" ITREALMS: 3G is our ticket to converged economy

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

3G is our ticket to converged economy

- Madueke

CHAIRMAN of the Interconnect ClearingHouse Nigeria (ICN) Limited, Admiral Alison Madueke (retd) has lauded the four potential licensees in the Third Generation (3G) platform, declaring that it is the nation’s ticket to converged economy.

Champion Infotel recollects that a fortnight ago, telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) proclaimed that four companies have successfully scaled through the first hurdle on the proposed plan for the licensing of the 2 Gega Hertz Spectrum, otherwise known as Third Generation (3G) in the country.

The companies are Alheri Engineering Company Limited, Celtel Nigeria Limited, Globacom Limited and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

Speaking at the Titans of Tech awards and gala night held in Lagos, weekend, Admiral Alison Madueke, said that the commencement of 3G is expected to move the country a step forward in the midst of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among nations of the world.

“3G is our ticket to the converged economy and it has been playing pivotal roles in all strata of the economies where it has taken off,” he said.

Admiral Madueke who was a former military administrator of Anambra State also commended NCC for taking the initiative of granting licenses to telcos to offer 3G services.

He noted that with the commencement of 3G offerings in the country, NCC had once again demonstrated the reasons behind the creation of interconnect exchange licenses to ease the process of payments and increase access to services in the converged environment.

“The clearing houses would play a leading role in ensuring equitable and transparent capture of all transaction and subsequent settlement of charges following the advent of the converged service provisioning,” he said.

Admiral Madueke said that the good news about the coming on stream of the likes of ICN, is that it comes backed with bank guarantees, stressing that what the clearing houses have been tasked to do is to eliminate constant disputes among telecom operators in the country, especially on Call Detail Records (CDR) by ensuring that statements of debts are made timely.

He pointed out that with the confidence created on clearing houses and in the system, operators would be willing to accept calls from other operators at ease.

“It follows therefore that more calls, whether voice or video, would be completed using interconnect clearing houses as a result of more transparent traffic flow, higher capacity and efficient routing,” he said, adding that this would bring about less number of links required by each operator thereby reducing the cost and time of interconnection.

He also tasked Nigerians to embrace the future by allowing technology, those who drive it and stands to benefit from it to advance, saying it would lead to greater innovation, economic growth, increased tax revenues and a stronger Nigeria.

Further, he agreed with the organisers of Titans of Tech, saying that behind all the impressive development are people who had the vision, put down the money, braved the odds and persisted until the result that are seen today were berthed.

In his goodwill message to the event, President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, gave kudos to NCC for its foresight in liberalising the nation’s telecommunications industry and asked Nigerians to join forces with telecom companies in moving the nation’ forward.

Equally, his counterpart in the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo tasked Nigerians to always be the watchdog of telecom infrastructure in the country so as to sustain the growth and service offerings to the populace.He also said that long road awaits the nation’s telecom if infrastructure is not protected and power supply hiccups arrested.

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