Connect with us


Stakeholders at MoDiTECH 2019 Harp on Leveraging Digital Services to Boost Nigeria’s Economy



Kindly share this post

To fully embrace the possibilities that digital technology has to offer both the private and public organisations have to be willing to use agile approaches in which requirements and solutions evolve over time.

Through adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement agile development methods encourage rapid and flexible response to change.

These were the thoughts of speakers at the maiden Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) organised by in Lagos recently.

R-L: MD Rack Centre and Chair, MoDiTECH2019, Dr. Ayotunde Coker; Founder, CWG Plc and Keynote speaker, MoDiTECH2019, Mr. Austin Okere and ATCON Coordinator, Internet Services Providers, Mr. Desoye Amoo, during Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held at Victoria Crown Hotel, VI, Lagos, recently.

Participants at the Forum were exposed to how industry leaders are using disruptive technologies such as Mobile Internet, Automation of Knowledge and Work, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Technology etc. to improve the quality of life for people and redefining business models such as Agritech, FinTech, e-Billing, e-Commerce, e-Governance, e-Payments, transportation, smart city, etc.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that through its regulatory excellence, the Commission is at the forefront of unleashing the digital economy that will spur industrial growth, job creation, and Return on Investment (RoI) for investors.

According to him, the internet is at the leading edge of digital revolution, which informed why NCC is supporting operators to deploy more infrastructure.

“Today, Nigeria has started a test-run of 5G, the latest technology for delivering broadband services and such other services as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI). The trial will last for three months. Nigeria hopes to join other countries which are in a rush to deploy the 5G technology because of its immense promise for digital communication,” Danbatta said.

R-L: Chief Product Officer, Global Accelerex, Chuks Anakudo; President, Digivation Networks, Dr. Bayero Agabi and the Executive Secretary, African ICT Foundation, Mr. Emmanuel Bassey, during Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held at Victoria Crown Hotel, VI, Lagos, recently.

Prof. Danbatta who spoke through Engineer Bako Wakil, director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC, also disclosed that the Commission was “at the verge of sending the N65 billion request for supporting the already six infrastructure companies (InfraCos) licensed to roll out broadband infrastructure across the country, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval”.

Meanwhile, Danbatta expressed concurrence of the Commission to the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to ‘Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’.

“The renaming of the Ministry shows a demonstration of the future of telecoms in all government sectors and the economy; the EVC, therefore, commended the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami and members of the Federal Executive Council for the foresight and dramatic change. This, will spur a new debate and redirect the Ministry and other agencies under it as well as the private sector to a new awakening that digital economy brings,” he added.

L-r: Marketing Manager, Galaxy Backbone Limited; Head, Marketing and Communications at Rack Centre, Ejieke Ezeadiugwu and the Conference Manager West Africa – International Data Corporation (IDC), Theresa Etukodo Eshiet, during Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held at Victoria Crown Hotel, VI, Lagos, recently.

In a keynote presentation titled: ‘Social and Global Impact: Engaging for Growth’, Mr. Austin Okere, founder/vice-chairman, CWG Plc recalled that in 2018, the mobile ecosystem contributed more than $500 billion to the funding of the public sector through general taxation, globally.

According to him, Nigeria as among the three smartphone super-powers to emerge by 2025, stands to benefit from the smartphone ubiquity across the world that enables consumer engagement in numerous use cases

He said, however, slowing unique subscriber growth, regulatory intervention and intense competition continue to put pressure on operators’ traditional mobile revenue.

Cross section of participants at the event.

“Over a fifth of the world’s markets will have launched 5G by 2020, spending combined $244 billion on networks in the process. In 2018, mobile technologies and services generated 4.6% of GDP globally, a contribution that amounted to $3.9 trillion of economic value added.

“The mobile ecosystem also supported almost 32 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector,  with more than $500 billion raised through general  taxation. By 2023, mobile’s contribution will reach

“$4.8 trillion (4.8% of GDP) as countries around the globe increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services.

“Further ahead, 5G technologies are expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next 15 years, with key sectors such as manufacturing, utilities and professional/financial services benefiting the most from the new technology.

“The mobile ecosystem directly employs almost 32 million people globally; 14 million directly and 17 million through related industries 

To this end, Mr. Okere called on State Governments’ to invest in digital economy especially by removing excess taxation on Right of Way (RoW) adding that over the next few years, as the enablers of mobile internet adoption such as infrastructure, affordability, consumer readiness and content/services, continue to improve, millions of people will start using the mobile internet for the first time, and will add value to the nation’s economy.

