Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, says it is willing to continue to partner the National Assembly as a critical stakeholder in the development and deepening of the nation’s telecom marketplace. The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, said this at the Senate Committee on Communications retreat on Improving the socio-economic development of the nation through qualitative telecommunication services.

107.87%

There was an increase in subscribers’ teledensity from 107.67 per cent in July 2015 to 107.87 per cent as at August 2015

151,018,624

The total number of subscribers (active lines) in Nigeria as at August 2015 is placed at 151,018,624 an increase from its previous 150,741,005 in July 2015

148,703,160

The number of active mobile GSM lines saw a slight increase from 148,495,205 in July 2015 to 148,703,160 as at August 2015

2,125,941

CDMA mobile has also seen an increase in its active lines, from 2,057,519 in July 2015 to 2,125,941 as at August 2015

189,523

Fixed (wired/wireless) lines saw a slight increase in its active user base, from 188,281 in July 2015, to 189,523 as at August 2015

20%

With a subscriber base of 30,075,643; Airtel’s percentage market share is placed at 20 per cent as at July 2015

16%

Etisalat’s market share is placed at 16 per cent as at July 2015 with an increase in subscribers’ database to 23,029,329; it has also retained its market share

21%

Globacom has maintained its percentage market share at 21 per cent, while its subscriber base has seen a slight increase to 31,256,677 as at July 2015

43%

Having an increased subscriber base of 64,133,556; MTN has also retained its market share at 43 per cent as at July 2015

98.5%

The percentage market share by technology for mobile GSM is placed at 98.5 per cent as at July 2015, a decrease from 98.46 per cent in June 2015

1.4%

CDMA has seen a decrease in its market share, from 1.42 per cent in June 2015 to 1.4 per cent as at July 2015

0.1%

For the fixed (wired/wireless) lines, the market share has also suffered a decrease at 0.1 per cent as at July 2015, from 0.14 per cent in June 2015

93,403,147

The total number of internet subscribers for mobile GSM as at July 2015 is placed at 93,403,147 up from 92,699,924 in June 2015

22,539

Incoming porting activity saw an increase from 21,060 in June 2015 to 22,539 in July 2015

28,712

Outgoing porting activity increased from 21, 153 in June 2015, to 28,712 as at June 2015

4,047

With 4,047 outgoing porting activity of the total 28,712 mobile GSM network porting activity as at July 2015, Airtel gained an increase from its previous 3,768 as at June 2015

2,161

Etisalat saw a decrease in its outgoing porting activity from 2,177 in June 2015 to 2,161 in July 2015

3,290

Globacom maintained its outgoing porting activity at 3,290 in July from June 2015

19,214

Outgoing porting activity for MTN witnessed a significant increase from 11,918 in June 2015 to 19,214 in July 2015

Telecom infrastructure is a critical resource in the effective delivery of quality of service but who watches over such infrastructure. This has been a major concern to the Nigerian Communications Commission. Now, solution is on the way as the Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps  (NSCDC)  recently in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect critical telecom infrastructure from vandalism and theft.

Below are eighteen (18) survey questions that will be used as a metric to measure the cyber security awareness level of NCC staff.

  1. Do you know when your computer is hacked or infected, and whom to contact when it occurs?
    1. Yes, I know when my computer is hacked or infected and I know whom to contact.
    2. No, I do not know when my computer is hacked or infected and I don't know whom to contact.
    3. Yes, I know when my computer is hacked or infected but I don't know whom to contact.
  2. Have you ever found a virus or Trojan on your computer at work?
    1. Yes, my computer has been infected before
    2. No, my computer has never been infected
    3. I do not know what a virus or Trojan is
  3. Is anti-virus currently installed on your computer?
    1. Yes it is
    2. No it is not
    3. I do not know how to tell
  4. If anti-virus is installed, is it enabled and updated on your computer?
    1. Yes, it is enabled but not updated
    2. No, it is neither enabled nor updated
    3. I do not know how to tell
  5. How secure do you feel your computer is?
    1. Very secure
    2. Secure
    3. Not secure
  6. Is the firewall on your computer enabled?
    1. Yes, it is enabled
    2. No, it is not enabled
    3. I do not know what a firewall is
  7. How careful are you when you open an attachment in email?
    1. I always make sure it is from a person I know and I am expecting the email
    2. As long as I know the person or company that sent me the attachment I open it
    3. There is nothing wrong with opening attachments
  8. Do you know what a phishing attack is?
    1. Yes, I do
    2. No, I do not
  9. Do you know what an email scam is and how to identify one?
    1. Yes, I know what an email scam is and how to identify one
    2. I know what an email scam is, but I do not know how to identify one
    3. No, I do not know what an email scam is or how to identify one
  10. My computer has no value to hackers, they do not target me.
    1. True
    2. False
  11. Do we have policies on what you can and cannot use email for?
    1. No, there are no policies, I can send whatever emails I want to whomever I want while at work
    2. Yes, there are policies limiting what emails I can and cannot send while at work, but I do not know the policies
    3. Yes, there are policies and I know and understand them
  12. Can you use your own personal devices, such as your mobile phone, to store or transfer confidential office information?
    1. Yes I can
    2. No I cannot
    3. I do not know
  13. Have you downloaded and installed software on your computer at work?
    1. Yes I have
    2. No I have not
  14. Has your boss or anyone else you know at work, asked you for your password?
    1. Yes, they have
    2. No, they have not
  15. Do you use the same passwords for work-related activities as you do for home activities?
    1. Yes I do
    2. No I do not
  16. How often do you take information from the office and use your computer at home to work on it?
    1. Almost every day
    2. At least once a week
    3. At least once a month (d) Never
  17. Have you logged into office accounts using public computers, such as from a library, cyber café or hotel lobby?
    1. Yes, I have
    2. No, I have not
  18. Do you log off and close your browser after every online activity that requires you to use a password?
    1. Yes, I do log off and close my browser after every online activity that requires a password
    2. No, I don't log off and close my browser after every online activity that requires a password
    3. Yes, I do close my browser but I don't log off after every online activity that requires a password.

2014Q4-features-aloma-mukhtarThe Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, has sought the partnership of the Nigerian Communications Commission and security agencies to combat cyber-crime in Nigeria. Mukhtar said this in Calabar, Cross River State, at the 2014 edition of the workshop for judges on legal issues in telecommunications sector, organised by the NCC in conjunction with the National Judiciary Institute.

Mukhtar commended the NCC for the idea of SIM card registration, biometrics and picture data of all GSM users, adding that this would go a long way in detecting and prosecuting people who use these medium for criminal activities.

According to the CJN, who was represented by the Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Okoi Ikpi, the revolution in the telecom sector in Nigeria came with much excitement and an upsurge in criminal activities, including spoofing, fraud, sexual harassment, internet prostitution, pornography, terrorism and kidnapping, among others.

“To tackle these menaces, the NCC and security agencies must work more closely. This workshop is designed to address some of these nagging issues. I do hope that it will enhance the ability of the Nigerian judges to properly understand the cases as they come before them and be able to deliver more landmark and unassailable judgments.

“I want to implore the NCC, the network providers and all the stakeholders in the communication industry to ensure a remarkable improvement in the services rendered to their numerous subscribers, '' she said.

She frowned at the poor network services by various telecom operators in the country and stressed the need for all stakeholders to improve services for the benefit of the consumers.

The CJN warned that the current spate of epileptic services was not satisfactory and that the consumers might not continue to tolerate the situation.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the primary goal of the workshop was to provide the judicial officers with practical knowledge of developments in the telecommunications industry.

Juwah said the workshop would deliberate on emerging regulatory and legal issues in areas of cyber security, electronic waste, data protection, cloud computing, electronic commerce and protection of critical national ICT infrastructure.

The EVC was represented by Chief Okechukwu Itanyi, Executive Commissioner in charge of the NCC stakeholders' management.

A princely N23 million would be up for grab in this year’s NCC Tennis League, a statement by the International Tennis Academy (ITA), the organising partners for the League has said. The NCC Tennis League is the first of its kind in Africa.

The league which teed off in July has already witnessed explosive games, upsets and jaw-dropping come-backs.

