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Why Some SIM Cards Previously linked to NIN were Barred– NCC

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given reasons why some telecommunications subscribers who previously linked their SIM cards to their National Identification Numbers (NINs) have their mobile lines barred.

The commission’s director of public affairs, Mr. Reuben Muoka, in an interview with Channels TV, on Monday, said; “People who probably didn’t get a cleared or verified NIN have been barred because the earlier ones they submitted was not good. There are still some subscribers whose NINs are yet to be verified by NIMC and those have to also be corrected,” he said.

Many subscribers have complained that they had previously linked their NIN with their SIM cards years ago but the NCC official said some lines were barred because the information on the NIN did not tally with what the customers register with their SIM cards. He said subscribers will have to visit the outlets of their service providers to validate their NINs and resolve other matters.

“For now, it requires those physical visits to the stations to get it verified and validated but in the future, we hope that this will be done virtually,” the NCC spokesman said.

The NCC had last week issued a directive to telecom service providers to bar subscribers who have failed to link their phone numbers to their NIN on or before February 28, 2024.

Mouka said it will be difficult to tell the actually number of phone lines that have been barred but the NCC will do an audit before the end of the week as data are expected from service providers.

He added that the NIN-SIM linkage has an objective which is to make Nigerians have digital identity to tackle security matters.

“The whole essence is actually to achieve the convenience that digital services and products will offer. By the time you have your identity together, you will be able to attend to a number of things.

“Even the banks are now asking their customers to link their NINs to their Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs). It is actually to make a holistic package of all your digital services,” he said

As of December 2023, Nigeria has over 224 million, according to data by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). MTN boast of over 87 million subscribers, representing 38.79% of the total market share, the highest in the country by any licensed Mobile Network Operator (MNO). Globacom and Airtel have 61 million subscribers each while 9mobile has 13.9 million users.

Millions of lines were barred last week at the expiration of the deadline but the regulator’s spokesman said the NCC has been going through one deadline after the other since 2022 “to give extension for convenience but it is time to get to a closure”.


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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. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

Telecom

Secure Identity Alliance: OSIA Becomes Official ITU Standard

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Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) has announced that its OSIA specification, has been recognized as international standard by the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

Secure Identity Alliance: OSIA Becomes Official ITU Standard

This milestone establishes OSIA as official ITU standard (ITU-T Recommendation) for the global infrastructure of information and communication technologies (ICT).

The specification that is now an ITU-T Recommendation is: ITU-T X.1281 – APIs for interoperability of identity management systems.

ITU-T is the standardization arm of ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for ICT.

The Secure Identity Alliance specifications were approved as official ITU-T Recommendations by ITU members including 193 countries and the world’s front-running ICT companies on 1st March 2024.

The new ITU-T Recommendation is under the responsibility of ITU’s standardization expert group for security, ITU-T Study Group 17.

“We are very proud that the OSIA specification is recognized as an international standard by ITU-T. This milestone demonstrates the maturity of OSIA and its potential to foster interoperability and promote fairness in the identity management systems market,” said Debora Comparin, chair of the OSIA Initiative.

Prof. Heung Youl Youm, chairman of ITU-T Study Group 17, said, “The recognition of the OSIA specification as an official ITU-T Recommendation underscores its critical contribution to the advancement of global ICT infrastructure. We are thrilled about the ongoing collaboration between ITU-T SG17 and the SIA, aimed at developing standards for secure identity management.”

“As Editor of the OSIA standard in the ITU-T Study Group 17 Q10, I am pleased to have contributed to this successful recommendation by the ITU,” said Abbie Barbir, rapporteur for ITU-T’s working group on ‘Identity management and telebiometrics architecture and mechanisms’ (Q10/17).

“The collaboration with the SIA continues on OSIA and other structuring initiatives and standards development.”

Engr Abisoye Coker-Odusote, CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria and chair of the OSIA Advisory Committee, said, “As the Chair of the OSIA Advisory Committee, comprised exclusively of government representatives, we take great pride in our five years of collaboration guiding the working group in the development of the OSIA specification. OSIA establishes equal marketplace conditions, fosters collaboration, and ensures product compatibility post-mergers and acquisitions.

The OSIA standardized interfaces drive innovation, enabling new local market models and reducing fraud within multiple ID systems.

Additionally, OSIA addresses integrator/vendor lock-in, allowing governments to maintain control over their identity systems and pursue national development agendas seamlessly.”

 

 

 

 


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Zipline Achieves One Millionth Delivery Milestone

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Zipline, the leading force in drone logistics delivery, has reached a monumental achievement with its one-millionth delivery to customers, signifying a significant leap forward in the logistics delivery sector. This historic milestone was marked by the delivery of two bags of IV fluid from a Zipline distribution center in Ghana to a local health facility.

