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CPN Urges Government to Eliminate Barriers to 5G Deployment

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Computers Professionals Council of Nigeria (CPN) has called on the Federal Government to play its part to ease the entrant of the 5G Network technology in Nigeria whilst highlighting the importance of embracing the 5G network into the country’s economy.

CPN Urges Government to Eliminate Barriers to 5G Deployment

Engr. Deus Uche Osuji, the keynote speaker at annual Information Technology Assembly which was held virtually this year, noted the challenges and the prospects of the new technology.

This event is in consonant with the enormous efforts of the National Communications Commission and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy towards easing the entrants of the 5G Technology through reduction of cost of installation, quick and affordable access to citizens and more.

According to a statement signed by Prof. Charles O. Uwadia, council’s president andcChairman-in-Council, and , Allwell C. Achumba, registrar and secretary-in-Council, the theme of this year’s assembly “Adoption of 5G in Nigeria: The Technological and Regulatory Challenges” was carefully selected to address all the misgivings, misinterpretations and misconceptions surrounding the issue of adoption and deployment of the 5G network in Nigeria.

In his presentation, Engr. Deus Uche Osuji who is general manager, Network Services at MTN Nigeria, said aside the numerous advantages which include faster internet connection, smoother user experience and huge deployment of Information Technology to drive growth and development of industries, the 5G network will fast track Nigeria’s economic growth and migrate us fully into a digital economy.

As part of the recommendations from the event, the CPN wanted  the federal government to intensify on their efforts at providing stable power supply to Nigerians so that citizens can enjoy the new technology once deployed.

Besides that, it said the cost of installing the technology had been quite disturbing for investors, while  also appealed to the necessary government agencies to reduce the cost of installing the technology.

“This will in turn reduce the cost of purchasing a 5G device thereby easing access to the benefits of the technology by all and sundry,” the statement said.

“Most importantly, the CPN enjoined the federal government to declare Information Technology and Telecommunications as a critical national infrastructure to facilitate the success of the national broadband strategy.”

The statement further said the adoption of 5G Network in Nigeria will bring about transformation in the country in the area of smart city, smart transportation, efficiency in medicine as well as a lot of automation in respect of our appliances and devices with respect to Internet of Things (IoT).

“For the CPN’s President, Professor Charles O. Uwadia, this year’s assembly is a testament to the Council’s commitment towards achieving a successful virtual conference despite the challenges posed by the corona virus pandemic. The Council has delivered on its mandate to convoke a world-class Virtual IT Professionals’ Assembly worthy of emulation by other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” the statement said.


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FG Orders Airtel to Fix Network, Respond to Customers’ Complaints

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Federal Government has given Airtel Nigeria three days to fix its network and respond to customers’ complaints.

FG Orders Airtel to Fix Network, Respond to Customers’ Complaints

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, gave the directive through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In a tweet on his Twitter handle @DrIsaPantami, Pantami told the NCC to investigate the customers’ complaints against Airtel Nigeria and report their findings to his office before Friday this week.

Please @NgComCommission, there are so many complaints about @AirtelNigeria reaching me yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday). Investigate the complaint, ensure justice and send a report to me within three working days. In addition, customers/citizens must be respected and protected. Best wishes!”, the minister said.

Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators (ALTON) had last week, said that there were fluctuations in data and voice calls across the country due to damage to some telecom facilities.

“Unfortunately, some of our member operators experienced outages on their networks on Tuesday evening and this still subsists till the moment’’, ALTON said.

The operators said the outages had been compounded by power and other operations-related issues that had occurred across some major routes in Lagos metropolis and other states resulting in congestion of networks and impact on quality of services.

They appealed to subscribers to bear with them and be patient.


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Liquid Telecom Commences Construction of $100M Datacentre in Lagos

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Liquid Telecom’s Africa Data Centres, pan-African network of interconnected, carrier-and cloud-neutral datacentres, has embarked on the construction of what it describes as one of the largest datacentres on the continent – a US$100-million site in Lagos.

