CyberschuulNews Editions 501 - 505

 
 

 

Cyberschuulnews 505 

BbExPro extends deadline 

Telecom Answers Associates, a Consultancy which is working in collaboration with NCC to manage a Broadband Expansion Program announced this weekend that it has extended the deadline for some milestones of the program in deference to the need to attract more participation into the Program. 

Mr. Kayode Yussuf who spoke for the firm said deadline for submission of corporate data of Players who desire to be listed in a purpose-built publication, Nigeria's Broadband Expansion Program 2013 and Beyond may now do so not later than Friday December 7, 2012. 

Similarly, deadline for the registration to participate in the Broadband Expansion Program, BbExPro has been extended to December 14, 2012. 

According to the statement, compilation of data for the publication marks the active commencement of the Broadband Expansion Program and a Business Workshop for all intending participants is now confirmed for February 26 through 28, 2013. 

The Nigeria's Broadband Expansion Program 2013 and Beyond is a Networking Handbook on which the BbExPro will ride. 

The statement requests all players in the Communication Technology Industry who wish to be enlisted in the publication to visit the webpage

 http://www.cyberschuulnews.com/telecom_players_profiles.html

 (or Click Here) and verify information which is already collated for the publication.               

Enlistment in the publication is free of charge while details of the Broadband Expansion Program have been released to players that have already expressed interest to participate. 

Enquires to info@bbexpro.com

 

 

Court Fines Yahoo $2.7billion!!  

Yahoo! Inc. said on its website last Friday that the 49th Civil Court of the Federal District of Mexico City has entered a non-final judgment of U.S. $2.7 billion against it. 

The plaintiffs, Worldwide Directories S.A. de C.V. and Ideas Interactivas, S.A. de C.V. alleged claims of breach of contract, breach of promise, and lost profits arising from contracts related to a yellow pages listings service. 

According to a version of the report in techcruchdotcom, the idea was to augment Yahoo's online local business search with printed book. Yahoo hoped that the two-pronged strategy would let it compete with Google. The books would include maps, business and landmark listings, and a catalogue of offers and discounts. There would be flexible, low-cost advertising options in Yahoo! Páginas Útiles, which was slated for an initial circulation of 800,000 free copies followed by a second print run of 1.7 million units according to a April 2003 article from Mexican website Noticias Dot. 

At some point, though, the partnership went sour. 

Yahoo! says the plaintiffs' claims are without merit and that it will vigorously pursue all appeals.

 

Sack of NCC's Commissioner :The Real Reasons Bashir Gwandu was fired 

Those who took the decision to sack Mr. Bashir Gwandu from his post of Executive Commissioner for Technical Services at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said they had to do so to penalise his 'accumulated misbehaviours'. 

Very credible sources said Mr. Gwandu's misbehaviour did not start with divulging insider information to the media in recent time although that was what finally brought him in direct confrontation with government's disciplinary apparatus. 

Bashir Gwandu, a PhD, had sat down an uninformed newspaper reporter who was appointed to work with him to produce what eventually came out on October 4, 2012 as NCC in Frequency Band Racketeering in the Leadership Newspapers. That, as it has now turned out, was his albatross. 

Secret as the source of the newspapers story was, Mr Gwandu eventually boasted his way into publishing that he actually gave the newspaper scoop for reasons of his desire to catch thieves. According to him 'if you do not know how to catch a thief, the thief will catch you'. 

Unknown to many, Mr. Gwandu was actually brought into NCC in 2006 as a ready replacement for Mr. Ernest Ndukwe who was in his second and final term. But only one year into his tenure, his promoters thought the replacement could even be immediate and they piled strenuous but unconvincing arguments to sway the late President Musa Yar Adua to sack Ernest Ndukwe and replace him with Bashir Gwandu. President Yar Adua did not buy the maneuvres and one thing led to the other with the House of Assembly wing of Gwandu's foot soldiers taking over the battle. It did not work however and Ernest Ndukwe survived. 

In an interview which was Mr. Gwandu's written response to a questionnaire from one newspaper and which he served to a few other dailies, two things stood out: Mr. Gwandu in his typed response wrote National Communications Commission when he meant to write Nigerian Communications Commission thus displaying a crass disconnect between himself and his job. Besides, Mr. Gwandu claimed he has ‘never been smuggled into anything' when asked about his second term appointment. That was untrue as there are records with government that he was smuggled into virtually all his attainments since he was appointed into NCC. 

