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ITRealms : The Director General and Chief Executive Officer, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali I...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

W.Afri.Tel: Celebration of speedy growth

5 Following the persistent unique growth of participation recorded over the years at the West African International Telecommunications (W.Afr.Tel) exhibitions and conferences, the nation’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies are routing for the eighth edition of the event.

This include the federal government who it was gathered has concluded arrangements to send a high-powered delegation to this year’s W.Afri.Tel, given the kind of attention it has drawn for Nigeria through attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and growth recorded in the last eight years.

Historically, W.Afri.Tel which began just few months before the rolling out of commercial services on the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) in the country, that is, precisely in June 2001, is organised by Exhibition Management Services (Pty), owned by a Briton resident in South Africa, Mr. John Thomson, with the parent company being the Trade Fair Investments of United Kingdom (UK) with over 15 years experience.

Speaking recently on his vision for W.Afri.Tel, Mr. Thomson said, it’s to be the most professional and largest exhibition in its class for the West African sub-region and the event in its eighth year, no doubt event has achieved even more than that.

According to him, W.Afri.Tel has contributed immensely to the telecom revolution in Nigeria; that is coming when there was literally not much to talk about, thus bringing in investors, exhibitors and visitors from across the globe.

So far, the event has convinced foreign investors that Nigeria is indeed, the market to be in and it is interesting that Nigeria, which had less than 500,000 telephone lines prior to W.Afri.Tel initial entrance now has over 46 million lines and is still counting.

Therefore, it was not surprising that the government of the day has reason to celebrate and identify with W.Afri.Tel at this year’s event.

Latest information reaching ITRealms Online as at last weekend indicated that the Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. John Ogar Odey, his minister of state, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe have advanced plans to be present at the W.Afri.Tel 2008.

Sources close to the ministry in Abuja, said that Odey would lead the federal government’s delegation made up of top government functionaries to grace the opening session of the event.

Affirming this, the sole agent of W.AfriTel, the publishers of IT & Telecom Digest, stated that several other industry operators including professional associations, like the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, Nigeria Internet Group, Association of Licensed Telephone Operators, among others, would be represented at the highest levels at the opening ceremony.

Chief host at the event and editor-in-chief of IT & Telecom Digest, Mr. Mkpe Abang, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online said W.Afri.Tel has over time grown to become the sub-region’s leading and most professional exhibition on the ICT sector.

“From a time when foreign direct investment (FDI) in the ICT sector was just under $50 million, today, FDI to Nigeria through the sector stands at over $12 billion,” he said.

As said by him, leading operators in the telecom sector, including the second national operator, Globacom, Celtel Nigeria, Starcomms, and the newest mobile operator, Etisalat are all geared toward taking active part in this year’s W.AfriTel as exhibitors, just as Sony Ericsson, Netcom Africa among others are not left out.

Available information also showed that foreign ICT firms that took part last year came from far away Europe, Asia, Americas and other parts of the continent, especially from South Africa.

The organisers pointed out that though W.Afri.Tel has been consistent in taking place every June since 2001 with phenomenal growth of over 60 per cent each successive year. Its major challenge has been the search for spacious location to accommodate what they described as “increasing number of prospective exhibitors.”

Statistically, W.Afri.Tel cuts across telecommunications, Information Technology (IT), communication, electronic, oil and gas, professional, banking and legal, commercial, manufacturing as well as building and construction sectors of the economy respectively.

As the industry players warm up for the 2008, invariably expectations are high and only time would tell how it fared, especially given the number of visitors which increased over 1,500 recorded in 2001 to above 2,000 in 2002, while in excess of 2,800 in 2003, the year 2004 recorded over 3,500 even as 4,000 participating in 2005 with additional300 in 2006, the 2007 expectedly doubled against 2005 record, another groundbreaking record of participants is obvious this year.

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NIG gets new exco, retains Ajayi

Convinced by the performance of his leadership in the past two years, members of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) have re-elected a seasoned telecom engineer and chief executive of PiNet Informatics, Mr. Lanre Ajayi for another two years in office as the president of the group.

Also on board to work with Ajayi from the election, which held in Lagos, last Friday at the Golden Gate Ikoyi-Lagos, were the chief executive of HiiT Limited, Mr. Kayode Shobanjo, as the vice president, and a seasoned Internet savvy accountant, Mr. Bosun Arebowa who also retained his position as the treasurer of NIG.

Equally elected in the new executive is the Head, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Desk at Champion Newspapers Limited, Mr. Remmy Nweke as the publicity secretary. Whereas the immediate past publicity secretary, Mr. Kazim Akinrete and Managing Director, Ice Cool Contracts, Mr. Destiny Amana were appointed ex-officio members.

Speaking at the occasion, leader of the election committee and a member of NIG board of trustees as well as the immediate past President of the group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem tasked the new executive to always remember that they have been elected in the tradition of NIG to serve, emphasising that more service is demanded of them now that the nation is seeking transform from being a mere Internet-user country to content providers on the Internet.

Ekuwem congratulated the executive and wished them well in all endeavours as they carry the mantle of leader of the group till 2010.

Responding afterwards following the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group and election, Mr. Ajayi who spoke on behalf of his team promised Nigerians an increased bright presence of local content on the Internet, mostly via the implementation of Internet for Job (I4J) initiative of the group launched June 12, 2007 and during his first term in office.

He paid tribute to members of NIG for the support given him in the past and in ensuring that the 2008 election was held without any atom of rancour as most of the elective positions were unopposed.

“We are committed to serve NIG and provide positive local content from Nigeria,” he asserted, enjoining Nigerian Internet public to make sure they take advantage of it and transform the Nigeria’s image positively.

Commending the electoral committee led by Dr. Ekuwem and supported by the group’s administrative secretary, Mr. Fidelis Orji, he reiterated the commitment of his team to try their possible best, noting that service to NIG is service to motherland.

Founded in 1995, NIG prides itself as an umbrella non-government organisation (NGO) dedicated to the promotion and growth of the Internet in the country with open membership for interested public who are involved in the growth of the Internet technology, irrespective of educational background and current field of employment.

Presently, NIG membership cuts across the academia, non-governmental organizations, government parastatals, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), private organizations and individuals.

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10% piracy reduction generates 24,000 jobs - BSA

Recent study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) has shown that approximated 10 per cent reduction was seen in the level of piracy on the continent, just as this has given leverage to creation of 24,000 jobs in 2007.

The study was released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a group advancing free and open world trade for legitimate business software by advocating strong intellectual property protection.

According to the BSA Nigeria spokesman, Mr. Akeem Aponmade, the study also revealed that reducing the Personal Computer (PC) software piracy rate in the entire African region by 10 percentage points would have a multiplier effect.

This, he said, increases economic benefits and has the potential to generate 24,000 additional jobs, which has attracted estimated $600 million in tax revenues and $3.4 billion in spending in the local Information Technology (IT) sector over the next four years in Africa.

Mr. Aponmade, also commended the efforts being made so far by the law enforcement agencies notably the Nigeria Copyrights Commission (NCC) and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), stressing that more work needs to be done, especially in the private sector.

He defined software as unique in its ability to drive value throughout other sectors and thus, policy makers should find a compelling case for taking steps to reduce software piracy in order to reap the economic benefits of a strong national software and IT sector.

“It is clear that reducing software piracy delivers real results that help real people with real challenges,” he said.

BSA is the foremost organization promoting a safe and legal digital world and serves as the voice of the world’s commercial software industry fostering technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce.

A press statement from BSA Nigeria, quoted its African spokesman, Alastair de Wet, noted that when countries take steps to reduce software piracy, “everyone stands to benefit.”

He pointed out that with more and better job opportunities, a stronger, more secure business environment, and greater economic contributions from the already robust IT sector; reducing software piracy delivers tangible benefits for governments and local economies.

