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MTN Provides Update on Utilisation of Network to Support Fight Against COVID-19

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MTN Nigeria on Friday provided an update on the utilisation so far of its network initiatives to provide its customers and partners with connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company stated this in a statement signed and released by Uto Ukpanah, MTN Nigeria’s Company Secretary, in Lagos.

According to the statement, “in addition to MTN’s direct contributions to support the fight against COVID-19, including support to CACOVID (N1 billion), Federal and State Governments (communications support) and the NCDC (Devices, airtime, SMS channel and data) MTN has provided our customers with a range of free services to help make communication easier.

“As at May 15th 2020, our network has provided: More than 2 Billion free SMS sent by over 40 million subscribers.

”About 3,000 Terrabytes of free data utilised to access zero-rated health websites, and access to Ayoba, our partner messaging app.

”And over 1.7 Million free money transfers by about 100,000 people using the MoMo Agent Network (offer ended May 1st).

Commenting on the update, Ferdi Moolman, ceo, MTN Nigeria,  said: “Since we began providing 300 free SMS’s per month to our subscribers more than 2 billion SMS’s have been sent by more than 44 million subscribers demonstrating the universal appeal and accessibility of SMS as a communications service.

“We are proud to have been able to reach so many people and are committed to continuing to provide this service.

“As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we are focusing our efforts on trying to ensure no one is left behind.”

 


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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.

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ITREALMS 2020 Webinar Series: Adebayo to Demystify 5G v COVID-19

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Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has been confirmed as another speaker at the forthcoming ITREALMS Webinar as part of the 2020 Digital Rights series.

Hosted by the multiple international award-winning medium, ITREALMSOnline, on Saturday, June 6, 2020 by 11am, the event would be centred on the theme:“Role of IP in 5G v COVID-19 Debate.”

Disclosing this, Remmy Nweke, editor-in-Chief of ITREALMS, said that the webinar being hosted to commemorate the World IPv6 Day, 2020 is part of their continuous education under its digital rights series.

Engr. Adebayo, he said, is not new to the telecommunications industry and will bring his experiences to bear in demystifying the relationship of the Fifth Generation (5G) and Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

Adebayo, he disclosed would be speaking on“ALTON: 5G v COVID-19” subtheme, at the Zoom Webinar scheduled for Saturday, June 6, by 11am Nigeria time, with meeting identification as748 9663 7846 and password: 3ggKaz.

Engr. Adebayo, is a pioneer member of ALTON and currently the chairman of CNSL with over 20years’ in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country.

ITREALMS recalls that a collaborating organization, DigitalSENSE Africa, has been leading this forte under the aegis of the Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable in commemoration of the World Internet Protocol Version Six (IPv6) Day, every June 6; to promote the adoption of IPv6 for the products and services as well as create awareness, especially in Nigeria.

Nweke equally noted that ITREALMS collaboration with DigitalSENSE Africa on this series is deliberate consider it has been an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) accredited At-Large Structure (ALS), which brought IPv6 awareness to Nigeria since 2011.

This year’s virtual event, he said, thus, is to sustain the awareness creation around the IPv6 evolution despite the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, which course was occasioned by the depletion of the Internet Protocol version Four (IPv4), over eight years ago.


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Smartphone Shipments to Plunge by 11.9% in 2020 Fueled by Ongoing COVID-19 Challenges- IDC Reports

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The worldwide smartphone market is forecast to decline 11.9% year over year in 2020 with shipments totaling 1.2 billion units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

 

The forecast follows the largest year-over-year decline in history in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20).

 

Smartphone shipments are now expected to decline 18.2% in the first half of the year as the macroeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect consumer spending.

 

Global smartphone shipments are not expected to return to growth until the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21).

 

Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said, “What started as a supply-side crisis has evolved into a global demand-side problem.

 

“Nationwide lockdowns and rising unemployment have reduced consumer confidence and reprioritized spending towards essential goods, directly impacting the uptake of smartphones in the short term.

 

“On the brighter side, 5G is expected to be a catalyst throughout the forecast period, which will play a vital role in worldwide smartphone market recovery in 2021.”

 

From a geographic standpoint, the Chinese economy will continue to be impacted by COVID-19, however signs of improvement are showing as lockdowns and supply chain disruptions have begun to ease a bit.

 

For the most part, factories have resumed operations and the market has opened with some travel and logistical restrictions, leading IDC to believe the China domestic market will only see a single digit decline in 2020.

 

In contrast, Europe has been hit hard by COVID-19, especially in severely impacted countries like Italy and Spain, which will cause a double-digit decline in the region this year.

 

Nonetheless, IDC expects the top vendors in the region to maintain their market shares driven by rotating strategies such as higher flagship launches and forming stronger ecommerce footprints.

 

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said “China’s recovery has been impressive to say the least, especially given the initial impact of COVID-19 on the country,”

 

“There’s no question that challenges lie ahead for the smartphone industry and we believe the economic downturn is going to cause some fluctuation in the vendor and price-tier landscape.

 

“The surge in consumer spending around devices that are less mobile than smartphones (PCs, monitors, video game consoles, etc.) will undoubtedly take a share of the consumer wallet that would have been put towards smartphone upgrades and 5G.

 

“We believe this will result in even more aggressively priced 5G smartphones than expected prior to the pandemic.

 

“This could result in some share wins for the vendors that position their portfolios to capitalize on this change.”


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FG Declares Telecommunications Facilities Critical Infrastructure

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Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country as federal government approves security for telecommunications infrastructure to protect them from vandalism and theft.

FG Declares Telecommunications Facilities Critical Infrastructure

Pantami, in a statement, Tuesday said, the Nigerian telecommunications industry depends on a number of infrastructure that play a critical role in the smooth delivery of telecoms services.

“These are part of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) because of the important role they play, in ensuring security and in the delivery of other essential services.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be emplaced to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country,” he stated.

The minister noted that this will address the challenge of vandalism of Critical National Infrastructure.  It will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025). He thanked president Buhari, for the timely approval.

The statement signed by Uwa Suleiman, his spokesperson, stated that, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been notified of Mr President’s directive.

“We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments,” he said.

The minister commends the security institutions for their commitment so far.

He stated that implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy unveiled by the President have repositioned the ICT sector.


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