Gabriel Nwabueze, is a senior executive of Gionee Communications Equipment Limited.
In the last two years Gionee, a Chinese company has been studying the Nigerian mobile device market with the intention of addressing some challenges associated with quality of devices flooding into the country.
The company also has comprehensive plan to combat the e-wastes surge; research and development (R&D); and development of local talents. Nwabueze spoke to peter ugwu on these and other issues.
About Gionee Communications Limited
Gionee is an international brand. We started in Nigeria about two years ago.
We have plans for Nigeria and other African countries; we want to enrich the market with products that could satisfy the people and at affordable prices.
We are the first to launch such slimmest Smartphone and feature ones; we are launching deeper into the market with the slimmest phones and long lasting battery lives.
We have also recorded a number of firsts in terms of quality of our devices and meeting the consumers demand.
We are also bringing in mass intelligence and feature mobile phones for the customers’ convince. We know the existing level of mobile devices in the market.
Since 2011, Gionee had rapidly moved for branding in Nigeria, Vietnam, Taiwan, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Philippines, and so on.
And once launched one product, it soon became a best seller in the market, even in some cities and countries customers need to wait for new deliveries. Gionee is a hot word as everyone is talking about where to buy one. Gionee is working speedily for the number one brand which is most welcomed by customers.
What Makes Your Devices Unique?
Before we launch into the market we usually carry out feasibility studies to ascertain the desires of the consumers; this lasts up to six months.
So we have seen that Nigerians like quality and they want devices that the battery life can last due to the power challenges.
At the stage of designing the phones, we tried to use material that can be converted to other use after several years of the phone’s life.
How do I mean, we are coming in not as other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) whose primary objective has been to flood the market with devices without thinking on how to give back to the society.
We are coming in with a different business mindset. We are working toward partnering the government and institutions to unleash our plans for the market, which are going to benefit the people.
Gionee as a brand is recognizable as durable, long standby and easy to use, Gionee now is featured with new tags like fashionable, stylish, and premium user experience.
Many Asian super stars have high praise for Gionee products and they are willing to tell people how nice the products are.
As a matter of emphasis, we have been able to understand what the Nigerian market loves and what the users tend to align themselves with.
Competition in the Nigerian Market
The Smartphone industry in Nigeria is actually been beclouded by brands that are there to just launch devices.
Most time, they end up encouraging digital divide among the people.
How do I mean? When you are producing high end devices without considering those below the cadre definitely some people will believe you are not for them.
So, we have feature phones that can meet the needs of those people and add value to what their do, their social lives, among other.
Meanwhile, a tight partnership with MediaTek and Qualcomm allows Gionee to offer a wide product portfolio covering both low end feature phone and high end Smartphone.
As all products are designed and manufactured by Gionee and as the company is only working with tier-1 suppliers, Gionee is awarded the Best Quality Mobile Phone Manufacturer in China.
Presently, we are into partnership with one of the major local telecommunication company. Surely, we are going to deepen our relationship, embrace as many as that would come to around.
In fact, in the couple of months we have seen tremendous enthusiasm among some industry players, that is the among the telecoms who have approached us, we have made presentations to them as regards the functionality, durability and integrity of our phones, they are willing to partner with us.
The interest has been massive since we launched into the market. It is a win-win situation for both parties, because it is like a contract for mutual benefits.
Of course, there are tenets in every relationship. We can always add some extra agreement, if need be. So, presently we can boost of having local backings and the market is ripe for us.
Research and Development (R&D) Platform
In Gionee we believe that technology entails the strength of an enterprise and R&D is the key to sharpen the competitive edge of mobile phone industry chain roundly.
Gionee has over 10,000 employees, out of which 1000 belong to R&D and 8000 belong to the factory. So, we shall always insist on the strategy of independent R&D and innovation.
At present, Gionee’s R&D system mainly comprises six professional R&D organs: Application R&D Institute, Smartphone R&D Institute, overseas BU R&D Institute, CDMA R&D Institute, GOSO R&D Institute and AORA R&D Institute.
As a matter of fact, persistence in quality is the impetus for Gionee’s sustained development. With deep R & D as core, lean manufacturing as foundation, outstanding after-sale service as guarantee and high-tech products as core competitiveness, Gionee has kept developing practical and handy products.
Gionee has persisted in independent R & D by establishing professional R & D institutions in cities like Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou, thus ensuring its outstanding R & D performance.
Form of Your R&D in Nigeria
For now, we know that the Nigerian market has suffered so much in terms of people who turn it into a dumping ground; they come with the intention to dump their e-wastes here, which is unwholesome.
Therefore, in our discussions with the regulatory bodies like the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), we had some preliminary talks on the need for Gionee to have some investments in the form of R&D in Nigeria.
Although in Nigeria, it is still at preliminary stage, but it is something we have been doing, and we replicate same in all the places we have established strong relationships and strong presence. We hope to achieve that in Nigeria in the nearest future. In essence we are looking at tackling the issue of e-waste as may come from our side.
Nevertheless, statistics showed that for every one thousand unit of Gionee phones sold, we do not record up to ten damages, meaning that our phones are durable and that is the first step to tackle e-waste.
Gionee has over the years built a strong reputation and we do not intend to tarnish it in Nigeria. We cannot be part of the people that do that; we are going to represent our brand and image even in Nigeria.
Challenges in the Last Two Years in Nigeria
One of the challenges is actually the issue of grey material which cuts across the products not limited to phones.
They copy and normally the sub-standards are replicated.
The problem is usually that the original equipment manufacturers cannot actually affect a control over their products.
We are here to phase out such practice, bringing in originality and quality.
The only people that actually help to affect control are those in government; however in Gionee due to our excellence in R&D we are very innovative and can adapt, create a change tailored towards more customers’ satisfaction.
Plans to Manufacture Tablets and Notes
We are actually discussing on growth issues and it will be an excitement moment when we eventually go into that.
Developing Local Talents
Already we have Nigerians working with us and they are doing excellently well. Of course a company launching into any market with the intention of surviving there must embrace the local talents.
So, the answer is yes. At the same time, our products are meant to satisfy the local consumers and we are not going to leave Nigeria behind in the quest to achieve that. And that will give us a leverage to grow.
Following our strong international presence and reputation, we hope to establish a strong presence in Nigeria as well, thereby erasing the impression that all products from China are inferior. It is not true and we are going to prove to the people that genuine, durable and long lasting devices are coming from our factory.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria
Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.
Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.
Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.
Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.
Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.
The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”
Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.
The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.
On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”
Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed
By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,
After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.
The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.
Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?
From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.
In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.
As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.
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