Photo: NCC

MWC 2022: Pantami, Danbatta lead Nigerian delegation, meet with US team, OEMs, others

*Nigeria’s participation in the Mobile World Congress yearly provides a vibrant deal-making environment for attendees, as it also remains a truly international exhibition attracting decision-makers in the mobile ecosystem which Nigeria is keen to explore to grow its telecoms and ICT industry, says Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, accompanied by Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is leading the Nigerian delegation to the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022, in Barcelona, Spain.

ConsumerConnet reports the Mobile World Congress, organised by Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) and regarded as the most influential conference and exhibition of stakeholders in mobile technology, innovation and connectivity, is holding in the European country from February 28 to March 3, 2022.

The country’s telecoms sector regulatory Commission disclosed that the Nigerian delegation would engage global players in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sphere to explore areas of strategic collaboration and investment for accelerating the growth of Nigeria’s emergent digital economy.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, in a statement ment Wednesday, March 2, said the that the country’s delegation was scheduled to participate in at least 33 sessions during MWC.

The NCC stated: “The gathering attracts the participation of biggest manufacturers, GSM operators, mobile brands, regulators and policy makers from across the world, showcasing innovations, new announcements, new products and emergent innovations.

“Among the teams Pantami will lead other participants ftom Nigeria to meet, are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), representatives the World Economic Forum (WEF), and other key actors in the global  ICT ecosystem.”

According to the Commission, on arrival in Barcelona, Professors Pantami, Danbatta, and top echelon of the Nigerian delegation, hit the ground running by holding purposive strategic talks with Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA), a global organisation advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilisation.

The discussion, Dr. Adinde noted, focused on spectrum sharing and unlicensed technologies as well as progress of DSA’s work in this regard, with emphasis on how DSA’s processes will benefit Nigeria. The meeting took place February 28, 2022.

The telecoms regulator also said on the same day, the Nigerian delegation held a meeting with Nokia and discussed potential government initiatives, and how NCC and Nokia could collaborate more strategically to accomplish some policy objectives and targets of the institutionalised digital digital economy processes in the West African country.

The NCC further noted: “On March 1, aside (from) participation in other key sessions slated for the day, the Nigerian delegation met SpaceX, a satellite operator to discuss licensing and authorisation issues as the may affect SpaceX.”

The Pantami-led delegation equally met with the representatives of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore and concretely engage about opportunities within the framework of the EDISON Alliance for Digital Inclusion, and the possibility of Nigeria becoming Lighthouse Country of the Alliance.

The Commission stated that WEF launched EDISON Alliance to mobilise a global movement to prioritise digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This is envisioned to enhance attainment of goals towards fostering affordable and accessible digital opportunities for everyone by 2025,” it said.

The significance of the deliberations with WEF, the NCC said, is the readiness to leverage relationship with EDISON Alliance to accelerate and foster unprecedented collaboration between the ICT community and other critical sectors of the economy in order to advance Nigeria’s vision on financial inclusion.

It further stated: “Indeed, on March 1, 2022, the Nigerian delegation was also scheduled to discuss with the MTN team, and thereafter proceed to attend a demo at Meta’s Exhibition Stand, where the CEO of Meta and owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is to call for global partnership to build the next world virtual reality (metaverse).”

Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection.

The Commission also noted that the Nigerian delegation to the MWC 2022 would meet a United States (US) delegation, Wednesday, March 2, to discuss collaboration on telecommunications and related ICT issues.

The Nigerian delegation will also engage the exhibition by Huawei Technologies as well as chat with the company’s senior executive management.

In his address at the influential, global technology congress, Pantami said: “The high-level discussions which Nigerian delegation is having with both original equipment manufacturers and other key players in the ICT world will enhance deeper alliance, collaboration and bilateral synergy required to accelerate Nigeria’s vision for a real digital economy.”

Amplifying the Minister’s voice, Prof. Danbatta also said Nigeria’s participation in the event on an annual basis is based on the realisation that “MWC provides a vibrant deal-making environment for attendees, as it also remains a truly international exhibition attracting decision-makers in the mobile ecosystem which Nigeria is keen to explore to grow its telecoms and ICT industry.”

The 2022 MWC is being attended by mostly senior executives and management staff of over 2000 companies, institutions and entities from 183 countries, said the NCC.

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