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NCC Plans CSIRT to Combat Cyber Crime

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Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the Commission is working towards establishing a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) exclusively for the Telecommunications sector.

He stated that CSIRT will complement the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) by handling and coordinating cybercrime incidences in the sector.

The NCC Boss, disclosed this at the 2019 Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum, organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos yesterday.

It would be recalled that the Commission played a key role in developing the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy documents that led to the establishment of the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) Coordination Center, domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Danbatta who was represented by Mohammed Babajika, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, revealed that CSIRT will facilitate intervention, swift identification of threats/vulnerabilities and the sharing of valuable information and resources to assist in fortifying Nigeria’s national security.

Speaking on the formulation of policy and regulation for OTTs: Challenges and Prospects, Danbatta urged service providers to innovate, noting that OTTs, have some prospects in the ICT ecosystem, which cannot be ignored.

He added that OTTs will increasingly support future service model that are rapidly expanding across multiple communications & digital service domains, which will spur the growth of Smartphones that are affordable, which pushes the demand for broadband and increase mobility that will bring convenience.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), organizers of 2019 Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF2019) said that the aim of the forum is to create a platform for the regulators to update the industry on the regulatory direction and plans for the industry in the coming years.

He noted that the outcome the forum will enable industry stakeholders to understand how best to cooperate with the regulatory agency in ensuring the effectiveness and success of policies and regulations in the industry.

According to him, “the forum is one of ATCON’s flagship initiatives for the telecom and ICT industry in Nigeria, Specifically designed for the purpose of creating a veritable opportunity for key industry players to interact with the industry regulators with the aim of building a continual good working relationship between industry players and the regulators.

“It is also aimed at creating a platform for the regulators to update the industry on the regulatory direction and plans for the industry in the coming years. This hopefully, would enable industry stakeholders to understand how best to cooperate with the regulatory agency in ensuring the effectiveness and success of policies and regulations in the industry.

“Furthermore, the forum is designed as an opportunity for the regulators to receive feedback from the industry with a view to understanding the challenges and prospects industry players have to grapple with and explore to ensure sustained growth of the industry.

“To a large extent, participants brainstorm on measures that would fast-track the rapid expansion of telecommunications services across the federation in the years ahead.

“The Association is of the opinion that today’s telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria is built on continuous strategic engagements amongst all players in the sector and the projected growth can only be attained if these engagements continue.

Mohammed Babajika, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, making the presentation

“ATCON is providing this platform for the purpose of accelerating and harnessing the changes that are taking place in the industry in order to grow the industry for all its teeming members who have made huge investments in the Nigerian telecom and ICT sector.

“There is a popular saying that ‘change is inevitable’, the truth is that our industry is changing on daily basis or we can say that the industry is being disrupted by new technological innovations and for our members to stay afloat and remain players in the industry, new business models must be evolved by our members but regulation and policies also need to be reviewed, fine-tuned and strengthened so that all and sundry can remain in business. To this end, new capacities must be developed to match the new opportunities that the new ecosystem is presenting.

ATCON firmly believes that this very important platform would provide a great opportunity for all critical stakeholders in the industry to leverage on this rare opportunity to share their views, contribute their expertise and experiences in discussion about best practices in their jurisdictions with a focus to grow and sustain the industry.

“We strongly believe in knowledge sharing that will further stimulate the accelerated development of our industry. Finally, 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 to advance the frontiers of telecommunications/ICT in Nigeria”.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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NigComSat-1R, Nigeria’s Only Satellite to Expire in 7 Years

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NigComSat-1R, Nigeria’s only communications satellite will outlive its usefulness by 2026, meaning that the satellite will expire by then.

 

Recall that NigComSat-1, was designed and built by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) at a cost of $400m.

 

The satellite (NigComSat-1) which was put in the orbit in May 2007, was de-orbited in November 2008 following the development of power fault.

 

It was replaced in December 2011 with NigComSat-1R by the same company.

 

This NigComSat-1R, Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited, managers of the satellite, has said will expire in the next seven years.

 

Mr Raji Kolawole, executive director, Engineering Services at NigComSat Limited, at the company’s resellers and channel partners at its Resellers Forum in Abuja, however said that the company was exploring avenues to acquire two more satellites as the government had directed it to explore private sector sources for the funds required for the construction of the additional satellites.

 

He said if properly utilised, the communications satellite also had the capacity to help the country to check the incidents of kidnapping and terrorism, which had become endemic in recent times.

 

Kolawole said, “The present satellite has about seven years to the end of life. For business continuity, we are collaborating with the private sector to acquire two additional satellites.

 

“The reason the Federal Government declared NigComSat1R as a national priority project is because of the navigation overly on our satellite, which basically is for security purposes, to curb kidnapping, terrorism and the likes.

 

“Now at the moment, we are working with security agencies to use the satellite to curb incessant kidnapping around the country.”

 

NigComSat-1R with a lifespan of 15 years, was launched into the orbit on December 19, 2011.

 

 

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Active Telecoms Subscribers Decreased by 72,782 in April – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the active subscribers on the telecommunication networks reduced by 72,782 in April 2019.

The telecommunications regulator disclosed this in its Monthly Subscriber/Operator Data made available on its website on Tuesday.

The active subscribers on the telecommunications networks decreased from 173,713,842 in March to 173,641,060 in April.

