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Experts @ WATISE 2024 Explore how Emerging Trends will Shape Telecoms Infrastructure, Proffers Solutions on Challenges



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Telecommunications experts across West Africa have exposed trending innovations relying on telecoms infrastructure harping on the strategies that are crucial for the sustainability of telecommunications infrastructure to fast-track the regions digital economy.

Speaking at the second edition of the West Africa Telecoms Infrastructure Summit and Exhibtion (WATISE), with the theme: ‘Shaping the future of the telecoms infrastructure industry: Trends and Insights for a Digital Economy’ and organized by TechnologyMirror, an online telecoms news and information platform, held in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, the experts x-ray critical issues that relates the survival of the telecoms industry using the Nigerian market as a reference point.

Leading the conversation, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida, in his keynote address which was on the theme of WATISE 2.0, noted that the journey towards a digital economy has a future that is paved with immense possibilities and profound challenges noting that “how we navigate this path will determine the role Nigeria plays in the global digital landscape.”

Maida who was represented by the Head of Next Generation Technology and Standard at the NCC, Engr Victor Adoga, described telecommunications infrastructure as the backbone of the digital economy, facilitating seamless connectivity and supporting a range of services from basic voice calls to high-speed internet and cloud computing.

He stated that the rapid growth of the digital economy demands robust, scalable, and secure telecommunications infrastructure disclosing that there are several key trends that are poised to shape the future of telecom infrastructure.

According to Maida, the rollout of 5G networks is a transformative trend in telecoms infrastructure saying that 5G promises significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, facilitating new applications such as IoT (Internet of Things), autonomous vehicles, smart cities and advanced augmented reality.

He listed other emerging trends affecting the deployment of telecoms infrastructure across the region as Internet of Things, Fiber Optic Expansion, Data Localisation and Security, Regulatory Frameworks, Cybersecurity and Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.

He however suggested that the telecoms operators must take consider strategic actions to stay in business saying that collaboration which is partnerships between government, industry, and academia can drive innovation and development.

He added that Innovative Financing Models, Investment in Human Capital, Focus on Sustainability, Integration with AI and Machine Learning and Developing Smart Infrastructure noting also as crucial investing in rural telecom infrastructure and making digital literacy a key component of our educational programs.

Still speaking on the theme of WATISE 2.0. Chief Executive Officer of WTES Projects Limited, Mr Chidi Ajuzie who joined virtually from Ethiopia said there is deluge of connectivity from submarine cable landings linking Nigeria to Europe and rest of the world.

According to him, while there is no centrally managed national transmission backbone, licensed Operators have, over the years, built transmission networks to meet their own needs, often duplicated on most routes.

He disclosed that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has carried out a detailed study to characterize basic telephony and ICT gaps in the country, identifying 97 clusters with varying population densities and a cumulative population of about 27.91 million that suffer from significant connectivity services gaps. Digital broadband gap is even more, estimated at over 100 million population.

Ajuzie stated that to reap the benefits of broadband, there is need to close the clear gaps existing in the metro middle- and last-mile segments of the connectivity value chain. New Connectivity will be required to bridge the gaps and meet the National Broadband targets.

In fireside chat on ‘Enhancing Rural Connectivity: Strategies for Expanding Telecom Infrastructure’, Tinuade Oguntuyi, Head Network and Solutions, at Information and Communications Services Limited (ICSL) said that that rural areas need better network services for proper communication and development.

Oguntuyi, who anchored the fireside chat urged the government to support network service providers to reach more rural places as they are also full of great potentials for the growth of the nation.

Also speaking, Ahmad Tijani, a local content ICT advocate commended Federal Government projects to connect the rural dwellers and harped on the need to carry the local government leaders along.

Tijani who represented Dr. Adebunmi Adeola Akinbo, National Secretary ICTLOCA, cited the challenge of data gathering which can be sorted by the local government, calling on the grassroots to add value to the nation growth.

In his welcome address, the Convener of WATISE, Isaiah Erhiawarien said that the second edition was a step towards ensuring a reliable telecoms infrastructure for the region, and thanked the Nigerian Communications Commission, Open Access Data Nigeria Limited, Digital Realty, ICSL, HyperSpace Limited and OneData Limited for believing in the dream of the organisers.

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ITU, WATRA Join Forces to Enhance ICT Infrastructure Mapping in West Africa



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In a landmark initiative, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) have announced a joint declaration aimed at strengthening collaboration on ICT infrastructure mapping across West Africa. This partnership is set to drive significant improvements in connectivity and socio-economic development throughout the region.

Both organizations emphasized the importance of comprehensive ICT infrastructure data and mapping in shaping effective infrastructure strategies. These data and maps are essential for connecting unserved and underserved communities, with Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) playing a crucial role in planning investments and making informed decisions.

Through this collaboration, ITU and WATRA aim to leverage their respective initiatives and projects, avoiding duplication of efforts and reducing costs. By harmonizing procedures for high-quality infrastructure mapping, the partnership will accelerate efforts to connect communities to the digital economy.

The joint declaration outlines several areas of cooperation, including joint advocacy, capacity building, and implementing ITU recommendations on geospatial information. Specific activities will include technical assistance, enhanced network planning, data analytics for decision-making, regional integration, and advocacy for transparency.

