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NITDA to MDAs: Hosting Data Outside Nigeria Is Against FG’s Guidelines

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By peter oluka

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) appears to invoke relevant sections of the guidelines regarding hosting of government data, particularly restricting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from going offshore to host.

In a statement signed by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, director general/CEO of the Agency, he also reminded private sector organizations on the need for them to patronize Nigerian Data Centers.

According to Pantami, “The progress made in the adoption and utilization of ICT in both the public and private sectors of the economy makes hosting data and information inevitable. However, it is disheartening to note the current practices of both public and private sector organizationshosting data offshore, despite having highly reliable Tier III Data Centers, certified by various international organizations and guaranteeing almost 100% availability as well as multiple layers of security. Furthermore, hosting data locally guarantees reduction incost and capital flight, digital job creation, increased security, and increase in tax revenues thereby boosting the local economy.

“It may be recalled that Section 14.1 of the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT makes it mandatory for Data and Information Management Firms to “Host government data locally within the country and shall not for any reason host any government data outside the country without an express approval from NITDA”.

“Furthermore, as stated in Section 14.3 of the Guidelines, the Agency is working with local data hosting firms to set appropriate service level requirements and standards for data service provisioning,” he said.

Dr. Pantami disclosed that the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC), NITDA’s Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), has been restructured and charged with the responsibility of developing, promoting and monitoring indigenous ICT adoption and utilization. In addition, adequate measures have been put in place to facilitate full compliance with these guidelines.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

Specifically, Section 6(a & c) of the Act establishing the Agency mandates it to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors.

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Nigeria, SA Drive Strong Growth in Africa’s Smartphone Shipments

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A total of 22.4 million smartphones were shipped in Africa during the second quarter of this year (Q2 2018), according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC).

The global technology research and consulting firm’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Africa’s smartphone shipments increased 9.8% quarter on quarter (QoQ) and 6.0% year on year (YoY) in Q2 2018.

The market’s buoyant performance was spurred by the growing popularity of low-end to mid-range devices. Transsion brands continued to lead the continent’s smartphone space in Q2 2018, accounting 35.4% of shipments. Samsung followed in second place with 23.2% share.

By contrast, the feature phone market was down 1.1% QoQ and 5.8% YoY in Q2 2018, but – with shipments totaling 31.4 million units – these devices still constitute a 58.3% share of Africa’s overall mobile phone market as they cater to the needs of the continent’s huge low-income population (mainly in rural areas) by providing basic mobile communications that are priced very competitively.

Telco and Itel continued to lead feature phone category in Q2 2018 with a combined unit share of 59.9%, followed in third place by HMD on 9.0%.

Looking at the overall picture, the region’s combined mobile phone market totaled 53.8 million units in Q2 2018, with shipments up 3.2% QoQ but down 1.2% YoY.

The continent’s two biggest markets – Nigeria and South Africa – saw a marked improvement in the performance of their overall mobile phone markets, posting YoY growth of 13.0% and 25.0%, respectively.

“The Nigerian economy remains stable and has begun to show signs of steady improvement in terms of consumer demand for mobile phones.

“The country saw smartphone shipments of 2.7 million units in Q2 2018, up 15.8% YoY, with strong marketing support from telecom operators for most brands proving instrumental. However, ongoing currency issues and falling consumer purchasing power suggest Nigeria is not set for a sustained surge in smartphone shipments,” says Arnold Ponela, a research analyst at IDC.

South Africa remains the continent’s most developed telecommunications market, with smartphone shipments up 17.4% YoY in Q2 2018 to total 3.4 million units.

“Numerous new entrants to the South African market are now offering affordable smartphones that boast very similar features to the leading brands.

“As such, we expect the country’s migration away from feature phones to continue at a progressive pace.

This transition from feature phones to smartphones is reflected by the fact that the market continues to be dominated by low-end to mid-range devices priced below $150,” says Ponela.

IDC’s research shows that 4G LTE networks are spreading their reach in Africa, with shipments of 4G LTE devices increasing 11.8% QoQ in Q2 2018 to constitute 62.6% of the smartphone market.

“Despite a drop in the prices of entry-level 4G phones, 2G and 3G mobile devices remain far more economical, making it difficult for operators to migrate clients over to newer technologies.

“Price sensitivity means that many African consumers prefer to stick with 3G phones, and this is likely to continue until 4G devices fall to a price point where they are affordable to a much larger segment of the continent’s consumer base,” says Ramazan Yavuz, a research manager at IDC.

