" ITREALMS: April 2014


NPA saves $326.895m from agreement with INTELS - ITREALMS

Sponsored@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has explained how INTELS Nigeria Limit...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nigeria Internet Usage: Digital immigrants more active than netizens - Twinpine

Contrary to popular believes, ‘Digital Immigrantsgeneration of internet users in Nigeria are becoming more active than the netizens, according to the latest Twinpine Research made available to ITRealms.

Digital immigrants, ITRealms reports are known as individuals who were born before the existence of digital technology and adopted it to some extent later in life. The opposite is the ‘digital natives’ who are persons born during or after the general introduction of digital technologies and through interacting with digital technology from an early age, and purported to have a greater understanding of its concepts, according to Wikipedia.

The study, ITRealms gathered is a comparative taken from about 22,000 respondents which showed that internet users between the ages of 33 and 53 years known as Generation X; were more active on the internet when matched against their counterparts aged 19 and 32 years of age otherwise known as Generation Y.

Speaking on the findings, Research Lead at Twinpine, Ms. Eniola Moronfolu said this paints a different picture from the generally accepted idea that the internet is the medium of the younger generation.

“This knowledge is an eye opener and shows how trends in internet usage are taking shape among consumers. This also means that marketing efforts can be more effectively targeted to reach the right demographics,” she said.

She pointed out that the activities which topped the list in terms of frequency of use for Generation X, were the use of search engines for research; News on current affairs, lifestyle, entertainment and sports; and online shopping.

Citing an instance with the research findings which she said showed that 50 per cent more people between the ages of 33-53, regularly purchased goods and services online and 6 per cent more of this demographic were more likely to share information on social media or lodge a complaint about a product or service via social media.

She emphasised that the probable factors for the increased usage by this age bracket include higher spending power not only in purchasing advanced mobile devices, but also to purchase bigger data bundles as well as goods and services online.

Noting that though the gap was still not very wide, the figures predict a trend of growth which would affect the way both advertisers and digital marketers approach targeting and segmentation of consumers based on the type of media they consume.

ITRealms recalls that Twinpine Networks runs a major mobile advertising network across Africa and carries out periodic research on internet usage across multiple platforms through the support of partners within and outside Nigeria.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Monday, April 28, 2014

Etisalat dangles free USB modem, 100MB monthly on Easyblaze

Etisalat Nigeria has extended high speed packet access (HSPA)-data service to its Easyblaze, reports ITRealms.
The company affirmed to ITRealms that customers who purchase 1.5GB data plan or more from any Etisalat Experience Centre from April 4, 2014, now receive a free USB modem and data SIM card, loaded with a 12 month free internet offer.
Director, Consumer Segments, at Etisalat Nigeria, Oluwole Rawa says that this free offer rewards customers with 100MB monthly based on purchase of 200MB and above.
Rawa also said, the offer is driven by Etisalat’s desire to extend quality internet access to all Nigerians. He stated that since September 2011, Etisalat has established itself as the top mobile broadband provider with the best quality of service in the market.
This new offer, Rawa told ITRealms, allows more people to connect to the internet and reduce the cost of internet access overall for the customers, while allowing them to enjoy the speed and quality that Easyblaze is acclaimed for.
ITRealms recalls that Easyblaze is Etisalat’s HSPA+ mobile broadband service which offers customers superior internet speed and excellent quality at affordable prices.
“Easyblaze offers excellent internet access on all types of data devices- USBs, Mifi Hotspots, smartphones and tablets. Easyblaze is available in over 309 cities and growing nationwide,” Rawa submitted.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Photo: Matthew Willsher, acting CEO, Etisalat Nigeria

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dora Akunyili in Top 3 Nigerians most Googled in March

The former Information Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili is among top three Nigerians most seek for with Google search engine for the month of March 2014, reports ITRealms.

Investigations also revealed to ITRealms that two other Nigerians on the top three are Leon Balogun and Muna Obiekwe.

