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Telcos Showcase New Products at W.Afri.Tel 2009

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Two telecommunications operators in the country, Etisalat and Visafone are among many Information and Communications Technology operators that plans to showcase new products at this year’s West African International Telecommunications and Information Communications Technology show, (W.Afri.Tel 2009).
Determined to reach out to its growing number of subscribers and touch other potential ones with innovative and quality products using cutting edge technologies, Etisalat has signed on to exhibit in this year’s West African International Telecommunications and Information Communications Technology show, (W.Afri.Tel 2009).
Nigeria’s fifth GSM licensee recently signed up to participate at the event. Etisalat’s participation at the ninth edition of W.Afri.Tel, scheduled to hold from June 2 to June 4, at the Expo Centre, Oceanview, Lagos reflects the telecom operator’s perception of the exhibition as the premier medium to showcase its products and services to its clients, potential customers and numerous visitors.
According to a company official, Etisalat intends to leverage on the successes achieved through its participation at the 2008 edition of the exhibition. Its participation at the exhibition’s eighth edition, even when it was yet to formally commence operations, drew a mammoth crowd of curious visitors who flocked at the company’s booth to catch a glimpse of what telecom services the new entrant would be intending to offer. The legion of intending subscribers who had signed up as potential Etisalat customers, at the event professedly overwhelmed the company officials.
This time, the telecom operator, through its W.Afri.Tel 2009 participation, intends to leverage on the successes achieved at W.Afri.Tel 2008; a testament to the exhibition’s status as the premier business and networking opportunity for West African companies operational in the information and communications technology sector. While the company is keeping sealed lips over the nature of its innovative offerings at the foremost ICT exhibition, it has however revealed that its chief mission at the West African exhibition, was the introduction of new products.
“Our main aim as the fifth GSM operator is to introduce a whole new range of innovative offerings to our subscribers. Our status as a late entrant necessitates that we be innovative in our product offering. Our participation at last year’s edition, and the sheer volume of requests about our formal launch date, as well as the enthusiasm about our packages and tariffs from the public was overwhelming. Hence, we are taking advantage of W.Afri.Tel’s popularity to avail our customers of the latest offerings from the Etisalat stable” an official of the company stated.
From an obscure subscriber base ranking in Nigeria ’s telecom sector, Visafone Communications would be participating at W.Afri.Tel 2009 as a leading CDMA operator, if the company continues with its impressive performance. According to NCC statistics, the telecom operator is currently ranked the fourth largest telecom operator according to subscriber base figures.
Visafone’s participation at W.Afri.Tel, West Africa ’s premier information and communications technology exhibition is geared towards maintaining its foothold in Nigeria ’s telecom sector. As a measure of the company’s seriousness and as a mark of the importance the telecom operator accords W.Afri.Tel, the company has signed up for four booths.
Visafone’s first participation at W.Afri.Tel was in 2008, when as a fledgling telecom operator it opted for West Africa ’s leading exhibition as a leverage to expand its scope of services and subscriber base.
Expectedly, the Visafone stand is set to experience a flurry of activities as subscribers would be trooping to the telecom operator’s stand to make enquiries about the company’s set of promotions. Visafone Communications Limited is a wholly owned Nigerian telecommunications company.
Visafone offers an exciting bouquet of superior telecom service encompassing the very best of voice, high speed data (3G), internet and other innovative value added services to individual subscribers while also providing unequalled business solutions to both corporate entities as well as the small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.
Reacting to Etisalat and Visafone’s participation at W.Afri.Tel 2009, Mkpe Abang, editor-in-chief of IT & Telecom Digest, sole Nigerian representative to Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the event, described the two company’s participation as a vote of confidence on the Nigerian information and communications sector. He further commended the companyies strategy to showcase new products and services at W.Afri.Tel as apt.
“As competition in Nigeria ’s telecom sector continues to get fierce, due to the peculiar nature of the country’s telecom sector, the onus is on operators to apply ingenuity in their product offerings. Etisalat and Visafone’s plan to showcase exclusive new product offerings at W.Afri.Tel is commendable. Visitor attendance at W.Afri.Tel has continued to soar over the years, and it paid off for the telecom company as the volume of enquiries at the operator’s booth in a way translated to its impressive subscriber acquisitions when it formally commenced operations” stated Abang.

 

 


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NCC Holds First Virtual Bi-Annual Meeting with Telcos

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and senior executives of telecommunication companies on complaints management recently held the regular bi-annual meeting, in compliance with COVID-19 management protocols instituted by the Federal Government.

NCC Holds First Virtual Bi-Annual Meeting with Telcos

Prof Umar Danbatta, EVC, NCC

At the meeting, which focused on consumer relations and complaint management processes, the NCC and the telecom service providers agreed that the compensation policy should be revisited and complied with at all times.

This is to ensure full compliance with the new Complaint Categories and Service Level Agreement (CC/SLA) consented to by the NCC and the service providers in the telecommunication ecosystem.

Additionally, it was decided that the Commission and telecom service providers will hold follow-up discussions on “Fair Usage Policy” on unlimited data bundles/data rollover, in order to provide a clearer explanation and better understanding of the processes and procedures of the policy for the benefit of the consumers.

The Commission hereby wishes to restate that its direction of June 2018 to service providers to commence implementation of data rollover from 26 June 2018, remains in force.

In other words, a subscriber’s unused data must be rolled over to his/her subsequent data subscription.

Therefore, the Commission urges service providers to continue to inform and educate subscribers on the procedures and processes for data rollover.

