The Future is about Video Demand
Echoes of Nigeria Broadband Forum 2012
the recent NCC’s Broadband Forum which held in
Lagos said so much to show that now that the legacy 20:80 voice /data
ratio has virtually transformed into an 80:20 in favour of data, the
video demand future of the market, even standing alone, provides
incontestable ground for quick government intervention in broadband
ubiquity in the emerging and promising Nigerian market.
NCC, went straight into chesting out its often
repeated 3-way roadmap, namely the utility, equal access and passive
infrastructure models. Delegates said , good and
well said, its the beginning, not the end.
‘Relax, we are talking’. .
. . . . said CommTech Minister
Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology said matter-of-factly that
serious engagement was going on with the State governments to seek out
ways to reduce Right of Way charges.
Granted that per linear meter charge is understandable since
states have to seek out ways for internally generated revenue but the
‘infrastructure taxing at the point of investment’, she said, is clearly
a growth inhibitor. She assured that engagement with the Stakeholders in
the states was taking place and the outcome would be known soon. Other
initiatives to tackle the ecosystem for Broadband include creation of
havens for software entrepreneurs, ICT incubators, venture capital
streams and the like.
Spectrum and a switch over to the famous ‘beauty contest’ model of
frequency allocation was mooted by Mr. Kamar Abass, Chief Executive of LM Ericson in Nigeria. ‘It
is now getting critical to reduce OpEx’, he
said and , ‘there should be an emphasis on the Network Operators proving
themselves via a form of ‘audition’ rather than ‘auctioning’ to the
MTN’s Lynda St. Nwafor argued that the ‘scissor effect’ must be
avoided by all means for Mobile Network Operators to remain profitable
and sustainable while MainOne’s Funke Opeke gave a resounding case for infrastructure
sharing and how Open Access would lead to efficiencies in supply and
drastically reduce Operating Expenses
Boost for Voice/Data Service in Nigeria
as PANAFTEL Wireless joins local Mobile Network Market
this century-compliant Mobile Network Operator which said it is out to
build voice/data solutions across Nigeria made a limited launch of its
service in Lagos during the week. It is called PANAFTEL Wireless Ltd.
Oluremi Sogbetun lead a team of five executives of the firm to tell
industry players many of who are active SME’s
that Panaftel is executing a Nationwide coverage license for services
that are conceived and planned on iBurst
technology and one which would make the urgently required impact on
quality for money service all round the country.
Messers Victor Oisaghie (CEO) and Lekan Balogun, (Director Marketing) said their business
solutions have rural Nigeria very much in mind.
Behold; 4,000Km of fibre to add to Phase3 Network soon
is set to expand its network by another 4,000 kilometres of fibre, which
would extend service to various local communities in Nigeria.
revealed by its Chief Operating Officer Mr Sola Teniola as he received an
industry Award of The Best Internet Infrastructure Service Provider in
Nigeria last weekend. Sola Teniola is also Vice President of ATCON
organisers of The Africa Information Society Merit Award (AISMA) said in
a citation that Phase3 has made a significant impact in broadband
connectivity in the West Africa sub region noting that network was
connected to the SAT-3 and other super backbones to give the network a
redundancy on international sub-marine and aerial fibre routes within the
West African sub-region.
‘Concurrence of Broadband Initiatives, a PLUS for Nigeria’
An observation of unusual
concurrence on Nigeria’s thirst for ubiquitous broadband internet
infrastructure has been made and some say it is one in a life time plus
for Nigeria’s planners. Opinion leaders said the practice in the past was
for different brilliant but divergent destinations to be preached by
industry players and eggheads but this issue of Broadband is now one in
which all are agreed that Nigeria is there now and not any longer to take
its right foot forward.
is the consensus that the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, is a
ready tool already existing within the laws to serve at this critical
time to change the fortunes very rapidly.
Not a few
newspaper reports (see BackPage) have already
quoted industry leaders that USPF mandate only needs to be slightly
modified to turn it into a ready tool to make the industry leapfrog on
getting Nigerians on the superhighway to cyberspace very rapidly.
the newspapers reports, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu said ‘It is true, we are as
close to making a breakthrough as slightly modifying our USPF mandate to
take us there.’ He said further that ‘The USPF is a tool that we are yet to use to
advantage and if we move too slowly its object will become
irrelevant and we shall have ourselves to blame for not using it to
leapfrog. Ubiquity of broadband
access is a fragile matter if we do not re-orientate our understanding of
un-served and under-served communities.’
hope’ he said ‘because those who should know have been talking like they
actually know. So we are coasting home’.
Cisco flies the World
further into the Cloud
No other firm
believes in the power of the cloud than Cisco, all things considered. It
keeps throwing goo done into cloud-focused acquisitions. First NDS and
now SDN (Software Defined Marketing). And it just went ahead to announce
last week that it has hired hard usher Marc Benioff
into its board.
? Who wins in Court again?
finally made its threat real by filing additional charges in other
markets outside the USA where it
said, last year, that its rival Samsung copied ‘entire design and user
experience’ from its iPad and iPhone.
Journey to PENTASCOPE
is an imaginary destination in cyberspace. It has never been caught on
Google Search and it may never be. Its first coming was when on March 18,
2003, Nigeria chose to hand over its ailing telecommunications monopoly
to foreign contractors and, as usual, officials in the corridors of
power, actively supported by those who held real power, packaged a burden
in the form of a travel bag and they headed for PENTASCOPE.
like yours truly went out searching for PENTASCOPE in cyberspace and
returned with a report that it never existed. If it did not exist on the
web, we wrote, it could not have existed anywhere. But NITEL was handed
over to it all the same. The remaining, as they say, is history.
