Connect with us

News

2.3 GHz, Nitel/Mtel Muddles Killing Telecom

Published

on

Kindly share this post

The fast paced growth that greeted the initial telecom revolution in Nigeria is slowing down and it is disheartening.
Like everything Nigeria, the country is allowing opportunities that come on a platter of gold disappear because of self interest and greed.
It is also shocking that the reasons for the slow growth are feeble.
Look at the odious government intervention that halted the 2.3 GHz licensing round; and the claims and counter charges that greeted the privatization of Nitel/Mtel, the premier national carrier.
These events took the shine off the industry pushing investors to sit on the fence and watch with cautious optimism as Nigeria smears her feces on self.
The 2.3GHz frequency band licensing round is a clear case of executive recklessness and some degree of arrogance.
Where two elephants fight, it is the grass that bears the brunt. In this case as minister of information and communications and the former executive vice chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) threw their weights around, the country lost ground and is yet to recover.
It would be recalled that in 2009, the Nigerian Communications Commission cleared four companies to receive spectrum in the 2.3GHz frequency range out of the 41 applications it received.
The process was entangled in controversy at the close of the bid when three companies: Mobitel Limited, Spectranet and Galaxy Wireless were said to have met the obligations and later NCC claimed that Galaxy Wireless did not pay up as at when due and allegedly attempted to replace them with Multilinks-Telkom.
It will be recalled that government cancelled the licences citing improper bidding and auctioning process and ordered a fresh sale but the determined Mobitel pressed its case and got its license.
Apart from Mobitel which got the nod to roll out on 2.3 GHz (the robust next generation technology), three more licenses are still in the freezer.
Also in the freezer is Nigeria’s chance to harness the technology touted as very important in the race leading up to broadband revolution because it helps operators provide mobile WiMAX services that are potentially much more transformative than any lone technological item.
As the uncertainty over the licenses lingers, stakeholders are asking if one man or group can hold down a country of more than 140 million people.
In the short term, Nigeria is thought to be losing over $2billion in fresh investment and chance to make broadband affordable and enhanced.
Broadband revolution is about a huge increase in the range of services that can be offered via the internet and digital television. It promises a new age in entertainment and communications, as well as a major boost for e-commerce.
Elsewhere, the continued inactivity at Nitel/Mtel has seen customers leave operator in their droves, due to poor network quality, with several service outages.
It is now doubtful if carrier can regain the ground that it has lost to its larger rivals.
Attempts to rejig the company with the recent privatization which saw New Generations Telecommunications Consortium emerging the winner with $2.5billion offer for Nitel/Mtel has been embroiled in controversy.
It is shocking that government is still hesitant to accept the sum for a carrier said to be worthless.
The sale to New Generation Consortium was the fifth on the long and tortuous journey to privatize the national carrier.
The rational thing to do would been to grant the consortium nod and wait and see if they would not meet their offer.
Coupled with the seeming lethargy in the auctioning of the remaining 2.3 GHz licenses, it appears Nigeria may sit at outskirt of the burgeoning broadband revolution.
The only way to avoid that is to ensure that every operator which is entitled to any license gets it.
The federal government should be mindful of sending wrong signals to foreign investors with its reckless policy somersault and reversals.
At least in the interest of the masses which the government claims to represent, telecom should be allowed to ‘cheetah pole-vault’ the economy.
If this is done Nigeria stands to gain from broadband revolution said to be of the same magnitude as the industrial revolution of the 1800s.
It is touted with the ability to speed up education, human resource development, as well as research and development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Microsoft Moves into 5G Race with Azure Cloud for Telecom Operators

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Microsoft Corp unveiled a new cloud platform on Monday aimed at enabling telecom operators to build 5G networks faster, reduce costs and sell customised services to business clients.

After banning China’s Huawei from its telecom network, the U.S. government has been pushing big American companies such as Microsoft to get more involved with 5G – a technology which promises to enable everything from self-driving cars to remote surgery and more automated manufacturing.

The new platform will be on Azure, Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing business, and the company says it will reduce infrastructure costs, give flexibility to add services on demand and use artificial intelligence to automate operations.

Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president for Azure Networking, told Reuters that it could cut costs by 30%-40% in some cases.

The developer of Windows and Office software entered the 5G arena after its acquisition of cloud networking companies Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch earlier this year.

“The telco DNA was obtained through those acquisitions and we went from a small number of engineers in this space to literally hundreds of engineers,” said Khalidi. “On the other hand, the foundational pieces, including edge compute, we have had in a pipeline for many years.”

The company has already partnered with companies ranging from telecom operators such as Verizon VZ.N and AT&T T.N to network equipment firms such as Samsung 005930.KS and Mavenir to either use or sell the new platform to clients.