Service providers also agreed to ensure that senior-level customer relations officers support their respective complaints management teams, to resolve complaints that were not resolved to the satisfaction of the consumers when such complaints were first reported.

The service providers also promised to ensure that complaints are resolved in both the letter and spirit of the recently-reviewed Service Level Agreement (SLA).

With respect to services subscribed to through third parties (such as banks), which are not rendered, the meeting resolved that telecom service providers should explore initiating service level agreement with banks to ensure uniformity and speed in the resolution of complaints relating to billing.

All parties to the meeting equally agreed that telecom service providers will carry out pervasive consumer education and enlightenment campaigns about their products and services to ensure their subscribers have the information they require to make informed decisions and get value for money spent.

The commission wishes to state that it was very pleased with the impressive attendance, participation, and the quality of decisions taken at the bi-annual meeting.

The NCC is, therefore, determined to continue to work closely with the service providers and other stakeholders in the Nigerian telecom sector in order to improve on the quality of service, and by implication, the quality of consumer experience.

The bi-annual meeting, which has held regularly since 2018, focuses on ensuring improvement in Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) in the telecom industry.

It has served as a veritable platform for the Commission and service providers to discuss and agree on measures that will enhance prompt and effective consumer complaint resolution in telecom service provision in Nigeria.

 


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Ericsson Launches Integrated Packet Core Firewall to Boost 5G Core Security

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Ericsson is advancing 5G core network security for communications service providers (CSPs) through the launch of the cloud native Ericsson Packet Core Firewall.

Core network security is a key factor in CSPs’ forward business planning as they pursue innovative new business opportunities powered by 5G and emerging technologies.

Ericsson’s new solution, part of the Ericsson 5G platform, is aimed at enabling CSPs to pursue those opportunities not only through the best packet core network security capabilities, but also in the most cost-effective way for their business.

Powered by A10 Networks’ advanced security technology, the Ericsson Packet Core Firewall solution is already seamlessly integrated with Ericsson Packet Core Gateway in  Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core offering. The solution also supports end-to-end network slicing and edge computing.

The cloud native offering is optimized to scale with user plane to the edge of the network to cater for secure core network 5G use cases. By protecting a communications service provider’s core network – including sensitive service provider data and customer data – the all-in-one solution secures 5G service availability.

The solution delivers more than 50 percent total cost of ownership reduction over dedicated user plane security solutions, while maintaining 5G latency. This is enabled through a single CNF (Cloud Native Network Function) solution with simplified maintenance and orchestration.

Folke Anger, Head of Packet Core Solutions, Ericsson, says: “Securing service availability in 5G requires a holistic view beyond dedicated security solutions.

“We are now launching the Ericsson Packet Core Firewall seamlessly integrated into our Packet Core Gateway. This will provide our customers with substantial total cost of ownership improvements while ensuring their 5G services to the edge.”

Patrick Donegan, Founder and Principal Analyst, HardenStance, says: “Telecom operators need to think differently about how they implement security with a 5G Core. Ericsson’s Packet Core Gateway together with Packet Core Firewall integrates user plane and security functions in a single Cloud native Network Function (CNF).

“This allows significant TCO savings and is well optimized for edge use cases. It also enables automated, closed-loop, threat mitigation independent of transport equipment vendor.”

Dhrupad Trivedi, CEO and Board Chair, A10 Networks, says: “Mobile operators are transitioning to more cloud native and distributed architectures to support 5G. This increases the critical need for security and network availability.

“A10 is excited to expand our partnership with Ericsson to enable current and emerging 5G use cases. The Ericsson Packet Core Firewall powered by A10 Networks is ready for cloud native deployments and addresses the evolving business needs for operators.”


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Anambra Indicates Interest to Host NITDA’s South-East Zonal Office

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The Anambra State Government has indicated interest to provide enabling environment for the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) to situate its South-East Zonal Office in the State.

The State, also among other requests, expressed willingness to host some of NITDA’s events, programmes and establishment of information Technology hub in the State.

The State made the requests during a working visit to NITDA by Mr Theo Manfa, managing director/chief executive officer, Anambra State Information and Communication Technology Agency, (ANSICTA).

Mr Manfa in his address,  expressed that the call for special requests by the state is necessitated by the fact that the state “has long been known as a home of innovation and entrepreneurship, through the various markets like Onitsha and Nnewi and the plethora of locally produced goods they spawned over time.”

He said that innovation and entrepreneurship are important elements to drive the digital economy which the nation is striving to create adding that the state has been watching with keen interest the activities of Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NITDA which necessitated the intended partnership.

While itemizing the identified possible areas of collaboration, Mr Manfa said that the state would like to partner NITDA on the newly launched Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture, (NGEA), training of youths in hardware and software skills, entrenchment of e-Government culture and learning interventions for secondary school students with the aid of Unity Board.

In his remark, Dr Vincent Olatunji, director, e-Government Development and Regulations, who represented Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the meeting said it is gratifying to know that the state is keenly following the activities of the Agency in its drive to achieving digital economy for the nation.

He commended the state for developing its ICT policy to serve as road map on how the state would execute its IT plans adding that ANSICTA should ensure it drives the policy for the state.

While assuring the state that all its requests are not beyond what the Agency could provide, he enjoined it to formally write to the Agency by itemizing and prioritizing the area of collaborations.

The highlight of the meeting was the presentation of Award of Appreciation for his outstanding achievements in driving the digital economy.


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