One of the special guests that have graced the play-offs was the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who did not hide his excitement at the quality of tennis on display. He lauded the NCC for the initiative which he said is in tandem with the resolve of the Federal Government to develop all areas of sports to engage talented Nigerians as well as build a national brand.

by Osinachi Buchi-Chukwu (Public Affairs Department)

hypertension

Do You Know That High Blood Pressure Is One Of The Leading Causes Of Sudden Death Syndrome In The World Today?

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Both terms mean the same thing.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as having a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg over a number of weeks. Our blood pressures change all the time throughout the day, so your doctor is looking to make sure that your hypertensive reading is not just a one-off.

You may also have hypertension if just one of the numbers is higher than it should be. If the top number (systolic pressure) is consistently higher than 140 – this is known as ISOLATED SYSTOLIC HYPERTENTION.  If the bottom number (diastolic pressure) is consistently higher than 90 - this is known as ISOLATED DIASTOLIC HYPERTENTION.

If you have hypertension, this higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this extra strain increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Hypertension can also cause heart and kidney disease, and is closely linked to some forms of dementia and sexual dysfunction.

If you have hypertension it is vital that you do not ignore it.  Follow a healthy lifestyle to lower it and take hypertension medications prescribed to you by a qualified medical doctor preferably a consultant physician.

Telecommunication is communication at a distance by technological means, particularly through electrical signals or electromagnetic waves. The word is often used in its plural form, telecommunications, because it involves many different technologies. Early means of communicating over a distance included visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs. Other examples of pre-modern long-distance communication included audio messages such as coded drumbeats, lung-blown horns, and loud whistles.

Modern technologies for long-distance communication usually involve electrical and electromagnetic technologies, such as telegraph, telephone, and teleprinter, networks, radio, microwave transmission, fiber optics, and satellites. A revolution in wireless communication began in the first decade of the 20th century with the pioneering developments in radio communications by Guglielmo Marconi, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909. Other highly notable pioneering inventors and developers in the field of electrical and electronic telecommunications include Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse (telegraph), Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), Edwin Armstrong, and Lee de Forest (radio), as well as John Logie Baird and Philo Farnsworth (television).

Etymology

The word telecommunication was adapted from the French. It is a compound of the Greek prefix tele- (τηλε-), meaning "distant", and the Latin communicare, meaning "to share". The French word télécommunication was first invented in the French Grande Ecole "Telecom ParisTech" formerly known as "Ecole nationale supérieure des télécommunications" in 1904 by the French engineer and novelist Édouard Estaunié.

Basic elements

A basic telecommunication system consists of three primary units that are always present in some form:

  • A transmitter that takes information and converts it to a signal.
  • A transmission medium, also called the "physical channel" that carries the signal. An example of this is the "free space channel".
  • A receiver that takes the signal from the channel and converts it back into usable information.

Analog versus digital communications

Communications signals can be either by analog signals or digital signals. There are analog communication systems and digital communication systems. For an analog signal, the signal is varied continuously with respect to the information. In a digital signal, the information is encoded as a set of discrete values (for example, a set of ones and zeros). During the propagation and reception, the information contained in analog signals will inevitably be degraded by undesirable physical noise. (The output of a transmitter is noise-free for all practical purposes). Commonly, the noise in a communication system can be expressed as adding or subtracting from the desirable signal in a completely random way. This form of noise is called additive noise, with the understanding that the noise can be negative or positive at different instants of time.

Telecommunication networks

A communications network is a collection of transmitters, receivers, and communications channels that send messages to one another. Some digital communications networks contain one or more routers that work together to transmit information to the correct user. An analog communications network consists of one or more switches that establish a connection between two or more users. For both types of network, repeaters may be necessary to amplify or recreate the signal when it is being transmitted over long distances. This is to combat attenuation that can render the signal indistinguishable from the noise. Another advantage of digital systems over analog is that their output is easier to store in memory, i.e. two voltage states (high and low) are easier to store than a continuous range of states.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says provisions have been made in its 2017 budget to extend telecommunications services to additional 40 million people across the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this known in Lagos during a sensitisation workshop organised by NCC for law enforcement agencies on telecommunications issues.

Danbatta, represented by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, said that the commission had conducted a survey, which identified about 200 communities nationwide with access gap.

He said that through the Universal Service Provision Fund (ISPF) being managed by a department under NCC, 40 million people in these areas would be covered in 2017.

Smartwatches have finally reached the point that they're, well, smart, Even today's most beautifully designed smartphones will be disposed of in time. As the technology within becomes outdated, the whole device is discarded or donated and the collective conscious grabs hold of something shiny and new. The speed of the mobile phone's technological development is scary, not so long ago sending an SMS was mind-blowing. Now we can directly speak to our smartphones and ask them for the latest weather forecast, or take a HD video and upload it to the internet in a matter of seconds.

BARCELONA, SPAIN — The Mobile World Congress trade show is the yearly coming-out party for many of the phone industry's marquee devices. Manufacturers from around the globe descend upon the Fira Gran via here to hawk their new wares, showing off flagship of mass-market handsets and low-end contenders. And while it's primarily been an Android party for the last few years, the software landscape is changing.

A smartwatch works with your smartphone using Bluetooth capabilities to enable smooth and convenient connectivity, and, unlike your iPhone or Android, a smartwatch is another way to stay connected 24/7, no matter where you are or what situation you are in.

Some of its functions include the following:

  1. It supports no-contact charging.
    Once you accumulate a few electronic devices, charging becomes a chore. You're always swapping cables and adapters. Just being able to remove a device at bedtime and set it on a charging plate would be a superior user experience.
  2. It supports biometric authentication.
    Maybe it has a fingerprint reader or supports voice-pattern recognition. Whatever the case, you'd want to be able to limit who can use your radio band if it's going to fulfill its obvious role as the key to your digital life.
  3. It's a human body interface.
    Being in constant contact with a human body presents an opportunity to collect physiological data and convey information, kinetically, thermally or electronically, once human-machine interfaces improve. It's an opportunity that shouldn't be wasted.
  4. It includes a cellular radio, or at least Bluetooth LE.
    Devices matter more when they can connect to a network without an intermediary. Accessory devices, those that depend on smartphones for network access, have their place, but they're far less interesting. Our radio band should also be able to communicate directly with other devices of its ilk, to exchange contact information automatically when two people wearing radio bands shake hands, for example

83 million Nigerians using the Internet compared to the lag in occupying IPv4 address


DPA - Mr. Tony Ojobo predicts that the preference for IPv6 Internet protocol would be consumer-driven in the days ahead.

It is common knowledge that in NCC we don’t regulate technology, we’re technology neutral. What that means is that because it’s a deregulated industry, we want the market forces to determine what people are demanding for. As it relates to IPv6 service platform, there are some kinds of services that the technology offers, which you cannot get on the IPv4 technology platform. What that means therefore is that the consumer preference will now determine what happens going forward. At the moment, Nigeria boasts of over 83 million Internet consumers. These are the people that would determine how popular the IPv6 genre would be. It is strictly a consumer decision not that of the regulator.

In terms of the Internet of Things for instance, if you discover that there are certain kinds of services that you cannot get on the IPv4 technology and you have service providers providing services on IPv6, then what you have to do is to make a choice, just as people make their choices in terms of porting out of their current service provider to another that is providing them with better services.

What we’re envisaging in the future is a situation where we’ll see consumers who are currently on IPv4 migrating to IPv6 based on the kind of services that they’re getting. So it’s an issue of consumer preference going forward, in terms of the kinds of services that consumers will be demanding for from their service providers.

ken_okoroafor
Mr. Kenneth Okoroafor
(1975 - 2012)
A beloved brother, friend and colleague that lived at peace with everyone.

That carried a charming smile on his face all the time.

That was full of life and friendliness.

That responded to the call of duty at all times.

That never failed to be courageous, smart and well dressed.

That had a promising future ahead.

But today you are no more with us.

We shed tears that you are gone.

We smile because you lived.

We close our eyes and pray that you will come back.

We open our eyes and see the lovely family you left behind.

Today and always we think of you and miss you so much that words cannot express exactly how we feel.

May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

Glorious Exit Of A Rare Gem!

By Project Department

Worldwide smart phone shipments fell for the first time in the market's history, from 324 million units in Q1 2015 to 321 million units in Q1 2016. The top two vendors both posted shipment declines, with Apple the worst hit.

