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Excellent quality of service non-negotiable in telecom industry – Maida

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Dr. Aminu Maida, executive vice chairman/chief executive officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that quality of service in the telecommunications sector is non-negotiable as he called for industry collaboration to make this a reality.

Maida, who spoke in Lagos at an interactive session with chief executive officers in the industry on Thursday, assured of collaborations within the industry and commitment to transparency in the telecom ecosystem.

He told the industry chieftains to appreciate that they have a very important role to play in an industry to consolidate on the achievements already recorded in the sector, which is an enabler of Nigeria’s digital economy.

Speaking as his confirmation as the substantive chief executive officer of the Commission was taking place at the Senate Chambers, Maida noted that the expectations of telecom consumers are very high.

“People actually expect telecom services to work. I don’t think they really appreciate what it takes to deliver these services. So, it has come to a stage they just see telecom service as utility like water and electricity. Like a social service, it needs to work. We need to really come together in the industry and deliver value to the customer,” he said.

He also spoke about compliance to industry regulations and standards. “When it comes to compliance, this is an area where we are going to be placing a lot more focus, and things are going to be a lot more urgent. I am not going to be asking for compliance after the fact. That is going to be a very key area of focus for me.

“So, we owe it to ourselves to benchmark ourselves against the best, not against other sectors. We have to just take ourselves as setting the benchmark for every person else. So, let people be comparing and say we have to be as good as telecom.”

On broadband, Maida said the Commission has a very short time to so much. “A lot has been done with the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) licensing. We just have e-imagine, look at it again, and see whether that is the right approach and reimagine how we approach it.

“We now need to start getting into the states, and perhaps we might need to sit down and see how we can do that differently. Again, on the broadband issue, we need to increase the investment,” he said.

The new NCC boss said that he considered operating entities as a very crucial segment of the national telecom development, hence his desire to hear directly from industry CEOs about the issues, challenges, and opportunities.

“We also have to be clear that this is not just a conversation about you representing your shareholders. This is a conversation about Nigeria.

“This is a conversation about moving Nigeria forward. So, your shareholders are one part of your stakeholders, but Nigerians are also another critical, in fact, your most important stakeholders.

“So, this conversation is going to be about you having your shareholders, but you also have Nigerians to whom you will have to deliver services,” he said.

The CEOs, who expressed delight at the consultative approach of the EVC, promised to work closely in support of Maida’s mandate.

President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Tony Emoekpere, said the industry is reassured by the steps that Maida has taken in convening the interactive session.

“We are really encouraged that your first action is to meet with us here at this interactive session. What you have done to invite us here to hear what we have to say is the right step,” he said.

Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, commended the interactive session for providing a platform for discussing the issues in the industry. He said the approach of the new boss of the NCC is very promising.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

Telecom

Nigerians Rush as Konga Slashes Prices of Starlink Satellite Internet Kits by 50 Percent

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Konga’s latest addition to its family of technology products, Starlink Satellite Internet Kits, has been met with overwhelming customer demand. The company is Starlink’s only authorised Shop-In-Shop eCommerce partner in Nigeria and provides immediate warranties on all Starlink kits bought from Konga.

Since the e-commerce giant broke the news of the price slash at 9pm on Tuesday night, shoppers in need of reliable, fast, low-latency internet services have trooped to konga.com to grab their share of the unbeatable deal on offer for the Space X engineered satellite kit. Until March of this year, the internet kits had been selling for N800,000 due to the devaluation of the Naira, and now go for N440,000 with the local currency regaining its strength.

As the clock races and limited stock runs out, our investigation confirms that those who purchased Starlink on Konga have begun to receive same-day delivery shipping for their orders in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Rivers State.

On its e-commerce website, the unprecedented surge in demand for the product saw web traffic triple in 4 hours as customers took advantage of the great pricing and seamless order process available via the authentic official Starlink store in Nigeria on Konga.

Konga is yet to reveal how many units of the product it will be releasing to the market at the current discounted price; however, insider reports indicate that there is limited stock available for a short time at this amount. For this reason, customers are encouraged to place their orders immediately.

