Google Equiano subsea cable to begin operations in Nigeria by December
Google has announced that its 12,000km Equiano subsea Internet cable, which arrived in Nigeria in April, will be operational by December.
Equiano is now running through Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa, according to Google, and is expected to provide faster, lower-cost Internet to the continent by connecting St. Helena, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa with Europe.
The American company announced this yesterday at the second Google for Africa event, where it stated that more than 20% of the $1 billion announced last year to be spent on the region over the next five years has been adequately deployed.
According to a recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, the cable would accelerate economic growth in Nigeria by $10.1 billion, South Africa by $7 billion, and Namibia by $260 million by 2025.
At the same time, Equiano is expected to indirectly create 1.6 million jobs in Nigeria, 180,000 in South Africa, and 21,000 in Namibia as the digital economy and peripheral sectors expand.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced the company’s intention to establish a new Google Cloud region in South Africa, its first on the continent, during the virtual event.
Pichai explained that the new Cloud Region would assist users, developers, businesses, and educational institutions across Africa in moving more information and tools online, improving customer access options, and creating jobs.
Nitin Gajria, Managing Director of Google Africa, stated that the company is collaborating with governments, policymakers, NGOs, telcos, business leaders, creators, and media to help accelerate Africa’s digital transformation.
“We believe in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa’s digital transformation goals, which leads to more opportunities for businesses,” said Niral Patel, Director of Google Cloud Africa. Respect for the environment is part of our corporate ethos, which is why we operate the cleanest cloud in the industry, enabling sustainable digital transformation.
“Along with the cloud region, we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi. In doing so, we are building full scale Cloud capability for Africa.”
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China debuts first flying car in Dubai.
The first public flight of a “flying car” built by Chinese electronic vehicle maker Xpeng Inc took place in the United Arab Emirates, as the company works to launch the electric aircraft on international markets.
The X2 is a two-seater electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft powered by eight propellers, two in each corner.
The manufacturer described Monday’s unmanned, 90-minute test flight in Dubai as a “important base for the next generation of flying cars.”
We are gradually transitioning to the international market “said Xpeng Aeroht’s general manager, Minguan Qiu.
We chose Dubai because it is the most innovative city in the world “Aeroht was added.
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17-year-old Kano boy builds Robot with exoskeleton remote control system.
Isah Auwal-Barde, a 17-year-old boy from Kano State, has created a robot that works with a robotic exoskeleton remote control.
An exoskeleton remote control is a system in which the robot is controlled by the person operating it through the demonstration of the person’s body parts.
Auwal-Barde on Saturday said he grew up with a passion for creativity.
He finished his secondary education at Government Secondary School (GSS), Sabuwar-Kofa, Kano, in 2021 and obtained seven credits in science subjects in the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
“It took me two years to invent the robot using local materials like DC motors, copper wires, pipes, corrugated cardboard as well as metal, among others, and the robot works with electricity. I want to be a robotics engineer so that I can be producing robots that can be used in addressing security challenges bedevilling the country,” he said.
The teenager showered praises on his father for his support.
“Now, I want to get a scholarship to further my education abroad to fulfil my dream of becoming a robotics engineer,” he said.
The teenager further stated that his prowess in robotics caught the attention of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) who sent delegates to
According to him, the delegation pledged to ensure that he is admitted to an indigenous university to study computer engineering.
“I have been giving him words of encouragement and telling him that he will become a robotics engineer in future,” said his father. “And whenever our electricity or electronics had faults, he was the one to repair them.”
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Angry Customers Laments at Inability to Make Calls
Subscribers who claimed to have been barred in blunder in spite of effectively connecting their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their Subscribers Identity Module (SIM) cards communicated their disarray, outrage, and dissatisfaction yesterday.
Review that on Monday, April 4, the Federal Government approved all media communications operators in the country to bar active calls from any unlinked SIMs on their organizations. The objective is to uphold the NIN-SIM rule.
It had been accounted for yesterday that following consistence to the mandate by the specialist co-ops, particularly the portable organization administrators (MNOs), around 75 million lines have been banished. However, it seems the notwithstanding have similarly impacted a few endorsers who professed to have confirmed and connected their NINs to SIMs.
A Globacom endorser, Abioye Owolabi, told The Guardian yesterday that he had completed the linking and verification exercise as far back as 2021, “but I was shocked this morning to discover that I cannot make calls. This is my main line and imagine not being able to make calls. It is shocking! All what I was asked to do then, I complied with and got confirmation that my line was successfully linked.”
Another Globacom user, Esther Olatunji, also said she has been barred despite completing the NIN-SIM exercise. “I woke up to make calls this morning (yesterday), only to discover that I cannot call out. I remember completing the entire NIN-SIM process around June 2021 and there was confirmation to that effect.”
