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IT and Telecomms

NCC Approves e-SIM Trial On MTN, 9Mobile Networks



NCC Approves e-SIM Trial On MTN 9Mobile Networks, SiliconNigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted approval for two mobile network operators (MNOs), MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile, to carry out a trial on the workability of embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (e-SIM) Service in Nigeria.

The trial, approved to run for a period of one year, will involve testing 5,000 e-SIMs by the two networks, subject to compliance with a number of regulatory conditions.

NCC Approves e-SIM Trial On MTN 9Mobile Networks, SiliconNigeria

These conditions include full compliance by the MNOs with the Registration of Telecoms Subscribers Regulations 2011; the Mobile Number Portability Regulations and Business Rules 2015; Guidelines on SIM Replacement 2017; and non-degradation of the Quality of Service (QoS) experience by users of e-SIMs.

According to Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the primary objective of the e-SIM trial is to assess the technical performance of the e-SIM on telecoms service providers’ network towards eventual rollout, if satisfactory.

An e-SIM is a small chip that is embedded on a mobile phone or smart devices. It is designed for convenience, flexibility and simplicity. The e-SIM makes it easier for subscribers to choose a pre-paid plan provider and switch between network operators.

The information on the e-SIM is rewritable by operators and the identification information can be updated over time.

According to the EVC, the e-SIMs is a technology that will eliminate the need for physical SIM card slots on mobile devices in the near future, adding that the trial is in line with the Commission’s forward-looking regulatory approach to ensure Nigeria’s telecoms ecosystem is in tandem with global best practices.

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IT and Telecomms

Danbatta Receives MoneyReport’s Man of the Year 2020 Award



Danbatta Receives MoneyReport’s Man of the Year 2020 Award, SiliconNigeria
Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta (left) and Executive Vice President, Center for Policy and Foreign Engagement/Member, Editorial Board, MoneyReports Magazine, Dr. Eke Agbai, during the presentation of the MoneyReport magazine ‘Man of the Year 2020’ award to Danbatta in Abuja on Tuesday (26-01-2021)

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has received the prestigious “Man of the Year 2020” award from the Publishers of MoneyReport Magazine.

The award was presented to Danbatta at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 by the Board Chairman, MoneyReport and former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke who was represented by Dr. Eke Agbai, the Executive Vice President at the Center for Policy and Foreign Engagement (CPFE) and Board member of MoneyReport Magazine.

Dr. Agbai acknowledged the impressive growth recorded in the telecoms sector over the years under the leadership of Danbatta. He said the development in the telecom sector, have been duly acknowledged by the Editorial Board of MoneyReport Magazine, and has made the Commission and its leadership a model in telecommunications regulation in Africa.

“After an exhaustive Board examination, probe and investigation of the activities of the Nigerian Communications Commission, under the current leadership of its Executive Vice Chairman, the MoneyReport Magazine concluded that the excellent combination of vision, character and capacity of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, qualified him for the Publication’s ‘Man of the Year 2020’ Award,” Okereke-Onyiuke said.

He further stated that “the emphasis of the Commission’s 2015-2020 Strategic Vision Plan, which is anchored on an 8-Point Agenda, on transforming the Nigerian telecoms industry to meet up with 21st century standards and international best practices, has clearly defined the success recorded by the Commission under the leadership of Danbatta and earned him this prestigious recognition.”

While receiving the award, the Danbatta appreciated the management of MoneyReport Magazine for considering him worthy of the honour, adding that the success story recorded in the telecoms sector under his leadership, is a product of collective efforts of the board, management and every member of staff of the Commission, while expressing NCC’s commitment to deepen partnership with MoneyReport to the benefit of the country.

“The recognition by MoneyReport Magazine is a clarion call on the Commission to continue in discharging its duties in line with the statutory mandates, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 with a view to meeting the Federal Government’s targets to leverage the transformation in the telecommunications landscape to facilitate digital economy,” Danbatta said.

The award presentation was attended by other Advisory Board members of MoneyReport as well as directors and senior management staff of the Commission.

