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Vodafone, Nokia and Telit collaborate to expand the IoT ecosystem

Izunna Okpala

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Nokia Networks

Nokia NetworksThe system leverages IoT technology from Telit and will be used by device manufacturers and applications developers in trials of innovative products and solutions to expand the IoT ecosystem.

Nokia Networks

Nokia has deployed a fully integrated NB-IoT system at Vodafone’s ‘Open Lab’ in Dusseldorf, Germany using its radio access network and elements from its Cloud Packet Core solution. The system leverages IoT technology from Telit and will be used by device manufacturers and applications developers in trials of innovative products and solutions to expand the IoT ecosystem.

In a trial during Vodafone’s recent Innovation Day event in Dusseldorf, Nokia and Telit used the technology to demonstrate how NB-IoT will meet the connectivity needs of devices. The companies used an Intel chipset integrated in a NB-IoT module, which was embedded in a Shitek technology ultrasonic gas meter. The system connected with a meter to transmit data on gas flow over a 4G Vodafone test network, demonstrating how NB-IoT technology can be used to manage an integrated network comprised of components from multiple vendors.

NB-IoT will optimise 4G networks to meet the dynamic demands of billions of connected devices. It enables wider coverage indoors and outdoors, for example allowing the radio signal to reach further inside buildings such as factories and hospitals to connect sensors and devices and transmit information. Lower power consumption allows device battery life to be prolonged for up to 15 years, optimising the cost of maintaining the myriad devices that will be found within homes and enterprises.

Luke Ibbetson, Head of Research & Development and Technology Strategy for Vodafone Group, and Chair of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum, said: “NB-IoT will be commercially available from early 2017 and, because it has strong support from across the telecoms industry, will be the technology used to connect millions more things to the Internet. We are very pleased to make the Vodafone Open Labs available to companies that want to exchange ideas and to develop and test connected products and services powered by NB-IoT.”

Marco Argenton, Product Marketing Manager, Telit, said: “We have the industry’s broadest portfolio of integrated products, platforms and services to support IoT deployments. With the collaboration in this trial, we demonstrated real and tangible benefits of automation in the residential energy market, the nature of which can be leveraged in many other industries and verticals.”

Roberto Loiola, global customer business team head at Nokia, said: “The low power attributes and reach of NB-IoT make it an ideal technology to connect the Internet of Things. The trial with Telit showed how NB-IoT is perfectly suited to manage a network comprised of devices and sensors from multiple vendors. At Nokia we are constantly innovating to allow our customers to evolve their offer and anticipate the needs of their subscribers and our work with Vodafone at the Open Lab is a prime example of this.”

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US inauguration: How to watch the inauguration and parade

Izunna Okpala

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Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris will be sworn in as the President and Vice of the United States of America respectively. They will be along with their spouses, Jill Biden and Douglas Emhoff. They will conduct a review of the military and visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. They will be joined by three former presidents and their wives, who will also be present at the swearing-in: Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Watch the live coverage below:

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A conference on blockchain and health is scheduled to be held at the Africa Blockchain Developers Call.

Izunna Okpala

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The Africa Blockchain Developers Call (ABDC) Pan-African Bootcamp on blockchain technology has declared its intention to hold a weekend conference on incorporating blockchain technology into Africa’s health sector.

In an attempt to execute comprehensive blockchain training sessions and promote the implementation of specially designed applications for different sectors in Africa, the Bootcamp, officially launched on 5 September, has taken on a host of African developers.

The Bootcamp also features virtual weekend conferences on many use-cases for blockchain. These conferences are aimed at encouraging creative and comprehensive discussions on the implementation of blockchain technology in Africa, including platform presentations by businesses and panel sessions on many Blockchain issues. The first meeting, focusing on Blockchain in Finance, took place on September 5. It featured a keynote speech given by Professor Anicia Peters, University of Namibia Pro-Vice Chancellor for Science, Innovation and Development.

The next conference, scheduled to take place on October 3rd, will focus on the theme: Blockchain in Health. The keynote speech will be given by Arnab Paul, President of the Kolkata Chapter in India. Several organizations and startups will also give platform presentations via their representatives based on medical use cases for blockchain technology.

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HealthPlus is experiencing a power struggle 2 years after obtaining $18 m from Alta Semper Capital

Izunna Okpala

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A press release apparently released on September 25 by the Board of HealthPlus, one of the largest integrated pharmacy chains in West Africa, confirmed that the company no longer needed the services of its founder, Bukky George, as CEO.

The decision to terminate the appointment of George came with the announcement of Chidi Okoro, the interim leader.

Okoro, a renowned pharmacist and management executive, is to take on the position of Chief Officer of Transformation. Okoro, akin to the position of a CEO, can simplify day-to-day management, help the company scale, and achieve profitability.

And a letter that appears to be from the board of HealthPlus to the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) states that George “remains a shareholder of the company, a member of the board of the company, and may engage at board level in the company’s decision-making process.”

Afsane Jetha and Zachary Fond, Managing Partner & CEO, and Director of Alta Semper Capital, respectively, have signed it off.

From investment and partnership to a fight for power

Alta Semper Capital LLP is a private equity (PE) company that invests in Africa-wide healthcare and consumer businesses. In 2017, the PE company invested in Macro Pharma, a medicated cosmetics company in Egypt.

It made deals with HealthPlus and the Moroccan oncology and radiology clinic, Oncologie et Radiologie du Maroc (ODM), the following year.

The letter from Alta Semper Capital to the PCN

Source Techpoint

The HealthPlus investment was $18 million.

HealthPlus, founded by George in 1999, has expanded to more than 90 retail outlets, employing over 850 employees, including more than 150 pharmacists. In Nigeria, the company claims to be present in 11 of the 36 states in the world.

Operating branches in strategically placed suburban areas, airports, and shopping malls are also recognized.

Alta Semper Capital ‘s investment was to help HealthPlus grow its store footprint. In addition, to attract more talent, grow fulfillment centers and pursue initiatives in eCommerce.

The cash inflow, however, is said to have given the PE firm a majority stake in the company, which is one of the reasons why the company is facing problems at the moment.

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