" ITREALMS: April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

QoS: Groups ask GSM operators to pay N10,000 compensation per consumer

Two consumer advocacy groups, the Consumers Empowerment Organization of Nigeria (CEON) and United Consumers Association of Nigeria (UCAN) have asked mobile network operators in the country to pay each subscriber N10,000 owing to persistent poor quality of services.

These groups lead by Messrs Babatunde Abiodun and Aduloju Abiodun of CEON and UCAN respectively insisted that consumers’ satisfaction is still an illusion in spite of multiple imposition of penalties for poor quality of service on the operators by industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Mrs Ify Umenyi, DG, CPC
CEON and UCAN said they driven their powers from the Consumer Protection Council Act No. 66 of 1992, since NCC seems incapacitated to handle the issue in favour of end-users. 

“NCC`s action as a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul” they said, which motivated their invocation of section 8 (b) of the Consumer Protection Council Act No. 66 of 1992, which states in part that “the consumer shall, in addition to the redress which the State Committee, subject to the approval of the Council may impose, have a right of civil action for compensation or restitution in any competent court.”

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ojobo explains tweaking of telecom regulator’s vision, mission

Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs, NCC

Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Tony Ojobo, has explained the new vision and mission of the Commission as predicated on the dynamic nature of the industry today.

ITRealms gathered that while speaking at the weekend on this development soon after its proclamation, Ojobo said NCC’s mission statement is now to “support a market driven communications industry and promote universal access,” while the vision now is “to be a responsive world class communications regulatory organization.”

He also said that the idea of new mission was designed to support market driven communications industry and promote universal access, because of the new direction the industry is taking, especially in the area of convergence and frontiers of broadband Internet services which are all aimed at providing quality access to all.

Further, he said, that as a responsive communications industry regulator, NCC is now in a position to quickly respond to the dynamics of the industry for optimum delivery to all the industry stakeholders, especially the consumers.
Ojobo pointed out that the overarching principle behind the new mission and vision is “to promote an information rich environment that can compete globally through the provision of quality communications service.”

Remmy Nweke
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

MainOne Cable restates support for local software innovation

Group pix of representatives of sponsors at the just concluded Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 in Lagos.
The first private undersea fiber optic cable into Nigeria and Ghana, MainOne Cable Company, has restated its support for local software innovation, hence it partnered Microsoft in the Imagine Cup competition 2013.

ITRealms gathered that Imagine Cup contest is a premier student technology challenge on innovative production of various applications deployable on computers and mobile devices that are original in concept to marketplace with Microsoft resources.

And as part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, it is a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have the opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, set a clear business plan and eventually take their product to market.

ITRealms also gathered that all Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three year USD3-million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. Microsoft BizSpark, another YouthSpark initiative, enables Imagine Cup participants to launch startup businesses in their communities and across the web.

As part of the sponsorship, Main One was the sole bandwidth sponsor, providing 20 MEG of broadband capacity to the event for live-streaming.

The National finals of the competition, and the Stakeholders’ Forum, which held at a prestigious location in Victoria Island, had in attendance over 80 students with participants competing for a place in the worldwide finals, previously hosted in Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, France, Egypt, Poland, USA and Australia, now to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 8 to 11, 2013.

In total, 12 teams from Nigeria competed during a challenging day of presentations, which brought together students from universities across the country with Team Life Saver emerging winner, which interestingly, cut across two of Nigeria’s foremost tertiary institutions, Obafemi Awolowo University and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

The team will represent Nigeria at the global finals where the lucky winner stands the opportunity to win $300,000 prize.

Speaking to ITRealms at the event, Head, Marketing at Main One Cable, Mrs. Jumoke Akande, noted that new technologies have rapidly changed businesses, socio-political landscapes and the lives of consumers in Nigeria, Africa as a whole, and other parts of the world, and the speed of adoption is inspiring.

“Main One has consistently recognized the opportunities software development, especially indigenous, will play in this critical phase of Nigeria’s human development, and supported the equipping of young people with necessary technology competencies, to put the future of our nation in their hands” she said.

In his remarks, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Yinka Oni,  said “Each team that competed in the regional finals is deserving of the highest recognition for the creativity and imagination applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re proud to honour these young students who we believe truly exemplify the spirit of the Imagine Cup competition, and we’ll be cheering Team Life Saver on as they compete on the world stage in St Petersburg”.

As said by him, Imagine Cup is directly aligned with the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative that was launched earlier this year as it drives access to technology, innovation and world-class skills.

“We believe deeply that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world, and we are honoured to engage with these young people to help bring their innovative ideas to fruition,” he said.

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Broadband Commission petitions UN Eminent Persons on MDGs

*Today begins 1000-day mark to 2015

The United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission for Digital Development has petitioned the Eminent Persons through of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on the due date for delivery of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

A copy of the letter made available to ITRealms and sent to the Panel of Eminent Persons, the high-level body of leaders from the public and private sectors, tasked with brainstorming ideas for a Post-2015 development agenda, the Commission called on members to recognize the promise of broadband.

“We call on the members of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel to recognize the power and promise of broadband applications and services to expand people’s horizons and opportunities, enhance their freedom of expression and civic participation, better share their culture and hence foster understanding, enable people to engage freely in self-expression and the exchange of ideas, and sow the seeds of genuine learning, as well as quality education for all,” part of the letter read.

Also, it stated “That is why, in particular, any set of measurable goals and targets agreed upon as part of the Post-2015 development agenda should explicitly include broadband.”

In his video address to mark the 1000-day countdown to the MDGs, Mr. Ban noted the progress in what he termed “the most successful global anti-poverty push in history”. World poverty has halved, child mortality is dropping and more girls are now in school than ever before. But the challenges are on-going, and Mr. Ban called for 1000% effort in the final push towards 2015.

The Commission enjoined people to join the conversation at #MDGmomentum and help by Tweeting photos that illustrate the impact that broadband and ICTs have on the MDGs and for communities around the world.

Remmy Nweke 
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ISOC to host AfPIF 2013 @ Morocco

Plans have been advanced for the hosting of the fourth annual African Peering and Interconnection Forum in Casablanca, Morocco in September.

ISOC announced to ITRealms that the forum would focus on Policy Aspects of Internet eXchange Points (IXPs), content, and cross-border Interconnections in Africa.
AfPIF 2013 will attract high patronage by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies across the continent.
The three-dayforum billed for September 3 through 5, 2013 in Casablanca, Morocco is a unique regional forum, which facilitates discussions on African Internet infrastructure challenges, including terrestrial capacity issues, national and regional Internet Exchange Point (IXP) development, local content development, measures to lower connectivity costs, and international peering.
It also serves to gather key stakeholders, including Internet service and content providers, IXP operators, research and education networks, government network managers, regulators and policymakers to share experiences and advance peering and interconnection arrangements.

The theme of AfPIF 2013 is “Policy Implementation and the Regional Content Factor,” and the forum will address region-to-region policy, tapping into terrestrial cable potential and traffic management needs, as well as content issues that are critical components of transit deficits.
Dawit Bekele, the Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa, says that nearly all peering and interconnection agreements are forged at regional and global peering forums such as AfPIF.

“We are pleased to offer this important event for the fourth consecutive year and provide an opportunity for the business and operational community to work together to augment Internet infrastructure and services in Africa,” he said, stressing that it offers the ideal venue for discussions and ideas on how to implement more efficient and cost effective local, regional, and international interconnection and peering strategies.

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