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Ericsson, MIT Technology Review Insights Release a Report on How Operators are Preparing for 5G

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Ericsson, in collaboration with MIT Technology Review Insights, released a report titled “The 5G Operator” to examine how telecom operators are preparing for 5G opportunities and challenges.

5G network technology gives telecommunications operators the ability to deliver many new applications and services in dynamic ways. Low-latency connectivity, ultra-high broadband speeds, and mobile edge computing capabilities will create myriad innovative business opportunities as well as consumer experiences.

Many of 5G’s clearer use cases—such as autonomous vehicle fleets, internet of things, and management of fully-automated factories—are enterprise-focused, which gives operators a path to new revenue creation.

But such services are still only just emerging, and carriers do not possess all the vertical-industry knowledge or specific application development experience to effectively explore the seemingly infinite service opportunities that 5G presents.

There is a growing understanding that operators cannot do it alone, and that an innovative ecosystem of partners will be crucial to future success.

This report explores how IT and network executives at leading operators worldwide are creating a roadmap to 5G, including strategies for rethinking network operations, IT, business support systems (BSS), and business processes to accommodate a growing number of digital service partners in rapidly expanding ecosystems. The key findings are as follows:

  • Collaboration is the operating model for 5G delivery. 5G provides telecoms operators with powerful technological capabilities that can dramatically accelerate the digital transformation of companies across industries and geographies.

But executives interviewed for this report state that getting the full value of 5G is not something they can do on their own. To take advantage of the infinite possibilities will require an ecosystem of partners, and partner collaboration will become the baseline for success.

Partnerships will include hardware and software companies, traditional and digital players, and large and small innovators—all of which can bring specific application and domain expertise needed to exploit new niches.

  • Scaling 5G services will require an ‘app store’ style of customized connectivity. To be an effective innovation partner in the 5G era, BSS functions such as billing, service creation, and catalog management must be open and agile, and provide opportunity for partners to “plug-and-play.”

One implication of this is that BSS capabilities, empowered by AI, analytics, and automation, will provide building blocks for partners to employ by themselves in a type of “app store.”

The goal for becoming truly scalable and innovative is to become close to “zero touch,” which will require greater network and IT integration for the automation of key BSS functions such as “configure, price, quote.”

  • Rich data sets offer infinite opportunities for automation, AI, and real-time insight. With increasingly rich data sets, operators are becoming their customers’ partners in business intelligence, AI, and in generating new opportunities for value creation.

This requires operators to become more embedded in their customers’ digital businesses using increasingly virtualized and automated capabilities, provisioning uniquely defined services around specific customer requirements.

  • Cloud migration is a key success factor for BSS. Cloud migration is certainly at the top of the agenda for network operators in their preparation for 5G.

But there is less maturity in moving network functions to the cloud than there is in IT, and there is little appetite for moving stable applications to a cloud environment where they may be more costly or challenging to virtualize.

Customer experience is one capability that executives agree should be moved to the cloud—a virtualized, on-demand service delivery platform is the foundation upon which new innovative services will be created swiftly, in collaboration with the carrier, its service partners, and customers.

  • 5G will be an organizational as well as technological transformation. From sales and marketing to operations, IT, network management, pricing, and billing, there will be enormous changes that operators must plan for in 5G roadmaps.

The internal processes of telecoms operators are usually more aligned to consumer than enterprise segments, and this will need to change as connected devices soon outnumber human subscribers and complex enterprise services are deployed at scale.

A huge shift is the closer integration of network and IT teams, processes, and platforms, as service provisioning becomes more virtualized and new offers are developed with partners in cloud-native environments.


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ipNX, USTDA Ink Partnership Deal to Develop Nigeria’s ICT Infrastructure

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ipNX, Nigeria’s pioneering and leading information, communications and technology (ICT) company and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have signed a partnership deal that will further support the development of Nigeria’s ICT and broadband infrastructure and help ipNX expand its fibre-optic network to more than 200,000 residences in Lagos and other locations, including Abuja and Port Harcourt.

A virtual signing ceremony that signalled the beginning of this far reaching relationship between the two parties was held on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Through this innovative initiative, the USTDA is supporting ipNX to promote inclusive, secure and sustainable connectivity across the nation.

The agreements were made possible as a result of several engagements between the USTDA delegation to Nigeria and the leadership of ipNX; and will advance the goals of the recently updated Nigerian Broadband Plan.

At the Signing Ceremony, Ejovi Aror, group managing director of ipNX, said: “We believe that world-class connectivity and broadband internet access will be pivotal to the digital transformation and socio-economic development of Nigeria.

‘We are very positive that this project will play a crucial role in making our belief a reality.”

Aror added that with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the case for a vibrant ICT sector has never been stronger and the new partnership will bring ipNX a step closer to achieving its mission to continually leverage technology to create innovative solutions that help mankind thrive, while making a crucial impact to the lives of Nigerians across the country.

Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, said’ “These projects will support the development of Nigeria’s telecoms infrastructure and help to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Plan.

“The U.S. Government has committed significant resources to improving telecoms infrastructure in Nigeria and this support is crucial as we believe that investment in critical ICT projects will strengthen the resiliency outlined in Nigeria’s economic sustainability plan.”

Also present at the virtual event, the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engr. Bako Wakil, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, said: “The support this grant will provide to the telecommunications sector, in particular broadband, is in line with the National Digital Strategy and the National Broadband Plan.