Equally, IDC findings indicated that for every $1 spent on legitimate packaged software, an additional $1.25 is spent on related services such as installing the software, training personnel, and providing maintenance services.

BSA emphasised that most of these benefits accrue to locally-based software services and channel firms, meaning the greatest proportion of the economic benefits from lowering software piracy stay within the country.

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Daniel praises Cisco Academy

Executive governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has praised Cisco Network Academy over its ongoing commitment to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and networking skills amongst Nigerians and across West and Central Africa.

Speaking last weekend at the launch of Cisco Africa Networking Academy Safari held in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, Daniel commended the firm on the initiative and sustaining the tempo.

ITRealms Online recalls that the Africa Networking Academy Safari, now in its third year, was organized by the Cisco Networking Academy and played host to academies across key regions on the continent aiming to raise and maintain the quality of IT instruction by offering quality technical retraining sessions to instructors as well as facilitating networking between Academy instructors, prospective employers for workforce development and Cisco strategic business partners otherwise known as resellers.

The two-day conference was attended by prominent Nigerian dignitaries such as the Governor Gbenga Daniel who was represented by a delegation led by the immediate past Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Titi Oseni, the Commissioner of Education, Professor Segun Awonusi, as well as Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries of the State.

Also in attendance were over 120 instructors as well as a large numbers of supporters and Cisco strategic partners.

In his keynote address Governor Daniel noted that Nigerians are pacesetters and have resolved to continue to make huge investments into the development of the education sector particularly.

“The area of Information and Communication Technology as a tool for economic, educational and social development in Nigeria. Joining forces with Cisco and indeed the Network Academy has been an invaluable asset to achieving that vision,” he said.

For Prof. Awonusi the event was a demonstration of Cisco’s commitment to the continuous development of the instructors to ensure cutting edge training to their students.

Managing Director, Cisco Nigeria, Mr. Maduka Emelife, said networking is the very heart of the Internet Protocol (IP) revolution experienced in the world today.

“So, we at Cisco are absolutely committed to ensuring that Nigeria is brought up to speed with prevailing technology,” he said, adding that its the essence of a conference such as this one.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of ensuring that Nigeria remains at the cutting edge of the global technological evolution,” he said.

Emelife explained that there was four awards given out at the event during the close of the first day of the conference, namely the Best Regional Academy won by the University of Jos; Best Local Academy won by Ijebu Igbo Polytechnic; Best New Academy went to AfriHUB academy in UniZik in Awka and Best Instructor award won by Mr Sadiki Babatunde of the Gateway Polytechnic Saapade.

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D-Link consolidates on regional presence

Regional Director, D-Link International, Mr Jacky Chang has disclosed that the firm would consolidate on its presence in Nigeria to expand to other countries in the West African region.

Mr. Chang in a press statement made available to correspondent in Lagos, said that D-Link brand is a niche with versatile and functional product, even as its technology is contemporary.

“Our brand is niche, our products are versatile and functional and our technology is contemporary,” he said.

According to him, D-Link Nigeria has lined up a series of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programmes that would further consolidate its global position as the number one manufacturer of SMB networking products, and as well increase its market share in the Enterprise Market for Industrial Scale Network Solutions and Services.

The Regional Director hinted that his team would be meeting specific players in the key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as the financial sector, oil and gas, telecommunications, and educational institutions.

He explained that the objective is to engage these sectors in the use of our worldwide acclaimed solutions that has greatly influenced sectoral and national development in several countries.

Chang added that the great potential and the emerging nature of Nigeria demands for the best and most experienced players from all parts of the globe, stressing that D-Link is well positioned to play and create a win-win situation for all Nigerians.

He emphasised that the scheduled event for June 5, at the Golden Gate Towers, Ikoyi, would have speakers including the Country Consultant, Dr. Chris Uwaje, defining it as the platform the organisation has chosen to emphasis and display its solutions as it applies to the different spectrums of the Nigerian economy.

Equally, the Minister for Science & Technology, Mrs Grace Ekpiwhre, Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, and chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Sen. Sylvester Anyanwu would grace the event.

In addition, founder of Visafone, Mr. Jim Ovia, Director General of the National IT Development Agency (NITDA), Prof Cleopas Angaye, Zinox Technologies, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh among others are being expected.

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Expect Egyptian magic in Nigeria – Etisalat

The fifth Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, Etisalat Nigeria Limited, has sounded a note of warning to competitors as its warming up to replicate what the telco magically did in Egyptian operation by achieving over five million subscribers in one year.

Giving this assurance, Chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Saoud Al Shamsi, told newsmen at the just concluded 2008 ITU Telecom Africa held at the Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt, this has been a key reason for not being in a haste to roll out commercially.

These efforts, he said, were to sustain that kind of overwhelming subscriber-base as achieved in Egypt, accompanied with the quality of service, which Etisalat is known for throughout its operation in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

“It is because of that kind of services and quality that we have managed to do that and we do not think that our performance and accomplishment in Nigeria will be anything less,” Al Shamsi said.

He explained that in Egypt, Etisalat launched with both Second Generation (2G) and Third Generation (3G) technologies respectively and even later advanced to 3.75 G with telecom presence in most of the cities.

“Our presence and track record in Egypt is just a demonstration of our track record in quality of service. We have 2G and 3G licenses in Egypt and it tells you the kind of services that we are offering,” Al Shamsi declared.

He pointed out that although Etisalat has not began commercial operation in Nigeria, the telco has been working on the continent for a long time.

Etisalat International, he said, is the company’s business unit that operates outside the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and manages Etisalat ventures in telecommunications carriers in Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Gabon, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Pakistan among others.

“You have been to our stand and come across innovative services and ideas that we are looking forward to providing in Nigeria. Our participation in ITU Telecom Africa is to get the people better educated about our values and operations in addition to the valued services that we are offering,” he said.

Etisalat Nigeria, he said, is currently troubleshooting all the quality issues that could arise.

“We’re putting and rolling out the network in various cities of Nigeria so that we have greater coverage and we have better reach to the various ends of Nigeria,” he asserted.

Al Shamsi urged Nigerians to expect Etisalat services eventually at every end of the nation’s geographic representation and that is what the telco is presently concentrating on.

“We do not want to be motivated by early profit and launch prematurely and then face the quality of service issues. We are trying to manage all of these problems before we give the Nigerian consumer exposure to ourselves,” he said.

Stressing that with a better quality of service, which his firm is aiming at and aspires to operate in Nigeria, would be accompanied by deployment of the latest technologies that would offer the latest services with affordability and quality of service to customers.

“This is the strategy that we are utilising in every of our operation and that’s why we gained five million subscribers in 12 months operation in Egypt,” he said.

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QoS: MTN to reward subscribers

IN compliance with the recent directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), instructing some telecommunications operators to reward customers for substandard services, which also was a subject of litigation, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, has concluded plans to reward the affected subscribers, reports CHARLES OKOH.

MTN said beneficiaries would be those who have remained active in its network as at January 31st, 2008 to the tune of a minimum N175.00 free airtime credit beginning from May 28, 2008.

Chief Executive Office of the telco, Mr. Ahmad Farroukh, in press statement made available to Champion Infotel, said the reward is in appreciation of the loyalty, understanding and patronage by its customers.

According to Mr. Farroukh, “in consultation with the NCC we shall be disbursing the airtime credit over a period of six weeks with effect from 29th of May, 2008,” adding that notwithstanding the differences early had with the NCC over the directive, MTN recognizes that loyal and dear customers who have faithfully stayed on its network through both easy and difficult times deserved to be rewarded.

“We are extending the reward at a time when we are confident that the network can accommodate the expected upsurge in network utilization that would result from the reward airtime credit,” Farroukh said.

The CEO also outlined actions already taken in the last nine months to expand its network capacity to enable it deliver a quality of service that will meet and exceed the expectation of all its subscribers.

