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Broadband Expansion Driver of N150Bn e-Commerce Industry-Iroegbu

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Nigeria’s N150 billion electronic commerce (e-commerce) industry is set for significant growth in the next few years, riding on the back of sustained efforts by the Federal Government and the private sector to enhance broadband availability, analysts have said.

 Affordable data cost offered by mobile operators as well as consistent acquisition of smartphones have also been identified as major factors that would drive e-commerce adoption.

 25 percent of Nigeria’s over 116 million mobile subscribers use smartphones, according to global market research company, TNS.

Industry analysts expect online sales to reach N1.25 trillion by the end of 2013. Besides, online sales grew 25 percent in 2011 to N62.4 billion, up an additional N12.5 billion from N49.9 billion in 2010.

Kanu Iroegbu, certified digital marketing consultant, is optimistic that this upward growth trajectory in online sales will not recede, because electronic commerce companies are increasingly channelling their energies and resources towards providing locally-relevant solutions to Nigerian customers.

The preceding year has seen e-commerce companies’ move away from merely cloning international brands. In view of this, investor confidence in the e-commerce landscape, according to industry analysts, is growing tremendously.

e-Commerce is growing very rapidly, an estimated volume of about N75 billion was done by e-commerce in Nigeria as at 2012 and if that is correct, in another four or five years we will be looking at N150 billion.

A report has it that with a population of over 160 million and an already thriving e-commerce market, Nigeria is becoming a game-changer in African e-commerce and that Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has grown exponentially over the past five years, with the recent implementation of its five-year National Broadband Plan, which will see Nigeria’s broadband internet penetration increasing by 80 percent by the end of 2018, the country is likely to surpass South Africa’s e-commerce market.

Iroegbu while assessing the security aspect of the development said that “Ecommerce security is a vital part of online trading. It is essential for customers to be relaxed for protection of their account or credit card information while billing takes place.

If this will not be the case, the customer won’t take the risk of trading online then, thereby affecting the online trading in a big way.

“With new technology, businesses and companies are modifying their Ecommerce website for more functionality that increases the security and convenience of the user. The four phase of an E-commerce website can be mentioned as given: Brochure ware; Web storefront; One-to-One Customer Relationship and Communities that are of Interest”.

He defined Brochure ware as a kind of an E-commerce tool for the companies.

“A site would definitely be more good and effective if it picks up the advantage of the interactive ability of the Internet like that of navigated links to go ahead and back over the website. One more method of promoting the business online is encouraging the customers for sending questions, providing feedbacks, and inquiring about the products. These contacts can then be further transformed to valuable leads that complement the sales channel of the company, or online services.

“Web storefront – It expands the functionality of the site and includes buying and selling online that allows the customer the chance to visit a site and then purchase services or goods. Web storefront creates demand, acquires information of customer, fulfill the orders and process the payment also.

“One-to-One Customer Relationship – Here the information of the customer that is acquired from the past interaction for personalizing the content of the site, or its services and products according to the needs of the customer and his/her preferences is brought into use. The marketing campaigns on Internet also provide better addressing to the needs of the customer, which can thereby increase the satisfaction of the customer and retain him/her which will thus result in higher amount of sales and more profits.

“Communities that are of Interest – Here the information of the customer is brought into use for identifying and engaging the online community with the personalized services and products that is tailored specifically for the community that is created.

Ecommerce has certainly changed the face of business and made shopping a relaxed and fun-filled experience”.

The Certified Digital Marketing Consultant added that performing trade over the internet is not an easy business therefore designing of E-commerce websites requires good amount of research.

 


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NCC Holds First Virtual Bi-Annual Meeting with Telcos

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and senior executives of telecommunication companies on complaints management recently held the regular bi-annual meeting, in compliance with COVID-19 management protocols instituted by the Federal Government.

NCC Holds First Virtual Bi-Annual Meeting with Telcos

Prof Umar Danbatta, EVC, NCC

At the meeting, which focused on consumer relations and complaint management processes, the NCC and the telecom service providers agreed that the compensation policy should be revisited and complied with at all times.

This is to ensure full compliance with the new Complaint Categories and Service Level Agreement (CC/SLA) consented to by the NCC and the service providers in the telecommunication ecosystem.

Additionally, it was decided that the Commission and telecom service providers will hold follow-up discussions on “Fair Usage Policy” on unlimited data bundles/data rollover, in order to provide a clearer explanation and better understanding of the processes and procedures of the policy for the benefit of the consumers.

The Commission hereby wishes to restate that its direction of June 2018 to service providers to commence implementation of data rollover from 26 June 2018, remains in force.

In other words, a subscriber’s unused data must be rolled over to his/her subsequent data subscription.

Therefore, the Commission urges service providers to continue to inform and educate subscribers on the procedures and processes for data rollover.

Service providers also agreed to ensure that senior-level customer relations officers support their respective complaints management teams, to resolve complaints that were not resolved to the satisfaction of the consumers when such complaints were first reported.

The service providers also promised to ensure that complaints are resolved in both the letter and spirit of the recently-reviewed Service Level Agreement (SLA).

