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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bombing of UN office: Stakeholders condemn act, insist ICT’s not failed

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders in the country have condemned the last Friday bombing of the United Nations headquarters at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, insisting that ICT has not failed UN in aiding interception if not complete foiling of the bombing.

Speaking on the bombing which claimed the lives of over 23 persons, some of the stakeholders called on the Federal Government to tackle the issue of security of lives and properties with all seriousness.

ITRealms Online recalled that the bombing of UN’s headquarters in the country occurred in spite of reported high-level of security across all UN offices globally with Nigeria not being an exception.

An Islamic sect, Boko Haram has since claimed responsibility for the attack on UN office in Abuja.

In his reaction, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo said that the attack on the UN office, is condemnable.

He also said that this further re- affirms that as a people; the threats that we face are real, describing terrorism as a global challenges that could only be surmounted through a united front.

“Terrorism is a global problem and this shows that we face similar threats as other nations,” he said, enjoining the federal government to take it very seriously by deploying every available Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources to support the security and intelligence services.

Also speaking, the president, Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Dr. Jimson Olufuye noted that Boko Haram has taken the issue beyond the shores of Nigeria and has further damaged Islam as a religion fit for the modern world of civility, tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

The Information and Communications Technology, he argued, has not failed UN, but rather the problem is the human factor for which lessons would be learnt and corrective measures taken against a repeat in the future.

Equally reacting, the immediate past president of the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem corroborated Olufuye, saying that ICT has not failed UN.

“We have failed UN and those innocent casualties of the blast. ICT had put the Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS) at the disposal of all relevant security agencies,” he said.

According to Ekuwem, who is the executive vice chairman, Teledom Group International, the speed of government and security agency responses is appallingly low.

“Bombs did not fly into Abuja; they were transported by road through the entrances of the city. Why haven’t we installed VACIS to scan all vehicles entering the city? We don’t have mobile VACIS at checkpoints and for routine patrol of the city? Abuja does not have a city-wide Security Network Operating System (SNOS). If it does, we could trace the suicide bomber to where his journey began in Abuja,” he said.

Obinna Chisom-Nze, a Lagos-based media practitioner, said that the advice of Ekuwem proffering solution with capability to scan vehicles is reassuring and federal government should make haste to install relevant technologies to curb and check insurgence. “Oh! How reassuring. Hope they are installed soon.”

For ICT enthusiast, Mr. Seun Ojedeji, if technology was the bane of the United States 9/11 attack, he blamed the failure to arrest the situation before hand as human decisions. “… It’s rather human intentional decisions.”

The chief executive officer, Skannet, Mr. Sunday Folayan said that there is no technology that could deter people from being nasty, adding “No ... technology is not an all size fits all,” corroborating Seun.

Software architect, Mr. Emmanuel Amos, pointed out that the Intelligence that man lacks as a system and because as a global challenge could not be blamed on ICT.

“The people have failed technology by evading its use for socio-economic benefits - it does not matter whether it is UN. We can only be better prepared as a society,” he urged.

Just as the Executive Director, ExpertEdge Software & Systems, Mr. James Okwudili Agada wondered why anybody would say that ICT or technology has failed due to terrorism attack, asserting, “Very soon ICT will be blamed for life and death. For whatever it’s worth, technology is a tool.”

ITRealms Online recalls that the United Nations, presently made up of 192 member countries including Nigeria is based in New York, United States; is an organization of sovereign nations who have volunteered to work together to promote global peace, security, human rights and development.

The organization has, since 1945, provided the machinery to help find solutions to disputes or problems and to deal with virtually any matter of concern to humanity.

In Nigeria, the United Nations country team is made up of 17 agencies, namely the FAO, IFAD, ILO, IOM, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, UNHCR, UNIC, UNICEF, UNODC, WHO and WMO; working together, and with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to promote the issues on the development agenda of the organization.

