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Taylor, Asks CTO Members to Invest in Broadband to Tap IoT,AI Evolution



L-R: Malcolm Johnson, Her Excellency, the Governor of Maputo, Honourable Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Mozambique, Dr Ema Chicoco, Shola Taylor.

Shola Taylor, secretary-general of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, has warned of the risk of many countries missing out on the benefits of IoT, Big Data, AI and augmented reality innovation if they do not invest sufficiently in broadband and ICT services.

Taylor was speaking at the opening of CTO ICT Forum’17 held this week in Maputo, Mozambique.

“With the Internet of Things, we have a new environment conducive of opportunities for new forms of digital entrepreneurship or public service delivery,” he said. But he reminded that “there are still far too many without access to the Internet, who are unable to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits digital technologies have to offer.” He said.

Mr Taylor was speaking alongside Carlos Mesquita, Mozambique’s Minister of Transport and Communications; Dr Ema Chicoco, Chair of the Board of Mozambique’s Autoridade Reguladora das Comunicações; Patrick Masambu, Director-General, International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation; Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union.

The event, which was open by His Excellency Carlos Agostinho do Rosário, Mozambique’s Prime Minister, is attended by ministers, regulators, national ICT agencies, industry executives, non-profit organisations and academia from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, South Asia and the Pacific.

“We need to investigate new options to provide broadband, including low-orbit space solutions. To achieve this, more investment is essential. Of course, universal service funds must continue to invest and deliver on increasing access. Countries must invest in services for their citizens, and in the infrastructure to support the delivery of these services, or they will miss out on the benefits of IoT, Big Data and augmented reality technologies,” Mr Taylor warned.

“It’s important for us to continue developing infrastructures as well as information and communication technology services in order to ensure greater availability and coverage of online services.,” said Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario.

“Access is front and center; it is the first step towards a digital nation,” said Mr Johnson. “Big Data, Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G will all shape our digital future. They are important steps on the journey towards a digital nation” and “we need to bring together technologists, regulators and policy makers, not only from the ICT sector, but all the sectors that will increasing depend on the technology, in order to address these challenges,” he added.

The theme of this year’s Forum was Digital Nations, Digital Wealth, with discussions focused on the prospects for socio-economic growth in a digital future comprising virtual environments, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communications and augmented reality applications. The event include participation form other organisations such as ICANN, Facebook and Huawei who actively contributed to various sessions on universal broadband, regulation of virtual environments, the digital economy, security and privacy.

“The event’s theme is extremely relevant today, as we all strive to provide broadband to all the world’s citizens and contribute towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030,” said Mr Masambu.

Consensus emerged from the discussions throughout the event, including:

    The journey to the digital future is both individual and collective.
    Public investment is a necessity to connect the unconnected, as although 3G covers 85% of the world, only half of the world population is connected to the Internet.
    Countries must develop coordinated multisectoral strategies for ICTs, to include broadband infrastructure, health, education, agriculture and other areas.
    IoT and augmented reality may require less and but more flexible regulation.
    The need to balance open data with privacy.
    Government to lead by deploying e-government services.
    Competitive digital economies require government to create the enabling conditions, laws and frameworks, including for machine-to-machine communications.
    Governments must make cybersecurity a priority.

CTO ICT Forum is the annual ICT conference of the Commonwealth. Hosted this year by INCM Mozambique, it is attended this year by ICT ministers and regulators, national information technology agencies, universal service agencies, civil society leaders, technology solution providers, telecoms companies, consulting firms, social media companies and financial and investment institutions from 21 countries.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Nigerian Invents Device to Replace GSM Recharge Cards



Michael Friday, a Nigerian scientist, has invented a device, ‘Mobile Intercom’, which aims at relieving subscribers of telecommunications services from buying recharge cards.


Michael explained that the quest to free Nigerians from over-dependence on highly expensive imported telecom services, informed his decision to come up with the innovative idea.


He recalled the frustrations he had gone through to draw the attention of the authorities to patent his inventions, said he would require financial grants so that Nigerians can benefit from the discovery.

According to him “Instead of going through Wi-Fi, our chip sets can transmit up to 5,000 meters, which is about 5 kilometres or there about. So if we are able to succeed in developing our own chip sets now, you will see that in an estate, you don’t need to pay money to a telecom company to communicate. In the US today, nobody buys credit anymore. All they buy is subscription. When you buy your subscription your data and your call card and everything is embedded in one.”

Welcoming the initiative, Engr Danazumi Ibrahim, director general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), frowned that that over 90 per cent of the technology in the ICT, transportation, automobile and electronic sectors in Nigeria are imported.


Ibrahim, who noted that funding remains the major challenge impeding the growth of indigenous technology, agreed that the inventive work undertaken by Michael was what is required to achieve the technological advancement of the country.


He however promised to expedite action to ensure Michael’s work is patented accordingly, disclosing that between 2015 to date; his office has patented over 50 intellectual properties of Nigerian scientists and investors.