Excluding Apple and Samsung smart phone shipments increased 5%, despite some of the big named international vendors outside the top five also faring badly. LG, Lenovo and TCL-Alcatel posted significant declines, while Sony plummeted by around 57%.

The market decline can be attributed to a number of factors: Apple's inability to repeat the success of the iPhone 6, which kick-started a massive upgrade cycle thanks to its larger display. The company had the largest fall in growth of all the major vendors, shipping 11 million fewer units in Q1 2016 than in Q1 2015 (a 16% drop).

Slowing product innovation in the premium smart phone space has led to increasingly modest upgrades to flagship handsets, meaning consumers keep devices for longer. In some markets, such as the US and Western Europe, subsidies are being reduced, which has compounded the effect.

The significant improvements in the specification and quality of mid-range devices means replacement cycles in high-growth markets are also lengthening.

Flagship models, such as Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Apple's iPhone 6s, are still beyond the reach of many in emerging high-growth markets.

Rachel Lashford, Canalys VP of Analysis, said, 'Conditions are challenging for many vendors, and we expect to see a consolidation of the smart phone market in coming quarters. There are bright spots, however, such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, which all increased shipments dramatically. These vendors are expanding beyond China, nurturing their channels, spending on marketing and making their differentiators around technology and positioning abundantly clear to consumers'.

Telecommunication networks have being around for over a century now, public switched telephone network (PSTN), telegram etc. By mid 21st century wireless communication started to come up with the likes of 'Push to talk' systems, car telephone etc. But true Mobile communication networks did not start to show till late 1970s and mostly early 1980s. This was the era when the analog mobile phone came to being, these systems are the first generation (1G) of mobile telecommunication systems. It was based on analog modulation and it was built specifically for voice. Soon the second generation (2G) of mobile networks started coming, 2G was based digital modulation and also offered short messaging service (SMS) and later those networks offered additional services such as basic web browsing, email, multimedia messaging service (MMS) etc

The explosion for the need of information and rapid growth of the internet lead to the development of third generation systems (3G) which offered packet switching, higher data rates and more data based services. There were also efforts to standardise mobile networks, and considerable progress was seen in 3G networks. The limitations of 3G and the need for wireless systems to be as fast as today’s fixed systems yet with high mobility and also the desire to hamornise and further standardize the mobile telecommunication networks lead to the emergence of a new set of standards adopted for a fourth generation (4G) of networks. Such systems are begining to spring up in some places. Already talks are on the way for the next generation of networks that some call 5G. The graph above shows the relationship between the generations of networks with their respective data rates

FIRST GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (1G)

These are the first mobile telecommunication networks to emerge. Works on 1G was mostly done in the 1970s and by early 1980s these networks were implemented in different places. Some 1G technologies include Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) Total Access Communication System (TACS), C-nets etc. 1G was built basically for one function; voice communication and it offered only that, though Paging networks are also considered a 1G technology. Paging networks offered a messaging service not voice. 1G was an analog technology which uses analog modulation techniques though some networks used digital modulation for base station to base station communication but mobile equipment to base station communication was purely analog modulation. These networks were circuit switched, operated at 150MHz frequency and above and had a speed of 2.4Kb/s

1G had a lot of limitations and issues. It had poor voice quality due to the analog nature of the system. There was also the issue of security, 1G networks had no encryption therefore calls can be listened into when tuned to its frequency. Also phone identities could be cloned and used which lead to a lot of privacy problems, scandals and fraud. Other problems included limited capacity of users, limited roaming, poor handoff reliability, frequent call drops, large phones which had poor battery life and many more problems. Therefore the need of redesigning mobile telecommunication gave birth to new 2G technologies

SECOND GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (2G)

Around the late 1980s 2G networks began to emerge and by early 1990s those networks were in many countries. Unlike its predecessor these technologies used digital modulation techniques which resulted to superior voice quality. But the networks remained circuit switched. 2G came with new services such as SMS, fax and WAP. Encryption was introduced which greatly enhanced security and solved most security problems of 1G, also error detection and correction improved quality of the service. Some 2G technologies include Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), IS-54 (digital AMPS), IS-95 (CDMA) etc. These networks operated earlier at the 824MHz − 894MHz frequency band later on other systems operated at higher frequencies of 1800MHz. Speeds of around 9.6Kb/s and higher was achieved on 2G networks. GSM remains the most successful 2G network technology with much wider use. GSM was later improved with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) with data rates of a little over 100Kb/s, GPRS introduced more services such as email, web browsing and other data related services. Soon after GPRS, Enhanced Data rates in GSM Environment (EDGE) emerged yet as another upgrade which pushed data rates to up to 300Kb/s, this brought the possibility of higher data rates and new services. GPRS and EDGE are sometimes referred to as 2.5 and 2.75G respectively

Though 2G technologies greatly improved mobile communications which lead to an explosion in number subscribers it was with many limitations. One of such includes the fact 2G was a circuit switching based network therefore it inefficiently uses bandwidth and resources which hugely limits high data rates capability, it is also unable to handle complex data such video and also limits number of users. Other limitations include lack of interoperability between 2G networks, poor standardisation and the fact that 2G offers very few opportunity for services and applications

THIRD GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (3G)

3G Mobile networks were built based International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) unified family of standards that can work together and satisfy IMT-2000 specification, to build mobile networks which offer multimedia services and other services that were available on wire-line systems. Those networks started to operate mostly around early 2000s. 3G technologies used circuit switching for voice/SMS and packet switching for data services. The technologies include W-CDMA, CDMA-2000 and TD-SCDMA. These network operated on the 2100MHz frequency band and offered higher speeds of 144kb/s to 384kb/s at high mobility and 2Mbps at low mobility. 3G increased network capacity to meet up with demand and actualised global roaming for subscribers. Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) was adopted by Europe which chose W-CDMA as the standard 3G technology. UMTS is based on GSM infrastructure therefore made it easier for GSM operators to upgrade to it. It became the most popular 3G technology. UMTS later added High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) which offered speeds of 14.4Mbps downlink/5.8Mbps uplink and then High Speed Packet Access (HSUPA) which offered similar speeds but with a higher uplink speed. HSPA AND HSUPA were refered to as 3.5G and 3.75G respectively.

3G was a huge success, especially in standardization but there are limitations and expectations that supersedes it. Such issues include the the high price for spectrum license, high cost of 3G networks which makes most operators to revert to 2G. There are also issues of delayed roll out and patchy coverage. Also with the recent rapid evolution of information systems and services, mobile devices which demand high mobility, much higher data rates and interoperability, there is need for harmonising all network technologies to get wireless anywhere anytime with much higher data rates

FOURTH GENERATION MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION (4G)

Soon after 3G, fourth generation mobile telecommunication networks are technologies that are built to achieve the ITU’s set of standards specified by the IMT-Advanced specifications. These networks are to achieve speeds of 100Mbps at high mobility and up to 1Gbps at low mobility. This is to enable wireless systems to achieve present day wireline systems capabilities and trigger a mobile broadband revolution. Also the 4G network is to be an ‘open wireless’ system which means it should be a network with a unified core which is accessible from different wireless(access) technologies, this is aimed at harmonising and further standardising all the available wireless technologies. 4G networks are also ‘all IP’ and fully packet switched networks. On full implementation, 4G will be a revolution of mobile telecommunications because it will bring technology services offered by other types of networks to mobile networks, this will significantly reduce repetition of network infrastructure and devices. Services such as live TV, voice, radio, broadband etc will be replaced by IPTV, VOIP, internet radio and the likes. There is yet to be a tested and proven truly 4G network but 4G technologies so far seen are Long Term Evolution (LTE) and IEEE's WiMAX based on the 802.16x specifications. Both technologies use orthogonal frequency-divisional multiplexing (OFDM) and also MIMO antenna technology which stands for Multiple-Input Multiple-Output to achieve the high data rate required. Such networks are already being deployed in Europe and other few places but in recent years to come more roll outs will be seen. Though an evolution of LTE called LTE-advanced has fully met ITU’s IMT-advanced specification in demonstrations, full roll out is yet to be seen

BEYOND 4G

Already talks are on the way for networks beyond 4G but no formal standards are set in place yet. But definitely those networks will offer new services and new clever ways of achieving very high data rates while efficiently utilizing spectrum. Also more intelligence will be seen in mobile networks and importantly will easily accommodate sensors, automated appliances and other non-human operated devices/equipment to build the ‘new internet’ which is often called the ‘internet of things’ (IoT). Further centralization of core networks will surely be seen and possibly decoupling of the service layer from the network layer which means the interface for services and application will be independent of the underlying technology. This will further enrich services and applications development of mobile technologies and bring about a further boost to the current mobile revolution.

