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TECHNOLOGY

Experts Exploit Emerging Trend Shaping Telecoms Infrastructure, Proffers Solutions On Challenges

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Telecommunications experts across West Africa have exposed trending innovations relying on telecoms infrastructure harping on the strategies that are crucial for the sustainability of telecommunications infrastructure to fast-track the region’s digital economy.

Speaking at the second edition of the West Africa Telecoms Infrastructure Summit and Exhibition (WATISE), with the theme: ‘Shaping the future of the telecoms infrastructure industry: Trends and Insights for a Digital Economy’ and organized by Technology Mirror, an online telecoms news and information platform, held in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, the experts x-rayed critical issues that relate the survival of the telecoms industry using the Nigerian market as a reference point.

Leading the conversation, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida, in his keynote address which was on the theme of WATISE 2.0, noted that the journey towards a digital economy has a future that is paved with immense possibilities and profound challenges noting that “how we navigate this path will determine the role Nigeria plays in the global digital landscape.”

Maida who was represented by the Head of Next Generation Technology and Standard at the NCC, Victor Adoga, described telecommunications infrastructure as the backbone of the digital economy, facilitating seamless connectivity and supporting a range of services from basic voice calls to high-speed internet and cloud computing.

He stated that the rapid growth of the digital economy demands robust, scalable, and secure telecommunications infrastructure disclosing that several key trends are poised to shape the future of telecom infrastructure.

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According to Maida, the rollout of 5G networks is a transformative trend in telecoms infrastructure saying that 5G promises significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, facilitating new applications such as IoT (Internet of Things), autonomous vehicles, smart cities and advanced augmented reality.

He listed other emerging trends affecting the deployment of telecoms infrastructure across the region as the Internet of Things, Fiber Optic Expansion, Data Localisation and Security, Regulatory Frameworks, Cybersecurity and Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.

He however suggested that the telecom operators must consider strategic actions to stay in business saying that collaboration which is partnerships between government, industry, and academia can drive innovation and development.

He added that Innovative Financing Models, Investment in Human Capital, Focus on Sustainability, Integration with AI and Machine Learning and Developing Smart Infrastructure are also as crucial in investing in rural telecom infrastructure and making digital literacy a key component of our educational programs.

Still speaking on the theme of WATISE 2.0., Chief Executive Officer of WTES Projects Limited, Mr Chidi Ajuzie who joined virtually from Ethiopia said there is a deluge of connectivity from submarine cable landings linking Nigeria to Europe and the rest of the world.

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According to him, while there is no centrally managed national transmission backbone, licensed Operators have, over the years, built transmission networks to meet their own needs, often duplicated on most routes.

He disclosed that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has carried out a detailed study to characterize basic telephony and ICT gaps in the country, identifying 97 clusters with varying population densities and a cumulative population of about 27.91 million that suffer from significant connectivity services gaps. The digital broadband gap is, even more, estimated at over 100 million populations.

Ajuzie stated that to reap the benefits of broadband, there is a need to close the clear gaps existing in the metro middle- and last-mile segments of the connectivity value chain. New Connectivity will be required to bridge the gaps and meet the National Broadband targets.

In a fireside chat on ‘Enhancing Rural Connectivity: Strategies for Expanding Telecom Infrastructure’, Tinuade Oguntuyi, Head of Network and Solutions, at Information and Communications Services Limited (ICSL) said that rural areas need better network services for proper communication and development.

Oguntuyi, who anchored the fireside chat urged the government to support network service providers to reach more rural places as they are also full of great potentials for the growth of the nation.

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Also speaking, Ahmad Tijani, a local content ICT advocate commended Federal Government projects to connect the rural dwellers and harped on the need to carry the local government leaders along.

Tijani who represented Dr. Adebunmi Adeola Akinbo, National Secretary ICTLOCA, cited the challenge of data gathering which can be sorted by the local government, calling on the grassroots to add value to the nation’s growth.

In his welcome address, the Convener of WATISE, Isaiah Erhiawarien said that the second edition was a step towards ensuring a reliable telecoms infrastructure for the region, and thanked the Nigerian Communications Commission, Open Access Data Nigeria Limited, Digital Realty, ICSL, HyperSpace Limited and OneData Limited for believing in the dream of the organisers.