Some of these he said, are installation of 23 new base stations controllers; upgrade of 2,200 base stations across the country; raising its switches and base stations to 63 and 444 respectively.

Others are, installation of 18,218 additional trans-receiver units making a total of 56,348; up grade of Home Location Registers (HLRs) to provide capacity for additional 14 million subscribers across the network among others.

It will be recalled that during a working visit by the Senate Committee in charge of communications led by Senator Sylvester Anyanwu, recently, the CEO had promised that efforts were on to further improve the telcos services by June, 2008.

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ATCON, GABI join forces against corruption in telecom

THE Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in conjunction with Global Academy Bloc International would play host to the first Global Economic and Financial Crimes Control and Eradication Conference (GEFCEC) telecommunications stakeholders’ conference on corruption from June 10-12, 2008 at the Muson Centre, Lagos, reports CHARLES OKOH.

The three-day conference tagged Corruption Management in the Nigerian Telecommunication Sector, according to the organisers is aimed at forming a bloc of leadership interested in learning the contemporary methods to control and eventually eradicate “Economic and Financial Crimes” especially in the developing nation of the world.

A press statement made available to Champion Infotel, said the conference is for the management of all telecommunications companies in the country, two key heads of information technology (IT) departments of all banks, IT heads of departments of micro-finance banks; departments of all insurance companies; information relations officers and IT heads of all government parastatals.

Others are commissioners of information in all the 36 states and Abuja, Nigerian Communications Commission; Independent Corruption Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to the statement, some of the guest lecturers are, Senator Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, who would be speaking on “Legislation and Policy Implementation as key factors to eradicating corruption, Chairman of ICPC who would be speaking on “The corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and its effect on Corruption Control while the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe would dwell on “The Positive role of regulation in the global Information Communication Technology (ICT) environment’ just as Transparency International, World Bank and International Telecom Union are expected also to send representatives to the conference.

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Galaxy Plc gets ministerial applause

0For taking part in the just concluded 2008 edition of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-organised Telecom Africa which held in Egypt, Galaxy Backbone Plc has received a ministerial applause.

This applause was proclaimed during the event held at the Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt by the Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. John Odey who visited Galaxy stand at the Nigerian exhibition area.

ITRealms Online recalled that Galaxy Backbone Plc participated in the 2008 edition, which took part between May 11 and 15, this year as strategic partner of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Nigeria pavilion.

The presence of Galaxy Backbone at the continental event, Mr. Odey said, underscores the determination of the company’s leadership to appreciate Federal Government’s assurances to achieving its Vision 2020; a programme of collective multi-sectoral economic growth designed to position Nigeria among the league of 20 most robust and vibrant economies in the world by year 2020.

According to him, by leveraging innovative developments in ICTs for the socio-economic development of the country, this vision could be achieved.

Earlier, while welcoming the minister to the stand, accompanied by the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, and officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Egypt, the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Plc, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe noted that the continental event provided the firm an opportunity for Galaxy Backbone Plc to showcase its value proposition as an agent of change.

He also told the ministerial team that with the increasing pace of development of ICTs on the continent, Galaxy Backbone is ready to play a pivotal role in delivery of the ICT benefits for the imperatives of efficient governance and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that would enable digital inclusion of underserved communities and hard-to-reach areas of the country.

Ilukwe used the opportunity to explained to the concept of Galaxy Backbone’s 1-Gov.net to the Minister, saying that as a common government–wide platform for the provision of network and other transversal services for the Federal Government through the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the reality of its NICEP Network which is a nation-wide network infrastructure platform for the delivery of e-education, e-health, e-agriculture and e-government solutions.

Also, Galaxy Backbone utilized the ITU forum as a platform for networking and securing partnerships with key ICTs personalities and institutions that attended the event.

Also, ITRealms Online recalls that Galaxy Backbone Plc is a public enterprise of the Federal Government that was established to provide a common platform for the provision of network connectivity and transversal services to the public sector.

GBB Plc also has the further objective of delivering connectivity and digital access that will enable relevant solutions to governance and other underserved communities and locations in Nigeria, whereas its currently deploying core infrastructure – satellite, terrestrial networks and data centre infrastructure to support connectivity and other IP services delivery.

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Finacle 10, nextgen banking solution

Management of Infosys Technologies has said that its recently unveiled Finacle 10 is the next generation solution for banking transformation, just as the firm has invested new funding to the tune of $60 million (about N7,062,000,000).

ITRealms Online recalls that Nigeria’s Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) is the sole marketer and implementer of Finacle countrywide and in English speaking West Africa.

Also of note is that currently leading financial institutions including First Bank Plc, UBA Plc, First Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic bank Plc, Spring Bank Plc, FCMB Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and Kakawa discount house all run on Finacle.

While announcing the launch of Finacle version 10, recently the management of Infosys Technologies said the step was to reinforce its global leadership in banking transformation.

A press statement from CWG Nigeria endorsed by the Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Ms Morenike Popoola stated that the latest version is a highly sophisticated and advanced system that has been built with an investment of over 240,000 personnel.

She explained that this new version of Finacle would enable banks to transform their multi-country operations through a standard platform and processes.

“A set of over 5000 parameters and an enhanced scripting studio will deliver rapid product innovation,” she said, adding that the new version brings with it a whole new set of offerings including Islamic banking, wealth management; and an enhanced mobile banking solution.

Popoola also quoted a member of the board, Infosys Technologies Ltd, T.V. MohanDas Pai, as saying that the firm is strongly focused on banking and financial services , hence it has continued to make relevant investments in Finacle.

“Finacle is core to our growth strategy. We have invested over $60m in the last three years to build a state-of-the-art banking solution. Finacle Universal Banking Solution, integrated with Infosys services like SI, Consulting and BPO will offer global banks a truly differentiated transformation model,” Pai said.

The board member added that with Finacle version 10, Infosys is poised to address the key challenges of banking transformation. A technically strong solution with SOA, BPEL-enabled workflow and advanced security and compliance framework delivers significant improvement in productivity and greater readiness to manage security and regulatory challenges.

Business Head, Finacle, Haragopal M. noted that Finacle version 10 with its powerful multi-country infrastructure and transformational capabilities delivers increased productivity, rapid innovation and a comprehensive set of offerings to meet diverse customer demands. “Seven Tier-1 and Tier-2 banks around the world have already reposed their trust on Finacle, version 10 to power their domestic and international operations,” Haragopal said.

Noting that as a leader in banking transformation, Finacle has a global footprint across 60 countries and has been acknowledged by top analysts including Gartner, Forrester and Celent among the leaders in the core banking solution space.

“Finacle is also the winner of a series of awards for its innovation and implementation capabilities, the most notable ones being The Banker Technology Award and The Asian Banker IT Implementation Award,” asserted Haragopal.

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Steps to observe packet spoofing by ISPs (9)

The local machine, with IP address 12.13.14.15, reported transmitting a total of five RST packets to the remote machine at 4.8.16.32 (packet nos. 2340, 2342, 2346, 2350, and 2354), while it reported receiving 13 such packets from 4.8.16.32 (packet nos. 2338, 2339, 2343, 2344, 2347, 2348, 2351, 2352, 2355, 2356, 2357, 2358, and 2359).

The remote machine, with IP address 4.8.16.32, reported transmitting only a single RST packet (packet no. 2560) while it believes it received 17 RST packets from 12.13.14.15 (2549, 2550, 2551, 2552, 2553, 2554, 2555, 2556, 2557, 2558, 2561, 2562, 2563, 2564, 2565, 2566, 2567).

Evidently, many of the RST packets received by each machine did not actually originate from the other. 11 The result of these RST packets in this case was that the BitTorrent session stopped and did not resume for around four and a half minutes.

(A new TCP session is established with the characteristic SYN and SYN/ACK packets at local capture packet nos. 2446 and 2447, which correspond to the remote capture’s packet nos. 2578 and 2579.)