Monday another journey began, this time for Nigeria’s comatose public
power subsystem and a fatter packaging has been pulled through. It is a
revisit to PENTASCOPE
however is a difference between the old and the present versions. This
time google search produces several hits. Then
it was four 'experts', now it is eight 'experts'.
Tortoise has just commenced his journey to PENTASCOPE and he is asked
when he would return.
said ‘not until when I am thoroughly and completely finished’
‘Confront Growth Inhibitors and Build IT’ –
A Nigeria Broadband 2012 Forum Verdict
The prevalence of right of way
charges and challenges, infrastructure taxes, enormously high interest
rates and other inhibitors does not constitute insurmountable hassles
after all and there is always the way wherever there is the will. It is
the same in all markets and Nigeria is not an exception.
That sums up consensus of
opinions at the Nigerian Communications Broadband Forum which held in
Lagos mid week.
Alcatel Lucent’s Guillermo
Alarcon said surplus supply is already at the shores of Nigeria. It is a
mobile driven population with bottlenecks sure to arrive as more
applications are made available online. He sensitized the networks on
being ready to absorb this capacity and made reference to Open Access as
a method of resolving various bottlenecks along the way similar to the
approach taken in Kenya. According to him, Broadband should be seen as an
Ecosystem rather than a supply or demand duopoly.
Malcolm Corbett, CEO of
Independent Networks Co-operative Association highlighted the immense
opportunity in Nigeria to scale beyond the heights of countries in
developed states as many developed states have legacy infrastructure and
legacy problems to deal with. Nigeria’s infrastructure is still in its
infancy and can grow meaning they do not have to make the same mistakes
the West has made. He gave examples relating to the change in demand
culture in the United Kingdom with great emphasis placed on the BBC iPlayer.
The BBC is investing heavily
in creating great local libraries of the future via digitizing of BBC
legacy and current contents. Mr Corbett thinks demand for bandwidth is
ever growing and fibre-to-everything is the most important step for
coping with this demand. For better penetration, community broadband
might be the best initiative where the residents take issues into their
Minister Omobola Johnson who
formally opened the Forum had earlier acknowledged a ‘Build IT and IT
would come’ cliché suggesting that building the infrastructure and
content would raise the stakes just as building content, thus demand, and
the infrastructure would also sprout.
‘Let the telecom firms be’
writing for VANGUARD, July 25,
WHEN, a few months ago, the Lagos
State Government created an agency which it named the Urban Furniture
Regulatory Unit (URFU), not a few eyebrows were raised.
In the first instance, not a
few of the raised eyebrows were concerned that in the face of exploding
demand for government resources in the area of services provision, yet
another organization was being created which will further take its own
share of the limited resources.
In an era when the clamour is
for less government, we are indeed expanding the sprawl of governance and
increasing the cost.
But that can come later. What
is of greater concern is the mandate of the new URFU, headed by Mr Joe Igbokwe. I had written about this issue recently under
the headline: As another regulator comes alive in Lagos.
Igbokwe went to town a
fortnight ago, and warned that telecommunications masts which did not
meet ‘installation standard’ would be pulled down.
These standards, largely
unknown, will be applied to telecom masts and I can begin to guess the
first targets. However, it would appear that URFU didn’t just come out of
the blue; an indication to this effect could be discerned a few years
At a public forum in Lagos
during the last year of his tenure as EVC of NCC, Engr Ernest Ndukwe had
informed his audience of concerns in some government quarters in Lagos
about telecom masts, and he had told them that of the figure given by
those who raised the concerns, only about one quarter could be domiciled
in the telecoms sector.
Immediate past president of
ATCON, Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, reacting to URFU’s
declaration of intent said that though 6,196 masts were available in
Lagos state only 1,599 or 25% of them are properties of telecommunication
firms, and Omo-Ettu should know.
A number of issues come up
here: the 75% or 4,597 masts, which do not belong to telecoms firms are
probably the ones URFU is targeting. I assert thus because ina situation where we are all clamouring for
improved telecoms services, telecoms masts should not be pulled down
arbitrarily, lest innocent subscribers be cut off from their service
That already is happening in
various parts of the country, where states and local governments are
shutting down base stations to effect payment of one levy or the other.
In fact, it is disheartening to
see communities which petitioned GSM firms in 2002, 2003 for
establishment of base stations turning around to “gbeghe”
such base stations. That is not counting the recent face-off between
NESREA and NCC on the same issue of “standards”, or uncountable demand
notices fo payment of one levy or the other.
But that is what and who we
are as a people and as a nation. The superstructure of any progressive
society is law and order; in its absence, there is anarchy. If we have a
constitution which stipulates that posts and telecommunications matters
shall be on the exclusive legislative list, the least we can do is to
respect that constitution, and abide by its spirit and letters.
Right now, the only regulator
for the telecoms sector is NCC, and no state or local government should
under any guise try to perform its functions. It is constitutional abuse
to do so.
In any case, why don’t we all
face PHCN and ensure that machinery of state-sponsored extortion stops
tormenting us? Aren’t we all paying more for electricity that is not
supplied? Let the telecoms sector be with its regulator and let us get
another crucial sector off the ground.
