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AfricaNXT 2022: Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

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Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

…Pivot future of work, business growth, content development on digital connectivity

Olushola Okunlade Writes

As the weeklong 2022 edition of AfricaNXT opened today at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos, discussants at panel sessions and other participants have acknowledged the positive impact of the Federal Government’s policy and regulatory efforts, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in fostering increased connectivity.

There was a groundswell of opinion that improved connectivity has enhanced individual and corporate activities that are bolstering socio-economic development in Nigeria.

The discussants particularly identified the critical role that digital connectivity is playing and will continue to play in shaping the future of work and the development of commercial activities in the country.

At a panel discussion, titled: “Bridging the African Digital Economy Gap,” discussants examined, in great depth and perspectives, how the digital economy gap can be addressed in Nigeria and across Africa towards supporting business owners to sustainably grow global brands emerging from the African continent.

Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Ngozi Odita, CEO & Co-Founder, AfricaNXT.
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

Also, at a panel discussion on “Future of Work: Exploring Pathways to Careers in the Digital Age”, panelists emphasised the transformational role digital connectivity is playing in bringing about an efficient work environment, virtual collaboration at the workplace, mobile work as well as remote work, thus replacing the hitherto brick and mortar business model, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Formerly known as Social Media Week Lagos, now rebranded AfricaNXT, the conference and festival are one of the largest technology events in Africa, with a gathering of business owners, innovators, technology enthusiasts, and regulators, to discuss and network on how Africa can take its befitting place in the emerging global digital economy.

Already, the NCC delegation has arrived at the venue of the event in high spirit ready to participate in the various panel sessions ahead of the main NCC panel session on Fifth Generation Deployment scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

The panel session to be constituted by senior staff of NCC, on various regulatory aspects of 5G being driven by the NCC to deepen digital connectivity, will be a forum to educate hundreds of participants expected at the NCC panel session.

There are indications of enthusiasm about the NCC discourse and participants seem ready to use the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the new technology.

Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

Over the years, NCC has put in place an effective regulatory regime that has continued to make the country witness increase in its Internet penetration and usage of digital media.

As of December 2021, active mobile Internet subscriptions reached over 141 million; active mobile (voice) subscriptions stood at 195.4 million, broadband penetration has reached 40.88 per cent while digital economy access gaps identified by the Commission are being drastically reduced to ensure saturated Internet connectivity across the country.

Besides, the Commission has facilitated the deployment of emerging technologies from the First Generation (1G), to 2G, 3G, and 4G-LTE, and is vigorously driving the deployment of 5G network in the country with the recent auction of 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum licenses to operators that will deploy 5G technology in the country.

Also, NCC is driving the effective implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 to actualize the laudable targets of deepening broadband penetration, reducing the cost of broadband services, and improving digital literacy and skills. These, participants reckoned, have transformed businesses with multiplier effect on Nigeria’s GDP in which the telecom sector contributes more than 12 percent.

Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Ngozi Odita, CEO & Co-Founder, AfricaNXT.
Ngozi Odita, CEO & Co-Founder, AfricaNXT.

Earlier, at the first business session hosted by The Guardian newspaper, held after the opening plenary, discussants and participants visualised how African stories will be told in the next 10 years. There is a convergence of opinions that great developments in Africa could propel the emergence of great brands that can shape the nature of content as well as their narrations to the benefit of Africa.

Furthermore, the extant NDEPS, the NNBP, and the New Policy on 5G networks for Digital Nigeria are expected to combine to shape the nature of and significance of content generation, processing, and dissemination in Africa.

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Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign Agreement On Border Frequency Coordination

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Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign Agreement On Border Frequency Coordination

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Nigeria and Republic of Niger have signed a bilateral agreement in Abuja for coordination of frequency utilisation along their borders to ensure seamless deployment of services around the two countries.

