Akili ni Mali #171
Ghana - Ghana to get pre-mobile WiMAX
Internet Ghana has revealed that it is to deploy the country's first pre-mobile WiMAX network using equipment from Navini Networks. Leslie Tamakloe, CEO of Internet Ghana, said that capital city Accra will be covered as part of the first phase of the rollout, followed by the ten largest commercial cities including Tamale, Kumasi and Tema. 'With high consumer demand, poor DSL access and [a] long [wait for] customer connections, Ghana is absolutely ready for mass market, rapid install, broadband wireless services' he added.
Nigeria - Govt Moves to Seize Globacom Shares
Following the crackdown on Globacom Nigeria Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the anti-corruption body may have recommended to the Federal Government the seizure of 36% shares in the telecoms company.
THISDAY checks reveal that the 36% shares in question are made up of 24% which the EFCC alleges is owned by former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, through his son, Mohammed and the rest 12.5% is alleged also to be owned by Vice President Atiku Abubakar through a proxy in Enugu.
But both Atiku Abubakar and Babangida have denied ever owning these shares which have been the source of intense investigation and crackdown on Globacom by EFCC.
At the same time, Globacom officials have also vehemently denied that the shares belong to Babangida and Atiku respectively.
According to one Globacom official, "we recently paid dividend on Globacom but nothing was paid to the purported shareholders of either Babangida or Atiku. Dividend payment is a test of shareholding and if we didn't pay any of them dividend, how can they claim they own shares in Globacom."
THISDAY gathered at the weekend that the thinking of the EFCC is that since nobody has come up to say he or she owns the shares, then it is only logical and reasonable that the 36% shares be forfeited to the Federal Govern-ment.
This latest move by the commission is coming on the heels of recent close-up on the operations of Globacom.
Only a few weeks ago, the Chairman of Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga, was arrested by EFCC operatives in his residence in Lagos in a target of Atiku and Babangida.
Also, Mohammed, Baban-gida's first son, was also arrested and detained.
But THISDAY checks show that if confirmed, the latest move by the EFCC may likely face some hurdles.
One, informed sources maintain that since Nigeria is currently in a democracy where private ownership of property is guaranteed under the constitution and not under a military regime, it may require legislation or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction before the Federal Government can take possession of the 36% shares.
Two, that there can only be a court order from a court of competent jurisdiction based on a prima facia case if the company in question is owing the Federal Government and the court order is given in view of such indebtedness.
If the 36% is then acquired, what would the Federal Government do with it as it cannot keep it in the face of the current privatisation programme; it would have to sell or privatise it. So in which case, it can only be selling or privatising to pay for debts and not just in pursuit of errant shareholders.
Three, experts told THISDAY that a seizure of 36% shares in Globacom could send very dangerous signals to the international investment community which could negatively affect investment inflow into Nigeria.
Lastly, the move could be seen as a throw-back to the era of late Gen Sani Abacha regime which attempted to acquire golden shares in the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
THISDAY investigations reveal that conscious of these hurdles, EFCC would have to prove that the 36% shares may have been acquired with stolen public funds and that the commission was not out for political vendetta.
Sources close to the EFCC say the commission may be gathering strong evidence against Atiku and Babangida and this may be one of the steps to checkmate them.
Justifying Adenuga's arrest at that time, EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, in his official reaction said there was nothing strange about the arrest of the chairman of Globacom, stressing that the Commission could invite anybody for questioning.
He also said the commission was yet to find anything at that time against Adenuga.
"Why are you so particular about Mike Adenuga? There are one hundred and one people who are being investigated daily in Nigeria. Go today and see who we have taken. He is not the latest. What is special about him? Is he not a Nigerian?"
On why Adenuga was arrested at that time, Ribadu had maintained that the result of the investigations would be made public later.
He added: "The result of our investigation, normally we make it public. At the appropriate time, we will come out with whatever findings that our investigation will reveal. Give us time and I am sure Nigerians will know everything. We will never do anything in hiding. At the end of the day, Nigerians will know."
Nigeria - Atiku Dares EFCC Over Globacom Shares
Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday denied owning shares in Globacom Nigeria Limited and challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to publish the company's profile in order to reveal its shareholders.