Looking ahead, IDC expects Africa’s overall mobile phone market to grow 2.6% QoQ in Q3 2018, with overall shipments to increase slightly through 2018, leading to YoY growth of 0.4% for the year as a whole.

“IDC predicts that 5G phones will reach the market in 2020, when rollouts of 5G networks will start in select African countries,” says Yavuz. “However, demand for feature phones is unlikely to be impacted significantly as these devices will continue to serve a purpose in areas with no LTE coverage.”

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9mobile Excites Customers with New MiFi Offer

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In keeping with its affirmed commitment to continuously delight customers with innovative solutions that give them more value at no extra cost, telecommunications company, 9mobile has introduced a new MiFi offer to the market offering customers a whooping 30GB free data plus bonus data for 1 year.

With the launch of the new MiFi offer, 9mobile also reinforces its commitment to consistently provide faster and more affordable data services that enable existing and new customers to do more for less.

VP Marketing, 9mobile, Adebisi Idowu, said 9mobile subscribers who purchase data devices in any of its experience centres are assured of high quality internet services, stating this is a promise the telco will always deliver on. “We are passionate about our customers; this is why we offer them true value for their money on 9mobile data plans, to deliver exceptional browsing experience online”, he said.

Idowu revealed that customers are assured of a 15GB sign up free data bonus instantly upon purchase of the new LTE/3G MiFi device. The customers also get another 15GB free data bonus if they purchase 7.1GB or higher data plans in the second month after service activation.

From the 3rd month, these customers get up to 100% bonus data for one year whenever they purchase 7.1GB or higher data plans on the 9mobile network.

Existing 9mobile MiFi device customers who purchase 7.1GB or higher data plans will also enjoy up to 100% bonus data for one year

Idowu added: “As a customer-centric network, we are very audacious in providing value-adding services to our subscribers. We also provide platforms that ensure positive customer experience both at the point of sale and even after sale. This is why we go the extra mile to reward our customers with amazing bonuses.

In addition, we have ensured that 9mobile MiFi devices are built with durable materials.”

The 9mobile MiFi device can provide internet services for up to 10 devices and is portable, making it easy to be carried around anywhere one goes.The device can be purchased from 9mobile experience centers nationwide, 9mobile official website, as well as from the online store -https://eshop.9mobile.com.ng/

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TE SubCom Chosen to Extend MainOne Cable System to Francophone Region

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TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. company and an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, today announced that it has secured a contract from leading connectivity and data center solutions provider, MainOne , to extend its active submarine cable system into West Africa’s francophone region with two additional branches connecting Senegal (Dakar) and Cote D’Ivoire (Abidjan).

These new branches will connect to MainOne’s 7,000km cable system, which extends from Portugal to Nigeria, and will inject new technology that upgrades the system to a potential capacity of 10TBps by November 2019 when the subsea system becomes operational.

With this development, MainOne will have landing points in five markets – Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire and Portugal, in addition to Cameroon. A cluster of francophone countries in West Africa that are experiencing an increased demand for advanced telecom services including Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania will also benefit from these extensions into Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.

“MainOne continues to lead the current digital transformation of the region by ushering in affordable connectivity to drive economic development. Our objective remains focused on bridging the digital divide between West Africa and the rest of the world.

“We have, and will continue to, invest significantly in projects to accelerate broadband access to help local businesses address the challenges they face procuring capacity at competitive rates.

“This extension of our subsea cable to Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire will further open up their international bandwidth markets, drive down costs and ultimately boost the economic and commercial development of the region,” said Kazeem Oladepo, MainOne’s regional executive for West Africa.

“These MainOne enhancements bring two additional connectivity options to this rapidly growing region,” said Debbie Brask, vice president, project management of TE SubCom. “MainOne has also selected SubCom’s industry leading WSS ROADM technology to achieve dynamic capacity management in fulfilling the region’s burgeoning demand.”

The new branches will be equipped with TE SubCom’s WSS ROADM technology that allows MainOne and its partners to match the capacity in each branch to the market need, thus optimizing cable utilization. SubCom will light the new branches with Ciena’s transmission equipment, which enables this flexibility and higher capacity. It is also an industry first for the deployment of undersea spectrum-sharing in Africa.

The MainOne Submarine Cable System links West Africa with Europe, bringing ultra-fast broadband in the region. It runs from Seixal in Portugal to Lagos in Nigeria. The system first went live in July 2010, becoming the first privately-owned subsea cable to bring open-access broadband capacity in West Africa.

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