A senior official who made input on the Gwandu's file said ‘the subject matter was too childish to occupy the post which he held since 2006'. 

A compilation of the media war which the sacked Commissioner unleashed is available at 

http://www.cyberschuulnews.com/a_file_on_leadership_newspapers_allegations_on_ncc.html

 

 

CyberschuulNews 504 

FG Sacks NCC's Commissioner, Dr Bashr Gwandu 

The Federal Government said on Tuesday afternoon that it has relieved Dr Bashir Gwandu, NCC's Executive Commissioner of his duty with effect from November 9, 2012. 

Dr Gwandu it was who made lavish media expose of his disagreement with the Commission on which he serves as Executive Commissioner in charge of Technical Services. 

Inside sources from the seat of government said President Goodluck Jonathan observed an overwhelming evidence of Dr Gwandu's gross insubordination to the current leadership of the NCC just as the Ministry of Communication Technology found his recent allegations of frequency mismanagement to be false and unfounded. 

A compilation of the media war which the Commissioner unleashed is available at

http://www.cyberschuulnews.com/a_file_on_leadership_newspapers_allegations_on_ncc.html

 

CommTech Institutions and stakeholders oppose Draft Nigcomsat Bill 

Stories of the unlimited capacity of Nigcomsat Ltd to solve several of Nigeria's problems ranging from providing quick, cheap and seamless telephone service through massive creation of employment to raking in N20billion in one month have constituted an exciting travelogue of its Managing Director. For several years Mr. Ahmed Rufai has supplied comic entertainment to the industry with several verbose claims of his company's invincibility. 

All that may be coming to an end very soon.  

Last Friday, the Senate Committee on Science and Technology hosted a public hearing on a proposed NigComSat Bill 2011 which was known to have been scaling several readings in the Lower House and virtually all institutions of Federal Government in the communication technology industry were united in regarding the objective of Nigcomsat earning the status of a Government Corporation as needles and unhelpful to the country. 

The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, revealed that she heard about the Nigcomsat Bill and its travels through various readings in the House on TV and she particularly took exception to a claim by Mr. Ahmed Rufai that the company has capacity to generate N20billion monthly as day dreaming. She called for the privatisation of the company in line with the new government thinking on the subject.

 The Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Ita Okon Ewa, advised the Senate to restrict NigComSat Limited to its mandate of selling communications satellite services.

Other Agencies, NARSDA, NCC, Galaxy Backbone one after the other told the Senate Committee that the Nigcomsat project should at best wait to be privatized. 

It was only the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC whose Director General said he did not have any point of conflict with its Commission's operations in the draft bill.

NCC in particular listed various sections of the Draft bill which are in conflict the National Communication Act of 2003. 

 

Fundamental Cloud Computing requirements for Nigeria – ISPON 

Delegates to the 2012 edition of ISPON annual conference which held at the TINAPA resort held unanimous view that the existing policy regimes may be incapable of resolving the imperatives for cloud computing and should therefore be carefully re-considered, reviewed and adopt the best functional and effective, practical and sustainable solutions for implementation. 

Besides, good infrastructure, access and availability of broadband to all, access to computer, Education of the youths in the area of software development and the reflection of education curriculum to reflect practical software development skills are major requirements and critical drivers of cloud computing and its future in Nigeria. 

Theme of the Conference was “The Cloud and the future of Software Nigeria.” 

 

ATCON hosts Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum December 12 

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON has set December 12 as the date it will bring its members into dialogue with the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, on issues of industry importance. 

An announcement from the Association's secretariat indicates that the event is regular information-sharing forum at which key industry players interact with themselves and with the regulator to build understanding and maintain the good working relationship among all. 

It is high level meeting for which participation is restricted to top executives of telecommunication companies 

 

Local Content is empowerment, not protectionism – eNigeria Conference verdict 

Opinions converged at this week's eNigeria Conference hosted by the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA in Abuja that local content is about adding local value and empowering indigenous players to compete favourably and globally and not about setting a protectionist agenda. 

Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson set the discussion in an opening address in which she listed the status of work already done on adding local value to industry performance and development. 

Some recent initiatives of the federal government were focused on improving domestic value added and local content development in the ICT industry. They include a directive that all Federal Government MDAs purchase only locally assembled computers, the Student PC ownership scheme, establishment of two pilot ICT incubation centres, and launch of a venture capital fund specifically for ICT entrepreneurs. 

According to the Minister, pursuing a local content objective is not a protectionist agenda. There are many global ICT firms in Nigeria that are employing Nigerians, developing Nigerians and adding significant value to the industry and that is as it should be. 

Nigeria, she said, ‘is a very big domestic market with tremendous potential, which needs the participation of existing and new international ICT companies as partners, investors and competitors that will bring their formidable research and innovation capabilities to bear in the domestic market, invest in key areas of the industry, partner with local firms to build capacity and competence and provide the competitive environment to ensure that we develop an industry that may have local antecedents but is also world class and globally competitive'.

 

Cyberschuulnews 503

 

In-House Opinion
About coming, seeing, and conquering
 

If the recent launch of Students PC Ownership Scheme has not been gloried by the media, it is because our system permits for glorification of persons and not of issues and ideas. 

To glorify the initiative would have been to research into the origin of what was being launched, forecast into its future and bring to public attention what local manufactures of computers are saying and what various classes of students who are the primary beneficiaries of the scheme are saying. Everything has its time and one long week is enough to do all those.  

What is unique about the scheme is that it is yet one of the issues which incumbent Minister of Communication Technology said very early in her tenure that were the mandates of the Ministry and which she has pursued brilliantly. 

Those who are normally not lavish with praises would say it is one scheme that deserves commendation. Indeed that for initiating and seeing it through to implementation within such a short time, she has indeed come, seen, and conquered.

 

 

OTHER OPINION

PC for students: The President must intervene

by Adekunle Adekoya, VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 14, 2012

taken from http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/11/pc-for-students-the-president-must-intervene/ 

LAST Thursday, something very good happened to Nigeria and Nigerians, though many of us may not immediately capture the import of the development. 

The Federal Ministry of Communications Technology, through the National Information technology Development Agency, NITDA, launched a Student PC Ownership Scheme. Details of the scheme are available on the page preceding the one you are reading. 

What makes the development a good one is that if implemented with patriotic zeal, that initiative alone is capable of triggering transformations that can rapidly take this nation to heights that had remained at the levels of rhetoric for more than half a century 

Five indigenous device makers — Zinox, Omatek, Brian Systems, Veda Computers, and Beta Computers, working in tandem with Intel Corporation which is expected to supply processors and Microsoft which will supply software — have been provided with a golden opportunity to compete with global computer brands through the scheme. 

Every year, some 1.5 million students apply through JAMB for placement into the higher institutions, though there are admission spaces for only one third of that number. That means there is potential to sell that many computers every year to individual students. 

The implication of this scheme is more employment generation in the IT sub-sector, and given the flexible payment structure, a guaranteed market. So far, so good.

However, the journey is still long, in fact several miles ahead. For me, the goal, the aim, and the objective should be the all-Nigerian computer. Great will be the day when everything needed to make a computer function well is made here in Nigeria, globalization or not. If, for now, we can't make processors here, I do not think we completely lack capacity in terms of software. 

The Minister of Communications Technology was at the recently concluded ISPON conference and software competition, and surely is aware of developments in that direction. 

To quote Mrs Johnson: “As you well know, our youth tend to be most critical, vocal and demanding of goods and services they procure. Once they are sold however they will be the greatest advocates of the brand and will demonstrate loyalty well beyond their student years. Providing them with computers that are built to exacting world class standards, designed with Nigeria in mind and aesthetically pleasing will go a long way to earning this loyalty.” 

As the scheme is being implemented, I think it is in our best national interest to be futuristic and begin to see how the students' PCs will run on local software, for as the minister remarked last Thursday quoted above, that will be a very good way to build brand loyalty.

Overall, it is a commendable initiative, seeing that telcos are expected to connect the PCs with bandwidth, processors from Intel, software from Microsoft, credit from the banks. Obviously a lot of work has gone into preparing the scheme. The minister and her team are to be commended. 

One thing, though. The price range (the first level is from N48,500; the second level is N70,500 and the third level is N85,000- N100,000) grossly underestimates the level of poverty in this country. I think Mr President ought to look at the scheme personally and see how the Federal Government can subsidize the scheme by at least fifty per cent. That will be five-star national service. 

taken from http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/11/pc-for-students-the-president-must-intervene/

 

CyberschuulNews 502 

The world goes after broadband internet access for a myriad of reasons all signifying Better Life 

The world seems united in yearning for broadband-access-for-all using different arguments but aiming at the same goal.

In Egypt where Intel recently conducted a workshop in cooperation with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to share its insights on broadband implementations for the country, the project motivators told NTRA executives that their company's motive is to increase job opportunities, to stimulate economic growth nationwide and foster social cohesion, to harmonize with other sectors in the government to improve the quality of life for all citizens. Eng. Karim El Fateh, Intel Egypt country manager, said Intel believes that a revolutionary convergence of information and communication technologies is coming. Through Broadband implementation, consumers and businesses overall Egypt will benefit as it's a main source of growth and development.  

In Nigeria, Telecom Answers Associates is championing collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) to confront the barriers to investment by addressing access to funding and raising capacity of small and medium players to enable them take broadband capacity from the mouths of submarine cables in Lagos to all the corners of Nigeria. Leader of the program, Engr Titi Omo-Ettu said ‘it will soon be difficult to imagine life without high-speed Internet and we have to confront the problem headlong'

In the USA the FCC is transforming the existing Universal Service Fund into the new Connect America Fund to focus on broadband, and last week the Commission unveiled a new map showing where millions will be spent in the first phase of the reform. 

An FCC spokesperson said in Washington that Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society – for all Americans. For that reason, the FCC has adopted comprehensive reforms of its Universal Service Fund (USF) and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) systems to accelerate broadband build-outs to Americans in rural areas.

 

 

Confusion on whether or not President Jonathan revoked $23.5million Manitoba Contract

 

There were reports in local media on Wednesday that the contract which the Ministry of Power in league with the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE awarded in July 2012 to Manitoba Hydro International, a Canadian firm, to take over management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has been revoked.  

Local newspaper reports said the revocation was yet without an explanation as the President's spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, told the media that the Ministry of Power would, at a later date, explain the circumstances of the revocation 

By midday Thursday, another version of the report said the earlier story was untrue but admitted that President Jonathan was truly considering revocation. 

Under the contract which was signed on July 23, 2012, 8 persons were to be hired for $23.5million on contract for 3 years to superintend management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. 

Immediately after the contract was signed, CyberschuulNews in a satire titled JOURNEY TO PENTASCOPE likened the process to a journey to nowhere as it was in no way different either in concept or in spirit from the Maintenance Contract for NITEL that was handed to an unknown lackluster group called PENTASCOPE in 2003. The PENTASCOPE contract put a final end to the life of NITEL and by the time PENTASCOPE was sacked in typical Nigerian fashion in 2005 without holding anyone responsible, NITEL which was N10billion buoyant at the contract takeoff had gone into several billions of Naira in accumulated debt. 

In the case of MANITOBA, the contract allows for 8 persons as opposed to NITEL's 4 while the contract sum was $23.5million against NITEL's $12.5million. 

The only difference between PENTASCOPE and MANITOBA creations was that NITEL workers who were to benefit from the earlier maintenance contract did not raise loud objection to the arrangement. The objections raised at the time were from outside busy-bodies like Titi Omo-Ettu & Co who argued that PENTASCOPE did not exist anywhere in the world. With Manitoba, the TCN workers who the planners told Nigerians would benefit from the contract outrightly rejected the intervention. They were on strike when the contract was being hurriedly signed just as PENTASCOPE contract was hurriedly signed in 2003, even when the Minister of Communications at the time objected to the contract..

 

NCC warns on illegal Vehicle Tracking Services 

The Nigerian Communications Commissions issued a notice early in the week that companies that are operating vehicular tracking business without its license are committing a crime. 

According to a notice by the Commission's Director of Public Affairs, Automated Vehicular Tracking Service is a licensable undertaking, and therefore all concerned companies or persons should note that it is a criminal offence to operate a communications system or provide a communications service in Nigeria without first obtaining authorization from the Commission. 