The collaboration aims to achieve multiple outcomes, including improved data consistency, informed infrastructure investment decisions, streamlined decision-making processes, increased regional integration, and enhanced transparency through web-based information access.

Aliyu Aboki, Executive Secretary of WATRA, highlighted the significance of this partnership: “WATRA is excited to partner with ITU on this vital initiative. Our collective efforts will not only enhance the quality of infrastructure mapping but also support our member states in making evidence-based decisions that will bridge the connectivity gap and foster economic growth.”

The joint advocacy efforts will focus on promoting the importance of gathering and managing infrastructure data for decision-making. Capacity-building initiatives will include sharing resources and conducting joint training sessions for member states to improve their infrastructure and broadband mapping capabilities.

Technical assistance will be provided to review and update infrastructure data, while capacity development efforts will enhance network planning insights, impacting infrastructure investment decisions across the region.

The partnership will also facilitate regional integration by sharing insights into network interconnection gaps and opportunities, promoting new infrastructure investments and partnerships. Additionally, it will advocate for improved transparency and stakeholder engagement through accessible web-based information on infrastructure.

The ITU-WATRA joint declaration marks a significant milestone in enhancing ICT infrastructure mapping in West Africa. By working together, ITU and WATRA aim to drive connectivity improvements and socio-economic development, ensuring that communities across the region are better integrated into the digital economy.

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Get Exclusive Rewards with TECNO’s Mid-Year Sales



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As we find ourselves right in the heart of the year, TECNO invites you to embark on an exhilarating journey with the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo! From June 10th to July 20th, 2024, get ready to immerse yourself in a world of incredible rewards that will make this season truly unforgettable!

When you choose any model from the TECNO CAMON 30 series, prepare to be amazed. Not only will you receive a fabulous CAMON Gift Box, but you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy the convenience of Easybuy with a 0% interest rate.

Opting for the incredible TECNO POVA 6 NEO comes with an exciting N10,000 discount, a unique TECNO Accessory Gift, and the same 0% interest rate on Easybuy.

And if the TECNO SPARK 20 catches your eye, we’ve got something special for you too – 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a fantastic headset. Meanwhile, purchasers of the TECNO POP 8 will receive 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a delightful gift.

Participating in the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo is a breeze. Head to any of the authorised TECNO stores and get your hands on any of the fantastic TECNO devices mentioned above.

Alongside your purchase, you’ll receive your well-deserved gifts and a raffle ticket, granting you an incredible chance to win in the thrilling weekly draws across Nigeria.

This is your golden opportunity to enjoy mind-blowing discounts and exciting gifts, as well as being part of a lottery with extraordinary prizes.

During the weekly draws, luck smiled upon seven fortunate customers who were presented with rams on June 14th, marking the joyous celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. On June 28th and July 19th, fourteen weekly customers will also walk away with delightful food packs.

This promo is all about exceptional offers that elevate the joy of your festivities and make your mid-year shine brighter.

Visit TECNO-authorised stores to acquire your new TECNO device and enter a season filled with rewards and celebrations. TECNO is committed to making your mid-year more radiant and fulfilling.

Come and be a part of this festive season and let TECNO bring you more joy and rewards.

Remember, the more you purchase, the greater your chances of winning. For more information, follow TECNO on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

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MTN Foundation Leads Successful Anti-Substance Abuse Advocacy Walk in Lagos



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The MTN Foundation, through its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), recently held an advocacy walk in Lagos aimed at raising awareness and combating drug abuse.

The walk started at the NDLEA Office in Gbagada and ended at the Ikeja Military Cantonment on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland, covering a distance of 10.2 km.

This event saw the active participation of the Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mobolaji Ogundele; Assistant Commander General, Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Dr. Segun Oke; Executive Director, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya; among other key stakeholders.

The Lagos advocacy walk is part of a broader campaign by the MTN Foundation to discourage first-time use and casual substance abuse nationwide. The campaign has already seen a successful walk held in Port Harcourt and Abuja, with upcoming events planned for Kano.

Community-based approaches to advocacy walks are crucial as they engage local populations directly, cultivating a sense of ownership and collective responsibility in addressing substance abuse. Such grassroots initiatives can effectively tailor messages and interventions to meet the specific needs of the community, ensuring a more impactful and sustainable outcome.

The Lagos advocacy walk, by involving diverse stakeholders and sectors, exemplifies this approach, promoting widespread awareness and encouraging proactive measures against drug abuse.

Commenting on the success of the advocacy walk, the Executive Director of the MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, stated, “The Lagos advocacy walk was a resounding success, showcasing the power of collective action in addressing the critical issue of substance abuse.

“The strong turnout and enthusiastic participation reflect our community’s deep commitment to building a drug-free society.

“At the MTN Foundation, we believe that through continued education, empowerment, and collaboration with key stakeholders, we can create a safer and healthier environment for our youth.

The advocacy walk not only served as a platform to raise awareness but also as a call to action for all members of the community to join hands in the fight against drug abuse.

As the MTN Foundation continues to expand its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme across Nigeria, it remains steadfast in its mission to promote preventive measures, engage communities, and implement evidence-based strategies.

Through these sustained efforts, the Foundation aims to build a resilient and drug-free generation, contributing to the long-term socio-economic stability and well-being of the nation.

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