after being found guilty of stealing intellectual property.




It's normally parents who tell you they're doing something unpleasant for your own good.




However, this was also the explanation offered by 26-year-old Glenn Mangham, who was yesterday given eight months of incarceration for hacking into Facebook's inner sanctum.




The Guardian records Mangham's words to the court: "It was to identify vulnerabilities in the system so I could compile a report that I could then bundle over to Facebook and show them what was wrong with their system."




I know there are at least 14 altruistic people in the world. This court, though, seems to have decided that Mangham, a software development student, wasn't one of them.




Indeed, the proceedings dwelled a little on what might have been his motivation for using a Facebook employee's account to burrow into the company's secrets.




Mangham's lawyer suggested that his client was really a sort of Harrison Ford or Nicolas Cage: "He saw this as a challenge. This is someone who in previous times would have thrown everything aside to seek the source of the Nile."




Oddly, even the judge decided that Mangham had not done this for financial gain, nor even to pass the information he had gleaned to dangerous entities like the KGB or Google.




And yet he was tossed into jail for eight months--principally, it seems, because he entered the systems of an important company.




The judge actually declared: "You accessed the very heart of the system of an international business of massive size, so this was not just fiddling about in the business records of some tiny business of no great importance."




Some might conclude, therefore, that British justice is rather more inclined to protect the 1 percent and their businesses, rather than the 99 percent.




Such a conclusion might cause certain upper lips to stiffen with anger, given this apparent indifference to justice for all.




Still, Mangham clearly knows a thing or two about Facebook. Perhaps, once his time inside is done, he might receive a lunch invitation or two--just to, you know, see if he can offer a little background.




Perhaps, at least, he might visit a bier keller with Austrian law student Max Schrems, who is enjoying a very noble and interesting battle to help people get information from Facebook--their own.




taken from:



Cyberschuulnews 456


OIC- CERT hires

a Nigerian Cyber-security expert as Advisor





Abdul Hakeem Ajijjola




The Chair of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) Computer Emergency Response Team (OIC-CERT), Malaysia’s Professor DatoHusin Bin Jazri has appointed Nigeria’s Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola as his Advisor. The appointment took effect from January 1, 2012.





The mission of the OIC-CERT is to provide a platform for member countries to collaborate in matters pertaining to cyber security, strengthen their self-reliance in cyberspace and support the smooth collaboration and cooperation between CERTs among the OIC member countries and other CERT stakeholders.




Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola is Executive Chairman, Consultancy Support Services (CS2) Ltd., an Information Communication Technology (ICT)/ Cyber Security, Human Resources and Organization Effectiveness consultancy firm, based in Abuja. He served as Senior Special Assistant Innovation and Technology to the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President and Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1999-2010 and is a very well regarded cyber-security expert in the Nigerian ICT industry.






NCC refutes ‘N75 Million for Toilet Doors’ story






The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has refuted recent media reports suggesting that the Commission was queried by the House of Representatives for budgeting N75million for just toilet doors and keys.




Reuben Muoka, Head, Media and Public Relations of the Commission said the tone of the report  were clearly contrary to the atmosphere of understanding that pervaded the budget defence by the Commission and described the reports as mere fabrication of inaccuracies and misrepresentation of facts.




Mr. Muoka said the sum of N75 Million under reference was for major works which were fully evaluated by the Commission before the budget submission. They include repainting of the external walls of the Commission’s headquarters building, repairs and repainting of the steel roof structures. This is in addition to a major face lift of the reception areas, waiting room, two-wing canteen facilities with several equipments, provision of directional signs in the 9-storey edifice of the Commission, in addition to replacement of old and unbefitting toilet doors and locks.




He said “There was also no query by the Committee on the provision of the sum of N30 Million in the budget for procurement of furniture at the headquarters of the Commission, and four Zonal Offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Ibadan. The N10 Million provision for air conditioners at the headquarters building is for the phased replacement of some air conditioners which have served out their useful life as procurement of new ones is more cost effective than the high cost of maintaining the old ones”.






