" ITREALMS: September 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still on PlayStation3 saga: Nigerians set to sue Sony Corporation

Aggrieved Nigerians especially those in diaspora may have started to strategise on the possibility of dragging Japanese electronic company, Sony Corporation, to court over the ‘malicious PlayStation3 commercial’ on the Internet which portrayed Nigerians as criminals.

ITRealms Online reliably gathered at the weekend that the impending law suit to be instituted in Lagos or Abuja, has reached an advanced stage and only awaiting final touches.

One of those concerned Nigerian professionals is an Abuja-based Independent Entertainment Management Consultant, Mr. Iboro Otu. He told ITRealms Online that he felt that the Sony’s PlayStation3 commercial adversely affected businesses of corporate Nigerians, including himself.

The suit, it was gathered would be worth $100 million.

According to Mr. Otu, his company has plans to assemble internationally reputed entrepreneurs in the country before the ‘ridiculous commercial’ was unveiled by Sony Corporation.

“We are working on bringing in global entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry to assist in reinventing this sector in Nigeria and a silly publicity like this just hit us below the belt, it kills the whole purpose,” he declared, asking “Who wants to go to a country when you hear issues like these are incessant? It’s very irritating.”

Iboro also said that his company, www.abillionmen.com, is working on collaborating with the Ministry of Information and Communications toward addressing such an issue.

“My company is looking at working in partnership with the ministry of information on ways to address issues like this and at the moment, we are still in communication,” he said.

He expressed optimism that this step of taking Sony to court would prevent such corporations like Sony and other countries of the world from insulting Nigeria and Nigerians wherever they may be.

“My hope is that we can get to stop corporations and nations from making Nigeria a butt of their jokes on corruption issues. We’re not worse than anybody. Enough is now enough,” he said.

ITRealms Online recalls that last week, management of Sony Corporation in the Middle East and Africa were at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja to apologise to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Information and Communications, which was rejected out-rightly by Prof. Dora Akunyili, insisting that the letter of apology from Sony be re-worded appropriately to reflect admission of guilt to all Nigerians instead of ‘some Nigerians.’

Akunyili said that the government noted with dismay that the reference to Nigeria is not accepted by the people and government of Nigeria and requested Sony Corporation to ensure the withdrawal of the advert from circulation, which depicted Nigerians as fraudsters.

A press statement from Akunyili’s office last week, maintained “Nigeria also demands an unconditional apology from Sony Corporation for this deliberate negative campaign against the country’s image and reputation. The apology must be given the same measure of publicity by Sony Corporation in all channels where the unfortunate adverts were aired.

According to her, the government of Nigeria sees this as an effort by Sony Corporation to undermine Nigerian’s business interest globally.

“This insinuation is in bad faith and unacceptable. The Government and the good people of Nigeria reject this unwarranted attack on the reputation and image of the country,” she said, highlighting the fact that the commitment of the present administration in making certain that fraudsters are rid of in the country by putting in place institutions and mechanisms to ensure the country of any form of fraudulent exercise.

However, industry analysts endorsed the plans to drag Sony to court in order to teach the company a life lession of respecting other people’s sanctity.

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Experts to explore key drivers of Nigeria’s telecom in UK

The key drivers for sector development and network expansion through creation of enabling environment for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) growth in Nigeria is top on the agenda of a two-day telecommunications summit to hold in the United Kingdom (UK) in November this year, says Ms Sylvia Ogunka, a member of the organizing team.

In a statement issued in Lagos, Ogunka said the event being put together by BEN Television and Lancaster Investments UK Limited, tagged Nigeria UK Telecommunications Summit is about promoting strategic growth.

She also said that the two day summit would hold in November in London, with top on the agenda focusing on the network expansion on Nigeria’s ICT growth strategy in addition to the government initiatives to stimulate investment and private sector participation - Nigeria’s privatisation programme and the telecommunications sector as well as the future of NITEL.

According to her, the role of government in providing communications infrastructure, viable options for solving the interconnectivity problem and plans for expansion into rural areas – investment and opportunities will form part of the agenda.

Additionally, the fiscal and legal frameworks for investment, enhancing the role of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to achieve the regulatory effectiveness, independence and transparency, and how the Commission plan to manage competition in the best interest of the consumers, have been slated as part of the programme for discussion at the summit.

Ogunka further said that investors’ expectation and perspective of the regulatory environment, independent regulatory and competitive analysis and best practice case study of a successful regulatory model would also be addressed.

She pointed out that the impact of market growth on profitability, growth of the fixed wireless network- realistic targets for broadband access, strategies to enhance operators’ performance, infrastructure sharing a means of construction amongst telecoms operators, just as the liberalization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and managing energy supply for the telecommunications sector have not been left out of the summit’s agenda.

Equally, Ogunka informed correspondents that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for economical rural telephone and infrastructure development were available inNigeria. How is VoIP advancing in Nigeria; how is it going to affect competition, would be adequately covered at the summit.

Even as seeking to answer which of Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) that has the capability to increase internet penetration for all more efficiently in a state like Nigeria.

She emphasized that the summit would examine the potential for later generation technology 2.5G and 3G in Nigeria as well as the future of multimedia - digital music and mobile gaming to name a few.

ITRealms Online recalls that BEN Television in partnership with Lancaster Investments (UK) Ltd aims through the summit to provide a forum for learning which allows all established investors and new investors in the Nigerian telecommunications industry to meet with their peers and ultimately, expand their businesses.

They organizers are collaborating closely with the Ministry of Communications, and Nigerian Investment Promotion Corporation (NIPC).

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Ilukwe frowns @ duplication of infrastructure

MANAGING Director of Galaxy Backbone Plc, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe, has frowned at what he described as unnecessary duplication of infrastructure, lamenting that the situation has left Nigeria to be perpetually building infrastructure.

This is coming as the government-owned company plans to create about 10,000 electronic mails for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) before the end of 2009.

Addressing newsmen at the weekend at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja after a facility tour of Galaxy installations, Mr. Ilukwe noted with dismay that individualizing structure in the country has not been helpful for the growth of the nation.

He pointed out that this was what the government realized and decided to set up Galaxy to correct that error, stressing that though Galaxy is a business concern of the government, they are not in business to take over business from the private sector operators, but to help government to drive its processes adequately and remain competitive in the face of Information
and Communication Technology (ICT) unprecedented growth in the past few years.

Individualizing infrastructure per state, for instance, he said, does not offer opportunities for sustainability of such projects for the holistic advancement of the nation.

“What happens now is that you have a lot of people when they have a project similar to ours, the huge chunk of money that is spent is on civil works, built this, built that and perpetually building, instead of exploring the existing assets and structures that we have and equipping those structures adequately by taking a holistic view of development,” he opined.

He advised corporate institutions in the country to be mindful of this by erecting infrastructure that could offer the populace many other options, citing the deployment of solar energy in some parts of the world to push penetration of access and maximization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

He also disclosed that Galaxy has operational presence in 2,300 site locations nationwide and is massively collaborating with other government agencies, through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), explaining that Galaxy is not limiting itself to usage of VSAT, but looks at other solutions that would make its objectives achievable.

“So, in some of the rural communities we go to, we have solar equipment to support that. It is easier to pick that via a helicopter and drop it anywhere in Nigeria,” he declared.

Ilukwe, therefore advocated strongly that Nigeria as a nation begin to use and subsequently begin to use existing infrastructure, thereby saving more money and channeling such savings into other infrastructure where it would be most needed.

“Take for instance, if you want to build a cybercaf√©, why don’t I say to somebody using existing infrastructure give me 10 x 10 or 20 x 20 room space and take the money and put in power generation or something else,” he suggested, maintaining on the need to take a holistic approach to let somebody bring this structures upto standards.

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Lack of awareness, bane of ICT – Jones

Lack of awareness of the benefits of and low appreciation of information and communications technology (ICT), have been identified as some of the problems confronting the growth of electronic payment (e-payment) systems in the country.

Stating this in Lagos last week, at the Telecom Device Forum 2009, was Mr. Wale Jones, a telecom lawyer.

Others he said, were low level of education and more particularly computer education; inadequate ICT infrastructure such as low internet bandwidth, problems of connectivity and uneven spread of available ICT infrastructure.

Mr. Jones who spoke on; The legal aspects of e-payment system in Nigeria-issues and challenges, also identified high cost of ICT infrastructure; epileptic power supply; problem of IT security particularly issues of cybercriminality and lack of proper legal and regulatory framework.

Mr. Jones identified IT security and cybercriminality, such as hacking, cracking, advanced fee fraud (419); general risk of fraud; adequate supervision of relevant institutions and consumer protection as some of the legal and regulatory issues in e-payment system.

Other regulatory issues, he said, Data Protection and Privacy- Relevance of s.37 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999; jurisdiction; applicable law; validity of electronic data; validity of electronic contracts; validity of electronic signature as well as the citizens confidence in the legal and regulatory framework.

“There is need for an Electronic Communications Act similar to what obtains in Europe, US and even in South Africa to address issues like E-Signature among others and to provide legal foundation for the growth of E-Commerce.

Also a law in the mould of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, RIPA 2000 in the UK is required to regulate the Investigatory powers of law enforcement agencies. A data Protection Act is desirable,” he said.