The UNCT, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, presently works on a joint development plan for the country within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, now in its second phase.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

CSR: Building partnership with media, mobile operator

A one-day media workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was held at the Lagos Business School recently with the scholarship of Etisalat Nigeria. REMMY NWEKE who was there reports that stakeholders’ engagement via the media needs optimization.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been severally described, but according to the European Union Commission (EUC), CSR is ‘a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interaction with stakeholders on a voluntary basis’ bearing in mind that responsible behaviour leads to sustainable business success.

Invariably the aforementioned definition may have motivated the mobile operators in the country, especially the Etisalat Nigeria to recently institute a CSR center at the Lagos Business School and organize the workshops for media and stakeholders buy-in on behalf of the larger society.

Director, Lagos Business School/Etissalat CSR Center at the Pan African University, Sir Chris Ogbechie, said there are two old stereotypes of CSR, in his paper on ‘Fundamentals of CSR in Nigeria.’ He outlined these categorizes to include that “Businesses are viewed as purely self-serving, pursuing profit in ways that are inherently destructive to human culture, well-being and the environment” as well as that “Business have always acted defensively when social issues that affect them are raised – lobbying, public relations, advertising and other cosmetic measures.”

He listed some of the issues and challenges that should be covered in CSR to consist diversity, child labour, workers’ rights, water, climate change, recycling, carbon neutral, environment, waste control, pollution, energy, corruption, transparency, health and safety, work-life balance, equal opportunities, philanthropy, human rights, community programmes, resource usage, poverty alleviation and nutrition to name a few.

For Ogbechie, integration of company and community is key to a successful CSR strategy, saying there is an inevitable link between business and society, even as he stressed that a healthy business depends on a healthy community to create demand for its products and provide a supportive business environment.

“A healthy society depends on competitive companies that can create jobs, support decent wages, build wealth, buy local goods and pay taxes,” he said, adding that there is a long-term synergy between economic and social objectives.

He warned that consequences of neglecting CSR as a corporate management tool could mean more litigation against the company and its key officers, loss of top talents and credible investors, increased cost of capital, decline in stock value, loss of business partners and customers as well as public contracts, particularly from international organizations like World Bank and European Union among others.

The chief executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans in what he called ‘A Holistic and Sustainable CSR Strategy’ declared that the mobile operator sees CSR as philanthropy currently, but added that largely CSR originated because of the concern for business ethics and social dimension of business, since 19th century entrenched in industrial revolution.

He said penultimate Wednesday, August 17, that several terminologies, theories and approaches have been used interchangeably and long before the term CSR such as philanthropy had gained credence. And for Etisalat, CSR guiding factors include socio-economic analysis of Nigeria and assessment of primary areas of need with some synergistic characteristics with its business, while financial capacity to have a meaningful impact. Hence, Etisalat has developed its CSR commitments and strategy as well as initiatives with a blend of philanthropic, stakeholder and strategic approaches.

Evans said that at Etisalat, CSR represents a complete and balanced relationship with stakeholders, which means that the mobile operator has responsibility to create value through sustainable products and services for society and shareholders; ensuring best ethical standards in dealing with stakeholders; minimizing its environmental impact as well as contributing to the well-being of the over-all society, whereas making certain that the ability to meet the needs and aspirations of the firm’s shareholders is not compromised.

Etisalat, he said, has two pronged CSR approach, namely bottoms-up and tops-down which enables the company to empower various socio-economic levels, including promotion of a culture of employee engagement to encourage personnel contribution and feedback, via connect sessions driven by value champions, in addition to staff volunteering scheme remaining a key aspect of the internal CSR and veritable platform for bonding and personal fulfillment.

As an innovative company, Etisalat, he said, is constantly looking for new ways to drive the growth of its business, which has spurred the management and employees to set high standards and strive to beat them, while fiercely protecting its brand, which is in synonymous with excellence. As such, he said, Etisalat has influenced key stakeholders differently through involvement in training of business leaders, policy and decision makers on the significance of CSR cum best practices to enable them become genuine influencers to benefit those at the lower socio-economic levels, especially on the CSR Bill.

