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New Techs: NCC explains how AI, machine learning can revolutionise industries

*The Nigerian Communications Commission, at the 2023 ICTEL Expo in Lagos, highlights the potential of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to revolutionise industries by helping them to gain valuable insights, and optimise operations to deliver better products and services to consumers

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the potential to revolutionise industries by helping them to gain valuable insights, and optimise operations to deliver better products and services.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, noted this at the two-day 2023 ICTEL Expo held from Tuesday, July 25 at the Landmark  Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

ConsumerConnect reports  the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) organised the event with the theme, “Tech Disruption: Transforming Industries with Innovation”, in Lagos.

Danbatta, represented at the annual event by Mr. Alkasim Umar, Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, said these new technologies would shape healthcare, finance, manufacturing and transportation industries.

The NCC EVC/CEO also stressed the AI-powered algorithms are enabling more accurate predictions, enhanced decision-making, and automation of mundane tasks in economies.

He stated that by using AI to analyse vast amounts of data, businesses could gain valuable insights and optimise their operations to deliver better products and services to consumers.

Danbatta further explained: “Another tech disruption that is transforming industries is the Internet of Things (IoT).

“With the proliferation of connected devices, IoT is revolutionising how we interact with our surroundings.”

The Executive Vice-Chairman said: “Industries such as agriculture, energy and logistics are leveraging IoT to optimise resource usage, monitor equipment maintenance, and improve overall efficiency.

“IoT-enabled sensors and smart devices provide real-time data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions and optimise  their processes.”

According to Danbatta, Blockchain technology is another transformative force that is reshaping industries, especially in finance and supply chain management.

The NCC Chief stated that Blockchain creates decentralised and immutable ledgers, which ensure transparency, security, and efficiency in transactions.

He further explained that the technology has the potential to streamline processes, reduce costs, and eliminate intermediaries, leading to greater trust and collaboration between business partners.

Potential of 5G Networks

In regard to key benefits of the Fifth Generation (5G) Networks, Prof. Danbatta opined the technology is enabling new-fangled possibilities in areas, such as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and telemedicine.

The convergence of technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), is disrupting multiple industries, particularly in entertainment, education, and retail, said he.

Danbatta as well noted that VR and AR technologies had offered immersive and interactive experiences that could transform how we learn, shop, and entertain ourselves.

He urged participants: “As we navigate the era of tech disruptions, it is crucial for businesses to embrace innovation and adapt to the changing landscape.

“Companies that are agile and willing to experiment with these emerging technologies will gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries.”

Danbatta declared that “in line with our (NCC’s) plan, we recognise that the rapid pace of technological advancement is disrupting industries across the globe. Nigeria is no exception.”

The EVC/CEO explained the telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s vision is rooted in the idea of embracing this disruption and fostering innovation the would propel the West African country towards sustainable growth, economic diversification and enhanced living standards for all Nigerians.

Update on Aspire 2024 strategic management plan

Giving insight into the implementation of the NCC Aspire 2024, a strategic management plan (2020–2024), Danbatta said connectivity and Broadband access lay at the heart of the Commission’s strategic vision plan.

He noted the Commission understands that a robust and pervasive telecommunications infrastructure is vital for driving socio-economic  development.

According to him, by expanding network coverage and promoting the deployment of Broadband infrastructure, the NCC has brought reliable and affordable Internet access to every corner of the Nigerian digital ecosystem.

Danbatta disclosed that as of May 2023, the number of telecoms subscription was 227,179,946 with a teledensity of 119 percent.

In terms of contribution to national economic development, he disclosed the telecoms industry also contributed 14.13 percent in the first quarter (Q1) 2023 to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The NCC Chief stated: “We are also very particular about consumer protection and privacy. Through our initiatives, we aim to enforce standards, improve service delivery, provide avenues for redress, and promote data privacy, cybersecurity.

“Spectrum management is another critical aspect of our strategic vision plan. Efficiently managing the limited radio frequency resources is essential for optimising connectivity and promoting emerging technologies.”

Going forward, Danbatta assured Nigerians that the Commission is “committed to supporting the transition to new spectrum bands, such as 5G, to unlock the transformative potential of these technologies and enable new services and applications.”

He added that as of May this year, Broadband subscription was 92,561,842 whereas Broadband penetration had hit 48.49 percent.

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