Speaking through his Media Consultant, Mallam Garba Shehu, yesterday, he said a media report credited to the EFCC that he owned 12.5% of the shares in the telecommunications company was false and warned that unless the commission proved its claim, his lawyers had been instructed to clear his name in court.
THISDAY had reported exclusively yesterday that the EFCC might have recommended forfeiture of 36% of Globacom's shares to the Federal Government. Of the shares, 24% is believed to be owned by former military President Ibrahim Babangida, through his son, Mohammed, while the remaining shares are alleged to belong to Atiku through a proxy.
But the Vice President's spokesman told THISDAY yesterday that the EFCC's claim was a barefaced lie concocted in line with its unrelenting search for tar to smear his boss.
"It is a shameless lie because the Vice President has no shares at all in either Globacom or any other telecoms company. Telecom-munications is not his line of business, and anybody looking that way to find something to nail him is wasting his time," Shehu said firmly.
He said the search in Globacom was part of the effort by the Federal Government to use the commission to rubbish Atiku in order to truncate his presidential ambition, which he said had remained on a sure course despite attempts to derail it.
"They will find nothing," he said, adding that the EFCC and its sponsors were labouring in vain.
He said the Vice President had expressed serious concern about "the hostility of the commission towards him without justification," and had subsequently asked his lawyers to look at the "wild claim" of the EFCC with a toothcomb with a view to challenging it in court.
Shehu said: "The lawyers will proceed to court as soon as they put all the papers together.
"This because the Vice President is concerned about the careless manner in which names of decent people are being dragged into the mud by people who want to make newspaper headlines."
Nigeria - Starcomms Chairman Receives Nigeria Telecoms Award
Starcomms, Nigeria's largest 3G CDMA Mobile Operator, was the cynosure of all eyes at the 2006 Nigerian Telecoms Awards held at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites recently where Chief Maan Lababidi, was recognized as the Chairman of the 'Largest PTO' in the country.
The annual award, which is in its second edition, had as its theme Bringing People Together, Celebrating Excellence. The ceremony also had in attendance the big wigs in the telecommunication industry, top government officials, royal fathers, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Minister of Telecommunication, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission, Engineer Ernest Ndukwe, among others.
The award conferred on Chief Lababidi was in recognition of his ingenuity, dedication and business acumen that he deployed in transforming Starcomms from being one of the fixed wireless operators to become the largest PTO and later a Unified License Operator. As of today, Starcomms is the largest 3G CDMA operator in the country.
In his citation read at the occasion, the award committee described Lababidi as The driver of the largest CDMA 3G Mobile Network in Nigeria. A man, though a Syrian- American citizen, has channeled his resources to the industrialisation of Nigeria and has devoted his time to the passion of providing employment for the unemployed masses of this great nation. Chief Lababidi picked the Starcomms brand from zero subscriber base to the colossus it is today, a Unified License Operator on CDMA 3G Mobile Network that has close to 400, 000 subscribers. The company, under Lababidi is obviously doing very well in this industry.
Chief Lababidi was born about 66 years ago. He is a seasoned Civil Engineer with a Masters Degree from Texas University in United States. He is a successful industrialist with diverse interests in many areas including telecommunications, banking, construction, hospitality among others.
He is a founding member of Africa Round Table and Nigeria-Arab Association. As an acclaimed Philanthropist, he heads the Abuja based Fou'ad Lababidi Foundation. He is a recipient of the Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) while he has also been conferred with a host of traditional titles including Baba Oja of Lagos and Baba Adinni of Ijebuland.
Starcomms recently launched its mobile broadband internet access service, which is a CDMA 2000 1X EV-DO powered technology, the first deployment of its kind in West Africa. The 3G EV-DO is also currently being deployed in the United States of America and it provides wireless access to the internet at speeds of 400-800kbps.
Rwanda - Terracom Stretches Technology
Terracom, an Internet access provider has rolled out an advanced wireless data network, the EVDO, to several towns in the country including Gicumbi, Muhanga and Huye.
