GDPR compliance on the African continent

GDPR compliance on the African continent

GDPR compliance on the African continent

After the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the 25th of May this year, data management all across Europe changed dramatically. The law was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy. As such, those who do not comply with the regulations face legal fees or fines and these consequences don’t just apply to businesses within the EU.

According to, it applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location. This includes any organisation on the African continent that conducts business with European companies or deals with EU data subjects. All of Africa does not yet understand the requirements and ramifications of non-compliance surrounding GDPR, but there are a few countries heading in the right direction.

Ghana has been commended for being one of the few African countries to have enacted a data protection law that protects people’s personal information and privacy. The country created the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) to afford protection to the personal information and privacy of Ghanaian’s. The law came into effect on the 16th of October 2012 and applies to all forms of personal data or information stored on both electronic and non-electronic platforms.

South Africa’s own Protection of Personal Information Act, or POPI act, lays the groundwork for GDPR compliance. These laws may be similar, both pertaining to data protection, but they aren’t identical. Even if that were the case, different landscapes require different approaches to similar problems. Both laws deal with the concepts of a controller and a responsible party, or an information officer and a data protection officer.

Other African countries with data protection laws in place that could aid them in the compliance of GDPR include Morocco, Mauritius, and Angola.

IT News Africa will host the Digital Transformation Congress  at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 26 July 2018 where speakers will offer organizations a better understanding of GDPR, how it applies to individuals, companies or organisations in Africa, and whether or not they comply with the regulation.

Under the theme, “Redefining the Future Organisation through Digital”, the event will create a platform for over 300 senior business executives to come together for a day of top-level content, case studies, live demos, workshops, industry tracks and plenty of networking opportunities. The programme will also include various tracks designed to bring you the most progressive examples of real-world digital transformation journeys found in the IT industry.

Other topics for DTC 2018 include:

  • “Yes we can. Yes we did. Digital Transformation in the Obama White House”.
  • Developing a Digital Transformation Roadmap.
  • Re-Thinking Business-IT Alignment.
  • Weaving Artificial Intelligence into the Modern Organisation.
  • Re-Aligning the Business Model to Effectively Engage Digital Customers.
  • Tackling Security Challenges to Succeed with Digital Transformation.
  • Accelerating Digital Transformation with IoT.

View the DTC 2018 Agenda

Who should attend DTC 2018?
The Digital Transformation congress is the key meeting place for IT and business executives in Africa. The conference will attract senior decision-makers, local and international CxOs, line-of-business (LoB) executives as well as heads of innovation, technology and strategy.

How to participate:
Join as an attendee: Join local and international CxOs, line-of-business (LoB) executives as well as heads of innovation, technology and strategy to discuss the techniques and tools required to implement a seamless digital transformation strategy that will drive profitability and customer centricity.

Join us as an exhibitor: Showcase your technology innovations, projects, and solutions. Put your organisation, company or SME at the centre of this one-of-a-kind gathering. Find new partnerships, investors, leads, and opportunities.

For more information regarding the conference, visit:  />
[t]: 011 026 0981/2 [e]:

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Africa – a breeding ground for innovation

Africa – a breeding ground for innovation

Innovative new products can be designed around future environmental stressors and demands without having to consider old, established systems.

African innovation is on the rise and the continent could play host to several new technology disruptions in the next few years.

According to Darryl Bernstein, Partner and Head of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, it is an increasingly common belief that various technologies benefit from the lack of IT legacy systems and old, entrenched infrastructure in Africa. Innovative new products can be designed around future environmental stressors and demands without having to consider old, established systems.

“The continent is therefore extremely agile in in terms of its ability to innovate and adapt to innovations. The next step is ensuring that Africa is able to harness these opportunities to innovate,” he notes.

Bernstein says that collaborative hubs act can as a meeting point for discussions between the public and private sector around creative solutions that could be applied to the regulation of new technology and innovation.

“The answer lies in creating wider ecosystems where everyone can contribute to innovation. We need environments that allow for fresh ideas, and where it like-minded individuals can challenge and improve established ways of doing work,” he notes.

