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FG Hands Over $200m NRTP to Operators in April

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Ministry of Communications Technology said it is waiting for the final confirmation by the federal executive council (FEC) to handover the National Rural Telephony Project (NRTP) to operators that emerged preferred bidders to operate the networks across the country.

Barring any unforeseen delays, the ministry, said that the transaction will be rectified between now and March and that the winners will take over the project.

The National Rural Telephony Project, the little successful $200 million project was conceived in 2001 to take telephony services to the rural areas.

The project has however been caught in a web of confusion, claims and counter charges with fingers pointing left and right.

Engr. John Ayodele, director of Posts and Telecommunications in the ministry of Communications Technology, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that his ministry will conclude the protracted deal by April.

Ayodele said that the date is based on budgetary approval which the ministry has appropriated for in the 2014 budget and is waiting for approval.

He added that every necessary approvals for the conclusion of the transaction between the ministry and the preferred bidders have been secured except the final confirmation by the federal executive council (FEC) of presidential approval, which is expected to be rectified between now and March this year.

“The Ministry of Communications Technology is committed to conclusion of this transaction; we have included it in our 2014 budget of the ministry and is waiting for budgetary approval. When our budget for the year is approved, all that we need to do is to get federal executive council to rectify President Goodluck Jonathan’s approval of the transaction. Once all these are done, we are looking at handing over the networks to the preferred bidders by April this year,” he stated.

It would be recalled that federal government in July last year began concerted efforts towards concluding the transaction with the inauguration a new board which has Senator Ken Nnamani as chairman.

Other members of the board were Senator Anyin Pius Anyim, secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), minister of Justice; Dr Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, minister of Finance; and Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others.

The NRTP inaugurated under former President Obasanjo’s first term in office, was to cover 218 Local Government Areas (LGA) in the first phase and provide over 636,256 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), lines in the 774 LGAs and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the second phase to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas.

Three Chinese companies– ZTE Corporation, Huawei and Shagai Bell – were awarded the contract at the sum of $200 million.

The Federal Government had borrowed the above amount from the China Export and Import (EXIM) Bank, while it provided 15 per cent counterpart funding of N5 billion for the execution of the project.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that the Chinese companies failed to deliver on the project prompting the federal government to transfer the first phase of the project to five indigenous telecommunications companies namely: Key Communications Limited, Suburban Broadband Limited, Voicewares Network Limited, Gicell Wireless Limited and Hezonic

Engr. Gerry Ekesiani, chief executive officer, Voicewares Networks Limited, one of the operators of the project that won the contract to operate South-east and Benue exchange, said that stakeholders in the project which are operators and ministry of Communications Technology have engaged in meetings in order to resolve outstanding issues that are delaying full take off of the project.

He stated that continue delay of the project is jeopardizing full realization of the project, adding that the 800MGH frequency allocated to them is no longer suitable for delivery of broadband and that had it being that the project has taken off the current plan by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to license 2.3Ghz spectrum would have been an opportunity for them to upgrade to 2.3Ghz.

He explained that 2.3Ghz is robust for broadband service delivery which NRTP is designed for.

Ekesiani added that the continued delay in the rollout of services is causing Association of Rural Telephony Operators of Nigeria (ARTON) financial losses while the equipment have become object of vandals and thieves.

Among the companies that emerged preferred bidders in the various zones are, Suburban Limited (now Telefund Ltd) emerging for Abuja and Kaduna zones respectively; Gicel Wireless emerging for Bauchi Zone; Voicewares Networks Limited for Enugu Zone; Key Communications for Ibadan Zone and Hezonic for PortHarcount Zone. 


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Telecom

Glo Simplifies Customers’ Access to Company’s Information

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Globacom has demystified what used to be a cumbersome task of getting company’s information from its website, a situation that had in the past, frustrated several customers from getting relevant information from company’s website.

It is now easy for companies and organizations to give their stakeholders free access to their websites through a service called Sponsored Data on the Globacom network.

Through the service, customers and other members of the public will be able to browse the website of the sponsoring company even when the members of public have no active data subscription.

Explaining the service, Globacom said companies would be able to buy data buckets and subsequently allow their existing and prospective customers or any other member of the public to access their websites, apps and other data services without having to expend their own data. The cost of access by the end-user is borne by the sponsoring companies.

Globacom in a statement disclosed that Sponsored Data service is a more targeted and effective method of inducing trial of the sponsoring company’s digital products as well as free trial and free sampling of its content.

The telecom operator said the service would give better return on investment (ROI) to the sponsoring companies, adding that it will facilitate over 70 per cent increase in customer engagement and foster incremental revenue through the engagement of new customers. The company said this service would be particularly beneficial to betting companies, IT and Technology companies, manufacturing concerns, banks, schools and others.

Globacom said staff of the sponsoring companies who are on the Glo network could also benefit from the sponsored data plans.

According to Globacom, there are various options for companies and organisations wishing to use the sponsored service as they are free to choose from sponsored data buckets ranging from 200GB to 50TB, according to their needs.

