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Nigeria’s Cyber Security law gathers dust

More than seven years after a cybersecurity Bill was presented to the National Assembly, legislators have so far failed to pass the law, Cleopas Angaye, Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, tells Eunice Oboh

Eunice Oboh: Cyber crime is a challenge not only in Nigeria but also all over the world. Is Nigeria ready to tackle the menace?

Cleopas Angaye: The government is cognisant of the fact that cybersecurity is a huge challenge to the country. Back in 2004, the National Information Technology Development Agency sent a Bill to assembly to combat this crime. This didn’t go through in that legislative session. During the last one, we tried again. It didn’t go through.

That Bill addressed several offenses that can damage any economy globally. Cyber criminals can knock out any security system or a financial organisation. They can even knock out an aeroplane infrastructure because most things are guided now by information technology. If that guidance is not taken care of, things can go wrong. These criminals can wipe out a server, which is actually monitoring a system.

The issue is most people are now in cyberspace and if you don’t have proper regulatory laws that can guide an institution or a country, then the criminals can attack these things maliciously. To see how badly the situation is, if you just Google ‘Nigeria crime’, 419 issues will come up. People have been deceived that there are large sums of money, which they can borrow. This may have been communicated to them through an email or text message. They can even use the financial systems.

We have got cases of our embassies writing to say that somewhere someone has attacked security systems outside the country using our IP address. Scam, 419 and other related offences are very serious and the more people are in cyberspace the more serious it becomes because many of them use the opportunity to actually test their software. It is very serious.

EO: What then can be done?

CA: It is something we in government alone cannot fight. When the cybersecurity Bill is passed into law, it will be a kind of safeguard against our cyber activities. Currently the National Security Adviser is also involved. Recently we had a workshop where we looked at all we had done in the past year. The Central Bank of Nigeria has been very active as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Back in 2009, we had a workshop in Lokoja [North Central Nigeria] where all the agencies within he security services were assembled to see how we could make our network system more secured than what we have right now.

EO: In comparison to other countries how can Nigeria be rated in cyber crime activities?

CA: If you look at it globally, in the United States cyber crimes are committed more there, then followed by China, Britain, Germany and maybe a couple of countries. Then Nigeria comes next. On the reverse, it shows that we are actually ready to use information technology in our activities. The more people are using it the more crimes will crop up. If you look at developed countries, one is not surprised.

We have to use our talents in other ways rather than try to carry out malicious acts in cyberspace. Internet penetration in Nigeria is now about 44million, a very high rate. Therefore, if proper precautions are not taken we will have more crimes. We are hoping that the law will be put into place very soon. All agencies are on it. We are working with them.

EO: How will Nigerians benefit from this law?

CA: Right now, if a crime is committed through cyberspace there is no law to prosecute the person. Not that the necessary things we want to do are not clear. They are clear but we cannot prosecute because there is no law covering these.

When we have this law in place other countries will now look at us as a country they can do business with through the internet. More businesses will come up. Now people are a bit not too sure of what it will be like. The judiciary will also pick up automatically.

Outsourcing will now come into play like what is happening in India. The market in India is getting very saturated. Investors look on countries that are fast growing and where labour is cheaper. So if we have laws governing our cyberspace, the economy will pick up.

Swift acquires 3.5GHz spectrum for LTE expansion

NIGERIAN internet service provider (ISP) Swift Networks has completed the acquisition of 15MHz spectrum in the 3.5GHz band from Chromecom, a subsidiary of Monarch Communications, to increase the speed and capacity of its broadband services. The company will use the new frequencies, in addition to its existing 20MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum, to ‘decongest’ its TD-LTE network across Lagos State from October.

Swift Networks also revealed that it has “ordered over 1,000 additional LTE base stations to be deployed in Lagos State during the last quarter of this year” and said it plans to expand TD-LTE services to Abuja and Port Harcourt. Swift began migrating customers from its WiMAX networks to a new TD-LTE platform in the second half of 2013, after acquiring the WiMAX business and 2.3GHz spectrum of rival ISP Direct on PC (DoPC).