The telecom lawyer, stated that the Nigerian Consumer Protection Council Act, 1992 is too general in terms of its provision. The relevant section (s. 2(j) viz provides that “consumer interests receive due consideration at appropriate forum and to provide redress to obnoxious practices or the unscrupulous exploitation of consumers by companies, firms, trade association or individual,” describing it as being too vague to serve an electronic consumers interest.

Mr. Jones said there is an urgent need to make the Computer Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill 2005 a reality to check computer misuse and cybercrime.

“There is need to have some legal framework for E-signature. This assures that Nigeria accepts the legal validity of E-Signatures such that services requiring or relating to E-signatures can be provided in the Nigerian market without national/geographic obstacles.

The law will need to state that all kinds of electronic authentication attached to or connected with a data receive legal validity,” Jones said.

This, he said, can be done at a regional or continental level similar to the EU Directives on E-Signature, 2001.

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Internet eXchange supports DigitalSense forum

The Internet Exchange Point Nigeria Limited (IXPN) has given its support to the Nigeria Digital Sense forum slated to hold in November 2009.

Disclosing this, the Managing director and chief executive officer of IXPN, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, said that they understand the purpose of the Nigeria Digital Sense Forum, which is centred on rallying point for Nigerian internet stakeholders in raising and addressing salient issues concerning the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, with particular reference to the Internet Governance-related issues and development in Nigeria.

The letter of endorsement made available to newsmen in Lagos and addressed to the Executive Director, Digital Sense Africa (DSA), Mrs. Nkemdilim Umah-Nweke commended the organization for coming up with such initiative, which he sees as an avenue to boost internet penetration in the country.

He recalled the theme of the forthcoming forum; Internet Governance-Creating Opportunities for all Nigerians, saying it is timely, just as he emphasized that IXPN is pleased to endorse the forum.

“Therefore, Internet Exchange Point Nigeria Limited (IXPN) will appreciate the support of all Internet stakeholders to take active participation,” he said.

Speaking further, he noted with interest that IXPN has connected to over 14 notable companies since it concluded installations of infrastructure in Lagos office.

These companies, he said, have confirmed their interest in joining the IXPN and will soon be exchanging traffic, keeping local traffic local, just as it should be.

He listed some of these companies are Amsco Telecoms, Tara Systems, Skannet, GS Telecoms, Netcom Africa, Megatech, Steineng, Medallion Communications, Inet Global, Linkserve, Nitel, Swift Talk, Microaccess and Starcomms.

Additionally, he noted that Cyberspace, Accelon, 21st Century, Setlins, Bestcom, Disc Communications, Cobranet, Galaxy ITT & MTN are on the network of keeping Nigeria’s internet traffic local.

In a related development, Rudman said IXPN is using technical support from Tara Systems to successfully perform a bench test of its equipment.

These equipments include switches and routers, so as the IXPN locations were simulated in a single room, in effect simulating the Internet exchange itself, stressing that some members of the public were invited to have a look at what the IXPN will eventually look like.

In her reaction, the Executive Director, DSA, Mrs. Nkemdilim Umah-Nweke said that it is heart-warming to get IXPN commendation at this time and enjoined stakeholders and Internet enthusiasts in the country to capitalize on the opportunity offered by the forum to enlighten themselves.

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Akunyili leads Nigeria to Telecom World-09

Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili is to lead the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) community in the country to the global ICT conference and exhibitions being organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The event tagged ITU Telecom World 2009, is scheduled to hold at Palexpo, Geneva,
Switzerland, between October 5 and 9, 2009.

According to the head, Public affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Mr. Reuben Muoka, the event is an opportunity for the Nigerian government to showcase her achievements in the ICT sector and create multi-national platform for investors to explore immense business opportunities in the ICT sector in Nigeria.

Equally, he said, NCC is to coordinate Nigeria’s participation at the conference and manage the country’s pavilion to be mounted at a strategic location when the conference opens in Palexpo in Geneva.

Receiving the Secretary General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Toure recently in Abuja, the Prof. Akunyili asserted that the telecom revolution has been so successful in Africa because it touches ground with values for community and staying in touch.

“This is why Nigeria alone generates over 67 million GSM subscribers. Our people like to stay in touch. The digital divide is being effectively bridged by telecom” she was quoted as saying.

Also speaking in Abuja ahead of Nigeria’s participation at the global event, ITU Secretary General, Dr. Toure had said that Nigeria has been playing a significant role in the global ICT community and the Nigeria Pavilion would be one of the focal points at the Telecom show.

Already the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe has promised that NCC is looking forward to a successful participation.

“We are set for the big show and are playing a catalytic role to enable our local ICT companies and organisations to showcase their tremendous achievements at this event,” he said.

Nigeria’s participation will include key players drawn from the Public and Private sectors. In fact, the Nigerian private sector sees the event as one that must be fully explored to expand markets, build friendship and renew partnerships.

“We are devoting all the required resources to ensure that each partner in the Nigeria Pavilion will secure maximum benefit and value from its participation, given the enormous visibility that they will get”, he said.

The ITU Telecom World Series has become a great event for the global ICT sector. Over the years it has attracted stakeholders from ICT and related industries such as banking, insurance, petroleum from around the world. The ITU Telecom World is truly global, world-class and a
dependable networking platform.

The theme of this year’s event is: Open Networks – Connected Minds.

Heads of States and governments, over 70 Ministers and key CEOs will shape the future of the ICT industry through discourse, interaction and debates at the conference. It is also a forum for stimulation of economic growth, sustainability and development of emerging markets. With its focus on development opportunities, the event is ready to bring together corporate social responsibility and cases promote for best practices.

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Scrap right of way levies – ATCON

Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr Gbenga Adebayo has called for the immediate scrapping of all forms of levies and fees charged by various government agencies on right of way approvals, as a way of encouraging rapid roll out of fibre optic networks and last mile copper infrastructure.

Adebayo who spoke last week in Lagos on, The Nigerian Telecom Industry: Fuelling the future of e-payment System, at the Telecom/Device Forum 2009, said government should not consider right-of-way approval as a way of generating revenue, but should see the end result as in the overall interest of the national ICT development and limit its role to compliance and control.

“Broadband is important for today and the future. Government must continue to encourage the roll-out of fibre optic networks and the last mile copper infrastructure. We need to return to the basis to rebuild our terrestrial fibre and copper infrastructure, which will bring high capacity, cheap and high quality data communications,” he said.

While advocating the independence of industry regulator, he said the regulator must be free of political interference stressing that multiple regulation is the bane of growth and government must continue to provide the right regulatory and policy environment without criss-cross between various arms of Government.

Mr. Adebayo identified the state of access roads, security of existing infrastructure built by private operators, need by government to ring-fence telecommunication infrastructure and classify same as national security infrastructure as some of the challenges facing the sector.

“The impact of inadequate power supply cannot be over-emphasized. Multiple taxation remains a challenge to telecom operations and growth and quality of service is traceable in-part to problems of national infrastructure,” he stated.
On capacity building, he said, it is critical for the sustenance of telecom development, adding that more effort is needed from Government to ensure that the technical manpower requirements for the ICT industry are met.
“This is also traceable to the challenges in our socio-economic environment and the guaranteed minimum quality of lives. The industry is losing a number of highly trained personnel to other countries with less potential, countries with better social security and standard of living and economic values, countries with better healthcare, better education guarantees for their children, better securities of lives and properties, and better quality of living, which leaves a major challenge for the industry,” Adebayo said.

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Etisalat produces more millionaires in Maiduguri

In keeping with its promise of enriching both new and existing subscribers, Etisalat Nigeria, has continued to produce more millionaires in its 9jillions promotion, with eight persons emerging at the Maiduguri show at the weekend.

The 7th edition held over in Maiduguri saw the emergence of Jeje Ojo, Grace Adonu, Ismaila Simon, Magdelene Emuan, Anthonia Akindenor and Tope Mustapha with other participants winning attractive cash prizes from N50,000 to N150,000.

In her speech at the occasion, Director, Segment and Marketing Strategy, Seki Akande, said, “Its inspiring for all of us to see how enthusiastic Nigerians from all walks of life are about the One9ja game show but more importantly the ripple effect of the principal winnings. We have witnessed mothers, fathers, siblings, aunties, uncles, neighbours and friends benefit from the One9ja game show. This is a unique reward platform for new and existing subscribers for remaining loyal to the brand.”

For Tope Mustapha who won N2, 050, 000 million “I feel like I’m dreaming. This is a wonderful birthday gift to me from Etisalat. I’ll be a year older on October 1st and Etisalat has made me have good reason to celebrate. I’m a first year student of Electrical Engineering at the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, and this money will ensure that I complete my education without stress to my parents. My friends were very skeptical when I came here but I just decided to try my luck since nothing ventured, nothing gained. But now see, I’m a millionaire. I’ m going to invest this money in my education, as there are books and materials to buy which is very important to me. I also intend to invest in my family too who have struggled to see me this far.”

Another lucky winner Magdalene Emuan, a police constable at Metro Police Station, Garlunku, Maiduguri who won One million naira said; “I was not eager to take part in the competition because of many fraudulent cases we hear around. But, after hearing of it from friends I was encouraged by them to join their team and now we are all the better for it. Six years as police officer has brought many challenges. You can’t imagine what this money means to me. I intend to pay my tithe first and thereafter invest very wisely.”

