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NCC, FIRS joint revenue quality assurance committee for telecoms debuts

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

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Qualcomm join forces with Etisalat, NPHCDA, 3 others on CliniPAK360 for child health


Qualcomm has joined forces with five organizations for the improvement of maternal and child health in Nigeria, tagged CliniPAK360 Mobile Health Application, reports ITRealms.

It was gathered by ITRealms that the collaboration was on development and deploy wireless of electronic medical record system to reduce the country's high maternal and infant mortality rate.

Happening at the ongoing Mobile World Congress, ITRealms learnt that Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless Reach initiative partnered Vecna Cares Charitable Trust, the nonprofit arm of Vecna Technologies; InStrat Global Health Solutions, a turnkey health care solutions provider; Etisalat Nigeria, a Nigerian telecommunications operator; Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), a part of the Federal Ministry of Health; and Evidence for Action, a campaign to ensure Africa’s mothers and babies survive pregnancy and childbirth, teamed up to develop and deploy a wireless, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system for clinics throughout three states within the NPHCDA.

ITRealms reports that this brings about a paperless, mobile patient registry to midwives throughout rural Nigeria.

The CliniPAK360 project, ITRealms gathered, is aimed at reducing the country’s high maternal and infant mortality rates.

ITRealms recalls that Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and has maternal and infant mortality rates that are among the world’s highest.

For instance, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates in The World Factbook that Nigeria experienced approximately 630 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010 and approximately 73 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013.

In comparison, the maternal death rate in developed countries is approximately nine per 100,000.

Further, ITRealms reports that currently, NPHCDA midwives record patient data in paper notebooks and Regional Health Officers travel to the clinics to review the reports for accuracy.
According to Country Manager, Qualcomm for West Africa, Mr. Alex Dadson this will lighten the burden and increase accuracies and efficiencies, whereas the Wireless Reach-funded project features a cloud-based electronic medical record system based on Vecna Cares’ CliniPAK software and 3G-enabled tablets powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors to streamline and automate the in-field data capture and reporting process and help improve health outcomes.

He explained that as part of the project, each midwife uses a tablet to record patient data at the point of care.


“The data is transmitted wirelessly via Etisalat’s 3G mobile network to the CliniPAK central server, which aggregates and synchronizes the data with clinic-based CliniPAK units,” he said.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Glo, Bitflux slug it out at 2.3GHz auction

All is now set for the anticipated 2.3 Gega Hertz (GHz) auction by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and between Globacom Limited and Bitflux Communications Ltd in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, reports ITRealms.
The auction which is expected to be a tight rope for both bidding companies has garnered international attention as investors continue to watch in earnest how NCC under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Juwah can executive this test on Wednesday, February 19 through 20 at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja.

ITRealms also gathered that several industry watchers have already began to fault the guidelines which availed the likes of Globacom Ltd led by Otunba Mike Adenuga; a second national carrier to enter the competition despite the avalanche of licenses in its kitty.

Whereas ITRealms learnt that Bitflux Communications Ltd is a brainchild of VDT Communications Limited and reputed for its broadband reseller records led by Mr. Abiodun Omoniyi.

However, it was further gathered by ITRealms that invariably the duo who could be described as last companies standing for this auction may have met the stipulated guidelines by NCC.


ITRealms recalls that NCC had earlier announced the two approved bidders of 2.3 GHz frequency spectrum auction, saying its in line with the terms of the information memorandum published on the 2.3GHz spectrum auction by the Commission.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

ICANN board rectifies NGPC resolutions


The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has rectified the resolution of the New Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) Programme Committee (NGPC), reports ITRealms.
The Board also reaffirms to ITRealms, its rationale for resolutions 2012.04.10.01-2012.04.10.04, stating in order to have efficient meetings and take appropriate actions with respect to the New gTLD Programme for the current round of the programme and as related to the Applicant Guidebook.
According to the Board, it has decided to create the "New gTLD Programme Committee" in accordance with Article XII of the Bylaws and has delegated decision making authority to the Committee as it relates to the New gTLD Programme for the current round of the programme which commenced in January 2012 and for the related Applicant Guidebook that applies to this current round.
ITRealms equally gathered that establishing the NGPC without conflicted members, and delegating to it decision making authority, has provided some distinct advantages, including helping eliminate any uncertainty for conflicted Board members with respect to attendance at Board meetings and workshops since the New gTLD Programme topics could be dealt with at the Committee level.
Further, ITRealms reports NGPC chaired by Cherine Chalaby has provided the community with a transparent view into the Board's commitment to dealing with actual, potential or perceived conflicts.
ITRealms it was learnt that the Board Governance Committee (BGC) Subcommittee for Conflicts & Ethics on new gTLDs initially evaluated all board members' statements of interest relating to new gTLDs when the membership of the NGPC was first established.
The Subcommittee ITRealms reports, continued to review new Board members' new gTLD related statements of interest and any changes in previously made statements of interest for the purposes of determining if any Board member including voting Directors and no-voting Liaisons, has an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest such they should not be a member of the NGPC.
ITRealms recalls that when the Subcommittee first evaluated the statements of interest, Steve Crocker, ICANN board chairman, was determined to be conflicted, but due to his recently reported some changes to his statement of interest relating to new gTLDs and the Subcommittee has thoroughly evaluated those changes.