According to an August 25 release signed by the Terracom Global Marketing Manager Victor Kinuma, the EVDO Mobile Broadband enables you to extend current and new enterprise applications to your mobile workforce.
'EVDO uses the power of the Terracom CDMA network to deliver up to 2.4mbps to you whenever you are on the network. The network offers the wireless security that ensures critical information only accessed by authorised users,' Kinuma said and added: 'Customers want a simple way to be connected, entertained and informed no matter where they are'.
Kinuma further said that Terracom will also demonstrate its latest technologies at the ongoing EXPO.
'It is one of the ways Terracom is fulfilling its pledge to bring to Rwanda, affordable and accessible communication, data voice and internet. It only costs Frw.35, 000 per month, after purchasing the EVDO card and you can have broadband internet on your laptop for example, with speeds of up to over 1 mbps' Kinuma said.
Meanwhile, while appearing on one of the Radio talk show recently, the State Minister for Communications Eng. Albert Butare appreciated the job done by Terracom in providing affordable communication to Rwandans.
"Look around and tell me which other country around here that has had the optic fiber deployment at the rate here, tell me where you enter your car and you put on your EVDO and access fast internet" Butare said.
Yemen - Yemen Mobile to be publicly traded
The Yemen Observer reports that on 29 July Yemen's Telecommunications & Information Ministry (MTIT) announced an IPO of 45% of shares in international telephony and mobile operator Teleyemen. Teleyemen is wholly owned by the government's Public Telecommunications Corporation and operates CDMA-based services under the brand name Yemen Mobile. 86,524 million shares were made available, priced at YER500 (USD2.50) plus a YER10 subscription fee. The announcement did not include a closing date for the IPO, and according to CEO Mohammed al-Zahabani over ten million shares had been sold by 10 August.
OVERVIEW AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Country Info - ICT
Nigeria - FG Moves to Restructure Telecom Sector
President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday approved the constitution of a twenty-six man presidential task force on the restructuring of government institutions and organisations in the telecommunication and Information Technology sector in Nigeria. The Task Force is headed by the Minister of Communi-cations, Chief Cornelius Adebayo.
Also on board the task force are the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Frank Nweke (Jnr), Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Osita Ogbu and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Com-munications Commission, Engineer Ernest Ndukwe.
Others include the Director General, National Broadcasting Comm-ission, Director General, National Info-rmation Technology Development Agency (NTDA); Post-master General of the Federation; Director General, National Space Research Devel-opment Agency; Executive Secr-etary, National Univer-sities Commission, Chai-rman, Board of Trustees of Nigeria Internet Regisr-ation Agency; President, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria; President Nigeria Internet Group and Director, ICT Centre, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Profe-ssor Chidi Akujor.
It also includes other professionals in information technology and broadcasting such as Engineer O.C Iromantu, Dr. Alloy Chife; Professor Raymond Akule, Gbenga Sesan, Dr. M. Amana, Engineer Olawale Ige, Engineer Vincent Maduka, President of Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria, President Nigeria Computer Society as well as the President, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Chairman Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria.
The Director, Political Affairs in the Office of the Secretary to the Gover-nment of the Federation, Mr. S.K.A Ajagbe will serve as scribe to the task force. The task force will be inaugurated by the Secretary to the Gover-nment of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette on Tuesday, August 29, 2006 at the Conference Hall, Ground Floor, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase 1, and Abuja
Nigeria - Presidency Sets Up Task Force On Telecommunications
President Olusegun Obasanjo has given his approval for the constitution of a task force on restructuring of government institutions/organisations in the telecommunication and ICT sector. In a release issued by the presidency at the weekend, the task force will be inaugurated tomorrow at the ground floor of the federal secretariat complex Abuja by the secretary to the government of the federation, Chief U.J Ekaette.
The task force which has 26 members is to be chaired by the honourable minister of communications. Minister of Science and Technology and that of information and National Orientation are also members. Other members are the economic adviser to the president, executive vice chairman of Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), director general of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), executive secretary Nigeria University Commission (NUC), and the president Association of Licensed Telecom.
Nigeria - Nigeria targets $600bn investments in Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea Energy Security Strategy will ensure stability of crude oil flow from the 14bn barrels reserves and attract additional $600bn investments to that zone, an oil sector spokesman has said.