With respect to services subscribed to through third parties (such as banks), which are not rendered, the meeting resolved that telecom service providers should explore initiating service level agreement with banks to ensure uniformity and speed in the resolution of complaints relating to billing.

All parties to the meeting equally agreed that telecom service providers will carry out pervasive consumer education and enlightenment campaigns about their products and services to ensure their subscribers have the information they require to make informed decisions and get value for money spent.

The commission wishes to state that it was very pleased with the impressive attendance, participation, and the quality of decisions taken at the bi-annual meeting.

The NCC is, therefore, determined to continue to work closely with the service providers and other stakeholders in the Nigerian telecom sector in order to improve on the quality of service, and by implication, the quality of consumer experience.

The bi-annual meeting, which has held regularly since 2018, focuses on ensuring improvement in Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) in the telecom industry.

It has served as a veritable platform for the Commission and service providers to discuss and agree on measures that will enhance prompt and effective consumer complaint resolution in telecom service provision in Nigeria.

 


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Ericsson Launches Integrated Packet Core Firewall to Boost 5G Core Security

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Ericsson is advancing 5G core network security for communications service providers (CSPs) through the launch of the cloud native Ericsson Packet Core Firewall.

Core network security is a key factor in CSPs’ forward business planning as they pursue innovative new business opportunities powered by 5G and emerging technologies.

Ericsson’s new solution, part of the Ericsson 5G platform, is aimed at enabling CSPs to pursue those opportunities not only through the best packet core network security capabilities, but also in the most cost-effective way for their business.

Powered by A10 Networks’ advanced security technology, the Ericsson Packet Core Firewall solution is already seamlessly integrated with Ericsson Packet Core Gateway in  Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core offering. The solution also supports end-to-end network slicing and edge computing.

The cloud native offering is optimized to scale with user plane to the edge of the network to cater for secure core network 5G use cases. By protecting a communications service provider’s core network – including sensitive service provider data and customer data – the all-in-one solution secures 5G service availability.

The solution delivers more than 50 percent total cost of ownership reduction over dedicated user plane security solutions, while maintaining 5G latency. This is enabled through a single CNF (Cloud Native Network Function) solution with simplified maintenance and orchestration.

Folke Anger, Head of Packet Core Solutions, Ericsson, says: “Securing service availability in 5G requires a holistic view beyond dedicated security solutions.

“We are now launching the Ericsson Packet Core Firewall seamlessly integrated into our Packet Core Gateway. This will provide our customers with substantial total cost of ownership improvements while ensuring their 5G services to the edge.”

Patrick Donegan, Founder and Principal Analyst, HardenStance, says: “Telecom operators need to think differently about how they implement security with a 5G Core. Ericsson’s Packet Core Gateway together with Packet Core Firewall integrates user plane and security functions in a single Cloud native Network Function (CNF).

“This allows significant TCO savings and is well optimized for edge use cases. It also enables automated, closed-loop, threat mitigation independent of transport equipment vendor.”

Dhrupad Trivedi, CEO and Board Chair, A10 Networks, says: “Mobile operators are transitioning to more cloud native and distributed architectures to support 5G. This increases the critical need for security and network availability.

“A10 is excited to expand our partnership with Ericsson to enable current and emerging 5G use cases. The Ericsson Packet Core Firewall powered by A10 Networks is ready for cloud native deployments and addresses the evolving business needs for operators.”


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Anambra Indicates Interest to Host NITDA’s South-East Zonal Office

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The Anambra State Government has indicated interest to provide enabling environment for the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) to situate its South-East Zonal Office in the State.

The State, also among other requests, expressed willingness to host some of NITDA’s events, programmes and establishment of information Technology hub in the State.

The State made the requests during a working visit to NITDA by Mr Theo Manfa, managing director/chief executive officer, Anambra State Information and Communication Technology Agency, (ANSICTA).

Mr Manfa in his address,  expressed that the call for special requests by the state is necessitated by the fact that the state “has long been known as a home of innovation and entrepreneurship, through the various markets like Onitsha and Nnewi and the plethora of locally produced goods they spawned over time.”

He said that innovation and entrepreneurship are important elements to drive the digital economy which the nation is striving to create adding that the state has been watching with keen interest the activities of Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NITDA which necessitated the intended partnership.

While itemizing the identified possible areas of collaboration, Mr Manfa said that the state would like to partner NITDA on the newly launched Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture, (NGEA), training of youths in hardware and software skills, entrenchment of e-Government culture and learning interventions for secondary school students with the aid of Unity Board.

In his remark, Dr Vincent Olatunji, director, e-Government Development and Regulations, who represented Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the meeting said it is gratifying to know that the state is keenly following the activities of the Agency in its drive to achieving digital economy for the nation.

He commended the state for developing its ICT policy to serve as road map on how the state would execute its IT plans adding that ANSICTA should ensure it drives the policy for the state.

While assuring the state that all its requests are not beyond what the Agency could provide, he enjoined it to formally write to the Agency by itemizing and prioritizing the area of collaborations.

The highlight of the meeting was the presentation of Award of Appreciation for his outstanding achievements in driving the digital economy.


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