Seki Akande further explained that though the win-a-phone phase of 9jillions promotion where 4,320 mobile phones were given to lucky subscribers had ended, the regional one9ja game show is still on and the opportunity to be the ultimate prize winner still open. “All a new or existing subscriber has to do is use up to N1, 000 in a month, then send his location and name to #5123 to qualify for a chance to participate in the grand finale”, she said.

Sokoto, she noted would be next host state to the One9ja game show as preparations for the grand finale in Lagos in October is already in top gear. One lucky subscriber will walk away with the grand prize of one million dollars.

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Church of Nigeria goes digital with Zinox Bijimi

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Peter J. Akinola’s leadership has gone digital with the acquisition of Zinox Bijimi for all the Bishops in his domain.

ITRealms Online gathered that the cleric had ordered Zinox Bijimi laptops for all the Anglican Bishops in Nigeria, thus confirming the image of the Bijimi as the fastest selling laptop brand, among equals.

The deal avails Zinox to offer the choice Bijimi Sage laptops at concessionary prices to support evangelism.

The Church, ITRealms Online learnt was also encouraged to pay either in cash or in installments.
Commenting on the development, the outgoing General Secretary of the Church, Ven. Emmanuel O. Adekunle, said that the exercise was part of an ongoing computerization programme based on the enthusiasm of the clergy.

He confirmed that they chose the Zinox Bijimi because it is rugged and has compelling aesthetics.

In a related development the Dunamis International Church in Abuja has joined the list of Churches distinctively computerizing their workers through the Bijimi Laptop brand.

The performance of the Bijimi otherwise known as digital work horse, has also earned it the patronage of the Nigerian judiciary with the order of over a hundred laptops for key officers of the Court of Appeal.

The acceptance of the Bijimi cuts across all sectors including the educational sector where the University of Education, Ikere Ekiti, has empowered the faculty and staff by nearly a thousand Bijimi laptops.

The Bijimi is the fulcrum of the IT infrastructure at Ikere Ekiti, providing platforms for staff computerization, students’ ownership scheme, digital centers and laboratories.

Reacting to these development, Head, Business Development at Zinox, Ms. Christy Yisa, said that the market penetration and the growing market share of the Bijimi has not come as a surprise to her team because of the world-class quality of the product.

Branded Bijimi after the Hausa name for the tireless work horse, the Bijimi PRO, she said, runs on T3400 – Duo Core 2.16 GHz/250gb HDD with a memory of 2GB DDR, Touch pad, Net Trace – Theft Tracker, built-in Blue tooth, built-in 2M pixel Camera, and Wireless LAN CARD.

The Bijimi PRO comes with Microsoft Windows PRO/Vista Business and will also come standard with 500,000 e-books with effect from October 1, 2009. According to Christy Yisa, the Bijimi PRO has become the new benchmark for laptops’ performance and dependability for users in the corporate category.

She revealed that the Bijimi, remarkably, has the least return rate among laptops in the Nigerian market today. She expressed the hope that the Bijimi variants – Bijimi PRO and the Bijimi Sage would be the flagship of the Zinox range of IT products destined to lead Nigeria’s charge for development.

Zinox Technologies Limited commenced operations in 2001 as the manufacturer of Nigeria’s First Internationally Certified Branded Computers. Rated second best selling computer in Nigeria and the largest Premium Partner for both Microsoft and Intel in Sub Saharan Africa, Zinox aims to be the preferred brand in Africa.

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Intel boosts computing with Core i7 processors

Chip manufacturers, Intel Corporation, has given a boost to Laptops with the launch of its three-in-one Core i7 m
obile processors.

Disclosing this in Lagos at the weekend, Channel Representative, Mr. Robinson Babatunde, described the latest in stock from Intel as novel.

For the Market Development Manager, Intel Nigeria, Mr. Femi Babajide, Core i7 processors are here to make laptops more durably mobile by making laptops to work faster, recalling that Intel Corporation has been making processors for over 40 years and is determined to continuously improve upon has been available in the market.

“What we have done now is to make and change the architecture of processors to make it to be more efficient, faster, consumes low power.

These processors, he said, included Intel PM55 Express Chipset, which provides the best laptop experience for intense gaming, digital media, photos, music, business applications and other multi-threaded software that hungers for faster processing speed.

The chips, he also said, boosts overall performance when using several of these applications simultaneously.

He pointed out that with intelligent features like Intel Turbo Boost Technology, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology and a host of others, Intel has revolutionized the laptop PC processor, delivering performance when users need it, energy efficiency.

Babajide emphasized that the world has continue to grow in mobility and Intel is very much aware of this trend so it structured its latest chips to advance this movement.

“For the first time, mobile users can choose a laptop that delivers Internet-server like speed, right in their laps for the most demanding tasks, from intense gaming to digital video editing and social media applications,” he said.

Formerly codenamed “Clarksfield,” Intel Core™ i7 mobile processors, he cited for instance, offers Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which can accelerate the processor clock speed up to 75 per cent to match workloads, as well as better performance on highly-threaded apps with the power of Intel Hyper-Threading Technology.

The new Intel Core i7 mobile processors, he said, comes with two-channel DDR3 1333 MHz memory support and full 1 x16 or 2 x8 PCI Express of 2.0 graphics.

“Whether users are editing a video, composing a song, playing a video game or updating their Facebook status with the latest YouTube video craze, Intel Core i7 mobile processors adapt to provide the right processing power for the task, with more performance and flexibility to match their on-the-go needs,” he said.

Equally citing laptops with Intel Core i7 mobile processor Extreme Edition support Intel® Extreme Memory Profiles (Intel XMP) and Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, the ultimate tuning utility making it possible to overclock3 and fine tune your laptop for incredible performance and battery life optimizations.

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Chams explains expansion

The management of Chams Plc has explained its position in delving into building of large-scale infrastructure, especially for delivery of efficient and reliable identification solutions within the reach of every Nigerian.

Stating this during a visit by the firm to National Identity Management Commission, the Managing Director, Chams Plc., Mr. Demola Aladekomo, said they, as a long-time partner of NIMC, would want to make certain the partnership with the commission remains a success.

This, he said, informed the decision by the firm to build several sites where Nigerians could easily find solution to their identity needs.

He recalled that Chams Plc is one of the two firms that are expected to implement the registration of Nigerians in a new national identity card scheme of the federal government.

The firm is currently developing and deploying various infrastructure which fit into the identity projects of the government.

As said by him, these projects are ChamsCity sites, which consist of several hundreds of computers that possess identity applications including biometrics. The firm, he said, is also deploying 40,000 point-of-transaction terminals which also have provisions to do human data capture.

Additionally, he noted, Chams has built a card production plant in Abuja, which is reputed to be the largest in the world, given its capacity to produce a million cards daily.

Mr. Aladekomo said at the end of 2009, the infrastructure being put together by Chams could handle the registration of 7,000 individuals at the same time and also offer other services to users.

Stressing that once work had been completed in the other sites being planned, the data capture capacity of the firm would be greatly enhanced.
Chairman, Chams Plc, Prof. Adebayo Akinde said at the occasion that the firm had identified the new Identity (ID) card project as one of great importance to Nigeria, stressing that it was very critical to the country’s success.
Pointing out that Chams would give the project the very best to ensure its success.
Meanwhile it was gathered weekend that more new ChamsCity sites are nearing completion and the development could see Chams Plc commissioning additional five of such locations across various cities in the country before the end of 2009.
Presently, the firm has two Chamscity locations in Lagos and Abuja with each of the locations has 1024 computers and have been identified as well as certified as the largest digital malls in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Chamscity locations are purpose-built sites that serve as one stop shops for various use including internet café, large-scale data processing, recruitment testing, human resource development, professional examinations and computer-based competition and games.

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Gov. Obi to empower 10,000 youths on ICT

Estimated 10,000 youths from Anambra State will benefit from an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) empowerment initiative by the Governor Peter Obi in collaboration with the New Horizons and Microsoft Nigeria.

This follows the signing of a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the state by the trio will see to about 10, 000 Secondary School Students of Anambra State plus 1, 500 civil servants getting empowered with one laptop each and relevant ICT skills in Microsoft courses.

The initiative, which comes in phases is expected to take off officially in November, where 6, 500 participants will benefit.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Awka, Governor Peter Obi said ICT is the future of this country.

“Therefore, our people in Anambra State should be at the vanguard of the ICT revolution in Nigeria,” he said.

Obi also said that the greatest legacy any government could bestow to the incoming generation is qualitative education driven by ICT.

Speaking on the significance of an IT literate society, Developer Platform Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Ken Spann, noted that education is a powerful and positive force for growth and development in every society.

“Microsoft believes that education drives forward the goals and aspirations of nations, industries and individuals, and is committed to create partnerships with students, educators, institutions and governments to help them achieve their educational goals and contribute to the development of the country and their industries,” Mr. Spann said.

The managing director, New Horizons, Mr. Tim Akano, said that with this partnership Anambra State under Governor Peter Obi has become the first to produce 100 Microsoft Academies.

