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Friday, March 30, 2007

Time Machine, convergence of TV, PC

Features of the week:

Recently, Time Machine TV was introduced into the nation’s market. Remmy Nweke, in this report looks at the piece as a combination of personal computing technology.

Nowadays, it has become a sort of crime to miss out in some of the Mexican soaps being aired on various television stations in Nigeria, especially the Gardener’s Daughter and Lorenzo’s wife for the women folk, just as it could be a bad day to miss out on a football match between Arsenal and Manchester United football clubs for some football fans among men folk.

This is coming as global Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) TV revenues rose to over 138 per cent in the year to a record of $11.3 billion (about N1,448.4 billion) as at the second quarter of last year, representing 47 per cent of the worldwide TV market.

Given this backdrop, the coming of Time Machine TV manufactured by the Korean home appliances and mobile communications giant, LG Electronics, into the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market, is as timely as it places the firm seemingly ahead based on the ability to optimise convergence between Television and Personal Computing (PC) technologies.

Speaking at the launch of Time Machine TV recently in Lagos, Managing Director of LG Electronics, West African operation, Mr. B.W. Park, had noted that Time Machine function allows users to pause, record and replay TV programmes with a built-in 80 Gega Bytes (GB) hard drive that could store up to 40 hours of digital standard-definition programming, eliminating the need for external storage devices.

According to him, unprecedented market demand for LG Electronics innovations in digital lifestyle products paved the way for ‘Time Machine’ Liquid Crystal Display (LCD TVs) available in 37 and 42-inches, while the Plasma version comes in sizes of 42 and 50-inches.

He pointed out that as broadcasting technology evolves from analogue to digital, consumers’ demands from television sets also increased, stressing that LCD and Plasma TVs have seen explosive growth in recent years, orchestrated by a sharp price decline and tech-savvy consumers trading in bulky Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) sets for sleek big-screen models that LG aims to stay ahead of these demands by introducing products with cutting-edge technology.
He also said that LG’s ‘Time Machine’ LCD TVs are the world’s first televisions to come equipped with a built-in Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

This feature allows users to pause, record, and replay TV programmes just minutes after the original broadcast. The one-touch commercial skip features blocks out unwanted commercials with a touch of a button. The units also boast of continuous automatic recording in one-hour intervals.

Also speaking on the Time Machine, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE, Mr. C.H. Lee, said LG enjoys a 25 per cent market share for Plasma TVs, and more than 15 per cent for LCD TVs in the UAE and the Gulf.

“We expect regional Plasma TV sales to grow by as much as 40 per cent as the demand for flat screen televisions increase. LG Plasma TV sales grew 50 per cent in the Gulf last year, and our LCD TV sales shot up by 200 per cent,” he said.

The ‘Time Machine’ TVs, he also said shows off LG’s exclusive extended data engine that improves brightness, contrast, and Third Dimension (3D) colour control, just as they offer sharpness enhancement and 3D noise reduction, as well as the Extended Data Services (now XDS, previously known as EDS); which is an American standard classification under Electronic Industries Alliance standard EIA-766 for the delivery of any ancillary data (metadata) to be sent with an analogue television programme, or any other affiliated to the United States-based National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) video signal, as well as SRS cum BBE which are sound system that deliver cinematic surround sound.

He noted, clear filter aspect, minimises dullness and eliminates the double image reflection of glass filter TVs, emphasising that the LG DVR Personal Display Product (PDP’s) High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) also does away with multiple wires in favour of a single cable for all functions.

LG, he said, currently occupies the number one spot for LCD and plasma TVs in the Middle East and Africa, with a combined market share of 40 per cent, even as the consumer retail and digital signage sectors have driven demand for plasma TVs, along with hotels replacing old CRT sets with flat panel technology.

Mr. Lee disclosed that LG aims to become the number one player in the global display market by 2010 with global sales of US$10 billion. In order to achieve this, LG would secure the largest production capability in Plasma panels from its four major plants in Mexico, Poland, China and Korea, pointing out that LG will also build on its region-specific research and development (R&D) efforts and localised marketing.

Hence, the LG Time Machine TV has continued to generate commendations from Nigerians, especially the entertainment professionals, just six months after the product made its debut in the nation’s market, for what some of them described as “immense capabilities and technological edge.”

The latest tribute came from leading television presenter, Mr. Soni Irabor, who described the LG Time Machine TV as “A brilliant piece of technology that meets the need of the time.”
According to Irabor, “With the Time Machine TV, you can record for hours and you will be able to catch all the minute details of your production. The picture quality of this machine is also second to none in television viewing.”

He also said that it has fantastic pause and play features that could make one to go back in time, citing an instance, that if one were watching TV and needed to answer the call of nature, all the viewer should do is simply press the ‘record’ button to activate and on return, such a person is assured “you will be able to watch all the broadcast that was done in your absence.”

Mr. Irabor further said that he was impressed with the television as “Discerning professionals will find the LG Time Machine TV highly reliable and it is, indeed,” thus recommended for those in the entertainment and broadcast industry among other professionals.

Since its debut, LG’s Time Machine TV has been associated with some of Nigeria’s leading lights, especially in the entertainment and sports industry, hence it was not out of place for the likes of star actress, Stella Damasus-Aboderin and leading musician, Sunny Neji, voicing out their opinions in commendation of the product, saying that it would aid the growth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, even as it will help viewers to enjoy all the exciting moments of their favourite programmes.

In addition, Mr. Park, said the Time Machine TV, which is one of LG’s latest innovations, is perfectly placed to fill an important gap in the market because the busy lifestyles of consumers have created a need for integrated products and the company is the first manufacturer to address this growing trend with the high definition Time Machine TV.Like Mr. Irabor noted, LG Time Machine TV is a piece of technology that meets the test of time, just as the test is in the pudding.


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CANi: PMO may be fired

The Programme Management Office (PMO) of the Computer for All Nigerian Initiative (CANi) being run by AMB Multiserve Ltd, may be relieved of the responsibility of managing the scheme.

Champion Infotel investigations revealed that contrary to claims that CANi has stopped marketing of the project as complained by most of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in the initiative, recently, the marketing is still going on thereby attracting some venom in the core Information Technology (IT) sub-sector.

Much touted as a public-private partnership (PPP) programme between the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology through its agency, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and two giants of the Information Technology industry - Microsoft Corporation and Intel Corporation. CANi is expected to be driven by local private partners participation.

AMB Multiserve Ltd, is to see to the implementation and coordination of the operation, which it has since included as “marketing and sales of computers under the scheme.” These activities are being reviewed by the Ministry of Science and Technology and would soon release a white paper on it, pending the return of the Permanent Secretary who Champion Infotel gathered has been away, obviously out of the country.

It would be recalled that OEM complaints over the marketing activities by PMO led to the recent facility tour of their factories, by the Director General of NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye. Most of the OEMs are based in Lagos, including Zinox, Omatek, Beta and Brian, who are currently partnering on CANi in terms of providing hardware.

However, our investigations revealed that the issue of CANi marketing had caused some ripples in the past and has even metamorphosed into the PMO being summoned by NITDA, just as Prof. Angaye had promised to call PMO to order.

Investigations also showed that some industry practitioners complained lately of getting telephone calls from PMO, requesting meetings to enable them make marketing presentations to the management of some institutions in Lagos State, which eventually filtered to the OEM, who were supposed to leverage on the marketing aspect to promote their individual local brands.

One of our sources equally said that after listening to the call from PMO male officer (names withheld), and on reminding the caller of the fracas this kind of action had caused the industry in the recent past, he was told not to worry about that, even as the caller ‘promised to call back’ and hung off.

Industry watchers said that the PMO personnel’s promise to call back was in realisation that this particular recipient was aware of development in the industry and may need strong conviction which may not be achieved through mere telephone conversation.

It was also gathered that given that PMO was summoned previously which afforded it the chance to deny what it then described as ‘allegation’ and now that it has been established, NITDA may go the extra mile of recommending the dissolution of PMO to pave way for peace to reign in the industry.

CANi computers are to be sold for $300, about N45,000 for the least price and non-upgradeable category.

Established in mid-2006 by President Olusegun Obasanjo, CANi, is a Government Assisted PC Purchase programme (GAPP) designed to expand the usage of computers and information technology in the country.

Similar initiatives have been implemented globally including United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Singapore, Japan, China and Egypt among others, aimed at driving Personal Computers (PCs) penetration into sections of the Nigerian community, which are currently underserved.

The scheme, industry observers noted, was structured around the creation of awareness of information technology generally, and engendering demand for computer usage as well as Internet access amongst people in paid employment across the public and private sectors of the economy.

“The scheme will make available desktop computers and laptops at prices significantly below the prevailing market prices for all such employees and in addition offer bank financing for the purchase of the PCs to be repaid at affordable rates over a period of 24 months.

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NiRA awakes, laments absence of IT bill

ALMOST one year in limbo, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA), arose at the weekend to highlight line of actions following its registration by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) last February.

