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NCC at TERF’17 Seeks Stakeholders’ Continued Support on Broadband Agenda

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By peter oluka

Professor Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that the broadband agenda remains top priority on its developmental agenda for the nation’s ICT sector.

The EVC said that optimal deployment of broadband infrastructures through the Infraco model in the face of existing broadband infrastructure challenges is critical to driving broadband availability, accessibility and affordability in Nigeria, says.

The remarks were contained in a keynote address delivered on his behalf by Engineer Bako Wakil, deputy director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at the Commission, at the Telecom Executives & Regulators Forum (TERF) on the subject: ‘Broadband Penetration in Nigeria-Perspectives from the Communication Regulator’, notes that the Commission is not resting on its oars to ensure glitches inhibiting smooth roll out of broadband services by operators, are mitigated.

The EVC assured the industry that InfraCo licensees for the six geo-political zones of the country will soon be announced, as they are on the last stage of the process.

According to him, NCC will continue to work with InfraCo licensees such MainOne, winners of the Lagos InfraCo license that are already rolling out of services in the State.

He however, called on parties involved to support the Commission in its bid for available, affordable and efficient broadband penetration in the country hence “Broadband industry ecosystem comprises of Government Policies and Programmes, Regulatory Frameworks and Environment, Supply and Demand sides of the services”.

Speaking on current status of broadband infrastructure in Nigeria, the EVC enumerated, “Adequate international bandwidth from International Submarine Cable landings at our shores; Inadequate metro fiber infrastructure in several towns and cities; Distribution and last mile challenges; Over 50,000 km of inter -City Fiber laid already; Sub-optimal inter-city fibre capacity utilization  due to duplications of some fibre routes and    Internet access is mainly through wireless means,” as notable factors in the industry.

He gave Nigeria’s current telecoms landscape as teledensity stands at 99.93 as at September, 2017; active Mobile subscriber base was 139,905,213 million as at September, 2017; Internet Penetration Rate was 50%  (92.975,682 Million subs)as at September, 2017; Broadband Penetration Rate was 21% as at February, 2017 (OpenSignal); NCC Broadband Infrastructure Initiative, “The NCC will continue to drive and support high speed broadband connectivity to end user through various initiatives such as: License InfraCos on a regional basis to provide metropolitan fibre and wholesale transmission services on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis;

“2.3GHz spectrum has been licensed for wholesale wireless last mile services; On-going discussions with various levels of Government to facilitate speed in processing permits, harmonisation of tax regimes and ease of deployment of infrastructure, including streamlining RoW charges; Enhance competitionin the market and improve consumer choices; Institute price caps for leased transmission capacity to address anti- competitive pricing and Auction and assign required spectrum for wireless and mobile broadband on an open and transparent basis”, he adds.

The EVC further explains that optimal deployment of broadband infrastructures through the Infraco model in the face of existing broadband infrastructure challenges is critical to driving broadband availability, accessibility and affordability in Nigeria.

Earlier, in his address of welcome, Mr. Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON, said the Association strongly believes in knowledge sharing that will further stimulate the accelerated development of our industry.

“We need to succeed in further winning the confidence of the international community to see Nigeria as a preferred investment destination in Africa. This is why we consider it a worthwhile venture to continually engage ourselves in programmes that would enable us advance the frontiers telecommunications/ICT in Nigeria.

“We congratulate the Nigerian Communications Commission for its excellent regulatory role which has put the Nigerian telecom sector on the world map. We also express our sincere gratitude to all our sponsors and supporters. We immensely appreciate all the resource persons for their mammoth contributions, and of course, all the participants for creating time out of their busy schedules to be in this forum”.

 

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Telecom

Federal High Court Sacks Etisalat Board

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Justice Ibrahim Buba sitting at the Federal High Court, Lagos has nullified the appointment of an interim board for Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service (EMTS), the fourth largest telecommunications service operator in Nigeria and owners of Etisalat.

 

The Court made the order following an application by Spectrum Wireless Communication Ltd, which invested $35million in 2009 in EMTS/Etisalat.

 

The order nullifies the appointment of Dr Joseph Nnana of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as chairman, Mr Boye Olusanya as Managing Director, Mrs Funke Ighodaro as Chief Financial Officer, Mr Seyi Bickersthet and Mr Ken Igbokwe as on the board of EMTS.

 

The nullification follows dismissal by Justice Buba of the preliminary objection filed by United Capital Trustees Ltd in response to the application by Spectrum Wireless, a shareholder of EMTS.

 

He ruled: “An order is hereby granted discharging the ex-parte order made by this court in this suit in favour of the respondent on the 3rd day of July 2017.

 

“The order made pursuant to motion ex-parte dated 3rd day of July 2017 was a nullity, made without jurisdiction and obtained by misrepresentation of facts. Same be and is hereby discharged and vacated as prayed.

 

“The motion for stay is struck out having set aside the order. The respondent shall reverse all steps taken by it since the order was a nullity.”

 

Spectrum Wireless claimed that the order was obtained by misrepresentation of facts that alienated its interests in the company.

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Truecaller Launches Contacts Backup, Others

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Truecaller has launched Truecaller Backup for Android, a new feature which allows users to backup and restore their contacts, call history, block list and settings to Google Drive.

Every day hundreds of thousands of Truecaller users are switching to a new phone, getting new SIM card, resetting their device or in general having to start their Truecaller journey anew. This inevitably leads to lost contacts, blank call logs and data gone missing.

Truecaller Backup has been one of the most highly requested features by its users, and will simplify a user’s transition to a new phone or SIM card by securely backing-up their contacts and settings, and stored on your Google Drive.

Users also have the power to customize the frequency of backup between daily, weekly, monthly and on demand. The upgrade enables the recovery of any lost data from Google Drive which Truecaller can restore to its last saved state.

Truecaller Contacts now lets a user even search for contacts whose details they haven’t saved but have previously communicated with. The Truecaller Contacts view contains all the contacts a user has sent or liaised with on call or text. This makes it easier for Truecaller users to recall and communicate with temporary contacts without saving them in their phonebook, keeping it clean and efficient.

Initially, the backup file will only be available for Google Drive users, but the plan is to expand the options to other backup storage in a near future. If you don’t already have a Google Drive account you’ll be prompted to create one.

 

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Telcos Pledge to Implement NCC Policy on Data Roll-over

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The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) says its members are likely to implement the 14 days grace for data roll-over planned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Mr Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of ALTON, disclosed this on Monday in Lagos.

NCC is working to issue a directive to telecommunications operators to give 14 days’ window to subscribers to enable them to roll over their unused data.

Adebayo said that the period for data roll over was a commercial issue, which each telecommunications operator would determine how it suited its business plan.

“The decision is left to the individual players. As an industry player; I think it is good for the subscribers.

“If the data roll over grace makes the subscribers happy, I am certain that our members will align with the directive provided it does not impact on the existing cost,” he said.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, said that subscribers would be given the 14 days grace even if they do not renew on the date of expiration of their data.

Danbatta said that this would stop the present practice where subscribers would lose the entire unused data, if they failed to renew on the date of the expiration of the present subscription.

According to him, NCC recognizes that telecommunications services are very important to the nation’s development.

“NCC also recognizes more importantly that the consumers of telecommunications services deserve to get value for their money.

“NCC also recognizes that consumer should be treated as a very important stakeholder in the scheme of things as far as service delivery is concerned.

“Let me recall that in the Eight-Point Agenda of my administration, the issue of empowerment and protection of the consumer occupied the sixth position.

“The vision in this agenda is to protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services,” he said.

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