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TECHNOLOGY

Clean Technology Hub, FCT Launch Climate And Change Youth Movement In Abuja Secondary Schools

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Renewable energy

Clean Technology Hub, a renewable energy and climate change advocacy firm, has launched a Climate Change and Youth Movement in FCT secondary schools in collaboration with the Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation of the FCT Education Secretariat.

On April 25, 2024, the collaborators established the Climate and Change Youth Movement at the Government Science and Technical College in Bwari, FCT.

The Climate Change and Youth Movement is a platform for students to learn about the environment and help solve climate change challenges in their communities. It is consistent with a worldwide effort to raise awareness and educate children and youth about climate change and renewable energy. According to experts, children and youth have the potential to be driving forces in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals’ climate change targets.

Clean Technology Hubs’ Climate Change and Youth Movement, designed for public secondary school students and teachers, aims to assist schools in developing climate education programmes. CTH plans to implement it by forming new environmental clubs (Green Clubs) or collaborating with existing ones that target science and art students, and providing them with a club manual to guide their meetings.

The schools will also take part in the first Nigerian Students Climate Summit, which will take place on June 6, 2024, to commemorate World Environment Day.

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The program’s goals are to raise awareness, sustainability, and resilience about climate change and clean energy, to build capacity in the various technical skills needed in the clean energy market value chain, and to improve understanding of opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

Ms Ifeoma Malo, founder and CEO of Clean Technology Hub, stated, “The agreement signed with DSTI allows us to launch a pilot programme in the Government Science and Technical College, Bwari, which, if successful, will be replicated in other colleges in Abuja.

 

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TECHNOLOGY

House Of Representatives Suspends Implementation Of Cybersecurity Levy

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The House of Representatives has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately suspend the cybercrime levy by the provisions of the Cybercrime Act.

The House said Thursday that the CBN’s circular was prone to misinterpretation by Nigerians because it contradicted the spirit and letter of section 44(2a) of the Cybercrime Act, which specifies who is expected to pay the levy, according to the Daily Post.

It approved a motion of urgent public importance proposed by Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on behalf of all legislators.

The House requested that the Central Bank immediately withdraw its previous circular on the levy’s implementation and issue a new circular by the Act’s provisions.

According to Chinda, section 44(2a) of the Cybercrime Act lists those who must pay the stipulated fees as GSM and telecom companies, Internet providers, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, and stock exchanges.

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He explained that the CBN circular has caused concern throughout the country because it gives the impression that the levy is to be paid by Nigerians at a time when they are still struggling with rising petroleum prices, among other things.
The lawmaker went on to say that the CBN circular has been interpreted in various ways.

 

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TECHNOLOGY

Dig-Once Policy: Abia Government Suspends All Excavation/Trenching Activities In The State

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Gov Otti signing the Dig-Once policy recently

Abia State Government has announced a temporary and immediate cessation of all excavation/trenching activities in the State until a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is selected to oversee the implementation.

The suspension directive is coming after the signing of the Dig-Once Policy by the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, recently, which marked a significant milestone in the advancement of telecommunications and digital infrastructure in the State.

In a statement by Hon. Matthew C. Ekwuribe, Commissioner for Digital Economy and SMEs, all prior issued Right-of-Ways (RoWs),  by the State to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), not yet implemented as of the day of this statement, is hereby suspended.

This measure, Ekwuribe said, is important to ensure proper coordination and adherence to the policy guidelines as well as safeguarding the interests of both the public and private sectors.

“To this end, ANYONE, corporate or individual, who violates this Policy, will be sanctioned and penalised by the law.

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“The government urges full cooperation from all MNOs and ISPs, as the State strives to harmonise all ducts and create a conducive and decent environment for all.”

The Commissioner said the Dig-Once policy will serve as a legal framework to guide the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure across the state, streamlining processes ensuring efficient use of resources and harmonising all fibre-optic ducts.

He said the policy holds immense importance for the State’s future development. “By coordinating/harmonising excavation and trenching activities along public Right-of-Ways (RoW), we can minimise disruptions, reduce costs, and expedite the deployment of broadband Internet services.”

This proactive approach, the Commissioner added, not only enhances connectivity but also lays the groundwork for economic growth, innovation, and prosperity for all Abians.

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