UK regulator shows its mettle








Beyond innovation and proliferation, one the area of greatest progress in telecoms has been made in respect of the conventional role of the authorities in determining the regulatory rules and applying them. Whether it is the FCC or the NCC, the regulator has been instrumental in reforming the conventional prudential regulatory framework and its application through supervision. 


In the UK, the telecoms regulator OFCOM is calling for the reduction of the cost of broadband and landline services for consumers in line with similar calls by the European Commission.


It is difficult to ascertain whether it is a response to simmering resentment towards BT from other providers on the issue of its dominance, but Ofcom, for the third time, has set the prices that Openreach - the infrastructure division of the BT Group - charges. It advocates BT reduces the cost of a broadband and phone line from £91.50 a year to £87.41, and to reduce the cost of a broadband only line from £14.70 a year to £11.92.


The proposals have been submitted to the European Commission, which has a month to comment on the changes. If approved, Ofcom expects the changes to come into force from April.


Naturally BT is unhappy and expresses its dissatisfaction with what it says are the underlying assumptions on which Ofcom has made its deliberations on the latest charge controls and may lodge an appeal.


In a statement, BT said: ‘Our primary concern throughout this process is to ensure that we are able to achieve a fair rate of return to continue our investment in the future of the UK's communications infrastructure.’


Ofcom said the proposed price cuts had taken into account the contentious issue of the cost of running the network of underground ducts used to carry copper lines to properties which had provoked hostilities from other communication providers which forced to revise its draft prices a year ago.






Yahoo’s Chairman pays the ultimate price








It has been a tumultuous few months at Yahoo. First its CEO Carol Bartz was forced to quit by the Yahoo board in September for  failing to turn around the company’s flagging fortunes; over Christmas, the talk was of  colleagues ‘walking out of the office with boxes at night’; In January  co-founder Jerry Yang had to resign from its board after 16 years for turning down a $47.5bn (£31bn) takeover offer from Microsoft in 2008 – calamitous decision given Yahoo's share price has hovered around $15 ever since late 2008, after Yang rejected an acquisition offer from Microsoft of $33 a share.


Now, in what is either shareholders further venting their spleen or a complete break from the past, Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock has become the latest casualty in the leadership shake-up at the beleaguered company as it attempts to turn around its fortunes to regain investor confidence. In the latest shake-up, Bostock announced that he and three other directors - Vyomesh Joshi, Gary Wilson and Arthur Kern would not stand for re-election. As the company is also in active discussions to sell its Asian assets, including a stake in Alibaba, the Chinese internet firm ironically interested in buying Yahoo, perhaps it is a case of  ‘new broom sweeps clean’ with most of its directors being  new to the board this year, and all directors will have joined since 2010.


Yahoo has  witnessed a 40 basis points drop in its explicit core search engine share which came down to 14.1 percent in January from 14.5 percent in December. Its competitor Google, on the other hand, extended its gains by another 30 basis points to settle at 66.2 percent in the same period. With such damning figures, it was inevitable that heads will roll.






FG gets NSE’s nod for privatization of Engineering Companies








Federal Government’s privatization programme under which engineering companies are privatized received a boost on Saturday when President of Nigerian Society of Engineers endorsed it and forecast that $10billion would be generated annually for the next decade if the programme is successful.




Engr Mustapha Balarabe Shehu who was inaugurated as 28th President of the Association told  Nigerians that the on-going power sector reform/privatization exercise is expected to open a new line of business that will see the injection of not less than $10billion per annum for the next decade, ‘if the exercise succeeds’.




He however warned that ‘if Nigeria does not position itself well, the massive injection of capital, mostly from foreign firms from India, China and Europe will not be domiciled in-country’ The consequence of such a scenario which we have already seen in other sectors of the economy will be catastrophic for Nigeria because an influx of foreign engineers, technologists, technicians and artisans will result in unemployment for Nigerians.




He suggested that the privatized companies allocate their shareholding in the order of 30%, 15%, 35% and 20% to the Nigerian public, workers of the enterprise, the core investor, and Federal Government respectively.





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