Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wireless, key to ICT growth – Masilela

WIRELESS solutions, has been identified as the key to the growth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on the continent, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Making this observation at the Commonwealth Technology Organisation (CTO) ICT summit, last week in Abuja, Head, Corporate Affairs, subregion South Africa, Nokia Siemens Networks, Mr. Lucky Masilela, pointed out that employment, education, empowerment and environment as key requirements for sustainable growth in ICT in the world.

According to him, employment will identify the benefits of internet for personal business and use, education will support competence development for information and communication technology (ICT), and empowerment will take care of the low income segments to improve their efficiency with affordable ICT while the environment will see to provision of environmentally sustainable solutions.

He observed that to connect five billion by 2015, there is overall high growth opportunity in developing countries, just as he expressed believe that wireless will drive the growth since cellular penetration supersedes the personal computer (PC) penetration.

Mr. Masilela also identified voice affordability barrier at 2.5 billion human users and Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity affordability barrier at 1.4bn internet users as the challenges of universal access in the global income pyramid, stating that internet for the next billion requires consumer understanding, affordability, access, competence and motivation.

He said diversity in emerging economies requires segmented internet access strategies through connecting the unconnected with shared internet for the masses with no access or voice accesses only and enhance user experience.

He advocated stimulation of the development of online tools and solutions supporting the usage of a local language as basic step, stating that frequency availability for efficient use of technologies is highly required to support affordability demand and that taxation on devices and services can make the difference to drive affordability and usage.

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