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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

ATCON, PMM join forces on cyber survival

Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is joining force with Private Media Mart (PMM), a specialized publicity management firm based in Lagos, in staging a one-day workshop and mini exhibition for cyber café operators and intending entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

The executive secretary of ATCON, Mr. Godwin Morgan informed in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel that the aim of the workshop, which has been slated for the second week of September 2007, is to educate investors in this area of the sub-sector on how to run a successful and profitable cyber café business in the country.

He also said that since inception, ATCON has shown commitment to the growth and development of communications in general in the country.

“This association is interested in promoting programmes that will continue to expand technology services in every corner of the country both in urban and rural areas” he said.

Mr. Morgan equally said that ATCON decided to partner with PMM because the company is a professional consultancy firm that has proven its competence on issues pertaining to publicity management for technology brands.

He further highlighted the challenges of cyber operators in developing economies like Nigeria, saying that ignorance has been the major reason why cyber café operators go out of business everyday and those of them existing are operating under negative capacity.

“If you go to a cyber café where they have about 30 computers, you will discover that it is only few of the computers that are working and the few that are working are very slow and at the end of the day, there is no return on investment,” he said.

Mr. Morgan pointed out that most of these café operators buy fairly used computers that will not match the Internet connection, use inadequate bandwidth, operate with illegal software, disregard security issues and do not exploit alternative energy solutions or even proper financial management.

“And because the owners are most times not personally involved in the running of the business, the staff buy easily manipulated billing solutions that do not guarantee a proper recording and matching of the time spent with returns,” he observed.

He stressed that based on these observations that ATCON is putting the event together, to create opportunities for solution providers, technocrats in modern Internet solutions, operators of cyber cafes and people who are interested in the cyber café business to meet face to face so that they can discuss the way forward in the café business.

“It will also be a platform for knowledge sharing among people in the industry,” he said, adding the event slated to hold at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja will be free for pre-registered visitors.

“There will also be limited spaces for a mini exhibition for solution providers within the cyber café industry,” Mr. Morgan said.

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