By Zoran Lazarevic
The evolution of 4G into 5G has the potential to be a powerful economic growth engine, particularly as this advanced mobile technology is deployed looking into improving productivity in key vertical industrial sectors.
Regulators across the Gulf countries have done an excellent job in supporting Communication Service Providers (CSPs) with an efficient spectrum allocations process for 5G deployments.
As a result of regulators’ work on 5G spectrum allocations, some of the first 5G deployments globally were executed by CSPs in the Gulf countries and these CSPs are now global leaders in 5G deployments.
One year after the first 5G deployments, regulators in the Gulf countries are now starting the benchmarking of 5G coverage, to ensure that CSPs are meeting conditions for spectrum allocations. However, there are challenges in terms of how measurements are done. The methodology that is typically used for the benchmark measurements in 2G/3G/4G networks might not be suitable for 5G networks and might not provide accurate benchmark results.
So the question remains, what measurements can be used for benchmarking of the 5G networks?
The answer to this question is not simple as it is not possible to conduct signal strength measurements in idle mode in the same way it was done for 2G/3G/4G networks.
The preferred way for 5G networks benchmark measurements is to conduct the end-user performance driven benchmark measurements. These benchmark measurements should be based on the throughput as the main performance indicator that defines end-user experiences when using network services.
We conducted several benchmark measurements between 5G networks with different configurations for common channel and the results demonstrate that it is not accurate to compare 5G networks based on the common channel measurements. The benchmarking results presented the following insights:
- Benchmark measurements in Gulf Country A: Measurements are conducted for the two CSPs that use different configurations for the common channel in idle mode. CSP “A1” has a control channel configuration with beam sweeping while CSP “A2” has a control channel configuration with a wide beam.
- Benchmark measurements in Gulf Country B: Similarly to the first example, the two CSPs have different configurations for the common channels in idle mode. Again, it can be seen that CSP that typically has lower signal strength as well as lower signal to interference ratio, CSP “B2”, has a better downlink and uplink throughput.
The throughput measurements are more complex to conduct then signal strength based measurement and the network traffic level at the time of measurement has an impact on the measurements.
However, the throughput measurements will present an accurate snapshot of the real end-user experiences at the time of the measurement. If one needs to use the signal strength measurements for 5G networks benchmarking, then measurements need to be normalized to reflect different configurations for control channels.
There is no perfect solution to the current needs to conduct an objective 5G networks benchmark measurement with similar simplicity and efficiency as it was done for the previous generation of mobile networks.
However, the preferred way to conduct benchmark measurements is end-user performance driven measurements. The downlink and uplink throughput based measurements will reflect actual end-user experiences in the measured network.
The industry may need to come up with an alignment on how the signal strength measurements can be conducted for 5G networks in a meaningful way. Ericsson is recognizing an industry-wide challenge related to the methodology for 5G benchmark measurement and is currently working on a document for the 5G measurement methodology that will be made public in the near future.
By Zoran Lazarevic, Chief Technical Officer, Ericsson Middle East and Africa
NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA
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.
FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector
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.
Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention
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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