L-r: Senior Consultant, Digital Encode, Oluafemi Obadare; Chief Operating Officer, Fintech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR), Dr. Babatunde Obrimah; CEO, Hillary Nwaukor and Chief Technology Strategist at Debbie Mishael Consulting, Engr. Ifeanyi Frank Ogochukwu, during a panel session at Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held at Victoria Crown Hotel, VI, Lagos, recently

He continued that “Mobile is a powerful tool for achieving the UN’s SDGs: since 2015, impact has increased across all 17 SDGs. 5G is an inevitable network evolution, and will create significant opportunities if the right conditions are in place.

 Dr. Ayotunde Coker, managing director,Rack Centre and Chairman of MoDiTECH2019, aligned with Mr. Okere, stressing that content consumption through the mobile channels, is rising hence mobile is a key driver, with more people watching video on their devices for longer and more frequently.

Speaking on the theme: “The Power of Digital Services”, Dr. Coker briefly highlighted the history of the internet and interconnectivity and how it has brought progress to the way businesses and other important economic activities are done in Africa.

Dr. Coker stressed the importance of digitisation on the African continent, and “What it means for us in Africa is to leverage the lots of benefits we can get. Benefits in terms of demographic advantage”

According to Dr. Coker, “the fourth industrial revolution is the next stage of digitisation with Africa has a focus; survival in the present economic structure is dependent on innovation. The journey of digitisation is now a way of life hence the demand for data has exponentially increased.

In his presentation on ‘Impact of Digital Solutions on Financial ServicesMr. Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex, traced the history of banking and financial service provisioning to the 90’s when customers had to be physically present at a bank “in an orderly fashion, with a passbook or cheque” in order to carry out a financial transaction.

Thus, between year 2000 and 2011, were the era of search for utility among banks that engaged in fierce competition for the most branches in localities.

He said that this era was disrupted by internet banking and smart phones that paved the way for 24/7 banking; “Prepaid cards, the POS, the ATMs and then debit cards linked to bank accounts”.

“From 2012 to date we are talking about the search for more utility. This is the era of Web Payments; Mobile Payments; Smart POS Payments; Mobile Money &  Agency Banking, Then, BVN changed everything!” he said.

Mr. Ogungbade who was represented by  Chuks Anakudo, chief Product Officer, Global Accelerex, warned the banks to brace-up for more disruptions as payments will even migrate from traditional banking to native apps and point-of-sales solutions.

He added that Blockchain technology will further disrupt financial services like the internet did to the media.

L-r: Vice President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Toba Obaniyi; CTO, Medallion Communications. Dr. Kris Ranganath and President, Association of Licensed Mobile Payment Operators (ALMPO), Chinedu Onuoha, during a panel session at Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held at Victoria Crown Hotel, VI, Lagos, recently.

“Banks of the future may not need to hold funds in the vault, assets will be digitized in a more secured way. Therefore, the future to behold is closing the gap between what the financial institutions offer and what consumers really need”, said Mr. Ogungbade.

Earlier,  Mr. Peter Oluka, editor,; conveners of #MoDiTECH2019, said the event was organised “to discuss, brainstorm, learn and review the overall impact of new digital technologies that are disrupting many industries.”

Oluka also reiterated the widespread recognition that Artificial intelligence, for instance, will be key to future business and digital transformation and driving increasingly autonomous and intelligent networks (for telcos) and improving the customer experience through greater learning of customer behaviour.

MoDiTECH2019 was sponsored by Global Accelerex, Digital Encode, Access Bank Plc, ActivEdge Technologies, Zenith Bank Plc, Galaxy Backbone,, Medallion Communications, while the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) provided support to the Organisers.

Kindly share this post

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.

Continue Reading


NCC Moves to Review International Termination Rate for Voice Services



Kindly share this post

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has embarked on a cost-based study to set the new pricing regime for mobile international termination rate (ITR) for inbound international voice calls in the country.

The ITR is the rate paid to local operators by international operators to terminate calls in Nigeria.