Champion Infotel recalls that the BoT was inaugurated at the last meeting of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders forum of the Internet community, held on March 29, 2006, at the MUSON Centre Lagos, to midwife the harmonisation of interests on how to run the Nigeria’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name dot .ng.

Consequent upon the directive by Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that a non-governmental agency be set up according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) stipulations to run and manage the ccTLD.

CcTLD enables entities resident in Nigeria to register their online addresses with .ng, such as United Kingdom is .uk, South Africa .za. This entails that those in the education sector in the country would have to register with .edu.ng; business .biz.ng; government .gov.ng as well as organisation as .org.ng among other sub-domain names affiliation.

But arising from its purported slumber which it claimed was necessitated by the inability of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to register it with CAC, when the BoT decided to take the bull by the horns by approaching CAC direct, saying that they are ready to ensure that NiRA succeeds.

Chairman of NiRA BoT, Dr. Isaac Adeola Odeyemi, told newsmen in Lagos, that NiRA has been registered and issued the certificate of recognition by CAC since February 9, 2007 and is ready to commence registration of interests on its mandate, dot ng.

To this end, NiRA, he said, has appointed two Point of Contacts (PoC), Messrs Sunday Folayan of Scannet Ibadan and Tem Prieye of NITDA, to manage this aspect, even as NiRA plans to host stakeholders to its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) since inauguration on May 9, 2007, to hold at MUSON Centre Onikan Lagos.

According to Dr. Odeyemi, who was flanked by some BoT members including Chief Chima Onyekwere of Linkserve, Mr. Shina Badaru of Technology Times, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote of Ministry of Information and Communications, President of Computer Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Dr. Mrs. Adenike Osofisan and the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Mr. Ejide Oludunmoye who represented NCS president, Dr. Chris Nwannenna, registration of NiRA membership would top the agenda at the AGM.

This, he said, would attract N1,000, while those wishing to register their domain name in Nigeria with .ng can access information to that effect online as from April 1, 2007.

“Prospective members are to visit the NIRA website at www.nira.org.ng from April 1, 2007 for registration guidelines. Applications can be submitted online from that date. Applications may be submitted to nirabot@nitda.gov.ng and this will be routed to the Screening Committee,” he said.

While commending Mr. President for his steadfast support in ensuring that Nigeria is placed in her rightful position in comity of ICT nations, NiRA lamented that only few Nigerians are aware of .ng and its importance and therefore solicited the support of the media.

“Obasanjo’s government has put ICT sector in the front burner,” he declared.

NiRA also decried the state of ICT bill which is reportedly at the presidency for assertion, warning however that from its own perspective there is no stipulations on the responsibility and modalities of choosing the chief executive of NITDA, even though the BoT calls for early endorsement of the bill to transform it into law in the land.

“The signing of ICT bill would be a prelude to ICT development in this country,” he said, stressing that NiRA is ready up to a level it could now take off with the support of its BoT members.

Also speaking, Chief Onyekwere expressed optimism that NiRA would succeed, although there are some logs that need clearing such as epileptic power, saying that Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has a lot of influence in this regard to ensure that NiRA accomplish its goals.

“We have to make NiRA succeed,” he said.Other speakers at the session including CPN President, Dr. (Mrs) Osofisan and Mrs. Odusote, advocated for support of all Nigerians and stakeholders precisely so as to move the nation forward, just as they enjoined stakeholders in the nation’s Internet community to make themselves available for the AGM come May 9, this year.

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Where is Galaxy Backbone Plc?

Market Intelligence:

For over 10 months now, after the Federal Government incorporated Galaxy Backbone Plc, stakeholders are getting worried that nothing seem to be coming out from this company.

This worry is heightened by the recent reports of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly revolving around the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

According to the committee’s report, it described as illegal, the approval by President Olusegun Obasanjo for the incorporation of Galaxy Backbone Plc, purchase of computers for civil servants under the Computer for All Nigerian Initiative (CANi).

Industry observers held that this worry was the first thing that came to mind at the initial announcement that Galaxy Backbone was berthed in June last year.

Although the Government set up Galaxy Backbone as a company to integrate its existing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into a national backbone infrastructure, very little information currently exists as to what they are doing or has done so far.

Champion Infotel, recalls that Galaxy Backbone Plc integration is expected to further generate reliable data, voice and video transmission within the nation’s ICT sector, noteworthy is that the Minister of Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Turner Isoun noted that the company would also provide solutions that would be well adapted to the existing infrastructure, services and initiatives of stakeholder ministries, parastatals and participating private sector groups.

Even as PTDF was mandated to provide about N2 billion ($15 million) to finance the phase one of the company’s activities, with anticipation of another N25 million towards Galaxy Backbone’s incorporation advancement, revealing it’s a political tool to siphon public fund rather than developmental.

The proposed national backbone according to the initial briefing of the company include the harmonisation and aggregation of bandwidth purchase by the Government for effective planning, monitoring and cost control in line with the economic reforms; provision of the best value of ownership to the end users and intrinsically provide for full automatic and dynamic bandwidth on demand (BoD) capability, thus making available the required bandwidth where and when it is needed.

Other value proposition expected of Galaxy Backbone Plc are that it should form the first step in the right direction towards planning, and subsequent utilization of our communication satellite bandwidth, by boosting growth capacity, and having an open architecture based on Internet Protocol Technology and latest industry standard.

But 10 months on, not even the chairman of Galaxy and Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye has been able to keep stakeholders abreast of development on its mandate little then is expected from the Managing Director, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe.

This attitude, however, goes against every stakeholder’s expectation, hence there is need for a rethink and not waiting until things have completely gone wrong before involving stakeholders as it should.

The earlier Galaxy Backbone and its management realise this fact, the better for the nation.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Reltelwireless becomes CDMA telco of the Year

… Appoints 2 advert agencies

One of Nigeria’s foremost telecommunications companies, Reltelwireless has been pronounced the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Company of the Year 2006” at the City People Awards for Excellence, held in Lagos, weekend.

This development is coming as the telco has appointed Prima Garnet Ogilvy and MaC Clemm Advertising as its advertising consultants.

Head, Corporate Communications at ReltelWireless, Mr. Victor Oge Udeagha informed that the event organizers said the award was in recognition of the company’s commitment to offering top quality telephony services to Nigerians irrespective of social or economic status.

He noted that the company’s acquisition and call rates were the most flexible and customer-friendly in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

Mr. Udeagha also said that the organizers praised what they called the “company’s uncommon resilience in overcoming a potentially disastrous fire incident at its switch in 2004,” by bouncing back to become the company to beat in its market category.

Mr. Udeagha, who received the award on behalf of his company, dedicated it to all Reltelwireless’ subscribers who have kept faith with the company.

He further pledged that the telco would re-double its efforts to ensure that it continues to deliver top quality services to its teeming subscribers.

Noteworthy is that Reltelwireless which currently operates in 10 cities in nationwide, is in the middle of an aggressive pan-Nigeria roll-out programme, just as it was recently voted the Best Telephone Company in Nigeria for the year 2006 at the Nigeria Information Technology and Telecom Awards (NITTA Awards).

In related development, ReltelWireless has appointed Prima Garnet Ogilvy and MaC Clemm Advertising as its advertising consultants.

As said by Mr. Udeagha, the two agencies were appointed based on their respective performances at the recently concluded pitch for the company’s advertising business.
He said that the exercise was part of Reltelwireless’ re-positioning strategy.

“We’re in the middle of an aggressive, pan-Nigeria network roll-out programme, which has made it imperative for us to re-assess and re-focus our marketing communications strategies to enable us reach our current and prospective customers better,” he said.

In addition, he said, the market is getting increasingly exciting and competitive, hence it calls for fresh ideas and better targeted messages.

“We believe that the combined strengths and ideas from these Agencies will give our campaigns the desired fillip,” he said, expressing confidence that Reltelwireless will maintain its position as a market leader with the new relationship.

Founded in 1998, Reltelwireless is a privately held Nigerian company, with its headquarters in Lagos.

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Celtel introduces unity tariffs, ready for 3G

Third Generation (3G) compliant and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, Celtel Nigeria has made another first by introducing a flat tariff structure, to be known as ‘Unity tariffs’ even as the telco declared its readiness for 3G regime in the country.

Chief Executive, Celtel Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Ligali, said in Lagos, Thursday that the introduction of the unity tariffs on its network is in the bid towards making life better for Nigerians.

According to him, the flat tariffs come in three formats, namely simply special, simply smooth and simply smart, just as it has slashed the international call tariffs by 45 per cent and on per second billing.

Mr. Ligali, said the flat tariffs has three key elements including simplicity, affordability and transparency.

He explained that ‘simply special’ offers subscribers on the network affordable prices and maximum benefits as on or across the net calls during peak hours, that is, 6am to 7pm which attracts 66 kobo while off peak is 39 kobo respectively.

In addition, subscribers on this platform would have access to local Short Messaging Service (SMS) nationwide at the cost of N9 at all times, whereas SMS send internationally would attract N15 per message.

On the Simply smooth, Mr. Ligali said that its targeted at customers who are business people and high volume users desiring affordable prices while removing complexity and price discrimination between networks.

