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ITRealms : The Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC ) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services ( FIRS ) recently set up a joint Reve...

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nigeria may host Internet community


Nigeria has sent a proposal to the global coordinating agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the hosting of Internet community in 2010, as one of ICANN’s public meetings.

ITRealms Online recalls that ICANN recently invited applications from interested countries to host the 2009 meeting in Europe and 2010 in Africa. Precisely, the public meeting for Africa has been scheduled to hold on February 7 through 12, 2010, thereby beating the deadline for submissions, which was October 15, 2008.

The success of Nigeria’s proposal sent in through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NiRA), will pave the way for the first-ever hosting of such a meeting in the country.

Already, Nigeria has set up a Local Organising Committee (LOC) led by the Director of Licensing at NCC, Mrs. Mary Uduma.

This proposal, according to industry watchers was not surprising given Nigeria’s place among the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) community, especially with the advent of democracy and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM).

Confirming this, the Regional Manager for Africa at ICANN, Ms Annel Rachel Inne, told ITRealms Online in an online conversation that yes, Nigeria has sent an Expression of Interest to host the 2010 meeting.

She said that ICANN’s meeting team will review the proposals and then do a site visit at the beginning of 2009.

She noted that in accordance with ICANN’s commitment to continuously improve in the management of meetings, and in response to requests for advanced planning, ICANN had called for Expressions of Interest to host meetings to be held in Europe on 25-30 October 2009, and in Africa on 7-12 February 2010.

The objective, she said, is to routinely provide advice on locations for meetings 12 months ahead of schedule, stressing that ICANN’s Public Meetings draw individuals from around the globe and attract a wide range of participants who follow Internet addressing and policy issues.

The meetings receive international media coverage and provide an ideal opportunity for participants, sponsors, and hosts to interact on key Internet issues.

She explained that organisations interested in the opportunity to host the Africa meeting in 2010 should review the full Request for Proposals before submitting an Expression of Interest.

“The specifications outlined in the Request for Proposals detail the anticipated required elements of an ICANN meeting and the minimum responsibilities of the hosting organization,” she said.

Inne said that all interested parties should submit a completed Expression of Interest Form via electronic mail (e-mail) to meeting@icann.org for consideration.

ICANN meetings constitute an essential part of ICANN’s global consensus-building, policy development, and outreach efforts. We encourage your institution/organisation to consider submitting an Expression of Interest Form.

Each year, she explained that ICANN holds three meetings in different regions around the world. Hence these meetings constitute an essential part of ICANN’s global consensus-building and outreach efforts. ICANN sets the regions in which it will hold its meetings, while proposals are solicited from organisations interested in hosting the ICANN Meeting, followed by the evaluation of the proposals and selection
of the host for each event.

“Regional support for a particular proposal is an important consideration. While the specifications outlined in this document detail the anticipated minimum required elements of an ICANN meeting and the minimum responsibilities of the hosting organization,” ICANN sources said.

However, the potential host is not responsible for the provision or cost of any services not listed in the specification document, but must disclose to ICANN any local laws or customs which might conflict with this specification.

Equally, ICANN will consider all elements of a proposal in making its decision but will pay special attention to the provision of basic or minimum requirements as specified in the call for expression of interest document.

ICANN advised that it is prefers for the meetings to be held in the main hotel where most of the delegates reside.

“This will minimise time and expenses spent on local transportation,” ICANN said, stressing that it’s on under exceptional circumstances; it will consider a separate meeting and hotel location if no alternative is available.

Elements such as convenience to international airports, personal safety of meeting participants, meeting space, network infrastructure, and ability of local hosts to meet their financial responsibilities will be considered by ICANN in making its selection.

Just as the local hosts must document in the proposal how their financial obligations will be funded.


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Optimising your Google mail account (5)

Instant Communication

Chat

As you’re looking around, you’ll probably notice the Chat box in under the links in the left navigation bar.

Chat allows you to talk to your Gmail contacts (those who use Gmail, Google Talk, or even your AIM buddies) in real-time, directly within Gmail.

The status icon to the left of your contacts’ names indicates whether they’re available (green), idle (yellow), busy (red), or offline (grey). You can also add a note, by clicking the Set status here link, which will show under your name in your friends’ Gmail.


To chat with a friend:


1. Click the name of your friend in the Chat section. A window will open in the lower-right corner of the page.
2. Type into the text field.
3. Press Enter to send your message.

Unless you choose to chat off the record, your Chat conversations will be archived and stored in your Gmail Chats label. This way, you can search for content from your chats, or you can browse your previous conversations by clicking the Chats navigation link.

Further reading

That should be enough to get you started. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our Help Group and ask our community of users, or browse the Help Center for more information.

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Globaltouch advantage by Mohammed

Managing Director and chief executive officer, GlobalTouch West African Limited (GWAL), Mr. Isaiah Abdulai Mohammed, has said that his firm has competitive advantage over other telecommunications services providers in the country.

Speaking at a recent chat with media in Kaduna, Mohammed said, it is now clear that with the GlobalTouch pioneering spirit as the nation’s Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) licensee.

“It is clear that GlobalTouch’s GMPCS services have strategic advantages over other telecom services providers,” he declared.

Mohammed enumerated some of these rare advantages to include that GWAL service has the universal coverage merit, which is beyond the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) coverage; involvement of one-off capital outlay in covering a large space of land, hence extending to the entire Nigeria’s land mass and West African countries.

“This is unlike other telecoms operators that rely on continues construction of base stations in covering the whole nation, thus, our services are cheaper,” he said.

Apart from its ability to operate virtually everywhere, he also explained that GMPCS has exceptional clarity of voice due to the nature of technology deployed to facilitate better voice quality cellular networks and greater system capacity.

“Comprehensive and vast usage data solutions for corporate users, asset tracking, data monitoring, no matter the location via satellite, unlike the GSM service providers who rely solely on base stations,” he said.

Stressing that with GlobalTouch, there would be more reliable services delivery, superior technology, no drop voice or data calls to name a few.

“Consumers will get value for their money, ensuring consumer satisfaction,” he asserted.

One of the unique services of GWAL is the assets tracking technology, which affords customers on the network to use the satellite modems and integrated back office management solution to track mobile assets such as aircraft, vehicles, trailers, cargo containers and maritime assets.

Meanwhile, GWAL has set date for its commercial roll out on or before April, 2009.
This is coming as the management of GWAL, has announced it voted the sum of $10 million (about N1,330,000,000 billion) to facilitate the take off of its satellite gateway project initiative located near Kaduna.

GWAL is partnering in this whole project with a United States-based world’s largest provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, Globalstar.

Founded in 1997, GlobalTouch, is a Nigerian company with 70 per cent investment equity, while its partners, Globalstar has 30 per cent.

“Our satellite gateway is under construction as you have seen in Kaduna to provide services to Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries as well as parts of the coastal Atlantic and Gulf of Guinea maritime region. We hope to commence commercial service in April 2009,” Mohammed said.

Affirming this, management consultant to GWAL, Mr. Peter Beacon, said that Globalstar with head office in Silicon Valley, also has corporate offices in Canada, Ireland, Panama and Brazil.

He said that the telco has shifted from a wholesale business model, to offering of mobile satellite voice and data services to over 329,000 commercial and consumer subscribers in over 120 countries globally.

Mr. Beacon also said that Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite architecture is well positioned to meet the growing demand for global satellite voice and data.

“Globalstar operates a constellation of 48 operational low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites at approximately 1414 kilometres (km), while it has Geostationary satellites orbit at approximately 32,000 Km.

“LEO is a global constellation of multiple satellites, while each GEO or Geostationary satellite covers a specific region of the earth’s surface,” he said, enumerating the advantages to include that Globalstar spectrum holdings are global, customers in over 120 countries, with virtually no latency and lower power requirements for handsets and data terminals.

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Alawode emerges millionaire in Nokia promo

World leader in mobility innovation, Nokia, recently in Lagos held draws for the first set of winners in the ongoing Nokia Gift Fest promo, with an Information Technology (IT) specialist, Mr. Oludare Alawode, emerging one of the star prize winners worth N1 million.

The draws saw winners emerging in various categories of Blue, Gold, Green, Red and White with cash prizes ranging from N50,000 to N1,000,000.

The promo, which commenced nationwide on December 5, 2008, has been scheduled to run for six weeks, thereby terminating on the January 14, 2009.
Nokia Nigeria

Customer Marketing Manager, Nokia Manager, Ms. Titi Olubiyi, said that the promo is aimed at keeping Nigerians more connected, especially during the festive season.

“Our Nigerian consumers are very precious to us and we want them to have the best gifts for the season. Nokia is all about aspiring, engaging and sharing in everyway,” she said.

Stressing that Nokia is happy to see the first set of winners emerge and it’s Nokia joy to give these cash prizes to them and make them very happy.

“This is the season of giving and Nokia is pleased to be a part of it” Olubiyi said.
At the first prize draw, an IT specialist from Surulere, Mr. Oludare Alawode, won the Gold Category prize of N1million.