Wireshark provides the ability to view not only a packet summary list like the lists displayed above but also the sequence of bytes that comprise each individual packet, as well as a dissector view, which shows what the packet’s contents actually mean from the point of view of various Internet protocol layers.

A careful examination of this evidence could involve a byte-for-byte, packet-for-packet comparison to determine exactly which packets were spoofed. If one is performing such a comparison, it is important to appreciate that Wireshark captures more than just the IP packets that get transmitted over the Internet; each IP packet is typically captured wrapped inside a link-layer header (often referred to as an Ethernet frame header or Ethernet packet header on an Ethernet-style network, including a wired Ethernet or WiFi network).

Link-layer headers are used to communicate between computers on the same local Ethernet network and are discarded and regenerated whenever a packet is forwarded through any router. Thus, there is no reason to expect link-layer headers to correspond between two packet traces unless those packet traces were captured on the same physical local-area network. When manually performing a detailed packet comparison, packets should be considered “the same” if the Internet Protocol headers and payload match up; the link-layer headers can simply be ignored because they were never forwarded over the Internet.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HiTV lauds copyrights commission

Terrestrial satellite entertainment operator, HiTV, has lauded the Nigeria Copyrights Commissions (NCC) for being steadfast in raiding of illegal entities tapping other people’s works without authorisation.

Noteworthy is that recently NCC raided some satellite television cable network in Onitsha and Port Harcourt, and seized offensive contrivances as decoders, smart cards of other service providers, just as it arrested nine employees of the company.

This, NCC said it was acting in accordance with the Strategic Action Against Piracy (STRAP).

Commenting on the development, chief executive of HiTV, Mr. Toyin Subair noted that the prevalence of piracy has become frightening as the scourge has crept from music and videos to virtually all sectors of the economy, including the internet, technology, manufacturing, media and films, pharmacy, medicine, fashion, arts and publishing.

He also tasked the Commission not to relent in the anti-piracy war, as protection of intellectual property is central to any creative endeavour, without which substantial amounts of money are lost, besides the fact that investment and research are adversely affected.

Champion Infotel recalls that last year HITV joined the anti piracy war with the donation of a Toyota Hiace bus to the regulatory agency for its operations in Owerri.

Head, Operations at HiTV, Mr. Benjamin Zida, said at the occasion that the company recognized “the fact that NCC is incapacitated in its activities and we know that one of such incapacities is the ability to move from one point to another.”

He added that it’s just something to ensure that the job they are doing moves on as fast as possible, mostly at responding to complaint and immediately dealt with.

Responding after receiving the bus on behalf of NCC, manager, Owerri Zonal office of NCC, Mr Chris Nkwocha, who represented the Director General admonished other stakeholders to join the quest for copyright protection.

“We expect more from other corporate bodies. If we must fight this pirates to a standstill we need cooperative and collaborative effort from establishments. So we expect them to borrow a leaf what you (HiTV) have just done,” he said.

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‘Transcorp still committed to revive NITEL’

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has reiterated commitment to revitalise the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and its mobile unit, the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL), despite indications that the telco is at the crossroads, reports CHIOMA CHUKA.

According to the telco, NITEL is still profitable.

An impeccable source, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed on Monday that Transcorp might have felt disappointed with the financial irregularities discovered in NITEL recently; it is working out modalities to ensure the loopholes are blocked and that such occurrences do not repeat itself in the future.

Transcorp had, fortnight ago, alleged that its team of accountants which had been examining financial records of NITEL, discovered what it referred to as a major fraud. The team, according to Transcorp, had identified a huge leak in the billing system of NITEL through which revenue generation was unaccounted for.

As a result of this, Transcorp threatened to suspend further investments in NITEL until corrective steps were taken to block leakages in the financial system of the first national telephone network operator.

However, the source disclosed, Transcorp is committed to its plans for NITEL and MTEL; adding that the management is currently reviewing its blueprint meant for revival of the subsidiaries. ‘Transcorp still believes NITEL has enormous potential to return to the path of profitability.

Despite the challenges, Transcorp has a huge potential to pay huge returns to shareholders,’ he said.

Reacting to the position of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) on the issue, the source said the body only needed to gain access to the various steps Transcorp is taking to address the pending issues.

NUPTE is calling on the Federal Government to take over the management of NITEL due to what it called incapability in managing the crisis in the first national carrier.

The source however was not satisfied with the NUPTE’s judgement of the prevailing crisis, asking whether the government would give thumps up for the financial

irregularities just discovered in NITEL. Instead of pointing accusing fingers at Transcorp, the source advised the union to sanction any of its members involved in the alleged fraud, even if it would pitch another tent with the conglomerate.

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UNESCO opens call for ICTs in education prize

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has announced the call for nominations in its Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) in Education Prize.

Known as the “Digital Opportunities for All: Preparing Students for 21st-Century Skills” as this year’s theme for the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education, is funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The US$50,000 prize is divided between two winners, even as every year, this prize rewards activities that demonstrate best practice as well as creative use of ICTs to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance.

Submissions for candidature must reach UNESCO via the governments of member states, in consultation with their UNESCO National Commissions, or by international non-governmental organizations, which maintain formal relations with the organization.

The organisers also said the deadline for submissions is 31 August 2008, just as winners will be celebrated at an award ceremony on 14 January 2009 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

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MWeb introduces Remote iWay Gateway

Leading Internet Service Provider (ISPs) in the country, Mweb Nigeria, has introduced to its subscribers its Remote iWay Internet Gateway (RiIG).

Marketing Manager, Mweb Nigeria, Mrs. Muyiwa Esomojumi informed in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel that the Remote iWay Internet Gateway (RiIG) is a number of software modules precisely servers, serving different purposes bundled together in an operating system to form one gateway.

Each of the modules, he said, have been carefully researched and implemented to serve a different purpose, stressing that RiIG has content management feature that gives users more flexibility and freedom in managing and controlling their volume usage locally.

“It also allows the subscriber to remove unwanted content and increase privacy on their network,” she said.

Additionally, she said, that RiIG amongst other things could improve Internet link performance by assuring efficient link utilization, reduced processor load on indoor unit (DW), reduces HTTP Internet usage by approximately 25 per cent, users pop mail from the RiIG thus saving on link bandwidth, to assure quality internet services, as well as network security which helps to protect customers’ networks from malicious external attacks, to manage Internet content (HTTP), that is, it could be used to mange user’s internet content the way such customer prefers and gives the power to manage domain’s email confidently.

Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Manager at MWEB Nigeria, Mr. Dotun Faseru pointed out that the core features of the RiIG to the subscribers are numerous as it helps with their content management, anti virus and anti spam tool.

All this, he said, have been introduced to automatically update every six hours over the Internet.

“It is integrated with the mail server, Safe Squid Proxy and Cache Server which is a robust content filtering internet proxy server with transparent caching which enhances security of your Local Area Network (LAN) by ensuring that only trusted sites are connected to the proxy,” he said.

This, he noted would increase privacy and makes surfing a more pleasant experience by blocking pop ups and advertisements, defining users limits to allow Internet access by time, bandwidth, and maximum file size downloadable and Blocking of unwanted websites (URL’s).’

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NAFDAC’s exploring e-regulatory – Akunyili

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is exploring e-regulatory practices so as to always be ahead regulatory issues even before they arise, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Stating this was the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Dora Akunyili during the recently concluded Computer, Telecommunications and Office equipment (CTO 2008) exhibition and conference at the Muson Centre, Onikan-Lagos.

Prof. Akunyili, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Enforcement Directorate, Mrs. T. O. Owolabi, said as the world becomes more and more e-operational, regulators including NAFDAC are also fast on the heels of these developments and the Nigeria cannot be left behind because electronics have turned the world into a virtual village.

She added that leveraging on technology for initial administration and control is a prerequisite for industrial development.