He said that on this platform subscribers are expected to pay a monthly fee of N400 while having access to on and off net calls during peak hours at 59 kobo and off peak at 33 kobo respectively, with local SMS costing N9 and international SMS attracts N15.

Equally on Simply Smart, Mr. Ligali noted that it is focused on small and medium enterprise (SME) owners looking at increasing convenience while controlling phone costs.

He pointed out that Simply Smart attracts N3,600, which includes 100 free minutes and 30 free SMS, stressing that on and off peak periods attract 61 kobo and 33 kobo in that order, even as it has the same offering for local and international SMS like in other platform on this new package.

Mr. Ligali further said that extra features of flat tariffs structure include that midnight happy hours between 12am and 4.30; friends and family enjoy 15 free SMS monthly apart from Simply Smart which comes with 30 free SMS.

Other benefits, he enumerated include 10 per cent recharge bonus, 300 ‘call me back’ option per month and 300 ‘credit me’ monthly options.

He pointed out that for any subscriber to migrate to the new unity tariff structure, those who want to engage in Simply Special has to send ‘Yes’ SMS to 701, while 702 is for Simply smooth and 703 is for Simply smart.

“You would get an SMS containing the Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your migration,” he said.

Mr. Ligal added that by entering *126* plus the PIN number and then send.

“You would be migrated within 48 hours and would receive an SMS when done followed by a congratulation message,” he said.

He equally warned prospective migrants to the unity tariffs to desist from sending SMS for this purpose more than once, otherwise, “you would be charged N100 for each SMS if you send more than one.”

In a related development, Celtel has reduced its international call rates by 45 per cent, which means that calls to United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, United Arab Emirate is now 55 kobo per second on the network.

Just as special discounts await callers to popular African countries such as Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroon to name a few.

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Madueke presides @Titans of Tech

Former military administrator and executive chairman, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited (ICNL), Admiral Alison Madueke has been confirmed as the chairman of the Titans of Tech planned for April this year.

This is coming as industry interest groups led by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) have given their supports for the Titans of Tech nite, just as the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has not been left out.

Coordinator of the Titans of Tech nite, Mr. Don Pedro Aganbi, said that the organisations are not just supporters of the project but collaborators in the efforts to recognize the individuals and institutions that have contributed toward making the nation a leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub in the sub region.

According to him, Admiral Madueke, the executive chairman of ICNL, has consented to preside over the event that is assumed to be the biggest gathering of ICT professionals in the nation’s history.

The Registrar, CPN, Mr. Sikiru Shehu, was quoted as describing the event as a clear departure from the norm as it is a night dedicated to celebrate professionals in the nation’s burgeoning ICT industry.

For him, CPN council would be present in its strength as he urged its members to back the project as one dedicated to recognize “our own”.

Meanwhile more companies have shown support for the Titans Of Tech Nite, including the telecom giant, Globacom, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) and Hyperia.

In accordance with the event coordinator, Nigeria is a major beneficiary of the technology revolution that has marked the world over the last decade.

“The liberalisation of the nation’s communications sector has precipitated a time of unprecedented technological development, which is increasingly altering the way people live, work and communicates, with the widespread use of the mobile phone the most visible symbol of this technological revolution” he said.

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Elmina receives prize fromTelemedia

It was all words of praise for the management of Telemedia, the promoters of Quiz Line as one of the winners, Miss Elmina Ali, was presented with her prize money at the weekend.

Ms Ali who is unemployed until she emerged winner in the phone-in quiz programme said that she is excited.

“I feel very excited that I won. I am not doing anything now but with this money I can start a new life,” she declared.

According to her, one fateful day she had played on Quiz Line, an afternoon network programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), from her home in Gombe.

Fortunately, she saw herself in the programme designed for small wins of N10, 000 with the opportunity to play for a bonus win, which gave her the hit of N507,500.

For her, it is a new phase of her life, stressing that the programme has demonstrated what it’s like to play Quiz Line.

“Especially if one is meticulous such a person should be able to get involved with interactive TV programmes,” she advised.

Ms Ali revealed that she holds Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Nutrition Science, and plans to use the money judiciously.

Also speaking, General Manager, Telemedia, Mr. Olu Akinlabi, enumerated some benefits of the programme to TV viewers.

As said by him, it has helped to improve the lives of over 839 Nigerians who have won since the show began last May.

He said everyday the programme is on air, a winner must emerge, and particularly very interesting is the fact that so many who really need the money have won some handy packages.

He explained that the quiz line programme which could be played in different parts of the world is an interactive TV show.

“The drama to win is between the player at home and the presenter who would usually ask the interacting viewer some questions most times presented in form of a puzzle,” he said.

Mr. Akinlabi stressed that the programme is highly intellectual and a player must have full concentration in order to get a win.

“It is a great game show that has continued to attract a large following in the country. This is one of the reasons, Akinlabi told us last week, the process of play must always be explained to the players.

Further, he explained that the play pattern of Quiz Line, allows interested audience to Call 345 on the MTN network or 358555 on the other networks at the cost of N100 per call, which also serves as a non-refundable registration fee.

“You will then receive an automatic response from the computer which qualifies you for participation. If your number gets selected from the pool of numbers on our list, you will receive a call from the presenter inviting you to play the interactive game. And if you successfully solve the puzzle, you could win as much as N1m,” he said.

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TD explains roadshow @ Otigba

Emerging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) distributing leader, the Technology Distribution (TD) Limited, has given reasons for its recent roadshow at the popular computer market, known as Otigba in Ikeja-Lagos.

The company said that this goes to show how important the Otigba Computer Village is to its goal of sustaining the number one position in ICT distribution in the West African region.
Assistant General Manager (AGM), Marketing at TD, Mrs. Meg Ugoanusi, said that the week-long event was a special session with partners of TD.

According to her, while penultimate Monday, was slated as Microsoft Day, Tuesday was for APC Day, Wednesday HP Day, Thursday for Cisco and Friday was Epson Day.

Mrs. Ugoanusi said the event offered TD an opportunity to showcase the latest in stock for technological developments at the doorsteps of Otigba traders.

She also said that as major players in the ICT market “it was important to attune the market and traders specifically with new trends to ensure that the activities of Otigba complement the formal sector in ICT.

Mrs. Ugoanusi further explained that TD shares a common goal with Otigba in the sense that the healthy growth of the ICT market remain the primary concern of all stakeholders.

She noted that key advantage of the roadshow was the assembling of international giants like Microsoft, APC, Epson, Cisco and Hewlett Packard (HP), stressing that the session offered an opportunity for the traders to interact directly with these original manufacturers and obtain clarifications on all aspects of the business.

She observed that a direct relationship with these manufacturers would create awareness against counterfeit and fake products, which could undermine the integrity of the market place.

Mrs. Uzor Okpaka of Microsoft said at the occasion that the Microsoft Vista would introduce a totally refreshing new era for personal and business computing, that is easier, faster, safer and more enjoyable.

She said that Microsoft expects that 100 million computers around the world would be using the Vista in 12 months time and stakeholders should expect new next generation hardware, software, and entertainment devices.

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ExpertEdge takes bankers to Oracle classroom

ExpertEdge Systems and Software Limited, a subsidiary of the Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), at the weekend, took some Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals from the banking industry back to Oracle’s financial solution classroom.

Speaking at the session held in Lagos, the Managing Director, ExpertEdge Systems and Software Limited, Mr. James Agada said that the essence was to intimate the nation’s financial sector of the Value Added Services (VAS) inherent in Oracle Financial Solutions.

This session, would also afford the company to know where and where to channel its resources in supporting the nation’s banking industry.

Also speaking, the Applications Sales Consultant for Middle East and Africa Operations at Oracle Systems Limited, Mr. Zakhia Zaarour, said that Oracle Data warehousing is built for establishments based on individual model, describing it as a multipurpose solution.

According to him, Oracle transfer pricing helps organisations to streamline their price offering, just as the Oracle performance analyser assists users to optimise their performances, even as Oracle risk manager and budgeting is not value less.

He noted that each department in an organisation could be structured to depend on individual needs, as some could start from pricing and another from budgeting.

He said that Oracle financial analytics include data reporting and end user layer, business rules, parameters, management ledger, chart of accounts and transactions.

On the statistics data tables, Mr. Zaarour said that it has eight standard instrument tables, consisting of general ledger table, unlimited user model among others.

He highlighted the fact that Oracle places high esteem on security, thus the company has launched the solution with data-based security applications that affords users to define individual and group roles.

“In addition, there is room for correction and manipulation,” he asserted.

The applications sales expert said that there is available some business intelligence modules developed by Oracle to enable banks develop detailed solutions.

Equally speaking, Joseph Diouf of Oracle, pointed out that the analytics solution of the firm drives higher values.

“It is a big shift when you buy a business intelligence,” Mr. Diouf said, emphasising the imperative of the banking industry to engage in Oracle solution, so as to maximize customer profitability, comply with regulations, increase customer retention, monitoring and decrease costs.