Since the emergence of 1G networks there had being big leaps from one generation to the other almost every decade a new generation of networks emerges with better services and data rates. Earlier in the evolution the technologies were evolving to meet consumer demands but towards the end we see that technologies have mostly surpassed consumer demands and mostly are driven by "craze" for technology (as demonstrated in the figure above). But future generations of networks will be tailored towards offering better services and better quality of service, therefore switching from a technology driven operational model to a customer needs driven model

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that the telecoms sector contributed N1.549 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017, representing 6.68 per cent increase from the first quarter of the year (N1.452 trillion).

Speaking while receiving the Chairperson of Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) Madam Angelique Weeks, who paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abuja, Danbatta, said the figures were derived from recently released Bureau of Statistics (NBS’s) report on the economy.

The NBS’s report has confirmed that the telecommunications sector, during the second quarter of 2017, contributed 9.5 per cent to the GDP in contrast to 9.1 per cent contribution in the first quarter of the year.

The Director of Public Affairs (DPA) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Tony Ojobo has been named the most outstanding Public Affairs Spokesperson of the year 2016 by the Authority Newspaper.

Ojobo received the award at The Authority Newspaper’s maiden award ceremony for Excellence & Good Governance which took place recently in Abuja.

The well attended ceremony which was chaired by former Anambra State Governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and keynote speaker, Human Right Activist/Constitutional Lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, was described by Madu Onuorah, The Authority Managing Director, as painstaking before the Board of Editors “took decisions to select the personalities we are honouring today”.

Bethany Hamilton, Jason Lester, Melissa Stockwell, Chelsea McClammer are renowned names in the sports world, who have accomplished amazing feats as Olympic medalists amongst several other accolades. They all have one thing in common: some form of paralysis. Yet they embodied an anonymous quote- ‘Never be ashamed of a scar, it simply means that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you’- and instead soared higher than millions of able bodied people. Courage became their source of strength, despite the odds that life threw their way and they succeeded in the field of sports. A field that simply demands the best of one’s physical ability and mental courage.

It was an honour to discover that at NCC, we didn’t need to read stories of people we don’t really know in order to be motivated. We have our very own gem of courage.

Abdulmuminu Yusuf is a staff of the Commission in the Corporate Planning and Strategy Department and he exemplifies the picture captured above that; “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently” ― Maya Angelou.

For the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Juwah, the year 2014 was a good year. Not only did it mark his fourth year on the job, it also threw up a lot of challenges which afforded him the opportunity to prove his mettle. And if those challenges were a form of test, Juwah passed with excellent grade. It was the year he harvested a haul of honours, crowning them with The Sun newspaper Public Service Award, which he described as “Special”.

An elated Juwah, said after being conferred with the Public Service Award at The Sun 2014 Awards in Lagos, that he had touched each of the six items and is satisfied that he has acquitted himself well.

The six-point agenda Juwah rolled out when he assumed office include consolidating on the achievements of his predecessors; taking drastic measures to improve quality of service (QoS); enhancing broadband implementation; improving competition among telecoms players; providing diversified choices for consumers at good quality and price; as well as improving the regulator’s presence in the international space.

“Well I have made a lot of pronouncements in the newspapers about my six-point agenda, I have fulfilled that, I have increased subscriber base, I have increased teledensity, I have increased direct foreign investment, I have increased competition, I have increased our present international arena so most of the things I came with I have achieved,” he told reporters after the awards in Lagos.

He expressed excitement at the award particularly as it came from the fourth estate of the realm which major duty is criticism of people in government. He said he had no problem with that because it is their duty to hold public officers to account for their deeds, adding however that public officers should be given an opportunity to say their side of the stories before they are published.

“We regulate a sector that affects the lives of over 170million Nigerians; a sector that is a primary enabler of every other sector of the country or life generally. There are weaknesses in the sector as exemplified in the quality of service but the transparency we maintain in regulating the sector as a purely independent regulator are some of the reasons the international community is very interested in the Nigerian market; why investors continue to put more money in spite of discouragement by the activities of some states and local councils; and indeed why the industry continues to grow geometrically with no signs of slowing down,” Juwah said.

Earlier, Juwah had described The Sun Public Service Award 2014 conferred on him as special.

Speaking while receiving a letter notifying him of the award in Abuja, Juwah said his real value for the award arises from the fact that “it just came. That is the true reflection of recognition for someone to just announce that you have won an award without con­tacting you. It is the true meaning that the awarding organisation, a reputable media, like The Sun, had been observing objectively the activities of the establishment and the individual that got the award.”

Juwah thanked the management of The Sun for the honour done him and promised that the award would serve as an impetus for him to work harder for the development of the telecommu­nication sector.

He stated that the challenges have been enormous in the sector and prom­ised that in the face of the shortfalls, the NCC must find means of steadily improving on telephony in the country, a service, he said, “remains the soul of modern day economy, business and social life. We understand the centrality of communication in the present world, and we also know our obligation to the nation has equal weight.

“All of us in the NCC are grateful to The Sun, because an individual cannot improve on the system until it becomes a collective duty. I am proud that the NCC has been working assiduously to the extent of being recognised by you, a reputable media. With this award, I can only assure you that we are under a compelling obligation to do more.”

Speaking earlier, while handing over the letter, Executive Director, Special Duties, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, who was ac­companied by Editor, Nation’s Capital of The Sun, Mr. Ikenna Emewu, informed Juwah that the award didn’t just come like a mistake or happen­stance.

He explained that the Board of Editors and management of The Sun examined so many public outfits and their chief executives and eventu­ally selected NCC and Juwah, based on merit and thorough assessment of his achievements in expanding the telephone subscription base to over 130 million, about twice of the volume he inherited.

“There have been facility upgrade and improvements over time. We understand that we have not reached the peak of the sector. So, this award is to commend you for the journey so far, and also help motivate you to do more and take telecommunication higher in Nigeria,” he told the NCC boss.

by Osinachi Buchi-Chukwu (Public Affairs Department)

In the last edition we talked about High Blood Pressure or HYPERTENSION as it is popularly known, its causes and prevention. In this edition we are going to discuss DIABETES, another killer disease when not managed well.

What is Diabetes?

2013q3-features diabetesDiabetes which is often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).

There is a global trend which is now noticeable among developed societies. Without exception, all the developed nations today are the ones who invested heavily in research and innovation. They are the ones who thoughtfully created their future yesterday. Most innovative countries are the most advanced and prosperous. Ever wondered why the top four most capitalized companies in the world are tech firms? Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook rank as the most capitalized companies globally. It is an endorsement of the argument that technological advancements are setting the pace for human civilization and development.

by Osato Akele

bell-gray

In the 1870s, two inventors Alexander Graham Bell (left) and Elisha Gray (right) both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically (the telephone). Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell entered into a famous legal battle over the invention of the telephone, which Bell won.

On June 2, 1875, Alexander Graham Bell while experimenting with his technique called "harmonic telegraph" discovered he could hear sound over a wire. The sound was that of a twanging clock spring. Bell's greatest success was achieved on March 10, 1876, marked not only the birth of the telephone but the death of the multiple telegraph as well. The communications potential contained in his demonstration of being able to "talk with electricity" far outweighed anything that simply increasing the capability of a dot-and-dash system could imply.

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell first transmitted speech electrically with an order to his assistant Thomas A. Watson. Since then, the telephone -- or rather the telephone system -- has revolutionized the way we live, socialize and do business, but its ultimate potential was less than apparent to 19th century society.

The development of telecommunications in Nigeria began in 1886 when a cable connection was established between Lagos and the colonial office in London. By 1893, government offices in Lagos were provided with telephone service, which was later extended to Ilorin and Jebba in the hinterland. A slow but steady process of development in the years that followed led to the gradual formation of the nucleus of a national telecommunications network.