“With the additional spectrum from the Chromecom acquisition, the refarming of our WiMAX spectrum for 4G LTE services and the additional base stations deployment, we will deliver an ultra-fast broadband experience comparable to the best anywhere in the world,” commented Swift’s managing director. Existing WiMAX customers will be migrated to the new 4G network from October, with all existing modems to be replaced with LTE equipment free of charge.

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance


Submits First Filing to Support FCC Spectrum Sharing Proposals

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance has submitted its first filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of its efforts to increase dynamic access to unused radio frequencies in the 600 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5 GHz bands, which will lead to more wireless bandwidth and reduced costs for consumers and web developers. This comes as consumer demand for wireless voice, video, and data applications continues to grow unabated.

With nearly 40 members, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is a global organization that promotes regulatory policies which will pave the way for innovative new wireless technologies, addressing growing wireless data challenges. The cross-industry Alliance works to engage with regulators and government officials to promote the adoption of legal and regulatory frameworks that facilitate dynamic access to radio spectrum.

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Chairman of the Board and Director of Technology Policy at Microsoft, Paul Garnett said: “A key function of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is to engage with governments and regulators around the world on how to use new dynamic spectrum sharing technologies to address key policy challenges.  We hope that the FCC will move quickly over the next few months, adopt and implement new regulations allowing for dynamic access to spectrum in the 600 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5 GHz bands.”

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance

The Alliance’s filing details its suggestions to support the FCC’s leadership on spectrum policy and its work in facilitating more efficient spectrum use. The recommendations outlined in the filing are:   unlicensed spectrum above and below 1 GHz.  Licensed and unlicensed uses provide distinct opportunities and benefits that complement each other.

Therefore, a spectrum policy that balances these approaches will maximize innovation and investment.600 MHz bands.  When allocating the spectrum made available as a result of the digital television transition and repacking the 600 MHz broadcast bands, the Commission should strike the right balance between exclusive-use licensed access and non-exclusive, open, unlicensed access.

3.5 GHz spectrum. To ensure the most effective deployment of new opportunistic technologies in the 3.5 GHz band, the Commission should reserve sufficient nationwide spectrum for robust, unlicensed General Authorized Access.

Bands. The Commission should consider sharing techniques, including geolocation database technologies, whether standalone or integrated with sensing, beacons, and other technology, as an option for unlicensed devices in the 5 GHz bands, to accommodate more users, allow more efficient use of the band, and facilitate enforcement of sharing rules.

IT’ principles for licensed spectrum. This allows a database to continue to protect incumbent licensees in these new bands while at the same time enabling vast amounts of underutilized spectrum for unlicensed access.

“We applaud the FCC’s groundbreaking efforts and are eager to work with the Commission to ensure the most efficient and effective use of spectrum across a range of complementary frequencies and regulatory models. We ultimately believe that dynamic spectrum access technologies will bring major, lasting benefits to consumers,” added Mr. Garnett.

The Alliance is investing in a future in which more spectrum is dynamically shared globally across a variety of complimentary bands and under an increasing array of licensed, unlicensed and other regulatory regimes. For example, Alliance members are already involved in deployments of TV white spaces technologies – currently spanning four continents – encompassing devices, databases, and networks.

This announcement comes ahead of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Global Summit, which takes place in Accra, Ghana on 13-14 May 2014, and will explore the future offered by new dynamic spectrum access technologies.

African innovators need more government help

Godfrey Magila, who has developed Tanzania’s electronic voting system, says Africa can produce many Bill Gates if African governments are fully behind innovators on the continent. The 20-year-old student at the Institute of Finance and Management in Dar es Salaam spoke to Olubayo Abiodun and Monique Butt during the recent ITU meeting in Dubai

Africa Telecom & IT: You are one of the Young Innovators at this edition of the ITU Meeting in Dubai. What is it exactly that stands you out as an innovator that warrants your presence at this global event?