He also said that Oracle banking solution has been built to empower agents to build what he described as “360 degree view with each customer.

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HiREST boosts brandband services

Fast growing Internet Service Provider (ISP), HiREST Africa Limited has restated its resolve to boost broadband Internet service in the country, especially as the company brings what it described as new approach in service delivery to the market.

Corporate Affairs Director at HiREST, Mrs Ufuoma Daro, said that the company, which commenced full operations about a year ago, is focused on providing extraordinary services to its customers nationwide and in the West as well as Central Africa region.

She said that these steps by HiREST have reached advanced arrangement with some foreign partners to actualise its offering.

She quoted the chief executive in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel, Mr. Igho Mrakpor, who refused to give details of the partners, as saying that HiREST was set up basically to fill the gap that hitherto existed between service providers and their customers.

According to Mr. Mrakpor, there was yearning gap of service inadequacies.

“We noticed that subscribers complained about unstable and unreliable networks. It was in an effort to bridge this gap that HiREST was set up and we intend to do all that is required to close this gap,” he said.

Mr. Mrakpor also said that, Internet business in Nigeria is no doubt witnessing one of its glorious moments as today’s customers are no longer conservative but are well aware of global developments and as such demand better services.

He stressed that was the reason his company decided to bring a new approach in service delivery to the market.

“We do not believe that we should just take a customer’s money, give him his equipment and disappear,” he asserted.

He emphasised that the only thing that will make the Internet service sector better again is to make the customer king once more and to give him value for his money.

“We’re customer focused, at HiREST because customer is the king. The customer is first for us and while we look at customer satisfaction, we ensure that we exceed our customers’ expectations,” he added.

Mrakpor pointed out that there was a need for a paradigm shift by ISPs to put the customer back at the centre stage and provide services to them instead of overselling bandwidth and leaving customers to suffer the attendant poor service quality associated with such actions.

HiREST, he said has also opened two new offices in Abuja and Port Harcourt, stressing that the Abuja office is the company’s international office, while the Port Harcourt office will serve the East and Central Africa office.“Our customers are already enjoying better services as a result of this,” he noted.

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Nokia Siemens Networks reaffirms April 1 take off

Nokia and Siemens have reaffirmed the operational take off date of their partnership that resulted into Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), saying it will start operations on April 1, 2007.

Champion Infotel recalls that the two telecommunications giants contributing their respective carrier networks businesses and corresponding assets into what is known as new 50:50 company.

Both parties also agreed to increase their respective net asset contributions to the new company, with Siemens expected to contribute EUR 2.4 billion (about N408 billion) and Nokia EUR 1.7 billion (about N28.9 billion).

The above contributions coupled with the global scale and size of Nokia Siemens Networks, industry observers pointed out, that it would be in a great position to play leading role in the industry by developing innovative, cost-efficient products and services.

NSN is reported to have one of the world’s best research and development (R&D) teams, who will assist in advancing development of product platforms and services for next-generation fixed and mobile networks.

Reaffirming the readiness of NSN, the chief executive, Nokia, Mr. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said that in consolidating the telecommunications market the new company is billed to offer customers cost-saving, leading-edge solutions that will also optimally meet their needs with regards to convergence.

For President Siemens AG, Mr. Klaus Kleinfeld, the launch of Nokia Siemens Networks, avails the company to be a strong leader with excellent growth potential and entering at the top league of the telecommunications market.

“In taking this step, we’re dramatically strengthening our market position and creating sustainable value,” he said.

Equally, NSN would set the highest standards of ethics and integrity as well as based on the results of a pre-closing compliance review, Nokia and Siemens have reached an agreement on compliance and control processes that are meant to become a benchmark for the entire industry.

Other pertinent issues in this partnership include consolidation of the financial results of Nokia Siemens Networks, which both companies have agreed that the compliance processes will be based on Nokia’s system and practices.

In addition to a strong finance and control organization with centralized reporting systems and robust internal control processes, Nokia Siemens Networks plans to have an expanded compliance programme including training programmes and defined approval processes for governmental business and for engaging third party consultants in the sales process.

Further, NSN said it has zero tolerance for financial or other business misconducts and has also defined anti-corruption policies, principles and materials.

Chief executive of Nokia Siemens Networks, Mr. Simon Beresford-Wylie, pointed out that ethical behaviour is about more than strong policies, programmes and processes.

“It is also about company culture and individual choice,” he said.

Integrity will be a prominent and deeply embedded part of the Nokia Siemens Networks culture,” said Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks.

As communicated previously, the board of Nokia Siemens Networks would consist of seven members, Mr. Kallasvuo presiding, while Mr. Kleinfeld would act as the vice-chairman.

The other members of the board are the head of Nokia Operational Human Resources, Juha Äkräs; Siemens CFO, Joe Kaeser; member of the Siemens managing board, Eduardo Montes; head of Nokia Technology Platforms, Niklas Savander; and Nokia CFO, Rick Simonson.

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ATCON ready for stakeholders’ forum

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has said that it is ready for this year’s Telecom Stakeholders’ Forum with focus on ‘Telecom Franchise and Virtual Operation’.

“All is now set for the Telecom Stakeholders Forum” Executive Secretary of ATCON, Mr. Godwin A. Morgan.

He also told Champion Infotel that the event being organised jointly with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) for which almost all the dignitaries invited to brainstorm at the forum have confirmed their acceptances to attend and actively participate.

Mr. Morgan noted that the one day forum holding at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos, this Friday, March 30, 2007, would however, be preceded by the Association’s 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for 10.00am at the same venue.

According to the programme of event, he said, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Chief Frank Nweke Jnr. invited as the special guest of honour, would deliver a keynote address at the forum while the Minister of State for Communications, Dr. Femi Anibaba, also a special guest, would preside over the plenary session of the event and give an opening remark.

The Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Turner Isoun, who also is special guest, would chair the interactive session at the forum.

Mr. Morgan pointed out that four special presentations are expected in a session with Mr. Fola Odufuwa, a renowned industry analyst and founder of eShekels Limited, speaking on “Telecom Franchise & Virtual Operation: Accelerating Telecom Services Provisioning in Rural Nigeria”.

He said that the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Dr. Ernest C. Ndukwe, would make a special presentation on “Making Telecom Franchise & Virtual Operations Work In Nigeria: A Preview of Policy & Regulatory Framework”, whereas the Director, USPF, Mrs. Lolia S. Emakpore has been slated to speak on “Funding Rural Telecom Projects: How the USPF Can Support Franchising & Virtual Operations”.

Equally, he said, that the Director-General, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mrs. Modupe Adelaja, would be speaking on “Rapid Extension of Telecom Services to Rural Nigeria: The Role of Small & Medium Enterprises”.

The Executive Secretary added that panel of discussants would include the chief executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ahmad Farroukh, his counterpart at Celtel, Mr. Bayo Ligali, chairman of Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo and chief executive, Linkserve Limited, Chief Chima Onyekwere.Others he said, are the Executive Director, Marketing Communications at Globacom Limited, Mr. Okon Iyanam, President, Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Mr. Sam Adeleke, chief executive, Oceanic Bank Plc, Chief (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru, as well as the first Vice President, ATCON, Mr. Bayo Banjo.

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More winners emerge in Glo N750 promo

More winners have continued to emerge in the on-going Glo N750 Recharge card promo.
The latest of these winners were six Glo Mobile subscribers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and Jos regions, who have become owners of the brand new Honda Accord i-vtec cars.

Glo mobile said that this brings to 34 the number of subscribers who have so far won cars in the N750 Recharge card promotion.

Four of the new winners were from Abuja region comprising Niger, Kogi and Benue states, while two were from the Jos region made up of Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.

The Abuja winning numbers were 08058303327, 08075177058, 08053557369 and 08053864952. For the Jos region, the lucky subscribers were owners of 0805 4048077 and 08058363695.

The owner of 08058303327, who identified himself as James Omale, when contacted on phone, screamed, “It is a lie, it is a lie. Please are you joking? Tell me you are not joking, please!” Omale who was in the Abuja metropolis raced down to the Valencia Hotels, Wuse II, venue of the draw ceremony to confirm that the call was real.

He described Glo as the best, saying its services are cheap and wonderful, stressing that he never expected to have this good fortune of being among the promo car winners.

“I am now a Glo ambassador for life. I am urging everybody to drop every other line and patronize Glo,” he declared.

When called and informed of the car prize win, owner of number 08053557369, muttered “Jesus, Jesus,” repeatedly before the line went off.

The two winners from Jos region who were also reached on telephone gave their names as Abdul Abubakar (08054048077) and Victor Okechukwu Ikekwe (08058363695). For Ikekwe, his reaction was simply “That’s incredible.”

In his speech at the draw, the Globacom’s Abuja Regional Manager, Mr. Valentine Ossai, said the promotion was a demonstration of Globacom’s commitment to improving the quality of lives of its over 12 million subscribers.

Ossai noted Globacom’s resolve to continue to empower Nigerians to rule their world by offering world-class telecommunication services and improve their quality of lives.