He explained that the state is first to begin the process of allocation of one-laptop per child initiative.

“Thirdly, his administration is first to also give one-laptop per civil servant as against what obtains in other states where civil servants cannot have access to computer after working hours,” he said, stressing that Civil Servants in Anambra state can take the laptop home as this will increase their proficiency in ICT skills.

Gov. Peter Obi’s initiative, he said, is keeping to the tradition of excellence which he epitomises.

“The Peter Obi Initiative will go a long way to consolidate the intellectual achievement of old generations of Anambra State indigenes, a state that has produced great sons and daughters like the world’s renowned Poet and Writer – Albert Chinualumogu Achebe from Ogidi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from Abba and most significantly, Dr. Phillip Emeagwali, who according to Black Inventor’s website is called “Africa’s Bill Gates, and the biggest African Scientist of all time.”

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Experts to explore key drivers of Nigeria’s telecom in UK

The key drivers for sector development and network expansion through creation of enabling environment for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) growth in Nigeria is top on the agenda of a two-day telecommunications summit to hold in the United Kingdom (UK) in November this year, says Ms Sylvia Ogunka, a member of the organizing team.

In a statement issued in Lagos, Ogunka said the event being put together by BEN Television and Lancaster Investments UK Limited, tagged Nigeria UK Telecommunications Summit is about promoting strategic growth.

She also said that the two day summit would hold in November in London, with top on the agenda focusing on the network expansion on Nigeria’s ICT growth strategy in addition to the government initiatives to stimulate investment and private sector participation - Nigeria’s privatisation programme and the telecommunications sector as well as the future of NITEL.

According to her, the role of government in providing communications infrastructure, viable options for solving the interconnectivity problem and plans for expansion into rural areas – investment and opportunities will form part of the agenda.

Additionally, the fiscal and legal frameworks for investment, enhancing the role of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to achieve the regulatory effectiveness, independence and transparency, and how the Commission plan to manage competition in the best interest of the consumers, have been slated as part of the programme for discussion at the summit.

Ogunka further said that investors’ expectation and perspective of the regulatory environment, independent regulatory and competitive analysis and best practice case study of a successful regulatory model would also be addressed.

She pointed out that the impact of market growth on profitability, growth of the fixed wireless network- realistic targets for broadband access, strategies to enhance operators’ performance, infrastructure sharing a means of construction amongst telecoms operators, just as the liberalization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and managing energy supply for the telecommunications sector have not been left out of the summit’s agenda.

Equally, Ogunka informed correspondents that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for economical rural telephone and infrastructure development were available inNigeria. How is VoIP advancing in Nigeria; how is it going to affect competition, would be adequately covered at the summit.

Even as seeking to answer which of Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) that has the capability to increase internet penetration for all more efficiently in a state like Nigeria.

She emphasized that the summit would examine the potential for later generation technology 2.5G and 3G in Nigeria as well as the future of multimedia - digital music and mobile gaming to name a few.

ITRealms Online recalls that BEN Television in partnership with Lancaster Investments (UK) Ltd aims through the summit to provide a forum for learning which allows all established investors and new investors in the Nigerian telecommunications industry to meet with their peers and ultimately, expand their businesses.

They organizers are collaborating closely with the Ministry of Communications, and Nigerian Investment Promotion Corporation (NIPC).

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Starcomms lifts telecentre operators with solar chargers

Fourth largest telecommunications network, Starcomms Plc, has lifted telecentre operators with solar chargers.

The solar battery charger is a portable device that is easy to use and environment friendly, competing effectively with regular source of power.

This, the operator said results into the solar devices which could be exposed to daylight.

Through clear medium, the solar power battery charger converts the sun rays into low voltage DC electricity, providing power that could be stored or used.

Speaking on chief executive officer, Starcomms Mr. Maher Qubain said that by providing these solar chargers to some telecentre operators, their experience concerning power cut in the country would change.

“I have always tried to empathize with these Telecenter operators each time there is a power cut in my office or home for hours. I always wondered how these low scale entrepreneurs cope. At Starcomms we always look for the best way to solve problems so that business can move forward for us and those working with us. So we came up with this solar charger solution for our associates,” he said.

The problem of epileptic power supply, he noted, has forced many businesses in the country to collapse especially in the last one year.

As said by him, among the worst hit were the call centers that always need electricity to remain in business.

“This is due to the fact that as more calls were made from these call centre telephones, the shorter the life span of the telephone batteries,” he declared.

Therefore, the challenge of charging, he said, is heightened by the fact that access to electricity in
the street is limited even when there is constant supply from the established agency.

With the device under the table, he pointed out that telecenter operators could take on as many customers as they want on a phone in a day.

Indirect Sales Manager, Starcomms, Mr. Tunde Odetunde, while presenting one of the devices on behalf of the company, to Mr. Kayode Agboola, whose telecenter is located at Adetokunbo Ademola junction in Victoria Island, commended the centre operator, reiterated the commitment of the network operator.

“Our commitment to providing quality, cutting-edge and affordable telecommunications services drives us beyond the primary products that we offer. We always endeavor to be socially responsible by looking at ways that we can help our stakeholders to mitigate the effect of the economic challenges on their businesses,” he said.

Odetunde said that it is for this reason that they have continued to bring in innovative products that could enhance their performance. “However, this solar device gifts to telecenters are for those who have against all odds continued to sustain a high tempo in their call center businesses,” he said.

Another recipient of the solar charging device, Miss Yemisi Fagbamigbe located at Ajose Adeogun, Victoria Island, Lagos was full of excitement as she received the solar charger.

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ITAN’s forum holds forum in Kano

Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) in collaboration with World Information Technology and Service Alliance and Nigerian Computer Society, (NCS) would today, in Kano present a one day IT Public-Private Forum, with the theme
“Plucking the Low Hanging Fruits.”

President ITAN, Dr. Jimson Olufuye in a press statement said that the capacity building forum is expected to attract State Commissioners for ICT /IT Advisers and IT CEOs/Technopreneurs for synergy, rapprochement to galvanize accelerated IT developments in all ramifications within the States in Nigeria for immediate economic recovery and long term prosperity.

According to him, the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, would deliver a keynote paper on “Rebranding with ICT for Vision 20 2020.”Dr. Olufuye who is very passionate about software development among Nigerian youths  said that  Kano State Government through the  Commissioner for Science and Technology has concluded plans to host the meeting in the first meeting of the ITPPF after its inauguration by the WITSA Chairman Dato Dan E. Khoo, last April  at Abuja, during the ADIPENG International.

The Annual General Meeting, (AGM) of ITAN, he said, will hold shortly after at the same venue, stressing that key item on the agenda is the election of new officers of the association.

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Gartner rates Oracle high on CRM automation

Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relations Management (CRM) and Oracle CRM on Demand are both positioned in the leader’s quadrant of Gartner’s recent “Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation.”

According to Gartner, leaders in Sales Force Automation “demonstrate a market-defining vision of how technology can help the top sales executives achieve business objectives.”

The rating also stated that leaders have the ability to execute against that vision through products, services and demonstrated solid business results in the form of revenue and earnings.

“Leaders have significant successful customer deployments in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia/Pacific in a wide variety of vertical industries with multiple proof points above 500 users,” part of the report said.

Gartner Magic Quadrants position vendors within a particular market segment based on their completeness of vision and their ability to execute on that vision.

Siebel CRM helps organizations differentiate their businesses to achieve maximum top-and bottom-line growth. It delivers a combination of transactional, analytical and engagement features to manage customer-facing operations across industries.

Oracle CRM On Demand extends the industry-leading Software as a Service CRM platform with more advanced core CRM functionality, deeper industry-specific capabilities and enhanced ease of use, customization and extensibility features.

With Oracle CRM On Demand, companies of all types and sizes can effectively and efficiently manage all facets of their customer relations, while enabling complete integration with their overall enterprise systems architecture.

“In my opinion, Gartner and the Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation recognize that Oracle continues to innovate, grow and provide customers with the effective capabilities to save money and resources through sales force automation,” said Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President of Oracle CRM.

In addition, he said, they believe in the placements of Oracle’s Siebel CRM and Oracle CRM On Demand in the leader’s quadrant provides further proof of how Oracle continues to impact customers and their overall business value.

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MTN wins SERA award on CSR

MTN Nigeria has been named the Most Socially Responsible Company in the nation’s telecommunications sectors by Social Enterprise Reports Awards (SERA).

In a statement by Mr. Ken Egbas, SERA said the awards, which included various segments of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), comprises the Best Company in Poverty Reduction (MDG1), Best Company in Gender Equality (MDG3), Best Company in Partnership for Development (MDG8) and Most Socially Responsible Company in the Telecommunications Sector.

He said SERA is about celebrating good corporate citizenship, celebrating people, good living and sustainable environment for all.

Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation (MTNF), Mrs. Nonny Nduka-Eze, noted that the foundation has been the corporate social responsibility vehicle of the company. Mrs. Nduka Eze had on behalf of the company received the awards which included a certificate of commendation as overall winner endorsed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Nduka-Eze said the establishment of MTN Foundation is a demonstration of MTN’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

She also said that from inception till date, the Foundation’s projects were envisioned to make a positive impact in the areas of health, economic empowerment and education.