“The Subcommittee has determined the Steve Crocker is no longer generally conflicted as it relates to new gTLDs. As such, the Subcommittee has recommended that Dr. Crocker be made a voting member of the NGPC. The Board agrees,” part of the resolution made available to ITRealms read.

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Pix: Cherine Chalaby, Chairman NGPC

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prof. Uwadia to preside over NDSF on Internet Governance4D 2014


Erudite scholar and former president of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Charles Uwadia has accepted to preside over the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) on Internet Governance for Development 2014.
Confirming this to newsmen in Lagos, the Executive Director, Operations at DigitalSENSE Africa Media group, the organizers of the event, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, said that her team was elated by Prof. Uwadia’s decision to preside the NDSF on Internet Governance for Development, which holds on the first day of the two-day forum on June 5.
She said that the naming of Prof. Uwadia, who is the head, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Lagos (UNILAG), as the chairman, and the announcement of date for this year’s IG4D forum by her organisation is in line with the goals of DigitalSENSE Africa in deepening knowledge on Internet Governance both locally and internationally.
Also, she notes that Prof. Uwadia who recently delivered an Inaugural Lecture of the University entitled ‘Software Systems: the Driving Force behind the e-Revolution’ holds a Ph.D in Computer Science since 1989 from UNILAG, with specialization including Pre-compilers and Preprocessors.
The Executive Director Operations, recalls that Uwadia commenced a rich and rewarding academic career as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Computer Sciences, UNILAG and has risen steadily through the ranks to become a Professor in 2004 while he is credited with over 60 publications in reputable journals.
Uwadia, she pointed out, has been an active player in the Information Technology profession and was the President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and former council member, Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria, among others.
She further recalls that DigitalSENSE Africa Media is a group of internationally reputed and award-winning Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry analysts and consultants based in Lagos; publishers of the international award-winning DigitalSENSE Business News; NaijaAgroNet and ITRealms.
“This year’s theme for day 1 is ‘Internet Governance, eBiz & Open Access in Nigeria’ on Thursday, June 5, 2014,” she said.
Mrs. Nweke emphasised that Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D), is an annual event, which acts as a rallying point for Nigerian internet stakeholders in raising and addressing salient issues concerning the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

“It also aims at encouraging positive usage of the Internet among the youths, women and students in Nigeria,” she declared.
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PR/Pix: Prof. Uwadia.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why FG, IBM collaborate on TechDevelopment in Nigeria



 
Reasons have began to emerge on why the Federal Government through the Ministry of Communication Technology (CommTech) and International Business Machines (IBM) recently collaborated on technology development to boost Nigerian economy, reports ITRealms.

According to a joint press statement made available to ITRealms by Mrs. Efem Nkanga, the Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, disclosed that the Ministry coordinated a Ministerial Roundtable with IBM with a view to identifying technology adoption opportunities in the country and promoting the exchange of ideas between key government officials and IBM’s senior leadership team. 

ITRealms gathered that IBM had earlier identified what was described as ‘Grand Challenges’ of Africa and Nigeria in the areas of water and sanitation, energy management, financial services, transportation and public safety, healthcare and agriculture.

Also, ITRealms gathered that the roundtable was aimed at initiating conversations between IBM subject matter experts and a high level government team with the Ministries’ most affected by these ‘Grand Challenges’ represented by their Ministers or Permanent Secretaries.

These include the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Education, Finance, Federal Capital Territory, Health, Interior, National Planning, Communication Technology and Science & Technology.

The discussions, however, centered on the various processes necessary for facilitating the adoption of smart government solutions to enhance the development of Nigeria in the area of healthcare delivery, government to citizen engagement, transparency and accountability in government as well as deploying ICTs for inclusive development.

Speaking at the occasion, CommTech Minister, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said that technology is a key driver of economic and social development that should be adopted to facilitate the development of key sectors of the economy for the benefit of Nigerians.

The Ministry is committed to ensuring that ICT is leveraged to enhance and facilitate the transformational development of Nigeria in critical sectors of the economy such as Power, Health, Education, Agriculture, Interior to enable inclusive development, job creation, transparency of governance and economic growth,” he said.

For IBM’s chairperson and chief executive officer, Mrs. Virginia M. Rometty, her firm has historic ties with Nigeria, and expressed support for Nigeria’s technology development agenda being coordinated by the CommTech Ministry. Stressing the company’s commitment to Nigeria’s scientific and technology developmental goals.

Technology innovation is a key ingredient for social and economic transformation, and critical for crossing the innovation divide. I am encouraged to see the Ministry of Communication Technology spearheading technology reforms in Nigeria, encouraging investment in key building blocks of growth such as education and skills, digital and physical infrastructure and scientific and technical research,” she said, maintaining that IBM will partner with the government, businesses, academia and innovators to aid the adoption of new technologies which will tangibly support efforts to spur development in Nigeria.