The Gulf of Guinea Energy Security Strategy will ensure stability of crude oil flow from the 14bn barrels reserves and attract additional $600bn investments to that zone, an oil sector spokesman has said.
The security initiative which meeting began in Abuja on Monday, is to fashion how the gulf would maintain its current status as about the safest crude oil exporting zones of the world.
The General Manager, Group Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, made the position in response to our correspondent enquiries over the significance of the security initiative for the Gulf of Guinea.
He explained Nigeria's over- riding interest in the gulf which accounts for about 50 per cent of the crude oil and other economic fortune of the zone that stretches from the West African coast through Cameroon and Angola.
The Gulf of Guinea currently hosts about 14bn barrels of crude oil, especially in the deep offshore, 33 fixed crude oil production platforms, 13 floaters and 20 floating production, storage and offtake vessels, all of which are estimated at several billions of dollars in investments.
Ajuonuma said that the region is expected to host about 159 fixed platforms and 700 oil wells by 2008 and that any disruption of activities in the area would affect the world energy supply.
Rwanda - Kagame Impressed By Gateway Projects
It was an impressive moment as President Paul Kagame had a stopover at the Rwanda Development Gateway (RDG) stand at the ongoing Expo Rwanda 2006. Accompanied by ministers, his Principal Private Secretary, Frank Mugambage and other senior government officials,
the President was briefed on all the ICT-related projects being handled by RDG, covering IT consultancy and web development services. "This is very good," President Kagame said after the presentation by RDG Business Coordinator, Jacob Gahamanyi.
The President was also shown screenshots of his upcoming dynamic website, which is presently under construction at Rwanda Development Gateway.
During the presentation, Gahamanyi emphasized Rwanda Gateway's vision to enable government to provide services through the internet.
"In the near future, RDG has developed a new government portal which will provide a range of services. Through this portal, Rwandans at home and abroad shall be able to obtain land titles, driver's licenses and many other services," commented Gahamanyi.
The delegation that visited the RDG stand No 16 also included Emmanuel Hategeka, the Secretary General of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (RPSF).
Others that later visited the stand included the Director of ICT in the President's Office, David Kanamugire, who was also shown the various ICT related projects. "Rwanda Gateway is doing something so impressive," he observed.
South Africa - Replace Telecoms Ministry with competitive environment, agency urges
South Africa's Telecommunications Ministry would have to be replaced by a competitive environment for the country's telecommunications market to become successful, Dr Paul M Cole and Associates MD Dr Paul Cole said on Monday.
Moreover, the local loop would have to be unbundled, Cole told the Convergence: Broadcast and Telecommunications Summit held in Illovo, Johannesburg.
He reiterated that access to South Africa's telecommunications network was 440 times more expensive than the universal benchmark.
The agency, mandated by South Africa's Communictions Ministry to investigate how the Electronic Communications Act was meeting its objectives, found that the legislation fostered inaccessiblity, monopolisation and poor services at an excessive price.
The agency is mandated to promote the goals of universal service and access in underserviced areas engulfed by poverty.
While overall telephony costs were estimated at no more than 0,7% of total household income, it was found that local spend was in the region of 2,87% of total monthly income.
Cole said that affordability, increased tariffs and costs were just some of the problems revealed by the study, the results of which had been given to the Ministry last year.
Cole said that the average developing-country telecoms sector was three times faster than South Africa's and that South Africa lagged average development-country growth of 100 % a year by some 20% and, when compared to African countries, by 10%.
"We are not reaching the world indices on delivery and public forms of telecommunications," Cole chided, adding that it was cheaper for someone to call South Africa, than for South Africa to call another country.
"This reflects market failure," Cole stated.
Sector spend was also considered to be unusually high, twice the African average and one-and-a-half times the South American average.
Internet and bandwith were too expensive and slow, local dial-up access speed proving considerably slower than the African average.
Policy failure had created massive market distortions, unsustainable negative extremities and has resulted in consumers being forced to pay R4,2-billion above that paid in a competitive market in 2002.