In 1923, the first commercial trunk telephone service between Itu and Calabar was established. Between 1946 and 1952, a three-channel line carrier system was commissioned between Lagos and Ibadan and was later extended to Oshogbo, Kaduna, Kano, Benin, and Enugu; thus connecting the colonial office in London with Lagos and the commercial centers in the country with local authority offices.

The main transmission medium during the pre-independence era was unshielded twisted pair. This evolved later from rural carrier systems on high gauge lines to line carrier systems of twelve-channel capacity. Small- to medium-capacity systems employing VHF and UHF radio were introduced around 1955.

By about 1960, a manual telex exchange of sixty subscriber lines was in service in Lagos. While all the above efforts were essentially aimed at improving internal telephone services in Nigeria, external telephone services in the pre-independence period were wholly owned by Cable and Wireless of the United Kingdom, which was a colonial private company.

Cell phones have become a lot smaller over the years, but they're bigger than ever in functionality and popularity. Here's a look at how the mobile phone has changed over the decade

SRA/Ericsson MTA (Mobile Telephone System A)
Year: 1956

In the days before cellular phone networks, the mobile phones lacked a unifying standard. Instead, they used varying Communication methods defined on a company-by-company basis.

Apple iPhone
Year: 2007

Apple is responsible for more trend-setting consumer technology than most companies. In machine, and a multimedia playback device. Better yet, it gives you instant, high-speed access to the web, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, wherever you can find mobile phone coverage.

smartphone_overtakePC

As operators worldwide begin launching Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, the availability of LTE devices has skyrocketed to over 200 million, more than a tenfold increase since the end of 2010. While PCs account for the majority of subscriptions currently, smartphones are expected to become the largest segment by 2014. This is according to a new video based on the report by Jan Ten Setoff, Pyramid Research Analyst. Nigeria’s telecommunication industry is expected to join others to benefit from the world’s communication services revenue, which is expected to grow from $2.7 trillion by 2017.

 

ITU logoITU is committed to connecting the entire world's people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through its work, it protects and supports everyone's fundamental right to communicate. They help manage and control emergency services, water supplies, power networks and food distribution chains. They support health care, education, government services, financial markets, transportation systems and environmental management. And they allow people to communicate with colleagues, friends and family anytime, and almost anywhere.

With the help of its membership, ITU brings the benefits of modern communication technologies to people everywhere in an efficient, safe, easy and affordable manner.

ITU membership reads like a Who’s Who of the ICT sector. It is unique among UN agencies in having both public and private sector membership. So in addition to the 193 Member States, ITU membership includes ICT regulators, leading academic institutions and some 700 private companies.

In an increasingly interconnected world, ITU is the single global organization embracing all players in this dynamic and fast-growing sector.

Below is the list of its past directors and Secretary Generals to present;

 

DIRECTORS AND SECRETARIES- GENERAL OF ITU

NAME

BEGINNING OF TERM

END OF TERM

COUNTRY

Louis Curchod

1 January 1869

24 May 1872

Switzerland

Karl Lendi

24 May 1872

12 January 1873

Switzerland

Louis Curchod

23 February  1873

18 October 1889

Switzerland

August Frey

25 February 1890

 28 June 1890

Switzerland

Timotheus Rothen

25 November 1890

11 February 1897

Switzerland

Emil Frey

11 March 1897

1 August 1921

Switzerland

Henri Etienne

2 August 1921

16 December 1927

Switzerland

Joseph Raber

1 February 1928

30 October 1934

Switzerland

Franz Von Ernst

1 January 1935

31 December 1949

Switzerland

 

SECRETARIES GENERAL

NAME BEGINNING OF TERM END OF TERM COUNTRY

Leon Mulatier

1 January 1950

31 December 1953

France

Marco Aurelio Andrada

1 January 1954

18 June 1958

Argentina

Gerald C. Gross

1 January 1960

29 October 1965

United States

Manohar Balaji Sarwate

30 October 1965

19 February 1967

India

Mohamed Ezzedine Mili

20 February 1967

31 December 1982

Tunisia

Richard E. Butler

1 January 1983

31 October 1089

Australia

Pekka Tarjanne

1 November 1989

31 January 1999

Finland

Yoshio Utsumi

1 February 1999

31 December 2006

Japan

Hamandoun Toure

1 January 2007

Present

Mali

The Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, is four years on the job. Recently he reflected on his tenure and other key issues in the telecoms sector with the editorial team of The Communicator.

Q: Did You Ever Expect To Be Nigeria’s Telecom Regulator?

2014q3-feature-001As you know, I’ve been in the ICT industry for a very long time, starting from my days in the early 70s at Shell. In 1990 I specifically moved to telecoms, so I’ve had the advantage of seeing the development of telecommunication in Nigeria. And since 1990 I’ve worked in telecoms I’ve interacted intensively with the regulators; I’ve quarreled with them, I’ve admired them depending on what issue is at stake here. I must tell you honestly I never aimed at being the primary telecom regulator in Nigeria. I admire regulators when they did things that were in my favour when I was in the private sector. And I quarreled with them when they did things against me. But as I said, I never aimed specific to be the regulator until I was asked to apply. Graciously Mr. President selected me and the senate confirmed the selection.

Q: Implementation Of Your Six-Point Agenda

Actually I can summarise the six-point agenda in the following way; we wanted to consolidate the progress made before we came, and we wanted to improve quality of service (QoS), to enhance broadband implementation, improve competition, provide diversified choices for consumers at good quality and price and improve our presence in the international space.

On consolidation of the progress made so far I think we have achieved significant progress in this area. If we start from the parameters, we’ve increased teledensity from 63 per cent in 2010 when I came in to more than 90 per cent in 2014. We’ve increased subscriber base from 88 million in 2010 to more than 130 million, this is an improvement of almost 50 per cent in four years that I have been here. And you should remember that the 88 million was for 10 years before I came. So we’ve done remarkably well in this area.

We’ve also done remarkably well in the contribution to the Nigerian economy in terms of contribution to GDP. We’ve increased it from 5 per cent when I came in to 8.5 per cent as announced recently during the rebasing of the economy. Finally, looking at investment in the sector, we increased it from $18 billion in 2010 to more than $32 billion today. The sector has created the most stable jobs and as investments grew in the past four years, more jobs, both direct and indirect, had been created and are still being created.

For QoS, we would like to have done better but we’ve always been striving to do better. We’re rolling out our initiatives for broadband implementation, as we promised it has just started and it is progressing at a very great speed. We have also improved competition by looking at the competition space within the telecoms industry, looking at operators that are dominant; imposing some limitations on them.

I must say, like I’ve always said that dominance is nothing bad but what you do with your dominance matters. Dominance means that you’ve been doing everything correct, you’ve been doing things well that’s why you’re dominating, but if you use your dominance in uncompetitive practice that’s when the regulator intervenes. We’ve also rolled out Mobile Number Portability (MNP); this deepens competition: if you don’t like your operator you move to the next one; holding your number. We’ve provided diversified choice for consumers. There’re many products being rolled out which we’re approving.

We’ve reduced prices significantly. In fact if you look at voice services, we’ve reduced price at more than 45 per cent in four years; we’ve slashed the prices of SMS from N10 to N4. We’ve actually provided good choice for consumers at reasonably good price. As for our presence in the international arena we’re taking part in all the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conferences, in fact the whole world know us because we organise what we call Leaders Launch in every ITU World Telecom event where all the big shots in telecoms come and listen to us, and remember that in the recent ones we had, people like Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world and a huge investor in telecoms came and we had the opportunity of explaining what we’re doing in Nigeria to him. We’ve achieved a lot in our six-point agenda.


Q: Your Expectations of Mobile Number Portability?

The operators that have large market share will not want it. The operators that think that they’re providing good service will want it. So it was important that the regulator provide a level playing field. We consulted all stakeholders about what we’re going to do, it took some time then we offered a bid for the database provider for MNP. It started in April 2013, initially the transactions were slow and people thought that it was not successful, but if you go to countries (Ghana, Kenya) that have done it before it always starts slowly and then it keeps on increasing.

