Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Agenda for 29 JUNE, 2007 mtg @ BUSY INTERNET

I daresay it has--yet again--been a long time since we conversed on this list. I am sure many of you are busy in your own work, and simultaneously keeping an eagle eye on developments on the AU Grand well as ICT-related issues. Mawu wrote an article for the GRAPHIC, which was posted two days ago in the Graphic, I think; I see also that GoG has signed an MoU with Microsoft (yesterday's edition of the Graphic).
Either way, we're still pressing on, and here is the agenda for FRIDAY 29 JUNE.
VENUE: BusyInternet, Ring  Road
I. Follow-ups:
a. Emily -- finances
b. EK--registration form on the website
c. Ruby--contact with parliamentary corps (for ICT bills)
d. Fred--list of invites (possibilities on the list he sent)
II Status of meeting:
a. pre-strategy
b. need to have an ONLINE mtg by latest 12 JULY
c. assign roles and responsibilities to the LAUNCH for 20th/25th/27th July
d. need to memorialise registration
    i. assign "DIGIcammer"--Enoch/EK/Emily? anyone to take picture?
e. invite MUTALA / ISAAC Tetteh from Radio Gold?


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

National fibre communication coming soon

The Ministry of Communication has said it was developing a National Fibre Communication Backbone Infrastructure network to provide open access broadband connectivity nationwide.
The project, equivalent to an Information Telecommunication (IT) motorway will serve the remotest parts of Ghana, Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister of Communication, told a meet-the-press series in Accra.
He said the Chinese government had provided a concessionary loan of 30 million dollars for the first phase of the project, which was already under construction and expressed the hope that the Chinese would also support the second phase estimated at 70 million dollars.
Prof. Oquaye said incorporated in the backbone project was the e-government connectivity solution, which was to ensure that connectivity access to be delivered by the private sector would reach all corners of the country.
"The Ministry of Finance has supported our application for the Chinese Government to release funds in good time for this component," he said, adding that the project would open up the country to rapid local and foreign investment in ICT.
Prof. Oquaye said it was government's expectation that with the completion of the backbone projects, problems such as low accessibility to telephone facilities, especially in rural areas would be a thing of the past.
He was also optimistic that issues of poor quality of service by telecom operators, high bandwidth cost and poor and inadequate telecom infrastructure would all be solved when the fibre backbone project was completed.
Prof. Oquaye said whilst the backbone project was underway, the Ministry had also established the Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications (GIFTEL) to facilitate the extension of communication services through the provision of familiar facilities such as telecom tower service to underserved and areas that had not been served at all.
"It is estimated that by the end of the year a total of 44 common telecommunications facilities would have been provided by GIFTEL across the country.
"The Common usage of this infrastructure by Telecom Operators to serve the towns and their environs will reduce connectivity cost and correspondingly bring down cost of service provision to consumers in these hitherto underserved areas," he said.
Source: GNA

Friday, June 01, 2007

BBC Wap use Flourishing in Africa

BBC Wap use flourishing in Africa
Mobile phone headline alert
Mobile use in Africa is leapfrogging PC technology
Africa, in particular Nigeria, is dominating international mobile phone access to the BBC's website.

According to July's statistics, 61% of the BBC's international Wap users came from Nigeria and 19% from South Africa.

"Wap is the one platform where African countries continue to appear in the top five in our statistics," said BBC developer Gareth Owen.

Africa is the world's largest-growing mobile phone market with unreliable landlines encouraging the growth.

Wap technology - which stands for wireless application protocol - allows people to access basic information on the internet, like news summaries, through their mobile phone handset.

I'm in Uganda and the only access I have 2 the outside world is this pinhole 2 info
Ugandan texter to the BBC


According to the BBC's statistics, page views for Wap usage are growing at 100% year on year.

UK users account for 65% of Wap traffic; and international usage for 35%. Mobile phone providers in many African countries have only recently begun rolling out Wap-enabled handsets.

And the large take up of BBC news via mobiles in Nigeria contrasts starkly with the relatively small number of users accessing the internet via pcs - hampered by slow and unreliable landlines.

The BBC's Technology correspondent Mark Ward says that in many places on the continent PC ownership is low but PC literacy surprisingly high.

Internet cafes tend to be very popular, as much a meeting place as well as a place where people access their email, he says.

pie chart

The BBC receives regular messages of thanks from people in Africa, who say the only access they have to news is via their mobiles.

"I'm in Uganda and the only access I have 2 the outside world is this pinhole 2 info cause I don't have access to TV. Thanx," said one texter from Uganda. The country accounted for 7% of BBC Wap usage in July.

Other top countries helping account for the 58m Wap page views in July were Jamaica, Singapore and Israel.

In the UK, the BBC has about a 20% share of the market with a reach of 1.2m users monthly.