According to the data, 173,383,803 of the 173,641,060 active users subscribe to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network services.

The GSM operators’ active customers figure reduced by 49,060 in April, after the 173,432,863 subscribers recorded in March 2019.

The report stated that out of the GSM operators, MTN had 64,732,167 users in April, showing a decrease of 302,448 from the 65,034,615 it recorded in March 2019.

Globacom’s figure increased in April by 117,053 with 46,380,756 customers, as against 46,203,703 in March.

Airtel had 45,433,300 subscribers in the month under review, which showed an increase of 194,965 users, from the 45,238,335 recorded in March.

9mobile recorded 16,720,146 customers in April, against 16,838,403 in March; having a decrease of 118,257 subscribers.

Visafone, which just migrated from the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to the GSM network had 117,434 subscribers in the month of April, showing a decrease of 373 from its March record of 117,807.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators recorded no subscriber in the month under review, indicating a decrease of 4,460 from the 4,460 users in March 2019.

The only surviving CDMA operator, Multi-Links, had 4,460 in March, but lost all the subscribers in April 2019.

The monthly subscriber/operator data showed that the Fixed Wireless network (landline) consumers reduced to zero in April, as against 26,865 recorded in March.

One of the two landline networks, Visafone had lost all 26,437 March subscribers in April, while Multi-Links also lost all its 428 customers in the month under review.

It also revealed that the Fixed Wired operators (landline) subscriber base increased by 879; increasing to 108,033 users in April, as against 107,154 recorded in March 2019.

In the Fixed Wired arena, MTN Fixed moved from 5,449 users in March 2019 to 5,373 users in April, thereby decreasing by 76 customers.

Glo Fixed had 3,842 users in April, increasing by 1,053 customers from the March record of 2,789.

IpNX network moved from 2,221 subscriber base in March 2019 to 2,237 in April, hence, its customers increased by 16.

The report indicated that 21st Century Network had 96,581 customers in April, recording a decrease of 114 users from its March record of 96,695 subscribers.

It also showed that the two Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) networks had 149,224 active users in April, as their customers increased by 6,724 from their March 2019 subscriber base of 142,500.

Of the VOIP networks, Smile Communication had 144,619 customers, giving an increase of 7,372 users to its March result of 137,247.

Ntel had 4,605 consumers subscribing to its products and services in April, showing a decrease of 648 users from the March 2019 record of 5,253.

The regulatory body said that Section 89, Subsection 3(c) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 mandated it to monitor and report the state of the telecommunications industry.

“The commission is mandated to provide statistical analyses and identify industry trends with regard to services, tariffs, operators, technology, subscribers, issues of competition and dominance.

“This is with a view to identifying areas where regulatory intervention will be needed.

“The commission regularly conducts studies, surveys and produces reports on the telecommunications industry.

“Therefore, telecommunications operators are obligated, under the terms of their licenses, to provide NCC with such data on a regular basis for analytical review and publishing,” NCC said.

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Wi-Fi Remains High-Performance Network Technology till 2024 – Gartner

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Wi-Fi will remain the primary high-performance networking technology through 2024, according to Gartner’s top ten wireless technology trends for enterprise architecture (EA) and technology innovation leaders.

Gartner claims new forms of wireless technology will become central to emerging technologies including robots, drones, self-driving vehicles and new medical devices over the next five years.

Nick Jones, distinguished research vice president at Gartner, said: “Business and IT leaders need to be aware of these technologies and trends now. Many areas of wireless innovation will involve immature technologies, such as 5G and millimetre wave, and may require skills that organisations currently don’t possess.

“EA and technology innovation leaders seeking to drive innovation and technology transformation should identify and pilot innovative and emerging wireless technologies to determine their potential and create an adoption roadmap.”

After Wi-Fi, Gartner lists other key trends including 5G cellular, vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) wireless, long-range wireless power, low-power Wide-Area (LPWA) networks, wireless sensing, enhanced wireless location tracking, millimetre wave wireless, backscatter networking and software-defined radio (SDR).

5G cellular systems are starting to be deployed in 2019 and 2020 says the global market research and analysis firm.

The complete rollout will take five to eight years. In some cases, the technology may supplement Wi-Fi, as it is more cost-effective for high-speed data networking in large sites, such as ports, airports and factories.

“5G is still immature, and initially, most network operators will focus on selling high-speed broadband. However, the 5G standard is evolving and future iterations will improve 5G in areas such as the Internet of Things (IOT) and low-latency applications,” Jones added.

The absorption and reflection of wireless signals can be used for sensing purposes. Wireless sensing technology can be used, for example, as an indoor radar system for robots and drones. Virtual assistants can also use radar tracking to improve their performance when multiple people are speaking in the same room.

“Sensor data is the fuel of the IOT. Accordingly, new sensor technologies enable innovative types of applications and services,” Jones said. “Systems including wireless sensing will be integrated in a multitude of use cases, ranging from medical diagnostics to object recognition and smart home interaction.”

According to Gartner SDR shifts the majority of the signal processing in a radio system away from chips and into software. This enables the radio to support more frequencies and protocols.

The technology has been available for many years, but has never taken off as it is more expensive than dedicated chips. However, Gartner expects SDR to grow in popularity as new protocols emerge. As older protocols are rarely retired, SDR will enable a device to support legacy protocols, with new protocols simply being enabled via software upgrade.

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