In efforts at contributing to sustainability, Evans pointed out that Etisalat has become a valuable resource for all stakeholders including students, universities and companies, thus improving the overall CSR strategies and contributions to sustainability, while partnering business and academia for action-oriented initiatives in real-time to create CSR best practices. He cited an instance with the Adopt-A-School, merit awards for deserving students, teacher training initiatives as well as Fight Malaria and career counseling scheme in addition to the social responsible product and services via Eco-SIM, which is an environmental footprint that reduces 16g of CO2 in a SIM card to 8g per card.

Mrs. Dayo Oluwole of Kasher Quality Consulting on “CSR Reporting and stakeholder communication” berated the media for not doing enough in projecting CSR, but was quick to add that media practitioners need to understand what is at stake to be able to report adequately on issues of CSR, adding that the engagement of stakeholders either directly or indirectly via the media, needs to consider the gain and maintenance of a social license to operate, which would afford a better understanding of the interests and concerns of the civil society as they relate to businesses.

Gaining of insights into the emerging public issues and trends of relevance to businesses, she said, must be seen as improving stakeholders’ understanding of efforts to enhance sustainable communities, and obtain their insights on those efforts. This, she noted must involve the establishment of a core set of stakeholders willing to serve as third-party endorsers to an organizations, coupled with the fact that reduction of risk to business and brands of anti-company campaigns by sharing information, developing trust and building mutual understanding cannot be overlooked.

She cited a recent survey by Globescan on Issues and Reputation of 2007, saying that non-governmental organizations were the most trusted, followed by religious groups, large national corporations, media, national government and global companies in that order. Oluwole also blamed media for playing a parallel role on CSR issues, saying that although media is one of the most powerful, yet it’s least trusted and least accountable institutions in the world, hence media companies are both carriers and barriers when it comes to the CSR and Sustainable Development (SD) agendas.

According to her, media could make the difference and increase the trust on the profession by making links to the big picture, build trust through factual and technical accuracy, tell powerful stories, project optimism and avoid guilt while pressing the ‘glory button’ to help people feel good in taking small initiatives, spotlight heroes to emulate and linking big ideas with everyday realities and interests.

Mr. Yomi Fawehinmi on‘The Concept of Sustainability Reporting’ told participants that there are four principles, namely content, quality, boundary setting and others, while the testing for quality of reports must embrace balance, comparability, accuracy, timeliness, clarity and reliability, advising organizations in the country to desist from using this essentially as public relations tools and limiting stakeholder engagement as well as discussion on the report.

Dwelling on ‘The Role of Mass Media in CSR’ Mr. Tony Okwoju charged media practitioners to leverage on the avalanche of new media technologies to communicate and report better on CSR, saying that the demand is on the rise and media as a bridge builder in every socio-economic empowerment must be seen as playing its role actively. He later presented certificates to participants on behalf of LBS management.

Reacting, most participants commended Etisalat for this initiative and invited others companies to emulate the mobile operator.

Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Mr. Peter Jones Aliero, applauded the partnership between LBS and Etisalat and urged them not to relent, even as he assured that media would continue to do its beat in enlightening and engaging the Nigerian public.

However, the bottom line here is that despite all the initiatives being put in place by the private sectors in recent times, especially since the evolution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the media, no doubt has played its role, but more of such roles should begin to focus on the CSR and Sustainable Development initiatives of private companies without exclusion of the media itself.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

WAIGF urges ECOWAS to ratify data protection law

A three-day West Africa Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF) ended in the city of Lagos with participants urging countries in the sub-region to curb cybercrime emanating from the zone.

This, they said, would be achieved with the ratification and domestication of the personal data protection legislation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Participants in a communiqué made available to ITRealms Online by the chairperson of WAIGF Consortium, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, called on the governments in the sub-region to take adequate measures on the fight against cybercrime.

“We encourage governments to ratify and domesticate ECOWAS legislations on personal data protection,” part of the communiqué read.