She disclosed that some of the areas of need for e-regulation in the agency include technologies to facilitate the policing of Nigeria’s vast international boarders to prevent entry of counterfeit products; systems that facilitate effective communication within NAFDAC, with regulated industries and other regulatory activities in the West African regions; affordable Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as well as track and trace devices as well as markers capable of clearly distinguishing genuine food, drugs and other NAFDAC regulated products from counterfeits.

Also, she highlighted the capacity building for agency officials in the use of technology for regulatory control as well as regulations of the NAFDAC regulated industries among others.

According to her, “All nations and regions of the world must develop, embrace or be able to leverage technology for sustainable development. The reality of technology driven success such as in Dubai, China, among others, underscores the possibilities offered by the CTO 2008 conference which focuses on telemedicine, distance learning and on-line transactions.”

Mrs. Akunyili further said the country is already enjoying the good fruits of leveraging on technology with collaborative efforts between National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited of the United Kingdom, which resulted in the launching of Nigeria ’s first earth observation satellite project in 2000 and the birth of NIGCOMSAT-1 on May 14, 2007.

The collaboration, she noted, has the potentials to open up the country to the global frontiers and global economic competitiveness, as expectations are currently high that the satellite infrastructure could be used to offer high-speed voice, data, and video transmission networks in Nigeria.

Prof. Akunyili added that the growth in the telecommunications industries in recent years in the country has opened new doors for employment, investment, national security, economic growth, and sustainable development and that, hopefully, the third generation services from the industry will propel the country into greater information and communication technology (ICT) growth.

She also stated that the country must rush into telemedicine, which has moved from the realms of science fiction and research to reality as it has already proven capability to improve the quality of healthcare delivery to urban and remote rural dwellers.

Health providers, she said, are now able to monitor patients remotely, process data and obtain an alert if there is a problem and this, it is hoped, will reduce cost of health care delivery while improving quality of service.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

UNECA shows interest in I4J initiative

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has shown interest in partnering with a Nigerian-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) promoting Internet in the country since 1995, the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) on its Internet for Jobs (I4J) initiative.

President, NIG, Mr. Lanre Ajayi disclosed this at the weekend in Lagos during a one-day seminar on I4J held on the theme “Internet for Jobs: Creating Jobs by promoting eCommerce.”

He said NIG was excited to note the tremendous interest shown by the UNECA in the I4J initiative.

“We’re hopeful that they will soon become a promoter of I4J, as a representative of the international community in the multi-sectoral partnership constituted to promote the initiative,” he said.

Already, he said, advertisement for the project submission by individuals and corporate organisations in the country under the I4J, have been placed and the outcome showed that Nigerians posses enormous potentials that are waiting to be tapped.

“We are about to be proven right in our belief that given the right environment and the right encouragement Nigerians can excel even in electronic business (e-business) and e-government,” he said.

NIG, he said, is confident that I4J initiative would kick start a dotcom boom in the country, where many online businesses are expected to spring up and create wealth for the people.

“We are also confident that some of the projects that will benefit from the I4J initiative shall grow to become multinational companies in the mood of Yahoo, Amazon, Google and so on,” he said.

According to him, the success recorded so far would not have been possible without the personal and organisational commitment of the likes of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) led by Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and Director Mrs. Mary Uduma, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under Prof. Cleopas Angaye and members of the execo as well as committee chairmen.

He recalled that on July 12 last year, the initiative was launched by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Ndukwe, adding that the core strategies of I4J in promoting the Internet as platform for creating jobs, aside from giving grants, is to organise seminars to create awareness about the potentials of the Internet for jobs creation.

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Minna hosts telecom parliament tomorrow

The 46th edition of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) Telecom Consumer Parliament would tomorrow, Tuesday May 27, 2008 hold at the Shiroro Hotel, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Way, Minna, Niger State.

Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko who disclosed this at the weekend said that the parliament is billed to take off at 12.00noon prompt.

He also noted that the monthly Telecom Consumer Parliament puts telecoms operators and the industry regulator on the spotlight of the consumers.

Just as he said, the 46th edition of the event would deal with the services of both fixed line and mobile operators.

The parliament, he said, would handle all issues pertaining to quality of service, consumer rights protection, environmental impact assessment, interconnection, tariffs and Universal Service Provision (USP) among others.

He explained that the programme would also feature a forum discussion with the title “Consumer Rights and Education”.

The audience, he said, would include major stakeholders in the industry, opinion leaders, public affairs and policy analysts, government officials and students.

Mr. Imoko, therefore advised interested public among all telecoms services consumers to attend the interactive programme that would be recorded for a network broadcast on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and other television stations.

Meanwhile, as part of its responsibilities in educating the telecom consumers in the country, NCC recently warned subscribers to be cautious about some dubious text messages making a round that people should switch off their mobile phones for the fear of an alleged radiation wave.

A press statement made available to Daily Champion informed that the attention of the Commission, has been drawn to the content of what he described as “a dubious text messages which asked users of mobile phones to switch off their handsets at 11 PM penultimate Tuesday, May 20, 2008, to avoid alleged radiation wave that may circulate through “handphone towers”.

According to him, the commission wishes to advise the general public to discountenance such dubious messages, as there is still no conclusive evidence of any harmful effects of mobile phone usage, or telecommunications towers.

NCC, he said, has noted that the text must have originated from some unscrupulous elements in the society who are bent on misinforming the public, therefore the Commission maintained that the content of the text message is incorrect, and the

“Metro TV” station quoted as the source of the story is non-existent in Nigeria.

He emphasised that mobile phone handsets and towers were not designed to be controlled remotely as to cause any harmful radiation as suggested in the text message.

“Such equipment are designed to have limited radiation capacity in order to avoid harmful radiation effects in their usage,” he said.

Imoko further added that the World Health Organization (WHO), has been involved in several research studies to determine the possibility of harmful effects in the use of mobile phones and towers.

He pointed out that such studies have never led to any conclusive evidence that mobile phones and towers cause harmful radiation of any kind.

“Several studies have also been carried out in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and other European countries from 2004 till date without any conclusive evidence about the harmful effects of mobile phone handsets or towers,” he said.

The public, especially subscribers of telecommunications in the country are hereby warned to ignore any of such text messages in the future as the Commission is in the better position to inform the public “if, and whenever there is any harmful effect in the use of any telecommunications equipment.”

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Spotigo unveils WiPS

German-based software service provider, Spotigo, has unveiled its Wireless Fidelity (WiFi)-based positioning solution (WiPS), reports GERALDINE OKOLIE.

The latest solution, the company said sets new standard in positioning accuracy.

The unveiling which took place penultimate week at the city centre in London, according to Spotigo chief executive, Mr. Daniel Prumers, was showcasing of his firm’s achievement of 5 million WiFi-based positioning technology.

“You see your exact current location without any support by Global Positioning Technology (GPS) or Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM),” he said.

This calculation, he said, is done even faster than by conventional positioning technology with the result being amazing.

While commenting on the inception, features and advantages of WiPS, Mr. Prumers said that WiPS identifies the user’s position on the basis of the received WiFi signal patterns.

“It is the perfect compliment to GPS since it compensates the limitations of satellite-based positioning, especially in the urban areas with high buildings and narrow streets. WiPS usually generates more accurate results than GPS,” he declared.

Another important merit of this technology, Prumers said is the indoor and third dimension (3D) functionality.

As a Business-To-Business (B2B) company, he pointed out that Spotigo offers WiPS to companies, municipalities and organisations interested in offering high quality locations-based services or location-bas advertising.

“It also works perfectly as a stand-alone potion, making it possible to offer location-aware content on all mobile devices without GPS module,” Prumers said.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nigeria: Exploring ICT for wealth creation

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Touré, has described Nigeria as a better example of a developing nation using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for wealth creation.

