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NigeriaCom 2018: Complete Report and Review by Fadaka Louis

With two days of innovating chats and exhibition, the Nigeria Com networking conference got the "see you next year" signatures.

The event held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, from Wednesday to Thursday, 19th-20th, 2018, gave birth to brand new ideas from companies like YahClick, Vodacom, NCC, World Telecom Labs and many other interesting brands that are into networking.

This is the 10th edition of Nigeria Com which focus is on Telecoms and Technology landscape, bringing together experts to make things clear to users - from broadband connectivity to start-up success, IoT to broadcasting and digital transformation in general.

Major topics given solution this year are:
- using online and offline channels to create a total marketing approach.
- effectively mining data to better understand consumer behaviors
- creating a personalised experience for the Nigerian consumer
- increasing customers through handset sales: what method is more effective?
- packaging music contents for the mobile Nigerian consumer
- optimising quality of service to enhance customer service
- minimising data cost to avoid bill shock
- how public and private bodies can work to complete the digital migration
- if partnership is the best solution to optimise distribution channels.
- is voice over LTE the solution to refreshing traditional revenue?

Much attention should be given to YahClick, Vodacom and World Telecom Labs for what they are bringing to the Nigerian Networking sphere, as supported by the NCC.

YahClick is a wireless network distribution company owned by a private company called, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) - a company that provides multipurpose satellite solutions (government and commercial) for broadband, broadcast, government, and communications use across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe in addition to Central and South West Asia. It is based in Abu Dhabi, UAE and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi,

They distribute wireless network through a satellite receiver which receives and sends information or data to the main satellite above which is controlled by their internet backbone which through a gateway.

Therefore, YahClick is a  broadband satellite service made available to customers via Service Partners (distributors of the service).The service is good for home use, business, health care, education, NGOs, Oil and Gas sector, Internet Cafes, Constructions and Manufacturing companies, and so on. (It is used by the public / govt sector as well as the private. While 'home use' customers are serviced by YahClick, mostly catering to institutions and organizations across the board.)
YahClick Diagram

The Yahsat company itself covers over 60 per cent of Africa and 95 per cent of Brazil currently. Their data is cheap and can be managed on request (speed).

An interesting function of the YahClick site is its' automatic data calculator. This function basically takes organized information from you then let you know how much data you will need in a month.

Most Nigerians would remember Vodacom but surely will confuse it with Vodafone. Well, any which way, there is this fantastic-youth-impacted change in that company that will favour many of us and Africa as a whole. And I favour the farmers package they now have. This is aimed at making farms more productive.

According to Vodacom, "From smarter crop planting to optimised animal feeding, IoT can drive productivity gains. Our IoT technology has helped livestock feeding machine manufacture Keenan maximise production yields for farmers."

What this mean is they have been able to formulate machines that work with cables and internet that makes farming much more easier for you, for instance, processor that times and water your farm land at the right time. This is an Agricultural revolution using Internet of Things(IoT) solutions. A good example of this can be found in Season 2 of "Taken".

Other things they do is to Secure your Sites, Keep Plant Planted, Energy bill solution (more like a reminder) and down to saving you packing lot issues.

What Vodacom is doing here is to bring integrated solutions by helping you - improve efficiency, reduce cost, increase revenue and helping you gain better customer service for your business. They also help in connectivity solution, hosting services, unified communications and internet of things (IoT).

The World Telecom Lab. I call them the 'Call and Roaming Company'. This company under Vivada was announced winner of the Best African Project category at the annual Global Carrier Awards in Tanzania and just last year (2017), it was named winner of the Best Connectivity Solution category at the prestigious annual AfricanCom awards.

In Nigeria, the World Telecom Lab helped he five carriers - Breeze Micro, Exchange, ICN, Niconnx and Solid to build new VoIp networks across the country with local switching enabled at new POPs in Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan and Kano. Because of their impact in Nigeria, counting from 2014, there have been a 70 per cent reduction in call failure, 5- per cent decrease in dropped calls, reduction of traffic congestion by 30 per cent and signal congestion reduction by 60 per cent.

Their headquarter is located in Belgium, with offices in Nigeria, UK and Brazil.

The Nigerian Communications Commission in their magazine - The Communicator, this year officially introduce  the eleven, "Do Not Disturb Short Code that goes to "2442" as signed by Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo. They are
- SMS 1 - for receiving SMS relating to Banking/Insurance/Financial Products,
- SMS 2 - for receiving SMS relating to Real estate,
- SMS 3 - for receiving SMS relating to Education,
- SMS 4 - for receiving SMS relating to Health,
- SMS 5 - for receiving SMS relating to Consumer Goods and Automobiles,
- SMS 6 - for receiving SMS relating to Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT,
- SMS 7 - for receiving SMS relating to Tourism and Leisure,
- SMS 8 - for receiving SMS relating to Sports,
- SMS 9 -  for receiving SMS relating to Religion
- SMS 10 - for receiving SMS relating to information on new products and service (To provide a platform for mobile network provider to advertise and inform their subscribers on new products, services, promotions, tariff plan, e.t.c),
- SMS 11 - for receiving SMS relating to News Alerts(To provide a platform for subscribers who wish to receive daily news/information e.g breaking news from NAN e.t.c,).
All to "2442".

The NCC have also called for compliance from service providers in the country.

All business minded persons should look for The Report Nigeria 2017.

Those of us into social media and content provision should link up with PCCW Global for traffic generation and CryptoGuard for your content protection.

Comments from Vendors: Achievements and Setbacks
Though the Nigeria Com is a fantastic event for those into fiber optic cables and so on, the turn-up I must say still shows that the cry on Technology improvement is not being heard, people are not even trying to listen. As much as I blame publicity, I also blame the hundreds of people that registered with tags made for them that still didn't show up.

(Moreover, on personal-personal comment, I met some top personnel in network providing and I noticed this segregation, I met one or two of them, the same thing, the one that cleared my head the more was the Glo Nigeria personnel I met and he refused to say more than "Hello". These top men ad women go to events like this and still feel they are in their office instead of sharing and bringing themselves down, there cannot be progress and transfer of knowledge with people like this).

Lin from Hon-Kong whose company is into fiber optic telecom. She says she is impressed with the many customers she got and have also learn the Nigerian market and hope to return next year. Her company hopes to add to Nigeria's internet development.

Rubin Rose, the International Account Manager of World Telecom Labs thinks the conference can be better in terms of active participation.

He says, "We have been here for the last seven years and we certainly will come back next year because even though we didn't make new leads, we met all of our partners and all of our prospects. ...We made 50 new leads of which 10 per cent were interesting and the other 90 per cent, at lest it spreads the words, especially when you see our hats on."

He hopes the NCC will make more innovative solutions possible.

Abiodun Bamidele whose company is into broadband says "it has been very beneficial." "I hope next year will be better."

Prakhar Vashisht, Senior Manager, Sales East Africa of HUGHES a leading Satellite company in the world, visiting Nigeria for the first time didn't like the number compared to what was spent to mount on this prestigious event venue.

Other people hope for more numbers, more attentive crowd, a mass crowd on niche, better internet connection (rated very bad and not impressive since its a telecom event).

So this is my report for Nigeria Com 2018, see you on September, 11th and 12th, 2018.

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