Sealing Telecom Base Stations offends
A telecommunications engineer took a swipe at the incident of sealing
telecommunications base stations describing it as dangerous, tactless and
Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, who recently completed a term as President, Association
of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, told a panel of
television interviewers on Channels TV that agencies of government must
regard telecommunications facilities as national security infrastructure
which should neither be destroyed nor prevented from performing optimally
no matter what point was being made and under any circumstances.
He considered it wrong to deliberately prevent maintenance services at
telecom facilities for whatever reasons as the action could be dangerous
to the security of the country if the base station under consideration
was a strategic one which a few of them are. He suggested, instead, that
such agencies of government should consider sealing the head offices of
their offenders rather than toying with critical essential services for
He also said all international and world class health Institutions have
been saying that the argument that radio frequencies cause cancer in
human beings is a popular fallacy.
The Aerial Fibre Optic Edge
Phase3telecom leads in its Application for Long Distance Data
Ecology, community hostilities, road, water and other construction works,
high mean repair time after damage, erosion, and such other constraints
are major obstacles of direct buried fibre infrastructure and it explains
why aerial fibre systems are viable options for many developing
These and other points were succinctly made by Mr Stanley Jegede, CEO of
phase3telecom Ltd who urged telecoms operators in the country to embrace
aerial optic fibre cable for their long distance data communications.
Mr. Jegede said this at an Information and Communications Technology
forum in Abuja, and also made the point that aerial fibre optic routes
offered both cheaper and more reliable services than their terrestrial
equivalent; adding that operators would make their customers happy if
they adopted the system.
Words came out of the recently concluded South-South economic Summit in
Asaba that Phase3telecom Ltd was commended for the robust bouquet of
services it provided for the Summit.
Head Corporate Administration & Marketing, Phase3Telecom, Mr. Mark
Chiazor, confirmed the story and said further that “As a transmission
company, Phase3 Telecom has an unmatched and most reliable transmission
network in Nigeria and the entire West Africa. Our open-access based
innovative network is second to none in reliability and that is why we
have consistently delivered on customers’ expectations,”
Nigerians Cry for Improved
Electricity, ..... reject Tariff Hike
Power reform officials in Nigeria display confusion in response to public
contempt for their unconvincing roadmap into taking Nigeria out of years
of darkness into brighter days. Prof Barth Nnaji. Minister of Power. and
his orchestra of arrogant communication assistants have been hopping from
one TV station to the other vomiting blasphemy when what is required is a
record of reasonable official actions and sound engineering and
management decisions. In the following EDITORIAL of VANGUARD NEWSPAPERS
on May 17, 2012, the newspaper predicts that all the myriad of contracts
and their conflicting technologies will spell another round of doom for
Electricity in Every Language
VANGUARD EDITORIAL on May 17, 2012
DOUBTS about the increasing confusion in our electricity transformation
programme are strengthened by the relentless quest of Nigerian officials
to snap up contracts in all languages.
We currently have them in English, French, German, Japanese and Mandarin
(Chinese). More will follow.
When the world has deep concerns about compatibility of technologies,
Nigeria is on a reckless global search for resources from all sources for
its flagging electricity supply. Some of the agreements and their
*President Goodluck Jonathan on a visit to Germany in April, visited
Siemens and officials signed new electricity contracts.
*The French government signed a N31.4 billion contract with Nigeria on
behalf of its companies to undertake feasibility studies, to select and
construct high voltage transmission lines and sub-stations.
*A N2 billion contract was signed with the Japanese government for solar
system at Umaru Ya’dua University in Katsina. Japan’s contributions to
the electricity sector, its embassy officials said, were more than N157.
52 billion since 2000.
*Power Minister, Bart Nnaji said last March that General Electric, an
American company, signed a $10 billion deal with the Federal Government.
GE said it would take only 10 to 15 per cent interest in the business. In
August 2010, government officials suggested $100 billion as conservative
estimate for new power plants and transmission lines over the next
*The Federal Government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with
Global Biofuels Limited, for construction of 15 integrated bio-fuel
plants in the country. The bio-fuel plant is estimated to gulp about N414
The project is expected to create 120, 000 direct and 750,000 indirect
jobs across the value chain and link 15 states to cheap bio-fuel
generated electricity at 30 megawatts per state. China would provide 70
per cent of the funds while the rest would be from financial
According to the promoters: “The project is agro-industrial, which will
use sweet sorghum as raw materials to produce ethanol.”
