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Technology

What is 5G network?

5G-first-review-

And now 5G network is here…!

You just might be wondering what 5G has to offer when 3G and 4G are yet to circulate especially in Nigeria, don’t worry, we are both wondering together.

What is 5G really?

Before I dabble more on 5G network, I believe we have learned one or two things about it’s (5G) predecessors, I mean 1G,2G,3G and 4G but if not, no need to worry, here’s all you need to know about 1G,2G,3G and 4G network

So 5G network is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. The rate at which data are being transmitted on 5G networks on average is as high as 1gbps yippe..! Isn’t that awesome, I believe now is the best time to throw away that GLO sim for good. The speed, capacity and latency aren’t the only great things about 5G network, but there are lots and lots of things to be used with 5G network. Some of them are listed below:

IoT(Internet of Things): Internet of things will be made easy. The fact that you can talk to your car from your bedroom or talk to your TV in your office from your car is something everybody should look up to. In a nutshell, 5G will enable you connect with all your devices and sign them together. Have you ever imagine you are in your office and you got notified that your refrigerator is being opened in your kitchen? Awesome right? Yeah!

What IoT looks like.

Self-Driving cars: The era has come when you are approaching a particular street or road and you got notified that there is traffic 50meters ahead of you or there is a road block along your path, then you get to tell your car to change route to any available route which is faster and better than joining an ongoing 3hrs Lagos traffic…lol. Also your car gets to communicate with other cars and it can be as funny as your car telling the next car to it that ‘you know am your senior’..lol

The question now is when will 5G launch in Nigeria?

Well, according to Vanguard on June 4th 2019, it was stated by NCC (Nigeria Communication Network) that Nigeria is ready for 5G networks, so we are hoping very soon we start having devices that are 5G-ready in Nigeria. Although, other countries like UK and US launched 5G network early this year and it was stated that by 2020, 5G network will be operating all over the world. The future of technology is here already.

My own personal question is this: Instead of possibly trying to get a new device that supports 5G, why can’t it be possible to just upgrade the available ones to work with the new 5G network?

What do you think?

Leave a comment if you agree with me.

 

Read: Phones don’t talk to each other

 

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Technology

SOFTWARE HELP FUNCTION

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The function of HELP in a real life situation is the same as the techie use of HELP. Take for example, you are going to a new address and you need to locate the house you want to visit, you ask people around for help so as to get direction in order to avoid being lost or possibly robbed or even getting kidnapped if entered a wrong neighborhood or house.

I could remember a time like that I traveled with my boss, we needed to locate a particular place even though the place seemed familiar to my boss, but then, we couldn’t locate the place until we asked a few people for help. In fact we passed the same place twice before we got back on track that day.

Have you ever wondered what the word ‘HELP’ is doing on a website, software or sometimes called an application? Ok, don’t worry, sit back and relax, I will tell you the major functions of ‘HELP’ even though some software or sites use ‘support’ instead.

‘HELP’, as it is generally used and known, is just like the customer care agents in a bank or some cooperate firms, those people are there to attend to your heart-troubling questions, give directions on a new product or even to direct you to the best place where your ‘issues’ can be resolved. So also is the function of ‘HELP on those websites, software or applications on your laptop, phones or other gadgets.

If you want to learn about the new software you just installed, you don’t have to stress yourself, all you need to do is look for the ‘help’ menu or icon and you are good to go. You can also explore the site software to know more about its functionalities by clicking the ‘help’ button.

I could remember when I wanted to learn more about Microsoft Excel’s data analysis function, all I did was click on the blue icon with a question mark at the extreme right hand side of the application, Boom! My question was answered and I was directed on how to get the menu added to my menus. Then I was able to use the application for that purpose.

However, some websites use online chatting as their ‘help’ or support function. If you are on a particular site and you need to perform certain transactions and you probably don’t know how to go about it. Just click on their ‘help’ or support function or their contact number and speak to their agents, which will save you from a lot of worries and wasting of time perambulating on the site. Loftysms.com is a typical example of such a site that allows you to chat with their agents to help you with any difficulties on the site.

HOW DO I IDENTIFY ‘HELP’ FUNCTION?