Godfrey Magila: I am a software developer from Tanzania. I have created two applications that I am here to demonstrate. I have developed a voting system that is going to be used for elections in Tanzania and also to address election problems that tend to exist in most African countries. The software is biometric based, which will enable disabled people for the first time to vote directly without assistance. I have also developed security software to deal with the threat of cybercrime in Africa and the lack of knowledge about security issues among ordinary computer users. This simple software will enable people to encrypt their data. And also we have a function that allows the data to self-destruct if they fall into the hands of a third party with a criminal mind.

AT & IT: Talking about the solution for elections in Africa, were you cognisant of the peculiarities in the different African countries to ensure seamless usage of the solution?

GM: I have developed the system based on the approaches that were initially implemented by the different governments on electronic elections. I have created software that suits all these approaches. For instance, the aim of every election is to have a clear, reliable and verifiable winner. And also to make sure that the election was not favouring any candidate or party. Therefore, based on my software, I have created software that will ensure a verifiable, reliable and transparent election. And also, based on the traditional system that is being used in different elections, it is a normal case to find a disabled person, for instance a visually impaired person, being assisted in voting.
But the feature of democracy is secrecy. No one should know the candidate you are voting for. I have thus created software that will enable even the disabled to vote directly and be sure of secrecy. It also removes the uncertainty whereby the person doing the assisting can tell the visually impaired voter that he or she has voted for candidate X while placing the thumb on candidate Y.
So I have tried to review different policies and systems used at elections, and the similarities so that the system could be modified to suit the needs of every party.

AT & IT: Does the solution have an inbuilt security system so that it will not be compromised if it is being modified?

GM: Yes I have security system. But rather than an inbuilt security system, it is an encryption security system that has four different algorithms that will make it almost impossible to crack the patent in the timeframe of the election. Election is normally between five to seven days maximum but the encryption system itself cannot be broken in 20 to 30 years. Apart from the four different algorithms, it and also has an entirely new architecture that has never been used elsewhere.
Systems are cracked because they have been deployed somewhere else. So someone has the entire knowledge of the architecture. This time it is a new architecture. It is a new algorithm and it is also implemented by Africans. We have not adopted a Western encryption system, which is just like a black box – you don’t know what is running back and forth in the background. Our system it will reassure users. When I am cutting out this box it is going to the person that has ordered it.

AT & IT: When you talk about enhanced security system, don’t forget that in the ICT world things happen by the minute and techies continue to devise ways and means to be ahead of the latest devices. What makes this system immune to technology fraudsters?

GM: Because the system has proforical algorithm. It is because the function changes from time to time. This is because every time the system is deployed it automatically comes up with a new security feature: algorithm architecture. So if you try crack the security architecture, by the time you are deploying the crack or trying to compromise the system it would have changed. That is what makes it different from other the systems that normally have signature.
If you are a super genius and you could crack the code, it will be a totally new when you are implementing or trying it out on a system. It is like you have learnt to drive a car and at the test drive you were given a jet to fly. You will have to go back again to learn how to fly a jet. And when you come you are given a train.

AT & IT: Does it transform itself automatically with every usage?

GM: Yes.

AT & IT: One fundamental problem in Africa is power. What kind of power architecture has been put in place to drive this functionality?

GM: This solution has been built to accommodate external power resources such as solar energy and could still allow the system to be used 100 per cent efficiently. Therefore, based on the Africa power problem, the system works with power generating locations and accommodates solar power and can perform on a 100 per cent rotation basis. It is design to accommodate external resources that are suitable for the African environment, with less power consumption.

AT & IT: On which operating system has this solution been designed to function?

GM: On a compatibility basis, the system is a computer application and it runs on Windows Operating system. That is the architecture that we have started with but the system will be upgraded and transformed to another operating system.

AT & IT: Most innovators in Africa are usually confronted with the challenge of funding to back up their innovations. Do you wish to share your experience with us?