Also speaking, Regional Manager for Jos, Chudi Nwoye, said that Globacom had the best customer-reward package in the industry, pointed out that the telco decided to hold the draws in several regions of the country in order to give subscribers in all parts of the country the opportunity to win the prizes being offered in the promotion.

Champion Infotel learnt that draws have also been scheduled to hold in Sokoto and Lagos regions respectively for the six remaining cars, just as Globacom is offering prepaid subscribers a total of 40 Honda Accord cars for win in the promotion.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John Holt, FG Wilson join force on capacity building

Acclaimed generating set infrastructure provider in the country, John Holt Plc Nigeria and FG Wilson Generators of United Kingdom, have joined forces in improving capacity building for local work force.

Deputy Managing Director (DMD) John Holt Plc, Dr. Nosike Agokei, disclosed this at the commencement of weeklong training for John Holt Engineering work force and nominees from its clients in Lagos.

He said that John Holt as exclusive distributor of FG Wilson Generators in the country remain committed to delivering a world class after sales services, quality customer care and total customer satisfaction.

“We believe in capacity building,” he declared, stressing that more the training would be offered to employees of the company and its local clients in partnership FG Wilson in development of local manpower.

Dr. Agokei noted that before now John Holt has about 25 expatriates which has since been reduced to three, pointing out that more Nigerians are being trained to aspire and occupy top management positions in the company.

He assured that the firm would focus on its core competence, so the company has decided to provide services based on internationally accepted standards.

“We have to contribute extensively to the economy, so as to benefit stakeholders and communities where we operate,” he said.

He also revealed that the partnership between John Holt and FG Wilson has produced over 200 trainees since it was inaugurated in 1990.

Dr. Agokei who was accompanied at the press briefing by the Product Training Engineer at FG Wilson, Mr. Paul Hutchinson, General Manager, Engineering Services, John Holt Engineering, Mr. Tonnie Uwoghiren and Business Development Manager, John Holt, Mr. Arthur Nwachukwu, emphasised that it is only when a customer is happy and satisfied that a product is sold, hence, John Holt takes delight in training its personnel to ensure that anytime any day they are equal to the task of meeting up with customers requirement.

Also speaking, General Manager, John Holt Engineering, Mr. Austin Onono, his firm offers genuine FG Wilson parts and up to 1000 KVA.

Mr. Onono further said that John Holt has diagnostic laptop deployed in identifying problems of generating sets.

He called on government to improve the electricity power supply to the populace, noting that although power should be improved, there is still need to have generating sets at high-rise buildings in case of power failure and some people are trapped in the lift.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Celtel organises roadwalk for unity tariffs

In the bid to start its aggressive marketing campaign, Third Generation (3G) compliant and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, Celtel Nigeria, on Monday embarked on T-Trek in Lagos to carry the message of its new tariff structure known as unity tariffs to doorsteps of Nigerians.

The T-Trek team led by the chief executive of Celtel Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Ligali, consists of management team of the telco.

The event, which involved roadwalk from its corporate headquarters at Olakunle Bakare Close off Sanusi Fafunwa to Silverbird Gallery, also saw other Celtel outlets assembling at the same venue from various parts of Lagos including Ikoyi, Ikeja and Apapa.

Speaking on the new tariff, Mr. Ligali reiterated that it is another first by introducing a flat tariff structure, to be known as ‘Unity tariffs’ even as the telco declared its readiness for 3G regimes in the country.

Celtel CEO said that the introduction of the unity tariffs on its network is in the bid towards making life better for Nigerians, stressing that the flat tariffs come in three formats, namely simply special, simply smooth and simply smart, just as it has slashed the international call tariffs by 45 per cent and on per second billing.

Mr. Ligali, also said the flat tariffs has three key elements including simplicity, affordability and transparency, adding that the ‘simply special’ offers subscribers on the network affordable prices and maximum benefits as on or across the net calls during peak hours, that is, 6am to 7pm which attracts 66 kobo while off peak is 39 kobo respectively.

Equally, he explained that, subscribers on this platform would have access to local Short Messaging Service (SMS) nationwide at the cost of N9 at all times, whereas SMS send internationally would attract N15 per message.

He said, on the Simply smooth, that its targeted at customers who are business people and high volume users desiring affordable prices while removing complexity and price discrimination between networks, even as subscribers are expected to pay a monthly fee of N400 while having access to on and off net calls during peak hours at 59 kobo and off peak at 33 kobo respectively, with local SMS costing N9 and international SMS attracts N15.

In addition, Mr. Ligali explained that on Simply Smart, which is focused on small and medium enterprise (SME) owners looking at increasing convenience while controlling phone costs.

He pointed out that Simply Smart attracts N3,600, which includes 100 free minutes and 30 free SMS, stressing that on and off peak periods attract 61 kobo and 33 kobo in that order, even as it has the same offering for local and international SMS like in other platform on this new package.

Mr. Ligali further said that extra features of flat tariffs structure include that midnight happy hours between 12am and 4.30; friends and family enjoy 15 free SMS monthly apart from Simply Smart which comes with 30 free SMS.

Other benefits, he enumerated include 10 per cent recharge bonus, 300 ‘call me back’ option per month and 300 ‘credit me’ monthly options.

He pointed out that for any subscriber to migrate to the new unity tariff structure, those who want to engage in Simply Special has to send ‘Yes’ SMS to 701, while 702 is for Simply smooth and 703 is for Simply smart.

“You would get an SMS containing the Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your migration,” he said.

Mr. Ligali added that by entering *126* plus the PIN number and then send.“You would be migrated within 48 hours and would receive an SMS when done followed by a congratulation message,” he said.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Networking cars for safety through SMS

Features of the week:

The recent introduction of C-Track system based on Short Messaging Service (SMS) system is a product to behold by any telecom subscriber especially vehicle owners, reports REMMY NWEKE.

Telecommunications subscriber, Mazi Ofor Idoga, is a Lagos-based businessman. He was lucky to have bought a car recently and because he cherished his car, a Toyota brand, he was excited to note that his network of choice, MTN Nigeria has just entered into a partnership with ADATA C-Track; consummated in Lagos few weeks ago and celebrated by the nation’s media as innovative option for vehicle tracking system.

Top on the innovation is that with his mobile phone on MTN network, Mr. Idoga’s car could be tracked via a Short Messaging Service (SMS) via the control room of ADATA C-Track, a Nigerian firm, which found favour in the eyes of South Africa-based Digicore International, the proprietors of C-Track Vehicle System in over 30 countries globally, even as the car could promptly be stopped if declared missing.

So, Mr. Idoga took the decision to be part of the evolution by leveraging on the mobile phone based security system, which offers him apart from mere tracking in terms of theft by enabling him to know the whereabout of his vehicle either driven by him or some else, as long it is within the Nigerian air space.

Yes, the air space as far as Nigeria is concerned and beyond, because the service is motivated by the Global Positioning System (GPS), defined as a worldwide radio-navigation system that was developed by the United States Department of Defense (US-DoD).

In addition to military purposes it is widely used in marine, terrestrial navigation and location based services, according to Nitronex educational glossary. Additionally, as said by experts at GISlounge, GPS is a technology that uses the locations satellites to determine locations on earth and is an essential part of Global Information System (GIS).

This came on the heels of the just concluded three-day workshop and exhibition on ‘Fully networked car’ by the global telecommunications regulator, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Palexpo, during the 2007 Geneva Motorshow.

The workshop geared towards creating awareness for modern cars to be Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) compliant was borne out of convergence.

For the chief public information at ITU, Mr. Sanjay Acharya, there is need for ‘fully networked car’ which is the goal of most manufacturers seeking to offer improved safety and a better experience for the driver, stressing that all major car manufacturers are looking to incorporate some level of ICT functionality into their vehicles.

He quoted recent industry analysis, which says that the market for vehicular communications is estimated in billions of U.S. Dollars by 2010 and 2012 timeframe. So, there is need for synergy among car manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), telecommunication systems manufacturers, network operators, service providers, systems integrators, member states, as well as other Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs).

The exhibition, which held between March 7 and 10 reviewed the implications of the latest developments in the fast-moving market for ICT in motor vehicles and featured speakers drawn across ICT and automobile industry, including Bosch, BMW, Cisco, Ford, France Telecom, Freescale Semiconductor, Head Acoustics, Hitachi, Intel, Motorola, Nissan, On-Star, Orange, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Q-Free, T-Systems, Telecom Italia, Telecordia, Toyota, Vodafone and Ygomi among others.

The Geneva Motor show paved the way for communications from and to the car, location-based services and multimedia entertainment to be experimented upon.

In apparent realisation of aforesaid features coupled with impression created by ADATA C-Track vehicle system proposal, leading Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Third Generation (3G) operator, MTN Nigeria, could not resist but to partner with the firm.

Announcing this development at the official launch and demonstration of C-track secure systems in Lagos, the chief marketing and customer relations officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Bola Akingbade said the launch was in the bid to continually move Nigerians ahead in their world that MTN Nigeria chose the path of partnership with ADATA C-Track Limited on this “very first truly-mobile vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery service to the Nigerian market.”