‘Help’ function comes in different ways or forms; some can be part of the menus on the application while some can be a button that you just click and it pops up the window, there are some that can be an icon like on Microsoft Office applications, and there are some that are written as ‘support’. Some can put theirs as part of some options on the application like on google chrome browser; you will only see it when you click on an icon that looks like three dots (…) in a portrait format. Even Facebook has a ‘quick help’ in case you need to get clarified on anything.

This article is basically to let you know that there are ways to know more about a website or software. The ‘help’ menu or button is there to basically help you achieve your purpose and to help you get your work done easily and much faster. You can try it today. Just go to that famous Ms. Word and click on the blue icon at the extreme right hand side of the application, yeah! It has a question mark on it. Click on it and ask any question. Did I just put a smile on your face? Everything doesn’t have to be Google-related or internet-based. There are easier and faster ways of doing things.

I hope I have been able to add to your knowledge, now go out there and enlighten others too as no one is an island of knowledge.

Read phones don’t talk to each other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence: Loss or creation of jobs?

what-is-artificial-intelligence-or-machine-learning-weproms-lahore

THE HUMAN CUMULUS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL CREATE NEW KINDS OF WORK

(Humans will supply digital services to complement AI)

Living in this generation full of technological advancements is a great privilege; however, the importance of artificial intelligence needs to be made known in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. Gone are the days when almost everything was done manually, taking a lot of time, energy, resources and money. But now, we live in the time where a lot of simple and complex work is being done by machines, software and various automatic processes.

Looking back on some decades back, it seems wise to conclude that fears and concerns regarding AI are understandable but basically needless. Technological change may eliminate certain jobs, but it has always created more jobs in the process.

A typical example is the card reader device used during elections, when it was first introduced; it was kicked against by so many people in the name of it was going to take the job of most independent electoral commission (INEC) staffs, but on the contrary it provided more jobs even for the youths in the country. Another example is the Automated teller machine (ATM), what came to peoples’ mind at the point of introduction was all banks staff will be sacked, redundant or rendered useless but as we can see today it’s an ease on their jobs and to the society at large.

Fears about the impact of technology on jobs have resurfaced periodically ever since. The latest bout of anxiety concerns the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI). Once again, however, technology is creating demand for work. To take one example, more and more people are supplying digital services online via what is sometimes dubbed the “human cloud”. Counter-intuitively, many are doing so in response to AI.

According to the World Bank, more than 5m people already offer to work remotely on online marketplaces such as Freelancer.com and UpWork. Jobs range from designing websites to writing legal briefs, and typically bring in at least a few dollars an hour. In 2016 such firms earned about $6bn in revenue, according to Staffing Industry Analysts, a market researcher. Those who prefer work in smaller bites can use “micro-work” sites such as Mechanical Turk, a service operated by Amazon. About 500,000 “Turkers” perform tasks such as transcribing bits of audio, often earning no more than a few cents for each “human-intelligence task”.

It is a known fact that banks have numerous activities on a day to day basis that need to be done accurately. Most of the activities take a lot of time and efforts from the employees and at times human error is inevitable. Some of the works that banks and financial institutions handle are investing money in stocks, financial operations, managing various properties, etc. With the use of AI system in this process, the institutions are able to achieve efficient results in a quick turnaround time. The strategic implementation of artificial implementation in the bank can help them to focus on every customer, and provide them quick resolution. The customers are happy at all times, as they can get quick service for all their banking and financial needs.

AI will eliminate some forms of this digital labour—software, for instance, has got better at transcribing audio. Yet AI will also create demand for other types of digital work. The technology may use a lot of computing power and fancy mathematics, but it also relies on data distilled by humans. For autonomous cars to recognize road signs and pedestrians, algorithms must be trained by feeding them lots of video showing both. That footage needs to be manually “tagged”, meaning that road signs and pedestrians have to be marked as such. This labelling already keeps thousands busy. Once an algorithm is put to work, humans must check whether it does a good job and give feedback to improve it.

You might expect humans to be taken out of the loop as algorithms improve. But this is unlikely to happen soon, if ever, says Mary Gray, who works for Microsoft’s research arm. Algorithms may eventually become clever enough to handle some tasks on their own and to learn by themselves. But consumers and companies will also expect ever-smarter AI services: digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana will have to answer more complex questions. Humans will still be needed to train algorithms and handle exceptions.