Commenting on his prize, Mr. Alawode said it was really an unexpected Christmas present and expressed thanks to Nokia for that gesture.

However, to be part of the Nokia Gift Fest Promo, the Communications Manager, Nokia West Africa, Mrs. Ngozi Ife Anene, said, the consumers are encouraged to purchase any Nokia mobile devices from authorized retail outlets across the country.

“All devices come with 12 months warranty. The focus devices for this promo are the new N79, the Nokia 5220 express music and the stylish Nokia 3600. Other devices are the Nokia 1200, 1208, 1680, 5320 Xpressmusic, Nokia 6500 slide and the Nokia 6600 fold. The consumers are advised to send in the correct IMEI numbers of the purchased devices to prevent disqualification,” she said.

Once purchased, consumers are to text the IMEI number of the device, their name and address by SMS to the short code number 32442. A response confirming the category qualified for and an electronic ticket number will be sent to the consumer.

Consumers are expected to bring the purchased product and the number for prize redemption.

Two more draws will hold in a January 2009.

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‘MTN, African mobile operator of the year’

MTN Group has won the prestigious African Mobile Operator of the Year award at the third annual Comms Middle East and Africa (MEA) awards organized by ITP Technology Publishing, just as MTN also won the inaugural award in 2006.

The Comms MEA Awards, according to the organizers sets out to celebrate and pay tribute to the telecoms industry professionals and operators that have shown outstanding performance and results in key market segments.

A press statement made available to Champion Infotel indicated that the judges selected MTN for successfully providing innovative services to its pan-African subscribers such as per second billing for prepaid customers.

The judges also praised MTN for evolving from a traditional mobile operator to an all-round communications service provider, with the deployment of the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) and fibre-optic networks, a mobile television offering and a banking service.

MTN Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Ms Nozipho January-Bardill, said the accolade reaffirms the status of the group as an innovative mobile operator in emerging markets.

“We’re proud of this acknowledgement and we will continue our efforts to provide innovative solutions across all our markets,” said January-Bardill.

Twelve awards were presented at the ceremony in categories that encompassed different facets of the telecoms industry from individual excellence, to corporate success, to outstanding service and expertise in implementation.

In addition to these categories, there was also the hotly contested category of lifetime achievement award, presented to an individual who has helped shape and inspire the Middle East and Africa telecoms market.

The winners were judged by a panel of industry experts selected from within the regional communications sector.

The awards acknowledged those operators and individuals who have taken a leadership role in the growth of the regional industry.

The winners were chosen for consistently investing in technology, implementing winning strategies and developing services that capture the hearts and minds of end users.

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More Xmas gifts from Etisalat

Mobile service provider, Etisalat Nigeria, is offering Nigerians more Xmas gifts as part of its “Recharge, be in charge promo.”

The telco said in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel that with the promo, Etisalat tends to excite subscribers with prizes as they recharge their phones with N500 and above.

According to the Vice President, Marketing of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar, the brand is gaining the confidence and trust of the Nigerian consumers.

This, he said is evident in the rapid growth of Etisalat subscriber base.

“We have introduced the Gift redemption to reinforce this experience as a truly rewarding one,” he said.

Enlightening on the promo, Mr. Ammar said that the gift redemption applies to both new and existing subscribers.

“When a new subscriber purchases a SIM, at any of our shops, and recharges on the spot with a minimum of N500, he automatically becomes eligible to participate in the lucky dip at our shop. The new subscriber leaves our shop with the gift he picks from the lucky dip,” he said.

Stressing that subscribers’ could qualify for a lucky dip when they reload with a minimum of N500 each purchased from anywhere and wins instantly whatever is printed on the voucher picked from the lucky bin.

“All he has to do is take the recharge card along with his SIM to any of our shops or mobile point of sale nationwide to take part in the lucky dip,” he said.

The promo, he noted, forms part of the ‘recharge, be in charge’ initiative by Etisalat, aimed at appreciating subscribers on the Etisalat network and also adding to the fun and fiesta of the yuletide season.

“The recharge, be in charge promo gives the subscriber 20 per cent free airtime with every recharge made with N500 or above,” he said.

Mr. Ammar further said that the customer is central to the operations of Etisalat.

“The entire promotion is put together with the interest of the consumer in mind. The customers not only get more time when they recharge, but also stand a chance to go home with interesting prizes like Plasma TV, mobile phone, face cap, T-shirts, wrist band, recharge cards and pen,” he said.

Etisalat Nigeria launched commercial operations in Nigeria in October with its “Easy Starter” Package. The company is ranked as the fastest growing telecommunications company in the world, serving an aggregate of 74 million customers across 17 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia.

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Telecom has transform Nigeria landscape - Ndukwe

Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe has said that the growth in the telecommunications sector has greatly transformed the nation’s socio economic landscape.

This, he said is based on the level of physical, direct and indirect developments in the telecommunications sector, as it has had positive impact on virtually all facets of life of the country.

He made this declaration at a recent event in Lagos, and said some of the transformation came about as a result of job creation, which he said is presently in excess of 12,000 direct employments.

According to him, in the telecommunications sector hundreds of thousands more are informally employed through the sector.

He also reiterated that NCC is not interested in fixing retail prices but consistently monitors the prices at which the operators offer their services to the public.

“Government’s interface with the citizens is now faster, family contact is renewed across distant parts, and businesses thrive thanks to their ability to link their customers in new and innovative ways,” he said, stressing that ownership of phones now cuts across the various social classes, thereby opening great opportunities for electronically empowered Nigerian state.

“Opening great opportunities for e-health, e-education, e-security, e-commerce and e-banking, in the country,” he said.

Ndukwe equally said telecommunication sector is a key contributor to Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which has continued to actively contribute to the GDP of the country.

“The percentage share of GDP from telecommunications sector rose from 0.06 in 1999 to 2.39 in 2007 at 1990 basic prices,” the NCC boss said.

He noted that the opening up of the Nigeria’s market space to competition in all segments of the industry has resulted in major drop in prices for telecommunications services.

Pre-2001, he pointed out, that the cost of subscription to Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL’s) analogue mobile services was over N60,000 per line and that Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) subscription started with a price of N20,00 per line and today, this figure has fallen to almost zero.

“The tariff calls on the GSM network was as high as N50 per minute at inception, today, a call on a GSM network can be made for lower than N25.00 per minute (mobile to mobile),” he said.

Maintaining that as much as the commission does not and would not fix retail prices, it intervenes when necessary in determining interconnect-rates for the industry.

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Chinese TMC attains Bluetooth testing facility

Chinese-government owned Telecommunication Metrology Center (TMC), an agency of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), has attained the Bluetooth Qualified Test Facility (BQTF).

The facility was attained through the official recognition by AT4 Wireless, a global supplier of testing solutions for wireless technologies, which is recognized as the most complete wireless certification and testing laboratory of cutting-edge test and measurement equipment for telecommunication technologies.

Announcing this development, the Head of Marketing, AT4 wireless, Ms
Jacqueline Casini, said in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel, that her firm has officially validated Bluetooth test platforms BITE T1111 RF Test System and BITE T1212 Protocol Test System in the laboratory facilities of the Chinese Laboratory, TMC.

This, she said, was gained via the Bluetooth Qualified Test Facility recognition from the Bluetooth SIG and has begun to offer Bluetooth Qualification testing services for all the mandatory test requirements, including the latest Bluetooth Core Specifications (BCS).

Casini also said that this achievement confirms BITE test systems from AT4 wireless as the reference test platform for Bluetooth qualification, and nowadays the most deployed solution among the BQTFs worldwide.

She quoted the Product Manager at AT4 wireless, Ms. Angel Romero, as saying that her firm is very proud of having provided TMC with the best-in-class Radio Frequency (RF) and Protocol Test equipment for Bluetooth Qualification Services; the BITE family of test solutions.

“Thereby, AT4 wireless reinforces its leading position in the Bluetooth testing field and confirms the BITE test equipment as the preferred option when setting up a BQTF,” she said.

Her counterpart at TMC, Ms Lv Songdong, said, TMC is now ready to offer Bluetooth qualification testing services to the Bluetooth industry, specially to the Chinese growing market, with the state-of-the-art technology.

According to her “Working with AT4 wireless has definitely helped us to setup and obtain the Bluetooth SIG recognition in the shortest time.”

Explaining that TMC was founded in 1980, with four departments and over 200 staffs, prides itself with an objective and independent third-party test cum calibration institute and also a standard development organization.

In addition, she said, TMC is a leading high-tech laboratory which could provide services on products inspection, verification and technical assessment as well as testing instrument metrology and calibration to NP08 45 AT4wireless TMC BITE Qualification Tester FINAL 19122008 2/2 world wide customers.

TMC, she further said, contributes a lot to telecommunication product standards, metrology standards and test specifications for worldwide standardization organizations.

Testing scope covers almost all the telecommunication technologies, Global System for Mobile (GSM), Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standards (UMTS), WiMAX, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, UWB, EMC, OTA, Audio, IP and so on.

As a distinguished and experienced testing lab, TMC provide good testing services to world wide customers.

