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COVID-19 pushes Zoom to top of technology chat

Zoom

The need to keep social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus pandemic has forced governments, private organisations and many citizens across the world to adopt online video meeting. That has pushed up Zoom, a video telephony company, on top of technology chat.

Though COVID-19 is ravaging the entire world, halting almost all physical meeting of government officials, corporate companies and sports enthusiasts, technology is being explored to its fullest to carry the world’s activities moving online.

The Nigerian government recently joined the trend when it moved its weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting online, where it approved various sums of money for many projects in some states. This has helped to keep the state activities further moving as projects had earlier stalled after FEC was put on hold in March.

Apart from FEC, many other meetings and conferences have so far been conducted online with the help of an application created by Zoom.

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Zoom, the in-thing now in terms of conferencing, meetings, trading and even religious activities; is now one of the most used app now across the world. Zoom is taking over the technology world, no thanks to COVID-19.

But how does the technology works? Before a user is able to log on to Zoom, it has to be downloaded first. This means that one has to have a smart-phone or other devices like computer, pad, among others.

Not only that, one has to have internet to be able to download the app. The app could be downloaded on Google play-store or downloaded directly by visiting Zoom’s website.

After downloading the Zoom app, it is now ready to use for High Definition (very clear) video meeting of up to 100 people with opportunity for screen sharing.

Though it is said to be free by Zoom, one has to buy internet or data from any local provider to be able use the video app.

Zoom Video Communications Incorporated is an American communications technology company with headquarters in San Jose, California. It provides video-telephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform, and is used for teleconferencing , telecommuting, distance education and social relations.

Its business strategy focuses on providing an easier-to-use product than competitors, as well as cost savings, which include minimising computational costs at the infrastructure level and having a high degree of employee efficiency.

A former Cisco Webex engineer and executive, Eric Yuan, founded Zoom in 2011 and launched its software in 2013.

Its aggressive revenue growth and perceived ease of use and reliability of its software, resulted in a $1billion valuation in 201, making it a “unicorn” company.

The company first became profitable in 2019 with a revenue of $622m and a net income of $21m the same year. Its total assets that year hit $1.289bn. That year, the company also completed an initial public offering. Its total equity is $833m.

The company has a total of 2,532 employees and it joined the NASDAQ-100 stock index on April 30, 2020.

Beginning in early 2020, Zoom’s software saw increased use following the quarantine measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But its software products have faced public and media scrutiny related to security and privacy issues. Some countries have warned their citizens to be wary of using the app.

Apart from this, internet access has also stood in the way of the app, especially in many developing countries like Nigeria.

This is why some experts called for temporary spectrum assignment to some operators to address poor internet network.

Stakeholders in the telecommunications space have been divided, with some backing the call, while others are seeking an alternative approach to address quality of service provisioning.

Spectrum is the radio frequencies on which data and information are carried.

Mobile operators have long argued that access to spectrum will help reduce the cost of mobile data because it will allow them to cover a wider geographical area with existing towers while carrying more data traffic.

The president, Association of Telecommunications Company of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, an engineer, who supported the call, said ATCON believed strongly in government incentivising and putting in place measures that will improve their members’ ability to render improved quality of service (QoS) and customer experience to those that are working remotely and especially those workers that are directly supporting the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “The assignment of temporary spectrum to operators that have acquired spectrum through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is fully supported and ATCON believes that this will be a great gesture by government in aiding the delivery of internet services to households.”

Meanwhile, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has urged Nigerian youths to embrace information technology creativity and innovation as an essential tool for harnessing economic potentials for expanding opportunities and solutions towards arresting the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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