ForgeAhead consultancy head Adrian Schofield agreed that the Electronic Communications Act's phrasing was extremely vague, which made measuring its success difficult to administer.
The words 'to promote, make progress and encourage' were difficult to measure, he said, adding that key findings showed that the fixed-line market was heavily shadowed by mobile connections.
In addition, Telkom's R50-billion investment missed its target by some 2,1-million lines, while mobile penetration was 50% to 60% higher than expected.
For the telecommunications market to become successful, Cole said it was imperative that the Ministry be replaced by a competitive environment and the local loop be unbundled.
Africa - African info ministers sign aboard broadband technology
Johannesburg (AND) African communication ministers gathered in Rwanda's capital city of Kigali to sign a policy framework agreement aimed at linking east and southern Africa via broadband technology.
Communication and Information ministers from all over east and southern Africa, including South Africa's minister of communication, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, joined the two day e-Africa convergence meeting in Kigali on Monday.
The African counterparts are expected to commit their countries to the Nepad (New Partnership for Africa's Development) broadband infrastructure network project by signing the policy and regulatory framework protocol for projects, including the Eastern Africa Sub-marine System (EASSy) cable.
Fibre-optic cable systems will link east and southern Africa, and it is hoped that new braodband tachnology will enhance communication between the the signing countries.
World & Regions - ICT
Family e-mails made easy: BITel and Siemens Business Services start test of workstations without a computer
You don't want to buy a PC but still want to surf the Internet? In Bielefeld this will soon be possible, thanks to Siemens Business Services and telecommunications provider BITel. The two companies have joined forces to start the first test of its kind in Germany and offer the general public a service that was previously only possible in business settings: Access to the Internet, word processing, e-mail or electronic photo albums - all without having to buy a PC and worrying about software upgrades, virus infections or special IT knowledge.
Customers do not need a computer on their own premises; instead, they connect up via telephone to the mainframe at a high-security data center. BITel assigns private storage space to each user and takes care of their software. Fujitsu Siemens Computers sup-plies the monitor, keyboard, mouse and a small box which the customer connects to their telephone outlet. 49 euros per month buy instant access to all popular programs for the Internet, e-mail, word processing and image processing. The offering even in-cludes training courses for the individual programs as well as a telephone hotline which provides help when it is needed.
"Older people in particular are often afraid to buy a PC with all its attendant purchasing and especially maintenance hassles," explains Alfred Kerscher, CEO of BITel. "Who wants to install complex firewalls if all you want to do is send e-mail greetings to your daughter? In the future, with our solution from a single source, you can leave all the un-pleasant details to us."
Siemens Business Services developed the entire solution together with BITel and sup-ports its operation. "Corporate customers have used this so-called thin-client service from us for many years," says Christian Oecking, head of Siemens Business Services' outsourcing business. "They value the lack of administrative headaches and the high security standard."
If the service proves successful in its test market, it will be marketed nationwide.
Pictures can be obtained here:
Siemens Business Services is an internationally leading IT service provider.
This Siemens Group offers services all along the entire value chain - from consulting to systems integration, right through to the management of IT infrastructures. Thanks to its comprehensive know-how and sector-specific expertise, the company provides measurable added value for its customers. With regard to outsourcing, Siemens Business Services is among the top ten providers worldwide. With around 39,000 employees, the Group posted sales in fiscal 2005 (ending 30 September 2005) of EUR 5.4 billion, 75 percent of which was achieved outside the Siemens organization. Further information at http://www.siemens.com/sbs.
BITel is the leading local telecommunications provider in Bielefeld, Gütersloh, Halle, Werther and Stein-hagen. As a subsidiary of Stadtwerke (municipal utilities) Bielefeld and Stadtwerke Gütersloh, it offers telephony and Internet connections along with associated installation and other services to private and business customers in the region. BITel counts national and international carriers among its customers and business partners. With its customized solutions, 24-hour on-site service and attractive products, the company has continuously expanded its business in recent years. In fiscal 2005, BITel had 75 employees and generated sales of 15.5 million euros. For more information, go to http://www.bitel.de.