While AT4 wireless founded in 1991, has more than 370 employees and operates from it’s headquarter in Malaga/Spain and its US-based branch in Herndon/VA.

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ISOC invests $70,000 on Internet Protocol Six

Approximately US$70,000 has been invested in community-based Internet projects around the world to tackle issues ranging from Internet Protocol (IPv6) deployment to providing access and training of girls in an impoverished and isolated community.

The Internet Society (ISOC), announced the latest round of grants to African country chapters including Sierra Leone and Congo, to boost the evolution of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Vice President, Strategic Communications and Business Planning at the Internet Society (ISOC), Mr. Scott Hoyt, said that as part of the group’s project funding initiative, each project would receive up to US$10,000 for work that promotes ISOC's mission and goals.

He said that some of the projects funded in the latest round include the development by ISOC's Argentina Chapter of an IPv6 handbook and training materials to help Information Technology (IT) professionals accelerate IPv6 address deployment in that region.

ISOC said that a project by the Congolese Chapter to increase and improve Internet training for students in universities and academic institutions in the central Africa region would be covered in the latest.

Work by ISOC's Sierra Leone Chapter, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Task Force to help in the establishment of the Sierra Leone Internet Exchange Point (SLIXP) for important performance and economic benefits to the national Internet community is included in the current list.

Also, he disclosed that a pilot project by ISOC's Taiwan Chapter to deploy IPv6 dual-stack infrastructure on education campuses as a way of providing IPv6 training and materials to students and teachers as well as a conference and workshop with follow-up materials, organised by ISOC Global member, Kevin Quinn, of the Waterford Institute of Technology, aimed to stimulate the regulatory reform and industry awareness needed to raise the standard of Irish broadband penetration and performance were covered.

Equally, an innovative use of solar-power, digital imaging, and satellite connections to bring the benefits of the Internet to healthcare workers, educators, conservationists, and mirco-credit participants in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) organised by ISOC's DRC Chapter.

In addition, a project by ISOC Global member Kaprie Thoronka for the use of ICT via Internet training and facilities to help improve the health, economic, and social conditions of girls and young women in a remote area of Sierra Leone came under the list.

According ISOC, the next application round for project funding will open on March 2, 2009, soliciting for project details of the initiative to visit ISOC website.

The Internet Society is an international, non-profit organisation founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy with offices in Washington DC and Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.

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ICANN announces fellows for Mexico City rally

The 34th International Public Meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) slated for the city of Mexico would be a platform more stakeholders input, thanks to ICANN’s on-going fellowship programme.

ICANN's Vice President, Global and Strategic Partnerships, Ms Theresa Swinehart, said, the fellowship programme is a real testament to the importance her organisation places on increased participation from the developing and least developed world.

"Reaching out to the global community, we saw a desire to be a part of the key discussions that take place at our meetings, but some countries and Internet users just didn’t have the resources to attend. The fellowship program helps bridge that gap,” she said.

For the Mexico Meeting, she said, there are 23 fellows from 21 countries, chosen from 105 applications received.

Nine of the fellows are alumni from the past 5 programmes; ten fellows are first-time attendees to any ICANN meeting and the remaining four have attended past meetings, but are first time fellows.

Just as she said that applications for the 35th ICANN International Public Meeting in Sydney will go online at: http://www.icann.org/fellowships on January 26th PDT and will be accepted until 1200 PDT (UTC -7) on March 9th 2009.

When applications are accessed by an independent selection committee, priority is given to applicants who are current residents of developing and least developed nations interested in participating in ICANN and its supporting organizations, such as the Governmental Advisory Committee, the Country Code Names Supporting Organization, and the Generic Names Supporting Organization.

She explaind that the fellowship will assist in covering airfare, hotel and a stipend. Recipients will be expected to actively participate in and contribute to ICANN processes.

"As always, registration for ICANN’s meetings is free for anyone wanting to attend.

The Mexico City meeting will be held from 1-6 March 2009, " she said.

As said by her ICANN has seen the fellowship recipients in action since the first meeting in San Juan in June 2007—and they have grown in their level of understanding and participation in the ICANN process and community.

“ICANN is in the middle of major initiatives around new top-level domains, the introduction of internationalized domain names, to name just two, and the fellowship programme has a key role in making sure we get the broadest possible input on these matters,” Swinehart said.

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Our competitive advantage – GWAL boss

Managing Director and chief executive officer, GlobalTouch West African Limited (GWAL), Mr. Isaiah Abdulai Mohammed, has said that his firm has competitive advantage over other telecommunications services providers in the country.

Speaking at a recent chat with media in Kaduna, Mohammed said, it is now clear that with the GlobalTouch pioneering spirit as the nation’s Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) licensee.

“It is clear that GlobalTouch’s GMPCS services have strategic advantages over other telecom services providers,” he declared.

Mohammed enumerated some of these rare advantages to include that GWAL service has the universal coverage merit, which is beyond the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) coverage; involvement of one-off capital outlay in covering a large space of land, hence extending to the entire Nigeria’s land mass and West African countries.

“This is unlike other telecoms operators that rely on continues construction of base stations in covering the whole nation, thus, our services are cheaper,” he said.

Apart from its ability to operate virtually everywhere, he also explained that GMPCS has exceptional clarity of voice due to the nature of technology deployed to facilitate better voice quality cellular networks and greater system capacity.

“Comprehensive and vast usage data solutions for corporate users, asset tracking, data monitoring, no matter the location via satellite, unlike the GSM service providers who rely solely on base stations,” he said.

Stressing that with GlobalTouch, there would be more reliable services delivery, superior technology, no drop voice or data calls to name a few.

“Consumers will get value for their money, ensuring consumer satisfaction,” he asserted.

One of the unique services of GWAL is the assets tracking technology, which affords customers on the network to use the satellite modems and integrated back office management solution to track mobile assets such as aircraft, vehicles, trailers, cargo containers and maritime assets.

Meanwhile, GWAL has set date for its commercial roll out on or before April, 2009.
This is coming as the management of GWAL, has announced it voted the sum of $10 million (about N1,330,000,000 billion) to facilitate the take off of its satellite gateway project initiative located near Kaduna.

GWAL is partnering in this whole project with a United States-based world’s largest provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, Globalstar.

Founded in 1997, GlobalTouch, is a Nigerian company with 70 per cent investment equity, while its partners, Globalstar has 30 per cent.

“Our satellite gateway is under construction as you have seen in Kaduna to provide services to Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries as well as parts of the coastal Atlantic and Gulf of Guinea maritime region. We hope to commence commercial service in April 2009,” Mohammed said.

Affirming this, management consultant to GWAL, Mr. Peter Beacon, said that Globalstar with head office in Silicon Valley, also has corporate offices in Canada, Ireland, Panama and Brazil.

He said that the telco has shifted from a wholesale business model, to offering of mobile satellite voice and data services to over 329,000 commercial and consumer subscribers in over 120 countries globally.

Mr. Beacon also said that Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite architecture is well positioned to meet the growing demand for global satellite voice and data.

“Globalstar operates a constellation of 48 operational low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites at approximately 1414 kilometres (km), while it has Geostationary satellites orbit at approximately 32,000 Km.

“LEO is a global constellation of multiple satellites, while each GEO or Geostationary satellite covers a specific region of the earth’s surface,” he said, enumerating the advantages to include that Globalstar spectrum holdings are global, customers in over 120 countries, with virtually no latency and lower power requirements for handsets and data terminals.

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Alawode emerges millionaire in Nokia promo

World leader in mobility innovation, Nokia, recently in Lagos held draws for the first set of winners in the ongoing Nokia Gift Fest promo, with an Information Technology (IT) specialist, Mr. Oludare Alawode, emerging one of the star prize winners worth N1 million.

The draws saw winners emerging in various categories of Blue, Gold, Green, Red and White with cash prizes ranging from N50,000 to N1,000,000.

The promo, which commenced nationwide on December 5, 2008, has been scheduled to run for six weeks, thereby terminating on the January 14, 2009.
Nokia Nigeria

Customer Marketing Manager, Nokia Manager, Ms. Titi Olubiyi, said that the promo is aimed at keeping Nigerians more connected, especially during the festive season.

“Our Nigerian consumers are very precious to us and we want them to have the best gifts for the season. Nokia is all about aspiring, engaging and sharing in everyway,” she said.

Stressing that Nokia is happy to see the first set of winners emerge and it’s Nokia joy to give these cash prizes to them and make them very happy.

“This is the season of giving and Nokia is pleased to be a part of it” Olubiyi said.

At the first prize draw, an IT specialist from Surulere, Mr. Oludare Alawode, won the Gold Category prize of N1million.

Commenting on his prize, Mr. Alawode said it was really an unexpected Christmas present and expressed thanks to Nokia for that gesture.

However, to be part of the Nokia Gift Fest Promo, the Communications Manager, Nokia West Africa, Mrs. Ngozi Ife Anene, said, the consumers are encouraged to purchase any Nokia mobile devices from authorized retail outlets across the country.

