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IBM & Ericsson Make Huge Call Towards 5G Communications Networks

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IBM and Ericsson on Monday announced a research breakthrough that could accelerate the launch of 5G communications networks and support new mobile enterprise and user experiences enabled by very high data rates, including IoT, connected vehicles, and immersive virtual reality.

The companies have created a compact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array integrated circuit operating at 28GHz that has been demonstrated in a phased array antenna module designed for use in future 5G base stations.

2017 has been described as a defining year for 5G. More countries and governments are opening up new frequency portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, including portions known as millimeter wave bands, which are more than 10 times higher than the frequencies currently used for current mobile devices, offering a new source of bandwidth for cellular networks that are being made available for 5G networks.

Scientists at IBM Research and Ericsson reached their breakthrough as a result of a two-year collaboration that set out to develop phased array antenna designs for 5G. IBM’s expertise in highly integrated phased array mmWave IC and antenna-in-package solutions, together with Ericsson’s expertise in circuit and system design for mobile communications, helped the team reach several new technological milestones.

Thomas Noren, Senior Advisor, Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, says: “There has been a lot of encouraging progress in 5G standardization last year including the beginning of live field trials. Big efforts in research and development are key to this and our collaboration with IBM Research on phased array antennas can help operators to effectively deploy radio access infrastructure necessary to support a 5G future. New use cases and applications that span human machine interaction, Virtual Reality, smart home devices and connected cars will depend on innovative technologies that can bring the promises of faster data rates, broader bandwidth and longer battery life to reality.”

“The development of this 5G millimeterWave phased array is an important breakthrough, not just because of its compact size and low cost, which make it a very commercially attractive solution for network equipment companies and operators, but its potential to unleash and inspire brand new ideas and innovations we haven’t yet imagined, thanks to a fully networked society,” said Dr. Dario Gil, Vice President of Science & Solutions, IBM Research.

Making 5G A Reality
The first release of the 3GPP 5G specification is targeted to be ready by 2017/2018, but there has already been much progress in the industry with field tests and demonstrations of new user experiences and capabilities made possible by the higher bandwidth, lower latency, greater density and lower energy requirements of 5G networks.

5G is expected to support data rates exceeding 10Gbps in certain scenarios. New capabilities are designed to allow users to download a full-length HD movie in seconds, provide very high bandwidth and uninterrupted live streaming experiences in highly dense environments such as sports or concert venues, experience ‘life-like’ response times to enable remote surgery or fully immersive virtual reality experiences, as well as see battery life of 10 years for remote cellular devices that may be part of IoT environments.

The Phased Array Antenna Module Breakthrough
For future 5G phased array deployments to be commercially viable the size, weight, cost and performance of the component are important factors.

The IBM and Ericsson team’s result, the world’s first reported silicon-based mmWave phased array antenna module operating at 28GHz, is a significant step towards meeting this challenge. The module, which consists of four monolithic integrated circuits and 64 dual-polarized antennas, measures approximately 2.8” by 2.8”, or about half the size of a typical smartphone. Achieving this compact form factor is necessary to support the vision of this technology’s widespread deployment, especially in indoor spaces and dense downtown areas.

Another performance advance reported by the team is the demonstration of concurrent dual-polarization operation in transmit and receive modes.

This capability enables one phased array antenna module to form two beams simultaneously, doubling the number of users to be served at the same time and so improving the overall value and economics of the technology.

A major hurdle for the use of mmWave signals in mobile communications is achieving sufficient range between radios to support target applications. At 28 GHz, each antenna is tiny and individually would support short communication distances, but combining multiple such tiny antennas not only increases the range but also enables steering of signals in specific directions. The IBM and Ericsson team’s phased array design supports beam-steering resolution of less than 1.4 degrees for high precision pointing of the beam towards users.

IBM Communications Circuits & Systems Innovation
IBM Research has a long history designing and developing integrated circuits and phased arrays, and were pioneers of the first monolithic mmWave radio in 2006. In 2013, the team presented results of a highly integrated mmWave phased array transceiver for both mobile communications and radar imaging applications that laid the foundation for this latest scientific work.

The IBM scientists have also explored how mobile handsets will communicate at new mmWave frequencies, showing a path for how mmWave 5G radios could be implemented in mobile phones.

A paper describing the IBM Research and Ericsson team’s work, “A 28GHz 32-Element Phased-Array Transceiver IC with Concurrent Dual Polarized Beams and 1.4 Degree Beam-Steering Resolution for 5G Communications,” will be presented on February 7 at the 2017 International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

 

 


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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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