CyberschuulNews Editions 466 - 470



Cyberschuulnews 470

Sealing Telecom Base Stations offends National Security

A telecommunications engineer took a swipe at the incident of sealing telecommunications base stations describing it as dangerous, tactless and abominable.
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 society.
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 economies.
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 supply.
Electricity in Every Language

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 implications:
*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 decade.
*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 billion.
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 institutions.
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.
taken form
Yahoo's CEO resigns amidst certificate scandal

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.

Cyberschuulnews 469

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 power supply.
Lagos State’s LASIMRA changes name to UFRU

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 telecommunications.
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 headed LASIMRA.
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.



Cyberschuulnews 468

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 perspectives.
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 company.
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.



Continental InfoTech 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 and leadership.
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






Cyberschuulnews 467


Consumers advised to reject hike in Electricity Tariff  for as long as PHCN dispenses darkness  

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 

Industry 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.

Informed analysts told 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’. 

That, coming 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 

The Nigerian 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. 

NCC regulates 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 failed totally.

Telephone 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 

The Association 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. 

This was 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 Management Plan. 

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 infrastructure.

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. 

Enhanced cooperation refers to greater cooperation among existing organizations. 

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.”


 Cyberschuulnews 466 

Open Dialogue to Open Access as NCC takes input from Industry 

The Nigerian 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. 

The Commission 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 addressed. 

Speakers from 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.

Telephone 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 Lagos. 

Although the 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.



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