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page 39 IT The second page The implications of Brexit on high technology Last week Thursday, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European…

page 39 IT

The second page

The implications of Brexit on high technology

Last week Thursday, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) after 43 years of membership. When the issue was tabled and eventually put to vote, many people inside and outside of UK did not take the issue seriously – with the thought and attitude that the UK would not divorce itself from its fellow Europeans. Obviously, the power of the will to be independent and the desire to determine one’s own destiny have been underestimated. Reasons given for the vote include the vengeance of the disenfranchised, who are basically the less privileged. For one thing, and for whatever it is worth, this seems to be democracy at work.

The decision had immediate effects – mostly negative – on businesses all over the world. Stocks plummeted; major currencies lost their values, especially the pound sterling, which saw its lowest value relative to the dollar since 1985. The British prime minister was the first real casualty, as he resigned his post to “allow others take Britain to the new land.”

The potential effects of UK’s decision to leave EU on the tech companies in UK and the rest of Europe will also probably be negative, at least on the short run. Consider these facts essentially taken from a BBC article written by Chris Baraniuk on 24 June 2016: a) At least 20% of digital businesses say that EU countries besides the UK are an important source of talent, b) Over half of European financial tech “unicorns” – that is, startups with capitalization of up to a billion dollars – are based in the UK, c) There are 21,000 jobs across the EU in mobile gaming – the UK has the largest single share with 5,000 full-time employees, d) Five million euros (£4.1m) in prizes are available for the development of clean technology from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, e) In total, the British private sector received £1.4 billion in funding from the EU in 2013, and f) Hundreds of start-ups have benefitted from the UK government’s Tech City initiative, for example, and both employees and customers “have been plucked from EU member states.”

The EU is currently in the process of allowing phone users enjoy movement from member state to member state without having to pay roaming fees. Telephone consumers from the new UK will lose out on this! The new EU net neutrality rules also won’t apply in the U.K., which could be unfortunate for consumers there.

Some in UK are more optimistic: “Technology is a sector that will only increase in importance and works without borders,” said Tudor Aw, head of technology at KPMG UK. “I therefore continue to see the UK tech sector as one that will not only withstand the immediate challenges of the referendum result, but one that will continue to grow and thrive.” (KMPG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services.) The BBC article states that David Cameron’s former adviser Rohan Silva, who is credited with helping to forge Tech City in the first place, was said to have tweeted a “rallying cry:” “I also believe that Britain will always be open, creative and entrepreneurial.” A chief executive and tech company co-founder David Galsworthy is quoted as saying that he had little doubt that London would continue to be “a central hub globally for this sector,” given how “interconnected the world is.”

Yet there are speculations that “some of the more mobile firms in the British tech sector will simply find it easier to migrate to hubs in the EU.” A significant decrease in new incorporations in London in favour of Berlin, as well as an influx of successful London start-ups into Berlin, is anticipated by an industry executive. There is also the possibility of domino effects: “In the event of a Scottish independence referendum that leads to reunification with the EU, it’s possible some start-ups could move north of the border. High tech work visas in and out of Britain may no longer be automatic.

One effect that Brexit will have on American tech firms – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and so on, is not difficult to predict, if Germany and France remain in the new EU. I have done many articles in this column on the ways in which the EU countries have always come down hard on the world’s leading high tech companies, which are invariably American. The UK had always served to soften the grip of these EU countries. With UK gone out of EU, the regulatory landscape in Europe for American high tech companies could be very rugged in deed. (The ruling of the EU Supreme Court on the Safe Harbor Agreement in October 2015 is quite fresh in our minds.)

The major outcomes of Brexit may take a year or longer to unfold.

LG introduces low energy consumption fridge into Nigeria market

By Zakariyya Adaramola

LG Electronics, has launched into the Nigerian market, 5-star rated frost-free Evercool Smart Inverter Refrigerator which can be powered with inverter, solar panels or generator ensuring that cooling is not in any way interrupted during power cuts.

A statement from the company at the weekend said it launched the new product in a bid to proffer lasting solution to the incessant power cut in the country.

“ The launched to meet the needs of Nigerian consumers distressed by constant power cuts who feel the need to have fresher foods as well as innovative technologies and products”, the statement said.

The LG Evercool Smart Inverter Refrigerator comes with the Inverter-ON mode feature which is automatically activated during power cut. The working Mechanism of “Inverter-On” is based on MICOM (mini-computer) which automatically detects the change of input voltage from Power-Cut and converts Normal Mode to “Inverter-On” Mode. Inverter-On mode automatically adjusts the temperature for both fridge & freezer compartment slightly higher to use the battery longer by consuming less energy.

Speaking on the product, Managing Director, LG Electronics West Africa operations, Mr. Seonghak Kim said: for us at LG Electronics We are excited to be unveiling the much awaited LG Evercool Inverter Smart 2.0 Refrigerator specifically designed for the Nigerian market with its inverter compatibility technology to keep food fresh even during power outages. The new Smart inverter compressor refrigerator fully meets international standards and is indeed one of the most advanced and energy efficient compressors you can find anywhere in the world”.

NITDA, DWTC discuss Nigeria’s participation at GITEX startup movement

Nigeria and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organisers of the annual GITEX Technology Week, have exchanged notes on how to better expose the country’s ICT startups featuring in this year’s Gitex Technology Week billed to hold in October.

Nigeria’s participation at the GITEX Startup Movement is being facilitated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

About 16 Nigerian startups will be joining over 400 startups and more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors and mentors from the global startup ecosystem which see about $100, 000 go to the winning startups.

“Nigeria is committed to promoting startups. It has even become more strategic as the country seeks to aggressively re-engineer its economy earn Forex from non-oil sectors. We are participating in the GITEX Startup Movement to expose our own startups and see how they can leverage on the event to improve their entrepreneurship. At NITDA, we believe that our youths have the wherewithal to excel anywhere in the world, what is needed is to build capacity in them and also give them exposure. We are glad to be working with you to gain these benefits,” a statement from quoted Dr Vincent Olatunji, the acting Director General of NITDA as saying.

Tecno unveils Pad+Phone device

By Zakariyya Adaramola

Tecno has announced the introduction of Pad + Phone device tagged Droipad 7 II phablet in the Nigeria market.

The development, according to the firm, was to consolidate its drive to become a major market player in the tablet and mini PCs segment in the country.

This device also fuses the computing ability of high-end tablets with top-of-the-line user experience of the Android lollipop OS on smart phones just like the earlier released Droipad 7C Pro.

The Marketing Lead, TECNO tablet Business Unit, Mr. Gbenga Oguntade said the launch of this Hybrid Droipad 7 II was due to the success that came with the Droipad 7C pro and the high demand by end users.

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