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6 Things to Expect from Google N13, 000 Smartphone

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ICE.jpg

 
During its Google for Nigeria engagement held on Thursday July 27th 2017, Sundar Pitchai, chief executive officer of the global digital giant, had announced the company’s plans to launch an affordable mobile device for the Nigerian market.

Produced by Japanese smartphone brand Freetel, the ICE 2 smartphone will go on sale for N13,000 (about $40).

The announcement has generated heightened expectations among Nigerians, many of whom are excited about the prospects of a moderately-priced smartphone in the market.

Here are six things to expect from the expected launch of the Google-backed N13,000 smartphone:

Round-the-clock security with Google Play Protect
The ICE 2 smartphone set for launch in September 2017 will be the first device to be equipped with Google Play Protect: a newly-developed security software which continuously works to keep one’s device, data and apps safe.
Google Play Protect actively scans your device and is constantly improving to make sure you have the latest in mobile security. Most importantly, the device is automatically scanned around the clock, so users can rest easy.

Latest Android software and apps
The ICE 2 smartphone will run on Android 7.0, one of Google’s most recent Android operating system which boasts a suite of impressive features including the ability to use two or more languages at a time and the ability to switch between apps with a double tap, and run two apps side by side.
In addition, the device will come pre-loaded with the latest Google apps. Vice President, Product Management at Google, Cesar Segunutpane lauded the global popularity of the company’s Android Operating System when he disclosed that: “Android is the largest tech ecosystem in the world today. In nine years, it grew from one phone to 2billion smartphones across the world. The ICE 2 device comes with all Google apps and will start shipping in September.”

MTN apps-enabled
As disclosed by Google during its much-heralded announcement, the company is also working in partnership with telecoms giant MTN on the ICE 2 smartphone.
While speaking at the Google for Nigeria event, Segunutpane highlighted the fact that Google has continued to work with partners and OEMs to develop devices for Africans, especially Nigerians, noting that the ICE 2 is being rolled out in partnership with MTN. For prospective users of the device, the foregoing means access to some of the latest MTN apps and/or special data bundles.

Japanese Quality
Designed for the Nigerian market, the ICE 2 smartphone is one of the devices from the stable of Japanese brand, Freetel.
Others include the ICE 2 Plus, ICE 3 LTE and Priori 4. Japanese products are associated with good quality – a factor that will go a long way to assuage some of the fears expressed by industry watchers over the low price point of the ICE 2 device while also bucking the trend of the influx of poor quality phones in the market.
Furthermore, the device is Google GMS certified. GMS certification is the confirmation that a specific device meets Google’s performance requirements and properly runs the Google apps.

Further rise in smartphone penetration
Nigeria with its booming youthful population remains one of Africa’s most attractive smartphone markets.
However, smartphone penetration (the percentage of the population owning a smartphone), while admittedly on the rise, has been hampered by the slightly high price points of smartphones.
With the entry of the ICE 2, Nigerians will have a relatively affordable and quality smartphone – a factor that will not only boost the country’s smartphone penetration rate but also encourage more people to make the transition from feature phones to smartphones.

Disruptive effect on smartphone market
The imminent launch of the affordable ICE 2 smartphone will have a potentially disruptive effect on the Nigerian smartphone market.
In addition to offering more Nigerians a good quality and pocket-friendly smartphone, the development will ignite keen competition and spark a ripple effect that will potentially drive down prices in the market.
Furthermore, the entry of the ICE 2 smartphone will encourage the influx of more quality-minded but price-sensitive manufacturers into the Nigerian market, all of which will translate to more investments, job opportunities and other benefits for Nigerians.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NCC: US Delegation‎ Visits Commission, Lauds Regulatory Strides

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(L-R): Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Rachel Atwood Mendiola, Manager, U.S Embassy; Engr. Ubale Ahmed Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Mudari Aliyu Dura

 

Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Thursday, received a delegation from the United States Embassy in Abuja,

The team, led by Rachel Atwood Mendiola, Fraud Prevention Manager, United States Embassy, was received by the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Prof. Umar Danbatta and other top Management staff of the Commission.

The delegation was at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Head Office to gain insight into the workings of the Commission and to commend NCC’s Management for its regulatory strides in sustaining the growth of the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

 

Prof.Danbatta while addressing the delegation, recalled to the admiration of his guests some of the Commission’s efforts in ensuring effective regulation of the telecoms sector and providing an enabling environment for telecoms services to flourish, exponentially attributing the Commission’s successes to the faith reposed on it by the consumers and their unflinching loyalty.