“MTNF has 160 projects sites in 33 states in the six geo-political zones of the country,” she said.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PlayStation3 saga: Sony shivers as Akunyili roars

The last may not have been heard of the ‘malicious advertisement’ by Sony Corporation and hosted on the World Wide Web, especially at some of the social networking sites, depicting Nigeria as a nation of criminals and advanced fee fraud otherwise called 419.

This came as fear has gripped the management of Sony Corporation in African region and Nigeria particularly on the likelihood that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) may met out sanctions to the mobile and electronic company.

According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Mrs. Dora Akunyili, the attention of the government has been drawn to an advertisement by Sony Corporation on the internet, which from all intents and purposes was designed to expose Nigeria in bad light in an effort for Sony to market her products, especially the PlayStation3 (PS3).

ITRealms Online gathered that the advertisement showed a man talking about the new PS3 and how it could be bought over the Internet at a very cheap rate. The customer in his reaction impressed that it is impossible to get it at that price, hence “you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet otherwise I’d be a Nigerian millionaire by now.”

Based on the aforementioned, Akunyili had noted that the commercial in question circulated extensively on www.youtube.com and www.facebook.com among other international websites, created the notion that Nigerians hardly engage in any genuine business for a living, an insinuation which puts Nigeria in bad light, and is unacceptable to the people of this great nation.

As said by her, it is on this premise that the government and the good people of Nigeria rejected this unwarranted attack on the reputation and image of the country.

“The government sees this as an attempt by Sony Corporation to undermine Nigeria’s business interest around the world,” she said.

Akunyili recalled that Sony Corporation has operated in Nigeria since the country’s independence and has enjoyed tremendous patronage from Nigerians at home and abroad.

Insisting that over the years, there is no established record that the company has recorded any major incidence of scam or fraud by Nigerians that warrants its deliberate campaign against the country’s image.

She noted that while Nigeria acknowledges the fact that there are few criminal-minded people within her population, just like any other country in the world including Japan, the home country of Sony Corporation, the government has as a matter of policy put in place institutions and mechanisms to purge the country of any form of fraudulent practices.

“Nigeria, therefore, does not see the basis to single out the country as an example in that infamous advertisement,” she decried, although it was on this ground that Nigeria requested Sony Corporation to immediately withdraw that advertisement from circulation, which has since been carried out.

In addition, Nigeria demanded an unconditional apology from Sony Corporation for this deliberate negative campaign against the country’s image and reputation, which according to her, must be given the same measure of publicity by Sony Corporation in all channels where the unfortunate adverts were aired.

Assuring all genuine investors globally that Nigeria remains a major investment destination, Akunyili maintained that Nigeria is a country where most businesses thrive in trust, good faith, competition, competence and integrity.

However, one unique point here by Akunyili was that a few criminal-minded individuals should not be used to generalize on the entire populace.

Equally of note here is that the tackling of this kind of campaign against the country heralds the first in the history of Nigeria that a serving minister found reason to address head-on such a campaign, at least to set the records straight.

Like Akunyili, every other good Nigerian should be concerned and so was Mustapha Abubakar Sidi, who endorsed the stand of the government in this issue.

For him, one of Prof Akunyili’s notable remarks in the rebranding crusade has been that when someone calls you a bad name and you do not do something about it, others would join in the fray and it would stick.

Sidi pointed out that the advertisement put up by Sony Corporation promoting its Playstation3 (PS3) game was not only rude but smacks of ignorance and disrespect for a sovereign country.

“The more I think of it the more I wonder what Sony thinks of the Nigerian market. It is either the corporation is just plain irresponsible or they truly don’t know that Sony products have a huge following in Nigeria. If the latter be the case, then it is a shame. It means Sony has been using unaccredited distributors for its products in this country who have not been reporting back on huge sales and uninterrupted loyalty over the years,” he said.

Trying to find the rationale behind Sony’s decision to even allow such campaign to be launched in the first instance, he said, implies that Nigeria is a small or insignificant African country; where people are uneducated and less human as depicted in their latest movie called ‘District 9’- another misrepresentation by Sony Corporation.

Sidi emphasized that the statement on Playstation3 (PS3) is at the very heart of 419, which is the popular term for advance fee fraud, insultingly ascribed to Nigerians.

“We acknowledge that 419 does exists, and a few Nigerians have engaged in that practice, but that is not enough to slam the entire country or portray its citizens as criminals. Advance fee fraud is not unique to Nigeria. Nigerians did not invent it. It exists in most developed countries including Japan the home country of Sony. Citizens of other countries even use Nigeria as a front to perpetrate this crime,” he argued.

He, therefore, applauded the federal government through the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Akunyili for reacting immediately.

As at the time of going to press, Sony is yet to meet the demands of the minister, but rather chose to post three sentences on its website directing an apology to “some members of the Nigeria community.” This, he said, goes to confirm that the corporation is responding to some Nigerians in Diaspora, who have been protesting.

It must be made clear to Sony that it is yet to apologize despite the fears on the reaction of Federal Government after the days of grace may have expired is still unknown. Above all, it is in Sony own interest to give the official apology without further much ado.

As at the time of going to press, ITRealms Online gathered that over 6,812 viewers have accessed the facebook link with 51 of them leaving comments, eight viewers marked the site as their favourite, 11 rated it with an average rating of 2.45, even as it has no honours, but lamentations and scolding of Sony Corporation.

Efforts to get the official reaction of Sony Corporation was not fruitful at the weekend as the company is yet to respond to our inquiry.

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‘Landing of Glo 1, a bold initiative’

For second national carrier, Globacom, Saturday, September 5, 2009 was an epoch making day in the annals of the operator, as the much anticipated multi-million dollars Glo-1 submarine cable finally touched down in Lagos amidst celebrations.

Speaking on the attainment of this milestone for telecom industry, the Group Executive Director, Globacom, Mr. Paddy Adenuga, said Glo 1 cable will deliver transmission capacity that would radically change Nigeria and Africa’s economic landscape by providing unprecedented high speed internet services and make telecom services much faster, more reliable and cheaper for consumers.

Mr. Adenuga said Glo-1’s current and ultimate capacity is enough to cater for the required broadband need of Nigeria for the next 15 to 20 years.

He said the cable will free up resources for other forms of investments which governments and business developments need through broad market coverage at high capacity and at a fraction of cost and time.

“In a nutshell, Glo 1 will stimulate a new era of prosperity in the sub-continent,” said Adenuga, adding that the successful delivery of the cable has shown that Globacom has an awesome capacity to deliver complex projects.

The Glo-1 submarine cable worth over $250 million, is a boost to bandwidth deployment within the country and the West African sub-region. The cable which began its journey from Bude, in the United Kingdom, in November 2008 finally landed the shores of Alfa Beach, Lekki and was received by the Executive Director, Human Resources, Globacom Limited, Mr Adewale Sangowawa and other members of the telco’s management.

Also on hand to receive the cable at exactly 10.50am, includes; the Executive Director, Legal, Mrs. Gladys Talabi, Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Glo Mobile, Mr. Sanjib Roy, Head of Globacom-Gateway, Ibrahim Fadipe among others.

Speaking after receiving the cable, Mr. Sangowawa said the company was making history as this will be first time that any single company will achieve such a feat.

The tradition, he said, is for a consortium of telecommunications companies to team up to set up a submarine cable network to enhance their connectivity and bandwidth capacity.

“With Glo-1, Globacom has taken a huge leap to avail Africa the magical possibilities of broadband. Glo-1 submarine cable connects West Africa to the UK and has landing points in Lagos and Bonny in Nigeria, Bude in London and Lisbon in Portugal. Glo 1 is also deploying 16 branching units to connect countries in West Africa,” he said.

Sangowawa also said the 9,800km cable will enable the company to have a clear distinction in providing quality services through multiple redundant and high quality direct links to various countries across the world, stressing that it will also enable it to interconnect with several international networks and leading traffic carriers in the globe.

He said Glo-1 complements the nationwide optic fibre cable, the first phase which has been completed, and will provide a better alternative for bulk voice and data transmission requirements than satellite and microwave-based transmissions.

“It will be a whole new era of unequalled speed and access to digital information as Glo 1 would cater for long term bandwidth requirements for voice and data transmission in the West Africa sub-region. Presently, West African countries have a high dependability on satellite based operators for fulfilling their bandwidth requirement.

“At present, bandwidth providers are retailing bandwidth they procure in bulk, which invariably is very expensive. Glo 1 fills this vacuum and will narrow the digital divide between Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world,” he said.

On the opportunities presented by this achievement, Project Manager Glo-1, Mr. Kayode Adebiyi said it would leapfrog the economy within the region through high speed and reliable data, voice and video transmission.

He noted that Glo 1 was built with a 640 gigabytes capacity and is 99.9 per cent reliable to boost electronic-medicine (e-Medicine); e-learning; governance; entertainment industry; telecommunications; E-banking; effective and efficient call centers across the nation and disaster management through on time and effective communication.

The cable which arrived via a specially-designed telecom vessel marked, International Telecom (IT) Intreprid Bridgetown, is being handled by Alcatel Laucent Submarine Networks.

