The COVID-19 lockdown is making telecoms operators laugh all the way to the bank as consumers including religious organisations increase their use of services.
An investigation by The Guardian showed that the Federal Government’s declaration of a sit-at-home order resulted in increase in traffic for both data and voice services. This means service providers, especially Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), are set for a boom in revenue.
Specifically, through the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), the country’s Internet gateway, The Guardian learnt that Internet services through the telecoms operators have seen a 15 per cent spike in traffic in the last four weeks.
But while the operators boasted of increased capacity to manage the traffic, a larger percentage of the country’s 186 million subscribers to telephony services have decried persistent drop calls and snail-speed data services.
Nigeria’s Internet speed, according to Speedtest Global Index, has been low and slow in the last six weeks. Against the global download speed of 30.47mbps, Nigeria recorded 15.53mbps. Also, while the world’s upload speed is 10.73mbps, Nigeria had 7.25mbps.
A subscriber to the four operators in the country, Teslim Alimi, buttressed these claims. He complained that the services have really been very bad lately. “At times, especially between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you can’t just explain it…from drop calls to calls not getting connected. The worst, at times, is depletion of data. I remember buying Airtel’s 3GB, which is N2000 for 30 days but the data finished within a week! I just can’t fathom it.”
Another subscriber, Ngozi Opara, queried why her N1000 1.5GB data from MTN disappeared within three days. “This was supposed to be a 24/7, 30 days offering. I think this COVID-19 period has deepened the fraud perpetrated by operators. Something should be done very fast about this by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” she said.
The subscribers’ complaints confirmed the details by Speedtest Global Index, which claimed that COVID-19 largely impacted the Internet speed of countries negatively. It revealed that Nigeria’s Internet speed depreciated by minus five per cent (-5%) within this period.
But explaining the spike in Internet traffic, the Chief Executive Officer, IXPN, Muhammed Rudman said operators saw an increase of between 10 and 15 per cent in the last few weeks of the sit-at-home.
According to him, the figures fluctuate, with a larger percentage of the spike seen in urban areas. But to him, “the operators, which have benefited the more, are largely the MNOs, which serve end users directly. These are MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9Mobile.”
Rudman said Internet Service Providers (ISPs), especially the Tier 2 operators, which service corporate bodies and enterprises had not seen any rise in Internet traffic “because companies are not currently operating.Their customers are not at work because of the lockdown.
“Some ISPs, like MTN, have direct end user customers.Ofcourse, they have enterprises they service as well, but they concentrate more on the end users. Others like Spectranet, Internet Solutions, which deal with corporate bodies, are the ones experiencing lull in traffic. For some of them, traffic has dropped. But for those dealing with end users, the traffic has been rising. The 15 per cent is the aggregate increase in traffic monitored by IXPN in the last few weeks.”
He said the spike in traffic would definitely translate to revenue increase for operators because people want to keep their lines of communication active, even if they cannot meet face to face.
While other MNOs shied away from disclosing individual spike in the traffic seen during the last few weeks, 9Mobile was confident. Responding to The Guardian enquiry, Chineze Amanfo, the Lead, Public Relations, 9Mobile, said the telco’s data traffic grew by about 24 per cent within few weeks of the lockdown.
Amanfo said the lockdown influenced the way customers use telecommunications services.Voice traffic dropped as service-related interactions, and the need to make voice calls reduced to the barest.
“However, increased social media interaction, as well as the Work-From-Home (WFH) phenomenon, has spurred data traffic growth across the country. Our data traffic has grown by about 24 per cent,”Amanfo said.
According to her, the firm understands the role high-quality telecommunications services play in the dissemination of information and staying connected, and “we reassure users of our strong commitment to providing fast and reliable services at this time.
“Our recent efforts in expanding our LTE capability across the country will enable us to provide robust broadband services to keep our customers and Nigerians connected with family and friends. Our network is purposely set up with adequate redundancies and buffers to ensure the seamless continuity of services.”
For Ajay Awasthi, Chief Executive Officer, Spectranet, the telco has a fair mix of enterprise, retail 4G LTE and HomeFiber( FTTx) customers. Though there has been a drop in the traffic from enterprise customers, Awasthi said: “We have seen an upsurge in traffic from retail customers. Overall, the data traffic in the network has increased over 30 per cent.