 

And that is, the reason the Commission commits itself irrevocably to protecting the interest of consumers and all stakeholders in the industry.

He told his guests that, “NCC continues to be a strategic member and active participant in the activities of many bodies including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), and the West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Assembly (WATRA).”

To demonstrate the resilience of the telecommunication sector even in the face of challenging economic climate, Danbatta stayed that the sector contributed about 9.5% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2017 and credited the Nigerian telecom consumers with the successes recorded because of their patronage.

The EVC/CEO of NCC said it is the faith the consumers have demonstrated in the sector that made the Management of the Commission to declare the 2017 as the Year of the Telecom Consumer to celebrate the primacy of the consumer and to rededicate itself to addressing the challenges of the consumer.

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NCC Ignores Telcos, Says No to OTT Regulation

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Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman

Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] has said it can’t regulate Over The Top Technology [OTT] for now, refusing the telecom operators’ call that the technology be regulated in the country.

 

OTT operators are firms like Facebook, WhatsApp, 2go, Instagram and others who ride on social media to reach their audience.

 

Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman disclosed this Thursday when a delegation from the United States [US] embassy paid a working visit to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

 

‘’ The operators are saying we should do something about the OTT. That the OTT is riding on their infrastructure to make money and all other. But it will be very difficult to regulate OTT,” Prof Danbatta said.

 

According to him, though NCC understands the operators’ plight ‘’ the truth is that there is nothing we can do for now’’.

 

The NCC EVC, said he had interacted with head of telecom industry’s regulatory agencies in US and some other advanced economies and he was indirectly told that OTT couldn’t be regulated for now.

 

He also said NCC couldn’t regulate content in the social media as this falls within the jurisdiction of its sister regulatory agency, the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC].

 

He also told the US embassy delegation which was led by Rachael Atwood Mendiola to convince US investors to come and invest in Nigeria’s telecom industry as this is the best time to stake their money in the country.

 

‘’We want investors to come and invest in telecoms infrastructure across the country. I believe they will make their money in no time. Our investment environment is becoming friendlier, our security has improved greatly and the Federal Government had promised some number of incentives for would-be investors.

 

‘’ Plus we still have access gap. We still have about 200 locations across the country yet to have telecom services. This has cut off about 40million people, including people in my local government in Kano. So, investors can come in and take this opportunities.’’, he said.

 

But he said the NCC was working to see the access gaps blocked in the next two years.

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Nigeria to Increase Mobile Broadband Subscriptions to 50% by 2020

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NCC headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria

By peter oluka

Nigeria has disclosed plans to increasing the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

This was disclosed by Mr Bolaji Akinremi, minister plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, while delivering Nigeria’s statement on ‘Information and Communications Technologies for Development’ at the UN General Assembly’s debate in New York.

Active mobile broadband subscription is the number of subscriptions to mobile cellular networks with access to data communications – like the Internet – at broadband downstream speeds of 256 kilobit per second.

Nigeria’s mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants increased from 1.0 inhabitant in 2012 to 11.7 inhabitants in 2016.

Akinremi said Nigeria recognised the direct impact of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) on the wellbeing of Nigerians.

“The Government of Nigeria recognises the reality that Information and Communications Technologies has direct impact on the nation’s ability to improve the economic wellbeing of its people.

“The Government of Nigeria is committed to facilitating universal availability and cost-effective access to communications infrastructure and promoting utilisation of ICT in all spheres of life.

“Nigeria is committed to achieving cutting-edge global ICT standards, encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socio-economic levels.

“The Government of Nigeria is also committed to increasing the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

“Nigeria is committed to promoting and encouraging local production of ICT hard and software so as to reduce import dependence and generate foreign exchange by exporting to the regional and continental markets”.

He said that involving developing countries in the ICT revolution would bridge the wide gap of access to information among people.

According to him, if the information gap keeps widening, the possibility of attaining sustainable development by 2030 is not certain.

“It is in this vein that Nigeria further calls on Member States to consider giving Information and Communications Technologies a pride of place in the education curriculum. By so doing, they will undoubted bridge the digital divide,” Akinremi added.

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