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NCC to Monitor Revenues Generated in Telecom Industry With IT Solution

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Telecommunications - Investors King

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded plans to forestall financial leakages in the telecommunication industry.

This is as the commission unveiled its IT solution, Revenue Assurance Solution (RAS) to monitor the revenue generated by its licensees.

The executive vice-chairman of the NCC, Umar Danbatta made the disclosure in Abuja on Friday during a virtual interactive session with the industry’s stakeholders.

Danbatta explained that RAS will be used to look into the annual operating levy (AOL) payable to the federal government of each telecom operator and detect the exact amount of revenue generated yearly.

“The financial burden of deployment will be on the operators. This project relieves the commission of the initial financial burden that will be required for the deployment of the RAS project.

“It will also ensure that accurate revenue generated by the licensed network operators are tracked, analysed and utilised for the benefit of the industry. Beyond revenue assurance, when deployed, the NCC RAS will bring a lot of solutions to the industry,” the vice-chairman stated.

Danbatta noted that the IT solution is designed to effectively monitor and regulate the licensees in the industry.

This, according to him, will enable NCC to validate the information, records and data supplied to it from time to time but the operators.

Stressing the need to block loopholes in the industry’s compilation of data, Danbatta pointed that the annual operating levy is a very vital tool in the regulation of the telecommunications industry.

“AOL can be described as the tap root of an efficient and effective telecommunications regulatory environment. The mechanisms for collection and computation of AOL, are of interest and important to both the regulator, and the operating networks.

“In Nigeria, the importance of AOL is well expressed in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003. Some of the objectives of the AOL regulations, as provided in part 1 (2) of the AOL Regulations 2014, are to “create and provide a regulatory framework for the effective and efficient administration by the Commission of the Annual Operating Levy regime and all matters related thereto;

“Stipulate the mode and methods of assessment of Annual Operating Levy and the payment modes thereof; specify guiding standards and principles for the administration by the Commission of the Annual Operating Levy regime,” he stated.

The Commission’s helmsman maintained that the size of the nation’s telecommunications industry made the revenue assurance solutions a necessity for accuracy.

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Telecommunications

Airtel Commences Financial Operations, Activates Smartcash Payment Service Bank in Nigeria

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Airtel Africa - Investors King

Airtel has announced that it has officially commenced the operation of its Financial Technology (Fintech) subsidiary, Smartcash Payment Service Bank in Nigeria. 

While reassuring its commitment to providing financial solutions to Nigerians, Airtel Africa said the new payment solution will start gradually and subsequently expand to other parts of the country. 

Investors King recalls that in November last year, Airtel received approval in principle from the Central bank of Nigeria to operate the subsidiary payment service in Nigeria. 

In an official statement made available to Investors King  and signed by the Airtel Group Secretary, Simon O’Hara, the company noted that SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (‘SmartCash PSB’) Services will initially be available at selected retail touchpoints, and operations will be expanded gradually across the country over the next few months. 

“I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country.

“To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services”, Airtel Group Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya said.

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, in 14 countries across Africa, today announces that its subsidiary has commenced operations in Nigeria. 

 

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Telecommunications

Canadian Government to Restrict Chinese Huawei, ZTE from its 5G Networks

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Huawei 5G

Canada has said it will ban two of China’s biggest telecom equipment makers from working on its 5G mobile-phone networks.

The Canadian Industry Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne disclosed the restriction against Huawei and ZTE on Thursday. He said the move will improve Canada’s mobile internet services and “protect the safety and security of Canadians.”

“This is about providing a framework to protect our infrastructure. In a 5G world, at a time where we rely more and more in our daily lives [on] our network, this is the right decision,” Mr Champagne said while speaking to reporters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. 

Investors King has it that this decision by Canada has been widely expected, as its allies had already barred Huawei and ZTE from their own high-speed networks.

This means that telecoms firms in the country will no longer be allowed to use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE.

“Companies that have already installed the equipment made by the Chinese manufacturers must now remove it,” Mr. Champagne added.

Four nations had already placed the same restriction on the companies. They include the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Canada with these other five countries make up an intelligence-sharing arrangement named ‘Five Eyes’ which evolved during the Cold War as a tool for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified information

The Fifth Generation network is the next upgrade to mobile internet networks, offering much faster data download and upload speeds.

It also allows more devices to simultaneously access the internet. It comes as data usage is soaring, as the popularity of video and music streaming grows. This is pushing governments and mobile phone network operators to improve their telecommunications infrastructures.

Canada first announced a review of Huawei equipment in September 2018. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond at the time of publication.

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NCC Raises Alarm of New Vehicle Hacking Techniques

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Nigerian communications commission

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  has issued a warning to the public about a new hacking technique that allows hackers to access and hijack vehicles.

Investors King recalls a similar issue reported some months back on phone and telecom users’ cyberattack schemes that were detected by NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team.

Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs (DPA), made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

According to Adinde, the newest alert issued by the NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) stated:

“The fact that car remotes were categorized as short-range devices that make use of Radio Frequency (RF) to lock and unlock cars informed the need to alert Nigerians on this emergent danger.

“The vulnerability is a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack or, more specifically, a replay attack in which an attacker intercepts the RF signals normally sent from a remote key fob to the car.

“It manipulates these signals and re-sends them later to unlock the car at will.

“With this latest type of cyber-attack, it is also possible to manipulate the captured commands and re-transmit them to achieve a different outcome altogether.

“Multiple researchers disclosed a vulnerability, which is said to be used by a nearby attacker to unlock some Honda and Acura car models and start their engines wirelessly.

“The attack consists of a threat actor capturing the RF signals sent from your key fob to the car and resending these signals to take control of your car’s remote keyless entry system,” the advisory stated.

He did say, however, that the NCC-CSIRT has suggested certain preventative measures or solutions in the warning that car owners may use to avoid becoming victims.

The only way to avoid being affected, according to the commission’s cyber-alert unit, is to reset your key fob at the dealership.

“Besides, the affected car manufacturer may provide a security mechanism that will generate fresh codes for each authentication request, this makes it difficult for an attacker to ‘replay’ the codes thereafter.

“Additionally, vulnerable car users should store their key fobs in signal-blocking ’Faraday pouches’ when not in use.”

He urged automobile owners in these categories to choose Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) rather than Remote Keyless Entry (RKE), which would make it more difficult for an attacker to read the signal because crooks would need to be within close range to commit their crimes.

He further explained that the PKE is a vehicular safety feature that opens a door on approach or when the door handle is pulled when the user is in direct range to the car.

He further stated that when walking away or exiting the automobile, the user locks it.

He went on to say that the RKE system, on the other hand, is the industry standard for remotely enabling or disabling a vehicle’s doors and storage area.

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