Olatunji, however, said she sent a message to *109# and “I was asked to provide my NIN, which I did. After about two hours, a message came as ‘Thank you for providing your NIN. SMS confirmation will be sent to you once your NIN has been verified and linked to your line.’ I am still waiting for them to unbar me.”
Nduka Maduka, a 9mobile subscriber, said he was among the first set of Nigerians that registered and linked the SIM successfully, “but I woke up this morning to discover that my line has been barred. I will visit the 9mobile outlet to go and vent my anger because I knew what I went through to verify and link then, only for them to block me again.”
Toeing same line as others, Amaka Ndubusi lamented that both her Airtel and MTN lines cannot call out. “I cannot remember if I actually linked both then, but I know I got confirmation from one of the operators to the effect that when my line had been verified, a confirmation text would come, but am not sure there was any confirmation text to that effect.”
MTN however, apologised to customers affected, stating that the order was a directive from the Federal Government. It, in turn, asked those who claimed their lines were barred despite linking them with their NINs to send in their numbers for rectification.”
MTN via its official handle, @MTN180, stated: “Y’ello. We apologise for any inconvenience caused you. The communication to implement restrictions on outgoing calls for customers who have not linked their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIM is a directive from the Federal Government.”
Meanwhile, crowds were seen at some designated National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices, centres and telecoms operators’ outlets. For instance, crowds were at the NIMC Alausa office; some outlets around Ejigbo, Ayobo, Surulere and Ketu, among others.
While some were there to lodge complaints, others were there to complete the NIN registration. Explaining what could warrant some linked lines being barred, a senior telecoms official, who preferred anonymity, said: “It could have been as a result of incomplete registration. It could also be computer errors. It could also be that the NIN has been linked to too many SIMs. So, the last linking might have been rejected. The problem could also have come from the poor backend integration from the NIMC.
“Such subscribers can go to the service outlets and get them sorted out. The fact is a blocked SIM is revenue loss to operators and the government too. So, no operator would be happy to lose any subscriber.”
A senior official of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who doesn’t want her name in print, told The Guardian that some preliminary challenges are expected.
“We are just perfecting the system. Some few challenges would come up at the initial stage, but they will be sorted out. What any affected subscriber can do would be to visit service providers, I mean the MNOs outlet and the challenges will be resolved,” she stated.
FURTHER, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has said members have complied with Federal Government’s directive, which ordered them to bar out-going calls on subscriber lines that are not in compliance with the NIN-SIM linkage policy requirement that all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) must be linked with a National Identification Number (NIN).
ALTON, in a statement signed by its Chairman and Head of Operations, Gbenga Adebayo and Gbolahan Awonuga, respectively, said the directive followed multiple extensions of the deadline, which had been granted by the Federal Government to allow subscribers complete the NIN-SIM linkage.
“ALTON members are committed to complying with the instructions and call on telecommunication subscribers who have not obtained and/or linked a NIN to their SIMs to do so at any of the designated centres.
“We remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens to communicate, to share information freely and responsibly, and to enjoy privacy and security regarding their data and their use of digital communications,” the body stated.
IN a related development, the NCC has insisted that MNOs, their licensed agents and telecoms subscribers should always comply with the SIM registration, activation and replacement procedures as set out in the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration.
The commission made the request during the sixth edition of the Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR), a radio-based interactive consumer outreach programme of the commission, broadcast under the auspices of NCC Digital Signature, the commission’s flagship radio programme.
The programme, which had NCC officials and representatives of MNOs in attendance in the studio, was aired live on Treasure FM 98.5, Garden City, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the weekend with the theme: “Understanding SIM Replacement Procedures.”
Speaking during the radio sensitisation programme, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Efosa Idehen, said while operators are to ensure strict compliance when registering their customers, the SIM card owners too have the responsibility to be vigilant to ensure that they are properly captured either for new SIM activation or SIM replacement.
“As the telecoms regulator in Nigeria, our role is to enforce compliance with the extant SIM activation and replacement procedures to avoid problems that may arise in the event of stolen, lost, damaged SIMs or the need to upgrade SIM cards,” he said.
Idehen underscored the significance of SIM registration to personal and national security, and asserted that compliance with the stipulated procedures for SIM replacement will forestall identity theft, fraudulent SIM swap and other deceitful activities that can be carried out with a SIM card.
He informed the listeners that in accordance with the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Registration, all SIM replacements shall be undertaken by the service providers or their licensed agents in a controlled environment to eliminate the recurrent complaints of inconclusive SIM replacement procedures. He said such experiences had resulted in subscribers being defrauded by cyber fraudsters.