The consequences of such act may lead to fines, imprisonment and forfeiture of equipments/installations.

 

 

Telecom Promos and Lotteries banned 

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has placed a total ban on sale promos and lotteries by mobile telephone service providers 

The Commission said in an announcement on Monday that it has been inundated by consumer complaints over equally inundating promos and lotteries even in the face of poor service delivery by all the networks. 

The Commission's spokesman, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said a careful evaluation of the complaints, especially in the face of a need to sustain the fragile integrity of mobile networks, to protect the general interest of the consumers, and manage the socio-economic impact of the promotions on operators and other relevant stakeholders lead the Commission to place an outright ban until further notice. 

 

CyberschuulNews 501 

How Broadband Expansion Program is designed to work 

The Program Leader of the recently announced Broadband Expansion Initiative, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, said in Abuja last weekend that it will soon be difficult to imagine life without high-speed Internet and we have to confront the problem headlong. 

Mr. Omo-Ettu noted that the penetration of broadband internet access is less than 5% of internet users in Nigeria and if we take high speed internet as 2Mbps download and 768 kilobyte upload speed, the penetration is even poorer. 

According to him, ‘everybody now wants to watch a football match via the internet, enjoy a favourite internet TV program and play music of choice from some long distance. You do not say it but you have already specified that you need broadband resources if you make those demands'. 

Mr. Omo-Ettu said while the details of the Broadband expansion program would be unleashed to those who opt to participate in it, it is focused at motivating small and medium investments into taking broadband access to underserved areas of the country while assisting government to divert attention of funding endeavours to areas that will bring development and create employment. He explained that the program is set to build out a multi-faceted solution that uses all forms of technology available including wired, wireless, DSL, satellite, and more to reach isolated and poorly covered areas of the country. 

The Broadband Expansion Program is an initiative of Telecom Answers Associates with institutional support of the Nigerian Communications Commission. 

 

Telecom Promos and Lotteries banned 

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has placed a total ban on sale promos and lotteries by mobile telephone service providers.  

The Commission said in an announcement on Monday that it has been inundated by consumer complaints over equally inundating promos and lotteries even in the face of poor service delivery by all the networks. 

The Commission's spokesman, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said a careful evaluation of the complaints, especially in the face of a need to sustain the fragile integrity of mobile networks, to protect the general interest of the consumers, and manage the socio-economic impact of the promotions on operators and other relevant stakeholders lead the Commission to place an outright ban until further notice.

 

Lagos, Tinapa are initial software incubation Centres – CommTech Minister 

$3milion of the required $15million will be provided by the Federal Government using the Nigerian Information Technology Development Fund while the balance will be sourced through private investment to build software incubation Centres in Nigeria. 

Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology told the software subsector on Monday in Lagos that the Lagos E-learning Centre and TInapa Knowledge City in Cross River State are the take off facilities for these incubation centres. 

Blackberry 10 now confirmed for January 30 Launch 

Research In Motion, the troubled smartphone manufacturer, announced on Monday it will release its much talked about BlackBerry 10 on January 30, 2012. It is the first time it would be specific on a date. 

Hopes of a turnaround are hinged on a successful launch of these products to enable the once top smartphone maker return to reckoning in the Americas. There are indications it has been sealing deals with global carriers and opening outlets in emerging markets. 

The Blackberry may still be a darling of corporate executives whose needs of security and xx makes it their choice smartphone and it is reported to have done very well in Africa particularly South Africa and Nigeria where it has been doing good volumes 

Phone users protest promo inundation by Telephone Operators 

An angry telephone user got applause from the audience when he raised a protest to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the annoying inundation of telephone users with ceaseless promo text messages and outright invasion of consumer privacy on account of unsolicited messages and adverts. 

It was at the 70th edition and 9th anniversary of the Telephone Consumer Parliament in Lagos last Tuesday. 

Telephone Consumers were united in their condemnation of the intolerable quality of telephone service across all networks even as telephone operators concentrate attention to aggressive marketing of the poor services through unreasonable promos and competitions. 

Representatives of telephone operators who were in attendance pledged to improve the quality of their services.

 

              

               

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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