As part of the process for the rate determination, the Commission has organised a virtual stakeholder engagement forum with relevant industry stakeholders to intimate them with the ongoing cost-based study and the need to cooperate with Messrs Payday Advance and Support Services Limited, the consultants engaged to carry out the study

Addressing the stakeholders in Abuja recently, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, said the study has become imperative following the various implementation constraints arising from contending industry and market dynamics that met previous efforts at finding an optimum price for the termination of international voice services in Nigeria.

Danbatta, who was represented at the forum by Adeleke Adewolu, executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, said through the new ITR pricing, the Commission will be able to balance the competing objectives of economic efficiency and allowing operators the latitude to generate reasonable revenue.

The EVC, however, explained that in 2013, the Commission issued a determination stating that mobile termination rate (MTR) rates were the same irrespective of where the call originated, a clause he said was largely misconstrued by operators at that time to mean that ITR should be the same rate as the MTR.

He said this led to operators ignoring the international cost portion, where ITRs were agreed at MTR level without a positive residual to cover the costs of the international leg for local operators.

“As a result of this, the ITRs continued to decline, in line with the MTR glide path and as the ITR was set in Naira, it suffered a further downward slide in dollar terms following the currency devaluation.

“Ironically, the Nigerian operators paid the international operators in dollars to deliver international calls which created an imbalance of payments as the ITR in Nigeria declined,” he said.

As a result, Danbatta said Nigerian operators’ profitability and commercial results were negatively affected putting Nigeria’s ITR below that of most countries with which it makes and receives the most calls, thereby making Nigerian operators perpetual net payers.

“This has, therefore, led to undue pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves, which continue to get depleted by associated net transfers to foreign operators on account of this lop-sidedness, hence the need for Nigeria, with volatile currencies, to regulate the ITR to prevent or mitigate the imbalance of payments with international operators,” the EVC said.

According to Danbatta, where ITR is not properly regulated, it tends to have a negative effect on a market like Nigeria with major supply-side challenges and associated socio-economic implications.

“So, setting a rate substantially above the MTR has resulted in a number of repercussions. One of such is the consumer shift to online channels as calls are increasingly made through Internet Protocol (IP)-based technologies such as Skype and WhatsApp because of high international call prices.

“To this end, an economically-efficient ITR that is cost-based will maximise economic benefits to all stakeholders,” Danbatta told the stakeholders.

Earlier in her remarks, Director, Policy, Competition & Economic Analysis, Yetunde Akinloye, said the forum is aimed at formally engaging with and sharing the perspectives and insights of industry stakeholders and ultimately enlisting their collective support in relation to the inputs and requirements towards the determination of a mutually- realistic ITR in Nigeria.

She noted that the project commenced on March 10, 2020 with a kick-off meeting but was stalled by the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating the need to explore emerging channels of engagement to move forward and ensure the completion of the project.

Akinloye reiterated the Commission’s commitment to continuously provide a conducive environment and level-playing field for the effective interplay of factors that would sustain market development and growth, while ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications regulatory services for the benefit of consumers and licensees.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


Ericsson Accelerates 5G for Enterprise with Acquisition of Cradlepoint



Kindly share this post

Ericsson has agreed to acquire Cradlepoint, the US-based market leader in Wireless Edge WAN 4G and 5G Enterprise solutions. The investment is key to Ericsson’s ongoing strategy of capturing market share in the rapidly expanding 5G Enterprise space.

Cradlepoint complements Ericsson’s existing 5G Enterprise portfolio which includes Dedicated Networks and a global IoT platform.

The combined offering will create valuable new revenue streams for customers by supporting full 5G-enabled services for enterprise, and boost returns on investments in the network.

Cradlepoint will become a fully owned subsidiary of Ericsson while continuing to operate under its existing brand. Cradlepoint employees will remain within the company, headquartered in Boise, Idaho. It will be part of Ericsson’s Business Area Technologies & New Businesses.

The acquisition price amounts to an enterprise value of USD 1.1 b. with the transaction expected to close before the end of Q4 2020, subject to closing conditions. The purchase price, which is funded from Ericsson’s cash-in-hand, is paid in full on closing.

Cradlepoint’s sales for 2019 were SEK 1.2 b. with a gross margin of 61%. Ericsson’s operating margins are expected to be negatively impacted by approximately 1% in 2021 and 2022 – where half is related to amortization of intangible assets which arise from the acquisition. Cradlepoint is expected to contribute to operating cash-flow starting in 2022. Ericsson’s 2022 group financial targets remain unchanged.