Your guide to green electronics
The biggest names in electronics have just sat their first global exam on their green credentials. Ranked on their use of toxic chemicals and electronic waste (e-waste) policies only Dell and Nokia scraped a barely respectable score while Apple, Motorola and Lenovo flunked the test to finish bottom of the class.
Our scorecard highlights which of the major electronics companies is doing the most to remove the worst toxic chemicals from their products and which companies have good recycling programs for their products
The ranking is important because the amounts of toxic e-waste is growing everyday and it often ends up dumped in the developing world. Reducing the toxic chemicals in products reduces pollution from old products and makes recycling safer, easier and cheaper. Companies with good recycling schemes help ensure that their products don't end up in the e-waste yards of Asia.
"The scorecard will provide a dynamic tool to green the electronics sector by setting off a race to the top. By taking back their discarded products, companies will have incentives to eliminate harmful substances used in their products, since this is the only way they can ensure safe reuse and recycling of electronic waste," said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.
Nokia and Dell share the top spot in the ranking. They believe that as producers they should bear individual responsibility for taking back and reusing or recycling their own-brand discarded products. Nokia leads the way on eliminating toxic chemicals, since the end of 2005 all new models of mobiles are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and all new components to be free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from the start of 2007. Dell has also set ambitious targets for eliminating these harmful substances from their products.
Third place goes to HP, followed by Sony Ericsson (4th), Samsung (5th), Sony (6th), LG Electronics (7th), Panasonic (8th), Toshiba (9th), Fujitsu Siemens Computers (10th), Apple (11th), Acer (12th) and Motorola (13th).
Lenovo is in bottom position. It earns points for chemicals management and providing some voluntary product take back programmes, but it needs to do better on all criteria.
"It is disappointing to see Apple ranking so low in the overall guide. They are meant to be world leaders in design and marketing, they should also be world leaders in environmental innovation." said Kruszewska.
Companies have the opportunity to move towards a greener ranking as the guide will be updated every quarter. However penalty points will be deducted from overall scores if we find a company lying, practising double standards or other corporate misconduct. For now, companies are scored solely on information publicly available on their global websites.
With a average score of only 4/10 it is clear that the electronics industry has a long way to go before it can make any claims to being a green industry.
Ranking criteria explained
The ranking criteria reflect the demands of the Toxic Tech campaign to the electronics companies. Our two demands are that companies should:
The two issues are connected. The use of harmful chemicals in electronics prevents their safe recycling when the products are discarded. Companies scored marks out of 30 this has then been calculated to a mark out of 10 for simplicity.
Follow the more link beside each company for the full details of their score. The full criteria for scoring the companies is available. Download the full pdf of the scorecard.
Each score is based solely on public information on the companies website. Companies found not to be following their published policies will be deducted penalty point in future versions of the guide.
The guide is updated every 3 months. The current version was published on the 25 August 2006.
Disclaimer: Our 'Guide to Greener Electronics' aims to clean up the electronics sector and get manufacturers to take responsibility for the full life cycle of their products, including the electronic waste that their products generate. The guide does not rank companies on labour standards, energy use or any other issues, but recognises that these are important in the production and use of electronics products.
TeleGeography Update: Over 200 Operators Planning WiMAX Deployments
The recent news that Sprint is planning a multi-billion dollar WiMAX rollout in the US caused a stir within the telecommunications industry. While Sprint raised a few eyebrows with its plans to build a nationwide wireless broadband network, operators around the world have been putting WiMAX technology through its paces for some time. There are more than 200 operators listed in TeleGeography's WiMAX Market Tracking database that are either planning WiMAX rollouts or have already deployed trial or commercial systems.
With heavyweight backing from companies such as Intel and Motorola, WiMAX technology is getting more attention from industry watchers, and operators are beginning to make heavier investments in WiMAX. Announcements of new deployments come almost daily. Firms such as WiMAX Telecom in Europe, Yozan in Japan and Enforta in Russia already offer commercial services over fixed WiMAX networks, with many operators planning similar fixed systems or biding their time while the first mobile WiMAX equipment begins to make its way through the certification process.