Speaking as the special guest during the Nigeria’s day at the five-day event organised by the ITU annually which ended weekend at the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre, in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Dr. Toure said that given the growth witnessed in Nigeria in the past seven years within the ICT, it should serve as example for other developing economies, especially on the continent of Africa.

According to him, Nigeria has shown commitment in ICT, which has in turn transformed the regulation of the industry into predictability.

As said by him, predictable environment affords investors to forecast accurately thereby giving hope for the investing public.

He pointed out that no investor would like to go to an environment that is not profit friendly.

“People would not come if they are not assured of making profit,” he declared, stressing that two-third of the global workforce is in ICT industry.

He also advocated for wealth creation rather than the so-called poverty alleviation, saying that those who are interested in creating wealth should see Nigeria as their destination.

“So those who are interested in creating wealth should go to Nigeria,” he asserted.

Dr. Touré further reiterated the commitment of ITU in connecting the unconnected.

“ICT has to be the catalyst to bridge the digital divide,” he said, assuring Nigeria to keep up the good work in terms of creating enabling environment for investors to tap from.

“If you have regulatory bias come to ITU and we’re committed to close the digital divide,” he counselled.

Corroborating Touré, the Nigeria’s Charge De Affairs in Egypt, Mr. Adewunmi Azeez, assured foreign investors on the Federal Government’s determination to facilitate smooth environment for them.

Nigeria, he said, is a fertile land and needs to be exploited and indeed expecting those who know their onion to take this opportunity.

“Nigeria is a fertile land for investments,” Mr. Azeez joined by a Minister at the embassy, Mr. Ayuba Kewa to the occasion said.

The event has in attendance top government officials including the chairman, Board of Commissioners at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Alhaji Ahmed Joda, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, and chief executives of key public and private companies in Nigeria as well as telecom firms namely Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Mr. Saoud Al Shamsi, Celtel chief executive, Mr. Bayo Ligali and President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Ndukwe Kalu, to name a few.

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Steps to observe packet spoofing by ISPs (8)

Wireshark could be configured to colour these packets differently so that they stand out in a packet display.

Keep in mind that there are legitimate uses for FIN and RST packets within the TCP standards and that the presence of forged FIN or RST packets, not the presence of such packets generally, is suspicious.

A client software or firewall bug, for example, could cause one end of a connection to disconnect prematurely - but that isn’t the ISP’s fault!

*If a problem you’re investigating is widespread, someone may already have published claims about precisely when or under what circumstances spoofed packets may appear; you can consult the details of other people’s allegations to see whether you can reproduce these claims for yourself.

Setting aside the possibility of fragmentation, we have explained that packets are spoofed when they are received by one computer but were not transmitted by the other computer.

Below, we give examples of summary views showing a BitTorrent transfer disrupted by TCP RST spoofing:

Before the RST packets begin (packet no. 2338 in the local capture and packet no. 2549 in the remote capture 9), the packets transmitted and received correspond directly to one another (although they appear in rather different orders).

Ten Once the RST packets begin, a large number of packets are received at each end that do not correspond to packets transmitted at the other end. We can verify this by looking at the detailed contents of these packets (for example, their sequence numbers, which are displayed by Wireshark as Seq=nnnnn), although simply counting them tells the tale in this case.

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Take advantage of ICT, Ibru tells SMEs

Young and aspiring entrepreneurs have been advised to take advantage of the growing availability of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the country as a means of saving running cost of their businesses, reports Charles Okoh.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Bank International Plc, Dr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru, gave this advice over the weekend at the recently concluded Computer, Telecommunications and Office equipment exhibition (CTO 2008).

She implored medium and small scale entrepreneurs not to despair despite the unfavourable macroeconomic environment, but to develop the right mindset to go through and achieve success while advising new start-ups not to envy others but remain resolute and focused until they have achieved their goals.

Mrs. Ibru who spoke on Business Financing: Getting the Fundamentals Right for SME and Microfinance, said the theme of the exhibition, A world without borders, is apt and should challenge young entrepreneurs to realize that there is no limit or failure for any aspiring entrepreneur with can-do-it spirit.

She listed some of the challenges of business financing in the country as, limited number of attractive investment opportunities and lack of enabling environment for businesses; dearth of reliable information on industries, which obscures investment opportunities; inability of entrepreneurs to articulate business plans due to lack of sophistication/skills; low level of management and technical competence; unwillingness of entrepreneurs to dilute holdings as well as the ‘national cake’ mindset which make most of the entrepreneurs to go the banks unprepared for the scrutiny the SMEEIS scheme entails among others.

She also encouraged entrepreneurs to pay their taxes because that is the only way they could demand provision of infrastructure from the government, noting that the country is rich and not poor because foreigners extract from here and make wealth for themselves outside the country.

The week-long exhibition which took place from May 12 to 16, 2008, the tool of the U.S. Commercial Service in Nigeria to encourage local companies in association with their U.S. suppliers and manufacturers of computers, telecommunications and office equipment to showcase the every best of American technology, equipment and services available in Nigeria for the sub region.

The exhibition featured an all-day, special-event seminar on the first day and a four-day exhibition with private seminars, workshops, product/services launching and demonstration was declared open official last week Tuesday by the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria. Ms Robin Renee Sander, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele and the MD/CEO Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi.

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Computer Warehouse takes Wincor ATM to 2nd level

Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) alongside other worldwide partners of Wincor Nixdorf brand of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) said that it has taken ATM to the second position.

CWG Nigeria is partnering Wincor Nixdorf through its subsidiary, Computer Warehouse Limited (CWL) on the sales and services of Wincor ATMs in the country.

Disclosing this, the Managing Director, Wincor Nixdorf, Mr. Joerg Brinkmoler announced in the company’s half yearly executive management meeting in Frankfurt recently that its ATM shipping globally has risen to No. 2, attributing this success to the relentless sales efforts of Wincor’s partners including CWL.

A press statement from CWG endorsed by the Manager Marketing Communications, Ms Morenike Popoola quoted Brinkmoller as paying tribute to his firm’s partners.

“… As they have made this tremendous success possible in each single country with each single account. Without your constant effort and contribution this success will not have been achievable. We very much appreciate that all of you make this happen,” he said.

In a related development CWG recently won the Wincor Nixdorf’s “Award for best new partner” following a remarkable achievement in deployment and support for the acclaimed Wincor ATMs in Nigeria.

Presented by Mr. Brinkmoller, he noted that it was for achieving sales in 2007 fiscal year of over $5m and the timely deployment of over 600 ATMs in the period, the highest achieved by any new partner of Wincor.

She said, going by the statistics, Wincor is rapidly gaining market share and aims at No 1 position in the very near future.

CWG comprises three subsidiary companies in each of the disciplines of Information Technology namely, CWL for infrastructure, DCC for networks and ExpertEdge for software.

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NCC lifts four institutions with books

Apex telecom regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has donated a total of 385 more books on Engineering as well as information and communication technology (ICT) to four institutions in different parts of the country in support of capacity building in telecommunications and ICT in Nigeria.

Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, said the benefiting institutions in this phase of the NCC book donation project were University of Calabar, Calabar, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, and Federal Polytechnic, Offa.

Each of the three universities, he said, received 100 books while the polytechnic got 85 books, all of which were the latest editions.

According to him, delegations of the NCC comprising Commissioners and management staff were at the four institutions between April 6 and May 16, 2008 to present the books to the heads of the institutions.

He also said that the donation is NCC role in keeping to its socially responsible corporate citizenship stand and in response to the dearth of up-to-date books in most tertiary educational institutions and public libraries in the country, the NCC took the initiative to procure the books for them.

The benefiting institutions in the first phase of the NCC book donation project in 2007 were Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna, and Gombe State Library, Gombe, each of which received 100 books.

The project, Imoko further said was designed to provide current, high quality Engineering and ICT books to tertiary educational institutions and public libraries in the six geo-political zones of the country.