“All devices come with 12 months warranty. The focus devices for this promo are the new N79, the Nokia 5220 express music and the stylish Nokia 3600. Other devices are the Nokia 1200, 1208, 1680, 5320 Xpressmusic, Nokia 6500 slide and the Nokia 6600 fold. The consumers are advised to send in the correct IMEI numbers of the purchased devices to prevent disqualification,” she said.

Once purchased, consumers are to text the IMEI number of the device, their name and address by SMS to the short code number 32442. A response confirming the category qualified for and an electronic ticket number will be sent to the consumer.

Consumers are expected to bring the purchased product and the number for prize redemption.

Two more draws will hold in a January 2009.

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Glo dedicates 1000 lines for accident–free holiday

Still in the euphoria of the Christmas and New Year, leading telecommunications company, Globacom, in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), has provided a dedicated 1000-line communications platform for “Operation Eagle Eye”, an accident-prevention programme designed for the festive season.

The package, according to Mr. Babatunde Amunikoro, Globacom’s Head of Public Sector, will facilitate communication for members of the FRSC and help them cope with the intensity of traffic in the December festive period while shortening the Commission’s response time in emergencies.

“This gesture is aimed at reducing accidents and providing quick intervention for accident victims during the yuletide period”, said Amunikoro.

He said the 1000 lines come with 100 per cent Closed User Group (CUG), meaning that calls made within this group will be free, while calls made outside the group will be at a substantially discounted rate. “These lines will be serially activated within the FRSC’s CUG and will be placed on the Easy Pay platform where they can load their phones with credits with the normal cards,” he said.

The 1000 lines, he said, is the first phase of a larger scheme that will also include families of Corps members.

Amunikoro disclosed that the ultimate objective of the FRSC is to enroll 5000 corps members and families on the CUG.

“However, due to the urgent need for an effective communication platform during the upcoming holidays, 1000 lines will be used to flag off the scheme”, he said.

The FRSC recently invited Globacom Limited to upgrade its operations and transform its technological operations.

The Corp Marshal of the FRSC, Mr. Osita Chidoka, who made the request, said that Globacom had the capacity to make the operations of the establishment more technology-driven, with real-time on-screen visual traffic monitoring, virtual private network, call centre and real-time roadside licence checks.

“We, in FRSC have great confidence in the capacity of Globacom to provide effective GPRS and 3G platforms with sufficient bandwidth and quality of service to meet our demands”, Chidoka said during a visit to Mike Adenuga Towers, headquarters of the company, recently.

Responding to the Corps Marshal, the Group Chief Operating Officer of Globacom, Mr. Mohamed Jameel explained that Globacom had provided similar technological back-up for several companies, adding that it would have no problem turning the FRSC into a hi-tech organisation comparable to similar organisations in the world.

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Pope applauds 25yrs of Vatican Tv

Staff members, contributors, and advisors of Vatican Television (CTV) have been applauded by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, on Sunday morning on the occasion of the celebration of CTV’s 25th anniversary this year.

Speaking after being hosted the President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Cardinal John Patrick Foley and General Director of CTV, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Pope Benedict XVI recalled the phrase Videre Petrum (to see the Pope) a desire that has brought uncountable pilgrims to Rome and which could be fulfilled, at least in part.

“But thanks to radio and television, which have allowed so many ... to participate in the ceremonies and events of the Vatican and the other places visited by the Pope in carrying out his ministry," he said, stressing that the efforts of member of CTV, above all, is the precious service for communion in the Church, according to Vatican News.

"Your collaboration with Catholic television stations has been characteristic from your very inception. It is encouraging to know that not a few Catholic television stations in various regions of the world are connected to you. In this manner, a ever greater number of faithful can see, live or recorded, what happens at the center of the Church," the Holy father said.

He also noted that television, however, is not seen only by Catholics.

“In offering your images to the major television stations of the world and the main state or commercial channels, you assist the proper and timely dissemination of information on life and the teaching of the Church in today’s world, at the service of the dignity of the human being, of justice, and of dialogue and peace," he declared.

Referring later to the transmission of liturgical ceremonies the Holy Father reaffirmed that liturgy is truly the apex of the Church’s life, the time and place of a profound relationship with God.

“Following the liturgical event through the attentive eye of the camera, which allows those who cannot be physically present to participate spiritually, is an arduous and noble task," the Pontiff said.

Emphasising that the images taken over the course of these years and that are now in storage make the archive an invaluable resource, not only for the production of current and future television programmes, “but also for the history of the Holy See and the Church. ... So that the Church might remain present with its message in the ’great Areopagus’ of the mass media, as John Paul II said, and to not feel a foreigner to the places where a great many youth navigate in search of answers and meaning for their lives, you have to seek paths to spread, in new ways, the voices and images of hope through the electronic network that envelops our planet in an increasingly encompassing web."

Concluding, he asserted, "Carry on! Thanks to your work many people can feel closer to the heart of the Church."

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Cybersecurity agenda aimed @ enhancing public trust

Comment:
Cybersecurity agenda aimed @ enhancing public trust

I am pleased to join you here in Hyderabad for what I trust will be three days of productive discussions aimed at defining a clear path forward for the IGF.

It is worth reiterating that the IGF was created as the result of the most wide-ranging, comprehensive and inclusive debate ever held on the future of the Internet.

Through the Geneva and Tunis Phases of the World Summit on the Information Society, ITU proactively solicited contributions from stakeholders worldwide.

Intensive preparatory work for the Tunis phase of WSIS had already built significant global consensus on the principles governing ongoing policy deliberations.

At the close of that summit, we spoke of a breakthrough agreement on Internet governance which acknowledged the need for enhanced global cooperation. The need for equality of governments worldwide. And the need for the application of principles of national sovereignty in each country’s management of its ccTLD, as laid down in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

We underlined the importance of strengthened cooperation in the development of globally applicable principles for the management of critical Internet resources.

We hailed the agreement, and the creation of the IGF in accordance with paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda, as a turning point that would pave the way for all countries to exercise their national rights in managing their own critical Internet resources.
Three years later, where are we?

I am pleased with some of the progress achieved by ICANN over these past three years on critical issues such as security and internationalization of the Domain Name System.

For our part, ITU has been very active in implementing both the letter and the spirit of our WSIS commitments.

On 17 May last year I launched the Global Cybersecurity Agenda, a global framework for international cooperation aimed at enhancing public confidence and security in the use of ICTs because children are increasingly vulnerable to the predations of cybercriminals, we recently enhanced the GCA with the launch of our new Child Online Protection initiative ITU’s 2008 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly adopted key Recommendations on IPv6 and on non-discriminatory access to Internet resources.

ITU Council last month created a new working group dedicated to accelerating the pace of work on Internet-related public policy issues.

ITU also continues to push for faster progress in building international Internet connectivity in developing countries. Last year’s ITU Connect Africa summit alone raised an unprecedented 55 billion dollars in investment commitments specifically targeting regional connectivity projects.

And in April next year, ITU’s fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Lisbon will welcome over a thousand senior policy makers for high-level discussions on four key themes, among them Internet-related public policy matters.

When we met in Rio last year, I spoke of the need for next-generation Internet governance. Governance that reflects the changing geopolitical realities of our world, and the changing nature of the Internet itself.

I make no apology for stating bluntly that I believe the IGF is not on track to meet the expectations of many countries that participated in the Tunis phase of WSIS, and who were hoping for frank and fruitful discussions on globally applicable principles for the management of critical Internet resources.

If we allow ourselves to get bogged down in re-hashing issues for which there was already broad global consensus in Tunis, then critics are justified in labelling our efforts a waste of time.

Last month, I was privileged to participate in the ICANN meeting in Cairo – a meeting that elicited forthright discussions on our strengths and weaknesses. One of the clear weaknesses in the current structure is the Governmental Advisory Group, or GAC.

Not only does this body lack any kind of policy-making muscle, but it is highly unrepresentative. Of ITU’s 191 Member States, barely half have representation in GAC, and under a third play an active role.

I continue to receive complaints on issues of great importance to ITU Member States, such as the management of the ccTLD for Trinidad and Tobago, which has still not been resolved.

When issues of such concern to sovereign states cannot be addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner, it is only natural that these countries turn to ITU for help.

Since the last meeting of the IGF, the world has been plunged into an economic crisis the magnitude of which is only just beginning to be fully appreciated.
At a top-level crisis meeting in New York, heads of international agencies were unanimous in their call for global frameworks that embrace a new multilateral approach.

These leaders were unequivocal in their call for a new environment that supports, rather than undermines, social fairness and sustainable development.

This compelling need for new, more equitable international frameworks is just as important when applied to cyberspace. The same principles of democracy advocated by some of the loudest voices on the Net must also apply to the governance of this critical global resource.

I, therefore, urge IGF members to strengthen their will to move forward in addressing the issues for which this forum was set up, in the spirit of Paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda.

As the international agency Committed to Connecting the World, ITU has a mandate to extend equitable access to all the world’s people.

This is a responsibility we take very seriously.

I, for one, would be encouraged to see a clear demonstration of the same commitment from the IGF.

