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Nigeria Joins Rest of World to Sign Updated Radio Regulations to Deepen Global Connectivity

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At the conclusion of the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) 2023, Nigeria joined the rest of the World to sign unto the Final Act WRC-23, which constitutes a record of the decisions taken at the conference.

L-R: Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission (NC)), Engr. Ubale Maska; Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida; Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy/Head of Nigerian Delegation, Dr. Bosun Tijani, and Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, Mrs. Jane Egerton-Idehen, during the recently-concluded World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-2023), where Nigeria joined the rest of the world to sign unto the Final Acts WRC-23, which constitutes a record of the decisions taken at the conference.

The Final Act comprises both the new and revised provisions of the Radio Regulations, an international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.

Dr. Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy represented Nigeria and was joined by the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida and the Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat Ltd), Mrs. Jane Egerton-Idehen.

The WRC-2023 is a global, inter-governmental treaty conference which is held every three to four years by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations-affiliated international organization for telecommunications.

At the end of each conference, countries signed unto an updated Final Act, the outcome of agreements on agendas put forward by country administrations.

According to a statement by the ITU, “the agreement to the updated Radio Regulations identifies new spectrum resources to support technological innovation, deepen global connectivity, increase access to and equitable use of space-based radio resources, and enhance safety at sea, in the air, and on land.”

Among the decisions reached, the Conference also identified spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), which will be crucial for expanding broadband connectivity and developing IMT mobile services, also known as 4G, 5G and, in the future, 6G.

The conference also identified new frequencies for non-geostationary fixed-satellite service Earth Stations in Motion (ESIMs) that would provide high-speed broadband onboard aircraft, vessels, trains, and vehicles. These satellite services are also critical following disasters where local communication infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.

Provisions were also included to protect ship and aircraft mobile service stations located in international airspace and waters from other stations within national territories.

Nigeria’s delegation at the conference comprised seasoned engineers and experts in telecommunications and satellite regulations and governance from the Ministry, NCC, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), NigComSat Ltd, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), telecom operators and other practitioners from the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Tijani, who led the Nigerian delegation at the WRC-23, thanked the delegation for their sacrifices which, he noted, were made for the collective benefit of the future of Nigeria.

He also enjoined the Nigerian delegation to commence preparation for future conferences to ensure the preservation of the country’s interest by developing capacity through investments in extensive research and inter-agency collaboration.

Also, during an engagement with the Nigerian delegation at the conference, Maida commended the delegation for collaborating towards Nigeria’s best interest. He emphasised the conference’s significant importance for Nigeria.

According to him, “the agreements reached at this year’s conference will provide valuable spectrum resources that will benefit the Commission’s stakeholders, especially ordinary Nigerians by enhancing service quality and bridging the digital gap in rural areas.

“Additionally, the establishment of international standards for radiocommunications and the decisions made at the conference will impact the development and implementation of new technologies.

“These outcomes align with Nigeria’s overall objectives and the Honorable Minister’s Strategic Plan for the Ministry particularly on expanding broadband connectivity, in harmony with the global transition to 5G and future 6G technologies, as well as improving quality of experience and providing equitable access to all Nigerians.”


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Don’t Blame Telcos for Data Depletion, NCC Explains How and Why

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that telecommunications companies are not blame for draining the data bundles of Nigerians.

Don’t Blame Telcos for Data Depletion, NCC Explains How and Why

The NCC through its Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), claimed that active background apps and malware are usually to blame.

This is against the backdrop of the legion of complaints from subscribers about fast data drainage from service providers such as MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile.

However, the NCC on its official website highlighted several factors that could be responsible for rapid data exhaustion to include:

“Excessive usage: One of the main reasons for data depletion is excessive usage. If you use your phone to stream videos or music, download large files, or use data-intensive apps for a long time, your data limit can quickly be depleted.

Background apps: Some apps continue to consume data even when you’re not actively using them. Background data usage can quickly add up and deplete your data allowance.

“Automatic updates: Automatic updates for apps, operating systems, and other software can also use up a significant amount of data.

“Location services: GPS and other location services can consume a lot of data, especially if you use navigation apps like Google Maps.

“Advertisements: Some apps display ads that use data. These ads can consume data even if you don’t interact with them.

“Roaming: If you travel abroad and use your phone, you may be subject to data roaming charges, which can quickly add up and deplete your data allowance.

Malware: Malware and viruses can consume data without your knowledge. If you suspect that your phone has been infected, it’s important to remove the malware as soon as possible.”

The Commission also advised mobile users to disable location services for some specific apps as such services consume a lot of data.

For unsolicited advertisements, the telecom regulator advised the subscribers to install ad-blockers.