While the objective of the project, he explained is to give future professionals in the ICT industry the opportunity to acquire quality education as well as to promote the reading culture among the youth.

In this phase of the project which took place at the University of Calabar a Commissioner of NCC, Chief Patrick Kentebe, presented the books to the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Friday Mbon, and at Nnamdi Azikiwe University the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ilochi Okafor, received the books from a Commissioner of the NCC, Dr. Michael Onyia.

Also in this phase, the Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Professor Babatunde Adeleke, received the books from the Executive Commissioner, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Engr. Steve Bello, while a Commissioner, Mr. Bayo Atoyebi, presented the books to the Librarian at Federal Polytechnic, Offa.

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IHS reiterates commitment to quality service

Telecom infrastructure provider, IHS Nigeria Limited, is riding on its recent ISO 9001 certification to reiterate commitment on provision of quality of service for its clientele.

Managing Director, HIS Nigeria, Mr. William Saad made this commitment at a one day training session at The Scarlet Lodge to familiarize its subcontractors with the processes and procedures that must be followed to fully comply with the international quality standard.

He assured that such training would be made quarterly by his firm to constantly keep clientele and subcontractors current.

He also said that IHS commitment to good quality of service is to avail it to remain the best in the telecom infrastructure services sector through the delivery of high quality services at affordable cost and to serve their clients with the best ethical norms, honesty and transparency.

“With over 1200 towers and masts erected across the county and implementation ISO 9001: 2000, we strive to ensure Nigeria ’s realization of its telecommunications aspirations as the African telecommunication powerhouse,” he said.

The training session moderated by the renowned telecom expert, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu, witnessed several speakers from various aspects of quality control and associated procedures under ISO 9001. Participants at the session included, Country Manger of Motorola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ralph Udeogu and Manager of Community Relations at Celtel Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Femi Kayode among others.

Commenting on the event, Mr. Udeogu stressed the importance of implementing quality of service procedures as the basis for the growth of various companies.

Champion Infotel recalls that IHS Nigeria Ltd is a pioneer in the various aspects of telecom infrastructure services ranging from the building of telecom infrastructure to the management (O&M) and sharing/collocation aspects.

IHS was setup in 2001 as the Nigerian Communications Commission opened the telecommunications market, its customers cut across MTEL, MTN and Econet (Currently Celtel) to provide GSM services before eventually licensing two more and several Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators and other PTO’s.

IHS has built infrastructure in more than 30 states and have offices in Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Port Harcourt, just as its a member of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and is licensed by NCC to sell and maintain telecom infrastructure and equipments.

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SchoolPlus launches Whiteboard solution

Arrangements have been concluded for the launching of Interactive Whiteboard Solutions by SchoolPlus Promethean.

General Manager, Promethean for Nigeria, Mrs Tinuade Osaniyi, said that the proposed launch is to make learning more engaging and inspiring in the country.

According to her, as part of efforts to induce the culture of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in learning activities, her firm is set to launch this interactive medium.

“Promethean is poised to improve understanding and knowledge retention within educational institutions and corporate Nigeria,” she said.

Mrs. Osaniyi pointed out that the vision of the company is to establish an interactive way of teaching and learning through the provision of modern-age strategies, information technology and tools.

“Our major goals are very clear, provide teachers/instructors/facilitators with all they need to create a truly inspiring lessons, enrich the teaching and learning process and create an environment where students/learners are more involve in the process of teaching,” she said.

Further, she revealed that her company is set to host a workshop on “The Future of Interactive Learning”on May 27, at Terra Culture, Victoria Island to enlighten the public on its new solution- Promethean Interactive Whiteboard.

“We want to let the public know through the workshop how we are setting world class global standards in learning and training technology to prepare students and corporate players for global competitiveness,” she said, adding that this is an opportunity to be part of the next level 21st century ICT learning.

Osaniyi noted that the Interactive Whiteboard is an ICT solution that is suitable for classroom teaching, professional training and corporate presentation, stressing that top Nigeria secondary and tertiary educational institutions and corporate organizations have already embraced the solution.

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Stakeholders’ forum holds June 9

The organisers of the annual stakeholders forum has announced a new date for the event.

A press statement made available to Champion Infotel informed that the event has been shifted to June 9.

The 2008 stakeholders forum was originally billed to hold last Monday.

Also the Minister of state for Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande as the leader of the government delegation to the event, would deliver a keynote address to the occasion.

The event scheduled to hold at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi in Lagos, would afford government officials to the occasion to present their views, direction and focus on the best bargain for the consumers in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.

The forum with the theme: The Place of the Consumer in the Nigerian Telecom Industry, is being organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and managed by Africa’s foremost ICT magazine, IT & Telecom Digest under its Stakeholders forum series initiated in 2006.

Commenting on the forum, editor-in-chief of IT & Telecom Digest, Mr. Mkpe Abang said that Alhaji Nakande has given assurance that government is very keen on ensuring that consumers of ICT products and services have the full benefits of their money hence the need to enlighten them on what their rights are and when and how to demand such rights.

“The minister’s keynote address will give the direction that government expects operators to follow so as to ensure that consumers are not short-changed while at the same time educating the consumers on what they are entitled to,” Abang said.

He pointed out that the choice of the theme underlines the importance NCC attaches to the consumer in the nation’s ICT sector, adding that NCC is particularly concerned about the consumer, and it is this that led to the commission initiating the idea of an interactive forum to enable all stakeholders, from operators to government, the regulator to academia, professionals to the consumers as well as consumer advocacy groups, to discuss the real issues affecting the consumer and how to resolve them.

He expressed confident that this event would afford the NCC and operators the opportunity to really focus on raising the consumer to that kingship pedestal that it truly should occupy.

Stressing that speakers would also be drawn from operating companies, the regulator, professional bodies, among others.

Also speaking Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, said the Commission recognised the high importance of the consumer, just as it realised that consumers need to be adequately informed of their rights so that they could stand up to service providers when they fail short of laid down expectations, hence the forum.

“For the purposes of awareness, education and information, and many other salient reasons, therefore, this seminar is most vital so that the operators and service providers can also be reminded of what they owe the consumers, while on their parts, the consumers will come to understand the important position they occupy in the scheme of things,” Imoko stated.

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Alcatel, Globacom enter fresh deal to expand network

Leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, Internet Protocol (IP) technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent, has announced the endorsement of a new deal with the Nigeria’s Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom.

President, Alcatel-Lucent’s business in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) Mr. Vincenzo Nesci, disclosed this at the just concluded ITU Telecom Africa held in Cairo.

According to him, a new contract was signed with Globacom Limited to extend the network capacity and performance of Globacom’s mobile and fixed networks.

The project, which is part of the operator’s IP network transformation, would enable Globacom to extend the delivery of advanced mobile and triple play services with enhanced quality of service (QoS).

He also said that the project would afford Globacom to increase its mobile network capacity including GSM/EDGE and W-CDMA/HSPA technologies to support up to 35 million subscribers, and to raise its fixed network capacity.

“The network expansion covers radio access, Mobile NGN core network and microwave transmission, IP/MPLS and optical networking, fixed access networks, intelligent networks and valued-added services, next-generation networks, as well as OSS/Billing,” he said.

Equally, a press statement made available to Champion Infotel quoted the Globacom chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr as saying that his firm is committed to offer Nigeria an unparalleled user experience.

“Delivering the highest quality services to end-users is our top priority. With Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced mobile and fixed network solutions, we will increase our network capacity and provide the best services to meet the rapidly increasing demand from our customers,” he said.

In addition, Nesci said that the new agreement with Globacom further confirms Alcatel-Lucent as the key trusted partner of the telco in its expansion and network transformation

“Our comprehensive converged solutions are helping Globacom offer advanced, high-quality services to their customers and support their strategy,” Nesci said.