GM: Innovation starts with an idea. Then, approaching someone and telling him that you have an idea that might change the world and change the way things work is really an issue. There is a question that is always asked: can you really do the thing that you are talking about?
I started this as an idea, but then I started implementing it slowly on the basis of building a prototype. After building the prototype, I wouldn’t say that I didn’t encounter problems when I approached the authorities because for an election system you don’t just approach anyone. You must have the authority’s backing. So I approached the authorities and it was really just delays until I approached the Commissioner of Science and Technology. This is where the project started. Five of us started and we are now almost 20.
The system was first deployed on a small scale. We started pilot programmes in schools and from there on the government, which is the main client of the solution, decided to push for this innovation. And we really thank the Tanzanian government because it is supporting young innovators.
Even other African governments are beginning to see the potential of young innovators in Africa who can match those in the Western world. There are many Bill Gates in Africa and they just need to be spotted and nurtured so that, one day, systems from Africa can be exported to the rest of the world.

AT & IT: From your experience of this deployment what are the shortfalls that you have noticed in the course of its implementation and your plans to remedy the noticeable glitches?

GM: There are challenges that we are facing. Basically, there is one party that wants to deploy the system and another that does not want to. People still don’t believe that Africans can successfully operate an electronic voting system. We hold the belief that the electronic voting system is only suitable for the Western societies.
But to tell you the truth, electronic voting is based on reliability and transparency and, of course, it is also cost effective. The main challenge is that people are yet to accept that Africa is ready for electronic voting.

AT & IT: With this would you say that what you have innovated is foolproof?

GM: Yes, it is foolproof solution. It is a solution that announces Africa’s readiness for the 21st century and is ready and active and ready to deploy anything that accommodates and suits its needs.

AT & IT: How do you think the elements of doubts can be countered?

GM: The element of doubt usually arises because of where the product comes from. But this is an African solution made by Africans.

AT & IT: In which election will the solution be deployed?

GM: We are starting with regional elections on a small scale. The main target is for the 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections. Once the system passes through the necessary certification, the system will be deployed.

AT & IT: What did it cost you to put this solution in place?

GM: Let me say that the most expensive investment in the system is knowledge. We had a composition of engineers, a team of programmers, a composition of different people, and different expertise in order for the system to address the problem we are trying to solve. So apart from knowledge, we had to rely on biometric machines that could take the details for the scenario that we were trying to create. It is difficult to put a figure on the solution but the government has provided sponsorship that has been very helpful.

AT & IT: What are your plans for making the system a commercial success?

GM: For now, it is not a commercial thing; it is more of a problem solving approach. Commercially, the system would be sold at a price that that could be affordable by many African nations.

Unitel to become second operator in Sao Tome & Principe


Angolan operator Unitel Angola has won the tender to become the second operator in Sao Tome and Principe, Portuguesemobile telecommunications1 news agency Lusa reported. After meeting all the technical requirements with its proposal, the company only needs to deliver a bank guarantee to obtain the licence.

The Government of Sao Tome, through the General Regulatory Agency (Ager), and Unitel are also discussing additional investments, which include telecommunications access to the entire population, particularly the connection to the island of Principe and rural areas.

The director of Ager, Orlando Fernandes, told reporters that the Angolan company was the only bidder that met the technical and financial requirements for obtaining a licence for fixed and mobile telecommunications. The licence will put an end to the monopoly of Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes (CST), a subsidiary of Portugal Telecom.

Baidu also entered the African market, learn more about it at

Nigeria’s KITS to address challenges of Data Centre Managers


The director of Business and Strategy of a Data Centre Infrastructure Service Provider, KITS Technologies limited, Mr. Energy Efficient Data ProcessingTaofeek Okoya, said recently during a Data Centre Design, Cloud computing and Audit Seminar that the company plans to ensure the Data Centre landscape in Nigeria takes a giant leap with a massive injection of knowledge of best practice Data Centre Design and Operation Management, in an efficient, secure and reliable manner. According to him, this would be done through  massive and aggressive capacity building necessary to equip personnel in charge of data centre build and management. With the emergence of Big Data and the growing Complex Operational decisions being faced by Data Centre Managers that involve power, cooling, rack space and CPU availability in today Data Centre, this knowledge will surely ease the pains of the Data Centre Managers, he explained.