Demand Factors for Broadband:
Proceedings of NCC's Nigeria
Broadband Forum 2012
Mr. Desire Karyabwite,
the coordinator Internet Protocol at the BDT (ITU), made the point in
Lagos midweek that public authorities should be a driving factor for
demand in terms of e-government initiatives, transfer customer services
online, and improve processes and communications between and among
government departments. He likened services such as M-PESA (Meaning
Mobile Money in Swahili) in Kenya as a great driving factor and symbol of
success for other mobile payment services.
Another way demand can be
created in Mr Lanre Ajayi submission is by putting online, appropriate
applications that citizens need such as Business, Health delivery,
Revenue payment and more. The problem is not just long distance
communication and penetration but lack of content for consumers to
demand. Creating an appetite for demand would always bring along supply.
How does Google justify
$12.4billion for Motorola Mobility
Google has justified, perhaps
to itself, the hefty $12.4billion which it files SEC papers to justify.
May also be that buying
patents is not a tea party. Not a few people think other wise but that is
only their own problem.
Journey to PENTASCOPE
PENTASCOPE is an imaginary
destination in cyberspace. It has never been caught on Google Search and
it may never be. Its first coming was when on March 18, 2003, Nigeria
chose to hand over its ailing telecommunications monopoly to foreign
contractors and, as usual, officials in the corridors of power, supported
actively by those who held real power, packaged a burden in the form of a
travel bag and they headed for PENTASCOPE.
Busybodies like yours truly
went out searching for PENTASCOPE in cyberspace and returned with a
report that it never existed. If it did not exist on the web, we wrote,
it could not have existed. But NITEL was handed over to it all the same.
The remaining, as they say, is history.
Last Monday another journey
began, this time for Nigeria’s comatose public power subsystem and
another packaging has been pulled through. It is a revisit to PENTASCOPE
There however is a difference
between the present version and the old. This time google
search produces several hits.
Mr Tortoise has just commenced
its journey to PENTASCOPE and he is asked when he would return.
He said ‘not until when I am
thoroughly and completely finished’
Handover of Transmission System to Manitoba sealed by FG
A reform in the Nigerian power
sector has started taking the shape which the reformers said is the
answer to Nigeria's electricity problems . That
should be good news to the telecom sector whose players have said
unavailable public power system poses extreme danger to their
Last Monday, BPE, Nigeria’s
Bureau of Public Enterprises which midwives privatisation of government
firms signed a three-year management agreement with the Manitoba Hydro
International, a Canadian firm, to take over management of the
Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Television cameras caught Mrs Bolanle Onagoruwa Director General, Bureau of Public
Enterprises (BPE) signing while Prof Barth Nnaji Minister of Power
witnessed for and on behalf of Federal Government.
According to Mrs Onagoruwa,
The key objectives of the $23.7million contract is to serve as
stabilization of the national grid, reduction in electricity losses
during transmission, provision for the achievement of certain
predetermined targets that would improve grid security, general performance,
cultural change and staff re-orientation.
Other objectives include
provision for reward and penalty clauses as incentives for success;
provision of efficient management of government investments; ensuring
adequate and equitable generation dispatch according to a fair merit
order based on sound regulatory principles; ensuring fair market
settlements between electricity traders; and provision of skills and
expertise transfer to Nigerian counterparts who will serve as deputy and
other positions to the management staff of the management.
“With the signing of the
agreement, the Federal Government expects the management contractor to
mobilise and resume on Monday, July 30, 2012 with all the eight key
personnel and the associated support staff,” Ms Onagoruwa said.
Minister of Power, Prof Barth
Nnaji, said the deal would see Manitoba managing both the systems and
also the staff. He told the PHCN workers that they have nothing to fear
about the ongoing reform, as it would bring multiplier socio-economic
benefits to the country, particularly for the workers who would build on
their technical competences and skills in the international environment
in the long run.
‘If we do things right, TCN of
Nigeria can have TCN International, and by that we would have gained
competence, best practices and we will be able to sell our competence’.
The workers he was counselling
were on strike as the signing ceremony was going on.
Friday July 27, Prof Barth
Nnaji while answering a Channels TV interviewer said the two months promise he made in May 2012
that things would turn better was having problems which were traceable to
'little hitches here and there'.
For the First time, Microsoft posts a
posted a loss of almost $500 million in its earnings report for its
fourth fiscal quarter. And it is official. The company came up to world
reckoning in 1986.
saw it coming and it therefore did not come as a surprise. The truth may
be that the software giant may be up to a good turnaround very shortly
when Windows Phone 8 comes live.
Smart guy Scott gets a brand new job
e-commerce Shopping outfit has hired Scott Thompson as CEO few weeks
after he was fired at Yahoo for what has been reported to be a
certificate scandal. He listed a degree in Computer Science on his resume
a claim which was found to be false. May 2012, barely five months after
he resumed as CEO of Yahoo Inc, he was excused out of the job.
Philadelphia based ShopRunner said yesterday
(July 23) that it has named 'Internet and payments executive Scott
Thompson its Chief Executive Officer'. ‘Scott joins ShopRunner
at a time when the company is enjoying a fast growth trajectory and
represents the ideal time to bring on a new leader to further accelerate
the company’s expansion. Current CEO and co-founder Mike Golden will
continue with the company as its president’
on resumption said “Joining ShopRunner is a
tremendous opportunity to build on the strong foundation that the company
has already established,”
ShopRunner is 24 months
Court Upholds FCC Move of Universal
Service Funds to Broadband
to the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Appeals Court for
the D.C. Circuit Friday upheld the Commission's decision last fall to plow Universal Service funds into the fertile field
of broadband via the newly created Connect America fund.