He described the product as a unique one that promises to help subscribers on MTN network to keep track of the location of their vehicles from the comfort of their homes or offices, while they are on the move through their mobile phones.

“The uniqueness of this product is that, as an individual, you can monitor your vehicle from your cell phone or from the web,” he said, stressing that the technology would afford MTN subscribers the opportunity to safeguard their precious passions against deliberate misuse, theft or other forms of loss, even as the launch is certainly another first from the stable of MTN, ” Mr. Akingbade said.

Giving an overview of C-track secure system, the chief executive, ADATA C-Track, Mr. Jeyejeye Okorodudu, said that by mere sending of SMS to a given vehicle’s on-board Subscriber Identification Module (SIM), subscribers could ensure they are immediately alerted in the event of their vehicle being moved, especially by unauthorised persons, notwithstanding whether the ignition is on or off.

“They can also keep tabs on the location of their vehicles on the go as they can send and receive the crucial information on their cell phones,” Mr. Okorodudu said, even as ADATA is collaborating with Digicore of South Africa.

He explained that the GPS-based products employ technology for location information: longitude and latitude, date and time would be universal and speed tracking with C-track range employing an eight-channel GPS receiver system that gives an average accuracy of four (4) meters.

On the GSM aspect, Mr. Okorodudu said that it is deployed to track and communicate the location data back through the network using the SMS subsystem to a Personal Computer (PC) installed with the vector maps, fleet management software, and communication kit for the fleet operator’s tracking requirements, control and management.

According to him, C-Track system also offers speed monitoring virtually tracking up to 100 knots via satellite by providing effective and reliable speed monitoring even when ignition is off.
“This proves very useful for tracking in cases of theft and illegal transport by air. Additionally however, the system provides an input for tracking vehicle speed via onboard speedometer,” he said.

In the area management cum awareness, he said that the C-track server founded on base station software allows the operator to setup predefined no-go and preferred areas as well as waypoints.

He said, that between 100 and 200 areas could be created and then transmitted to the C-track secure unit, which would report any violation of the areas immediately to the server at the base station when they occur.

Route monitoring, he further explained could be done by tagging designated routes as ‘go areas,’ ‘no-go areas’ and ‘routes’ which could be created, saved and programmed for vehicles.

He noted that installation of all C-Track features in-vehicle units covers GPS components, internal GSM modem, internal backup battery, movement sensor, activated SIM card, tampering alarm on GPS unlock and battery, emphasising that the set up takes up to three hours so also is the uninstallation.

“This single box assembly and compact size design allows installations to be covert and non-intrusive. Wiring harness and antennas; both GPS and GSM also leave virtually no visible footprint after installation, providing a truly secure and safe but yet powerful vehicle and asset tracking implementation,” he said.

Additionally, he said, that the system supports the recording of full per second incident information for the last one minute before an accident, thus a very helpful feature for liabilities placement in such events.

Just as the unit has a failure rate of less than one per cent and is warranted by manufacturer for one year against factory defects and system failure with local support provided by ADATA C-Track local stock.

Also speaking, the International Manager, Digicore, Mr. Jose Marsal said they found love with ADATA to bring this service to the Nigerian people, noting though that nothing is 100 per cent prove and no company in the world can guarantee 100 per cent on recovery.

According to him, there are kinds of reports offered on C-track secure system, including trips, summary, activity and vehicle list which could also be printed or sent via an electronic mails, even as there are business and private options, “Which helps users to manage their asset” whilst a subscriber could have as many panic buttons as possible.

“It is even better that a car driver and car owners have individually panic buttons,” he pointed out and listed some of the benefits to consist of real time location access to one’s vehicles from your cell phone through and SMS or Internet connection, receiving meaningful location information down to the street names.

Mr. Marsal said that C-Track secure system was designed to add value to the private vehicle owner and to the Small to medium Enterprise (SME) owner who runs a fleet of vehicles by allowing cell phone to vehicle location and status as well as offering the convenience of internet access to vehicles location and movement information, all at an eminently affordable price.

He listed the benefits to include adding value to having proactive warning, possible unauthorized movement, battery tamper, area alarm and the ability to immobilize the vehicle, usage information, mileage, speed recording, enhanced personal and vehicle security.

He pointed out that the nationwide coverage of MTN offers vehicle owners’ accessible via a cell phone or the Internet based on 24-by-7 days per week security.

“One SMS is all it takes to be notified of your car’s whereabouts for active tracking,” he said, noting that moving time report with speed recording as well as real time location on your cell phone, subscribers could access the location, status, speed and time at each ignition of and ignition on of your vehicle.

Apart from this it could be a measure for saving fuel and also increasing the vehicle life span, even as the internet option enables tracking and measuring of activity of the vehicle and its user, thereby verifying the whereabouts, hence reducing maintenance costs, decreasing wear and tear while maximizing profit.

“Active intelligent unit through secure unit sensor, enables the unit fitted into your car to do self-tests daily to ensure that it is working. If it’s not, a call is logged and the client is notified immediately,” he said.

Mr. Marsal explained that the secure unit senses and proactively reports a tampering of battery in which case a back up battery takes over. “It also reports ignition tampering in which case it’s immobilized if it’s confirmed to be a theft case,” he said.

On keeping track of vehicles over the Internet maps, he said that with an Internet connection to a PC, users could see their vehicles and know its activities on a detailed map.

“You can also print out detailed information as back up evidence for future review and this helps for a better as well as a more transparent and productive management system,” just as there is second by second report availability of what could have led to an accident in such events which helps to reveal the faults of drivers.

He emphasised that in event of hijacking or theft “your vehicle is immobilized safely from the ADATA C-Track Emergency Response Centre and your car is recovered.”

Mr. Marsal said that C-track secure gets its position from the GPS satellites, usually accurate upto four metres and as a back-up traceable via the GSM networks.

The device, which costs about N70,000 as a one-off payment has a monthly service charge of N2,500, while the support centre is open 24/7 and 365 days annually.

Reacting to this innovation, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) commended the partnership for introducing the ADATA C-track secure into the country.

The commission spoke through the Assistant Corps Marshal, Lagos Zonal Command, Mr A. Abu, who said that the product would give vehicle owners peace of mind and operational control of their vehicles in addition to enhancing the safety of lives and property in the country.

He also said that by introducing the vehicle tracking service, ADATA C-track and MTN are ensuring that help gets to needy road users more promptly.

“I am excited with the presentation. We’re concerned when our wards and families travel which prompts much money in making calls. I recommend it to all fleet and car owners. We want to identify with the project and recommend that to every road user in the country,” Abu said.

For the Director-General NIA, Mr. Ezekiel Chiejina, that the service is one that could help secure vehicles and reduce the risks borne by insurance companies, noting that in the near future, subscription to the service may reduce the premium paid by insurance subscribers in the country among other benefits that could emerge as the system evolves.

Put succinctly, C-Track secure is the entry-level version of the C-Track range of GPS/GSM telematics products specifically designed for the SME, light vehicle fleet and stolen vehicle recovery market sector.

And with the partnership it avails Nigerians and telecom consumers an opportunity of keeping tab on their automobiles via mobile phones, even as Mr. Okorodudu hinted that plans are underway to include subscribers on other networks in the country in the near feature.

The likes of Idoga in other networks would no doubt cherish the Value Added Service (VAS), any time and anywhere as long as there is coverage, and by getting involved.


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Nigerian exchange ready in April

Newly inaugurated board of directors of the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) has reaffirmed its commitment to the April date for the commissioning of the nation’s exchange.

An Internet exchange point (IX or IXP) is a physical infrastructure that allows different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to exchange Internet traffic between their networks, which in effect must be autonomous systems by means of mutual peering agreements, which allow traffic to be exchanged without cost, according to experts at Answers.com.

Also experts claimed that IXPs reduce the portion of an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) traffic which must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the Average Per-Bit Delivery Cost (APBDC) of their services. There are about 113 Internet Exchange Points globally.

Board chairman and chief executive of pioneer ISP in the country, Linkserve Limited, Chief Chima Apugo Onyekwere, gave this indication in a chat with Champion Infotel at the weekend.

Speaking exclusively to Champion Infotel after the inauguration of the 11-man board, Chief Onyekwere said that as matter of fact, the first mandate of the board is to come up with a date for the commissioning, which according to him must not pass the second week of April, even though the first week is receiving greater consideration.

“We have been mandated to pick a date before the first week of April for the commissioning or at most second week for the commissioning,” he asserted.

When commissioned, he said, the exchange would save lots of bandwidth for the operators and foreign reserve for the country.

In addition, he said, the exchange when up and running as it should, has the capability of improving the scale of local content in the country, especially when it comes to Internet uploading of content.

He pointed out that the board core reference apart from aforesaid, is to ensure the optimisation of the exchange by making it commercially viable.

“So, our board’s mandate is to bring to life this exchange in a commercially viable manner,” he said.

Explaining that the commercial viability of the exchange is to make it self-sustainable.