Bernstein notes that law-focused innovation hubs can also help address regulatory challenges.

“Legal and regulatory frameworks in Africa will need to adapt to address changes that innovation brings and to protect those that invest in, build, implement and use new technology. Often, the groundwork for these kinds of policy changes is as a result of discussions that begin at these hubs. I have

Morne van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, notes that Baker McKenzie has established numerous innovation hubs in various locations around the world, which are proving to be successful in identifying challenges and collaborating on innovative solutions.

“The firm’s Whitespace Collab in Toronto, for example, allows for face-to-face collaboration between attorneys and leaders in business, government, academia and not-for-profits to address complex global challenges at the intersection of business, law and technology. Many of the collaborations centre on innovations related to data privacy, smart cities, and other data-related challenges, in a conducive workspace.

“In addition, our partnership with the World Economic Forum’s innovation hub in San Francisco – the ‘Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution – aims to ensure that not only is the firm adapting to meet the new needs of clients, but that they are all participants in the discussion to harness innovation that is in the public interest. This hub’s mission is to accelerate the deployment of technology and science for positive impact on individuals and the societies, while minimizing their downside risks.

“In April, the firm became one of the founding sponsors of “ReInvent Law“, the first Legal Innovation Hub in Continental Europe. Reinvent is a hub for multidisciplinary collaboration, enabling cooperation between lawyers and corporate leaders as well as academics and representatives from non-profit organizations. It is place to meet and to encourage communication between lawyers and digital experts,” he says.

The firm is also part of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, an organisation of legal operations professionals who are seeking to share best practices, create standards and accelerate innovation across the legal services ecosystem.

“More than ever before it is critical for everyone with an interest in finding solutions to current challenges is able to collaborate, share expertise, learn from others and contribute. The power of change lies in using multi-disciplinary teams to solve problems that breach borders and industries,” says van der Merwe.

“Organised innovation hubs, accessible to all with creative ideas to share and problems to solve, are a powerful mechanism for ensuring that collaboration across Africa results in innovation that can provide solutions to global challenges, and where good ideas turn can into practical, implementable solutions.

“Our firm is continuously looking for ways to engage with the wider ecosystem and as such we hope to be able to open an African innovation hub for the legal sector in the future,” van der Merwe adds.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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Smart Security for the SME

Smart Security for the SME

Ralph Berndt, Director, Sales at Syrex

The enterprise has traditionally been the first served with a large variety of security services based on bigger budgets and plenty of functionality. It is to those with the large wallets that goes the spoils while the small to medium enterprise (SME) clutches at the scraps that fall from the table, hoping that they are tough enough to protect their systems from the cyber onslaught. However, today the evolution of cloud and the innovation of technology has changed the menu.

Today, the SME has access to cost-effective, next-generation firewalling that’s scalable, capable and as efficient as anything that sits on the enterprise network. Solutions that provide exceptional security from end to end across the network have become affordable for the SME without compromising on quality or capability. Full generation threat prevention with unified threat management that delivers an enterprise-level firewall to the SME.

With Syrex’s SME Checkpoint firewalling solution this has now become almost plug and play in its simplicity. And it includes a NGFW firewall, VPN, antivirus, application visibility and control, URL filtering and email security, as well as Active Directory integration with full reporting all in one small box. Syrex has taken this ubiquity and streamlined it even further for the SME market, adding in additional service and support that allow for the SME to enjoy a security solution that’s both highly resilient and exceptionally powerful. Working closely with Checkpoint’s leadership team, Syrex has brought this 700 series technology to South Africa and Africa at a price point that makes sense.

With a low once-off installation and configuration cost, the solutions are sold under an MSP (Managed Service Provider) agreement allowing the consumers to pay low monthly fees for an end-to-end managed service without having to invest heavily into hardware purchases. This model includes full licensing, support as well as hardware swap-outs in case of failure.