Rural Cellular Association and the Universal Service for America
Coalition had challenged the FCC's order.
FCC is migrating phone subsidies to broadband, a transition it has
recognized will be hard on some incumbents -- including smaller rural
carriers -- who relied on those funds.
Lagos State insists on regulating telecommunications
Re-starts Naira for Telecom Masts Campaign
State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) which
went underground two yeas ago after a court ruling over its legitimacy to
regulate telecommunications has now resurrected as ‘Urban Furniture
Regulatory Unit’ (UFRU) of Lagos State. Mr Joe Igbokwe who headed the
former LASIMRA is also the Head of UFRU.
went to town a fortnight ago warning that telecommunications masts which
did not meet ‘installation standard’ would be pulled down.
State Commissioner for the environment Mr. Toyin Ayinde to whom Joe
Igbokwe reports had earlier told the public that any of the morethan 6,000 telecom masts would be examined and
pulled down if they were found to be improperly installed. His figure was
however challenged by Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, a private telecommunication
Consultant who said although 6,196 masts were available in Lagos state
only 1,599 or 25% of them are properties of telecommunication
that piece of information it would appear Igbokwe has now included banks
and other owners of masts to be ready for UFRU’s
is public knowledge that Lagos State was doing all these to shore up
revenue by focusing on telecommunication service providers against whom
it has drawn up a huge charge plan for telecom masts in the state. It
needed to present the case in the form of protecting life and property to
secure public sympathy.
from within Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria
(ALTON) indicate that telephone operators are set to challenge Lagos
State on the matter. A spokesperson of the operators said they would not
hesitate to sue the state if it fails to redirect the mandate of the
agency from intervening in the telecom regulation which is a statutory
function of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Omo-Ettu however thinks the Lagos State plan is a potential huge burden
on telecom growth, quality, and cost. He said it is in the interest of
the public to challenge Lagos State on the matter failure of which
telecom operators might just commence pressure on the Nigerian
Communications Commission for different telephone tariff for Lagos phone
users to cover the unfair cost that the State government was surely going
Constitution empowers NCC only to regulate telecommunications and Lagos
being a big centre of telecom operation in Nigeria is bound to slow down
the progress that has been made in telecommunications and other means
must be found to address the problem.
High quality video Transmission now
recent public presentation of a Global Video Connect by MainOne Cable
company is a resounding answer to requirement for a dedicated video
network connecting to key broadcasters as well as production and
post-production houses enabling them broadcast live television programs
and to also store media content for subsequent access.
The telepresence product
offers high quality, better value and professionally managed broadcast
services on a robust network with low downtime and affordable
Global Video Connect project is a partnership between Main One Cable
Company and Tata Communications. The network is managed by Tata
Communications while marketing and technical support is provided by
MainOne Cable Company.
NCC shuts First Bank Communication
systems for Spectrum Infringement
illegally using 5.4Ghz frequency band, the communication systems of First
Bank branches in Ring Road Ibadan and Alagbaka
in Akure were shut down
NCC enforcement team led by Mr. Efosa Idehen who stormed both banks confirmed that the
frequencies were being illegally used at the banks and it served the
bank’s officials with warrants of arrests for illegal use of licensable
enforcement action, which was carried out with the security personnel,
paralyzed activities at both branches of the banks as the disappointed
customers were forced out of the premises of the banks at midday. Mr. Efosa Idehen, said that the use of illegal frequency band by the
bank is against the prescriptions of the Communications Act 2003.
Ibadan, officials of the bank mounted resistance to the shutdown and the
Operation Manager was arrested and taken to the Iyaganku
Police station. The case was different at Akure
where the officials cooperated with the enforcement team.
will be recalled that the Commission has forewarned all those
transmitting illegally on these frequencies through public notices in the
media and that those in contravention would be prosecuted.
Idehen said the banks would remain shut until
the offending equipment are isolated and taken to the police station.
commended the police for their support to the Commission to sanitize the
air space. He stated that the 5.40GHz is meant for data communication and
can only be issued by companies licensed by the Nigerian communications
ANATEL sanctions Telephone Operators
for poor service
Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications also called Anatel
(in Portuguese, Agência Nacional
de Telecomunicações) placed sanction on three
leading carriers by ordering them to stop selling new mobile lines in
some states until there was improvement in consumer complaints about
dropped calls and poor network coverage.
suspension will be effective on Monday July 23 and remain in place until
the carriers present an investment plan to improve service quality.
any of the carriers violate the sales ban, a
fine of $99,000 per day will be imposed.
affected are TIM Participações (19 States); Grupo Oi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 5 States and Claro in 3
Yahoo: More about its new CEO
years old Marrisa Mayer who was announced as
new CEO of Yahoo last week is also expecting both a baby and fat pay.
Very fat when all benefits offered by yahoo add up.
Marrisa graduated BS
and Msc Computer science, came up to Google as
one of the pioneer staff and rose quickly to the top. The Google big guys
she is leaving behind are happy that hiring one of them is saying they
are just the best around.
new CEO has already told inquisitive new hounds that she will work with
other employees ‘to bring innovative products, content, and personalized
experiences to users and advertisers all around the world’.
Growth Forecasts favour Telecom Sector
uninspiring record of the power sector performance, which telecom service
providers say has been a pain in the neck of business,
contemporary forecasts still favour Nigeria’s telecom industry
retaining its star position within the economy in the years leading to 2015
end time for the current government.
Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of ITU is
expected in Nigeria in two weeks time as guest of Government. Toure, a
bureaucrat known for his passion for Nigeria’s prospects of leading
African markets will be at home with his host Mrs Omobola Johnson,
Minister of Communication Technology. The latter is expected to give a
report card on e-governance agenda and especially to tell the story of a
workable policy which she may present as fulfilling and timely.
will pay a mock visit to Prof Barth Nnaji as bodytalk
to show world concern for the lacklustre performance of the power sector.
He will then head for Lagos July 26 to superintend over NCC’s Broadband Forum for unveiling its blueprint for
the cards are several initiatives which raise the stakes in future
investment climate in Nigeria among which are significant inroads being
made by Long Distance Broadband Infrastructure Providers such as Glo1,
MainOne Cable Co, Phase 3 Telecom and others in bringing access into
hinterlands. Notable among several initiatives is the ATCON (Association
of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria) roadmap which final lap of a
3-phasal approach is being fine-tuned as we speak. According to industry
analysts, the Association will be mobilising emerging entrepreneurs in a
manner that will stimulate broadband investment and content creation into
the hinterlands to increase by at least 20% hinged on focused planning
and funding facilitation.
the industry now has 5 international submarine cables, namely SAT3, Glo1,
MainOne, WACS and ACE all hungry for traffic from the greater Nigeria out
side of Lagos Sea shore.
the other hand, in a cursory overview of the recent SIM Card
registration, JACITAD (Joint Action for ICT Awareness and Development)
which published a status report in May said going by the strict rules of
engagement established by NCC and its technical partners, particularly
NIMC (National Identity management Commission), the Nigeria SIMs database could become the most trusted database
that would eventually make up the planned Nigeria National Identity
databases, in JACITAD's opinion, would include
data from existing government agencies such as INEC (voters’
registration), immigration (international passport registration), FRSC
(drivers’ license) and FIRS (tax registration). These would be integrated
with the Nigeria Identity Number (NIN) to be issued by NIMC.
decision by the NCC to engage NIMC as Technical Consultant to the project
would ensure the seamless integration of the SIMs
card database to the National ID database.
these are tools which the industry managers require to hold firmly to a
credible management of several investments and opportunities which can only
be slowed but not stopped by the clueless, combative journey of a
so-called power sector reform.
Launch of Main One Media Suite is for Tuesday
Cable Company will launch its MainOne Media Suit and a demonstration of
its Global Video Connect, GVC, product on
Tuesday July 17, 2012 in Lagos.
Video Connect is a dedicated global video network with simultaneous
global distribution and reach. It is a solution to content challenges in
today’s evolving global media industry.
is built on the world’s most advanced dedicated video network in
partnership with Tata Communications.
product will benefit broadcasters, studio production houses, crusaders
for religion, sports and music who require sophisticated means of
receiving and broadcasting video content around the world.
Data Centre Administration: Next level in ICT Development
Service Providers, Oil and Gas firms, Financial Institutions especially
Banks, are known to be high stakers in the resourcefulness
of data centres. All eyes are therefore on the emerging markets in Africa
in this regard.
is already known to benefit from a synergy between Capitoline of UK and
KITS Technologies of Nigeria to jointly
mount a training that focuses on best practice data centre design,
operation and management leading to BICSI credits.
of the high-level training include understanding the basics of successful
data centre operational management including the documentation which
should be in place and the policies and procedures to operate. Such
training are known to take issues such as redundant or backup power
supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental
controls and security devices as very important. The training will hold
in Lagos and Kano.
MTN Nigeria builds services on WACS
Nigeria is using the opportunities of its recently launched West African
Cable System (WACS) to introduce a range of new services for business
USD650 million WACS cable system went live in May 2012, linking Europe,
West Africa and South Africa with landings in the UK, Portugal, Canary
Islands, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon,
Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia and
Nigeria the cable is managed by MTN from its landing point to the last
mile operated service. The total capacity of the system is
now has 5 submarine cables linking to its shores in Lagos. They are Sat
3, Glo1, MainOne, WACS and ACE.
‘Driving in Reverse Gear’ – another
title for Oransaye Report
telecommunication engineer has described the Oransaye Report and
recommendations as a solution which seeks to drive Nigeria in reverse
Titi Omo-Ettu made the point at a discussion with a group of young
Nigerians who paid a pre-implementation visit on a project which focuses
on youth development in security applications of technology. Mr Omo-Ettu
commended the young men for their bright ideas and urged them to keep
lifting Nigeria up regardless that those who conceived the ‘Oransaye
ideas’ seek to pull it down.
managers of our polity are stealing our commonwealth blind and they also
want to shut down our research centres in the name of conserving funds’.
He told the young men that they should use their intellect to contest
every inch of Nigeria’s battle ground in the project of using ICT for
development of the country.
Observations in Nigeria's Management
of Power Failure
May 10, 2012, we published Prof Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power’s promise
at a Ministerial briefing of May 9 that two months from then there would
have been signs of positive changes in regularity of electricity supply
usual, he did not sound convincing but he could not be ignored
July 9, 2012, two months after the Ministerial briefing, we selected 500
subscribers of CyberschuulNews (in a Mailing List of 54,336) who are
certainly resident in different parts of Nigeria and put the question to
them by email if they had made any notable observation on power supply in
their locations. The responses to date, put in groups of reactions, are
no change for the better in my
did not expect any improvement in spite of what you said
Minster promised so I am not surprised nothing has
change both in my residence and in my
went worse in my
to this moment, Prof Barth Nnaji is yet to come public with a statement
on the up to date report on the extent to which his two months promise
was accomplished. He has to do so if he wants to be taken seriously by
Flashback to CyberschuulNews Edition 470 of May 10, 2012.