ITRealms gathered that following her sudden appearance after a long absence from the public view due to her sickness, Professor Dora Akunyili appeared at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja, where she made  constructive contributions.

This further led to her being ranked as one of the most searched and talked about Nigerian in the month of March on Google.

The transformation of the full-bodied woman to a leaner figure attracted a lot of Nigerians to several blog sites while she was attending the National Conference in Abuja. Curious Nigerians continue to search for the cause of her ailment, and the decision to attend a public event.

For Leon Balogun, a German-born Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Fortuna Düsseldorf Football Club also made it to the list. Balogun was called up by the Super Eagle’s coach, Stephen Keshi for the first time for a friendly match between Nigeria and Mexico.

Others on the list of top trending people include Oscar Pistorius who is still facing trial in South Africa for the murder of his girlfriend, the late Zara Gretti (real name- Margaret Mary-Joseph) who passed on at the age of 28 after suffering multiple Sclerosis and Nollywood actor Muna Obiekwe whose controversial picture with a fellow actress has kept the industry unsettled, among others.

Here’s a full look at all of our top 10 lists for Nigeria in March 2014.
Top trending people
1. Dora Akunyili
2. Leon Balogun
3. Oscar Pistorius
4. Zara Gretti
5. Muna Obiekwe
6. Akas Baba
7. Biola Ige
8. Fred Phelps
9. Olanike Olaiya

10.   Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Photo: Prof. Akunyili at National Confab 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Breaking News: Nnenna Nwakanma to keynote @NetMundial 2014

Nigerian-born Information and Communication Technology (ICT) advisor and Free and Open Source Software advocate, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma is to keynote at the forthcoming NetMundial being hosted by the government of Brazil, reports ITRealms.

Confirming this development, Nwakanma disclosed to ITRealms that she received an invitation from the chairman of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance 2014, tagged ‘NetMundial,’ Professor Virgílio Fernandes Almeida to keynote on behalf of the Civil Societies.

Also, ITRealms gathered that Nnenna has been slated to speak at the opening ceremony where heads of government over 23 countries have confirmed attendance including a delegation from the Nigerian government led by the Federal Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.

Nnenna, known for her ‘Africaness,’ frankness and human rights activism is expected to address the gathering for some eight minutes.

“I have replied to say ‘I will be speaking from the civil society perspective, which is my stakeholder group,’" she affirmed to ITRealms.

She expressed optimism this will be pulled off well.

ITRealms also gathered that Prof. Almeida has invited some other distinguished names to co-chair and lead the Netmundial organisation in the spirit of multistakeholders.

They include Prof. Jeanette Hofmann from the Academic Community, Subi Chaturvedi – Civil Society, Mr. Fadi Chedadé of ICANN representing technical community and Andile Ngcaba from the private sector.

Also there are four committees working in the Netmundial, namely the High-Level Multistakeholder Committee, Executive Multistakeholder Committee, Logistics and Organizational Committee and Council of Government Advisors.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix: Nnenna Nwakanma

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Visafone mast collapses in Surulere

A mast belonging to Visafone Communications on Sunday morning collapsed in a Lagos suburb of Surulere, reports ITRealms.

This, according to ITRealms investigations as affirmed by officials of the company was attributed to the heavy wind and downpour in Lagos over the night of Sunday.

ITRealms gathered that although no life was lost, there was absence of network and service in Surulere and environs on Visafone network until late afternoon, when the services were reportedly restored partially.

ITRealms recall that Visafone Communications Ltd emerged as a result of strategic acquisition of three (3) Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile network operators that had operations for up to 8 years with 30,000 subscribers and coverage in different parts of Nigeria, was incorporated on June 20, 2007 after its acquisition of Cellcom and received a Unified Access Service Licence as a telecom operator from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on August 1, 2007 positioned it to offer mobile, fixed and any other telecommunications service to its subscribers.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

ICANN seeks public comment on 5-yr strategic plan

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking public comment on the Draft ICANN Five–Year Strategic Plan (FY16–FY20) reports ITRealms.