They also called for the implementation of the universal access policies of the various West African countries to improve affordable Internet access in rural and underserved areas.

The consortium made of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), AfriNIC, the Internet Society (ISOC), the Panos Institute West Africa, Diplo Foundation, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Association For Progressive communication (APC), noted an urgent need for better sensitization of the public on Internet governance and the activities of WAIGF within the global, regional and national hemisphere.

“To ensure the sustainability of the forum, stakeholders should support the establishment of a WAIGF Secretariat which, among other things, will support national and regional IGFs,” the group stated.

Additionally, they encouraged documentation of the WAIGF’s deliberations to help keep track of progress towards the attainment of the goals and objectives of the forum.

Stakeholders within the sub-region, the consortium pointed out, should be encouraged to conduct research into all aspects of Internet Governance within the sub-region.

Even as they invited all stakeholders to have their hands on the deck by implementing various strategic plans to ensure that West Africa is a major global Internet player.

Participants at the event hosted by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and facilitated by DigitalSENSE Africa, stated that governments as major players should actively participate in, and create an enabling environment for greater public participation in Internet Governance Forums.

The Nwakanma-led consortium pointed out that WAIGF should form strategic partnerships to ensure sustainability and funding of the forum as well as constructively engaging the media within the sub-region on IGF activities and discussions.

They charged governments to establish a synergy between the sectors sharing responsibility for national vocational education, energy, telecommunications, transport and water management to streamline the investment expenditure in infrastructure that benefit availability and access of all to the Internet at lower cost.

“Governments should enact legislation to make the Internet an official tool of communication between governments and citizens, enable them access services without constraint,” they said.

In addition, they enjoined governments and its agencies to partner with stakeholders, including the private sector and the media in educating and enlightening the populace on Internet Governance.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Gordon commends Nigeria on Mobile Money

Director-General of Ghana Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI-KACE), the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of ICT Excellence, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon has commended Nigeria over the process of licensing the mobile money operators.

Speaking at the Mobile Money – The New Eco-system forum in Lagos, organized by the ITWorld International Magazine, Mrs. Gordon who was a special guest at the event said that the commendation has become necessary because the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is following processes to ensure that credible companies play in this emerging sector on the continent.

According to her, the Nigerian government is engaging the small and medium scale enterprises in its processes because CBN invariably discovered that those SMEs drive businesses.

She, therefore, applauded the event organizers, saying that every stakeholder is needed to contribute in making certain that the procedure of the government in launching mobile money in the country does not derail, but flourish.

Gordon also said that though some African countries like Ghana, Kenya and many others may have launched mobile money before Nigeria, but expressed optimism on the manner the CBN is handling the choice of licensees for mobile money.

As said by her, it’s true that most African countries may have experimented on mobile money before now, but it has been full of hiccups, hence she was excited with the phases which Nigeria has involved in introducing the service.

She looks forward to the licensees to take full advantage and implement the service in accordance with the CBN guidelines, recalling that the success of Kenyan Mobile Money subsector was sustained with the financial aid from international organization, for the trials and which last for over six years.

In his address to the occasion, the chief executive officer, ITWorld, Mr. Enyi Moses, noted that the decision to organize the forum on “Mobile Money: The New Ecosystem” followed an increased public interest in Mobile Money.

He said that the Nigerian public is following developments around the globe concerning Mobile Money, pointing out that in the case of East Africa where Mobile Money is a thriving business running into several billion dollars is very fresh in mind.

Mr. Enyi noted at the event presided over by the Group Chief Executive officer, Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, that no longer is Mobile Money an unproven concept since it has continued to provide millions of people around the world with access to finance and demand which have been on the rise.

“Over the next couple of years the numbers of people with access to mobile phones but no access to traditional financial services are projected to grow from 1billion to 1.7 billion,” he said, stressing that the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are poised to earn $3.7 billion in direct and indirect revenues from over 350 million clients globally.