“It is not for profit, but the commercial viability is that it should be self-sustaining,” he told Champion Infotel at his Victoria Island office in Lagos.

Champion Infotel recalled that IXPN board was inaugurated at the weekend by the overseeing agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Speaking at the inauguration, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, said that it is in tandem with the directives of Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Champion Infotel notes that following the conclusion of the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis 2005, the need for Internet Exchange Point/Gateway for Nigeria came to the forefront in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development.

Consequently, President Obasanjo directed NCC to urgently establish an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) for the country.

This paved the way for the setting up of a Presidential Committee on the Nigeria Internet Exchange Point headed by Mr. Ndukwe Kalu of Amsco Telecom, at the first quarter of 2006.

The committee has since completed the first phase of the project, which was to set up the Lagos branch made of three exchanges, namely Ikeja, Victoria Island and Neccom House, Onikan-Lagos.

The Presidential committee also supervised the registration of a company with the name Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria Ltd (IXPN) with a guarantee to handle the operations of the exchange.

IXPN is also a Public Private Partnership (PPP) where all the nation’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content providers as well as stakeholders are to collaborate, just as the company is neutral and not-for-profit organization.

In readiness for the commissioning, NCC at the weekend inaugurated an 11-man board of directors to be headed by Chief Onyekwere, whose company pioneered Internet service provision to Nigerians with over 20 years experience in Internet Protocol-based consumer products.

Members of the board drawn from the ICT and academia aim to continue the process of expanding the Internet exchange presence in other parts of the country which number was initially slated to be seven.

Other members of the board were Mrs. Zubaida M. Rasheed of Transcorp, Dr. Sylvester A. Ehikioya, NCC, Mr. Sam Adeleke of Digitek Teevee Cunsulting and president, Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Prof. K.R. Adebeyi of FTU Minna, Mr. Aminu Tijjani of Multilinks, Mr. Yen Choi of Netcom, Mr. Chioke Ogugua of Celtel, Mr. Sunday Afolayan of Scannet, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck of MTN and Managing director of IXPN, Mr. Muhammed Rudman.

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It’s a spam – Ericsson

Market Intelligence:
Telecommunications equipment giant, Ericsson has warned that it is not having any promotion of any sort with a promise to give away laptops or mobile phones.

Reacting to the recent spam mail currently being circulated on the Internet, Ericsson Media Relations team informed Champion Infotel that what is going on presently is ‘Spam’.

Defined as unsolicited mails usually circulated on the Internet via electronic mail (e-mail) distribution, spam mails have continued to be of concern to the stakeholders, especially the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

It would be recalled that current spam mail reads:

“Hi everyone,
“The Ericsson Company is distributing free computer Lap-tops in an attempt to match Nokia that has already done so. Ericsson hopes to increase its popularity this way. For this reason, they are giving away the new WAP laptops. All you need to do to qualify is to send this mail to 8 people you know. Within 2 weeks, you will receive EricssonT18. But if you can send it to 20 people or more, you will receive Ericsson R320.

“Make sure to send a copy to: anna.swelung@ericsson.com.”

But responding to our inquiries, Ericsson Media team in its headquarters, said that what people are receiving is spam mail.

“What you received was a SPAM. A chain letter is currently in circulation via e-mail, claiming that Ericsson is giving away Laptop PCs/mobile phones,” the team said.

According to the team, the e-mail is a fraud and Ericsson is not giving away Laptop PCs or phones for free.

Ericsson also disclaimed Anna Swelung, who purportedly originated the letter and said that such a person does not exist at Ericsson.

“The letter is signed off by Anna Swelung. This person does not exist at Ericsson,” the media experts at Ericsson informed.

Ericsson also said, the legal and Information Technology (IT) departments at Ericsson are aware of the issue with illegal chain letter.

While expressing displeasure over any inconvenience this (letter) may have caused, Ericsson asked people not to forward the chain mail further.

Another noteworthy factor here is that both Ericsson T18 and R320 mobile phones have since been stopped in the line of production according to company sources. So it is no longer available in the market, let alone being giving out.

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Celtel introduces unity tariffs, ready for 3G

Third Generation (3G) compliant and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, Celtel Nigeria has made another first by introducing a flat tariff structure, to be known as ‘Unity tariffs’ even as the telco declared its readiness for 3G regime in the country.

Chief Executive, Celtel Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Ligali, said in Lagos, Thursday that the introduction of the unity tariffs on its network is in the bid towards making life better for Nigerians.

According to him, the flat tariffs come in three formats, namely simply special, simply smooth and simply smart, just as it has slashed the international call tariffs by 45 per cent and on per second billing.

Mr. Ligali, said the flat tariffs has three key elements including simplicity, affordability and transparency.

He explained that ‘simply special’ offers subscribers on the network affordable prices and maximum benefits as on or across the net calls during peak hours, that is, 6am to 7pm which attracts 66 kobo while off peak is 39 kobo respectively.

In addition, subscribers on this platform would have access to local Short Messaging Service (SMS) nationwide at the cost of N9 at all times, whereas SMS send internationally would attract N15 per message.

On the Simply smooth, Mr. Ligali said that its targeted at customers who are business people and high volume users desiring affordable prices while removing complexity and price discrimination between networks.

He said that on this platform subscribers are expected to pay a monthly fee of N400 while having access to on and off net calls during peak hours at 59 kobo and off peak at 33 kobo respectively, with local SMS costing N9 and international SMS attracts N15.

Equally on Simply Smart, Mr. Ligali noted that it is focused on small and medium enterprise (SME) owners looking at increasing convenience while controlling phone costs.

He pointed out that Simply Smart attracts N3,600, which includes 100 free minutes and 30 free SMS, stressing that on and off peak periods attract 61 kobo and 33 kobo in that order, even as it has the same offering for local and international SMS like in other platform on this new package.

Mr. Ligali further said that extra features of flat tariffs structure include that midnight happy hours between 12am and 4.30; friends and family enjoy 15 free SMS monthly apart from Simply Smart which comes with 30 free SMS.

Other benefits, he enumerated include 10 per cent recharge bonus, 300 ‘call me back’ option per month and 300 ‘credit me’ monthly options.

He pointed out that for any subscriber to migrate to the new unity tariff structure, those who want to engage in Simply Special has to send ‘Yes’ SMS to 701, while 702 is for Simply smooth and 703 is for Simply smart.

“You would get an SMS containing the Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your migration,” he said.

Mr. Ligal added that by entering *126* plus the PIN number and then send.

“You would be migrated within 48 hours and would receive an SMS when done followed by a congratulation message,” he said.

He equally warned prospective migrants to the unity tariffs to desist from sending SMS for this purpose more than once, otherwise, “you would be charged N100 for each SMS if you send more than one.”

In a related development, Celtel has reduced its international call rates by 45 per cent, which means that calls to United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, United Arab Emirate is now 55 kobo per second on the network.

Just as special discounts await callers to popular African countries such as Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroon to name a few.

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FBN boosts Omatek with N1bn

LEADING computer manufacturer in the country, Omatek Computers Limited, has received N1 billion to finance ownership of computers in the country from Frist Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, especially on Omatek brand.

This development is coming as Omatek brand has been adopted as hardware of choice by the financial institution, which entails Omatek brand would be used in its network of branches nationwide.

A press statement from Omatek said that FBN is staking N1 billion in Omatek Computers to finance ownership of Pcs on the brand.

“The First Bank N1 billion stake would enable a credit facility for specific categories of Nigerians
to purchase Omatek computers with payment stretched over several months,” Omatek said.

According to the chief executive, Omatek Computers, Mrs. Florence Seriki, the bank’s credit facility would help to advance the key objectives of the Computer- for All Nigerian Initiative (CANi).

She explained that it would invariably cater for those Nigerians who ordinarily are outside the CANi scope.

“The scheme would cater for employees of public and private establishments including those of small and medium enterprises (SMES), and self employed individuals,” she said.

Applauding this development, Omatek boss described it as demonstration of FBN commitments to improve the national economy over the years as one of most reliable financial institutions.

“With this present commitment, we at Omatek believe that the bank has shown that it has the hope that Nigeria’s chances at leapfrogging its economy is through having citizens that are Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled,” Mrs. Seriki said.

Equally the Managing Director of FBN Plc, Mr. Jacobs Ajekigbe, was quoted as saying that the computer-financing scheme is to allow Nigerians have the necessary financial capacity to acquire the basic ICT skills to drive their businesses and become more productive.

While describing the facility as part of the bank’s social responsibility aimed at uplifting the computer literacy quotient of the average Nigerian citizen, Mr. Ajekigbe assured Omatek of the bank’s willingness to support initiatives that would promote economic growth and empowerment of the citizens.

He also enjoined those in the private and public to exploit the opportunity to own their computers and be computer literate.

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SkyVision launches I-Direct C-band in Nigeria

Global provider of broadband Internet connectivity solutions over satellite and Internet backbone connectivity, SkyVision has launched its I-Direct C-band based on Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) broadband solution into the nation’s market.