*Extract from an address by Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, at Internet Governance Forum - Opening Session, Hyberabad, India, on December 3, 2008.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Akunyili divides ICT stakeholders


Stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in the country are currently divided by the last Wednesday’s appointment of Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Akunyili, as the new Minister of Information and Communications.

Prof. Akunyili, was until her latest appointment, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) after serving in that capacity for several years, most of which marked the greater part of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime.

Reflecting on the appointment of Prof. Akunyili, stakeholders in the nation’s ICT sector seem to be divided on the side of the divide they are, both in support and against the choice.

In a chat with the chief executive officer, Amsco Telecom Group, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu, who commended President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for finding Prof. Akunyili worthy to serve in this ‘all important’ sector.

He hinged his reasons on a tripod, namely the Ministry, Minister and President, saying that Nigerians should look out for Prof. Akunyili to repeat her magic in NAFDAC in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

According to him, Ministry-wise, it’s only entity that could advance solutions for Nigeria economically and otherwise through ICT.
Stressing with an example of India and Asia, saying that today they make more money than Nigeria.

“Look at India and Asia for ready examples. India today makes much more money than Nigeria would make even if oil was $300 per barrel,” he declared.

Kalu also noted that their revenue has not crashed with oil price falling in recent times. “We need to position our nation for the future for ICT,” he asserted.

Mr. Kalu, who is a telecom expert and President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), expressed optimism that in no time, the Ministry would transform to the much expected Ministry of Information and Communications.

“We still expect the reform to make it ICT Ministry; representing the most important ministry in these very trying times globally,” he said.

Secondly, he said, is the personality of Prof Dora Akunyili, who presently needs no introduction in Nigeria.

“When she came into NAFDAC Nigeria was in a sad state. I, for one only bought drugs from one location for fear of fake drugs that was killing us heavily. Today, we’re at a critical moment that if nothing is done to reposition Nigeria in ICT, we may go into recession that is unprecedented,” he said, stressing that he had explicit confidence in Prof. Akunyili to make it happen once more for Nigeria and Nigerians.

“She has got what it takes and with God on her side, she will make it,” he said.
The third aspect of his position was President Yar’Adua, pointing out that one thing he has going well for him, is that he means well.

“We may quarrel with his speed or choice of intervention but we agree he means well. So, for him to make this posting we would rightly assume that Mr. President means well and has a plan, an ace up his sleeve,” he said.

As said by him, when these three are combined, “I tell you that the minister and ministry to look out for is Prof Akunyili and Ministry of Information and Communications,” advising her to study critically the dynamics of this sector and how critical it is, and avoid sycophants and negative politicians but reach out to the professionals in this sector.

Another highly placed stakeholder, who does not want the names in print, told Champion Infotel that the day she was nominated, “I said she might be coming to Information.”

Describing Prof. Akunyili as a versatile person, our source beliefs she would bring life to the Ministry, due to her honesty and ever willing to learn, “so, she will be amenable to change.”

Our source also expressed the belief that what Nigeria needs now, especially in the ICT sector as the mover is the zeal and strength with which Akunyili worked while in NAFDAC.

“I personally trust God to use her to straighten a number of issues in the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications (FMIC). I wish her all the best,” our source said.

A member of the Nigerian IT Professionals in the Diaspora, who described himself as Mr. Dele, noted though he hates predicting failure, but this, was the same position he held when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss was appointed and months after it is no longer hidden that “EFCC has gone to the dogs.”

Welcoming Prof. Akunyili, Mr. Dele also noted that she did well at NAFDAC and became a doyen of the international community, but wondered if her administration at NAFDAC was a one-man show.

“If it was a one man show, then Nigerians are back to square one of using tainted drugs,” he said, expressing doubt on how far she could go, especially because the Ministry is saddled with lack of infrastructure and needs proactive approach to move the nation towards digital age.

“Wishing her all the best at the same time; her failure will not be because she lacks the will, but because of the situation on the ground and the people she might surround herself with,” Mr. Dele cautioned.

For another member of IT professionals in diaspora and chief executive officer of San Jose-based Learning Right Technologies LLC, Ms Mary (Molly) Uzoh, who pointed out that Prof. Mrs. Akunyili does not have to be a “techie” to be an efficient Federal Minister of Information and Communication.

Although she said that Akunyili is not the Minister of Science and Technology, but its necessary that technology be fused into all Federal Ministries.

“However, if the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is not tech savvy enough to drive the infusion of technology into all the federal ministries through its tons of agencies, including the National IT Development Agency (NITDA), any extraordinary effort by any “techie” minister in Nigeria will just be a struggle,” she said.
Uzoh was very optimistic that Akunyili’s track record speaks for itself.

“Yes, Akunyili’s track record speaks for itself. No, we should not predict failure for her before she fails. Her previous assignment was not an easy one at all. In fact, she has a whole lot of “non-techie” Broken Information and Communication issues to fix in that ministry and I’m sure she is equal to the task,” she submitted.


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Security of telecom networks worries ITU

Network operators can save lives and indiscriminate punishment of law abiding citizens, only if they promptly respond to request on call log of criminal related cases for improved security, reports REMMY NWEKE.


A victim of GSM?
A roadside radio mechanic living at Mushin, a Lagos suburb, Mr. Uzor Ikenna, needed to make a few cash withdrawal for a very important family engagement, so, on Wednesday morning, he headed to a nearby branch of the bank where he maintains a savings account, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway also in Lagos.

By 11.35am, Uzor was already within the bank’s compound when he got a call on his handset and had to retrieve to outside the gate in order to answer the call, after which he was on his way back to the banking hall, when a police officer on duty accosted him, demanded for the phone, which he deposited without much ado and went in to conduct his transactions in the bank.

He was barely in when a group of armed robbers struck and carted away huge sums of money. When the robbers left, the police man came in to search of Mr. Uzor, claiming that the call he received earlier was with the robbers and placed him under arrest. He was later transferred to Panti for further investigation.

Although experts have argued that the call log could be provided by the network and investigated, the Police detained Uzor for over two weeks, to ascertain whether or not he is a member of the armed robbery gang in any form nor simply a victim of growing usage of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) services in a country like Nigeria.

Worried by telecom security lapses:

And in efforts to confront the issues of security lapses in the telecommunications sector, the global telecom regulator, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), recently made some recommendations for a secured telecommunications. ITU through the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (ITU-T), noted that security in telecommunications and Information Technology is a very salient subject.

An overview of issues and the deployment of existing ITU-T recommendations for secure telecommunications, ITU said, it could be categorized to include the basic security architectures and services, open systems security architecture, lower and upper layer security models, the security frameworks, security architecture for systems providing end-to-end communications, in addition to the fundamentals of protection: Threats, Vulnerabilities and Risks as well as the security requirements for telecommunication networks.

Basics:

On basic security architectures, experts at ITU said noted that during the communications standardization work in the early 1980s, the need to address elements of security architecture was recognized, which led to the development of the Open Systems Security Architecture (ITU-T Rec. X.800). This notwithstanding, it was recognized that this was but the first stage in the development of a suite of standards to support security services and mechanisms.

“This work, most of which was done in collaboration with International Standards Organisation (ISO), resulting in further recommendations, including security models and frameworks that specify how particular types of protection can be applied in particular environments,” ITU official said.

Additionally, our sources stressed on the need for other security architectures, such as the security architectures for Open Distributed Processing and for Systems Providing End-to-end Communications, were identified.

The recently published ITU-T Rec. X.805, according to the global regulator, addresses this need and complements other recommendations of X.800 series by offering security solutions aimed at providing end-to-end network security.

The first of the this series of communications security architectures to be standardized was ITU-T Rec. X.800, defining the general security-related architectural elements that could be applied in relation to the circumstances for which protection is required. Particularly, experts said, X.800 provides a general description of security services and the related mechanisms that may be used to provide the services.

It also defines, in terms of the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Basic Reference Model, the most appropriate location for implementing the security services.

Accordingly, ITU-T recommendation X.800 is concerned only with those visible aspects of a communications path that permit end systems to achieve the secure transfer of information between them. “It does not attempt to provide any kind of implementation specification and it does not provide the means to assess conformance of any implementation to this or any other security standard. Nor does it indicate, in any detail, the additional security measures may be needed in end-systems to support the OSI security features.”


Underlying concept of X.800:

Although X.800 was developed specifically as the OSI security architecture, the underlying concepts were shown to have much broader applicability and acceptance.

The standard is, therefore, particularly important as it represents the first internationally-agreed consensus on the definitions of the basic security services Authentication, Access Control, Data Confidentiality (AACDC), Data Integrity and Non-repudiation), along with more general (pervasive) services such as trusted functionality, event detection and security audit and recovery.

However, prior to X.800 there had been a wide range of views on what basic security services were required and what exactly each service would do. Emphasizing that X.800 reflects a strong, international consensus on these services.


Value and applicability:

Experts highlighted that the value and general applicability of X.800 results specifically from the fact that it represents a significant consensus on the meaning of the terms used to describe security features, on the set of security services needed to provide protection for data communications, and on the nature of those security services.

At the developmental level, ITU experts informed that the need for additional related communications security standards paved the way for work on a number of supporting standards and complementary architectural recommendations followed by the development of X.800.