“Whether it is for paying salaries, reimbursing suppliers, or sending remittances at home from broad, mobile money is allowing people to conduct transactions at lower cost and with greater efficiency than physical transactions,” he observed.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

ICANN hosts webinar on ATRT activities

Plans have been concluded for the hosting of the web seminar (webinar) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on its Accountability and Transparency (ATRT) activities, today, Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

ITRealms Online gathered that most people and Internet community precisely could be wondering how ICANN is progressing on its commitments to improve transparency and accountability, and how ATRT improvements would help stakeholders.

Sources at ICANN said that the ATRT webinar provides the Internet community globally the opportunity to have their opinions shared on the changes made to date by ICANN’s Board of Directors, Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), Nominating Committee (NomCom), and staff.

The ATRT Activities’ Webinar, ITRealms Online also learnt would hold today between on Wednesday, between 14 and 15 hours UTC.

“The webinar is open to all, and will be conducted in English. If participants find it useful, more sessions will be scheduled. The meeting will be run in Adobe Connect with a slide presentation along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio. No RSVPs are needed,” a press statement from ICANN informed.

Further, ICANN officials said interest stakeholders could connect to the Webinar via, http://www.adigo.com/icann while participants from the United States have toll-free line to dial with code 8752 following the line: 800550-6865.

Additionally, participants would have opportunities to ask questions after each agenda item presentation.

“During the course of the webinar, questions may be submitted using the chat function of Adobe Connect in addition to joining the discussion queue on the conference bridge. The session will be recorded, and the slides and an MP3 will be publicly posted,” part of the statement indicated.

ICANN’s Board had directed that implementation move forward on the Accountability and Transparency Review Team’s broad-ranging recommendations.

They also said that much has been accomplished and much work lies ahead, therefore, this webinar would help participants to get-up-to-speed on all of these efforts, and enable them to share input on completed and planned improvements.

The essence of the webinar, ICANN said, is to provide better access to, and insight into, Board decisions, noting that ICANN provides a wealth of Board meeting information online, including briefing materials, expanded minutes, and rationale statements for Board resolutions, as well as conditions for redaction of posted material.

Equally, ICANN said the webinar would help to advance the effectiveness of the Governmental Advisory Committee and its interaction with the Board, thereby increasing funding to support government participation in the GAC and multilingual access, and the Board-GAC Joint Working Group recently issued proposed improvements for public comment.

As well, the webinar would improve the processes ICANN uses to gain public input and develop policy, ICANN’s Bylaws have been translated into multiple languages, and ICANN’s Public Comment Webpage has been redesigned.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Power reforms: Adopt liberalisation strategy in telecom – ATCON

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has asked the Federal Government (FG) through the Ministry of Power led by Prof. Bath Nnaji to adopt the kind of liberalization strategy that akin to that of telecom sector about 10 years ago.

Making this call in Lagos, ATCON’s president, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu said, his group condemned the current four-year strategy being put in place by Nnaji-led for the nation to have the kind of electricity power supply capable of facilitating economic growth across all sectors.

“ATCON has again deprecated the chosen path of power reforms and its mode of implementation on the grounds that it lacked focus, hinders investment and above all, may not serve the public interest,” he said.

ITRealms Online recalled that ATCON president while commenting recently on Internet access noted that Internet access is about providing it at broadband level because it is the total concept solution to the problem of reach, access and affordability.

“If well managed, we should be able to provide substantial broadband access to our citizens at a price they can pay. The greatest challenge is Public Electricity supply which incidentally does not seem to be getting a focused attention,” he asserted. The association expressed disappointment in the current reform in which managers of the power industry have adopted.

“The posturing of Minister of Power who is working a four year plan to assure steady public power is untrustworthy as it is devoid of quality strategy and thoughtfulness,” he said, stressing that a true liberalisation strategy in which licensees for power service delivery are permitted without any impediments and linkage to existing inefficient power management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) system is what is required.

