Roy Kruger is the Managing Director of BCX Nigeria, a 100% owned subsidiary of Business Connexion (BCX South Africa).
Kruger with more than 23 years experience in fixed and mobile telephony operations and management has gained a huge amount of knowledge relating to all aspects of telecommunications.
He spoke to hilary okeke on a wide range of issue in the industry.
IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television whereby you use technology to take normal television, put it into IP packets and send them across to regional wide area or local area networks, as opposed to broadcasting in the traditional manner. Although IPTV can be broadcast across a satellite network; it is just a much cheaper and ubiquitous manner of sending television to users. To receive IPTV, you need a PC, and local people in the country do not have them. As you know, the most common way of receiving broadcast signals today is through TV sets. Once ICT infrastructure gets to more people, IPTV will become very common. Right now, IPTV is used mostly in office buildings or housing estates where people can run fibre optic rings around the place, and then bring it in via satellite and spread it around by a fibre optic link.
Current Global Recession and Business Sense in Outsourcing
Outsourcing in some instances can save a lot of money because what it basically entails is that you go to a company and present them with a proposal whereby you take over their manpower cost and the cost involved specifically with IT. If a company manufactures motor vehicles, its primary job is to manufacture vehicles and not to worry about the efficiency of the computers, or the pay increase for the personnel. As an outsourcing company, BCX will take away that burden on that company and take over their manpower and ICT management. There are lots of advantages to doing that because companies can save on manpower and more importantly, their IT remains up-to-date because we replace it as opposed to them buying and keeping it for many years. As an outsourcing company, we make sure that it remains up-to-date with no extra cost to the companies; all they need to do is pay a flat fee every month.
Role in IT Infrastructure Building
BCX does systems integrating. We do not use a specific product from a specific company. We use various products from various companies – the best in the world from different manufacturers. For example, we use products from Cisco, Huawei, Avaya, Nortel and a score of companies. We take these products and design them to suit the companies, and then install, commission and maintain the various companies’ networks.
Services for the Banking Sub-sector
Banks traditionally have perhaps a couple of thousand people working for them. So, the primary area we would like to work in is called Internet Protocol Telephony (IPT). Here, we rationalize the whole telephone system within the bank, we install a central call system which takes the place of the traditional Private Automatic Branch exchange (PABX), and we turn the whole network into a digital one. In other words, your phones become more than phones. On a single handset, you can browse the Internet, make voice calls, watch videos and communicate either within or outside of the building. On top of that, we put in place what is called unified communications which for instance, takes a voice message and turns it into a text message or vice versa. So on a single handset, you can make all your communications; hence the name ‘unified communications.’ You receive all communications whether text, e-mail, voice or video – you receive it onto one point of presence. For banks with head offices and hundreds of branches, we build wide area connectivity for those branches either by using satellite, radio or traditional terrestrial communications.
Disaster Recovery not Taken Seriously
That is an area where many people learn the hard way. What that means is they wait until an actual disaster takes place, and then it is a case of regrets. But a number of the bigger organizations have realized the importance of this. Companies can do disaster recovery themselves or outsource it, and that is becoming a very popular way of doing disaster recovery. Many companies, especially the telecom operators, are building data centres to which they then outsource IT infrastructure, and they provide services which include disaster recovery – that is now becoming very popular in Nigeria. The reluctance about disaster recovery may not necessarily be due to cost. The ongoing running of an infrastructure which you might or never need – that is where the cost comes in. It is not the hardware but the ongoing operations that do cost a lot of money.
Application of Business Intelligence in Organization’s Success
Business intelligence can be done in a number of ways. The most popular one is what we call the customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRM systems are traditionally very expensive to maintain. But with the call centre technology and the integration of CRM into call centres today, it is becoming a much easier task to do. It allows you to gain intelligence on your customers’ data – their hobbies, date of birth – so that you can better serve them. From the BCX point of view, we use business intelligence as a way of producing a business case for our customers. We put together the business case to show customers that by using this type of equipment and technology, they would gain a better access to their customers and thereby increase their market share.
IP without Fibre
If you look at the history of IP, it dates back to 1969 in the American Department of Defense. Within this department was a group called Advanced Research Project Agency (Arpa), and the Department asked Arpa to come up with a method of connecting every single computer to one another within the American defence force. So Arpa went out and found that some areas had IBM, some HP, some Dell – they were faced with the challenge of synchronizing the computers which could not communicate with one another. So the only way for them to do it was to come up with a common set of rules, which they used to connect all the computers to one another. And they thought: “We just might as well call this thing an Internet.” Thus the name, Internet Protocol (IP). That is, Internet set of rules. IP is just a set of rules. The question now is – how do we deliver Internet more efficiently? Internet can run on any type of infrastructure; it has no limits on the type of infrastructure on ground. It is only a set of principles that is implemented and then you can run voice, video and data on top of IP. It can run over fibre; it can run over copper; it can run over radio; it can run over satellite. There are no limitations. They all deliver the same in terms of quality; it is just that when you consider fibre optics, it can provide more bandwidth but if you are running over it or copper at the same speed, there is no difference in the delivery. They both deliver the same quality and at the same speed.
BCX is arguably the largest ICT Company in Africa. We have more than 5, 000 people working for the company; we are Cisco Gold partners, Avaya Platinum partners; we have many accreditations with the largest companies in the world. Technology makes BCX tick but I think more than that, we look at the types of people we hire specifically in Nigeria. I have made it a routine to hire students that are just out of the university and they are all clever young guys. Within six months, they gain huge experience and exposure within BCX. Developing the young people within Nigeria is one of our goals.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
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.
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