Dr. Hamadoun Toure, secretary general of International Telecommunications Union (ITU), one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations. He has been promoting the Connect Africa initiative, a $55 billion project to improve Africa’s telecommunications infrastructure. Toure, visited the country recently, and took time out to spoke with chike onwuegbuchi in Abuja on issues in telecommunications around the world.
Fight Against Cybercrime
You can’t fight cybercrime without adequate legislations; you need to have national legislations and those national legislations need to be harmonized at the international level as well. Legislation is among our five pillars of the global cybersecurity agenda. In addition to legislation that also need to be harmonized includes technical readiness, you need to have organizational structure in the country which involves all stakeholders in fact ministries from youth, education to health. Countries also need to have very good capacity building programmes which requires the various law enforcement agencies working together which will help them to be knowledgeable enough to fight cybercrime.
The last important thing is international cooperation so that these cybercriminal can be track down, because criminals know no boundary in the space. I’m very pleased to notice that Nigeria is now ready to put in place cybercrime legislation. It is something that will be put in the parliament very soon according to Minister of Information and Communications. This will go a long way to resolve many issues, as you know, unfortunately, many criminals at the cyberspace are using Nigerian’s name, and some of these criminals using Nigerians name have never being to the country. Unless something is done those people outside the country will spoil Nigeria name and the name of the continent. In order for people to do business in this country, you need to ensure that these criminals are not using unfairly the country’s name, so we can fight these criminals together.
I like this little cartoon long time ago, where a dog with puppy, they were sitting operating a computer on the keyboard, the father was telling the puppy, “In the cyberspace no one knows that you are a dog.” Unfortunately, people steal the identity of other people and claim to be them, in order to commit heinous crimes in the cyberspace. That has to be stopped. We also have to ensure that the legislations take account of the commitment of not harboring terrorist in the country, which is the commitment not to attack other countries in the cyberspace. The next world war could be waged in the cyberspace, and that will be a disastrous war because of the way we rely on the cyberspace.
Platform for Broadband Infrastructure
In this arena all countries are coming at the same level, there is no such thing as developed or developing countries. We are all dealing with new technologies with new things were nobody has been trained to be a regulator; there is no university for that. Technology is always advancing and regulation is following technology. We need to ensure that it is catching up with technology.
I’m very pleased with the regulation in this country. The results are there to show that it is working. We also have some other countries that are doing well such as Egypt, Morocco, and some neighbouring countries such as Ghana that has a very good regulatory environment. Those African countries are really contributing heavily in the global discussion on telecommunications development. The necessary human capital is here in Nigeria you have to make good use of them. You need to create a good understanding between the government and the regulator, there has to be accomplishes in a positive way to aim for the same, and that can be done, then, the players will be obliged to follow. Broadband technology is accessible by fibre optic but you have wireless broadband as well and these technologies are there. In 2007, when we organized the last World Radio Conference, we set-up enough bandwidth structure for the wireless technologies that will serve the world for the next 30 years. Last time we had World Radio Conference that made changes to the radio allocation was in 1947, those allocations lasted 60 years. We are advancing now and I can safely say that the 2007 resolution will go along way to address wireless bandwidth challenges for the next 30 years.
Number portability should not be decided by decree, it is just like rules on interconnect rate, you cannot decree them. What you can do is to analyze them and the market. When the market reaches some maturity point or stagnation, then you take some regulatory decision to solve that. I think Number Portability is one of the next things that NCC will deal with, because of the level of maturity, the moment you reach 50% of penetration the remaining 50% are lower users. What will happen is that competition will not focus on new customers but the services and application the operators are giving to them. Therefore, in order to boost that competition, Number Portability will be one key catalyst to oblige operators to give those new services and applications, because if they don’t, as number portability is available their customers will go else where. That is a natural thing that will come, and again market forces will dictate that.
UN on People with Disability and Telecom services
In this convention the task of ITU is specific in ensuring that the same principle of having people on wheel chairs, having arms chairs where they can move on are applied in Information and Communications Technology. Last year 2008, the theme for May 17 which is anniversary of ITU and also World Information Society day, was giving telecommunications access to people with disabilities. It is something that is embedded in the works of the Union. We have many organizations that are doing work on that, to ensure that manufacturers are giving the right tools for people with disabilities. We have demonstrated this over the years with so many new tools and applications that can help people with disabilities use telecommunications services. We have demonstrated this last year in Cairo, Egypt during our telecom event; where a paralyzed man who the only thing that can move in his body is his head. He was able to use ICT tools to communicate more. By moving his jaw and his head he could click, there are some cameras that were mounted at him as well as software installed in the system that enables him to communicate. Now he is much more free man. He does not depend on anybody to do some things for him; he sends email to his daughter in Italy. He can dial a phone number and sends a message that can be transcribed immediately into voice. Those are things that are happening and we hope that ICT equipment manufacturers will continue to improve on that. That convention was very key to help us deliver information and communications technology to people with disabilities around the world.
Encouraging IT Development
You need to ensure that you have taxes that are very friendly for those who want to import Information and Communications Technology equipment. Nigeria been a large country is a potential big market. Nigeria is strong enough to create demand where manufacturers can site a factory here that will serve not only Nigeria but other West African market, where we have free movement of people and goods. We need to put strategies together that will attract manufacturing industries here and having a local consumer base is already a big plus, as opposed to smaller countries with less than 10 million people, such markets are small to attract manufacturing companies. Here you have that capability, and you have to use that potential in order to attract manufacturing industries here. With the right vision of leadership those things can be realized. When you have manufacturing industries based here, you create jobs and Universities will be much more involved because research and development need to bring public and private sectors together, and therefore we can apply some of our capabilities. When you train people from developing countries in one single skill such as in software development you have solved a lot of problems, in our daily life in developing world, all we do is survive problems. What is software about? Software is about finding solution to problems. If we train our people in software development they will be more innovating than someone who wakes up just put his hands on the tape and water comes, and press a button light comes. On a daily basis we are fighting for survival and therefore we are coming with solutions and are more innovative when we can come up with new software that nobody could dream of. Therefore, there are immense potential in this continent and in the developing world in general.
The Forthcoming Telecom World 2009
One of the reasons I’m in Nigeria is to gather support for this event which is coming up between October 5 and 9. ITU Telecom World 2009 brings together the most influential representatives of government and information and communications technology (ICT) industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology for the benefit of the global community, and in particular the developing world.
From broadband Internet to latest-generation in wireless technologies, from aeronautical and maritime navigation to radio astronomy and satellite-based meteorology, from convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice and TV broadcasting to next-generation networks. ITU is committed to connecting the world.
This event will be a major milestone in addressing the issue of broadband access, and is seen as an important industry event for the developing world, providing an opportunity to benchmark local ICT sectors in terms of policy, regulation, and infrastructure development. It also enables the showcasing of local ICT, and represents an invaluable opportunity to attract inward investment and seek opportunities to engage with ICT companies from the developed world.
ITU Telecom World 2009 is a wide and open network that brings together all the players in the ICT sector. Attendance at this event is the best way to learn about new developments and future plans.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
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.
Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria
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 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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