It ticks all the compliance boxes and delivers enterprise-level security to the market. It also showcases how Checkpoint, a Gartner leader in security, isn’t just for big business. It’s an all access solution that meets a very real demand in the market today. Syrex has developed three specific solutions for the South African SME market, each one tailored to local demand and unique local context. The Checkpoint 730/750 and 790 solutions are able to service up to 300 users with up to 340Mbps of continuous internet usage with all the features turned on. These firewalling battle boxes include up to 200 concurrent SSL VPN licenses at no additional cost.

A perfect choice for single office clients as well as those with multiple branches, the solution includes a SMP (Security Management Portal) cloud orchestration layer to provide the power user or IT department with the ability to manage larger multi-site networks through a single pane of glass. SMEs can use this leading firewalling technology to build complex, yet easy to manage, SDN networks on cheap and functional broadband connectivity with full resilience.

Alongside the feature-rich specifications embedded into these solutions, Syrex provides managed services that ensure business ready uptime and end-to-end firewall capabilities. It’s a bespoke battle box that arms the business with all the tools it needs to protect its data and systems while remaining within budget. It allows the SME to harness true firewalling power. It is simple and seamless and does everything the businesses require at the price point that fits the current economy and ever-tightening budgets.


Edited by Daniëlle Kruger

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MTN South Africa and Ericsson fuel the 5G racing line

MTN South Africa and Ericsson fuel the 5G racing line

Demonstration of a live feed from a car on a skid pan at the Gerotek testing facility in Pretoria.

Telecommunications companies, MTN South Africa and Ericsson, have validated the technological prowess of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology in the first demonstration of its kind in Africa.

This demonstration displayed a live feed from a car on a skid pan at the Gerotek testing facility in Pretoria, mounting terminals in a vehicle on a live 5G network trial. Using 100MHz of spectrum in the 28GHz band, the audience was able to view the driver’s surroundings whilst moving around the track allowing them to experience what the driver was seeing, in real time.

The demonstration was then taken further by fully obscuring the driver’s windscreen, leaving him to navigate the track using the live feed from a 4K video camera to his VR headset.

This was possible due to a throughput of more than 1.6Gbps and less than ~5ms latency on the connection – a record of mobile 5G performance on the continent.

The solution demonstrated, consisted of 3 radio units, baseband equipment, a 5G user equipment (UE) prototype with an external antenna, a vehicle with the UE installed, a 4K video camera and a VR Headset, demonstrating the performance of a low-latency network.

This is just one of the use cases that the partnership has released following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in November last year. This was followed by the launch of the first 5G trial in Africa in January 2018.

“5G presents an opportunity for operators to improve their existing consumer businesses and address previously untapped value chains in the digitalisation of industries. The collaboration between MTN South Africa and Ericsson has led to an exploration of a variety of use cases and applications for digital transformation of industries. These include the automotive, mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities sectors. We are proud to be demonstrating this use case with MTN” says Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Market Area Middle East & Africa, Ericsson.

“At MTN Business, we are very excited to have demonstrated our IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities, enabled by 5G technology, to our top tier customers today. Using pilots like this, we are not only assessing and preparing our network to roll out 5G in the future, but we are also future-proofing our infrastructure to enrich customer experience and take industries to the next level,” says Wanda Matandela, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN SA.

“There are great opportunities for both the private and public sectors to join us as we forge ahead, harnessing the power of technology to unlock applications that can optimise enterprise efficiency and improve the delivery of services. This demonstration supports our vision of leading the delivery of a bold, new digital world for our enterprise customers,” concludes Matandela.

MTN’s Chief Technology and Technology Officer is very excited for today’s demonstration at Gerotek. Watch the video for Giovanni Chiarelli’s views on #5GConnectedCar

— MTN Business SA (@MTNBusinessZA) June 21, 2018

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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Should we be redesigning our customer experiences?

Should we be redesigning our customer experiences?

Should we be redesigning our customer experiences?

As customer expectations increase, businesses are repositioning their services to be more integrative – leading to better customer experiences, benefiting both customers and the business’ bottom-line.

A key part of improving the customer experience is looking at the customer journey, giving businesses a thorough understanding of how customers interact with their brand. Customer journey mapping is a customer centric tool that has completely shifted the paradigm from an inside-out to an outside-in comprehension of the customer’s experience.