These included the Lower and Upper Layer Security Models (X.802 and X.803), the purpose of which was an indication of how the security concepts developed in the Security Frameworks could be applied to specific areas of Open Systems architectures.

“The purpose of the Upper Layers Security Model (X.803) is to provide standards developers with the architectural model for the development of application-independent security services and protocols in the upper layers of 7-layer OSI model,” experts declared in the recommendation.

Noteworthy is that the recommendation provided guidance on the positioning of and inter-relationships between security services in the session, presentation and application layers.

In particular, the recommendation described how security transformation functions, such as encipherment were addressed at the application and presentation layers, additional to the concept of security exchange is introduced.

Frameworks:
The security frameworks, as said by ITU were developed to provide comprehensive and consistent descriptions of the security services defined in X.800. They are intended to address all aspects of how the security services could be applied in the context of specific security architecture, including possible future security architectures.

The frameworks, therefore, focus on providing protection for systems, objects within systems and interaction between systems, without necessarily addressing the methodology for constructing systems or mechanisms.

The frameworks address both data elements and sequences of operations, excluding protocol elements that are used to obtain specific security services, which may apply to the communicating entities of systems as well as to data exchanged between, and managed by systems.

An overview of this framework introduces the other frameworks and describes common concepts consisting of security domains, security authorities and security policies that are used in all the frameworks, thereby describing a generic data format that could be used to convey both authentication and access control information securely.

From Geneva to India:
Thus, in his message at the just concluded Hyderabad meeting in India, for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the Secretary General, ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, pointed out that IGF was created as the result of the most wide-ranging, comprehensive and inclusive debate ever held on the future of the Internet, which went through the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva and Tunis, ITU proactively solicited contributions from stakeholders worldwide.

He noted that intensive preparatory went into Tunis phase of WSIS culminating in significant global consensus on the principles governing ongoing policy deliberations. This saw, eventually that the summit spoke of a breakthrough agreement on Internet governance which acknowledged the need for enhanced global cooperation.

Toure said, the need for equality of governments worldwide and application of principles of national sovereignty in each country’s management of its Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), as laid down in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, was a highlight at the summit.


Importance of global application:

“We underlined the importance of strengthened cooperation in the development of globally applicable principles for the management of critical Internet resources. We hailed the agreement, and the creation of the IGF in accordance with paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda, as a turning point that would pave the way for all countries to exercise their national rights in managing their own critical Internet resources,” he said.

Expressing excitement over the progress achieved by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) over the past three years on critical issues such as security and internationalization of the Domain Name System (DNS); he underscored the fact that ITU has been very active in implementing both the letter and the spirit of WSIS commitments, which saw to the launch of the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), a global framework for international cooperation aimed at enhancing public confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

ITU’s push:
This, he said, is because children are increasingly vulnerable to the predations of cybercriminals, which motivated ITU’s recent enhancement of the GCA with the launch of its new Child Online Protection initiative, which ITU’s 2008 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly adopted key recommendations on Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) and on non-discriminatory access to Internet resources.

ITU Council last month created a new working group dedicated to accelerating the pace of work on Internet-related public policy issues. ITU also continues to push for faster progress in building international Internet connectivity in developing countries. Even as at last year’s ITU Connect Africa summit alone $55 billion was raised unprecedentedly in investment commitments specifically targeting regional connectivity projects.

General objectives:
In the general security objectives for telecommunications networks of these recommendations, ITU-T described the ultimate aim of the security measures taken in telecommunication networks and focuses on what security requirements achieved rather than on how it is done.

The security objectives for telecommunication networks were only for authorized users to be able to access and use telecommunication networks; access and operate on assets they are authorized to access; affords telecommunication networks to provide privacy at the level set by the security policies of the network, even as all users should be held accountable for their own but only their own actions in telecommunication networks.

Equally, ITU outlined other goals of the recommendations to include ensuring availability, and protection against unsolicited access or operations, just as it should be possible to retrieve security-related information from telecommunication networks; but only authorized users should be able to retrieve such information.

However, if security violations are detected, they should be handled in a controlled manner in accordance with a pre-defined plan to minimize potential damage. Also, after a security breach is detected, it should be possible to restore normal security levels based on certain flexibility in order to support different security policies.

Summary:
By implementing the aforementioned security measures the security objectives for telecommunication networks could be achieved via confidentiality; data integrity; surely integrity of system programmes is also required, accountability, including authentication, non-repudiation and access control; and availability.

It is necessary to provide security services and mechanisms to protect telecommunication networks against malicious attacks such as denial of service, eavesdropping, spoofing, tampering with messages such as modification, delay, deletion, insertion, replay, re-routing, misrouting, or re-ordering of messages, and repudiation or forgery.

Protection, according to experts should include prevention, detection and recovery from attacks, as well as management of security-related information, with the practical involvement of members of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), for instance.

While industry observers suggest that protection may equally include measures to prevent service outages due to natural events like weather or malicious attacks such as violent actions.

Even as they further suggested that the arrest of an individual for answering a call outside some key places like banks and few minutes later a robbery incident occur; could be traceable in terms of charging or acquitting the subscriber who answered call prior to a back robbery by way of making available its data or call traffic on a given mobile phone, and networks.


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Pragmatic unveils CyberPower inverters

PRAGMATIC Technologies subsidiary, BuyRight, has unveiled CyberPower inverters into the nation’s market.

Speaking at the unveiling held at head office of Pragmatic in Lagos, the chief executive officer, Mr. Biodun Marquis, said that the CyberPower brand of inverters come with dual purpose of serving as purely inverters and surge protectors for electronics appliances.

Marquis, who was accompanied by the Director, Sales and Marketing at CyberPower International, Mr. Gilbert Chen and senior engineer, Mr. Relics, listed some benefits of CyberPower, to include that its fuel free, noiseless, maintenance-free, automatic changeover during blackout of public power supply by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and restoration, as well as has low input DC voltage in addition to lower price entry, which makes it affordable.

According to him, CyberPower comes in 3KVA and 5KVA and uses a minimum of two and four batteries respectively.

On the features, he said, it has pure sine wave, Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), surge protection, large intelligent display, decent enclosure with wheels and battery expansion, which could be added based on the need and budget of the end-user.
As said by him, Nigerians would soon realize that CyberPower Inverter is number one in the market place, because the brand is the lowest cost-to-benefit ratio power inverter in the world as of today.

Also, he said, CyberPower inverter is known to be faster in charging, that is twice as fast as the local competition.

He explained that the unique aspect of the project is the fact it has battery expansion capability.

“User can add batteries sequentially over time and up to the desired quantity based on budget,” he said.

“The AVR affords CyberPower inverters to also serve as stabilizers. Intelligent Inverter – tells you all you need to know. Removes guess work from inverter load, battery remaining capacity to name a few, just as it’s user friendly,” he said.
Equally, it could be used to power air conditioners, microwave, freezer, refrigerator among others.

Marquis advised that it could be used for Desktop, Servers, and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) as Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), stressing that CyberPower brand is a global leading brand that offers quality, reality and value.

On the support service, he said that BuyRight is positioned as a strong local partner to offer technical support and boast of over 15 graduate engineers with a standard workshop.

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Titans of Tech’09 to focus on converged economy

THE 2009 edition of Titans of Tech conference and exhibitions would focus on enabling the country to harness the benefits of creating a converged economy.

Managing Consultant, Technology Africa, organisers of the event, Don Pedro Aganbi, said in Lagos, that the theme of 2009 event would be, “Realising the Potentials of a Converged Economy,” noted that this was chosen in recognition of the fact that this is the era of convergence.

He also disclosed that Titans of Tech 2009, is schedule to hold in the month of April 2009, at the prestigious Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan-Lagos.

“Technologically, convergence refers to the trend of technologies to merge into a single medium bringing together a myriad of media. While historically, legacy technology handled only one medium or accomplished one or two tasks, but through convergence, devices are now able to interact with a wide array of media formats,” he said.

Stressing that communications services, in particular, have in recent times moved rather rapidly from voice only to voice and data only and then voice, data and video.

Convergence, he noted, has significant implications in any economy, because it tells on the consumer and productivity of any nation, pointing out that it will challenge existing business models, patterns of consumption, shared values, common experiences, which will in turn pose challenges for the policy and regulatory framework.

He further said that a new industrial sector is emerging, aptly referred to by some as the interactive ‘multimedia industry’.

This industry, he postulated, is developing as a result of the convergence of three more traditional sectors: communications (telephony, cable, satellite, wireless), computing (computers, software, services), and content (publishing, entertainment, information providers).

“Thus convergence is creating a whole new industry that will be the driving force for the economy going into the future,” he declared.

Therefore, he said, Technology Africa beliefs that it is time to consider what the converged world will look like and the implications thereon.

Emphasising that Titans of Tech 2009 would provide the needed platform for key industry stakeholders to consider how to promote growth and innovation in this converged world and ensures universal access to high quality content.

Aganbi said that the fourth edition of the Titans of Tech would also cover how to ensure the consumers’ access the content they want, where they want and when they want it.