It is starting to take off now and one of the issues that actually hindered strong regulatory intervention is that there were really no regulations but there were business rules. I’m happy to announce that the regulation for MNP has been gazetted by government; now we have full power by law to descend on any operator who is not carrying out MNP guidelines. It is a success, and I hope the public will appreciate it and give us the credit.


Q: What Informed The Slashing Of SMS Tariff?

We never do anything without studying it, we started by getting a consultant that has a lot of experience in that area and then consulting stakeholders including the operators and consumers. Slashing SMS price came from our cost-based study for SMS; I don't want to tell you the cost of SMS to the operators but I can tell you it is very much lower than N4, so the operators were making what I'll call an unacceptable profit when it was at N10 and that's why you see there was no terrible uproar against it and we believe we've protected the consumer by implementing the slash.

Q: Did You Slash The Interconnect Rate Because Of The Consumer?

Interconnect rate according to international best practices must be cost-based. It must be based on the cost of making a call, so we hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers from London which has a good model for determining the cost of making a call in Nigeria. Of course these calls are average and so they interviewed all the operators, got their data, put it into their model and came up with the price of making calls today.

You see it must keep on coming down because equipment are being amortised; new equipment that they bought are not as big as the ones they started with. You can see the dropping in interconnect rate. We adopted what is called a gliding model, where it is reducing year by year from N6.40k and by the end of the third year which is next year it will be N3.90k.

Operators like that, but what they argued about was that our model was asymetrical in nature; asymmetrical means that the bigger operators pay smaller operators bigger sums to interconnect. This is important to protect some of the operators. We said that operators that have less than 7 and a half per cent of the subscriber base will be regarded as small operators. This includes the CDMA and new operators that are coming. You know small operators pay huge money to big operators whenever interconnection is considered, so by tweaking the interconnect rate to favour small operators, we try to strike a balance; they still pay huge amount but at least we've mitigated it.


Q: Achieving A Balance Between Consumers And Operators?

The regulator is a referee; he stands between the operators and the consumers. His duty on one hand is to provide consumers a plethora of products and of good quality. For operators, we have a mandate to safeguard their investment, so it is a tight balance; anything that will prevent operators from investing further... the more they invest the better the product they give to consumers and the better the quality. It is a very narrow work to balance the interest of the operator with that of the consumer and as you say if both of them blame me, we're doing something that is correct.

Q: Does It Make You Happy When You Fine The Operators?

Not really, we're here to obey our laws. We've made a regulation saying that you must attain some minimum QoS indices and we have published it in our regulation, and this is also a way of protecting the consumer for whom we have the mandate to give good quality. Here is where we have power, to regulate the operators. If we see that they don't give good quality to consumers, we penalise them and when we are penalising them we do that according to our laws, nobody likes penalty but we have to stick to our laws, they have to comply with our regulations, and when they don't do that we have an option to fine them, but if we fine them every time we'll drive them out of business and we don’t want that.

Q: Why So Much Energy On Broadband?

Right from the time I came into the communications industry I saw that the trend is changing from voice to data and data in the good form must be broadband. That's why you have good internet, good video service and a plethora of services coming out of broadband. Apart from that, broadband is a development product, a product that is capable of increasing the GDP of Nigeria, it is also capable of taking Nigeria into the knowledge-based economy that the world is pursuing, it is a product that is capable of increasing the efficiency of our younger generation; this is how we see broadband, and we see that it something that we have to do for Nigeria to enter the 21st century properly, and if we don’t do it then we've failed. We've taken the issue of increasing broadband penetration as a priority. To start off that program is not easy; you first of all have to convince the in-house people and the government that this is important and they have to support you. You have to tell the international audience what you want to do so that they'll get interested because you depend on them to bring in investment.

It took some time for this ground work to be done, but we've started with a publication of our bid for the licensing of Infracos which is actually the major foundation of our broadband intervention. I can tell you that the response is quite interesting; response from inside and outside the country. I can tell you that the International Finance Corporation, IFC has endorsed it, they're supporting us and even helping us source for international investors. What we've done has not been in vain so we're keenly waiting for all these bids to come in and see the result of what we've done.


Q: Why Open Access Model?

The model is the leading model in the world, it encompasses the good things about access. It encompasses sharing of infrastructure, sharing of ownership. It encompasses competition because it structures the industry into primarily two layers; the wholesalers and retailers. If you're a wholesaler you cannot do retail. But most importantly it provides open access to everybody at the same conditions, so whether you're the biggest or smallest, you all have access to infrastructure. In Nigeria we've added one more; we said that all this environment is going to be regulated price-wise by the regulator. These make sure that our teeming publics get broadband at value for money.

Q: Why Regulate The Price?

We've left it to market forces, you see the result; the cost of say Lagos to Ibadan for broadband in Nigeria today is higher than from London to Lagos. We've not succeeded in leaving it to market forces because very few companies have the funding capacity to do this so it leads to some sort of monopoly pricing. Government has intervened and made a program and declared the Nigerian version of open access and government wants to intervene to keep the prices reasonable, with also reasonable profit for people that are operating it.

Q: Unobtrusive Regulatory Style Of NCC

In fact that is the trend of regulation and I'm happy that in fact you being in the press noticed it, that means we're doing something correct. The trend of regulation now is towards what they call soft regulation; the infinite end of it is self-regulation where the regulator does nothing. But the industry in Nigeria hasn't matured to that extent. There's still unhealthy competition, there's still not good QoS, so in these areas we must intervene strongly, but we only intervene when it is necessary and that's why you see what you see.

Q: Transparent Auction of 2.3GHz Frequency

We started by saying we're going to be firm; transparent and that we're not going to play with our integrity. When we decided to do the auctioning we consulted the industry, we had more than two consultations with the industry, some didn't like it while some liked it, but we as regulator must do what we think is best for the industry. So we hired an auction consultant from the UK, published what is called Memorandum of Auction where we detailed every process in the auction which they must abide by. This gives confidence to the bidders and we actually carried out a computer-based auction where nobody can interfere; the computer does it and broadcasts it at the same time. You will remember at the hotel where the auction took place there were people on the 7th and ground floor and they were seeing the results at the same time. It wasn't a question of me going to tell people. Everybody saw it was clear and transparent.

Q: Many Nations Are Adopting The Ncc Template, Why?

Well, in NCC we've adopted a position that we must maintain transparency in everything. We must be firm for operators and stakeholders to comply with what we're doing and we must be dynamic in rolling out regulations and interventions, so the world has seen this. I can tell you that a few weeks ago we received military officers from Botswana who came to study our security interface, which is very rare, and we don't talk about this. They know this and they applied to the National Security Adviser, NSA, in Nigeria to visit us and discuss our security interface. A number of other regulators have come here; Kenya has been here twice, first to study our competition interventions and secondly to understudy our consumer affairs bureau, which is our own innovation. This is why we're dynamic in rolling out intervention and new areas. As I'm talking to you now, we have regulators from Ghana who want to come and understudy our intervention in determining interconnect rate. Regulators as far as Sweden recognise our firmness and say that we're just like them; that operators hate them but the intention is not for operators to hate us but for us to be firm.

Q: Why The Code Of Corporate Governance For Telcos?

It's a primary objective of regulatory agencies that you consult your stakeholders before you carry out any intervention. Right from the start we carried out three major consultations about this CCG with our stakeholders and then we involved them in the committee that worked out these codes. These codes are necessary because it is an investment of more than $32 billion and it has to be properly managed. There are certain rules that operators have to obey. People may be seeing this investment that it is foreign but I can tell you that the amount of pre-paid money that operators are holding may be almost equal to this investment. So subscribers are co investors, so it is important that operators run their companies in a way that is transparent. Also because we do not have operators who are members of the stock exchange which imposes governance once you enter, we have to develop a specific governance for our own industry.