According to the Head of Business for Konga’s commercial unit, Emmanuel Ekwedike, the online shopping platform always delivers deals that make sense. With the Starlink kits, while customers can buy online and have the orders shipped to their homes and offices nationwide, they can also visit any Konga retail outlet around the country to make an instant purchase.

In February, Konga announced the launch of Starlink kits on its platform with an initial selling price of N378,000 to great reviews. As the month advances, the excitement is still running high as users get high-end quality experiences from purchasing genuine kits and other products with global warranty at its retail outlets and online via the e-commerce portal.

Konga.com is Nigeria’s largest customer centric omnichannel online mall. It launched operations in July 2012 and is on a mission to become the engine of commerce and trade in Africa.

Starlink kits provide high-speed internet services to users around the world through advanced low-latency satellite technology, as a solution to internet disruptions caused by fibre cuts.


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New Salesforce-WhatsApp Integration brings Marketing and Service Conversations together

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Salesforce, the #1 AI CRM, announced the general availability of Unified Conversations for WhatsApp, which transforms one-way marketing promotions or service requests into dynamic, two-way conversations from a single WhatsApp number.

Instead of managing separate threads for promotions and support, customers can automatically receive personalised opt-in marketing promotions and individual support all within a single WhatsApp chat between a brand and customer.

This allows companies like Agibank to use data stored in Salesforce from across their more than 900 hubs within WhatsApp to deliver personalised loan proposals, resolve concerns faster, and better support customers — all in a single conversation.

Why it matters: Seventy-nine percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments and 75% want to communicate with brands using messaging. However, businesses aren’t meeting these expectations. Customers report that disconnected experiences are their top frustration when dealing with an organisation.

Salesforce perspective: “With more than two billion people using WhatsApp today, Salesforce’s new Unified Conversations for WhatsApp enables brands to connect with their customers where they are and have a single, connected, and trusted experience,” said Steve Hammond, EVP and GM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

“This helps brands break down barriers across their company and build stronger relationships throughout their customer’s journey, including natural handoffs from marketing to service teams, by driving the right personalised engagement, no matter where they are in the customer journey, at the right time and in the right context.”

Go deeper: Unified Conversations for WhatsApp is powered by Salesforce Data Cloud. Data Cloud allows companies to bring all of their trapped data into Salesforce and build a unified customer profile across all products, services, and interactions. This allows marketers and service agents to work off the same, shared customer profile and provides them with the relevant context needed to deliver trusted experiences across both departments in a single chat thread.

Innovation in action: By combining marketing and service conversations together in Unified Conversations for WhatsApp:

  • Marketers can segment audiences and create content for marketing campaigns while giving service agents a window into customers’ interactions to provide recommended next best actions using a single WhatsApp number.

  • Inside one WhatsApp conversation, healthcare organisations can schedule, confirm, and provide follow-up support for procedures and appointments.

  • Financial service institutions can prevent fraud by offering a single experience in WhatsApp to proactively verify and provide assistance for unusual transactions.

  • Travellers can respond to personalised trip offers and book experiences through chatbot-powered prompts in WhatsApp.

 


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Telecom

Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

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Meta the owner of Instagram is introducing a new safety feature to help protect teenagers from seeing unwanted nude photos in their direct messages.

Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

The feature will automatically blur out nude images if the recipient is identified as a teenager.

Meta said this safety measure is aimed at addressing three main problems.

First, teenagers sometimes receive nude photos that they didn’t ask for and don’t want to see.

Second, sending nude photos of teenagers, even if it’s the teenagers themselves sending them, can be against the law. And third, there are scams where teenagers, especially boys, are tricked into sending explicit photos and then blackmailed.

The tech giant is under mounting pressure in the United States and Europe over allegations that its apps were addictive and have fueled mental health issues among young people.

Meta said the protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages would use on-device machine learning to analyze whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

Meta, the company that owns Instagram, will use this technology to detect nude photos in direct messages. If the recipient is flagged as a teenager based on their birthdate, the photo will be blurred, and a warning message will appear.

Attorneys general of 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, sued the company in October, saying it repeatedly misled the public about the dangers of its platforms.

In Europe, the European Commission has sought information on how Meta protects children from illegal and harmful content.

 

 


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