The agreement signing ceremony was one of the highlights of the two-day Digital Economy Regional Conference, hosted by the Nigerian government and facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which ended at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while his Nigerien counterpart, the Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, Mr. Moussa Baraze, signed on behalf of his country.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and Niger Republic’s Chairperson of the National Council for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post, Mrs. Aichatou Oumani, were witnesses to the agreement, which applies to the co-ordination of frequencies existing in the Nigeria-Niger transboundary areas between 87.5 megahertz (MHz) to 30 gigahertz (GHz).

The agreement indicated it will help in the effective coordination and sharing of frequencies and channels in the ‘buffer zone or area’ on borderlines between the two countries and also help to address one of the major issues of signal interference regulation that may arise in telecoms signal transmissions by terrestrial telecoms service providers, as it spells out the procedures for regulating such cases.

Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign Agreement On Border Frequency Coordination
Left-Right: EVC/CEO NCC Prof. Umar Danbatta, Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, Mr. Moussa Baraze, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and Niger Republic’s Chairperson of the National Council for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post, Mrs. Aichatou Oumani after signing an agreement on border frequency coordination.

The agreement, according to the two parties, provides, in part, that in case of harmful interference affecting one of the parties, the affected party shall inform the other party in writing for necessary action to be carried out.

“Also, the party from whence the interference is originating shall ensure that all necessary means are used to resolve the harmful interference within 30 days of receipt of the notice”, the agreement says.

While the Agreement is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the parties specified in the Convention, the Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and other inter-governmental arrangements, it states, however, that the land and mobile services whose use is restricted for security, maritime and national defense or for which information is not available, shall not be subjected to the provisions of the agreement.

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Glo Holds Draw For Festival Of Joy House Prize In Ibadan

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Glo Holds Draw For Festival Of Joy House Prize In Ibadan

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Telecommunications operator, Globacom, on Thursday held a draw in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, to determine the winner of a house prize in its ongoing consumer-reward promo, Glo Festival of Joy.

The event which was held at the Gloworld outlet at Challenge, Ibadan, was witnessed by several Glo subscribers who enthusiastically volunteered to partake in the draw.

Mr. Matthew Aina, a walk-in customer who drew the winning number, marveled at the openness of the draw, just as another customer, Mrs. Taibat Azeez, commended Globacom for the transparent process of selecting the winner.

The Glo subscriber who emerged winner in the Ibadan draw has been informed of his luck and will be presented with the keys to the three-bedroom apartment at a presentation ceremony scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023.

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Airtel Announces Introduction Of eSIM

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Airtel, Microsoft, TD Africa Unveil Office Internet Smartbox Bundles To Boost SMEs Productivity In Nigeria

… says service is planet-friendly and customers can now use two numbers without needing two handsets

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the launch of eSIM (embedded SIM) – a digital SIM that enables customers to access the same functionality as someone using a physical SIM.

The eSIM offers several benefits over the traditional SIM cards as it is quick and simple to set up online, it is planet-friendly (plastic-free/zero carbon emission) and provides an easy extra line as you can use two numbers without needing two phones/handsets.

The eSIM service is now immediately available on the Airtel network and customers who wish to switch their current physical SIM cards for eSIMs will need to ensure they have a compatible device (dial*#06#), obtain the required QR code and be guided through a SIM Swap process by an Airtel service personnel.

Airtel says it has developed a simple and flawless process to activate the eSIM service for all its customers just as it believes that the digital SIM will significantly improve the productivity of Nigerians, helping its stakeholders to achieve personal and professional goals.

Commenting on the eSIM, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, said, “Airtel Nigeria is always at the forefront in championing technological advancement and creating innovative platforms and opportunities that will make life better, more exciting, and more enjoyable for all those in our stakeholder value chain. With eSIM, we are not only bringing the latest technology to the fingertips of our customers, but we are also focusing on our Sustainability goals of digital inclusion and environmental best practices as no plastic is involved with eSIM.

“It is therefore our commitment to continue to create offerings that will expand and deepen our digital footprints in line with our positioning as the network of first choice in Nigeria for everything mobile Internet, digital, and home broadband.”

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