According to him, an attempt by Prof. Nnaji to work a minimum four year plan exposes short-sighted planning as he himself would have to break a longevity record if he stays in the post long enough to see such plans implemented to the letter. ATCON, therefore, advised the Federal Government and its agencies, especially Power Ministry to embark on stakeholder’s consultation to enable it arrive at a strategy that is worthy of the country, particularly understudying the aspect of the strategy explored in the telecom sector, which has proved a success in the last decade.

“We invite the country’s power sector managers and indeed all other sectors of the economy to deliberately embrace the workable aspects of the liberalisation strategy adopted in the telecommunications sector, while making sure that the mistakes of the telecom sector are not repeated,” he advised.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

GEJ keen on bridging digital divide – Johnson

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is keen on bridging the digital divide, according to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.

Speaking at her maiden interactive session with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) editors in Lagos, at the weekend, Mrs. Johnson said that this is evident with the creation of the ICT Ministry under her care.

With the emergence of the ICT Ministry, she said, President Jonathan, had responded to the calls by stakeholders, simply because he is acutely aware of the strategic and important role ICT plays not only in national development, but in national competitiveness.

“… And of course, the creation of much needed jobs especially for our younger generation,” she said.

Mrs. Johnson maintained that her Ministry was birthed out of years of canvassing by key stakeholders for a supervising Ministry to co-ordinate, facilitate and drive the development of the ICT sector.

She recalled that Nigeria has had tremendous success in the telecoms sector as a result of the liberalization of the sector.

“Today, we have one of the fastest growing telecoms markets in the world as well as the largest mobile subscriber base in Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.

Johnson stressed that unfortunately the Information Technology (IT) sub-sector for a variety of reasons has not been as successful.

“In fact, despite the success of our telecoms industry the ICT sector accounted for only 3.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared with 10 per cent for South Africa,” she said.

As said by Johnson, the opportunity for Nigerians as a country now comes in how to take the telecoms sector to the next level, namely the data, internet and electronic business as well as how to build a more robust and successful IT industry.

“This is the charge from Mr. President to the Ministry of Communication Technology,” she said, adding that the mandate of the Ministry could be summarized in four key areas, comprising facilitating universal, ubiquitous and cost effective access to communications infrastructure that of course includes a national fibre optic backbone

Additionally, she said, the ministry is to promote the utilization of ICT in all spheres of life to optimize the communications infrastructure; digital content, domestic software applications, the delivery of private and public services, that is, e-business and e-government

Equally, she said the mandate of the Ministry includes promoting and facilitating the development of the ICT industry and in so doing Increase the contribution of the ICT industry to GDP.

By deploying information and communication technologies to drive transparency in governance and improve, she noted, the quality and cost effectiveness of public service delivery would improve.

“Our aspirations for what ICT can do for Nigeria is ambitious. We believe that policies, programmes and plans that will be embarked upon to deliver on this mandate will provide a launch pad for Nigeria to leap-frog from a resource- dependent to a knowledge-based economy,” she said.

The minister emphasized that Nigeria could be transformed into a major ICT hub where knowledge, technology and innovation are used as tools to not only drive wealth creation and empower citizens of the country, but also deployed to provide security, promote efficiency and national competitiveness for sustainable socio-economic development.

This new Ministry, she said, would work closely with the private sector in Nigeria, international partners and other supporting governments through its implementing agencies.

She further listed some of the implementing agencies within the ICT ministry to consist of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone and the Nigerian Postal service (NIPOST).

Assuring that as time goes on, her team at the Ministry would reveal plans and strategies for execution towards the journey for transformation using ICT.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Nokia, MTN partner on X7 phones

Nokia West Africa has partnered MTN Nigeria to launch Nokia X7, an ideal gaming tools and quality video streaming.

Head of Marketing, Nokia West Africa Mr. Reuben Onwubiko said at the launch that Nokia X7, is a mobile device equipped to suite gaming lifestyle of customers alongside video streaming and internet browsing.

Onwubiko said the phone, a 4-inch touch screen, is manufactured considering the consumers’ target and needs.

He also said that the brand’s slogan goes a long way in redefining personality of Nokia for people to stay connected.