Data Centre Managers faces an enormous challenge in managing the day to day efficient running of the Data centre. Lots of confusing concepts abound in the industry of how best to design, build and run a data centre. Most data centre nowadays prefers to cool the whole Computer Room, but recent studies and research had shown that this norm is rather not efficient and promotes costly but avoidable data centre operational expenditures- OPEX. One essential area often ignored but ranked most significant issues that can ease Data Centre managers headaches are standard Policies, procedures and strict adherence to standardization. In addition, managing facility infrastructure components such as UPS devices, PDUs, chillers, HVACs, generators, branch circuits are one of the numerous tasks that Data Centre Managers face on a day to day basis.

Mr. Taofeek Okoya further affirmed that KITS plan to put behind Data Centre managers biggest operational challenge – power and cooling – through their world class capacity building empowerment scheme which runs all year round wherein in-depth insight of energy efficiency methodology would be exposed. KITS would be hosting banks, Telcos, Infrastructure companies, conglomerates with existing data centers in an intensive capacity building workshop slated for November 25th 2013.

Sliide Airtime Launches in Africa


First Lock Screen Content Platform

Sliide Airtime has announced Nigeria as the launch market for its Sliide Airtime service. Making the announcement on Tuesday in a statement released in Lagos, the firm said that the platform will provide users with a new and innovative way to access content from their mobiles and simultaneously earn free airtime.

According to the statement, users will be able to download the Android app from the Google Play Store or directly from from March. And once prospective users enter information about their age and interests (for example: business, celebrity, football, style, music), users will receive personalised content when unlocking their phone, including news and stories handpicked from media sources both in and beyond Nigeria. Such information will be updated round the clock. “They will also see a selection of branded content delivered through a partnership with Twinpine, the largest mobile advertising network in Africa,” the statement further read.

“Sliide Airtime users will receive free airtime simply by having the app on their phone. Additional airtime can be earned by completing in-app offers and, for a limited time, users will be able to earn N100 for every friend they sign up. Sliide Airtime users simply give their friends their unique promotional code (given to each person upon registration), and they will both earn N100 when the friend joins,” the statement adds.

Sliide Airtime’s founder and CEO CorbynMunnikwas born in South Africa and grew up in Botswana where his family still lives. Corbyn said: “Sliide Airtime is a new and innovative way of funding mobile Internet access in countries where data charges are high. In Nigeria it will help overcome the problem of expensive data and gives advertisers a smart new way of targeting and reaching consumers with customised content.”
Sliide Airtime also enables mobile operators to integrate the app within new devices and establish their own content streams, thus providing a new mobile advertising revenue stream.
Adrian Wood, the former CEO of MTN Nigeria is on the board of Sliide Airtime. He said: “Accessing the Internet from a mobile device is expensive for many Nigerians. The Sliide Airtime app provides them with a straightforward way to subsidize their surfing and get access to content that they not only find useful, but is carefully targeted and non-intrusive.”

Prior to the Nigerian launch, according to the statement, the Sliide Airtime App has been extensively tested in the UK where the company received financial backing from a number of organisations including UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and Draper Dark Flow (a Silicon Valley based VC fund for African startups) established by Tim Draper whose venture successes include Skype, Baidu, and Hotmail.

Sliide Airtime expects to expand into South Africa, Ghana and Kenya later in the year.

ntel, Nigeria’s 5th MNO debuts


Nigeria’s 5th Mobile Network operator commenced operations on Friday, April 8, 2016. This culminates from the acquisition of the old assets of Nigeria’s defunct 1st National carrier Nitel/MTel.

According to Kamar Abass, CEo at ntel “I am delighted to announce the start of commercial activities on our newly commissioned 4H/LTE –Advanced network”

This phased and paced commercial operation comes with bumper offers for early bird pioneers and data users. The first 100,000 to redeem and activate their numbers ntel SIMs will get free on-net calls for life while data subscribers will get 3 months unlimited data usage.

The company made its first on-net test data call in Lagos on Monday, January 18, 2016 then followed up with its first on-net Voice over LTE (VOLTE) call in Lagos on Thursday February 25, 2016.