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Operators Decry High Cost of Fibre Optic Leasing



High cost of leasing fibre optic infrastructure has been blamed for the desire of telecommunications operators to seek ownership of that transmission link, Nigeria Communicationsweek has learnt.


Metro or national fibre optic infrastructure is required by telecommunications operators to transmit bandwidth from where they are bought to their network operating centres for service delivery especially data.


Stakeholders in the telecommunications space have attributed lack of transmission infrastructure in the country to poor service delivery and high cost of data services especially in cities outside of Lagos where most of the undersea cable that brought bandwidth to the country land.


Against this backdrop that operators seek ‘Right of way’ approval to enable them lay fibre optic along state and federal roads to move bandwidth required to deliver services to their subscribers.


Abhulime Ehiagwina, chief financial officer, ntel, a 4GLTE operator, said at a recent Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) ‘breakfast meeting with the CEO’, that high cost of leasing fibre optic from owners of the infrastructure does not make economic sense compared to owning the link.


“Imagine if we lease fibre to deliver service from Port Harcourt to Aba, it will cost us N20 million per month. The question is, how many subscribers can we get in a short run that will cover this amount and other associated cost in delivering service to Aba? This is why operators seek ‘Right of way’ approval to lay their own fibre links,” he said.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that leasing of intra city fibre optic is not cheap either as it costs N200, 000 to lease fibre to transmit 20mega of bandwidth for Victoria Island to Ikeja in Lagos Nigeria.


It was in response to this that Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has licensed InfraCos that are expected to deploy fibre optic infrastructure for operators to lease at competitive cost.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek also gathered that some existing national and metro fibre links are not being use by operators as a result of high cost which is why stakeholders are calling for articulated business friendly policy in the deployment and provision of telecommunications transmission infrastructure in the country.


Ajay Awasthi, chief executive officer, Spectranet, a 4G LTE internet service provider, said that it costs higher to move bandwidth from Lagos to Ibadan than moving it from London to Lagos.


Engr. Samuel Adeleke, immediate past president, Internet Services Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) said that licensing of spectrum as a way to increase broadband penetration is not enough to achieve the target.


“NCC needs to look at the proper use of its licenses moving forward. For instance, Globacom has invested in intra-city and inter-city fibre network, which are presently not in use. This infrastructure is required to increase broadband penetration in the country, the regulator should ensure the effective utilization of licensed spectrum,” he said.


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Nigeria Becoming a Mobile-first Country- Anammah



Juliet Anammah, Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria has said that Nigerian Mobile phone market, remains Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 162 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 84%.


She made this disclosure at the launch of Jumia’s Annual Mobile Report ahead of this year’s Mobile Week held recently in Lagos.


Anammah, said Africa boasts of a mobile subscription base of 1.04 billion, representing 82% of its total population with 435 million users and 34% penetration rate while Nigeria has 98 million users, 21 million Smartphone users and 65% penetration rate.


She attributed the growth to the multiplicity of affordable smartphones and a growing market for second-hand devices as one of the major roles in driving the country’s e-commerce sector, which is estimated to be worth 13 billion USD by 2018.


She noted that the multiplication of easy payment options such as credit or debit cards payment, even cash on delivery, and the increasing use of social media sites (active social media users) as drivers that enhanced the adoption of smartphones in Nigeria and Africa.


She said the number of mobile subscribers grew astronomically in 2017 and its penetration increased to 84% in comparison with 53% in 2016, adding that the availability of lower price points’ phones paved way for more Nigerians to own mobile phones.


“With an increase in the number of affordable phones entering the Nigerian market and looking at the trajectory of growth between 2016 & 2017 (31% growth year-on-year), there is a strong indication that by the end of 2018, there might be a 100% penetration of mobile subscriptions,” she added.


Anammah, stated that only 17 million smartphone users out of 21 million are active on social media via their mobile phones.


She added that Average Price of Smartphones in Nigeria Continues to dip Year-on-Year as against other African countries, stressing that smartphone sold on Jumia platform in Nigeria in 2014 was at 216 USD per unit but have seen a decline from 216 USD in 2014 to 100 USD in 2017.


She noted that Asian mobile brand like Infinix, Tecno, Fero etc, contributed to the declined with the introduction of lower price points’ smartphones adapted to the profiles of African users


Olubayo Adekambi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, responding to the question on what influenced consumers buying behaviour in 2017, said that the preponderance of low-cost smartphones and the drive towards aspirational self-enhancement, coupled with exciting mobile operator-led propositions further drove smartphone penetration, with many first-timers finding a compelling reason to pick up low-priced smartphones or second-hand smartphones.


He noted that Peer-to-peer mobile video sharing and over-the-top video platforms drove incremental increases in internet usage, with the so-called illiterates joining the bandwagon to enjoy their latest comedy on the go.


“This mobile trend is shifting advertising’s focus from traditional TV to short videos shown as branded content with subtle product placement.


“According to’s Mobile Poll, WhatsApp is the most actively used app for video sharing and an average Nigerian spent 35 minutes per day on this platform,” he added.

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