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WafICT, W.Afri.Tel Bring Innovation to West Africa

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For three days – between June 2nd and 4th, ICT enthusiasts converged at the Expo Centre and Coral Hall of Oceanview Restaurant in Lagos for the West African International Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology Exhibition (W.Afri.Tel) and the West African Information Communications Technology (WafICT) Congress.
While the W.Afri.Tel exhibition, organized by Exhibition Management Services (EMS) of South Africa, in partnership with IT & Telecom Digest, was hosting its ninth edition; the WAFICT Congress was an added feature for the first time, since the berth of W.Afri.Tel in June 2001.
Declaring the twin events of global prominence open were two distinguished Africans whose contributions to the development of the ICT sector in their respective countries and the continent remain gargantuan. They were Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Telecom Organization (CTO) and Chief Cornelius Adebayo, former Nigerian Communications minister; who was the country’s longest serving Communications minister in the eight years of the President Obasanjo regime and in whose tenure Nigeria recorded gigantic leap in telecom subscriber base and investment.
Delivering his opening remark on the first day of the WafICT Congress, Dr. Spio-Garbrah described West Africa as having attained the status of a very important market and more so with the threat of the global meltdown on western based companies. He commended the growing attention being paid the region, even though an emerging market by global leading ICT businesses. According to him, an event like the WafICT Congress was necessary for exchange of ideas to move the ICT sector even to a greater height.
While making a presentation on policy and regulatory challenges of harnessing new technologies, he emphasized the need for adoption of Next Generation Networks (NGNs), which he said are based on genuinely innovative technologies already transforming business communications.
According to him, major drivers for NGNs include changes in service and user needs, as well as technological evolution, further stating that benefits accruable to Nigeria and other African countries in the aftermath of NGN presence are access, availability and affordability of telecom facilities and improved quality of service.
Dr. Spio-Garbrah advocated for a closer working relationship between government and the telecom industry regulator and operators, as they are pivotal to the success of the industry and the people at large. Referring to the recent squabbles between the Ministry of Communications and the Nigerian Communications Commission over the recent auctioning of 2.3 GHz spectrum, he stated that a cordial working relationship would have averted any form of bickering.
Speaking on the broadband Internet divide in Nigeria, Engr. Lanre Ajayi, president of Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) identified the lack of effective Internet exchange points as a factor for lack of broadband ubiquity in Nigeria. He further highlighted the lack of enthusiasm by telecom operators to roll out broadband services as another factor responsible for the digital divide in Nigeria.
According to him, other obstacles hindering broadband deployment include monopoly of the SAT-3 submarine cable, lack of inadequate national transmission backbone and unavailability of spectrum for last mile operations.
The WafICT Congress recorded such speakers as Mr. Peter Schubert, CTO of Globacom, Mr. Wale Goodluck, Corporate Services executive of MTN Nigeria and Mrs. Ijeoma Abazie, CCAO of Multi-Links Telkom Nigeria. Others include Mr. Harald Braun, president of Harris Stratex Networks USA; Dr. Stephen Castell, chairman, Castell Consulting, UK; Mr. Petteri Paasila, MD designate, iBurst Nigeria; Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (Alton); Mr. Karl Keppke, Regional Sales director of O3b Networks and Ms. Funke Opeke, CEO of Mainstreet Technologies, among others.

 


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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