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Nigeria is Favourable, Vigorous Market- Spreadborough

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John Spreadborough, general manager, Westcon Mobility in Pan Emerging Africa, heads up the Motorola based EMB products and associated solution vendors, plus the company’s Print and Scan business.
Spreadborough formerly worked as managing director of TallyGenicom’s Middle East, Africa and India businesses and has over 20 years in the printing and scanning industry.
 Before joining TallyGenicom, he also ran his own Industrial Systems company called Dicoll Industrial, which specialised in measurement systems for tough environments.
Spreadborough, spoke to Miebi Senge on Westcon’s investment in the Nigerian IT market and its strategic partnership with Motorola to increase intake of enterprise solutions in the Sub-Saharan market which he heads from Lagos.

Westcon
WestCom Global is structured as a US leading organization and present in the UK and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
We have a lot of offices across Europe and North America, and about 140 subsidiary companies across the world, of which one is based in Nigeria.
So we have a management team and stock people here.  We do not manage businesses necessary from London or from the United States; a lot of our decisions here are reached in consonance with the local markets demands.
To us, Nigeria is a very favourable and vigorous market recognized across the globe; therefore we are very comfortable with the management team working here.

Westcon’s Business in Nigeria
Our Nigerian business covers the entire West Africa subregion. We have several organisations in Senegal, Cameroun, and all of (Anglo) West and Central Africa.
Although, I may not give you a breakdown of the volume in individual country, at the same time, the volume of our business this year in Africa will be about $150 million.
We are optimistic about continued fulfilling businesses in Africa.

 Accessing Nigeria’s Enterprise Market
Sure, the market is so fast moving. There are comments in some quarters about the Nigeria economy overtaking South Africa’s between 2015/16.
And the country is catching on and moving on steadily. But when you look at how that translates in the enterprise market space… I do not think it is that forward, stable and matured as the South African.
Truly, there is a tremendous revolution in technology adoption and inclusion in Nigeria in the recent times than as in South Africa; thus in Nigeria, a lot of people and corporations are moving forward adopting measures that would support them both now and in the future.
For instance they are embracing the cloud abandoning papers and that is a characteristic that impacts on the market.
Even if we do not have answers as regards the market size, what gladdens one’s heart is the level of enthusiasms to adopt technology and the sophistications of the adopted technologies by various companies.
The process is revealing the country’s or the market’s expertise in using technology to change the tune of events. Therefore, as the Nigerian market is getting more sophisticated it will embrace features that will push it to move fast in the nearest future. 

View of Technological Migration to Data
The adoption of unified communications in various applications, for instance, is a sure way of improving on the space, especially for the enterprise.
A number of companies, like Microsoft are making it possible. Some of the things we heard from Nigerians, especially the Nigerian telecom sector are growing a unified technology ecosystem for the sector to mitigate the challenges that each unit faces.
Those things are evolving in Nigeria, for instance the adoption of wireless broadband is one of the aspects of the market is being driven forward; it is not actually easy to deploy multiple technologies to mitigate the lack of infrastructure in a country.
The World Bank published a report last year which was showing; in terms of supply there is a huge amount of data being spread all over Africa including Nigeria; which shows there is viability as data is very attractive to the people. However, the next big step is to look at the infrastructure.

 Any plan with your partner – Motorola – to migrate broadband infrastructure from the shoreline to hinter land?
Well, there is migration. We have a technology that some companies are using in migrating the infrastructure to the hinterlands.
The local organizations are actually the ones that thinker on the resources to drive the next step.
 
Programmes to Enhance Carriers in the Enterprise Sector
Some of the carriers are moving into the enterprise themselves in terms of deploying data solutions for the consumer.
If we review what is happening in the Middle East, a lot of local and multi-nationals bringing data services up to consumer level.
Such is likely to happen here whereby the local companies deliver the data and also generate the internet for the consumer’s usage.
Through that means, the enterprise market will deepen. Meanwhile, from the enterprise perspective when the volume of data rises then, there will be specific technology we will be looking at. Similarly, a lot of companies are increasing their investment portfolio and resources in Africa.
For instance, Coca Cola has increased its investment to $1 billion. Those guys in enterprise space are putting their money where the cash is going to come from in future, which is Africa.

Playing in the Cashless Nigeria Regime
There are a couple of things that are happening in the sector that are quite interesting. The moment manufacturers come out with physical printers, so that is the text collecting machines, and other automation devices, that is part of the cashless economy.
The direction of the present policy is going to fall in line with the style adopted in East Africa. So, we have some technologies that are geared towards cashless economy.
We have been working with some banks and pay systems; we have local banking systems that will even help bring to the banks the unbanked in small villages.
When that is exploited, it will open up the cashless economy even further. So these are the steps coming up next and I expect it happens soon. In other words, mobile banking is the next step.

Mobility in the Nigeria Economy in the Next 5 Years
I see the mobility on a fast lane. Everything is moving from plan to execution. With the double digit in technology growth in West Africa happening more recently, in the last five years, Nigeria has been the leader in over a decade, and I see that trend continuing even further than most analysts expect.   


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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