“While this is a happy situation to be in, the sudden increase in traffic poses a challenge in terms of keeping up with the quality of service. In order to ensure that our customers’ experience is not compromised, Spectranet has acted fast and invested significantly to enhance capacities on the access and backhaul network.”
IXPN boss, Muhammed Rudman, had further said he hoped the traffic would rise as more and more people sustained the momentum. He said this was because more people were now seeing opportunities online, working remotely from home, and getting more entertainment at the same time.
According to him, the surge at 15 per cent is still a bit manageable for the ISPs. “However, with trends projected to rise, most ISPs are putting in place facilities to be able to manage all unanticipated surge of traffic. For example, at the exchange point, we have the entire capacity to accommodate all members even if they want to double their capacity 100 per cent. We have the capability to handle the traffic. I believe ISPs are working on that, too,” Rudman added.
The president, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), OlusolaTeniola, said the increased traffic referred to by IXPN was mostly based on new connections and increased connection bandwidths requested at the local peering interfaces.
According to him, this demonstrates that the traffic management and Quality of Service (QoS) are focus points in the industry’s ability to improve the amount of data originating from high usage of OTT apps and other collaborative tools and adoption of virtual e-learning systems from homes generating the requests and some uploads of content and mostly downloads from heavy data content providers offering video and/or live streaming services.
He said the spike in traffic contributed to an increase of usage on the YouTube platform where most live church or mosque programmes were hosted for viewing. “However, the spikes would occur in a particular period on a particular day. The spike during those periods causes congestion in the networks towards the edge of the network (wherever this is physically located),” he noted.
He said the change in consumer behaviour and the ability of consumers to continue purchasing data would limit the height of any spike and the duration.
Corroborating Teniola’s claims on spike through religious activities, Chief Executive Officer, Family Booster Ministry, Pastor Bisi Adewale, said telecom and technology had helped so much in reaching his members.
Adewale, who gathers singles and married people together every last Sunday of the month, said because of the government’s stand on COVID-19, there was no assembly, “but (we) still meet almost everyday now online through technology.”
He said the situation had turned many people to online ministers. “Pastors, who are not social media compliant suddenly become outdated as they could not reach their members.”
Adewale, who revealed that lots of funds had gone into Internet subscription, disclosed that he made use of platforms like Mixlr.com, Zoom.com, Twitter.com, Facebook.com and Instagram.com.
The Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor on ICT Nnaemeka Ani said the impact of the pandemic had been phenomenal, because it had spurred people to work remotely and move online.
“Working remotely, especially from home, means you cut so many expenses, including fueling, transportation, no eating out, rentals, among others. It is less risky.Looking at Enugu, for example.It might be difficult to project how much government must have saved through remote, virtual operations, but for companies, especially SMEs, I will say about 70 per cent reduction in cost, apart from salary and allowances, which are germane,” Ani said.
On the service challenge, the chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said operators were doing their best at ensuring networks were optimal. He said operators were also deploying more capacity to provide higher headroom to cope with demands.
“By and large and so far so good,we thank the subscribers and we thank government for their continuous support and understanding.We appreciate all subscribers for their patronage and consistency. If there were no subscribers, the telecom sector would not exist. The challenges in the telecom industry are not isolated from the larger industry: the issue of power and security, vandalism, theft, right-of-way hike, over-regulation and multiple taxations.
“The problems we face are like those faced by any other sectors of the economy, and we would continue to assure telecom subscribers that these problems are gradually passing, as we continue to work with all stakeholders for better service quality.
It must be mentioned that we need to work together to protect telecoms infrastructure because that is what other sectors rely on, and by extension the economy as a whole. Telecom is infrastructure of infrastructure,” Adebayo said.
Meanwhile, search giant, Google, is making Google Meet, its premium video-conferencing solution, free for everyone, everywhere. Google explained that starting from early May, anyone with an email address could sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to G Suite’s business and education users. These include features like scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including the expanded tiled view.
Vice president of G Suite, Javier Soltero, said: “With the lines blurred between work and home, Google Meet can offer the polish needed for a work meeting, a tiled view for your online birthday party and the security needed for a video call with your doctor.”
According to him, Google has invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world, and in recent months has accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful.
Mobile Classroom, the first indigenous mobile Application which enables students to learn audio-visually through devices like phones and computers, has offered all Nigerian Secondary School students free access to its online portal without subscription for the period of suspension of academic activities in schools nationwide.