Ntel services will be available in Lagos and Abuja and then PortHarcourt in 6 weeks precisely at the end of May. The network covers 25% of Lagos and 20% of Abuja for now.

With initial 800 cell sites nationwide ntel intends to engage other 3rd party infrastructure providers such as HIS and HTN for rapid expansion to all parts of Nigeria within 1 year.

Ntel’s bouquet of services includes: National Bandwidth, International Voice Termination, International Bandwidth, mobile and fixed communications services.

The company said their 4G/LTE-Advanced technology built on the 900/1800 MHz band will deliver an unbeatable and game-changing customer experience of high speed Internet Access up to 230 Mbps, the fastest available in Nigeria today.

“We are passionate at ntel about the power of Broadband to boost productivity and, thereby transform lives, we expect to see this happen ntel helps to accelerated the on-going migration, from existing 2G and 3G services, to genuinely high- speed Mobile Broadband on 4G/LTE-Advanced.” Abass concluded.

Google cleans up on porn ads

As the debate grows over the internet’s supposed contribution to the degradation of society, Google has moved to outlaw porn ads. This might well point the way to a safer, saner cyber space, writes Clifford Agugoesi.

GOOGLE’S recent crackdown on pornographic advertisements in AdWords and Google Play has sparked off a lively debate within the media and the internet community. This move has both global and regional implications.

CNN reported: “In an email sent last month to porn site advertisers on Google’s AdWords network, the company said it will no longer allow ads that contain sexual imagery, ‘including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity.’”

Google’s AdWords appear on millions of sites across the Web. The new rules went into effect last month.

The e-mail, which was first spotted by Morality in Media, came several months after Google (GOOGL, Tech30) updated its porn ads policy. In a blog post in March, Google said it made the decision to no longer allow porn in ads “as an effort to continually improve users’ experiences with AdWord”.

Google still allows the “promotion of pornography,” according to its AdWords policy. But the ads cannot contain sexually explicit content.

In addition to banning sexual imagery, AdWords advertisers are forbidden from marketing prostitution services, erotic massages and “intimate companionship services”. Google does, however, allow the advertisement of strip clubs, lap dancing, and adult and sexual dating sites.

The porn advertising ban comes a year after Google decided to remove blogs from its Blogger network that contained advertisements for online porn sites. Faith-based non-profit and pornography watchdog Morality in Media stands out among similar bodies committed to ridding the internet of obnoxious content and safeguarding children and young adults essentially from consuming such content.

The GSMA has championed several initiatives to guarantee child protection online.  These include Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), which works to make the online world safer for children and their families by identifying and promoting best practice, tools and methods in the field of online safety that also respect free expression.

Another is the ITU Child Online Protection (COP), which works to share knowledge and experience of mobile phone safety and develop them into the industry guidelines. Then there is the Financial Coalition against Child Pornography, a coalition of credit card issuers and internet services companies “seeking to eliminate the profitability of commercial child pornography by following the flow of funds and shutting down the payments accounts that are being used by these illegal enterprises”.

The GSMA also works closely with INHOPE (the International Association of Internet Hotlines) as well as other external stakeholders that are actively engaged in combating online child sexual abuse content.

The erstwhile Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Bashir Gwandu, noted: “It is not all goodness in the internet. The virtual world is laced with landmines and booby traps some packaged and passed off as innocuous eye-catching prompts. This is why the child needs online protection. Child Online Protection (COP) has become a global concern with many countries using the instrumentality of legislation to protect the child.”

Speaking at a child online protection stakeholders’ consultative forum in Lagos, he added: “Other technical therapies like software filters and firewalls had been deployed but with little success. This has prompted governments and civil society organisations to look to legislation to save the child from the depraving and sometimes opiating effect of the internet. But legislation is failing in some places. The US Child Online Protection Act (COPA) passed by the US parliament in 1998 has remained dead on arrival. The Act was meant to restrict harmful sites from children but the US courts including the Supreme Court shot it down as infringing on the constitutional right to free speech.”