Participants and exhibitors expected at the event include leading telecom services providers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), vendors, software developers and vendors, Test and Training Centres, Auxiliary Service providers, Support Services firms, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Consulting Firms, Finance/Funding Institutions, among others.

Over 8, 000 visitors, 240 delegates, 24 exhibitors and 15 speakers graced the two-day programme in the 2008 edition.

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College of Education introduces SRMS

THE Kwara State owned College of Education, Oro, has introduced Student Record Management System (SRMS), a suite of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) kit that enables the school to manage its student administration efficiently.

Developed by an indigenous solutions- service provider, Core Business Technologies Limited, SRMS stands out as the most dynamic solution in the nation’s higher institutions to improve student administration.

According to the chief executive officer, Core Business Technologies, Mr. Edward Essien, SRMS would help in student recruitment, admissions and accommodation.

He said that for students it is goodbye to labourious registration processes and generally enhanced interface between the students and the school.

He explained that the system is bundled with admission process for remedial, undergraduate and post-graduate programmes with modules to accept scanned photos and signatures of students.

“It also offers processes for online application, students admission checking, clearance both off and online,” he said.

Essien also noted that the system affords students to initiate and conclud e–payment as they would be able to register for past sessions, that is, a 400 level student in 2008/2009 Session should be able to enter registration information from his or her 100 level, for instance, which would be 2005/2006.

He further said that the portal has provision for change of course via online; if a student is requested to withdraw from a course, and is eligible to change to another one.

“The Kwara State College of Education’s SRMS has modules for printing necessary completed forms for signatures, assignment of students’ matriculation number both off and online, issuance of I.D. cards for students,”he said.

Stressing that the platform has a feature for downloading required data from the data base, off line, for input into an ID Card issuing programme as well as generation of list of registered students course by course.

"It also captures examination scores course by course, computation of good standing results which varies from school to school,’ he explained, noting that portal could be designed to allow for permission protected changes by school and council in addition to students’ score sheet to be seen only by individual students in off and online.

In addition, he said, SRMS provides list of students that withdrew from the college as a result of not being in good standing or disciplinary case to qualify for final year clearance module, which could be access offline as well as the computation of final year result.

Essien equally said that through the portal, transcripts could be obtained, sessional and semester results, although with the relevant security requirement, even as it could generate NYSC mobilization lists.

‘It offers full e-learning, that is, online lecture notes, assignment among other modules, on/off line e-library, hostel allocation, time table and course allocation for lectures and examinations,’ he said.

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MMDS operators warn on proposed 2.5G auction

THE Microwave Multi-channels Distribution Systems (MMDS) operators in the country have warned on the proposed plan to auction the Enhanced Second Generation (2.5G) spectrum by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

This range of spectrum, according to experts have been designed for the use of digital television broadcast as well as broadband provisioning, through the use of different formats like the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) and other broadband deliveries.

MMDS operators who are predominantly providers of broadcasting services using the 2.5G licensed spectrum, said relevant consultation were not carried out by NCC before proclaiming the proposal, insisting that its illegal and detrimental to the growth of the nation.

Sounding this note of caution, the operators who spoke through the chief executive of Disc Communications, Mr. Bayo Banjo, while condemning the plans, noted that the 2.5G spectrum has been in use by MMDS operators since 1993 after dully licensed by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and approved by the Frequency Management Commission.

He explained that the same license was renewed early this year for another five years and fully paid for as required by law, thus questioning the rationale behind the planned auction, since the spectrum is currently in use by broadcasters.

He also said that his group has not been formally informed in any form, pointing out that though it started as rumour, they have seen NCC officials in some locations owned by MMDS operators with spectrum analyzers in order to determine what spectrum is in use in those places.

“We would like to take this seriously because some of us have seen officials of NCC snooping around licensed MMDS operators with their spectrum analyzers, to determine what spectrum is in use,” he alleged.

He pointed out that in the past decade and half, MMDS operators have invested well over $40 million on expansion programme and for ordering of equipment, explaining that the NBC had in the last two years, forced all operators to scrap their analogue systems and go digital.

“Across the nation, all MMDS operators have scraped their equipment, lost all subscribers and have had to start from scratch. We are presently building up our subscriber base and have ordered thousand of digital decoders which have been paid for. We have also ordered WIMAX equipment in order to migrate simultaneously to broadband Internet Protocol Tv (IPTV) broadcast,” Banjo declared.

The operators further wondered if MMDS operators are lesser Nigerians that they cannot provide bandwidth and do triple play to merit such action from NCC.

He explained that the 2.5G spectrum, is currently regarded as a medium that allows operators to bridge the gap among all the diverse ethnic groups in the country, maintaining that it should not auctioned.

Noting that NCC has lots of telecommunication spectrums to play with including the 3.2G, 2.3G, which is the most developed WiMAX frequency with the highest penetration of broadband.

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GWAL targets April for commercial roll out

PIONEER licensee of the Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) in the country, the GlobalTouch West African Limited (GWAL) is targeting April next year, for its commercial roll out.

This is coming as GWAL, has voted the sum of $10 million (about N1,330,000,000 billion) to facilitate the take off of its satellite gateway project initiative located near Kaduna.

Chief executive, GWAL and former Executive Director in the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Mr. Isaiah Abdulai Mohammed, made this disclosure while briefing newsmen at the end of one-day facility visit to the gateway house of its satellite at the outskirt of Kaduna, in northern part of the country.

GWAL is partnering in this project with a United States-based largest mobile satellite voice and data services provider, Globalstar.

According to him, Globaltouch which was founded in 1997 is a Nigerian company with 70 per cent investment equity, while its partners, Globalstar has 30 per cent.

“Our satellite gateway is under construction as you have seen in Kaduna to provide services to Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries as well as parts of the coastal Atlantic and Gulf of Guinea maritime region. We hope to commence commercial service in April 2009,” Mohammed said.

Affirming this, management consultant to GWAL, Mr. Peter Beacon, said that Globalstar with head office in Silicon Valley, also has corporate offices in Canada, Ireland, Panama and Brazil.

He said that the telco has shifted from a wholesale business model, to offering of mobile satellite voice and data services to over 329,000 commercial and consumer subscribers in over 120 countries globally.

Mr. Beacon also said that Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite architecture is well positioned to meet the growing demand for global satellite voice and data.

“Globalstar operates a constellation of 48 operational low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites at approximately 1414 kilometres (km), while it has Geostationary satellites orbit at approximately 32,000 Km.

“LEO is a global constellation of multiple satellites, while each GEO or Geostationary satellite covers a specific region of the earth’s surface,” he said, enumerating the advantages to include that Globalstar spectrum holdings are global, customers in over 120 countries, with virtually no latency and lower power requirements for handsets and data terminals,” he said.

In readiness of the company to improve service offering, he revealed that Globalstar recently signed agreements that would enhance both the receiver sensitivity and the overall customer messaging capacity of the current Globalstar Simplex data network.

“The Messaging capacity of the network is expected to increase by up to 10 times what is currently available, while receiver sensitivity is expected to increase by as much as 40 per cent,” he said.

Potential increase, he said, is anticipated in the overall gateway geographic coverage with increase in messaging reliability which already exceeds 98 per cent.

“Initial testing of the upgrades is expected to be completed in early 2009,” Beacon said.

The telco’s services would be available wit second-generation enabled handset Global Satellite Positioning (GSP) 1700 satellite phone designed for use with current and next-generation satellites.

“Globalstar’s newest phones are much smaller and lighter than the first generation handsets and comes with more features,” he declared.

Presently, Mr. Beacon said that these handsets weigh only 200 grams and has a volume of 225 CC, four hours of talk time and up to 36 hours of standby time.

Other features, he said, include four line full color Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) display with user backlight preferences, backlit keypad, Universal Serial Bus (USB) data cable ready, standard audio headset jack and the choice to choose from a variety of colors; red, silver and copper.

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Glo mobile slashes call tariffs with ‘Time Band’

GLO Mobile, the mobile arm of the Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom Limited, has slashed call charges on the network by 95 per cent.

A press statement made available to Champion Infotel quoted Globacom’s Marketing Director, Mr. Jagatjit Singh, as saying that subscribers are now to enjoy up to 95 per cent reduction on any call tariffs based on the time of the day when such a call is made.

A new promotion tagged ‘Glo Time Band Savings’ he said, entitles subscribers on the network to discounts of between 10 per cent and 95 per cent for calls made on the Glo network, depending on the time of the day.

“Discount is from the peak rate of the tariff plan,” he said, explaining that calls made between 12 midnight and 5 a.m. will attract 95 per cent discount, between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. will have 40 per cent discount, while calls between 8 a.m. and 12 noon will be at 10 per cent discount.

And between 12 noon and 2 p.m., Singh said, Glo is offering callers 20 per cent discount, while 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. will attract 10 per cent discount.

“Subscribers who call between 10 p.m. and 12 midnight will enjoy a 30 per cent discount,” he said.

Mr. Singh, equally disclosed that the discounts are applicable nationwide, unlike similar products in the market, that limit subscribers to specific zones.