2 months to Stable Electricity –
Goodluck Jonathan, Barth Nnaji, Sam Amadi
all say that is a promise.
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.
gave two months as target time when things would start happening for the
better. Those who believed him clapped while those who did not
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.
Nigeria looses top-seed Software
Founding President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria
(ISPON) and Chairman of Neptune Software, Engr. Simeon Chijioke Agu, died
last week in Lagos.
Simeon Agu, founder and Chairman of Computer Systems Associates (CSA)
Limited was a 1970 Electrical Engineering graduate with Postgraduate
Diploma in Accounting and Finance. He worked for Shell Petroleum
Development Company, later for National Electric Power Authority where he
rose to the position of Director of Computer Services. Then he
incorporated CSA Ltd.
Agu metamorphosed Computer Systems Associates (CSA) to Neptune Software,
putting Neptune on the platform to thrive globally.
announcement from ISPON President Mr Chris Uwaje said ‘it is with
tremendous shock, heavy hearts and great sense of loss that we received
and now officially announce the sad demise of Engr. Chijioke Simeon Agu,
the founding President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of
Nigeria (ISPON), a distinguished IT practitioner, Software Industry
pioneer and Fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society who passed-on on Sunday
July 9th, 2012.
and condolences came from far and near especially from industry leaders
and experts all commiserating with ISPON.
Don Etiebet and Dapo Sarumi both former Ministers describe the passage as ‘sad
and touching’ while President of ATCON Mr Lanre Ajayi said ‘The stock of
iconic Information Technology professionals has just been depleted. We
have lost a gem, a bridge builder, an elder statesman, a quiet performer,
and industry pioneer’.
Adenike Osofisan, Past President of CPN, hailed the “Town & Gown”
attributes of the deceased by his genial collaboration with research and
academics, while Mr Ladi Ogunneye
Past President NCS described the deceased as one of the greatest icons of
the industry who did not discriminate in responding to social invitations
of all members..
Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, a Past President of ATCON, the late Simeon Agu is ‘a
true Iroko of our industry indeed and certainly one of the Titans of our
Condolence register has been opened at http://www.ispon.org
To be on top of national security
Obama seeks to control the internet during natural disaster and security
Barrack Obama is reported to have handed down an executive order which
deals with how the country would respond during natural disasters and
security emergencies. It basically gives tremendous powers to certain
government agencies that can control telecommunications and the web at
such unusual times.
to an explanatory note on the order, the Federal Government must have the
ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry
out its most critical and time sensitive missions. Survivable, resilient,
enduring, and effective communications, both domestic and international,
are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself
and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local,
territorial, and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the
public, allies, and other nations. Such communications must be possible
under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage
emergencies, and improve national resilience.
course the private sector will frown at anything that attempts to shut
down business under any circumstances.
‘RIM is in Good Business’ says Heins
'But I am not satisfied'
In Motion (RIM), Blackberry maker, said though its CEO Thorsten Heins,
that everything is ok with the company. ‘I’m talking about now’, he said,
‘not six months ago when I took over’. He was talking to interviewers
from Canadian Broadcasting Corp before facing shareholders during the
RIM, at the same time, announced that it has delayed the launch of
BlackBerry 10 for very early next year. Heins defended the delay saying
it would, when finally released, rely heavily on improved BlackBerry
Messenger social networking tools, including new video chat capabilities,
adding that "BlackBerry Messenger is a very strong platform in Asia,
Africa and Europe, and we're upgrading it with video chat in BlackBerry
is a company at the beginning of a transition that we expect will once
again change the way people communicate." Is how Heins wraps it all
over when the issue of his company’s trouble seemed being over pressed
for his comments and as shareholders become restive.
he finally met the shareholders on Tuesday he said "I want to assure
you that I am not satisfied with the performance of the company over the
past year" It was palpable that an attempt to paint satisfaction may
mean he was insensitive to Shareholders frustrations.
Radiation Emission is Dangerous? Not Dangerous? Indifferent?
How do you vote?
to popular belief, telecommunication regulators do not set policies
outside of communications, and certainly not on health but, rely,
instead, on input from the Ministries and Department of Health and Human
Services, Food and Drug Administration, and other agencies to make
pronouncements on how effect of usage of telecommunication devises affect
weeks ago, USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski told his fellow commissioners that there
was sufficient reason that the Commission made fresh investigations into
phone emission radiation for which standard they had set fifteen years
ago. The reasons were merely that phone users kept pressing for such a
review and corporate governance required that the matter be looked
Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC yielded to severe
pressure from many quarters that another look be taken at claims that
radio emission from phone lines were not known to be harmful to human
life. It ordered that a meeting of its own experts and others from renown
international bodies who are authorities in the subject to be held. For
two days June 27 and 28 experts from the Federal Ministry of health,
World Health Organisation WHO, International Commission on Non-ionizing
Radiation Protection, ICNIRP, ECOWAS Commission, Telephone Operators and
concerned stakeholders met in Lagos to brainstorm on the subject.
a keynote address at the meeting, Minister of Communications Technology,
Mrs Omobola Johnson warned that given the large number of mobile phone
users it is important therefore to investigate, understand and
communicate any potential public health impact from mobile phones which
work by transmitting radio waves through a network of fixed antennas
called base transceiver stations (BTS)
the end of it, those whose views should be respected said there was yet
no reason to suggest that emissions from telephones or base stations were
report of the Conference by The Guardian is used as lead elsewhere in
the globe the number of mobile phones has risen sharply
since the early 1980s, with nearly five billion handsets in use today,
prompting lengthy debate about their potential link to the main types of
brain tumour, glioma and meningioma.
