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Angst over Influx of Fake Cell Phones

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There is an influx of counterfeit cell phones in Nigeria, causing concern to consumers, the industry and government.

 

Reliable estimates are hard to come by, but, it is believed that some 1 million fake phones valued at N2.7 billion were imported into the country last year alone, adding to the over 148 million sold annually worldwide worth $6 billion.

 

Experts have warned of health risks of using fake or substandard phones that are been released into the market without proper tests and checks.

 

Patrick Odita, a telecommunication consultant, said, studies showed that fake cell phone exposes users to emitted radio frequency radiations, which poses health problem to the individual.

 

Apart from health issues, Odita said, that fake phones are responsible for some of the cases of poor reception; traffic jams on the networks; drooped calls; as well as revenue loss on the part of telecom operators.

 

Counterfeit phones are copies of popular brands and models made from sub-standard materials and are not licensed by the NCC.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered there are technologies which allow fake phones to be switched off and barred from receiving; making calls; or carrying other network activities.

 

The technologies bar only the phones as SIM cards can still be transferred to genuine mobiles and no data will be lost.

 

A mobile phone is also deemed fake if its IMEI number – the unique identifier for each phone – is not recognised by an international database.

 

Dr. Alex Ukwuani, an ICT security expert said that fake phones have both safety and security perspectives

 

“A criminal can use fake mobile phone to perpetuate crime and it will be difficult for the security agencies to trace the culprit” he added.

 

Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ATCON), have also called for urgent measures to curb the increasing rate of dumping fake mobile phones in the country.

 

According to ATCON, there are over 150 unregistered/unapproved mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria.

 

But in a renewed bid to protect consumers from substandard phones and other devices; the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), recently, warned companies still flouting its regulation on type-approval for all telecom devices and equipment to stop forthwith or face the consequences.

 

The NCC has previously shut down mobile phone vendors over distribution and sale of non-type approved devices in the country.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, said that using non-type approved handsets and other devices has implications for quality of telecom services.

 

Danbatta said that the commission in collaboration with the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other key government agencies had set up two joint committees – project steering committee (PSC) and project delivery team (PDT) – to combat the recurrent cycle of fraudster deploying their trade via fake and substandard mobile devices.

 

He declared that these committees are to ensure the implementation of the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS), a public-private partnership project to combat the proliferation of counterfeit, substandard and cloned mobile communication devices in telecommunication industry through proper monitoring of our borders and the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Telecom

Stay Clear of Our Masts, ATCON Warns NCAA

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Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON
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Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has urged the federal government to restraint Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which is threatening to demolish telecommunication masts in different locations across the country.

 

ATCON said that telecommunications services would be adversely affected if NCAA carries out its threat.

 

NCAA had earlier in the week said it will demolish telecommunication masts in different locations across the country with immediate effect.

 

The NCAA had said the demolition exercise would similarly affect some banks and financial institutions that had discountenanced its regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within navigable airspace in the country.

 

Mr Sam Adurogboye, general manager, Public Relations, NCCA, had said, “A total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations will be decommissioned forthwith. The NCAA wishes to reiterate that it will continue to apply requisite sanctions for violation of extant regulations, especially, where the resolve of the authority is tested.”

 

This came after the NCAA in April had warned all Global System for Mobile Communications providers and telecom operators against the violation of safety regulations, with a 30-day ultimatum handed down for compliance.

 

But Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON, condemned the move to destroy the towers, saying the Federal Government would rebuild them.

 

Teniola said, “We are disappointed that the government is still involved in the destruction of much-needed infrastructure that provides services for those communities that will be impacted by the stance that the NCAA has made.

 

“We have said in the past, and in support of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, that those base stations and towers that are destroyed would not be rebuilt. We expect the government to now rebuild what they have destroyed.”

 

 

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Workz Group to Deliver 50m eSims by 2024

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Workz Group, Mobile and IoT solutions provider, has announced a long-term partnership with the manufacturer of mobile IoT modules to deliver a projected 50 million embedded SIMs (eSIMs) by 2024.

 

The deal sees Workz provide secure data generation, management and personalisation for eSIM chips to be deployed globally by the cellular module leader for use in machine-to-machine (M2M) devices.

 

Workz, which offers eSIM technology and cloud management platforms to device manufacturers, network operators, technology enablers and governments, was recognised in an industry report by BIS Research earlier this year as a key player in the eSIM market.

 

Workz is the only GSMA-certified manufacturer of eSIM technology (EUM) in the Middle East and Africa.

 

The certification guarantees the secure management of data both physically and virtually during production and personalisation of eSIMs.

 

Personalisation refers to the upload of the SIM’s unique information to its smart chip.

 

Workz is one of only six providers in the world to carry such accreditation and possesses two certified facilities located in Dubai and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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VDT communications Launches 4G LTE Advanced services

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L-R: Mr. Adewale Akinade, Head, Finance & Account; Mrs. Bimbo Ikumariegbe, Deputy Managing Director; Mr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO; Mr. Victor Omoyeni and Mr. Dan Adah, Head, Corporate & Retail Sales all of VDT Communications during the Media Launch of the VDT 4G LTE Advanced Data Service in Lagos.
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VDT communications, a leading broadband communications service provider has launched its retail data network – 4G LTE Advanced service into the market.

 

The product themed:”Live the life” is aimed at bridging the dearth and poor quality network gap being witnessed in the market today.

 

Engr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications Limited, Speaking at the media launch, said that their decision of launching 4G LTE service is to bridge the gaps that exist in the market due to poor quality networks, poor customer service and inadequate support service.

L-R: Abimbola Ikumariegbe, Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer, VDT Communications Limited, Engr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications Limited and Engr.Victor Omoyeni, Chief Technology Officer the Media Launch of the VDT 4G LTE Advanced Data Service in Lagos.

 

He noted that with VDT’s 4G LTE Advanced Data Service all these yawning gaps will be filled with superior network quality, top-notch network performance and proactive customer and support services.

 

He explained that the opportunity to actualize this dream came with the successful acquisition of a broad channel 2.3GHz Spectrum from the Federal Government through Bitflux Communications Limited; a consortium which VDT is the principal partner.

 

According to him, “VDT LTE is leveraging on the Bitflux network it painstakingly and deliberately built from the scratch to provide premium quality 4Gbroadband experience in the country.

 

“So our ultimate goal is to offer members of the public an exceptional broadband experience every time they use our network.

Home CPE on display during the launch

 

“Thus, enhancing all aspects of their lives qualitatively and quantitatively; helping them to achieve more and truly live the life they are meant to!”

 

Omoniyi said that based on the huge acceptance and patronage the product received during the pre-launch test period, they intend to deploy the first phase in Lagos state where they have 80% network coverage, with hope of covering the remaining 20% in no distance time.

 

He added that they plan to deploy this product to four other leading cities in the key economic zones of Nigeria and the rest of the country in phases.

VDT’s Mobile Mifi Devices

 

According to him, “our official service launch is scheduled to take place early next month in Lagos.

 

“With the huge acceptance and patronage we received during the pre-launch test period with about 80% network coverage of Lagos State, VDT LTE would expand strategically to cover the entire Lagos State and other leading cities in the key economic zones of Nigeria and the rest of the country in phases.

 

“Our products range includes home CPE and mobile mifi devices at highly attractive rates.

 

“These we offer with free 30GB of data. We also offer the most attractive free night browsing [8pm to 7am] plan available in the industry.

 

“Furthermore, we still offer a free power bank[depending on the home CPE purchased]. Our data plans also come in highly affordable rates; as low as N3,500 and unlimited internet data plan at low prices.”

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