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500 individuals from around the globe have earned a DevNet certification Within sixteen days of launching the new Cisco DevNet certifications.
DevNet started six years ago with the ambitious goal of creating a community of developers who could innovate and succeed with the programmable infrastructure. Only a few of Cisco’s products had APIs at that time, and the team knew Cisco and the industry would develop in the next 5 years.
They focused on two audiences:
1) To reskill their loyal networkers so they could fully leverage the networking paradigm that was to come, and
2) To attract new developers and ecosystem partners by giving them a new way to engage with Cisco – through its APIs!
Today, all of Cisco’s products are programmable and have APIs.
Data Processing: This is simply the organising, recording, and handling of data in a meaningful way. Generally, organizations employ computer systems to carry out a series of operations on the data to present, interpret, or obtain information .
The process includes activities like data entry, summary, calculation, storage, etc. Useful and informative output is presented in various appropriate forms such as diagrams, reports, graphics, etc.
Data Processing Cycle
The Data Processing Cycle is a series of steps carried out to extract useful information from raw data.
STAGES OF DATA PROCESSING CYCLE
They are six stages of data processing cycle:
1. DATA COLLECTION: This is the first stage of the data processing cycle, and is very important, as the quality of data collected will impact heavily on the output.
2. DATA COLLATION: This stage involves the preparation and arrangement of the data gathered. Here the collected data is checked for accuracy or verified before inputting in the computer.
3. DATA INPUT: This is the task where verified data is coded or converted into machine readable form so that it can be processed through a computer. Data entry is done through the use of a keyboard, scanner, or data entry from an existing source.
4. DATA PROCESSING: This is the act of arranging and analyzing the inputted data in order to bring out meaningful information.
5.DATA OUTPUT: This is the stage where processed information is now transmitted and displayed to the user through an output device.
6. DATA STORAGE: This is the last stage in the data processing cycle, where data are held for future use.
TYPES OF DATA PROCESSING:
- Scientific data processing
- Real time data processing
- Automatic data processing
- Manual Data processing
FEATURES OF DATA PROCESSING AS A TOOL FOR DATA PROCESSING
1. INCREASED ACCURACY: What this means is that computer is that it does not make mistakes
2. SPEED: Computer is very fast. work which 10 or more persons will do in weeks, computer can do them in a few seconds.
3. STORAGE: Computer can store data for as long as possible.
4. HANDLES REPETITIVE TASK: Computer can repeat a thing as many times as possible.
5. MULTITASKING: Computer can do many things at the same time.
The concept that is widely used in the internet nowadays is client server concept, client server programming etc. most of the internet applications that we use today are based on client server programming.
CLIENT SERVER MODEL
- STANDARD MODEL FOR DEVELOPING NETWORK APPLICATIONS.
- NOTATION OF CLIENT AND SERVER
- A server is a process that is offering some service
- A client is a process that is requesting the service.
- Server or clients maybe running on different machines.
- Server waits for waits for request from client(s).
Diagram of client server model
The server should be the first process to start. The server process starts on some computer system, initializes itself then goes to sleep waiting for the clients request.
A client process starts either on same system or a different system, and sends a request to the server. When the server process has finished providing its service to the clients, the server goes back to sleep waiting for the next client request to arrive. The process repeats continuously as long the clients are sending request and the server is sending back the response and so on.
Roles of the client and server processes are asymmetric. However they are two types of servers:
- Iterative servers: The server is said to be iterative when the server process knows in advance how long it takes to handle each request and it handles each request itself. Single copy of server runs at all times. A client may have to wait if the server is busy.
- Concurrent servers: These servers are used when the amount of time required to handle a request is unknown. The server starts another process to handle each request. A copy of a server caters to a client’s request in a dedicated fashion. As many copies of server as there are client request.
A client server communication can use either TCP or UDP. If the client server is using TCP, then before start of communication, a connection has to be established between the two hosts.
They are five components in a connection.
- Protocol used
- Source IP address
- Source port number
- Destination IP address
- Destination port number
DEVELOPING A NETWORK APPLICATION
The best way to use some standard and well accepted protocol is:
- At the data link layer level, use ETHERNET.
- At the network layer level, use IP.
- At the transport layer level, use TCP.
- At the application layer level, use a standard API Berkeley socket interface.
A socket is a BSD (Berkeley socket distribution) method for achieving inter-process communication (IPC). It is used to allow one process to speak to another ( on same or different machine).
DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM (DNS). This is a global database system for internet addressing, mail and other information. It is much easier to use and memorize. DNS server translate domain names to IP addresses.
TOP LEVEL DOMAINS
.com – Commercial
.org – Non – profit
.net – Network service provider
.gov – US government
.mil – Military
. edu – Education
.au – Australian
.at – Austrian
.ca – Canadian
.dk – Dutch
.fr – French
.de – German
.in – Indian
.it – Italian
.jp – Japanese
.kr – Korean
.nz – New Zealand
.es – Spanish
.tw – Taiwanese
.uk – British or Irish
.us – US
They are two letter domain for each and every country in the world.
NAME RESOLUTION PROCESS
The most commonly used server is BINDN (Berkeley internal name domain) it runs under unix as a process called named. When an application needs some information from the server, it invokes the DNS name resolver. DNS translates a fully qualified domain name into the corresponding IP address using the command nslookup. If the name server does not have the information locally, it asks its primary server and so on. For redundancy each host may also have one or more secondary name servers which maybe queried when the primary fails.
This allows a person sitting on one computer to work on another computer, it starts a remote session on another machine, and requires a person to supply login name and password to gain entry. Using telnet, we are able to log on to another system and use some facility out there. But you cannot transfer files from one machine to another.
FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL (FTP)
This allows a person to transfer files between two machines. It requires a person to supply login name and password to gain entry.
A special form of FTP which has become very popular is the anonymous FTP. It does not require a person to know login name and password. Instead in place of login name, type the word anonymous and in place of password, type the email address.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twitter, Jack Dorsey has cancelled his plan to relocate to Africa for up to six months in 2020. Jack described his tweets about moving to Africa as “a mistake”.
In November 2019, after visiting Africa on a month-long trip, Dorsey tweeted: “Sad to be leaving the continent … for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid-2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part.”
However, Dorsey has now said that he needs to re-evaluates his plans about living in Africa due to the Coronavirus outbreak amongst other things
He said this while speaking at an investor conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley.
“When I tweeted about my intention to spend a few months in Africa this year, I made a mistake and should have provided more context about why. The continent will be one of the most populated in the next 20-30 years, and room for tech innovation there is incredible, but in light of COVID-19 and everything else going on I need to reevaluate. Either way, we’ll continue to pursue opportunities in Africa.” Dorsey said.
Coronavirus aside, Dorsey risks being replaced as Chief Executive Officer of the company he co-founded due to the new activist investors that are currently rooting for his removal.
News reports last week said Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund founded by billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican political supporter, has acquired nearly 5% in Twitter and is now pushing for the removal of Dorsey as CEO, and has nominated four members to Twitter’s board.
The firm pushed for the change stating that Dorsey’s attention is divided between running Twitter and his financial transactions startup Square, and that Dorsey intends to live part of each year in Africa.
Dorsey said he remained capable of managing the two San Francisco-based tech firms.
“I have enough flexibility in my schedule to focus on the most important things and I have a good sense of what is critical on both companies,” he said.
I realised that my data was burning faster than I bargained for. For me it wasn’t normal because I wasn’t doing anything extra from what I used to do normally. So I called my internet service provider and they asked me to turn off my phone’s auto update app as this could be one of the reasons why my data was burning fast.
So in this article, am going to show you how you can turn off your phone’s auto update app.
Go to Google play store
Click on the three lines on the left corner of your device. You will see something like the image below.
Click on settings
Click on auto update apps
Then click on don’t auto update apps.
Hope this article was helpful.
Messaging App, WhatsApp, has stopped working on millions of Android and iOS devices running on older operating systems, as the company moved to protect its users, Forbes reported.
Since February 1, the app was reported to be no longer accessible on phones running Android version 2.3.7 and older, along with iPhones operating iOS 8 or earlier.
The media outlet stated millions of smartphones were affected by the update, which was announced in 2017.
“Because we no longer actively develop for these operating systems, some features might stop functioning at any time. For the best experience, were commend you use the latest version of iOS or Android available for your phone,” WhatsApp wrote in a blog.
In 2016, Facebook’s subsidiary announced its withdrawal from several mobile platforms, including BlackBerry 10, followed by a move to end support for smartphones using Windows from the end of 2019, BBC News reported.
The messaging service was the third most-downloaded app in the past decade, data from analyst company, App Annie showed.