The comment period is  through May 2014 and hopes to built on community input received throughout an extensive, public strategy conversation.

The draft Strategic Plan, ITRealms proposes a new vision, reiterates ICANN's existing mission, and describes five focus areas with strategic objectives and goals.

According to ICANN, each goal includes proposed, strategic outcomes, risks, measures and phasing over five years. 

Thus, ICANN is seeking general feedback, as well as input on the proposed measurable outcomes for the Focus Area Goals.

“Your comments will help inform the final ICANN Five–Year Strategic Plan,” official said.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Broadband: 40m subscribers mark achieved in 2013

An estimated 40 million new broadband subscribers lashed on the rave of the moment technology, just as 14.1 per cent growth was made in Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) marking a year of steady growth, ITRealms.

According an official press statement made available to ITRealms, this figure was achieved in 2013, raking total broadband lines to 678.6 million world-wide.

ITRealms notes that the overall figures showed steady growth but slowing as older markets reach saturation, hence, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is still the predominant technology, but fiber continues to outpace all access types in new deployments.

The Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is nearing the 100 million subscriber threshold with 21 per cent growth in 2013 and 17 million new subscribers taking the total to 96 million at year end 2013.

As affirmed by Broadband Forum in its latest newsletter, the update shows a slowing but steady growth in broadband subscribers with some significant trends in technology and regional growth in new markets.

The figures, prepared by Point Topic as sighted by ITRealms, highlighted the addition of over 40 million new users world-wide, an annual increase of 6.15 per cent, bringing the global total up to 678,455,893m.

Speaking at the Fixed Access Networks Summit in Berlin, Germany, last week, the Broadband
Forum chief executive officer, Robin Mersh, said that these figures for 2013 paints an extremely interesting picture both regionally and in terms of the changes in technology choices as some markets reach saturation and others started their digital journey.

“They are a great illustration of the ‘second age of broadband access,’ with existing customers demanding more bandwidth and operators introducing new technologies,” he said.

In addition, he said, the figures show that copper-based technologies such as DSL, Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) and ADSL2plus continue to be dominant, although fiber-based technologies, which include Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) and VDSL2 are taking a firmer

grip and with growth rates of 17.6 per cent overall.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FG names Peter Jack, new DG of NITDA

Breaking News @ITRealms

The Federal Government has confirmed the appointment of a new Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA), in the person of Mr. Peter Olu Jack, ITRealms can authoritatively report.

ITRealms reports that this was contained in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja endorsed by Mr Sam Nwaobasi, the Special Assistant Media to the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
The appointment ITRealms was for a first term of four years with effect from April 7, 2014.
The pronouncement came on the long awaited appointment which left Director, Software Outsourcing, Dr. Ashiru Daura, acting as the Director General of the agency since July 13, 2013.
High placed sources at NiTDA revealed to ITRealms that the new DG, Mr. Jack, will resume formally on Monday, April 14, this year and that all is now set in that regard.

ITRealms also confirmed that appointment of Mr. Jack was as a mark of track records within the Information Technology space which included his activeness in NITDA for over seven years as the director cum technical assistant to the former DG, Prof. Cleopas Officer Angaye.

Additionally, ITRealms gathered that Mr. Jack, who is a fellow, United Nations University - International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST) Center for Electronic Governance as well as a doctoral Student, Information Technology Policy Programme, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, South Korea before he joined NITDA.

ITRealms recalls that Mr. Peter Jack had represented the DG/CEO, on several key committees, including the National Committee on Outsourcing, Consumer Credit and National Identity Management; Public Service Reform Committee; and National IT Policy Review and Strategic Plan Implementation Committee to name a few. He led the team that wrote the National Outsourcing Policy.

Equally, he was involved in the planning processes that paved the way for the National eGovernment Strategies Limited (NeGst); the special purpose vehicle of the Federal Government set up to implement Nigeria’s eGovernment Public Private Partnership Projects. 
He was seconded from NITDA as a Consultant to NeGSt from 2004 to 2007.