Wireless wide area network (wireless WAN) Edge solutions connect through 4G and 5G to deliver fast, secure, and flexible connectivity wherever and whenever it is needed for businesses, mobility and critical frontline emergency services. Cradlepoint is strongly positioned in a market with underlying growth of 25-30%.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO Ericsson, says: “Portfolio-near acquisitions are an integral part of our earlier communicated strategy. The acquisition of Cradlepoint complements our existing offerings and is key to our strategy of helping customers grow the value of their 5G network investments. Ericsson is uniquely positioned to build on Cradlepoint’s leadership position in Wireless Edge and the wireless WAN market.

Combining the scale of our market access and established relationships with the world’s biggest mobile operators we are making a strong investment to support our customers to grow in this exciting market. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all Cradlepoint employees.”

George Mulhern, CEO and Chairman, Cradlepoint says: “We have led the way in bringing the power of cellular networks and technologies to enterprise and public sector customers – helping them connect beyond the limits of traditional wired WANs. Ericsson with its global 5G leadership is a great match for us and I am very excited to continue to scale and expand our business together.”

Founded in 2006, Cradlepoint has more than 650 employees, providing wireless WAN solutions that deliver enterprise-grade connectivity. In addition to the company headquarters in Boise, Idaho, USA, the company operates a research and development center in Silicon Valley, California, and new market offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Cradlepoint’s subscription model combines cloud-delivered software with hardware endpoints, support and training.

Ericsson’s long-standing collaboration with Cradlepoint dates back to the launch of 4G in the U.S. market more than a decade ago.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


Startups & Investors Set to Meet Virtually at the ISN Hubs Annual Gathering & Demo Day



Kindly share this post

Innovation Support Network, Nigeria’s largest Hub network, is giving ten startups from across the country the opportunity to pitch before local and foreign investors at its inaugural Demo Day on September 24.


The ISN Demo Day is part of the two-day ISN Annual Gathering 2020 which would be holding virtually from 23 – 24 September, 2020.


The ISN Annual Gathering is the biggest convention of Hub founders, administrators, key partners and stakeholders and is targeted at growing visibility, building sustainable models and driving collaborations for the growth of Hubs as Entrepreneur Support Organisations in the country.


This year’s Annual Gathering “Stronger together – developing frameworks for collaboration” is very relevant at this time when Hubs and other members of the tech and innovation ecosystem need to become more collaborative.


In addition to the Annual Gathering, ISN Hubs would be hosting the ISN Hubs Demo Day on 24 September 2020.


Selected startups from within the ISN Hubs network would pitch virtually to an audience of investors, Corporates as well as members of the Development & Impact Community.


According to the Chairman of ISN Hubs, Tomi Davies, the ISN Demo Day is an opportunity for Angel investors to get a front-row view of some of the startups including a few outside of Lagos and Abuja, which they previously may not have had access to.


“This is a great opportunity for Hubs to showcase the startups that they are supporting, for startups to show what they are working on and the solutions that they are creating and for investors to get a better understanding of what is happening in the Nigerian tech and innovation ecosystem. It’s a win-win-win for everyone”. He concluded.


The first ISN Annual Gathering was held on 23 and 24 October 2019 at the Civic Center, Lagos. This year, due to the prevalence of post-COVID limitations on public events, the Annual Gathering would be held virtually on 23 and 24 September 2020.


Fayo Williams, partnership director, ISN, stated that “moving the event online has actually created an opportunity for us to reach a larger audience – not just across Nigeria but indeed, across the World.”


The event would hold for two days via Zoom and would feature two-panel sessions on Understanding the Innovation Support Ecosystem as well as Stimulating demand for homegrown solutions on September 23.


As a follow on to the second session on Day 1, the ISN Demo Day would hold on September 24. Register here to attend.


Innovation Support Network (ISN Hubs) is a not-for-profit Business Member Organisation made up of over 100 entrepreneurship, impact, innovation and technology Hubs across Nigeria.


ISN Hubs champion policy, drive collaborations and promote structures that help grow Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem. A Hub is an environment which provides Entrepreneur Support Services to startups by providing access to four critical resources: skills, infrastructure, funding and network. Hubs include business incubators, startup (or seed) accelerators, co-working spaces, makerspaces, hackerspaces and other structured innovation environments.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading