MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has given detailed explanations of what happened on Saturday, October 9, 2021, when subscribers experienced challenges connecting to the network.
The teleco in a statement released on Monday and made available to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, said that the service outage was caused by a disruption in the core network that affected voice and data services.
It also noted that their technical teams were able to swiftly rectify the problem in about five hours, allowing service restoration for customers to begin connecting with one another.
In addition, time-bound subscriptions are being extended to ensure full value is delivered.
Commenting on the service disruption, Olutokun Toriola, CEO of MTN, said: “I want to apologise to all the customers that were affected by Saturday’s service outage.
“Our primary mission is to bring you the benefits of a modern connected life, and notwithstanding this unfortunate event, our commitment to providing the reliable service you’ve come to expect over the past twenty years remains unshaken.
“I want to reassure all our stakeholders that our network team is working closely with our network partners Ericsson and Cisco to ensure that the reasons for the disruption are fully investigated, and appropriate action is taken to enhance the resilience of affected systems.”
Danbatta Reiterates NCC’s Readiness for 5G Deployment
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman/chief executive officer of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the commission is 97 per cent ready to begin the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology across the country.
He disclosed this at the annual African Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTech 2021) held in Lagos.
The event themed: “Embracing Changes and Digital Transformation in the New Normal,” had crème de la crème in the ICT sector in attendance.
Danbatta who was represented by Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, director, Spectrum Administration, stated that, following the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a change in the dynamics of people’s interaction, especially on the Internet.
According to him, almost every means of communication has become virtual in one way or the other.
He however, stated that this paradigm shift in communication has led to significant increase in network connectivity requirements as a result of unprecedented upsurge in Internet traffic, occasioned by the use of a plethora of web applications such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, WebEx, Goto, Webner and so on.
He said this has made remote work, virtual meetings, virtual studies and virtual healthcare delivery, among others, the new normal.
According to Danbatta, even though, the network infrastructure in Nigeria has demonstrated some capacity to contain the surge in internet traffic, a lot of work is being done by the Commission to boost network capacity, sensitise the public and ensure accessibility to affordable connectivity during the period of the pandemic and beyond.
Due to the network traffic demand, the EVC said the NCC is working with operators to implement a number of initiatives to ensure network expansion.
These, he said, include ongoing plan to auction spectrum in 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) band to operators for the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria.
“Consistent with our mandate as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA-2003) and other guiding legislations, we have been working to ensure the penetration of broadband services in line with Federal Government’s targets, as contained in Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020 to 2025.
“Already, we are set for the auction some spectrum slots in 3.5GHz band. The other day I was at the National assembly, I informed the senate that we were 95 per cent ready for 5G. Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 per cent completion,” Danbatta said.
“The Committee set up to auction the Spectrum has already developed and Information Memorandum (IM) which is already published for inputs and comments from all industry stakeholders. Prior to this, a 5G deployment plan was developed and we have since secured Federal Government’s approval,” he said.
He said this is in addition to a lot of other initiatives being put in place by the Commission to improve broadband connectivity in Nigeria, adding that the surge in Internet traffic induced by Covid-19 has continued to challenge National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and other arms of governments to ensure deployment of adequate resources such as spectrum and other forms of support to increase network resilience and accessibility to telecommunication services.
“Emerging technologies such as 5G, which NCC is driving aggressively in Nigeria, Internet of Things (IoT); Cloud Computing; Quantum Computing Augmented/Virtual Reality, and similar emerging technologies are playing a critical role in improving remote communication over the internet with great user experience.
“The NCC is committed to promoting this inevitable change and enhance user experience through effective regulation of the telecoms sector,” the EVC said.
Technology Vital Tool to Combating Insecurity – DG NITDA
With the advent of artificial intelligence, automated vehicles and drones amongst many other hi-tech innovations in fighting war, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency has said that the use of technology in combating insecurity in the country can never be overemphasized.
The DG made this known when he played host to the Rector of the Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology (NACEST) Makurdi, at the Agency’s Headquarters in Abuja.
The DG said, “It is important to know how to use technology not just as an enabler but as a strategic design for your strategy in general which will inspire you to do more”.
“NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024) is built on seven pillars with their respective goals and objectives, which are; Developmental Regulations, Digital Literacy and Skills, Digital Transformation, Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Cybersecurity, Emerging Technologies, and Promotion of Indigenous Content,” he added.
Abdullahi noted that the Agency’s focus is improving how things are being done using technology and innovation by creating an enabling environment and an innovation ecosystem that will allow a smooth digitized process, adding that the Agency is ready to collaborate with NACEST to deploy technologies to combat and proffer solutions to the country’s rising issue of insecurity.
He averred that innovation does not happen in isolation but rather, with proper alignment and positioning in a relevant ecosystem which necessitates the proposed collaboration between the two parties, adding that there is cross pollination between ICT and the Nigerian Army College of Environmental Sciences and Technology (NACEST).
“The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, a subsidiary of the Agency is fostering the development of emerging technologies in preparing Nigeria for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in which NACEST can partner in research, development of technologies like drones, robotics, Artificial Intelligence etc as a veritable tool in combating National insecurity,” he elucidated.
The Rector Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology (NACEST) Makurdi, Brigadier General Yahaya Abdulhamid in his remark noted that the school is one of the Polytechnics that run Diploma Programme in Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
He said the College is regulated by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), a National body mandated with the responsibility to ensure the quality of all Diploma certificated programmes in Nigeria.
He further disclosed that the school employs the Information Communications Technology (ICT) in the Computer Engineering laboratory, Computer Science Laboratory, E-Library, ICT centre, Management Information System (MIS), editing and Advertising Laboratory, Resource centre, Television and Radio Studios among others.
“We cannot have the best in what we are doing until we link our activities, operations and processes to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which will provide us a path way towards achieving our goals and objectives, which everything we do technology drives in achieving it.”
“Nigerian Army College of Environmental Sciences and Technology is diverting from the theoretical process and focusing more on the practical aspects to enable us provide solutions to our problems, he stated.
Abdulhamid commended NITDA for the various IT interventions deployed across the country towards the growth and development of IT which plays a critical role for the advancement of the country and also towards National security.
Customer Service Week: Zedcrest Celebrates the Power of Service
Zedcrest Group, New-age financial solutions powerhouse, last week joined the rest of the world to mark the 2021 Customer Service Week by celebrating its customers and staff for their patronage and commitment to service excellence.
The week-long event with the global theme, “The Power of Service,” was celebrated across all its branches from October 4th – 8th.
In his statement, Adedayo Amzat, group managing director of Zedcrest Group, expressed gratitude to customers of the company for their patronage and loyalty over the years.
According to him, the company explicitly recognizes the power of customers and service and plans to continue to accelerate transformational growth in Africa by leveraging technology to deliver excellent customer experience.
“Allowing us to provide you with our services is of great importance to us. We don’t take your support and patronage for granted”, he said.
“At Zedcrest, we will continue to leverage our solid business models, highly professional staff, innovation, bespoke solutions, and technology to turn the aspirations of customers into life-changing opportunities”, he assured.
Amzat also commended the staff of the company across the country for their dedication to duty.
On her part, Renah Osiemi, chief operating officer of Zimvest, said the company is always excited at the extensive opportunity to honour service excellence during the week-long celebration.
She added that the Instagram Live session held on Thursday, October 8, 2021 as part of the celebration, was to provide financial tips on how Zimvest clients and prospects can work with whatever stage they are in and start their wealth creation journey.
“This year’s event resonates strongly with us,” Ever Obi, managing director of Zedvance Finance Limited, stated. “We pride ourselves as a company made up of world-class experts inspired by a culture of excellence.
“We will continue to go above and beyond to develop and offer solutions that are tailored to each customer’s lifestyle and aspirations. We’re taking advantage of customer service week once again to express our gratitude to all of our stakeholders.”
The celebration highlighted the importance of customer service, the staff members who deliver exceptional support on a daily basis and the customers whose continued loyalty and patronage are the drivers for business success.
Activities embarked upon during the week include customer appreciation and engagement. Both junior and senior staff members of Zedvance Finance Limited, the consumer lending arm of Zedcrest Group and Zimvest (Zedcrest Investment Managers), its asset management subsidiary called and appreciated customers for their continuous patronage. Customers also won a lot of goodies across all of the company’s social media platforms.
Special dress codes were also observed by staff throughout the week, to mark the celebration.
The Zedcrest Group is customer-focused with a track record of creating industry-leading products, services, and platforms across different verticals of the financial sector.
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