Q: The Way Forward For Quality Of Service

I'm not comfortable with the position of QoS in Nigeria today. It hasn't reached where we want it to be, there are still issues that make it difficult for operators to attain our projected QoS. Principal among them is the issue of capacity; the voice market keeps on increasing; the operators are investing but they're not investing fast enough to meet that increase. And that is why we jab them by fining them. People feel that it is not good to fine them, but if we were not fining them it could have been worse; I can tell you. But apart from the issues from the operator side, there are many other issues that are not from their side; issues of vandalisation of their facilities and one thing you'll notice is that bad service at times is intermittent; for a few days it gets very bad and then it gets better. What that shows is that a key facility has been tampered with and when it is repaired good service recovers. There's also the issue of state government interference; they interfere by imposing all sorts of taxes on the operators and when they don't pay they lock up key facilities shutting off subscribers from getting good service. If you lock up a hub base station for example it will affect many states, so we're appealing to state governments to be more reasonable since their actions do affect QoS. But having said all these I want to challenge any Nigerian to show me a service in Nigeria that is more efficient than telecommunications; is it electricity, banking services, airlines etc. There's no service in Nigeria that you expect to get 24 hours, notwithstanding that there're a few hiccups here and there, so I'll implore Nigerians to be patient with us. We're improving maybe not in evolutionary way, but slowly and slowly we'll get there.

The newly appointed Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umar Garba Damabatta, who has resumed duty in acting capacity pending confirmation by the Senate, has promised to tackle the quality of service issues in the industry very seriously.


Prof. Umar G. Danbatta

Professor Danbatta who addressed a cross section of top management and Staff of the NCC at the headquarters in Abuja on Friday, said that he will bring his experience to bear in confronting the challenges of the telecom industry in Nigeria.

"I want to pledge that I will bring to bear, my wealth of experience in tackling the issue of quality of service in order to meet the expectations of the public that we are servicing" he said.

The Professor of Electronics engineering, said he would focus on those internationally acceptable ideals in telecom regulation, as stipulated by the International Telecommunications Union, ITU that makes quality of service a compelling attraction for the achievement of universal service.

"The concept of universal access is premised on three ‘A’s, as the hallmarks of universal access and they include Availability of service, Accessibility of Service, and Affordability of service. Those will dictate at all times what we do, and I am sure those were the dictating parameters for improvement in the quality of service", he said.

Professor Danbatta admitted there are challenges in the telecommunications industry but that they are not insurmountable. He enjoined the support and cooperation of the staff of the Commission to succeed, affirming that NCC still reckons as the number one telecom regulator in Africa and the need for the staff to brace up for sustaining the prime position in the interest of the nation. "We will judiciously use the resources of the Commission to ensure that we maintain this position in a manner that will enhance the image and prestige of the Commission as well as serve as a reminder to government of the important role that this agency can play in improving the GDP. This we can only do if all of us live up to our responsibilities as ambassadors of the Commission, and in these I urge everybody’s cooperation to enable us accomplish this very important task for the country", he told the staff.

Directors

  • Engr. Fidelis Onah

    2014Q4-features-fonahEngr. Fidelis Onah has BSC and MSc in Electronic Engineering from Moscow University of Communications and Information Tech, a PG. Dip. Computer Engineering and has over 18 years in Communications Engineering practice before joining the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2002. He is a registered Engineer with COREN with many years experience, and a member of several Engineering bodies including Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineering (IEEE), Communications Society, Computer Society, Standards Society, Broadcasting Society, etc. He is the Director, Human Capital and Infrastructure Group.

  • Mr. Haru Alhassan

    Mr. Haru Alhassan was a Deputy Director and Head of Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department before his new promotion to the rank of a Director. He graduated with B. Engineering (Electrical) from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria in 1989 and MSc. Electrical and Computer engineering from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada in 2003. His experience spans over Mobile Network Planning, Deployment, Optimization, Operations and Support.


Deputy Directors

  • Mr. Ephraim Nwokenneya

    2014Q4-features-enwokenneyaAn alumnus of George Mason University, West Virginia, USA, Ephraim Chikwendu Nwokonneya was in 2000 conferred with the fellowship of the noble Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and currently serves as a member of both the Membership Affairs and Finance/General Purpose Committees of the institute respectively. He is a management, finance, accounting and utility regulation specialist with broad experience spanning over 27 years in manufacturing, aviation, and telecom sectors of our country. In the past thirteen years, he has been part of the senior management team driving the revolution in the telecommunications sector of the country under the sector regulator; Nigerian Communications Commission. Particularly in 2010 he developed a robust compliance monitoring framework for the Nigerian telecoms industry and presently heads the Compliance Monitoring Unit of the Commission.

  • Dr. Henry C. Nkemadu

    Before his new promotion, Dr. Henry C. Nkemadu was an Assistant Director, Policy, Competition & Economic analysis Department from 2009. Previously the Zonal Controller and the Administrative head of the Lagos zonal office, he was formerly the Head - Policy, Economic Analysis and Research Unit where he was saddled with the responsibility to coordinate research and analysis of market trends and other economic indicators on the Nigerian telecommunications industry. He carried out reviews of telecoms industry policies, articulated and evaluated the implementation of necessary regulatory policies as well as facilitated the development of the Knowledge Management facilities in the Commission. Dr. Henry C. Nkemadu joined the NCC as a Principal Manager in the former Business Development Department and was responsible for strategizing for the Department. He was in charge of monitoring all consultancy projects to ensure compliance with terms of reference as well as drawing up proposals on capacity building initiatives and liaison with international agencies for capacity building.

  • Mr. Inatimi Spiff

    2014Q4-features-ispiffMr. Inatimi Benjamin Spiff obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in July 1984. After stints as a journalist with both Daily Times Group and Guardian Newspapers, he was recruited in October 1992 by Nigerian Breweries Plc where he spent eight years – five years as Media Relations Assistant and three years as Field Sales Manager. In October 2001, Mr. Spiff joined the NCC as a Principal Manager, Press and Publications. He was redeployed as Zonal Controller, Port Harcourt in July 2008, was promoted to Assistant Director effective March 2009 and was transferred in February 2011 to Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis Department as Head, Competition and Tariff. In November 2013 he was moved to Projects Department to oversee the Commission’s Emergency Communication Project. Mr. Spiff has participated in various professional training programmes annually throughout his career.

  • Mrs. Amina Shehu

    2014Q4-features-ashehuMrs. Amina Shehu is an alumni of the Bayero University Kano, and has an MBA in Marketing from the Enugu University of Science and Technology Business School, Lagos. She joined the Commission in 2005 as a Principal Manager in the Legislative and Government Affairs, and was the SERVICOM Nodal Officer from June-2008 to January 2010. She was transferred to Policy Competition and Economic Analysis in 2010 as the Head, Policy and Process Review, and was made the Head, Human Capital Department in October, 2013. She has enviable years of experience garnered from her previous work environment which includes her work in Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) as the Chief Investment Officer. She is a specialist in Human Resource Management, Public Relations, Marketing amongst others.


Assistant Directors

  • Mr. Edoyemi Ogoh

    2014Q4-features-eogohMr. Edoyemi Ogoh graduated from the University of Benin with a 1st class in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He earned his MBA from the University of Warwick, UK and GMP from Wits Business School, South Africa. He has worked for different telecommunications companies in Nigeria including Mobitel, MTN and Airtel before joining NCC in 2012 as Principal Manager in the Spectrum Administration Department. He was an Engineering Manager in Mobitel, before moving to MTN as High Level Support Engineer and then Acting Manager High Level Support / Data Control Group. He then moved to Airtel (then Vmobile) where he held several positions including Manager Switching High Level Support -responsible for managing the team tasked with providing 2nd Level switching support and implementation, Head of Department (HOD) Core Planning - responsible for the switching network planning and project support, Head of Core Networks - responsible for planning, implementation and operations of the core networks, Head of Network Planning - responsible for the end to end planning of the network from the switching, transmission, IP/MPLS, IN/VAS, Radio networks to the 3G network and finally, Head of Entreprise Network Solutions with responsibility for delivering solutions targeted at the key corporate market.

  • Mr. Usman Malah

    2014Q4-features-umalahUsman Malah joined the Commission almost a decade ago and has worked variously in the Commission Secretariat, USPS, Consumer Affairs Department and currently in the Executive Office. A lawyer with over two decades at the Nigerian Bar. Mr. Malah is from Geidam in Yobe State. He had previously worked as State Counsel at the Ministry of Justice, Damaturu, Prosecuting Counsel at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Habib (Nigeria) Bank now Keystone Bank as In – House Counsel. A holder of LL.B (Hons) and Masters in Business & Commercial Law (MBCL). His hobby includes watching football. He is currently the Special Assistant to the EVC/CEO, Legal. Mr. Malah is married with children.

