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The Value of Broadband Internet



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In order for the country of Nigeria to become a significant contributor to the global economy, the connectivity issues that are prevalent in the more remote parts of the country ideally need to be addressed and resolved.

People that have access to pervasive broadband are proven to directly influence a faster economic growth but in order for this to happen, the networks that provide the broadband coverage firstly need funding and building.

A broader coverage of networks would provide the general public with faster, widespread access to the Internet which in turn could become a platform for the development and growth of the Nigerian economy.

A Better Quality of Life
Pervasive Internet delivers such things as better quality education, healthcare information and employment opportunities which would enable citizens to improve their standards of living.

In regards to education, having access to the Internet for citizens in more remote locations would allow the potential for high quality, distance learning which would improve the value of students in the employment sector.

Cooperation between Nigerian universities and foreign institutions could also be encouraged, forging essential links to other educational establishments that could also be beneficial to the growth of the economy.

Conversely, highly qualified retired professionals (teachers, doctors, scientists) could impart their knowledge over the Internet to willing students from isolated locations, at no significant cost to themselves.

Similarly for healthcare, professionals can provide the public with information that people in the more remote areas of Nigeria would not previously have had access to, benefitting the healthcare services across the country.

The Need for Investment
Despite the introduction of new broadband cable networks over the past few years, the coverage tends to be limited to the more densely populated areas of the coastline, with undersea cable networks laid near the coast, whereas the hinterlands must tolerate restricted access while the infrastructure cannot support the extension of the networks.

Furthermore, the price of broadband internet has not become more accessible to promote increased usage, as might have been expected, meaning it is still largely out of reach for the greater part of the Nigerian population.

Building such a network would require a huge investment, which is why investors are unwilling to spend in to something that doesn’t have a short-term profit return.

Without the willingness of financial investors to advance the provision of a broader service, and without the stimulation of competition in the marketplace, something which the Nigerian market really needs for prices to be able to be reduced, the prices will remain high and inaccessible to the majority of citizens.

The Vision of the Future
Electronic-commerce and electronic payment schemes are made possible and are encouraged with the provision of accessible, affordable, high speed broadband Internet and with the extension of these networks, this could become available to those who reside in the more remote parts of Nigeria as well.

The Nigerian Communications Commission seems unwavering in it’s determination to provide universal access across the country, delivering efficient low-cost access to the Internet and consciously encouraging competition in the market to enable the prices to be lowered.

Omobola Johnson, Minister for Communications Technology has also promised to help the development of the infrastructure in order to increase the number of Internet users in Nigeria to 70 million by 2015. At the moment, out of 40 million Nigerians with access to the Internet, only around 3% have access to the higher quality broadband, and this 3% tends to be the higher socio-economic groups of citizens.

She also aims to promote investment into skills that are required to power the emerging industry and provide ‘digital havens’, places where the public can go to connect to the global network.

In India, the ICT sector contributes up to 6% of its nation’s GDP, whilst Nigeria’s currently makes up 3.5%. By 2015, this is hoped to be raised up to 5%.

Expansion of the Market
After the arrival of fibre-optic broadband in Nigeria in 2010 and 2012, additional cable networks are expected to be launched in 2013 and 2014 to further provide Internet to remote areas.

Due to this expansion of the market, the price of international broadband internet could be seen to drop by up to 90%, making it much more accessible.

The economy in Nigeria is beginning to rapidly evolve, in turn promoting the application of e-commerce, e-learning, e-health and online banking.

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TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech



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Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.

According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.

Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.

This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.

On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.

Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.

As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.

Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.

“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.

“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”

“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.

“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”

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Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others



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inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.

Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.

Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.

Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.

“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.

According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.

“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and  technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.



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HP Lauds TD Africa, Says Tech Experience Centre will Unlock New Wave in Nigeria



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As Nigeria looks forward to the official launch of the Tech Experience Centre, globally renowned tech giant, Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) has heaped praises on the management of TD Africa for spearheading the project, noting that the centre will herald a new technological wave in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Ife Afe, managing director – Nigeria and District Manager – Central Africa (CAF).

Equally important, HP is one of the global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that will be represented in the Tech Experience Centre located within Yudala Heights at 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Consequently, Afe has expressed delight with the development, even as she disclosed that the launch of the centre will bridge the gap to complete technology adoption for millions of Nigerians.

She said: ‘‘I do believe Nigerians are early adopters of new and exciting technology. Having a dedicated space where people can view and experience cutting-edge technology across rich and diverse portfolio is an important step towards complete Adoption.

‘‘Technology is about transformation. This tech centre will serve as a bridge, taking people from the imaginative stage to the experiential stage, thereby unlocking a new technological wave.

“I am very glad that TD Africa is taking this bold step and I look forward to the great collaborations that will flow out of this initiative.’’

Furthermore, the HP Senior Management Executive reiterated the strong interest in Nigeria by the tech brand.

‘‘We are strong believers in the Nigerian project and the boundless potential inherent in the population when exposed to cutting-edge technology.

“We also value the foresight and vision of our long-time partner and co-developer – TD Africa. We are proud of this project and are confident of its success and positive impact not just in the sphere of business but also in human capital development,’’ Afe enthused.

On what to expect from HP in the Tech Experience Centre, she revealed that a lot is in store for every visitor.

‘‘HP is in the business of making life better for everyone, everywhere, hence revolutionary innovation in Health care, Security, Gaming and Printing Solutions will be showcased in the Technology Centre.  Cutting- edge, sustainable, diverse and relevant innovation in technology.

‘‘This brings technology closer to home. I believe that the ambience of the Tech Centre will cater to a wide spectrum of users: CEO’s, Government officials, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, students, gamers etc. It will be the crucial meeting point of people and technology.

“Our wide spectrum of products and solutions will cater to all demographics – from first time users to specialists, professionals, gamers to moviemakers, work or play,’’ she affirmed.

The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is set for launch on Thursday, October 1st 2020, incidentally the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary by 12noon, with the launch streamed live online for the benefit of tech enthusiasts.

Expected to officially commission the centre is the Minister of Communica99tions and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.

The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.

For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.



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