Globacom said “the plans are already available on the network and are valid for renewable 30 days.”

Globacom said it would continue to come out with solutions that would boost customer’s experience, especially at the period of CoVID-19 that has increased online activities of organisations, since most customers and staff of organisations have shifted to online activities in order to align with the new normal, brought about by COVID-19 pandemic that has negatively impacted on businesses.


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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Inspired by Fans for the Fans

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has revealed the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE), the newest member of the Galaxy S20 series. Galaxy S20 FE is a premium flagship smartphone that includes innovations Galaxy fans told us they love most, and it is also made available at an accessible price point.

COVID-19 disrupted the world as we knew it and technology is now playing a more crucial role in our lives and that is why we created Galaxy S20 FE; to deliver flagship experiences to more consumers.

Samsung took select features of the Galaxy S20 series, such as the super smooth scrolling display, an AI-powered camera, advanced chipset, hyper-fast connectivity, all day battery, expandable storage, with a streamlined premium design, in order to create the all-new Galaxy S20 FE.

“The S20 FE is an extension of the Galaxy S20 family and is the start of a new way to bring meaningful innovation to even more people to let them do the things they love with the best of Galaxy.” Says Mr. Caden Yu, the Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa

All you want, to do what you love

Express the best of yourself when out on a day trip or at night catching fun with a pop of color that reflects your personal style, attitude and personality. The S20 FE comes in variant colors of Cloud Red, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint and Cloud Navy.

With the S20 FE, the fun never stops. The pro grade camera and 30X Space zoom help you capture memorable moments whether near or far at day time.

Plus, the night mode multi-frame and powerful performance gets you through the fun nights and the 4500mAH battery keeps you on all day with little in between time to recharge using the 15W fast charging.

And since life can be unpredictable, the Galaxy S20 FE is water and dust resistant; IP68 rated. Better yet, when accidents happens, one can rest easy knowing the 24 months warranty and Screen repair offer that comes with Pre order has got your back.

Pre order

The S20 FE is available for pre order from the 9th of October with a Wireless Bluetooth earphones, Clear Standing cover and Screen repair offer. You also get a 4 month Free Subscription on YouTube premium. Trade In Discount Offer also available from Pre order. Trade in your old phones and enjoy discount on the S20 FE

Launch

The S20 FE would be officially available in the market from the 23rd of October. Visit any of our Samsung Experience Store nationwide for an amazing and pleasurable experience.

Device Specifications

With its variants of colors, S20 FE comes with a 6GB RAM/128GB ROM, a long lasting battery of 4500mAh with 15W fast charging, a 32MP selfie camera and a 120Hz Super-Amoled display.


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MTN Revv Programme: Experts Train SMEs on Customer Experience and Data Analytics

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Experts at the latest edition of the Revv Programme masterclass have trained SME owners how to improve customer experience and maximise data analytics to scale their business growth.

 

The virtual conference themed: “Redefining customer experience through effective customer relationship management and data analytics” which was held on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

 

Panelists at the conference included the Olubayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria,  Ugonwa Nwoye, Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adenike Ogunlesi, founder and Chief Responsibility Officer, Ruff N’ Tumble,  Chairman, Fasmi CRO Group, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe and Principal consultant, Niche Customer Experience Consulting Firm, Debbie Akwara.

 

Olubayo Adekanmbi, who is an astute business leader and recognised data scientist, shared insights on the customer mindset in a post-COVID economy.

 

According to him, “Even though we are in a new normal, we are still dealing with a person who has the capacity to adjust to every environment.

 

“As SMEs we have to observe the environment, learn from it and take actions accordingly”.

 

Ugonwa Nwoye brings over 25 years of management experience across industries including Oil and Gas.

 

She advised the participating SMEs to pay attention to diverse customer channels as they arise.

 

“You need to meet the customers where they are. To achieve this, a good customer database is essential. You need to know the kind of channels your customer wants to be reached.”

 

While sharing her experience as an entrepreneur of over three decades, Adenike Ogunlesi emphasized that customers want to feel good where they spend their money.

 

“The most important thing is that regardless of the technological tools you deploy today, it is all about the experiential economy which is the way you make people feel.”

 

While thanking MTN for the Revv initiative she noted, “This sort of platform allows SMEs to learn much quicker than the opportunity we got thirty years ago, well done to MTN”.

 

The Revv Programme was launched in August by MTN Nigeria as an initiative to train over 10,000 SMEs by adopting a four-pronged approach that includes masterclass sessions, support with productivity tools, access to market and advisory initiatives.

 

The programme seeks to help SMEs relearn, readjust, and retool their businesses in a post-COVID economy.

 

Since inception, over 5,000 entrepreneurs have attended the Revv masterclasses with more than thirty business leaders and industry experts across different sectors facilitating the sessions.

 

Participants at the masterclasses have been enjoined to take full advantage of the programme for a chance to join Y’ello 200, an accelerator programme by MTN Nigeria where select small business owners will access a broad range of technology and productivity support tools in addition to expert advisory.

 


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