The relationship between customers and businesses has evolved tremendously. Businesses are repositioning their services to be more integrative, leading to better customer experiences. This new approach allows for a deeper understanding of the brand and customer’s interaction, which ultimately benefits both the customer and the business.

In order for businesses to successfully make the shift from customer service to customer experience they ideally should have a wholly holistic view of that experience, from the first to the final touch points. Enter customer journey mapping (CJM). CJM enables you to get an outside-in comprehension of your customer’s needs and a proper understanding of what the customer experience is and where the re-design needs lie.

CJM is powerful because, simply, it gives businesses the customer’s viewpoint, not the corporate one. “For years, the dominant mindset has been inside-out thinking, in other words what the business believed the customer needed. CJM has turned this around by enabling companies to explore the customer’s perceptions by literally and metaphorically being in their shoes,” says Alan Pennington, an exclusive partner with leading South African client experience company nlighten.

Through the CJM process, you can capture a multitude of activities including ones that would never appear when looking at the customer experience from an internal point of view. This may be because, for example, the company has no direct control or influence over them – such as word of mouth.

Having the customer’s point of view is also an asset when it comes to highlighting the emotional state that drives their decisions in the purchase process. Too often overlooked by the inside-out view – which assumes that customers react rationally – is the persona of the customer and their emotional state linked to behavior. These are invaluable insights for businesses that wish to amplify and improve their customer experience.

“Essentially a CJM is a model – an illustrated guide to all the customer’s touch points in your business,” explains Pennington. “When built properly, using the right data, a CJM will show what changes need to be made in terms of product, user experience (UX), marketing and design.”

CJM should integrate all channels your business employs: digital, in-house, showrooms, call-centres and more. Businesses often neglect to find the golden thread that makes the experience consistent regardless of the channel, which is where an illustrated model that gives a wholly holistic view becomes useful.

This IKEA CJM is a powerful but simple example of an effective CJM. It clearly highlights the touch points and how they sit with the customer, and such it shows where improvements are necessary and where IKEA needs to maintain status quo.

CJM also enhances the links and inter-dependencies that exist between departments, especially those that have an influence on customer (even departments that don’t have any direct contact with customers). For instance, the HR department is responsible for hiring and training staff to be able to deliver the required behaviour when interacting with customers, so although they don’t have any direct contact with customers, they are an important part of the customer’s experience.

Including managers and teams from all departments is key in the evolution of the customer experience as including all levels means that the company as a whole is more likely to embrace the customer agenda as part of the business strategy.

Even though this tool is very powerful, it is important to remember it is just the first step to understanding and thus rebuilding your customer experience. Once the holistic view has been achieved it is up to the business to implement real change. This is where they will see bottom-line growth.
Edited by Neo Sesinye
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Introducing Cloud ERP for construction

Introducing Cloud ERP for construction

Acumatica Construction Edition was designed to address the needs and demands of modern construction companies.

One Channel, one of Africa’s cloud business solutions provider, has announced the release of Acumatica Construction Edition, an end-to-end cloud business management system for general contractors, home builders, subcontractors, speciality contractors and land developers.

The Construction Edition is the latest fully integrated cloud solution from Acumatica, furthering its advances in domain-specific workloads and following fast on the heels of Commerce Edition, Field Services Edition, and Manufacturing Edition.

“Just as we’ve done with our other industry solutions, we listened to the underserved customers of decades-old legacy software vendors and leveraged the power of the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform to design a modern, fully-featured Cloud solution for the construction industry,” said Jon Roskill, CEO, Acumatica.

“The Acumatica Construction Edition will be delivered to customers through an experienced and knowledgeable VAR channel, bringing the value of a true cloud and mobile solution to all,” he adds.

One Channel CEO Bernard Ford says working closely with industry experts and leading partners in the Construction industry, Acumatica Construction Edition was designed to address the needs and demands of modern construction companies. “It utilises the Acumatica Cloud xRP platform and core application suites to also offer Project Accounting, Compliance Management, Retainage, Change Orders, Job Costing, and Document Management.”