The 9,800 kilometres-long undersea cable which is laid from United Kingdom, through Portugal up to Nouakchott in Mauritania will have landing points in United Kingdom, Portugal, Ghana and Senegal as well as in Lagos and Bonny in Nigeria by the time of completion.

Commenting, Senior Project Manager, Marine, Alcatel Laucent, Mr. Soren Christensen, said the cable landing station, in Lagos, would be completed in a few weeks, and will be laid on the sea bed in order to avoid disruption by vessels or by any other marine activity.

At the terminal building which will be built at the beach, he said, the cable will be connected to the land cable system and will serve as the interface from Lagos to the submarine cable.

The coming of Glo-1 submarine cable could only be better appreciated when it is recalled that recently, NITEL’s SAT 3, the only active submarine cable available to West Africa, experienced a cut which disrupted banking and telecoms services as most banks could not meet their obligations to their customers, owing to unavailability of internet which led to monumental loses in both manpower and financial resources.

With the ceremonies on land over, it was now time to take a trip by boat to visit IT Intrepid Bridgetown, specially designed cable ship which was in a dynamic position (DP). This enabled it maintain its stationary position regardless of wind and current, while the activities go on.

With the life jackets on, the trip that was to expose the fact that but a few, a greater majority were not only uncomfortable but obviously heaved a sigh of relief on disembarking over an hour later, began.

While on the sea, the boat suddenly stopped and there was palpable fear around as the waves made the boat appear as though it was susceptible to the wind.

Even though this lasted for less than two minutes, it was like a life time as those on board silently said prayers, while some others joked with the fact that they were either still unmarried or had only one child.

Of course, the boat captain and his crew were very calm as they explained that the boat picked up an object, which it had to discard for the journey to resume.

As the boat drew close to the ship, a call was made to the captain to send radio signal to the ship captain lest they mistake it for militants, of course the consequence will be better imagined.

As the boat went round, the beauty and level of the sophisticated technology of the ship became glaring. Apart from the name of the vessel, which shows it is an IT vessel, the design indicated that it is designed for laying cables as it has an opening on top through which the cables roll out from the ship.

With this bold initiative, Globacom has again proved its determination to rank among the top players in the continent and beyond as this will not only boost internet accessibility but also cheap and qualitative telephony.

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Lack of policy, bane of eHealth – Adebola

President, Society for Telemedicine and eHealth in Nigeria, Dr. Olajide Joseph Adebola, has identified lack of proper policy framework as the bane of electronic health (eHealth) implementation in the developing world including Nigeria.

Speaking at the 3rd Nigerian Conference on Telemedicine and eHealth (NICTe2009) in Lagos, at the weekend, he said that with the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a significant proportion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for health, could be achieved by the Least Developed Countries (LDC).

“Studies done in Uganda, Saudi Arabia and three other countries in Eastern Europe showed that one of the major hindrances why eHealth services have not been implemented in developing countries is the lack of policy framework. It is the policy that gives the direction and enabling environment and once there is a policy and framework, every level tier of government will know their responsibility and what to do,” he said.

Adebola said the generality of Nigerians would gain more from the eHealth through having access to quality specialist health care service.

“There is a lot ICT can do. You know ICT is target 18 of MDGs. If we look more at the area of ICT we could do more than we thought we can achieve without it,” he said.

He also said there is need to improve capacity through training of health workers as well as more advocacies to the rural areas through support of other agencies in propagating the ideals of eHealth.

According to him, developing countries cannot speed up the implementation of badly needed eHealth services without close cooperation with the telecommunications sector.

He said there need for developing countries need strategic document on eHealth master plan in order to inform decision makers in the sector about benefits of technology as well as an urgent need for technical guidelines on how to use mobile telecommunications infrastructure.

Tagged: Deploying eHealth tools and services in the Nigerian Health System: The role of mHealth, the 2-day conference aimed at creating more champions that will lead the cause of ehealth.

In a related development the evolution of ICT in the nation’s health sector, has provided healthcare workers access to unprecedented health information and latest ways of treating patients, says Dr. Justin Ekpa, who spoke on: A Cost-effective strategy to improve healthcare delivery in low-resource settings: the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) approach.

He said as critical as information is to patient management, more critical is the ability of the care provider to effectively utilized the same information to the benefit of his patients

He said increasing the capacity of health institutions and health providers to effectively utilize information through evidence-based healthcare delivery strategies even at all tiers of care, is an issue very paramount to modern healthcare systems.

“It is in doing this that the backbone for success of the more elaborate and complicated e-Health projects can make the desired impact,” he said

He also at the smallest levels of our care and in low resource settings, the LRC approach is an option for consideration as a stepping stone to e-health implementation, start small and grow big.

Dr. Ekpa said the reality of our Healthcare system is near absence of information resources in healthcare facilities; neglect of the Primary health care (PHC) system, as the primary and secondary care centres are mere referral systems to the tertiary systems, saying this is an indication that evidence based practice is (EBP) is yet to take root.

Others, he said are lack of change agents; marked computer illiteracy; concentration of ICT innovations in other sectors like banking, telecoms, and entertainment, among others as well as more emphasis on drugs, structures and old orthodox way of training.

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NiRA endorses DigitalSense forum-09

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has given its endorsement for the 2009 edition of the Nigeria Digital Sense Forum, which focus is on enthroning globally acceptable internet governance and advancing penetration in the country.

The endorsement came from the vice president of NiRA, Mrs. Mary Uduma, at the weekend, who was quoted as saying that NiRA understands the need to have a common voice at the forthcoming global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Egypt.

“It is important that we harmonize our positions before heading to Egypt,” Mrs. Uduma said, stressing that the endorsement is essential to encourage participation of members both corporate and individuals as well as the entire Internet community in the country at the forum.

She promised that NiRA alongside other industry organization, would make every effort at ensuring that Digital Sense Forum 2009 turned out a success because it would reflect on Nigeria’s agenda at the IGF.

Reacting to the endorsement amidst consolation to NiRA over the death of its pioneer president, late Mr. Ndukwe Kalu on Tuesday, September 8, 2009, in a press statement signed by the Executive Director, Digital Sense Africa (DSA), Mrs. Nkemdilim Umah-Nweke, said that the endorsement by NiRA shows the importance of the forum and its theme, which is ‘Internet Governance: Creating Opportunities for All Nigerians.’

She expressed optimism that the forum scheduled to hold in Lagos on November at the Golden Gate Ikoyi, would offer stakeholders a platform to join forces in building the nation’s internet community so as to make it stronger.

Further, she said that it is unfortunate that Kalu who have worked so hard for the development of Internet and its penetration in the country did not stay alive to witness the berthing of this forum, which his input gave rise to the eventual concept for enlightenment of the Nigeria Internet community on Internet-related issues.

She recalled that NIRA was born by the Nigeria Internet Community in 2005 which include the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) to name a few.

Further she said that the formation and incorporation as well as the election of the first Board of Trustees and Board of Directors soon after on May 2007, cannot go without mentioning of the part played by late Kalu.

Reiterating that plans have been concluded to co-locate the event with an industry-focused expo, expected to attract who’s who in the nation’s Internet Service Providers (ISP) community, who would use the platform to showcase their brands and services by engaging end users.

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... Postpones AGM over president’s death

Following the death of its pioneer President, late Ndukwe Kalu, the board of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has shifted indefinitely its proposed Annual General Meeting (AGM) in respect of Kalu, who passed away on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 in Lagos.

According to the Vice President, NIRA, Mrs. Mary N. Uduma, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, while confirming that late Kalu would be buried on Saturday, October 31, 2009 in Abriba, his hometown in Abia State, said the postponement has become imperative so as to give his family and entire internet community to commiserate over his death.

She explained that NIRA Executive Board rose from a meeting last week in Lagos, to adopt a unanimous decision to postpone indefinitely the AGM earlier planned to hold at the Airport Hotel, Lagos today, Wednesday, September 2009.

“Following the sudden death of the pioneer President of the association, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu, we hereby notify our board members, trustees, stakeholders and the general public that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) previously scheduled to hold in Lagos on September 24, 2009 has been postponed till further notice,” she said.

Also she said that the postponement would enable NIRA mobilize its members to attend the burial of late Kalu scheduled to hold in Abriba in Abia State, as announced by Kalu’s family.
NIRA she said, would make further announcements to Nigerians and the Internet community regarding programmes leading to the burial of its late president.

Nigerians from all walks of life have continued to express their condolence over the sudden death of the pioneer President of NIRA.

She noted that under late Kalu’s leadership, Nigeria recently recorded the successful full re-delegation and local management of Nigeria’s country code top level domain name, (ccTLD) the .ng.

Before his death, late Kalu specialised in design and installation of various networks for over a decade as well as pioneered IT publications in Nigeria through the publishing of Nigeria’s first IT magazine called IT Watch Africa in 1994.

From there, late Kalu revolutionized newspaper IT reporting by conceptualizing and commencing the first robust IT section in the Nigerian newspaper history, tagged InfoTech ThisDay in 1998.

He was a member of several professional bodies some of which are Nigeria Society of Engineers, Nigeria Computer Society, Nigeria Institute of Management, Chartered Institute of Administration, Institute of Data Processing and Management (IDPM) London, among others.