  • Engr. Abraham Oshadami

    2014Q4-features-aoshadamiEngineer Abraham Sunday Oshadami attended the University of Ibadan where he graduated with First Class honors in Electrical Engineering in the year 1993/94. He started his work career with Unisys Inlaks Computers, Victoria Island, Lagos where he grew to become the Port Harcourt Branch Manager of the company before joining the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in September 2004. He has worked in various departments including Engineering, Traffic and Network Integrity and Spectrum Administration. Engineer Oshadami is currently the Head of Spectrum Database Unit. Engr. Oshadami is a registered Engineer with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

  • Miss Hafsat Lawal

    2014Q4-features-hlawalMiss Hafsat Lawal obtained her Law degree from the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, in 1992 and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1993. She obtained Masters Degree in Law from University of Lagos, Lagos in 1996. She had a brief stint as a practicing Lawyer with the Law firm of Ayodele, Gafar and Co. in Kano. In January 1996, Miss Lawal joined the NCC as a Senior Officer, Commercial Services (now Licensing). She was redeployed to Management Information Services from where she moved to Legal Department and was later promoted to Manager. She was redeployed as Zonal Controller, Ibadan in July 2008 where she was promoted to Senior Manager; she was thereafter transferred to the Commission Secretariat. In 2011 she was redeployed to the Government and Legislative unit of the Public Affairs Department and subsequently promoted to Principal Manager. She was recently promoted to Assistant Director effective March 2014. Miss Lawal is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has participated in various professional training programmes throughout her career.

  • Also promoted to the rank of Assistant Director were Engr. Abba Adamu, Ms. Chinelo Ofomata and Mr. Kelechi Nwankwo.
The appointment of Nigeria’s Shola Taylor as Secretary-General of CTO highlights the growing stature of Nigeria in the global telecom matrix.

feat-005Mr. Shola Taylor has been appointed Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), an international treaty organisation headquartered in London. Mr. Taylor is expected to start in this new role on 17 September this year.

A Nigerian citizen, Mr. Taylor is currently the chief executive officer of Kemilinks International, a global ICT consultancy firm based in Lagos. A telecommunications engineer by training, he brings to the CTO over 35 years of global experience in ICTs with government and the private sector. Previous positions held include regional director for Africa at Inmarsat (1994 - 1999), space technology coordinator for developing countries at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 1993 - 1994) and project director, also at the ITU (1987 - 1993).

Twice elected as a member of the ITU’s Radio Regulations Board (vice-chair in 2004, and chair in 2005), Mr. Taylor has a rich inside knowledge of international organisations. Early in his career, he worked in telecommunication engineering, including as senior engineer at Nigerian Telecommunications (1981 - 1985) and spectrum engineer at Intelsat (1985 - 1987).

The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has made a case for more investments in the telecoms sector at the 2nd edition of the United States- Africa Business Forum in New York. The President who was putting into view the country’s potentials for investments said that opportunities abound in the county’s digital economy.

According to him, “the digital economy, like Infrastructure, has a multiplier effect that touches every part of the economy. We have welcomed and continue to welcome investors willing to take a stake in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing telecoms markets, a market which has attracted more than $35 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) over the last decade and half. The Nigerian Communications Commission will shortly commence a licensing process for the deployment of broadband infrastructure across metropolitan areas in the country”.

I went to a senior colleague of mine to ask what I needed to do to be more effective and make a good impression in the office. I got good pointers on various subjects which I am expanding on. I believe information like this is helpful to all and so I am going to share my conversation and the lessons learned in a few lines. It goes without saying that you should do your job, but how you do the job is what makes the difference. In carrying out your daily tasks, make the effort to;


Use Proper Office Etiquette
Your boss and coworkers will appreciate it if you follow the rules of office etiquette. For example, you should use your cell phone properly, have good table manners, and know how to write email for business correspondence and to use the telephone at work. (We have written about these in previous editions!!!)


Face Up to Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake at work, which everyone inevitably does at some point, admit it. You shouldn't ignore your error or place the blame on others. Instead, you must take responsibility and come up with a way to fix your mistake. Your boss may not be too happy that you made a mistake to begin with, but at least will recognize your effort.


Call in Sick to Work When You Should
Do you think coming to work when you're sick instead of staying at home will impress your boss? It will not. Reasonable bosses know that a sick employee not only isn't productive, he or she can spread an illness around the office rendering everyone else unproductive. Call in sick when you need to. Your boss and your coworkers will appreciate it. That being said don't abuse it and call in when you just don't feel like coming in to the office that day.


Know What Topics to Avoid Discussing
Staying away from subjects that make others feel uncomfortable or contribute to workplace strife may not make your boss see you in a positive light, but doing so will keep him from thinking poorly of you. Subjects that do not make for good workplace conversation include politics, religion, and incessant discussions of your health problems and other personal issues. I have a new catch phrase for this one... "keep the personal out of the business". It will amaze you what can happen when you do that.


Dress Appropriately
Wearing the right clothes to work and, most importantly, not wearing the wrong clothes, will put you in your boss's good graces. You should dress for the "role you are playing." If you aspire to be a leader at work, dress like one.


Avoid Offending Your Co-Workers
We spend more time in our offices than anywhere else. Your boss will appreciate it if you do not do things that offend your coworkers. Always show respect toward them. The last thing a boss wants brought to his attention are the uncivil actions of one of his employees. It makes the atmosphere tense and reduces productivity. Not to mention making other workers around you uncomfortable.

Telephony

The Nigerian Telecommunications industry over the past decade has experienced significant growth as evidenced by the growth in the number of telecom subscriber and infrastructural development to mention a few.
  • The Nigerian telecom industry in August, 2011 celebrated a decade of telecom revolution and more significantly the introduction of Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM) in August, 2001.
  • Prior to the liberalization of the Nigerian Telecom industry, there were just about 508,316 lines with a teledensity of 0.45; there has however been a significant improvement as total active subscriptions as at June 2012 stood at 102,369,999 with teledensity at 73.12.

    telephonedata-annual-subscriber-data
    Figure 1: Trend of Total Lines & Teledensity (1999 - June 2012)
  • Installed capacity as at June, 2012 was 208,659,327, while total connected lines stood at 136,041,999.

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has unveiled its proposed licensing framework for the 38GHz and 42GHz bands as well as the re-planning of the 23GHz Microwave spectrum band for improved telecommunications services in Nigeria.

Speaking at a consultative forum in Lagos to seek the input of stakeholders on the licensing framework, the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta said that “the Commission as a matter of tradition institutionalized a policy of participatory regulation and industry wide consultations in carrying out its regulatory functions”.

The forum on the 38GHz and 42GHz licensing framework as well as the re-planning of the 23GHz Microwave spectrum band the EVC added, is consistent with the commission’s 8-point agenda to facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership with relevant stakeholders to improve Quality of Service, facilitate broadband penetration, optimize usage and benefits of spectrum, protect and empower consumers, promote innovation and investment opportunities, promote fair competition and ensure regulatory excellence and operational efficiency.

The EVC who was represented by the Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, further added that due to the emerging broadband trend in the Nigeria telecommunications market today, which will certainly require massive deployments of critical infrastructure, this forum has become imperative “if we are to achieve the set target of government of 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018 where additional spectrum resources would be required to avoid network challenges. The opening up of 38 and 42GHz bands for use in Nigeria and the re-planning of the 23GHz Microwave spectrum band is one of such measures”

“The commission recognizes that it is important to review the channeling plan in some of the existing Microwave Frequency bands as well as to open up and license other Frequency bands that are commercially viable to enable efficient use of spectrum which will also enable the operators of the industry to effectively meet their spectrum needs for rollout of broadband services”.

 

Importance of the Bands Licensing

According to the EVC, the licensing will help the telecoms industry to:

  • Address the growing demands by operators for spectrum for high speed and high capacity links for data centric services
  • Further assist the commission’s drive for National Broadband Wireless Access Initiative
  • Reduce the pressure and management challenges experienced with the traditional Microwave Frequency bands

All these he added is to enable ubiquitous and pervasive broadband services which the commission foresees that the Nigerian consumer can leverage on and this will also make service delivery better.