Ms Rometty underscored IBM’s capacity to plug into the local technology ecosystem, supporting e-commerce and e-government initiatives, spurring the transfer and commercialization of new technologies from academia to industry, and deploying IBM’s proven assets and research capabilities to help resolve “some of Africa's most pressing challenges such as energy, water, human mobility, agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion and public safety.

Remmy Nweke
 
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Pix: Mrs Johnson, Mrs Rometty and Mrs Ngozi Okonji-Iwella

Thursday, February 06, 2014

ITU to host workshop on ‘Internet of Things’ trends



The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has advanced plans to host a full-day workshop on Internet of Things (IoT) – Trends and Challenges in Standardization, to be held on 18 February at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, reports ITRealms.

The event, ITRealms gathered will be audio cast; live and archived for media unable to attend in person, with spotlight on emerging next steps for standards developers.

According to Chief, Media Relations and Public Information at ITU, Ms Sarah Parkes affirmed to ITRealms that the event aims to facilitate the global expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) through a better understanding of trends, including standardization needs.

“Results will inform the drafting of the future technical standards (ITU-T Recommendations) that will be fundamental to the smooth operation of networks potentially supporting billions of interconnected devices,” she said.

In addition to examining the status of IoT and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) standardization initiatives across other Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs), ITU says, the event will report on progress of related standards and protocol development in the research and open-source communities.

Also, ITRealms learnt that the event will incorporate exhibits from industry, government, research institutes and academia. STMicroelectronics will showcase its Smart Home concept, and EPFL its OpenIOT project.

Further, ITRealms gathered that Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) will display its medical body area network, as well as Yokosuka Telecom Research Park (YRP).

In addition, Daniel Faulk, representing new ITU-T member SAP, will deliver a keynote presentation on Internet of Things, Creating new Opportunities for the Enterprise.

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Pix; Dr. Hamadoun Toure, ITU Secretary General

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Lenovo Vibe X, six other smartphones debut in Nigeria


A total of seven brand of Lenovo, Tuesday in Lagos, debut into the Nigeria’s mobile market at a ceremony held in Sheraton with Vibe X model leading the pack of smartphones, reports ITRealms.

Stressing that the seven smartphone including its flagship Vibe X, will be available in first week of March 2014 and available at all major retailers nationwide.
Nigerian consumers, he said would be the first in the African content to get their hands on seven models, with each Lenovo smartphone designed with specific customer needs in mind, maintaining that Lenovo offers a range of carefully considered design innovations and functionality that fits every style, personality and need. 

For the Director of Operations, Middle East and Africa, Mr. Shashank Sharma told ITRealms that Lenovo smartphones the range includes entry-level devices, such as the A369i, A516, A680, and A859; the stylish models like S650 and S930; and the picture perfect and sleek Vibe X.

“All Lenovo smartphones will come with a one year local warranty,” he said.

Further speaking, Braum told ITRealms that Lenovo’s entry to the Nigerian smartphone market, has prospects, especially with over 120 million mobile subscribers, thus Nigeria represents a strategic market for Lenovo’s smartphone business.


“Smartphones are fast becoming a primary platform for work, entertainment and social networking for consumers and we are thrilled to announce the launch of our exciting line-up today in Nigeria. Innovation is in Lenovo’s DNA; our team strives to deliver ground-breaking devices with distinct, elegant design. Today’s launch marks the first time customers in Nigeria can purchase Lenovo smartphones locally and we are excited to see the market’s reaction,” Braum said.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix: Dr. Phil Osagie of JSP, Mr. Braum, Ms Monique and Mr. Sharma of Lenovo.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Chehade cautions on fragmented Internet




The Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Mr. Fade Chehade has cautioned activists in the domain name industry who may be agitating for a fragmented Internet, reports ITRealms.

Speaking recently at the just ended World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, made this known while chatting with HuffPost, pointing out that the essence of the Internet is that its oneness and openness remain intact.

He warned that once the development of the Internet crumbles to that level, it could amount to re-inventing the wheel, because the processes would need another kind of path to be followed, which defeats the purpose of the founding fathers of the current Internet.

"If we cannot find a way to govern the Internet in an equal footing, in an open transparent way this year, we might descend into a fragmented version of the Internet," Chehadé declared.

He, however, sounded a note of warning on the implication, asserting, "The moment we fragment the Internet it is possible there will be tariffs between borders, there will be rules ... it will not be the internet as we know it."

ITRealms recalls that in more technical terms, ICANN coordinates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Internet's underlying address book, the Domain Name System (DNS).

The IANA functions include the coordination of the assignment of technical protocol parameters including the management of the Address and Routing Parameter Area (ARPA) Top-Level Domain;  and the administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management such as generic (gTLD) and country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD).
 
In addition, ICANN via IANA allocates the Internet numbering resources; and other services as well as performs the IANA functions under a United States (US) government contract.
 
Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix: Fade Chehade, ICANN CEO