Proud graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife with BSc in Chemical Engineering, he also holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Lagos.

Mr. Peter Jack is a Cisco Certified Networking Associate and Cisco Certified Academy Instructor as Train the Trainer. He went on to set up the National Cisco Networking Academy Programme in Nigeria and trained the first set of instructors at NITDA.

Further, ITRealms notes that Mr. Jack until his latest appointment was a member of the Local Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group (LMAG) of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum where he represented the RoseMaryn Taribi Foundation and contributed his quota on how to move the nation’s Internet Governance forward.

Mr. Jack was reputed to have designed and implemented the Niger Delta Youth Computer Training Programme for Niger Delta Development Commission in 2003.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix: Mr. Peter Jack, new DG/CEO of NITDA

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Thomson Reuters unveils technology for currency traders

Foremost source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, Thomson Reuters, has strengthened its presence in Africa by unveiling an African strategy and a new fully automated foreign exchange trade platform technology tagged TRFXT, reports ITRealms.

This strategic plans, ITRealms gathered is to offer enabling platform for Africa to actualise her huge potentials and bring to bear the Thomson Reuters global heritage across 100 countries and many decades of providing customers with platforms and technologies that give competitive edge in business, forex trading, governance, tax and accounting, financial and risk analysis, science and intellectual property markets.

Phil Weisberg, Global Head of Thomson Reuters Foreign Exchange, speaking to ITRealms in Lagos, said that Nigeria has become Africa’s undisputed financial powerhouse and has continued to attract massive global interest, thus making the country one of the most important markets for Thomson Reuters.

“Nigeria is a key frontier market in Africa with a huge potential for growth and technology platforms can aid the market to leap ahead and grow rapidly by creating and sustaining a transparent and robust system, guide regulators, increase efficiency and liquidity and generate electronic multilateral conversations among key financial players,” Weisberg said, stressing that Thomson Reuters is in the market to enable this and the African success story.

He further described the TRFXT platform as giving customers access to specialist data and the right suite of tools to manage trading risk, identify new opportunities and differentiate forex trading strategies.

“Our intelligent information is a unique synthesis of human intelligence, industry expertise and innovative technology that equips decision-makers with the knowledge to act and enable them make better decisions faster,” Weisberg said.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Net Neutrality: Monitor citizens, don’t touch the internet

The proposal adopted by the European Union (EU) parliament Thursday,  may not after all solve the big problems when it comes to providing citizens with access to broadband infrastructure, ITRealms reports. 

According the latest Strand Consult’s analytic made available to ITRealms indicated that previously research has noted that the new EU proposals on how to harmonize the European telecommunications market has gained a lot of attention and EU Commission proposal for cheaper roaming means collapse of the European mobile industry.

Also, ITRealms reports that Strand Consult pointed out that there was a high risk that consumers would buy a subscriber identification module (SIM) card in Lithuania, for instance, where traffic is cheap, and then used it in other EU countries, where traffic is more expensive.

The Strand Consult research called its “mobile arbitrage,” hence it believes this will become a lucrative speculative market for financial traders, some operators and some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), however perverse and unintended by the EU.

Further, the EU had listened to criticism, but insisted roaming will be subject to ‘reasonable use’ even as EU Commission stipulates that consumers cannot exploit the new rules, for example, buying a SIM card in Lithuania but using it in the United Kingdom (UK), so as to benefit from Lithuanian prices.

ITRealms equally reports that the EU had made its position known that usage would be monitored, and “excessive use” of this tactic would not be allowed.

This, experts at Strand Consult told ITRealms sounds different in practice, noting that the EU Parliament adopted a proposal where it will likely ask telecom companies to monitor the their clients' international traffic, but neglecting the real thing.