Acumatica Construction Edition is a true cloud solution that includes Open API 2.0 standards for creating and maintaining multi-cloud interfaces such as field operations with Procore and Hyphen Solutions, payroll with Criterion, visual scheduling with SmartSheet, productivity tools with Microsoft Office 365, electronic signatures with DocuSign and Adobe, and further integrations with other business applications.

“We are really excited about our new integrations to Procore Technologies and Hyphen Solutions,” said Ajoy Krishnamoorthy, VP of Platform Strategy at Acumatica. “The interfaces are cutting edge and real time. We’re seeing good demand for Procore from commercial builders, and the Hyphen SupplyPro integration has incredible value for homebuilders and suppliers.”

“When you combine features like project and cost management with contracts, commitments, subcontracts, compliance, retainage and other industry capabilities and then integrate those features directly with Hyphen SupplyPro, you can significantly lower the cost of doing business,” said Felix Vasquez, CEO of Hyphen Solutions.

Supporting the need for increased technology adoption in the construction sector is data from multinational global advisory and services network PwC, which found that 64 percent of construction and engineering industry CEOs either agree or strongly agree that their companies face more threats than three years ago.

“PwC also notes that the industry has lagged in adopting new technology, with some companies still using antiquated, paper-based processes,” concludes Ford.

Edited by Neo Sesinye

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East African countries continue to offer highest rewards for investors

East African countries continue to offer highest rewards for investors

Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya among the top scoring economies; Uganda records strongly improved risk-reward score

Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda offer investors a reward score above the African continent’s average, according to the 2018 Africa Risk-Reward Index from Control Risks and Oxford Economics.

Ethiopia and Tanzania lead the list of the top rewarding economies for the second time, with Kenya following in fourth position after Côte d’Ivoire. Strong improvements on both the reward and the risk side make Uganda one of the strongest performers of the June 2018 edition of the Africa Risk-Reward Index.

Daniel Heal, Senior Partner for East Africa at Control Risks, comments:

“Ethiopia with its impressive reward score of 7.94 out of 10 offers opportunities for investors specifically in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors which continue to demonstrate high levels of growth. The government’s new privatisation push in the energy, telecoms and logistics sectors also offer new and exciting opportunities for investors. However, its risk score of 5.79 is also above the continents average of 5.54 due to the ongoing political transition under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who will need to delicately balance the interests of the political elite with opposition demands for the opening of political space.

“With great economic potential across sectors from energy to agro-processing, Tanzania remains an interesting but volatile target for potential investors. However, the country’s continuously high reward score is overshadowed by a high risk score of 5.72. President John Magufuli’s rising autocracy and several legislative changes – giving the administration permanent sovereignty over mineral wealth as well as the ability to renegotiate exploration and production agreements, increase its shareholding in mining companies and increase mining royalties – raise concerns within the international investor community.

“After Kenya’s protracted 2017 election period and consequently reduced investment levels, 2018 is an exciting year for investment opportunities in Kenya. Kenya’s reward score remains one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa and the ruling Jubilee Party of Kenya continues its pro-business policies. However, improving relations between the government and the opposition will be instrumental in ensuring that political tensions do not undermine economic growth, and more prudent fiscal and macroeconomic policies are needed to maintain positive economic prospects.

“Uganda ranks among the top economies in the 2018 Africa Risk-Reward Index when it comes to positively changing its scores. Relative political stability under President Yoweri Museveni means that priority national projects such as oil production or infrastructure projects face few policy or bureaucratic delays. While the prospects for economic growth have improved following the end of a regional drought and the election period in neighbouring Kenya, concerns over a deteriorating security environment mitigate the otherwise improved risk score.”

Further findings of the report:

Angola’s leadership change has not yet improved its reward score, but its risk score has gone down: Angola’s new president, João Lourenço, has acted with remarkable speed and decisiveness to consolidate his authority. Efforts to dismantle his predecessor’s networks have provided new opportunities for foreign investment in sectors previously dominated by companies linked to the former president and his family. Combined with an improved regulatory environment, investors can seek opportunities predominantly in the oil and gas, diamond, and telecommunications sectors. Reward score: 3.65 / risk score: 6.55

South Africa – slightly increased reward score and reduced risk score as political uncertainty eases: Investor confidence has increased since Cyril Ramaphosa assumed the presidency in February 2018. The implementation of policies – intended to consolidate fiscal expenditure and tackle corruption in public institutions and state-owned enterprises – increases opportunities for doing business in South Africa. But deeply entrenched patronage networks and electoral pressure ahead of the 2019 general elections will contribute to a slow recovery of South Africa.
Reward score: 4.78 / risk score: 4.74

Côte d’Ivoire, with a forecasted real GDP growth rate of 7% in 2018, continues its impressive economic recovery, but great challenges remain: With reforms to the business environment and efforts to bring foreign investors back after the 2010-2011 crisis, Côte d’Ivoire has achieved amongst the highest growth rates in the world in recent years, and sectors such as construction, telecommunications, banking and retail have seen considerable growth. However, severe obstacles to a full recovery persist, including political interference and corruption, socioeconomic discontent, shortcomings in security-sector reform, and growing competition ahead of the potentially volatile 2020 presidential poll. Reward score: 6.51 / risk score: 6.24.

Senegal – growing investment and a reduced risk score presage continuous growth: Under the Emerging Senegal Plan, growth has increased steadily over the last three years, reaching close to 6.4% in 2017. Growing exports, a more diversified economy and increased interest from large international investors as a result of the promising offshore oil and gas discoveries make Senegal one of the poster children in sub-Saharan Africa. The reduction in its risk score is one of the most positive changes in the 2018 Africa Risk-Reward Index. Reward score: 5.76 / risk score: 4.56

Moroccoeconomic reforms improve the country’s resilience and make its exports more competitive, but social discontent remains a challenge: With one of the lowest risk scores on the 2018 Africa Risk-Reward Index and a relatively stable reward score, Morocco’s economic reforms prove to be a success. Medium-term growth will be enhanced by continued reforms to facilitate foreign investment, access to finance, quality of education and the business environment, as these represent the primary constraints to competitiveness and doing business. However, social-economic unrest over poor living conditions persists particularly in interior regions. Reward score: 5.77 / risk score: 4.10

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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20 percent of global mobile data traffic will be on 5G networks in 2023-Report

20 percent of global mobile data traffic will be on 5G networks in 2023-Report

20 percent of global mobile data traffic will be on 5G networks in 2023-Report

Commercial rollouts of 5G and larger than previously forecasted deployments of cellular IoT are focal points in the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

The forecast for cellular IoT connections has nearly doubled since November 2017. It is now expected to reach an estimated 3.5 billion in 2023, driven by ongoing large-scale deployments in China. New massive IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 are fueling this growth, giving service providers opportunities to improve efficiencies and enhance customer value.

Mobile operators have launched more than 60 cellular IoT networks worldwide using these technologies over the same underlying LTE network to support a diverse range of use cases. In North America, these cases are centred on logistics and fleet management while in China it is smart cities and smart agriculture.

First commercial launches of 5G this year

North America is expected to lead the 5G uptake, with all major U.S. operators planning to roll out 5G between late 2018 and mid-2019. By end of 2023, close to 50 percent of all mobile subscriptions in North America are forecast to be for 5G, followed by North East Asia at 34 percent, and Western Europe at 21 percent.

Globally, major 5G deployments are expected from 2020. Ericsson forecasts over 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2023, accounting for around 12 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

Mobile data traffic is estimated to surge by eight times during the forecast period to reach close to 107 exabytes (EB) per month – a figure that is equal to every mobile subscriber worldwide streaming full HD video for 10 hours. By 2023, more than 20 percent of mobile data traffic worldwide is expected to be carried by 5G networks. This is 1.5 times more than the total 4G/3G/2G traffic today.

Like previous mobile access technologies, 5G is expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas with enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access as the first commercial use cases. Other use cases will come from industries such as automotive, manufacturing, utilities, and healthcare.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, says: “2018 is the year 5G networks go commercial as well as for large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. These technologies promise new capabilities that will impact people’s lives and transform industries. This change will only come about through the combined efforts of industry players and regulators aligning on spectrum, standards and technology.”