Although there are employees that are at high risk of losing their jobs to AI development, but no matter how advanced and super-efficient AI may become, some jobs are always done better by humans, jobs like medicine, nursing, vocational jobs like hairdressing, barbing likewise personal trainers.

It is known that each time new technology is to be introduced, the anxiety and fear that it is going to cost some people their jobs or lives have been the major problem of most Africans, but the reverse is always the case as these new technologies tend to bring about creation of new jobs and opportunities, taking for instance, the subsistent farmers of the olden days who were formerly afraid of mechanized farming are the ones that are enjoying the opportunities in the new system of farming.

Artificial Intelligence will not lead to mass unemployment, but it will shake up the foundation of many companies that rely on outdated technologies, which will result in huge losses and then layoffs. Those companies that will embrace it will disrupt the industry and speed up the existing trend of computer-related automation which will enable their employees to learn new skills more quickly than in the past. If AI is made prominent in Nigeria and Africa, it will enable us think deeply; look for problems around us and to proffer better solutions.

In conclusion, there are numerous benefits of understanding and replicating the brand in artificial intelligence. Apart from treating the brain injuries, diseases, advancements in communication technology, computer simulations, understanding the brain will help to design machines that have a more powerful impact towards the society. Even today we see machines that are capable of performing voice recognition, provide the response to human prompts, monitor and sense the human activities on a day to day basis. However, the future holds much more than what we are able to accomplish today

Artificial Intelligence plays a very important role in not just the development of business and processes but also the humans to the next level. With the rapid growth in technology and development, we can expect a lot more exciting features and uses of AI in the future.

Read Phones don’t talk to each other

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Technology

All you need to know about 2,3,4G Internet

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I recently relocated to Ibadan, the headquarter of western part of Nigeria and the home base of Bytelabs Technologies Limited to be specific. I’m really happy to be in town again, but I’m super excited about the fact that I can now use 4G internet ( at a constant 400 Kbps average) almost everywhere. ( If you’re reading this from Europe, please do not snicker, 3G was like the best we got around here).

So, what’s my excitement all about. Of course we all know 4G is faster than 3G, and 3G is faster than 2G, and 2G is faster than 1G (Yes, there is 1G technology, introduced in the 1980’s). Let’s take a lesson.

The G in 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G stands for Generation, and they refer to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation of wireless technology respectively. These generations are essentially a set of standards, protocols and technological specification for wireless data transmission. Each generation is faster, more secure and more reliable than the previous. Lets take a look at them.

1G Internet

1G – 1G was offered in analog technology (If you’re not too young, you could probably remember phones that look like this).

The analog 1G offered simple telephony service without data. Cell phones began with 1G in the 1980s. The phones generally had poor battery life and voice quality was large without much security. Dropped calls were also very frequent. The max speed of 1G is 2.4 Kbps.

2G Internet

2G – 2G signals are transmitted in digital format in GSM (Global System for mobile communication) and CDMA(Code-division multiple access) technologies. It delivered digital signal and offered up to 250Kbps speed. Supports voice, text and data services. This generation pioneered secure and reliable communication channels. Note that 2G internet services only came after the establishment of 3G.

3G Internet

3G – At least 200Kbps up to 3Mbps speed. It provided better bandwidth and better connectivity even during motion(like in a car). An interim step was taken from 3G to 4G by developing 3.5G or HSPA (High Speed Packet Access , usually characterized by the H or H+ signal indicator) for better data communication and to maintain 4G compatibility.

4G Internet

4G – 4G delivers up to 100Mbps for mobile access, and up to 1Gbps for wireless access. The best aspect of 4G is the use of data/internet services for everything. Even voice call is done over internet as there is no separate voice channel.
4G LTE – LTE (Long Term Evolution) is one of the two standards offered within 4G, and WiMax being the second one. The specification calls for downlink speed of up to 300Mbps and uplink speed of up to 75Mbps.

Some countries are actually rolling out 4.5G services already as a precursor to 5G technology expected to be deployed in 2020. To the end-user, all that really matters is just speed, speed and more speed. So, 4G actually looks really good. Just remember, you need a 4G enable mobile phone, and a 4G enabled sim card.

Interestingly, I’ve never managed to get more than 1.1Mbps out of my new 4G sim card. Users of some other wireless providers also hardly get up to 3Mbps 4G speed. That is because most wireless carriers claiming that they offer 4G network are actually offering HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) optimized to 6Mbps speed (and you know you can hardly ever get full speed).