The phone, he said, has a massive 4-inch AMOLED touch screen that captures high definition quality videos and allows Nokia X7 users to watch videos and the latest episodes of television programmes via WebTV or YOUTUBE.

He further said that Nokia with this offer is giving users an unmatched experience in gaming, video and internet browsing.

Onwubiko pointed out that the device would be available immediately to subscribers on the MTN network, which will provide the application software for Nokia X7 would to redefine the face of gaming and video experience and at the same time, offer a powerful browsing experience to the user.

“Nokia X7 is designed specially to satisfy the customer who enjoys the thrill of high definition gaming, noting that game lovers will be thrilled as the X7 already comes with two pre-installed games- Galaxy on Fire and Asphalt 5 High Definition (HD),” he said.

The device, he emphasised offers a wonderful musical experience as users of Nokia X7 could scroll smoothly through their music collection and control their tracks right from the home screen with one touch of the music app.

“Its 8- mega pixel camera enables users to capture pictures and high definition quality videos,” he said.

On Nokia’s partnership with MTN on this product, he said, Nokia X7 would be available to MTN subscribers with a free 750 megabyte of data for three months.

Underscoring the fact that MTN is the first telecom operator to offer Third Generation (3G) service in the country, the General Manager, Consumer Marketing of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, said the partnership is to give customers faster internet service on the go and not just making voice call along.

He also said the smart phone with data capability is designed with the intention for first class service.

Nokia Product Manager, Mr. Olumide Balogun in his presentation highlighted some of the features of the phone, including that it’s a 4-inch screen touch, slim, sleek, light weight, with good imaging, video and internet experience, the phone he said is designed to entertain.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Alcatel-Lucent eliminates outages with wireless options

Alcatel-Lucent has eliminated service outages for wireless networks to improve on the quality of impact of communications on consumers.

Marketing and Communication Manager for the West and Central Africa at Alcatel-Lucent, Ms Annie Essienette, made this disclosure in Lagos to ITRealms Online, at the weekend.

She said that network performance is a critical issue today, hence it means the difference between whether someone remains a loyal customer or seeks another service provider.

Alcatel-Lucent, she said, has introduce a Proactive Services Suite to improve the performance of more than 30 wireless networks on its platform, just as the telecom infrastructure provider, has expanded this by supporting multimedia networks based on Internet Protocol (IP) subsystem technology, optical transmission systems and Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

Effectively, she said, Alcatel-Lucent is helping communications service providers to track and fix network performance problems before they happen with the introduction of the Proactive Suite, stressing that over 30 service providers worldwide are working with Alcatel-Lucent’s experts to identify and remedy possible trouble spots quickly and efficiently.

She pointed out that the new set of services would proactively analyze the health and performance of telecommunications networks, identify potential problems and take appropriate actions to prevent or minimize their impact.

“Communications service providers around the world are taking advantage of the company’s engineering expertise and Bell Labs-developed monitoring tools to eliminate service outages and quality issues before they reach subscribers,” she said in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online.

Modern networks, she said, are complex, multi-faceted systems, and the relationship and interaction between various parts of the network can be difficult to anticipate.

“Changes either within or outside of the network can cause unexpected problems that are not always immediately visible with traditional monitoring,” she said.

The focus today, she said, on Proactive Services Suite is for the fact that it improves performance of wireless networks, but Alcatel-Lucent is expanding the capabilities to support multimedia networks based on IP Multimedia Subsystem technology, optical transmission systems and Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The company also will be introducing support for equipment from other vendors by the end of this year, a capability unique in the market.

She explained that the Proactive Services Suite provides a way to continuously monitor and analyze network performance in detail, identify emerging problems quickly and recommend or take specific actions to resolve those problems, often before they are even noticed by subscribers.

“Built into the suite of services is a unique intelligence feature of continuous learning that captures error signatures. This information allows Alcatel-Lucent experts to learn network behaviour and share ideas and solutions based on past experiences,” she said.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D