Alcatel-Lucent prides itself as a leading player in the GSM/EDGE market with more than 180 customers in over 90 countries, as well as a global leader in the development and deployment of third-generation (3G) networks, having deployed commercial 3G (UMTS/HSPA and CDMA/EV-DO) systems for more than 70 operators worldwide.

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Moto U9 hits market

Mobile phone manufacturer, Motorola on Sunday in Lagos at the I-Cell outlet located within the Lekki Shoprite unveiled its latest in shelf, Moto U9.

Business Development Manager at Motorola Nigeria, Mr. Ugochukwu Ibe, while presenting Moto U9 at the event said the unveiling was due to the peculiarity of the product to the Nigerian communications market.

Describing Moto U9 as a product that has been launched worldwide that comes with music and simply stylish.

He said that recent research has revealed that people want multi-facet mobile handset that is not bulky.

“The phone, Moto U9 is for those who love music,” he declared.

He noted that Moto U9 is Motorola’s fashionable design savvy with an incredible music experience.

“Moto U9 gives consumers a new way to see, feel and hear the stylish side of music,” he said, adding that the latest addition has been designed for those discerning consumers who want to talk and rock in style.

He stressed that a sensuous and smart design makes rich colours dance on the borderless organic light emitting diode (OLED) external display with one of more than 20 floating animated screensavers.

He explained that Moto U9 music player could be controlled from the outside with touch sensitive keys that appear magically, along with the name of the song and artist.

As said by him, Moto U9 is a seamless, small, lightweight and curvaceous phone that has graphite metallic gloss and soft touch finishes and fits perfectly in the pocket or hand.

Making the easy transition from phone to music and back again, Moto U9, he said, allows one-touch access to users library and pauses music as calls come through. Users also could personalise their play lists by transferring favourite music, or download tracks from more than 200 online music stores, including Napster, and manage them using the simplicity of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 11.

Moto U9, he added, has 25 Mega Bytes (MB) of on-board user memory, plus a microSD memory card slot for up to an optional 4 Gega Bytes (GB) for music, pictures and other media.

“With stereo Bluetooth wireless technology, users can enjoy a wireless mobile stereo experience on the go with compatible Bluetooth-enabled stereo headphones such as the ROKR S9 wrap-around headset,” he said just as Moto U9 has innovative CrystalTalk technology that automatically adjusts audio to help ensure clear calls even in a noisy environment.

“And there’s more to talk about including advanced speaker independent voice dialling and talking phone features for additional convenience. Live in the moment and capture your favourite memories with the 2.0 mega pixel, 8x zoom camera with multi-shot feature,” he said.

Speaking at the occasion, star actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, said that Moto U9 is curt phone and is a Motorola product that every one should have, especially fashionable ladies and is very affordable.

As said by her, Moto U9 is “chic, cheap and portable to be taken around easily.”

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I’m impressed by Etisalat – Ndukwe

Chief executive, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, has expressed optimism over the kind of services to be offered by Etisalat Nigeria Limited when it eventually roll-out commercial services.

Speaking to newsmen after a tour of Etisalat stand at the recently ended 2008 ITU Telecom Africa, Dr. Ndukwe said, he was excited as he looks forward to the heart-breaking offers being introduced in Nigeria.

According to him, from what he has seen during the tour, there is no doubt that Africa would be part of the next revolution.

“It is amazing what technology has done so far,” he said, adding that there is hardly any area where one cannot do a lot especially with mobile platform.

He said that Africa has more mobiles and that’s a lot of promise and for Etisalat they are conversant with the modernization.

“It’s a well known fact with then,” he declared, stressing that he was impressed with revolution demonstrated at Etisalat stand.

“I am impressed but I will be more impressed when its brought to Nigeria,” he said.

While commending the Etisalat management in Nigeria for being part of the continental event despite being launched barely two months ago, he said that NCC would do more in the areas of mobile regulations.

He pointed out that policies should not be changed over night, because, “it would affect the investors and consumers.”

Also, briefing Nigerian press at the event, the Chief executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Mr. Saoud Al Shamsi, said the telco is not in a hurry to consummate its commercial roll out but is targeting most cities.

Mr. Al Shamsi said that the participation of the Nigerian office of the company was to further demonstrate their commitment to the Nigerian dream of world-class telecommunications services.

As such efforts are up to get enough bandwidth for Third Generation platform on Etisalat.

Reiterating that Etisalat is much interested in providing good service rather than the technology deployed in delivering this goal.

Etisalat, he said, is ensuring that the network becomes resilient and that is what really matters to the telco.

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Odey leads AU ministers’ bureau on ICT

Federal Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. John Odey, has emerged the chairperson of the Bureau of African Ministers of Communications and Information Technologies (ICT) under the auspices of the African Union (AU) Commission.

Mr. Odey election was held at the conference of African Ministers of ICT, which took place at Fairmont Hotel, Cairo, during the just concluded ITU-Telecom Africa 2008 at the Cairo International Conference and Exhibition Centre (CICC).

This, industry observers said was in recognition of Nigeria’s influence and current standing ICT performance in the sub-region.

Responding to the election, Odey expressed appreciation to the African Ministers for the confidence they have on Nigeria to occupy such position.

Odey represented at the occasion by the Chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, noted that Nigeria is one of the most liberalized telecommunications market in the continent.

The sector liberalization in Nigeria, he said, has triggered an enabling environment provided by federal government based on a fair and transparent regulatory framework within the telecommunication industry.

This, he said, has accounted for the appreciable level of telephone penetration with the current teledensity at 32.8 per cent.

According to Odey, Nigeria has, in the past seven years, witnessed one of the fastest rates of growth in the world at the current 46 million active subscribers as at March 2008 compared with only 400,000 in 2000.

The teledensity has sharply increased from 0.4 per cent to 32.8 per cent.

He pointed out that with a population of 140 million people, “Nigeria still has very huge capacity to absorb the growth and expansion being currently witnessed in the sector. Having experienced the huge advantages of liberalization.”

Nigeria, Odey said, would continue to promote open market policies in the sector to deepen the growth and penetration of telecommunications services.

Presently the government of Nigeria is pursuing a programme of collective multi-sector economic growth known as Vision 2020, intended to position the country in the league of 20 most robust and vibrant economies of the world by year 2020, stressing that the roles that telecommunications and information technologies are bound to play in realizing this dream cannot be over-emphasised.

He further said that at 46 million connected lines, there is still a very huge market, and is also committed to exploring new telecommunications and information technologies like Internet and broadband access.

Nigeria, Odey said, has witnessed a very fast rate of expansion in the mobile services sector and is willing to sustain such fast rate of growth in Internet and broadband connectivity.

With mobile phone services accounting for 99 per cent telephone availability in Nigeria today, he said, Nigeria has envisioned the possibility to deliver a faster Internet and broadband services on mobile platform as a likely growth path to follow.

“We, therefore, want to encourage investments that are focused on these new areas to compliment current performances in the sector,” he said.

Expressing the wishes of the government of Nigeria to associate with the Connect Africa Initiative of the Secretary General, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Touré, he said Nigeria is pleased to have initiated a number of projects that are oriented towards the Connect Africa initiative such as the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) established to deepen the human capacity availability for ICT in Nigeria, the Wire Nigeria, designed to crisscross the nation with high capacity optic fibre cable infrastructure as well as the State Accelerated Broadband, SABI, project, focused on delivering broadband and Internet capabilities to urban and semi urban and rural locations of the country.

Also, he said, Nigeria envisions that a connected Africa with a pervasive broadband infrastructure would present unquantifiable potentials for Africa’s emancipation from years of slow and debilitating economic growth, to a vibrant and more economically independent continent with all the associated benefits.

“We, therefore, urged other African nation’s to join hands with ITU to ensure that Africa becomes really connected. We invite all African countries to support and promote this particular initiative of the ITU,” he said.

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