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Mobile Data Remains Africa’s Cash Cow for Telcos

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International Data Corporation Insight has found that mobile data will remain the operators’ cash cow in 2014, aside the exponential increase in mobile data forcing telecommunications operators in Africa to rethink their network and data service strategies.

Mobile data services have continued to gain prominence in the business models of Middle East and Africa operators.

While those in the Middle East have remained at the forefront of technological development and invested heavily in building ubiquitous next-generation networks, operators in Africa, however, have taken a more cautious approach, with sporadic network evolution centered on highly populous areas and major commercial centers.

Thus, IDC predicted that in 2014, mobile data will remain a cash cow for regional telcos. However, the growing popularity of data-hungry applications and services, particularly video, will contribute to an exponential increase in data traffic and make network investment economics difficult to justify.

 To spur the trend is the belief that the regulatory environment will become more progressive and stimulate competition.

 IDC noted that Telecommunications markets in MEA have expanded significantly over the last decade, backed by progressive regulatory environments and conscious efforts by the regulatory authorities to stimulate competition.

The first era of market liberalization was marked by the opening of mobile markets to new operators, followed by progressive reforms to introduce new services (e.g., 3G) and/or the opening up of markets to competitors.

Having done this, regional regulators will strive to improve the market dynamics in 2014, accelerating the development of new services in addition to increasing competition.

Regulators can approach this in three primary ways: by introducing mobile number portability; by opening markets to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs); and by releasing spectrum for next-generation 3G/LTE networks.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek had earlier in the week reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will auction the 2.3 GHz band for commercial assignment on a national basis during the week commencing February 17, 2014.

The spectrum is one unpaired block of 30 MHz, adjoining a 10MHz guard band with the adjacent 2.4 GHz band. The specification is: • 2360 – 2390 MHz – Spectrum on offer; and 2360 – 2390 MHz – Spectrum.

Meanwhile, IDC also said that operator media transformation will continue as acquisitions are on the cards.

Thus, in 2014, operators will move beyond merely setting up businesses to forming clear strategies to help them play a broader role in the digital economy.

“Service evolution will force operators to rethink their strategies and recognize the importance of the customer experience. As the usage of smartphones and mobile social media is growing rapidly in the MEA region, marketers are more cognizant of consumers’ locations and preferences. Many organizations will explore ways to work closely with operators, media companies, and app developers to create targeted marketing practices in the region, which will prove to be a win-win situation for all involved.

“Telecommunications services are evolving as social media, multiscreen offerings, mobile applications, and OTT services increasingly influence consumer behavior. It is imperative for operators to understand consumer behavior and push products and services in line with their expectations. This will eventually help operators to counter declining service engagement cycles and improve customer experience.

“As markets continue to evolve, more customers are eschewing core telecommunications services in favor of rich OTT services,” said Paul Black, director of telecommunications and media at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “This is forcing regional operators to reevaluate their business models, data offerings, tariff packages, and even network rollout plans, as well as go-to-market strategies. While traditional services are still offered, operators are expanding their role in the digital value chain by promoting local content generation and application development. Operators are also looking at adjacent markets and exploring new digital services opportunities.”

“For digital media providers and OTT players,” Black continues, “the changing market dynamics provide unique opportunities to establish direct relationships with end users. However, the business models are still evolving, and the ability to pay for these services, despite their growing usage, remains low throughout the Middle East and Africa (MEA). In this scenario, the importance of partnerships between telcos, content providers, OTT players, and digital media companies is growing.”


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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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