World Health Organisation’s perspective on effect of
radiation on health
Emilie van Deventer, Team Leader of Radiation Programme, Department of
Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organisation, WHO, told
an EMF Exposure and health conference in Lagos recently that the
Organisation has paid very close attention to increasing EMF human
exposure due to electricity demand, medical technologies and wireless
devices especially as there has been increasing concern from the public.
referred to various opinions from different researchers some claiming that
cell phone boost cancer while some others say radiations make tumours
to date, she said, research does not suggest any consistent evidence of
adverse health effects from exposure to RF fields at levels below those
that cause tissue heating and research has not been able to provide
support for a causal relationship between exposure to EMF and
self-reported symptoms, or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity’.
is more “Electromagnetic hypersensitivity, EHS, is characterized by a variety
of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual… EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no
scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure.”
And an Engineering perspective too…
a BTS FORUM late last year, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, a Telecommunications
engineer, had argued that from an engineering standpoint, a claim that
base stations are as dangerous to health as has been presented is
to him ‘For those of us who are telecommunication engineers and managers,
we are not authorities in the subject of how these things affect human
health but we rely on what health experts tell us and we use their
opinion to moderate our designs and specifications when constructing BTS’s. For example, the specification on how we
locate the waveguide horn which really is where radiation is pumped into
the environment already takes care of the remote possibilities of their
harmful interference with human beings. When we put the antenna in the
sky where communication from one transceiver to another is at such
high-level above ground we have eliminated possibilities of harmful
interference. That is just in case it is even harmful in the first
went further ‘it is not the Mast structure that emits radiation neither
is it any of the physical structures that are in the base station
location. And for those who say the standby generating sets are
noise polluters, I am surprised that that is being argued in a country
where every citizen generates his own power while government only
supplements. What happens to the noise that every one of us generates?
And what makes our own the only culprit?’
engineer said it is understandable to counsel that people avoid
excessive exposure to radiations in any form but it is an overstatement
to say the heath of those who live close to base stations are
A harvest of arrests for Preregistered
SIM Card Fraudsters
telecom regulator, NCC announced recently
that it found that an illegality crept into the SIM card registration
process when it discovered that SIM cards were being preregistered and
sold to unsuspecting users. It declared the act as illegal and
mounted nationwide awareness on the
to Head of Enforcement of NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen, said Pre-registered SIM Cards are those in
which the biometric identity of a different person is used to register a
number of SIM Cards, and then sold to different people such that identity
of the user is not same with the one who registered the SIM.
Commission said any new SIM Card purchased must be detached from its pack
and registered by the user, as nobody is allowed to register new SIM on
behalf of another. In addition, all new SIM Cards are expected to be able
to receive only until it is registered by the user after purchase but in
the case of preregistered SIM Cards, they begin to make and receive calls
instantly, which is contrary to the rules guiding SIM registration in the
extensive warning and monitoring, the Commission has started to arrest
offenders and it has made remarkable arrest: 2 in Owerri,
2 Enugu, 3 in Osogbo, 3 in Akure,
5 in Makurdi, 7 in Minna
and 2 in Lokoja.
all the cases the suspects were caught with bags of pre-registered SIM
cards in their possession and they were handed over to the police for
Yahoo about to appoint CEO
Yahoo is known to be putting finishing touches to appointing a new Chief
Executive after firing Scott Thompson a few weeks ago. The two guys on
the cards in the photo finish race are current interim CEO Ross Levinsohn and Hulu CEO
will surprise many if the balance goes not in the direction of the
Monday July 9 - Internet blackout for
of internet users especially in USA have high prospect of losing access
when the FBI shuts down temporary DNS Servers that replaced those
operated by hackers.
last year the FBI said it intercepted cyber criminals who had
successfully downloaded malware onto an estimated four million computers
in more than 100 countries.
FBI estimated the gang made at least $14 million in ill-gotten gains
through what it called ‘click hijacking’ and advertisement replacement
fraud and instead of shutting down the rogue servers, the FBI replaced
the servers with clean ones and redirected users.
Nigeria: A Transformation so Close and so Far
CTO Boss canvasses creation of application and services for EVERYONE
Bashir Patel, Chief Operating Officer of the Commonwealth
Telecommunications Organisation, CTO, was in Lagos last week to give a
Dinner Speech at the Nigerian Academy of Engineering Investiture. He told
the elite gathering of very senior and distinguished engineers and their
contemporaries in other professions that there is a thin line that
divides Nigeria’s rural and urban societies. And that the thin line is
ubiquitous broadband infrastructure.
the usual fine stories of Africa’s growth rate in mobile telephony as
being very high and more than 40% of African countries having not only
democratised, they have also liberalised their telecommunications market
in the last two decades. Added to this is the noticeable interest of
investors in China, India and Middle East knocking on the doors of
Africa’s emerging markets. Then Nigeria's truly liberalised
telecommunication sector, 5 international submarine cables, high mobile
subscriber base and all the inroads of MainOne, Phase3 Telecom and
of course, the gaps. That despite the high growth rate, investment in ICT
in Africa trails behind all regions apart from Oceania and issues of
access, human capacity, and consumers/creators gaps.
truth, according to Bashir Patel, is that the trick that Nigeria needs to
play is to use mobile systems to achieve MDGs
and that requires that applications and services, call it content which
is what it is, needs to be created for everyone especially the
illiterates, rural, underserved and disabled.
revealed that CTO is working with Governments, Operators, Vendors,
Investors, Funding agencies and others to help in bringing about National
Telecom Infrastructure Development and bring about social and economic
development through universal access / connectivity.
conclusion is that it does not take rocket science to turn rural Nigeria
into fulfilled urban metros going by the achievements of the market so
far in growing its infrastructure so close to requiring only radical
investment into broadband infrastructure.