Disclosing this in a chat with Champion Infotel, Nigerian Country Representative, SkyVision Global Networks, Mr. Sunny Imudia, said the essence of the launch was to introduce the latest in stock to the local resellers in Nigeria.

He said that the I-Direct C-band solution comes with key advantages in cost and range even as it is deployed with the smallest of dish for C-band.

According to him, complete I-Direct kit cost about $4,000 about N513,140.00, apart from the installation fee, saying it is a shared system and the bandwidth is low, stressing that the number of customers to be engaged at a time is determined by the capacity of bandwidth available which facilitates the velocity of the connection.

Giving some insight on the new Sky Direct, he said its a complete internet connectivity solution provided via the all new SES ASTRA AMC-12 satellite which was launched February 2005 to provide a complete solution to even the remotest part of Africa.

As said by the regional sales manager at SkyVision, Mr. Eitan Meshika, the goal is to bring the best value for money in the broadband provision industry and with the new AMC 12 which is operated in the c-band, its the only reliable solution for Africa.

The new Sky Direct solution is powered by I- Direct Technology, a leading IP traffic solution which offers features like the real time traffic management, Quality of Service (QoS), built in encryption with automated uplink power control, error correction to eliminate weather related performance degradation, control management, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) acceleration among others.

“The Sky Direct which offers instant Internet access with high quality service is operated on the C-band which is better than ku- band, which currently operates in Africa,” Meshika said.

He also explained that the new Sky Direct C-band VSAT offers broadband solutions to enable quick access to the Internet, digital media streaming, distant learning, education and telemedicine, data communication and data transfer, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and voice based services.

He said, Sky Direct could be used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), VoIP centres, government parastatals, hotel chains, gas stations and finance institutions among others.

Sales and marketing coordinator of SkyVision, Ms Ana Cymerman, said “its important for us at Skyvision to know what our customers need and satisfy each one of them and I know that now that we are in the Nigerian market, Nigerians would start experiencing quality Internet service.”

With headquarters in Israel, Skyvision has been in existence for six years and has achieved remarkable success overtime, in addition to having increasing market share of the central Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa.

SkyVision manages its gateways for its unending reach of network through two gateways, located in Austria, Europe and Atlanta, Georgia in the United States.

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CWL shines @ NetApp-07

Computer Warehouse Limited (CWL) has described its outing at the one-day annual conference, Network Appliance (NetApp-2007) in Lagos, as impressive.

The conference organised by NetApp for its Nigerian partners and clients was heavily supported by Cisco Nigeria. CWL is a subsidiary of the Computer Warehouse Group (CWG).

Speaking on the conference, Corporate and Marketing Manager at CWG, Ms Moronike Popoola, said that participants cut across various sectors of the economy.

She also said that the confab which has its theme as “Data Centre Proven: Better Management, Performance and Value for your enterprise,” afforded CWL to display its offering to teeming customers, including corporate and individuals.

She noted that CWL partnership with Network Appliance has been to deliver powerful, data centre proven products and services designed to simplify complex Information Technology (IT) environments and dramatically reduce total cost of ownership.

“It is designed to support large data centres, NetApp’s industry-leading products make data management scalable, flexible, and available,” she said.

Ms Popoola equally said that NetApp enterprise storage allows users to unify and streamline their infrastructure by consolidating storage across many servers and applications over any storage fabric.

“NetApp fabric-attached storage (FAS) systems integrate easily into complex enterprise environments and provide shared access to UNIX, Windows, Linux, and Web data while simultaneously supporting Fibre Channel SAN, Internet Protocol (IP) SAN (iSCSI), and NAS,” she said.

Further, she said that these high performance systems, have a proven ability to continuously serve data at higher than 99.99 per cent availability, and could scale from 720 Gega Byte (GB), to over half a petabyte using serial ATA and/or Fibre Channel disk drives.

She explained that the NetApp FAS product line on offer by CWL includes FAS6000 series - scalability for the largest enterprise applications, FAS900 series - industry-leading performance and storage scalability, FAS3000 series - breakthrough value for mid-tier enterprise storage, and FAS200 series - affordable, highly scalable, and upgradeable storage.

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Resourcery, GTB sign deal on SAS solutions

Information Technology (IT) solution provider, Resourcery Limited and award-winning Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on SAS anti-laundering and detection solution.

SAS Institute Pty is the market leader in provision of a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence.

SAS solutions are in use by over 40,000 customer sites, including 90 per cent of the Fortune 500, to develop more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers, thereby enabling better, more accurate and informed decisions to drive futuristic organizations.

Managing Director of Resourcery, Mr. Tani Fafunwa who disclosed this, said that as the key representative of SAS in the country his firm would be responsible for the implementation of the solution at GT Bank.

He also said that with this acquisition, GT Bank has joined the league of banks in the country who are turning to SAS solutions to provide them with information that gives competitive advantage, hence availing the bank with the power to know.

“We’re delighted to have GT Bank as one of our clients, and GT Bank is known for revitalizing and changing the banking environment. Within a short space of time, they have become clear leader in the banking sector in Nigeria,” Mr. Fafunwa said.

He said the benefits of the SAS anti-money laundering solution are abundant.

“With the adoption of the solution, GT Bank would be better positioned to detect and manage all forms of money laundering activities within its network,” he said.

Particularly, he said the bank would be able to minimize the number of false alerts, while enforcing compliance with government regulations and legislation and reporting all relevant information related to a suspicious case to the appropriate person for investigations.

“We look forward to working with the GT Bank team to deliver a world class solution to the bank,” he asserted.

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Panabiz unveils Workio 263

Panabiz International Limited has unveiled the Panasonic Workio 263 copier into the Nigeria’s market.

Speaking to newsmen at the venue of the unveiling in Lagos, General Manager, Customer Support Department (CSD) at Panabiz, Mr. Ashok Kadadi, said that the latest Panasonic Workio 263 has the features to send electronic mail (email) and exchange information at ease.

He also said that Panabiz believes in after sales service, “So we have after sales experts for Panasonic products.”

In Panabiz, he said the company provides best of services around its product ranges, even as it has presence in 30 major cities in the country, including Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Warri, Eket, Enugu, Aba and Calabar to name a few.

Mr. Kadadi equally said that Panabiz has commercial engineers to provide backup and replacement where and when necessary.

The event, which offered the company the chance to also exhibit other range of Panasonic copiers in its kitty, noting that Panabiz carries dealers along, whereas the event was specifically for corporate customers to learn more about Panasonic products.

He explained that Workio, means work with input and output.

He also said that Workio 263 copier series offers the option of printer, scanner and email with a control panel to moderate its activities.

According to him, this product could be networked to be used in a larger organization with document distribution system, just as the management could actually give or deny people access to colour printing.

In addition, the copier offers fax, which could be facilitated through Internet options, even as it has about 256 Mega bytes of main memory and page memory respectively.

His company has in stock all the paper sizes and toners of its various models on sale in the nation’s market today.

Equally on display at the mini exhibition, he said, includes Panasonic DP-2330 digital imaging system, which he disclosed prints 23 copies per minute and prints the same number while serving as a printer.

DP-2330 like DP-263, he said, has the standard network printing feature that is managed by document manager software with the capacity to scan to Personal Computer and send to email by scanning to File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and server in that order.

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Akinlabi explains Quiz Line

General Manager, Telemedia, promoters of Quiz Line, Mr. Olu Akinlabi, has adduced some reasons why Nigerians should embrace interactive phone-in programmes like Quiz Line, saying it has enhanced over 839 Nigerians.

He also said that Quiz Line, which is yet to clock one year, that on daily basis, a winner must emerge, just as he recalled that two main winners with over N1.2m, have since emerged.

He said that the programme designed for easy, quick and small wins was designed with the vision of carrying some bonus wins, which allow a winner to go beyond the N10,000 mark.

According to him, when played in different parts of the world as an interactive TV show, the drama to win is between the player at home and the presenter who would usually ask the interacting viewer some questions most times presented in form of a puzzle.

“The programme is highly cerebral and the player must have full concentration in order to get a win,” he said, describing it as a great game show that has continued to attract a large fellowship in the country.

“This is one of the reasons, the process of playing must always be explained to the players,” he said.

He added that interested public could call 345 on MTN network or 358555 on the other networks at the cost of N100 per call, which is a non-refundable registration fee.

“You will then receive an automatic response from the computer which qualifies you for participation,” he said, stressing that if a number is selected from the pool of numbers on the list, “you will receive a call from the presenter inviting you to play the interactive game. And if you successfully solve the puzzle, you could win as much as N1m,” Mr. Akinlabi explained.

He also noted that an electronic version of this message is available to those who call into the programme and are left with the choice to continue with the transaction.

Mr. Akinlabi pointed out that Telemedia has always given this explanation just for players to know that Quiz Line is a phone interaction between the presenter and the viewer at home whose indication to play would necessitate him to call the presenter.

He emphasised that such call is not an automatic qualification but until the request is processed by the computer, and a number gets through.

“All over the world where Quiz Line is played, it is billed on a premium rate and has become a major value added product to most telecom operators and Nigeria is no exception,” he said.

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ICT4D Week 2018