“Glo Time Band Savings is the first such offer in the market. Our subscribers will benefit from it irrespective of wherever they are in Nigeria. You do not have to enjoy the benefit only when you are at a particular place or zone,” Singh explained.

The Glo Time Band Savings which is part of Glo Mobile’s Festive Seasons promotion to usher in the new year will end on January 31, 2009.

The discount offer is open to all existing and new subscribers on prepaid platforms except for the Commercial Telephone Operators (CTO) packages.

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Expert advises on usage of IT solutions

MARKETING manager for the Enterprise Partner Group (EPG) at the Microsoft Nigeria, Mrs. Ejieke Maduka-Ezeadigwu, has said that Nigerians need to make use of Information Technology (IT) wisely for it to be fully optimized.

Speaking at a Corporate Executive Circle held in Victoria Island, Lagos, Mrs. Maduka-Ezeadigwu noted that IT adaptation in the country is growing and there is need to ensure that usage of attendant solution of any kind is done wisely, and which must be able to deliver strategically.

Mrs. Maduka-Ezeadigwu in her presentation said every company has a plan, but how hard they work on their research and development matters a lot, stressing that at Microsoft, “we think off affordability, research and development that’s why we invest so much and in terms of connection we make sure it’s connecting”.

She said that Windows mobile is making sure that the experience users get on their personal computer (pc) is transported into a smart phone.

“Technology does not have to be complex because complexity has cost. To have a competitive advantage, everything that is on your pc can be on your phone,” she said.

Also speaking, the chief executive officer, Anabel Mobile, Mr. Nicholas Okoye, said that his firm has clearly bench-marked itself looking at the company as a global brand.

He noted that mobility cannot be complete without a smart phone, hence at Anabel, they have been able to provide a world class product that will meet the test of time by using the likes of Microsoft’s ARM 9 and ARM 11, for the Computer Processing Unit (CPU).

“Anabel wants to be in Africa and we want to change the trend in the industries,” he said, pointing out that Anabel already has service center so as get nearer to the customers.

“We have an in-house team that will enhance the basic experience,” he declared, even as Anabel mobile intends to meet with some service providers in order to ensure that switching would not be a challenge, because the phones are very affordable.
According to him, Anabel already has four different devices in the market and it helps to write and transforms it to typing.

Pointing out that this device is not only for executives it is for everyone because it improves work force productivity, especially with Windows mobile.

Architect Microsoft West, East and Central Africa, Mr. Ade Famoti, during his presentation said Windows mobile is one that helps users to get what their personal computer could offer.

“It is closer to what you have on your PC,” he said, underscoring the fact that technology is driven by market trend, and having information anywhere anytime, is what people want.

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Intel Nigeria bags telemedicine award

INTEL Corporation Nigeria has bagged the best Nigerian Telemedicine Entrepreneurial Company for 2008.

According to Jasmine Malone of Frost & Sullivan, organisers of the event which took place recently in South Africa, Intel Nigeria was recognized for its demonstration of sound entrepreneurial ability and commitments towards improving access to quality healthcare through technology.

The award also highlighted the company’s unique offerings and solid platforms in this regard.

Business Development Manager Intel Nigeria, Mr. David Ibhawoh, said “the award corroborates Intel’s proficiency to identify with market needs and also as a commendable solutions provider, adding that Intel Corporation was the first commercial organisation to get involved in implementing Telemedicine technology and support systems in Nigeria.“

Mr. Ibhawoh pointed out that the successful implementation of healthcare in Nigeria requires involvement of both the participating hospitals and supports from government institutions.

“Intel Corporation has been able to establish cordial working relationships with the Ministry of Health and other agencies to facilitate speedy and seamless flow of activities,” he said.

This, he said, provided the company with a suitable platform for expanding the programme to include several of the biggest and most advanced teaching hospitals in the country after the success of the initial phases.

“For instance, Intel Corporation’s proof of concept project which was launched in Nigeria in November 2007 provides an essential platform for the expansion of telemedicine and other e-health initiatives which hold the potential to be the basis for alleviating Africa’s healthcare workforce crisis,”he said.

Videoconferencing and remote diagnostic equipment at Intel’s National Hospital Abuja project provides thousands of Nigerians invaluable access to specialist times and health services”, he said.

Ibhawoh further said that Intel Corporation has a significant focus on the provision of community development support systems which are particularly relevant in emerging markets such as Nigeria for ensuring sustainability of the tailor-made solutions.

“Apart from the initiation of this proof of concept, Intel Corporation is involved in learning programmes for schools, teachers and other professionals” he noted, emphasizing that Intel is working to advance a vision of unifying health information and access and making it more readily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care for everyone.

“Our offerings help to connect people and systems, improve collaboration for more informed decision making and bring about new approaches that directly improve healthcare programmes. Thus allowing health centres and hospitals to more efficiently provide services to a broader population, help protect and promote better health, enhance citizens’ health status and minimize cost of service,” he declared.

Highlighting that today, a new generation of technology solution is poised to help health care organisations overcome long established barriers, enabling people to access improved healthcare services faster.

“These will make them function more effectively and efficiently,” he said.

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The uncomparable experience of HDTV and SDTV

THE coming of DaarSat into direct-to-home broadcasting usually referred to as DSTV has opened new vistas of competition and possibilities, at once throwing up a lot of options and debate about technology adoption and acceptability.

For once, DaarSat is introducing services at a time of technology switch when old broadcast technologies will give way to new technologies with quantum impact on the quality of broadcast signals.

For another the organisation decided very ambitiously not cut corners but introduce the very best and give Nigerians a very golden opportunity to receive some of the best broadcast quality signals in the world.

In taking such a very weighty decision DaarSat has made history on the black continent and has become one of the sought after media houses around the world in international broadcast gatherings.

In taking this decision too, DaarSat is using one stone to kill as many birds as possible and ensure the house is in order when the switch over date comes upon the industry.

By way of explanation the International Telecommunications Union, ITU has fixed 2015 as the global broadcast switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting. Various countries of the world are setting their own date for the switch Nigeria not an exception. South Africa has started gradual or dual illumination change from this year while Nigeria which began the switch with direct to home operators early this year, has fixed 2012 for the transition.

The body set up by the government to study the situation and make recommendations has recently sat for one week comprehensively and an announcement is being awaited.

The reason for government action is because this is going to be one of the most momentous developments in broadcast history and countries ought to prepare in order to be in a position to mitigate the cost for their people. Obviously the cost is going to be enormous to broadcasters and their audiences alike; perhaps the reason the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has always promised that the government of Nigeria would do something to reduce the cost and burden on Nigerians.

Back to DaarSat, the organisation belongs to the Daar Plc family, a major broadcast platform in the country which is in a race with itself to go digital before any other organisation in the country. The transition is being done across all the platforms – Radio, Television and DSTV. The move is also to ensure that Daar is able to pursue its Afro centric vision and represent Africa properly in the global community.

But DaarSat which recently launched services is the primary concern in this material. For a start the organisation is belting out 50 channels including some high definition channels. And for the first time in the history of the country, DaarSat has teamed with some companies in South Korea to manufacture flat high definition TV screens for its operations. Some are coming with integrated decoders, meaning that the screens have decoders embedded in them.

While these various efforts have been lauded but it is in releasing the price structure that people appear to be a little hesitant. This is normal especially when configured against the background that current rates in the market are below what seems to be DaarSat’s premium price.

However, DaarSat is hitting the market with high end digital facilities and some high definition channels. So, from inception the organisation is introducing high definition decoders and other high end receive equipment into the market. Total package is going for thirty-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine naira (N39, 999) for the receive equipment while subscription is five thousand five hundred naira (N5, 500). To most people this price is too much and wouldn’t know why a new player should set such a premium price.

For those conversant with broadcast technology there is no basis for comparism, whether in terms of broadcast quality or cost. High definition is the extreme end of digital technology and enjoys superior advantages over the earlier broadcast standard.

There are different variants of digital television of which High Definition Television, HDTV is king. Look at the statistics. The enhanced definition television, EDTV, which is high end of standard definition television, SDTV, has either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect radio and a resolution of 480 x 640 or 480 x 720 pixels.

But HDTV (720), the first of the three high definition television formats features 720 x 1280 pixel resolution with progressive scanning. The aspect ratio is 16. 9. The format is ideal for programming with lots of movements, such as sporting events. This explains why most of the sporting channels including ESPN, ABC, FOX and HBO among others use HDTV.

The technology is premium and those who buy the equipment do so knowing that they enjoy superior advantages in reception and in terms of TV viewing experience. In terms of picture and sound, it is like comparing the experience in a 1980 Peugeot car to 2008 edition. No basis for comparism. But the price also is premium. In South Africa where an operator is doing a test run, the price enjoys the pole position of over $1, 000. It is also quite relevant to point out that the present pricing of DaarSat does permit the thinking that the total package is being subsidised.

Those who will buy the DaarSat package will be buying the unique experience of high definition television, a technology with commanding control over the future of broadcast and entertainment technologies.

•Tobi, a broadcast expert wrote in from Port Harcourt.

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