Although some industry observers thought that WiMAX would primarily serve as a substitute for traditional copper lines in developing markets, it is become obvious that WiMAX will be a global technology. According to TeleGeography's WiMAX Market Tracker there were over 117 total networks in the world with 14 new networks planned for North America even before the Sprint announcement. The table below highlights recent deployments, with the most networks being planned and trialed in the Asia Pacific region. Africa's adoption of the technology has been improving with numerous networks planned, as a result of deregulations and the prioritisation of the telecoms sector, which has opened the door to competition, investment, and the hope for low-cost advantages promised by WiMAX.
Spectrum availability will obviously play a key role in the spread of WiMAX technology. For Sprint, already possessing a 2.5GHz allocation well positions its recent power play. Moving forward, operators worldwide will be looking for regulators to help clear the way for WiMAX by ensuring that sufficient spectrum is offered, and at frequencies which support the development of global roaming. With Sprint, Intel and Motorola confident enough to plow in billions of dollars, the future for WiMAX looks very bright.
TeleGeography's new WiMAX Market Tracking Service provides a comprehensive view on worldwide WiMAX deployments, licensing, trials, equipment contracts, and coverage plans by country. Each quarter, subscribers receive a concise market review and an updated spreadsheet following hundreds of WiMAX deployments around the world.
World & Regions - Economy
Consolidation key to efficiency
CIOs and CEOs are under immense pressure to achieve operational efficiency, while paying attention to economics, regulations and compliance, delegates heard at a seminar held in Bryanston last week.
Consolidation provides the solution, according to Dimension Data Africa's CTO, Alpheus Mangale.
Consolidation needs to be at the forefront of IT strategy to ensure agility, service availability, operational efficiency, and business reliability that leads to higher investor confidence, Mangale said.
He listed challenges as providing appropriate functionality to support business and opportunity, ICT being aligned with strategy, assurance of ICT availability, the use of ICT to gain competitive advantage, and providing ICT services cost-effectively.
"According to Gartner, operational efficiency and driving down costs was listed as the most important consideration by business, at 49%," he explained.
The solution for efficiency and driving down costs is network consolidation, he said. This form of network convergence allows for an increased architecture over a common infrastructure.
"It also leads to bandwidth consolidation as you will be able to support and optimise all critical applications," said Mangale.
"Consolidation greatly improves performance," explained Jeff Jack, CTO for network solutions at DiData SA. "Consolidation can be done at network, data centre, storage and operating system level."
Events & Economical missions
OVERVIEW EVENTS - MISSIONS - ELECTIONS
Elections - Nigeria - Obasanjo promises to go in 2007
The president yesterday pledged new governments at both the federal and state levels would be elected next year.
President Olusegun Obasanjo added: "This election will symbolize a historic breakthrough in transition from one civilian government to another civilian government with change of leadership at the Federal level and changes in most states of the Federation," The president was speaking at the Party's National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, where the People's Democratic Party (PDP) also yesterday agreed on a list of "desirable qualities" that its presidential candidate should have.
The party leadership did not reveal the precise criteria, but the president called for leaders to draw up lists of people who were honest and incorruptible. A disciplinary case against two governors was also concluded yesterday, the party revealed. The President said: "There must be therefore a renewed party commitment on the part of the leadership to compose lists made up of men and women of proven track record of honesty whom no amount of money can compromise to conduct the various congresses and convention."
The election guidelines were not expressly stated at the end of the meeting, but a communiqué signed by the National Publicity Secretary, John Odey said NEC considered the party guidelines for primaries and convention and approved the submissions but made some amendments. The communiqué said: "NEC also considered and approved an acceptable code of conduct for party primaries and convention to ensure a non violent and rancour-free exercise. NEC also approved the desirable qualities of PDP candidates for all levels of governance.
These are desirable qualities in addition to the existing constitutional requirements that candidates must meet to qualify for electoral office. NEC resolved to set up a political education committee to enlighten the PDP membership on the kind of candidates the party expects to fly its flag in the forthcoming elections."
He said: "The PDP is in top shape to win the elections both at the national and regional levels, so as to carry on with reform agenda of government."
The appropriate law enforcement agencies will spare no one, no matter how highly placed," he said.
Other Newsletters & Databases
Africa & Middle East Telecom Week