He also served on various boards some of which are Amsco Telecoms Limited, Amsco Nigeria Limited, Admiral Insurance Company Limited, Pricehouse Communication Limited, Alphastream Solutions Nigeria Limited, among others.

He also recently served as member of a Joint Committee of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) on developing a suitable regulation for the use of ISM frequency band in the country.

In 2004, he was elected the National Vice President of Internet Service Providers of Nigeria (ISPAN) and also served on the NCC Industry Committee set up to advice on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) regulation.

Late Engr. Kalu also served on the National Cyber Crime Working Group, a body set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to fashion out effective legislation and system to fight cyber crime in Nigeria.

He has recently spearheaded several initiatives to improve teledensity and Internet penetration in Nigeria, one of which is Naijawifi, an alliance of Nigerian ISPs set to offer a Wi-Fi Internet Access blanket all over Nigeria. He was also the Chairman of NCC/Presidential Committee set up to actualize a sustainable Internet Exchange for Nigeria.

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Why we selected Alvarion – Mobitel

Mobitel Nigeria Limited has given reasons why it chose the largest WiMAX deployment leader, Alvarion saying it is in the bid to roll-out its nationwide 802.16e.

This is coming as Alavarion said its customer base and deployment is in over 250 countries around the globe.

The world’s leading provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband solutions, recently announced that it has been chosen by Mobitel to provide 802.16e WiMAX services for under-served areas throughout Nigeria.

Using Alvarion’s BreezeMAX, according to the chief executive of Mobitel, Mr. Johnson Salako offers solution in the 2.0 GHz, 2.2 GHz and 2.3 GHz frequency bands, which his firm plans to commerce offering of voice and high-bandwidth data services to thousands of residences and businesses nationwide, especially in the key cities of Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Warri and Abuja.

The initial rollout of WiMAX network, he said, is planned for third quarter of 2009, with 20,000 subscribers expected on the network during initial launch.

Alvarion, he said, would also provide a range of professional services including system integration, network deployment, field maintenance, configuration, training and local support services to ensure successful delivery of the network.

“This is a great opportunity for Mobitel to bring broadband services to remote parts of the country. The use of WiMAX technology together with our existing fixed line network allows us the possibility to offer converged services to our customers,” he said.

Emphasising that WiMAX provides a very good business case to roll out broadband infrastructure with a much lower upfront investment when compared to other technologies available in the market.

“Given our ambitious goal for Nigeria, we need a strong and reliable partner with a proven track record to ensure our success and we believe Alvarion is best suited to accomplish this,” he said.

During the second phase of the project, Mobitel and Alvarion will expand coverage to 18 other states in the country, including Kano, Kaduna, Oyo and Edo. The current population of Nigeria is estimated at 150 million people in 66 provinces with a very low internet penetration rate of less than 1 per cent.

President and CEO of Alvarion, Mr. Tzvika Friedman, said his firm is very pleased to be selected by Mobitel for this contract.

“This will reiterate Alvarion’s leading position in the WiMAX market with a strong portfolio of WiMAX solutions. Being selected by an innovative operator as Mobitel is another proof point of Alvarion’s strength in emerging markets as we continue to focus on abundant opportunities in these underserved regions. Our proven WiMAX solution and feature rich offering will enable a sound business case for Mobitel to bring advanced broadband services to consumers and businesses in Nigeria,” Friedman concluded.

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Glo eases SIM activation, replacement processes

Glo Mobile, the mobile arm of the Second National Operator (SNO), has introduced ease the process of activating new lines and replacing damaged or lost Subscriber Identification Module (SIMs) on the network.

Acting Head, Marketing, Globacom, Mr. Navdeep Kapur, said all new subscribers are required to simply insert the Glo SIM into his or her phone upon purchase or recovery and start talking.

“We have reconfigured our SIM cards to a new, ready-to-use format to make things easier and more convenient for our subscribers”, he said.

Hitherto, he said, Glo prepaid customers have to go through a series of steps on the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform and select preferred language, tariff plan, among others to activate the Glo prepaid SIM.

Kapur also said that this was so because the former Glo SIM was programmed to be flexible, meaning that one chip was provisioned for various packages and billing options, thereby requiring the user to do his or her own selection.

Further, he said, the user could now just buy a SIM already programmed with his or her desired package and billing choice.

“Now, we have put a new activation process in place for customers buying SIMs for Easy Talk, Classic Plus, Profitmax Special & Profitmax Extra. Under the new arrangement, the customer only needs to insert the SIM and instantly begin to make calls. “There is no need to go through the IVR”, he explained.

Globacom disclosed that the SIMs would come with per second billing option, which the user could change to per minute if desired.

The statement also announced that some trade partner outlets have been empowered to do SIM replacement in addition to Gloworld offices nationwide. With this arrangement, the subscriber who loses his or her phone now has more available options to retrieve his or her line.

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One9ja show: Etisalat creates more millionaires

Seven more millionaires have emerged in the Etisalat Nigeria’s One9ja game show at the weekend in the city of Ibadan.

Among the latest millionaires include Moses Dickson, Mojisola Babalola, Michael Ochonogor, Ayanwale Lukeman, Bamidele Folasele, Comrade Yakubu Jundu and Adeoye Omosebi. Others included Bernard Orivu, Osagu Emmanuel, Efe Igbi, Betty Obedeke, Florence Ajodu, Adokina Ajodu, Chidi Ofodili and Alaba Hassan.

In his speech at the event, Director Sales, Tolu Ojo said there is no doubt that Etisalat 9jillions game show is not just another game show.

“Everywhere we go, we set out to affect lives positively by raising the standard of lives and making the dreams of Nigerians come true and we are set to do more as we reach out to more people across the country with the Etisalat message of optimism,” Ojo said.

Ojo recalled that though the win-a-phone phase of 9jillions promotion ended with 4,320 mobile phones was given out to lucky subscribers, while the regional one9ja game show is still on and opportunity to be the ultimate prize winner still open.

“All a new or existing subscriber has to do is use up to N1,000 in a month, then send his location and name to #5123 to qualify for a chance to participate in the grand finale,” he said.

In the next few weeks, Ojo said, Maiduguri and Sokoto would be playing host to the One9ja game show while the grand finale holds in Lagos in October with one lucky subscriber to walk away with the grand prize of one million dollars.

Some of the winners who commented gave kudos to the management of Etisalat for initiating the promo.

One of the latest millionaires, and a business man, Mr. Michael Ochonogor said, “I am overwhelmed and I don’t even know how to express my gratitude to Etisalat for such breakthrough in my business.”

Another winner, a graduate of Electrical Engineering from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Ayanwale Lukeman, is another young millionaire, asserting “Etisalat has given me a good start in life. I never imagined I would become a millionaire this soon. I just graduated and awaiting my national assignment billed for February next year. Etisalat has placed me where I can succeed in life as this money will be used to set me up as I have always dreamed of being an entrepreneur”.

Tolu Ojo further explained that though the win-a-phone phase of 9jillions promotion where 4,320 mobile phones were given to lucky subscribers had ended, the regional one9ja game show is still on and opportunity to be the ultimate prize winner still open.

“All a new or existing subscriber has to do is use up to N1, 000 in a month, then send his location and name to #5123 to qualify for a chance to participate in the grand finale”, he said. In the next few weeks, Maiduguri and Sokoto will be playing host to the One9ja game show while the grand finale holds in Lagos in October. One lucky subscriber will walk away with the grand prize of one million dollars.

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Lagosians applaud MultiLinks’ Blue broadband

Lagosians at the weekend applauded Multi-Links Telkom’s Evolution Data Only (EV-DO) products during a roadshow in the commercial nerve centre of the nation.

EV-DO is Multi-Links’ broadband service embedded on 3G service of the company branded ‘Blue Broadband’.

The roadshow activities covered areas like Victoria Island, Apapa, Festac, Surulere, Ikeja, Ogba and Ilupeju.

According to a press statement made available to ITRealms Online by the Public Relations Manager at Multi-Links, Mr. Bayo Abiodun, said that some residents of Lagos who gave the applause to the company already subscribed to the service, and were particular about the awesome speed and the plethora of capabilities which the Multi-Links Telkom EV-DO enables them to accomplish, including data and music cum video down loads, email and office on the go.

At Allen Avenue, Ikeja, he recalled that some of the existing subscribers who shared their experience on the EV-DO service by Multi-Links Telkom said the current speed package remained unmatched by any competitor in the market today.

A subscriber who identified herself as Mrs. Amaechi said that she enjoys seamless connection on the Internet, stressing that since she subscribed to the service, there was never a day that she had been disappointed on account of poor connection on the Internet.

EV-DO – is a mobile broadband service providing high speed Internet access for a wide range of applications and customers, ranging from professionals, mobile executives to students.

He quoted the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Multi-Links Telkom, Ms. Dipuo Msimang as saying that Blue 3G broadband offers customers an incredible web browsing experience designed for achieving more no matter who the users are or for whatever purpose they are on the internet.

The campaign tagged “Do Much More” showcased the power of the Rev. A EVDO technology, which is a personal wireless service designed for a wide range of customers from business people to students.

She highlighted the uniqueness of the product, saying that the offer has become a growing tribe of telecommunications consumers in Lagos is always on with seamless roaming and backward compatibility to 1x.