Microsoft’s move will increase competition for existing 5G service vendors like Nokia NOKIA.HE and Ericsson ERICb.ST, said CCS Insight analyst Nicholas McQuire.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

Interior Ministry Boosts Digitization Process with New ICT Projects

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, over the weekend commissioned the e-Library, e-Law Library, CCTV Surveillance network services and other projects in his office in Abuja to digitize work processes and procedures in the Ministry.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said that the projects were part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at repositioning the Ministry for better performance in line with its mandate of providing internal security and citizenship integrity for Nigerians and foreigners alike.

According to him, the e-Library will avail officers the opportunity to access the right information, in the right form and time.

“The e-Library gives our legal and other officers 24/7 access to a wide range of online resources, which can be updated in real time and we believe this will enhance the quality of their work to the benefit of the Ministry”, he said.

The Minister further assured of government’s commitment to putting in place measures that will boost staff capacity and also ensure self-development, with a view to ensuring proper implementation of projects, policies and programmes that will improve the lives of Nigerians which would lead to economic transformation in line with the present Administration’s policy thrust.

Aregbesola emphasized that crime and criminality has become complex to handle, the world over, hence the need to deploy modern technology to fight it.

He therefore called on staff to see the projects as morale booster for self-development and urged them to continue to support the efforts of government towards improving the lives of its citizens.

Earlier, Lanre Adesuyi, the Chief Executive Officer, Havillah Merchants Limited, thanked the Minister for giving them the opportunity to provide workers with state of the art equipment for efficient service delivery.

On his own part, Mr. Mohammed Mustapha, the Managing Director, Aliph Technologies, called on government at all levels to see the deployment of modern technology as one of the best ways to tackle security challenges in the contemporary world.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

Heritage Bank, PWC, Deloitte Canvass Use of Tech to Tackle Fraud & Rescind Effects of Covid-19

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service provider has called on internal auditors of banks to adopt the various digital technologies to prevent fraud and annul the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the financial ecosystem.

Ifie Sekibo, managing director/CEO of Heritage Bank, speaking at the just concluded 47th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), disclosed that for improved banking operations and safer financial system for stakeholders, internal auditors must be dynamic and quick to adopt various digital measures.

Raising the alarming impact of fraudulent activities in the banking sector, Sekibo quoted PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC’s) Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, revealing that that the total cost of cybercrimes is worth an eye-watering $42 billion, which was cash taken straight off companies’ bottom line, whilst 13% of those who had experienced  fraud said they had lost $50 million-plus.

Sekibo, who spoke on the theme, “Elevating Internal Audit’s Role in the Face of Emerging Risks and Opportunities” organised virtually and hosted by the Heritage Bank, urged, “While it was sufficient for yesterday’s auditor to understand regular and routine banking practices such as credit, treasury, etc in his traditional assurance role, for him to be relevant in harnessing the opportunities in today’s business world, he must become versed in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analytics, fraud management, regulatory pronouncements, forensics etc and having equipped himself, present balanced, objective audit reports to Executive Management while striking the right balance between the assurance and consulting responsibilities.”

In her keynote address, titled, “Elevating Internal Audit Role In The Face Of Emerging Risks and Opportunities,” Ibukun Beecroft, Partner Risk Advisory at Deloitte, noted that the banking industry in Nigeria today has adopted various digital measures to keep the business running and delivering services to the customers but there was need for Internal Audit (IA) positioned to provide the required assurance and consulting services in the face of the changes and attendant risk, particularly increased cyber-risks.

Quoting 2018 Financial Stability Report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, she stated that Banks recorded 25,029 confirmed cases of fraud and this resulted in a loss of N2.21 billion. More than 90% of fraud cases in 2018 were perpetrated via technologically driven channels.

“As Internal Auditors, the knowledge of technology would enable us identify gaps in our core banking applications and other applications and provide relevant recommendations to eliminating loopholes that may serve as an avenue for potential fraud.

She, however, advised auditors on the need to focus on advanced technologies and risk management operations as reflected around the Three Lines of Defense (3LOD) churned out by the Institute of Internal Auditors, which create opportunities for IA and its future role.

Beecroft warned that the ever-changing landscape and evolving risks in the banking industry could render the current internal audit plan obsolete.

According to her, internal auditors should reprioritise the audit plan as soon as possible to provide assurance over the most consequential risks while being cognisant of the impact on operations.

“To take advantage of these changes and disruptions, auditors need to rethink their role by adapting to and embracing change, enabling the IA function to become more agile, nimble, and forward-looking, thus driving change through the 3LOD,” Beecroft stated.

Yetunde Oladeji, director Internal Audit Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (PWC), who spoke on the theme, “Elevating IA’s role to meet today’s emerging risks,” advised that the banking sector should be dynamic, prioritse digitization and flexibible workforce strategies as these would determine its ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances to survive and thrive.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Trending