Gwandu called for a collaborative framework that would promote online protection for the Nigerian child by providing guidelines for safe online behaviour. Such collaboration, he said, would integrate service providers, law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups, policy makers, educators/parents/guardians, social welfare, religious groups, industry players, other agencies and partners. A call, many believe, has been taken seriously by Google.

The UN through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is at the apex of efforts aimed at promoting safe cyber space.  Secretary-General of the ITU Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré in May last year appointed the wife of the Nigerian and President, Patience Goodluck Jonathan, as the ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) Champion.

“It is a great honour for ITU to have the support of Nigeria’s First Lady,” said Dr. Touré. “Her commitment is further confirmation of the key role that ITU is playing as a global catalyst and facilitator in international dialogue and cooperation in the area of cybersecurity.”

Nigeria’s First Lady commended the ITU and its strategic partners for the confidence reposed in her with her appointment as the child online protection champion. “It is a call to play a key role in the focal stage in the fight to protect our children from harmful practices in the cyberspace. This is why I have seized my appointment as ITU champion to work closely with our partners to ensure that the huge responsibilities placed on my shoulders by the United Nations through ITU becomes successful,” she said.

A CNBC report noted: “Porn companies and porn performers have seen several industries curtail their ties with porn performers and companies lately. In April, Chase Bank closed the accounts of hundreds of people who work in the industry. In May, Amazon …began deleting the wish lists of several adult stars. And PayPal recently has closed the accounts of porn actresses.

“Beyond this, the porn industry has also been fighting a bill that would make condoms mandatory in any adult productions shot in California. (The bill cleared the Senate Labour & Industrial Relations Committee last week and now moves on to Senate Appropriations Committee.)”

International best practice suggests that a concerted effort must be taken by all stakeholders to avoid exposing children to harmful content.  And the ban on porn ads by Google is a step in the right direction that needs to be affirmed by all who aspire for a serener, saner and safer cyber space.

Facebook-designed Voyager platform

MTN becomes first mobile operator in the world to test the Facebook-designed Voyager platform

MTN Group has become the first mobile operator in the world to deploy and test the open optical packet transport platform, known as Voyager, after joining the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) earlier this year. The group made this claim in a press statement made available to Africa Telecom and IT on Wednesday.

According to MTN Group, the TIP initiative, which was launched in February 2016, is a global endeavour which brings together key stakeholders in the telecoms and technology space to collaborate on the development of new technologies and find fresh approaches to build and deploy telecom network infrastructure. The project aims to reduce costs and increase the speed of rolling out Internet connectivity.

MTN is part of the Open Optical Packet Transport project group, and worked closely with the TIP community to field-test the Voyager next generation technology in MTN data centres between 14th Avenue in Fairlands and Soccer City in Soweto, at the end of October. The test results showed the highest performance with zero packet (signal) loss and potential for significant overall cost savings.

“As MTN, we are excited about the possibility of bringing more than 19Tbps of connectivity to the community, using open optical networking technology. Open platforms move away from the vendors’ proprietary platforms which usually come at a huge cost. This means that the roll out of the Voyager platform will enable operators to install a network at a lower cost, which in turn, will result in cheaper connectivity for customers,” says Navi Naidoo, Group Network Technology Officer at MTN.

The results of the Voyager test have been presented at the TIP Summit, currently underway in California, USA, with next steps being to obtain the necessary approvals and explore commercial rollout of the platform.

“It’s great to see what we have been able to accomplish with TIP members since we launched in February. The Open Optical Packet Transport project group, where MTN has worked closely to field-test Voyager, is a critical part of advancing our goals,” says Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, Director of Engineering at Facebook. “Voyager’s tests show that open and collaborative approaches can help increase the speed of network innovation and implementation, and represent an important step in the development of an open system that will increase the efficiency of fibre networks.”

Naidoo reiterates Schmidtke’s sentiments, and says that through further collaboration with the TIP community, MTN hopes to help unlock innovation faster and enable greater efficiency, in line with the company’s vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world to customers.