“The Blue broadband Service works on same cell sites as cell phones. Blue broadband allows you to be connected to the Internet wherever you are. You can download large work files, photos, spreadsheets and email with incredible ease,” she said.

The CSMO noted as well that the product allows subscribers to download and run video clips in real time. Blue broadband provides you service outside of cable – modem or DSL areas. You can access your corporate VPN (Virtual Private Network).

She stressed that this package is designed especially for professionals who are into heavy file download, 3D artists, Architects, Graphic Artists and other professionals. With the 3G Blue Broadband offering, she said that speed is key.

“And that’s exactly what the flexible tariff plan offers you, plus supersonic speed on the Internet. So you can achieve so much more in quick time. Also cool for anyone who loves to live in the jet age. There is no speed limit on the Blue Broadband,” she explained.

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Starcomms offers freebies on fixed phones promo

Acclaimed largest Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator, Starcomms Plc is offering freebies to its customers who purchase any of the three models of Talkie (desktop) phones: LG LSP 4000; Huawei ETS 2558 and Huawei ETS 2258.

Chief executive, Starcomms, Mr. Maher Qubain, said that any subscriber in all the towns under Starcomms’ network coverage who this season purchase any of the three phones aforementioned would be credited with N2,000 free on-net airtime.

This airtime, he said, could be used to call any Starcomms phone number, either fixed or roaming in any location under the network’s coverage in Nigeria.

“And this free on net bonus would be credited only once on activation,” he said.

Qubain explained that the phones which are being sold for N4,999 would effectively cost N2,999.
“It is believed that this would increase the accessibility of the phone to all those who require fixed telephones for their homes and offices,” he said.

Additionally, he said that all homes and businesses in all the cities covered by Starcomms could avail themselves of Talkie phones which have proved over the years to facilitate communication for enterprise and personal relationship.

He stressed that Starcomms is the market leader in fixed telephony business and continue to do so by bringing more value driven offer to its subscribers.

“Talkie phones have served Nigerians more and better than almost any telephone set in this country today. It is in line with this that Starcomms decided to continue to make the device available to its subscribers for them to do more business transactions and better personal conversations,” Qubain said.

Starcomms, he noted, prides itself in the culture of bringing world class innovative products & services to its potential subscribers at affordable prices as a continuing business strategy.

The offer is not applicable for Starcomms Smart Center (Telecenter) the Telemax tariff plan and they would not be entitled to the free calls. The airtime largess comes on the phones on activation and is valid for the first 60days after activation. The telephone user reverts to the regular tariff plan afterwards.

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Serima advocates best of business applications

The Managing Director, SAP Africa, Mr. Pfungwa Serima, has said that for the nation to compete successfully in the emerging market, it is imperative to review existing business processes, optimize and then automate them in line with global practices through various business applications.

Mr. Serima, who spoke recently to Champion Infotel in Lagos, said solution design is a critical success factor in achieving the initial project objective and help minimize cost.

Speaking at a forum in Lagos recently on the theme, “Strategies for a success in the new reality” Mr. Serima said that with the involvement of government and individual, as well as corporate bodies in the level of IT investment, the nation is now embracing the power of information communication and technology.

He also said that the core interest of the company is on the emerging market and Africa is one of them and that there is need to look into the future business application solutions, stressing that SAP will explore new and essential strategies for using technology to gain strategic clarity necessary for success in the business world today.

The SAP Africa boss informed that though the environment in Nigeria is tough in setting up businesses, with challenges ranging from power to infrastructure and telecommunications, but that the country is well positioned for investments because of the human and material resources prevalent in the country.

Equally speaking, Director, Strategic Initiatives, SAP Africa, Mr. Simon Carpenter said, the company has been providing companies with information on how SAP solutions can help companies of all sizes successfully transform business challenges into opportunities and meet the demands of their industry and market in the country.

“SAP can truly work with its customers’ prospect and partners to discuss how technology enables companies to derive increased understanding and visibility, so they can meet the ever increasing need to be more transparent and accountable,” Carpenter said.

He further said that SAP business software solution portfolio can help companies adapt more quickly to changing market needs, execute growth strategies in an international environment and maximize results with existing resources while continuing to concentrate on core business competencies and maintain close customer relations.

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W/Africa convergence forum gathers momentum

EXCITEMENT is gathering for the IT Edge West Africa Convergence Forum 2009 holding in Abuja in November with more than 450 registrations recorded online at the official website of the event: www.itedgeconvergenceforum.com.

A press statement from the organizers said, the forum’s registration formally commenced online last week in line with the tradition started in 2007.

The forum being put together by Knowledge Media International (KMI) Limited, publishers of IT Edge magazine published in English and French languages, has as its theme, Content & Policy Dynamics in the Converged Market.

The 3rd IT Edge West Africa Convergence Forum, the organizers said, has been designed to get stakeholders in the industry to address some of the increasing challenges that convergence has brought about.

“The challenges of convergence for the telecom regulator are multidimensional and touches in various that include content regulation, interconnection, access, spectrum management, collocation, quality of service among others. In considering the paradigm shift from local to global arena we are also confronted by the issue of service content,” part of the press statement read.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, was quoted as saying, “Different countries have deployed different approaches to addressing the regulatory challenges as it uniquely expresses their market and national aspirations. The options include Convergence Regulation centering on the dynamics of the unification of IT, Telecommunications and broadcasting; essentially, the trend has been to merge infrastructure and content regulation.”

Ndukwe who chaired one of the sessions at the Forum 2008 and is regarded as the continent’s leading regulator said convergence has redefined the country’s broadcast and financial sector.

“The Nigerian financial market is becoming a major beneficiary of the convergence being witnessed in the ICT sector. The increasing application of such customer desired financials transactions that eliminates the movement of cash is driven by convergence. Mobile banking, as we are now experiencing in Nigeria are driven by possibilities offered by the convergence of telecom and ICT.

"SMS banking services ranging from debit, credit transaction alerts and salary alerts to buying prepaid units from the customers’ bank account are all made possible on convergence platforms,” he said

A large number of registration is at the Forum’s website is coming from the financial and educational sector. The high number of online registration in less than a week indicates the rising interest in convergence as it affects the industry, said KMI officials in Lagos.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Suburban, Tata Com partner on data recovery deal

International wholesale supplier of Internet backbone and corporate data provider, Suburban West Africa has entered into a deal with Indian Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS) to curb internet invested viruses and improve data disaster recovery time.

Head, Brand and Communications, Suburban West Africa, Ms Morenike Popoola, affirmed this in Lagos, saying that the partnership deal affords her firm to deploy technology for process transformation, next generation operational systems support (NG OSS) and network support services from TCTS.

She explained that under the agreement Suburban would re-examine its processes to improve service delivery and assurance at reduced cost based on Enhanced Telecom Operation Map (eTOM) model as well as upgrade technology and improve resiliency to provide best in class services to its customers.
Also, she said that Suburban would achieve the TL9000 certification which is the highest quality assurance certification in telecommunication services.
Additionally, Suburban Network Operations Center (NOC) located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, would now have a disaster recovery center in Pune in India manned by staff of Tata Communications.
“Both network operations centers will work seamlessly and ensure that customers get better response and service especially in the wake of growing threats to internet services in Nigeria,” she said.
According to her, incidences of virus and other malicious attacks on internet services including denial of service which some Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Nigeria have experienced have been on the rise and it is expected that Tata Communication’s global expertise in this regard, will help stem this tide.
The Chief Technical Officer, Tata, Anil Verma was quoted in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel as saying that at the culmination of this exercise, customers would feel a very positive impact through seamless interaction with Suburban technical personnel and highly improved quality and reliability of our network.
He assured on his team, saying they would constantly seek ways of improving customer experience and reliability on the Suburban network.

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SystemSpecs hosts banks on e-payment

Lagos-based software house, SystemSpecs Limited has hosted bankers on the electronic payment (e-payment) strategies embedded in its Remita solution.

The event which attracted over 70 bankers from 20 commercial banks was held in Lagos to review the progress of e-Payment in Nigeria, share experience and come up with technical and business strategies on how their current e-Payment operations could be optimized in the interest and for the increased satisfaction of their public and private sectors’ customers.

SystemSpecs’ Managing Director, Mr. John Obaro, told participants that as key stakeholders in Nigeria’s e-Payment ecosystem, forum helped to generate fresh ideas on how to best position existing banks to have competitive advantage through optimization of the Remita e-Payment platform.’

Some of the participants at the event, commended SystemSpecs for the initiative.

Head, Payments & Collections, First Bank Plc, Mr. Ezinne Obikile, said that the support for Remita from SystemSpecs has been quite tremendous and has made the use of the solution a wonderful experience.

The e-Business officer at Union Bank Plc, Mr. Olumide Akanbi, expressed gratitude to SystemSpecs for introducing Remita because, according to him, it has greatly reduced the e-Payment headache.

“We were the first adapter of this platform among the banks for use by our customers, we have no reason to regret this decision because the benefits are immense. This forum has been quite educative and interactive,” he said.

Equally for the Funds & Remittance Transfer officer at Sterling Bank Plc, Sumbo Sobanjo, the event was exciting and educative; a lot of awareness has been created.

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