It is instructive that a contract with the Chinese in one of the plants
fell into controversy when the Chinese departed. All the operating
manuals of the plant are in Mandarin. Yet more contracts are being signed
with more countries, in inaccessible languages, without any visible
improvements in electricity supply.
None of the contracts has addressed the nagging issues of gas supply,
funding, transmission and the more neglected matters of rising costs of
electricity — consumers pay without service and no meters in most places.
Government officials are treating electricity as another of the
challenges Nigeria faces. It is a major challenge with consequences that
adversely affect other sectors. All these contracts and their conflicting
technologies will spell another round of doom for electricity supply.
Yahoo's CEO resigns amidst certificate
After a few weeks of investigating his claim to possessing a degree in computer
science, Yahoo Inc. an internet company, found out that its CEO, Mr Scott
Thompson, lied and the latter has had to resign.
Mr Thompson assumed the position of CEO of the troubled Yahoo only in
January of 2012.
Yahoo confirmed Thompson's departure in an official press release and
said Ross Levinsohn would act as CEO for now and until further notice.
The firm also announced that Roy Bostock's seat as Chairman of the board
will be filled by Fred Amoroso.
2 months to electricity stability –
Goodluck Jonathan, Barth Nnaji, Sam Amadi all say that is a promise.
Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, gave a fresh pledge for reliable
power during the week when he talked at a Ministerial briefing brokered
by the Federal Ministry of Information in Abuja. He said gaps which lack
of gas supply to new power generating station caused in the past have now
been bridged by a solid plan for gas supply to the stations.
He gave two months as target time when things would start happening for
the better. Those who believed him clapped while those who did not booed.
In another Power Reform implementation meeting, President Jonathan joined
both Prof Nnaji and Dr Sam Amadi - Chairman, Nigerian Electricity
Regulatory Commission to reaffirm the reality of achieving improvement in
Lagos State’s LASIMRA changes name to
Lagos State has established a new agency which sets out to do what
LASIMRA was set up to do but under a new name and in apparent manoeuvre
to beat Federal Laws which forbid states to regulate Telecommunications.
Lagos State had, in 2006, lost a legal battle to impose unfair tarrif on
telecommunication service providers under the pretence that it was to
protect the environment in its domain. But the courts ruled that Lagos
State, or any state for that matter, has no right to regulate
With UFRU, Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit, Lagos State, apparently, must
have chosen to define telecommunication masts as Urban Furniture and it
is set out to go into battle under Mr Joe Igbokwe, the same CEO who
States and Local governments in Nigeria have never hidden their desire to
eat into telecommunication service provision since 2003 when telephone
operators told the world that there was money to make in the industry.
Chances are that the operators will lock horn with Lagos State in court
and in the process all masts will be replaced with fibre infrastructure
which is the next level of telecommunication infrastructure development
in emerging markets.
UFRU will then change to something else with little to record as reason
for its existence.
Broadband is a Can-do and Must-do for
Nigeria – CommTech Minister
Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, told
a special business forum on broadband facilitated by Accenture in Lagos
last Monday that the subject of broadband applications has been so widely
discussed, understood and accepted that it must be addressed from four
According to her, broadband must be regarded first as critical
infrastructure just as it should be used as catalyst for economic growth.
It should also be seen as a means of inclusive social development and
ultimately for effective government and governance at all levels.
Discussants at the special forum were unanimous in concluding that what
stood between Nigeria and broadband applications is the endemic and
erratic public power supply.
MTN gets NCC s Query on unreported
Service failure in Lagos
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, alleged midweek that the MTN
network in Lagos area suffered a breakdown but the operator did not
report the incident neither did it inform its subscribers about the
failure in accordance with prescribed regulation on such matters.
According to reliable sources the Commission received complaints that MTN
subscribers in the Lagos area had experienced protracted difficulties in
the use of their phones and upon investigation, it found that the MTN’s
switch was down, a situation which ought to be communicated to the
Commission, and brought to the knowledge of the subscribers by the phone
A query issued to the Company and made public by the Commission said,
specifically, that “It has (also) been brought to our notice that the MTN
Switch in Lagos is down and MTN has neither informed its subscribers, nor
communicated this unfortunate development to the Commission as required”.
It demanded explanation.