“The NCC would like to congratulate ipNX as it shows the company’s integrity and commitment to be selected for this grant”.

ipNX also revealed that it intends to continue to work with USTDA beyond the preliminary stage, to execute many more projects into the future that will bring about the digital transformation and socio-economic development of major cities in Nigeria in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

With their partnership, both parties fully agree that further development of the nation’s broadband infrastructure is key to unlocking the potential promised by Nigeria’s digital economy.

According to the World Bank’s ‘Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic Report’ released in 2019, Broadband is a key enabler to harness the digital economy transformation and high-speed broadband has the potential to accelerate Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

 


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Manfa Pledges to Collaborate with NITDA for Establishment of Zonal Office in Anambra State

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Mr Theo Manfa, managing director/chief executive officer, Anambra State Information and Communication Technology Agency, (ANSICTA) has hinted that they are ready to collaborate with National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) for the establishment of the agency’s South-East Zonal office in the State.

 

He stated this when he led ANSICTA delegation to NITDA’s head office in Abuja recently.

 

Mr Manfa explained 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.”

Dr Vincent Vincent Olatunji, Director E-Government and Regulation NITDA receiving an award on behalf of the DG from Theo Manafa MD ANSICTA

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.

 

He requested NITDA’s partnership with ANSICTA in building an ICT Hub in Anambra State; hosting a NITDA regional office; hosting NITDA events and programs as a State and region; trainings and Skills development programs of NITDA where the State hopes to train 40,000 residents in the next 2 years in Digital skills; establishment of cooperation on the Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA) and the provision of the Unity Board where 150 units were requested for a program for secondary schools in Anambra.

 

ANSICTA also presented an award to the Director General for his “Outstanding Achievements in Driving theDigital Economy” which was received by Dr. Vincent Olatunji on behalf of the DG.

 

Dr. Olatunji responded along with comments from some of the Directors and said NITDA would be glad to cooperate with the State.

L-R: Theo Manafa, MD/CEO of ANSICTA, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, DG of NITDA and Michael Orekyeh, COO of ANSICTA

He said it was gratifying to note that Anambra State now has an ICT Agency as Gov Willie Obiano had visited NITDA 6 years ago and the agency had worked with the State in developing an ICT policy for Anambra.

 

The success of that exercise is the take off of the agency (ANSICTA) which is the execution arm of the policy developed by NITDA.

 

He further said ANSICTA was by the speech of its MD really in tune with the affairs and mandates of NITDA and stated that ANSICTA should make a formal application for the things requested at this meeting will be looked into by Management for approval by the Director General.

 

He also thanked ANSICTA for recognizing the hard work of the DG through the award they presented, which he said was most encouraging.

Michael Orekyeh; chief operating officer of ANSICTA was part of the delegation from Anambra State. while the Director General of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi was represented by the Director E-Government and Regulation, Dr. Vincent Olatunji; Director Office of ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship – OIIE, Dr. (Mrs.) Amina Sambo Magaji; Deputy Director of IT Infrastructure, Dr. Saidu Kumo; SA Technical to the DG, Dr. Mohammed Yahaya; Corporate Strategy Department, Dr. Taofik Yekini and other Directors and Key Management Staff.

 

 

 


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Patanmi, Danbatta, Others Set for 2020 Virtual Internet Governance Forum

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Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and other key players in the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector are set for the 2020 virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF).

 

The 9th edition of the annual event, which will hold virtually this year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is scheduled for September 23-24, 2020 with the theme “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era.”

 

The vNIGF 2020 will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Istifanus Musa.

 

The organizers in a statement, observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical importance of digital technologies in fostering inclusive national development and this has necessitated the thematic focus of the conference, where Nigeria Internet Governance Forum Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG), the body of organisers of the event, will come together to chat the way forward, as a community of Nigeria’s Internet ecosystem.

 

The theme of this year’s event amplifies how the focus of the NIGF-MAG, from both the business and policy communities, is shifting from shaping a resilient Internet for societal sustainability to understanding the effect and impact of COVID-19 on individual and corporate lives and activities, especially with regard to women and youths.

 

While the NIGF-MAG has assured of a good virtual experience at the programme, it said that the virtual conference will be preceded by the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) and Women IGF (WIGF) on September 23, 2020, while the main event at which Dr. Pantami will deliver a keynote address on the theme holds on September 24, 2020.

 

Aside Pantami and Danbatta, organisers have also confirmed a lineup of eminent speakers for the vNIGF 2020 who will participate at high-level panel discussions on the thematic focus of “2020 to 2030 Digital Economy Strategy.”

 

The speakers are Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; Chair of the Global IGF MAG, Anriette Esterhuysen; Coordinator, West Africa IGF, Mrs. Mary Uduma; Prof. Adenike Osofisan of University of Ibadan; and Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo of Swansea University.

 

Others include a digital policy expert at Google, Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi; President and Chief Executive Officer, High Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youths, Dr. Wunmi Hassan; Coordinator, YouthIGF-NG, Uffa Modey, among others.

 

Members of the public from the private sector, government, civil society organisations and inter-governmental organisations, academia as well as Internet end-users are encouraged to register and attend the event live on the NIGF event website on https://2020.igf.ng and across its social media platforms, @NigeriaIGF.

 

According to the organisers, registration and attendance is free. Upon registration, participants will receive the event notifications and updates, free access to the digital edition of the event’s report and more.

 

The NIGF-MAG comprises stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA), in partnership with other local Internet stakeholders.

 

 

 


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