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IT in Healthcare

Western Digital and Qumulo Strengthen IHME COVID-19 Health Analytics and Vaccine Roll Out



Western Digital and Qumulo Strengthen IHME COVID-19 Health Analytics and Vaccine Roll Out, SiliconNigeria

Architecting how data enables the world to solve its biggest problems, Western Digital Corp. announced today that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in partnership with Qumulo, a breakthrough leader in file data management for hybrid cloud environments, is employing Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC HC550 18TB HDDs and UltrastarDC SN640 NVMeTM SSDs for ongoing COVID-19 research and vaccine rollout.

 IHME, based at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, is an independent global health research organization. Their mission is to improve the health of the world’s population by providing the best freely available public health information to policymakers and healthcare institutions. By providing this data, organizations can make informed decisions critical to saving lives.

 “When the World Health Organization officially announced a pandemic, requests from hospitals, state governments and other countries started pouring in for models of data and forecasts,” said Serkan Yalcin, director of IT Infrastructure at IHME. “Teaming up with Qumulo from the beginning and utilizing Western Digital drives has enabled us to distill hundreds of millions of data points into a single visualization which allows policymakers to easily view results and communicate them with their teams. Now, as vaccines are rolling out around the world, we have been able to further extend projections with even more data to give decision makers the most robust information possible.”

Capturing and analyzing large data sets requires top-of-the-line storage infrastructure. Qumulo provides file data platforms to help organizations easily store and manage file data. The C-432T offers a cached- performance hybrid storage system for data center, private and public cloud environments. This high-performance system yields a dynamically scalable architecture and real-time visibility of data imperative to organizations like IHME with massive amounts of data.

 Qumulo’s system includes Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC HC550 18TB HDDs with HelioSeal® technology for their high capacities, low power and high reliability. Ultrastar DC SN640 NVMe SSDs are leveraged to provide extreme performance with six times improvement in sequential read compared to SATA SSDs, which allows for faster data analysis. With Western Digital’s vertically integrated storage devices, Qumulo’s C-432T provides 432TB of raw storage capacity in a 2U configuration.  

“Partnering with Western Digital helped us to deliver a fast, reliable file data platform to IHME that analyzes up to 20x more data every day than previous solutions,” said Ben Gitenstein, vice president of product at Qumulo. “Our software-driven platform offers enterprise-level capabilities that radically simplifies analytics of massive data sets which is critical for customers to be successful with unstructured data. This partnership with Western Digital allows customers like IHME to simplify the complexity of their infrastructure, accelerate innovation and unleash the power of their data, wherever it resides.” 

“Scaling for increased data demand is a common hurdle organizations face. In this case, the increase of data was sudden and exponential,” said Andrew Dorian, vice president of data center hard drives at Western Digital. “We’re honored to work with Qumulo to provide the storage foundation to help IHME create data-driven, science-based, actionable plans to combat COVID-19. In partnership with Qumulo, we were able to quickly provide a scalable on-premises file storage system with high-capacity HDDs and high-performance NVMe SSDs to address a surge in data that benefits people everywhere.”  

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IT and Telecomms

Nigeria’s Sparkle Partners with Payment Experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards



Nigeria’s Sparkle Signs with Payment Experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards, SiliconNigeria

Sparkle, a mobile-first digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe, has partnered with Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East, to power its recently launched payment card offering. 

Sparkle’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at SMEs and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, bringing them the convenience, flexibility, safety and security of cashless payments across various channels. The cards will enable Sparkle customers to make in-app purchases as well as pay for e-commerce and m-commerce transactions. 

Sparkle was founded by entrepreneur, tech pioneer and financial inclusion advocate, Uzoma Dozie with the mission of helping Nigerians fulfil their financial and lifestyle needs. The company’s collaboration with Network International is based on their shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments among emerging markets across Africa and the Middle East.    

Collaborating with the region’s largest payment company offers Sparkle access to Network’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets. Sparkle can benefit from Network’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols, avoiding the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure. 

Commenting on the partnership, Uzoma Dozie, Founder of Sparkle, said, “Digital adoption and customer experience is going to be dependent on the people, platform and partnership. In the area of payment processing and data insights, Network International brings that to our platform, and we are truly excited about the future of the partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world who are connected to the Sparkle platform.” 

Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International, said, “We are delighted to strengthen our strategic alliance with Sparkle as it seeks to further disrupt the payments offering to consumers and retailers in Nigeria. Building on our two decades of experience within payments and deep insight of the African market, we look forward to deploying our trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of Nigerian consumers and businesses.”

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