The Commission warned that failure to respond as directed might result in
invocation of its powers to sanction MTN appropriately.
body, Africa ICT Alliance (AfICTA) launched
A release by its secretariat says AfICTA is a private sector led alliance
of ICT Associations, multinational corporations and organizations with
the responsibility of enabling Africa to meet the social and economic
growth challenges of the 21st Century and to bring stakeholders together
to achieve the mutual goals of the region through cooperation, advocacy
The founding countries of the Alliance are Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South
Africa, The Gambia and Tunisia. They are all members of the World
Information Technology & Services Alliance (WITSA), which harnesses
the resources of the ICT sector in over 80 countries around the world to
play the same enabling role in the global environment.
Dr Jimson Olufuye, WITSA Vice Chairman for Africa and former President of
the Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria (ITAN), is the
initial Chairman of AfICTA. He says the Alliance's goals are to support
local and continental advocacy, improve digital literacy, partner with
the African Union and related agencies to achieve Information Society
targets, engage African ICT professionals and experts in global ICT
governance dialogues and enhance Africa's competitiveness in the sector
Consumers advised to
reject hike in Electricity Tariff for as long as PHCN dispenses
It has been
suggested that until there is improvement in electricity service
delivery, the proposed hike in electricity tariff in Nigeria would have
neither a basis not a justification.
This is an
opinion expressed by Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, an engineer, while responding to
questions after he delivered a lecture on ‘Fibre-to-the-home aspect of
Broadband Infrastructure’ at a telecommunication training in Lagos last
weekend. He said the proposed increases in electricity tariff ‘are
not justifiable and therefore should not be acceptable to Nigerians’. He
dismissed the agenda to raise tariff as the work of the Bureau for Public
Enterprises, BPE, which uses privatisation templates that are not
relevant to Nigeria’s circumstances.
He examined the
trajectory of current energy reform and concluded that until the reform
separates liberalisation from privatisation and pursues the earlier truly
and genuinely, the motion without movement which characterised the past
one year of the reform would continue.
FG’s Committee Report jolts ComTech Sector
watchers have expressed worries over the future of information
communication technology development in Nigeria going by emerging
body-talks from Federal Government’s overall reform agenda. An
Oransaye Committee Report set the industry dizzying last week when
strange recommendations from it suggested significant alignment of
agencies and parastatals of government in the ICT industry.
told Cyberschuulnews.com on telephone that a committee which was given
eight weeks to work but ended up spending eight months could not
have failed to show that a problem exists either in the minds of the
committee members or in those of their principals. It wondered how the
major issues that the Committee prescribed solutions for could have been
accomplished in eight weeks in the first instance. ‘It was either the
President did not define what he wanted or the Committee did not know
what the President set out to achieve. The recommendations present as
reasonable but certainly not thoughtful’.
shortly after public outcry over a shoddy attempt at an ICT Policy review
for the communication technology sector is seen as pointer to high
prospect of the sector ultimately flying into turbulent weather.
NCC unseals a base
station sealed by NESREA
Communications Commission, NCC, may have decided to check the excesses of
its fellow Federal Agency, NESREA which in the past few years has taunted
telephone service providers to no end.
Monday in Abuja,
the NCC unsealed a Telecom Base Station which was earlier sealed by the
National Environment Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency,
NESREA. The Commission said that NESREA's action is interference on its
regulatory activities as the Agency has repeatedly discountenanced the Commission's
regulation on installation of masts and towers.
telecommunications while NESREA regulates the environment.
The ‘mama’s got a
brand new job’ manner in which the NESREA has carried on since its
establishment a few years ago has truly put spanners in the works of
telephone development which NCC had supervised for close to two decades
and efforts to harmonise the requirements of the two regulators must have
operators have said, in frustration, that it was difficult to be
subjected to several regulations especially when the prescriptions of the
regulators start conflicting.
ATCON to elect its
Exco on Friday
of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON will conduct election
into its National Executive Council at an Annual General Meeting
scheduled for Friday April 27 in Lagos.
A notice posted
by the Association in its official bulletin, ATCONNEWS THIS WEEK, says at
the close of nomination of Candidates on April 16, 2012, front runners
among those vying for various positions include Engr. Lanre Ajayi (CEO,
Pinet Infomatics Ltd); Mr. Olusola Teniola (COO, Phase3 Telecom Ltd);
Engr. Anthony Nwosu (CEO Global Access Technologies Ltd); Mr David O.