Liquid Telecom operates five datacentres in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa.

In a statement Liquid Telecom said it has raised US$307-million through a rights issue to fund its datacentre expansion strategy in Africa.

According to the statement, the rights issue includes an additional US$40m from UK development finance institution CDC Group.

The newly established datacentre will be located on a five-acre site in Lagos.

Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman of the Liquid Telecom Group confirmed that Africa Data Centres was working on the construction of the “largest datacentre on the continent outside of South Africa.”

Masiyiwa said the datacentre would increase access to more affordable cloud services.

“As long as you have infrastructure that is not local, there are going to be costs associated with accessing that infrastructure. So, by building the datacentres locally, you remove the costs associated with an end-user accessing this data by moving through different countries to find where the data is.”

He added that establishing datacentres locally results in lower latency for end users since they are physically closer to the data as well.

The expectation is that the datacentre will drive investment into Nigeria and create “thousands” of tech jobs, although the company has not confirmed exactly how many or specifically what kind of jobs this entails.

In May this year Masiyiwa confirmed the company’s plans to enter West Africa were at an advanced stage and the company had secured land to build datacentres in Ghana and Nigeria.

In August Africa Data Centres entered into a supply agreement with Egypt’s Benya Cables to source fibre optic technology infrastructure across seven countries on the continent.


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Fintech Anchors MTN Post-COVID-19 Recovery in Nigeria

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MTN Nigeria recovered from elevated volatility caused by COVID-19 to record massive revenue growth from digital and fintech services in the nine months ended 30 September.

During the period under review, MTN says, it experienced volatility in both voice and data revenue, affecting the trajectory of its overall service revenue, as well as pressure on costs, which continue to impact operating margins.

However, MTN says after undergoing an unstable second quarter (Q2), it has seen a normalisation of traffic as lockdown restrictions have been removed, with a recovery in voice traffic and continued growth in data.

This, the mobile carrier says, supported a 13.9% growth in service revenue, with an acceleration of growth to 16.5% in the third quarter (Q3) specifically.

Data revenue rose by 57%, with an increase in data usage and traffic. Revenue from digital and fintech services rose by 114.3% and 28.3% respectively, while voice revenue growth was 4.2%.

The Pan-African telecom group released MTN Nigeria unaudited results for the nine months ended 30 September today.

Ferdi Moolman, CEO, MTN Nigeria comments: “The growth in our digital business continued to accelerate from a low base, and our fintech business delivered impressive results. In Q3, we surpassed our year-end target of 300 000 registered

“Our fintech subscribers increased by 1.2 million in the quarter to 3.4 million, driving higher transaction volumes and fintech revenue growth.”

Furthermore, he says, in the same period, MTN saw a significant increase in its subscriber base with the addition of 3.9 million customers, bringing total subscribers to 75 million.

“Cumulative net additions totalled 10.7 million in the nine months to September 2020 − the first time we have exceeded 10 million additions in an annual cycle with one quarter remaining. We also connected 1.7 million new users to the Internet in Q3 (5.5 million for the nine months), bringing our active data subscribers to 30.7 million.”

To accommodate the increase in traffic, Moolman, who will be departing Nigeria next year, says MTN continued to invest in the capacity and resilience of its network, accelerating the 4G rollout and expanding investments in rural connectivity.

MTN Nigeria’s 4G network now covers 52.9% of the population, up from 48.6% in Q2 and 35.4% in Q3 2019.

In the nine months ending September, MTN’s EBITDA rose by 9.1%, supported by service revenue growth. However, the EBITDA margin declined by 2.3pp to 51.0%, which Moolman says was due to cost pressures arising mainly from increased investments in the network and the impact on costs of the depreciation to the Central Bank of Nigeria and NAFEX exchange rates.

For the period, profit before tax and earning per share declined by 0.6% and 3.3% respectively; however, MTN says, it saw a recovery in Q3 with a growth of 2.2% year-on-year in profit before tax and a marginal decline of 0.7% year-on-year in earning per share.

 

 


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