IXPN, ICT Forum synergise to reduce
cost of Bandwidth for Higher Institutions
Nigerian ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions and the Internet Exchange
Point of Nigeria (IXPN), announced last week they would enhance
inter-network connections between Higher Education Institutions in
Nigeria and reduce cost of internet bandwidth to them.
collaboration, consummated on April 20, this year through a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU), also seeks to establish the Research and Education
Network (REN) clusters.
managing director of the IXPN, Mr. Muhammed
Rudman, who made these disclosures, noted that REN would serve as a
vehicle for the interconnection of all the Higher Education Institutions
(HEIs) via ICT in order to promote content
development and sharing amongst the member institutions.
ICT Forum's Dr. Aminu Ibrahim said that this is in line with the Forum’s mission which focuses on developing
internal capacity for HEIs and cultivating a
favourable policy environment that aids development.
Nigerian ICT Forum, he said, seeks to utilize, sustain and advance ICT
networks, services and shared resources that are owned by the HEIs themselves.
he said, includes aggregation of their bandwidth, thus driving the
formation of a National Research and Education Network (NREN) to the
Rudman also said the MOU vested IXPN with the responsibility of providing
a national core infrastructure that facilitates internet operations in
Nigeria, as well as localizing traffic and reducing local routing
outlined some of the advantages of the collaboration to include the
formation of clusters within the next two years in at least six
geo-political zones in the country; promote content development in
Nigerian Higher Education Institutions; provide lower cost of bandwidth
for Higher Education Institutions; conduct training and campaign
awareness on the need for Research and Education Network (RENs); and mobilize support and resources towards
achieving the above goals.
Rudman explained that some of the benefits of the collaboration is ‘to synergise our efforts towards building
sustainable clusters of RENs across the
collaboration will go a long way in promoting content development and
sharing, thus accelerating the development of the educational sector as
well as boosting the economy at large,” he asserted.
NCS to diagnose cashless Nigeria at its 2012 Annual
Nigerian Computer Society will confront troubling aspects of the recently launched cashless initiatives in
Nigeria's financial system when it holds the 24th edition of its Annual
Conference and AGM in Uyo.
theme Towards a Cashless Nigeria: Tools and Strategies was chosen to
evaluate the roles and strategies the Information Technology Industry
plays in the reforms and changes in the financial, economic and social
sectors in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its
efforts to drastically reduce money laundering, terrorist financing and
other economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, pegged daily cash
withdrawal to N150,000.00 and N1,000,000.00 by individual and corporate
Towards a Cashless Nigeria: Tools and Strategies
Wednesday 25th – Friday 27th, July 2012
Angaye accepts his Nomination as AfICTA’s Patron
The recently inaugurated Alliance of Africa’s ICT Associations, AfICTA,
has received Prof Cleopas Angaye’s acceptance
to serve as its Patron.
Angaye is Director-General of the (Nigerian) National Information
Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
announced during the week that it is hosting the Africa ICT
Public-Private Summit in Abuja Nigeria on 19-23 November, 2012. The theme
of the Summit is “Harvesting intra-African Low Hanging Fruits”.
AfICTA’s spokes person, Dr Jimson Olufuye told
CyberschuulNews that with a population of more than 1billion, GDP of over
US$1t, growth rate of more than 5%, and with a huge natural
resource base, Africa is poised to cheetahpolevault
its development for a 21st Century African renaissance. As the voice of
the Continent’s ICT industry and in line with its vision towards the
fulfilment of the promise of the digital age for everyone in Africa,
AfICTA is convening this Summit to connect key ICT leaders in the public
and private sectors across Africa to promote the harvesting of
intra-African low hanging fruits.
is a known reality that intra-African trade is below 5% of the
continent’s total trade. The expected renaissance will not happen if the
huge potential of intra-African trade is not tapped. AIPPS therefore will
set the agenda for important set-off contacts and networks among the
public and private sectors’ stakeholders to boost intra-African communication,
information sharing and trade.
maiden edition is being hosted by the Association of Telecom Companies of
Nigeria (ATCON) in collaboration with the National Information Technology
Development Agency (NITDA).
Ethiopia denies banning Skype service
Minister in charge of government communications in Ethiopia, Mr Shimeles Kemal announced publicly last week that it was untrue
that VoIP or Skype services have been banned in the country.
was report which spread fast that government had banned VoIP services, an
issue which is a common line of thinking in telecom markets that operate
monopolies. Such monopolies especially where they are managed by
government bureaucracies usually arrogate the right to make frivolous
laws which they consider favourable to their business using government
to Shimeles Kemal,
although there is indeed a draft law that is in the making ‘the law does
not aim to prevent IP-related internet activities, that is cyber
activities like social media, Twitter,”
one trusts Kemal denial though.
is one of the few African countries that have not liberalised the
telecom market which is served by a government monopoly called Ethio-Telecom.