Roberts (CEO Cebit Park Ltd.); Mrs Aderonke Adeyegbe (CEO, Rossoffice
Systems Ltd.); Mr. Myke Ofili, Head, Business Development, HeliosTowers
Nigeria); Mr. Sunday Oyekanmi Gbenjo (CEO, Total Telecom Solutions Ltd.);
and Mr Akinlabi Akin Akinbo (CEO AAA Infotek Ltd.).
All positions in
the Council are being contested.
Evans sees strong
GDP contribution from wireless broadband
Mr Steve Evans,
CEO of Etisalat in Nigeria has projected that wireless broadband services
could contribute up to 1.22% (N862 billion) to Nigeria’s GDP by year 2015
if the right policies come in place.
contained in a presentation made on his behalf by Mr Ibrahim Dikko,
Director, Regulatory Affairs of the Company at the NCC Stakeholders’
Forum as input to the Commission’s five year, 2013 – 2017, Strategic
Mr Evans who
identified spectrum for 4G, power supply, government intervention and
backbone infrastructure as the major resources critical to addressing the
availability of broadband argued that government should make the 2.6GHz
spectrum available at a fair price and to also address the issues of
taxation, right of way, security of telecom infrastructure and
facilitation of the national backbone and Fibre-to-the home
According to him
‘In Bridging the Digital Divide, Nigeria has come a long way with
developing voice services. The next growth area is Data and Broadband
will be key’.
United Nations body
set to meet on enhanced cooperation on the Internet.
The UN Commission
on Science and Technology for Development, CSTD, will hold an open,
interactive meeting on enhanced cooperation on public policy issues
pertaining to the Internet on 18 May 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland.
In its resolution
(A/RES/66/184) on "Information and communications technologies for
development," the UN General Assembly invites the Chair of the CSTD
to convene a "one-day open, inclusive and interactive meeting,
involving all Member States and other stakeholders, particularly those
from developing countries, including the private sector, civil society
and international organizations, with a view to identifying a shared
understanding about enhanced cooperation on public policy issues
pertaining to the Internet, in accordance with paragraphs 34 and 35 of
the Tunis Agenda".
It will be
recalled that in 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
Tunis Agenda outlined the establishment of an Internet Governance Forum
(IGF) and enhanced cooperation amongst the existing frameworks that
address Internet related issues.
cooperation refers to greater cooperation among existing
The IGF itself is
undergoing continuous improvement and now moves into its 7th global IGF
meeting. The discussions on enhanced cooperation originate from the Tunis
Agenda that any enhanced cooperation “will involve all stakeholders in
their respective roles”, and such cooperation must be fully consistent
with the WSIS mandate that Internet governance be “multilateral,
transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the
private sector, civil society and international organizations.”
Open Dialogue to
Open Access as NCC takes input from Industry
Communications Commission, NCC, went away with tons of recommendations on
immediate future of industry development when, last Friday, it hosted
stakeholders to a forum which provided input to its Year 2013-2017
Strategic Management plans.
was counselled to regulate access to, and prices of, existing backbone and
last mile distribution infrastructure such as to create competition and
provide further incentives to new entrants to deploy only unavailable
infrastructure. The objective should not be to stifle growth in
infrastructure development but to ensure that efficient competition is
fostered and infrastructure builds are appropriately directed to meet
areas where those needs truly exist, whilst services requirement in areas
with existing backbone infrastructure could be immediately
across all sectors of the telecommunications industry, except the CDMA
operators, took turns to make input in the form of presentations to
an audience which included Members of House of Representatives Committee
on Communications, Industry players, top executives of the Commission,
the Consumer Protection Council and the media.
operators were unanimous in their request for a streamlining of the
USPFUND and protection for infrastructure in meeting the rapid universal
access objective of government, just as consumer and industry advocacies
canvassed reform in penalty for poor service to compensate consumer
rather than payment of fine to Government.
Dr Eugene Juwah
hinges the Commission’s hope for resolving the difficult issue of poor
quality of service on a recent approval and gazetting of the Quality of
Service Regulations by the Federal Ministry of Justice. This, according
to him, will strengthen the NCC to take some severe measures when service
providers are found wanting. He also revealed that the Commission
recently engaged the services of seven Drive-Test contractors to carry
out quality of service drive-testing in the six geo-political zones and
Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, CTO, was not present to
make its presentation, it sent input which advises NCC on the need to
conceive a National Broadband Infrastructure with special extended focus
on ICT’s for the elderly, disability and the youth.