First-generation, 5G data-only devices are expected from the second half of 2018. The first commercial smartphones supporting 5G in the mid-bands are expected early next year, while support for very high spectrum bands is expected in early to mid-2019.

The Ericsson Mobility Report also features articles on network performance through the eyes of customers, smart manufacturing, machine intelligence in network management, and the importance of securing the right spectrum for 5G.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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NCC expects release of new price for data

NCC expects release of new price for data

Umar Danbatta, NCC Boss.

The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) is looking to release a new price for data, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, has said.

Danbatta made the disclosure on Thursday during his induction as a Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Danbatta was inducted along with 11 others at the investiture of Prof. Fola Lasisi as the 10th President of the academy.

He said that the commission had completed a new framework that would give telecommunication companies the opportunity to participate in spectrum sharing.

“With the new framework, you can transfer, lease and share your spectrum.

“These recent achievements of the commission will ensure optimum utilisation of spectrum,” he said.

The NCC boss told newsmen on the sidelines of thevevrnt that the recognition by NAE would spur the commission to double efforts in boosting the Nigerian economy.

“This recognition will be a testimony of our relevance not only within Nigerian universities but across borders,” he said.

The outgoing President of NAE, Prof. Oluwaseun Maduka, said that the occasion should remind those in the academy to ensure advancement of engineering education and practice.

Maduka said that the advancement would be achievable through continuous learning and strategic collaborations with relevant professional associations and industry.

She said that the academy should be proactive by tackling emerging socio-economic challenges in the country as regards engineering and technology.

Maduka added that the academy should be able to anticipate challenges and proffer appropriate solutions.
NAN reports that NAE was incorporated as a private company limited by guarantee in September 1997, for the purpose of promoting excellence in technological and engineering training and practice to ensure technological growth and economic development of Nigeria.

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Bitcoin could break the internet, warns banking group

Bitcoin could break the internet, warns banking group

Bitcoin’s surge in value from a few cents to a peak in December 2017 of $19,500 turned some of its first investors into billionaires.

Don’t bet on bitcoin ever replacing the dollar or other traditional currencies as everyday money.

That’s one of the messages from a new report by an organisation that represents dozens of the world’s central banks.

According to a report by Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the “intense interest” in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies had prompted it to look “beyond the hype” at what use they could actually contribute to the economy.

The BIS, often described as the central bank for central banks, also warned, in a 24-page report published on its website on Sunday, that cryptocurrencies cannot be trusted the way sovereign currencies can.

Unlike central bank-issued denominations, virtual currencies are produced, or “mined,” by banks of computers solving complex algorithms, and then freely traded online.

The other key difference with typical currencies is that the number of bitcoin in existence can never exceed 21 million. There are currently some 17 million bitcoins in circulation.

Bitcoin’s surge in value from a few cents to a peak in December 2017 of $19,500 turned some of its first investors into billionaires.

In a theoretical scenario where a country’s entire population turned to a digital currency like bitcoin, “the size of the ledger would swell well beyond the storage capacity of a typical smartphone in a matter of days, beyond that of a typical personal computer in a matter of weeks and beyond that of servers in a matter of months,” the BIS said.

The BIS, which has previously warned of the fraud risk in cryptocurrencies, noted that there was “a fragile foundation of trust” in such systems.

“In mainstream payment systems, once an individual payment makes its way through the national payment system and ultimately through the central bank books, it cannot be revoked. In contrast, permissionless cryptocurrencies cannot guarantee the finality of individual payment,” the report said.

Furthermore, the BIS pointed to the “unstable value” of currencies such as bitcoin.

More broadly, the BIS raised long-standing regulatory concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies, particularly with regards to money-laundering and financing of terrorism.

The report pointed to the case of the Silk Road underground marketplace for drugs and other contraband, which was shut down by the FBI in 2013, and which had used virtual currencies like bitcoin to shield customers from detection.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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