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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Stakeholders call refocusing of national connectivity goals

Stakeholders at the just concluded 5th ITEdge Convergence Forum in Lagos have called for urgent refocusing of national connectivity goals in Nigeria.

They said this would enable the country to structure strategies towards achieving a seamless convergence without hiccups.

One of those who spoke at the event, Senior Project Manager, Alcatel-Lucent for Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Mr. Innocent Aki, identified national connectivity as vital for delivery of the last miles to the citizenry.

He said by generating greater broadband access with wireless connection, there is need for intercontinental connectivity but continental and national connectivity need focus, which could achieved through dry pipes going in-land.

Mr. Aki in his paper entitled ‘Submarine System versus Satellite System’ noted that submarine cable has a high quality reliable transmission for information super highways which include voice, video and data, stressing that submarine cable is also of high capacity with minimal delay which is good for bank infrastructure.

Comparing submarine system and satellite system, Mr. Aki pointed that satellite system is well adapted for mobile services such as telephony; broadcasting over a wide geographical area and access for remote or rural area while submarine has the capacity to increase during system life.

Submarine System, he noted, has a 25-year lifespan and satellite system on the other hand has a lifespan of 8-15 years with launch risk vulnerability as it could get lost while in space without being able to retrieve.

In his comment, Mr. Alexander Ibere of MTN Enterprise Solution said telephone services has since moved from the normal Short Messaging Service (SMS) or phone call services to checking of email, data services and surfing the internet on the go and finally to business solution, giving mobile users the opportunity to transact business and optimize their business at the comfort of their palm.

Alexander also said there is need for connectivity as business and enterprises in the country must be connected, “If you are not connected, you are in the dark,” he declared.

Part of the business solutions provided by MTN, he said is the data services facilities where banks could have their back-up in their data services locations.

Muhammed Rudman, CEO, Nigeria Internet Exchange Point (IXPN) who is a member of the panelist at the forum, while responding to questions on getting services to an ordinary man on the street and not only to institutions, said Nigerians are only trying to consume content and not giving time to creating same for others to use.

He further said there is a great need to start creating local contents and hosting them locally.

Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa, in his contributions said that most media contents over the last decade were produced by professionals and transmitted terrestrially.

Things, he said, have changed as media contents are now been transmitted by everybody across the internet, and mostly on social media.

He affirmed that there has been a market shift from the traditional broadcasting to open and free such as BBC IPlayer, Apple TV and Google TV.

Bolarinwa said broadcasting houses are losing revenue on a daily basis as a result of canceling broadcasts without any apology to the viewers. Stressing that convergence of modern information technology to traditional broadcasting, that telecom and Internet Service Providers have the capacity to distribute contents.

Yinka Awosanya
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