NCC also suggested connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible for mobile subscribers to avoid using their cellular data. “You can connect to Wi-Fi at home, work, or in public places like cafes or libraries,” the Commission said.

NCC further advised that any subscriber who consistently runs out of data should consider upgrading to a larger data plan.

 

 

 


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Ministry of Education Backs MTN Foundation’s Call for Application

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Nigerian Ministry of Education has thrown its weight behind the MTN Foundation’s Scholarship initiative. The call for application by eligible students runs till June 19th and will see 360 students receive scholarships worth 300,000 naira each.

In 2010, the MTN Nigeria Foundation established the MTN Scholarships Program, an annual award designed to recognize and reward eligible high-performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.

The program comprises three categories: the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship (MTN STS), the MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (MTN SBS), and the Top 10 UTME Scholarship. Each year, 300 students are awarded scholarships, which they receive until graduation, provided they meet the grade requirements. This year, the annual award amount has been increased from N200,000 to N300,000, and the number of beneficiaries increased from 300 to 360.

Over the past 12 years, the program has positively impacted the lives of 4,949 students. By providing financial assistance and recognizing academic excellence, the scholarship program has supported thousands of students in pursuing higher education, thus contributing to their personal and professional growth.

The MTN Foundation recently commenced another edition of the Scholarship, receiving strong support from the Federal Ministry of Education, which has called on all Nigerian students, including undergraduates and UTME candidates, to apply for the program.

In an announcement made on Monday, June 10th, the ministry encouraged all interested and qualified students to take advantage of this opportunity for their academic benefit.

The Federal Ministry of Education, through its Federal Scholarship Board, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to aiding Nigerian students’ academic success by keeping them informed about scholarship opportunities both domestically and internationally.

Commenting on the impact of the annual scholarship, the Executive Director of the MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya reaffirmed the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring quality education in Nigeria.

“Education is pivotal for national progress, and the MTN Foundation is unwavering in its commitment to empowering every Nigerian student to achieve academic excellence.

“By expanding scholarship opportunities, particularly for blind students, the foundation is making a strategic investment not just in individuals, but in cultivating a more inclusive and diverse generation of leaders and innovators who will shape a better future for Nigeria,” she said.


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ntel Taps Adrian Wood as CEO, Plans to Raise $550m

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Mr. Adrian Wood, former chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria has returned to the Nigerian telecoms space as the new chief executive officer of ntel, which provides 4G LTE advanced network in Nigeria.

ntel Taps Adrian Wood as CEO, Plans to Raise $550m

Wood who left Nigeria in 2004 resumed his new position on January 8, 2024, as the new CEO of ntel and took over from Dr. Babatunde Omotoba, former CEO,  with plans to raise $550 million for restructuring of the new ntel.

In his new role, Wood has been tasked to shop for fresh investors and to rebrand the telecoms company, and he has assured the staff of ntel of his commitment and desire to meet up with his new role.

In a statement sent out by Wood to all ntel staff dated June 5, 2024 and gathered by the media, he encouraged them to remain steadfast and assured them of his commitment to introduce fresh investors and to rebrand the company in few weeks time.

He also told them about his several meetings with the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), which took over the management of ntel since last year and plans by AMCON to return ntel to its new investors.

Wood also told them about his meeting with the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

“On 21 May, I visited the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Aminu Maida. We had a very productive session about the forward plan for NATCOMS, our role in industry building, as well as the prospects for raising equity and debt capital to fund a complete new 4G/5G network design and rollout nationwide.

“Dr. Maida made several requests for support on NCC’s initiatives, which we will do. In the background, I have been engaging with potential institutional investors.

“When the new financial business plan and offering document is ready soon, there will be a roadshow to raise (estimated) US$500 million to US$550 million, to restructure, rebuild and develop NATCOMS.

“Already, together with CIO Anthony Adegbola, one New York investment fund visited some of our Lagos facilities.” The letter reads.

He also revealed that he had a meeting with African Capital Alliance, one of Nigeria’s (and Africa’s) premier private equity funds group.

“ACA was an early-stage investor in MTN Nigeria. In fact, they told us it remains their investment with the best returns, ever.

“Next week I will be seeing three other potential institutional investors. All of them are Africa-focused, have investments in Nigeria in other segments, have offices in Nigeria and are seeking digital infrastructure projects to support with funding.

“Of course, it will take months of negotiations to secure large capital commitments in several stages. And that is the purpose of (55% NATCOMS shareholder) AMCON’s Facility – to see us through the crucial Project Management Office planning phase, new capital formation and network roll out, prior to relaunching the business,” it added.


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