Renowned for its innovative approach to designing, building, and operating autonomous delivery drones, Zipline’s zero-emission technology has garnered acclaim, covering over 70 million commercial miles across four continents.

Backed by investments surpassing several millions of dollars from notable supporters like Sequoia Capital, a16z, and Google Ventures, Zipline has firmly established itself as a disruptive leader in the industry. CEO Keller Rinaudo emphasizes the company’s commitment to key markets such as healthcare, quick commerce, and food delivery, envisioning a future where Zipline achieves 1 million deliveries per day.

“The three areas where the incentive really makes the most sense today are health care, quick commerce, and food,” underscoring Zipline’s commitment to partnering with top brands and institutions to transform the future of logistics using autonomous drones –  Keller Rinaudo Cliffton.

In Africa, Zipline has made a profound impact, forging significant partnerships across the continent. In Ghana alone, which accounts for about 54% of the one-millionth delivery milestone, Zipline’s collaboration with the government and health ministry has been pivotal. Since its inception, Zipline has completed over 540,000 drone delivery flights across Ghana, encompassing the delivery of crucial supplies, including 3,566,500 units of vaccines, 2,825,210 units of medical products, 14,807 units of blood products, and 18,289 units of animal health products. These deliveries have directly impacted the lives of over 17 million Ghanaians across 13 regions, saving 6,014 lives through emergency deliveries, including blood products and snake antivenom since 2019.

Beyond mere statistics, the company has facilitated the delivery of 12.2 million vaccine doses, including 2.8 million Covid-19 vaccines, leading to a 21% increase in vaccination coverage and a 44% reduction in missed opportunities to vaccinate in Ghana. These efforts have potentially saved 727 lives due to increased vaccination coverage. Additionally, Zipline’s infrastructure expansion in Ghana, with six distribution centers strategically located across the country, has enabled swift and efficient on-demand drone delivery services.

Not only this, the technology has facilitated the vaccination of 104,000 cattle against Anthrax in northern Ghana, safeguarding both human and animal lives. Such interventions have also extended to the agricultural sector, where 10.4 million doses of poultry vaccines have been delivered to poultry farmers nationwide, combating diseases such as Newcastle disease, Fowl pox, and Gumboro.

But Zipline’s impact in Africa extends far beyond Ghana’s borders. Operating in Rwanda, Kenya, Côte D’Ivoire, and Nigeria, the company has become a beacon of hope for healthcare accessibility and disease prevention. In Rwanda, Zipline serves as a lifeline, delivering 75% of the country’s blood supply outside of Kigali, drastically reducing maternal mortality rates due to postpartum hemorrhage by 88%. Additionally, the company’s deliveries of agricultural products have elevated farmers’ fertility rates by 10% compared to the national average.

In Kenya, Zipline’s collaborations with the Elton John AIDS Foundation have facilitated the delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment products, empowering individuals to manage their health effectively. Similarly, in Nigeria, Zipline’s expansive coverage encompasses over 500 health facilities in Kaduna, more than 350 in Cross River State, and 200 in Bayelsa. Teaming up with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Zipline focuses on reaching children in remote regions, ensuring equitable access to life-saving immunizations.

Zipline’s adaptive approach and tailored delivery services reflect its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of populations and sectors. The achievement of the one millionth delivery milestone underscores its dedication to enhancing healthcare outcomes and addressing societal needs across Africa. As Zipline continues to innovate and expand its reach, it is poised to shape the future of healthcare delivery on the continent and beyond.

 

 

 


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Telcos Record N27Bn Loss from Damaged Fibre Cables

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Repairs and revenue losses from damaged cables are estimated to have cost Nigeria’s telecom industry almost N27bn ($23m) in 2023, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg.

Telcos Record N27Bn Loss from Damaged Fibre Cables

MTN Nigeria, the biggest wireless operator in Africa’s most-populous nation, and Airtel Africa Plc bore the brunt of the costs, the documents show.

MTN suffered more than 6,000 cuts on its fiber cable last year, the documents show.

On Feb. 28, a cut in its network in three different locations by a road construction firm, an oil serving company, and someone burning rubbish in a manhole meant customers faced more than five hours of data and voice outages.

The operator relocated 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) of vulnerable fiber cables between 2022 and 2023, at a cost of more than N11bn —enough to build 870 kilometers of new fiber lines in areas without coverage.

Broadband fibre optic cables form the backbone of modern communication infrastructure, enabling the high-speed data transmission that underpins a wide range of personal, business, and societal activities.

On several occasions, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, has acknowledged this challenge and expressed willingness to work on measures to address it.

These measures include stricter regulations to deter vandalism and improved collaboration between telcos and government agencies responsible for construction activities.

According to the NCC, the telecom sector will make up more than a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product by the end of 2027, up from 13.5 per cent in the third quarter of last year.


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