Now you know what the G’s mean.

Note: Kbps – Kilobyte per second
Mbps – Megabyte per second.

 

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Technology

PHONES DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER

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The  number of mobile phones in the world is almost double the number of humans. That’s actually easy to understand, given the fact that you most likely have a mobile phone and you definitely know someone who uses two or three phones. As many as they are, phones do not talk (at least, not in the way we think).

That is not to imply that mobile phones never communicate directly. Wired and wireless technologies such as infrared, Bluetooth etc. make that very possible. What I’m stating is the fact that a mobile phone does not actually call another mobile phone directly. It has to go through a network mast. I know you’ve seen network masts around. They look like the one below:

To put this in the Nigerian context now, there are a few phrases almost all of us have memorized already:

  • “The number you are trying to reach is not reachable at the moment, please try again later…….”
  • “The number you are trying to call is not available, you can leave a message at regular call charges……..”
  • “The number you are calling cannot be reached………”

Whichever of the above messages (or their variants) we get from network providers when trying to make a call, we do know that the person’s phone is most likely not switched off. For some reasons ( reasons that are not actually as strange as we think), the destination cell phone just can’t be reached. Most people who think these messages can only be caused by long distances between caller and recipient are usually stunned when they perform the simple experiment of calling two mobile phones side by side and sometimes still getting the “not reachable” statement. It makes you wonder what is actually happening when you make phone calls. Let me explain.

Can Phones call Each other?

Technically, yes. The exact same way walkie talkies work ( you might be familiar with that). A walkie-talkie is simply a two-way radio. Multiple devices operating on the same frequencies. If you know a thing or two about walkie talkies though, you will know that:

  1. Only one person can talk at a time.
  2. Someone else could easily tune in to the same frequency on their radio and listen to your entire conversation.
  3. They are highly restricted by range. That means they can’t cover much distance.
  4. Sound is usually not very clear as there is a lot of static interference.

How phones connect

Reasons number 1 and 2 are the major reasons cellphones cannot be made to work like walkie talkies, which is why, no matter how close phone are physically, a call from one phone cannot go directly to the other phone. It has to pass through a mast. By definition, Cellphones (also known as cellular phones and, chiefly in Europe, as mobile phones or mobiles) are radio telephones that route their calls through a network of masts linked to the main public telephone network. I’ll let you figure that out with this diagram:

So, when you dial a number on your mobile phone, the signal goes from your phone to the nearest telephone mast, then to another telephone mast/base station, then another, and another, and the next, until it gets to the mast nearest to your called phone.  Sometimes, signals jump through hundreds of masts ( and more) to get to their destination. SMS (Short Messaging Service) and  Bulk SMS platforms (such as LoftySMS )  go through the same process before delivering messages to your phone. Only mobile internet does not follow suit.

If you look at this scenario, there are potentials for so many things to go wrong along the way. Signals get lost, lines and voices get scrambled, sounds get gabbled, etc. It doesn’t happen every time, but it certainly does.

The cause of the problem

When call signals can’t get to their destinations, it’s usually because of some factors such as:

  • Heavy rainfall : Water reflects radio waves, therefore, your call signals might find it difficult to even leave your vicinity.
  • Storms: Masts can get damaged by heavy winds. Though they are designed to easily fallback to the nearest option, multiple damages to multiple masts in a particular location will lead to very poor or no cell signal
  • High Call Traffic: This usually happens around festive periods when the volume of calls made go up astronomically. When a masts capability is stretched to the limit, it has no choice but to put your call on hold till space frees up for it to go through. That’s when you usually get the cryptic message “Network Busy”.

The hope..

Nobody likes it when their calls don’t go through, and for Nigerians, I have good news concerning this. A new network provider ( M7tel ) is coming soon with the technology and infrastructure to eliminate all the network issues in Nigeria telecommunications.  Soon as it launches, I’m very sure that “numbers not reachable/available” will be a thing of the past in Nigeria.

To conclude, there  are many factors & technologies surrounding phone communication. This article has hopefully summarized a few of the basics that you need to know. So, the next time your phone says “The number you are calling cannot be reached”, you have an idea of what’s going on.

 

 

 

 

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