“The EU statement reveals that the Commission has not considered the consequences. It has made a feel-good/sound good telecommunications package designed to win votes before the Parliamentary election without addressing or harmonizing the underlying conditions that creates the differentials in roaming in the first place namely the infrastructure costs, taxes, contract obligations etc.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Press Release: 2 Nigerians, 3 others win 25,000 dollars Google’s ‘Africa Connected’ contest

Google on Tuesday announced the five winners of its Africa Connected competition at an event in Nairobi, graced by world tech leaders. The competition was organised to reward young Africans who explore internet space to their advantage.

“There are over 1 billion people living in Sub-Saharan Africa and currently 16 percent of them are online. With Africa Connected, we wanted to celebrate how the web is changing lives in Africa, and show how it is contributing to the socioeconomic development of the continent. 

Selecting the shortlist was no easy task: each winner shares a unique perspective of how they have used the internet to solve a problem, earn a living, or create opportunities, not just for themselves, but also for others around them”, says Affiong Osuchukwu, Google Lead for the Africa Connected initiative.

Eseoghene Odiete, one of the Nigerian winners shares her experience: “I discovered my passion through YouTube search. When I graduated I needed to do something meaningful with my life so I went in search of how to create handbags using Google search and YouTube. I made a lot of discoveries that wowed my imagination. That was how I started what got me here today”.

Eric Obuh popularly known as Vocal Slender who used to be a dump site scavenger also made the list of Nigerian winners “After I was discovered by the BBC in ‘Welcome to Lagos’, I became known around the world. Since then, I have recorded songs which I share with new audiences on YouTube. I also use Google+ and YouTube to raise awareness about underprivileged youngsters in the slums of Lagos, helping to raise scholarship money, and encourage kids to stay in school” he hints

Christopher Panford from Ghana runs a transport company helping Ghanaian drivers’ access vehicle loans, which they use to earn a living. He uses Google Maps to constantly monitor the location of vehicles under bank loans. This assures banks that their loans are protected, while Christopher empowers more drivers.

Eunice Namirembe from Uganda runs The Medical Concierge Group which helps Ugandan communities’ access quality healthcare and information.  Physician Eunice has built a 24-hour ambulance call centre by using the Google Cloud console and Google Maps to record patient information and track patient locations. With these tools, Eunice and her team are able to help connect more Ugandans to medical services, thus saving lives in the process.

Winner and blogger from Kenya Sitawa Wafula says, “Right now I feel humbled and honoured that mental health and epilepsy - which are considered taboo topics - have been put on the same platform as some very innovative projects.  I can’t believe that doing what comes so naturally to me, to help raise awareness about mental health, would be recognized by a company like Google, and be such an inspiration to others.”

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Okigbo jnr takes over at ISPON, promises dialogue, continuity

Newly elected president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) Mr. Pius Okigbo Jnr has promised to continue his leadership from where the erstwhile president, Chief Chris Uwaje may have stopped, reports ITRealms.

This is coming as he lamented the exclusion of the Nigerian Information Technology (IT) in the ongoing National Conference, which commence a few weeks ago.

Speaking to ITRealms exclusively he expressed confidence in dialogue and promised to continue to do his best in improving the local content and local software precisely.

He also told ITRealms that his leadership will engage the government to ensure that his desire to improve on the lots of the upcoming software start-ups in the country.

ITRealms recalls that his emergence was the outcome of the recent Annual General Meeting of ISPON.

Okigbo Jnr, who is the chairman, Infosoft Group was a former first vice president of ISPON equally lamented the inconsistency in the curriculum of tertiary institutions in the country to align with the demand of the industry.

For him it is not acceptable that students would spend four years in the universities only to graduate and expected to be retrained by the private sector.

Further, he described the exclusion of IT professionals in the national conference as unfortunate, even though it’s a position well deserved.

Okigbo Jnr who was accompanied by immediate past president of ISPON and some other members of the National Executive Council (NEC), Chief Chris Uwaje, the press conference signals the formal handover between himself and Uwaje, promises to carry the members of ISPON along.

Speaking earlier, Chief Uwaje commended ISPON members and industry stakeholders for supporting him and the organisation during his tenure.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix; Uwaje signing the handover note while Pius Okigbo Jnr watches