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9Mobile Begs for Concessions to Boost Revenue

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Boye Olusanya, CEO, 9mobile, the mobile operator formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, has asked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), telecoms regulator for concessions on spectrum and foreign exchange access to shore up its revenues ahead of finding new investors.

On Tuesday, Godwin Emefiele, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said, 9mobile had appointed advisers to find new investors after regulators stepped in to try to save the company from collapse due to it big debts.

Citigroup and Standard Bank have been appointed to manage a sale process and three major investors have shown interest.

Also, Olusanya, 9Mobile new boss, on Wednesday asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to revisit its floor price on data, interconnect rates and national roaming fees in order to help the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator meet its obligations, the NCC said, citing a meeting with 9mobile.

“We want to see a viable and thriving 9mobile,” Umar Garba Danbatta, executive, vice chairmen, NCC said, adding that he wanted to safeguard investors, subscribers and employees.

Danbatta said in a statement that more than $2 billion foreign direct investment by Mubadala of UAE was at stake, while 20 million subscribers and over 2,000 workers would have been affected if the NCC had not intervened.

9mobile declined to comment.

9mobile has a 14 percent share of Nigeria’s highly competitive mobile telecoms market. South Africa’s MTN is the market leader with 47 percent, Nigeria’s Globacom has 20 percent and Bharti Airtel’s local subsidiary has 19 percent.

Etisalat Nigeria was the biggest foreign-owned company affected by dollar shortages in the country due to lower oil prices and a recession, making it difficult for the company to make repayments to lenders and suppliers.

It took out a $1.2 billion loan in 2013 from 13 local lenders to refinance existing debt and expand its network but it struggled to repay four years later.

Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat International told Reuters this month that it had been unsuccessful at converting some of its dollar debt to local currency and had decided to exit the market, giving the Nigerian business notice to phase out the brand.

Emefiele on Tuesday said 9mobile’s revenue was stable and it had made 16 billion naira ($52.5 million) in June, adding that the company had not lost subscribers due to its debt problems.

9mobile’s Olusanya has said he is focused on getting the company back on track to make a profit, while working on plans to raise new capital. He also said the company was open to new investors.   

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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Telecom

Reps Query Non-Patronage of Nigeria’s Multi-Billion Satellite

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Committee on Information Communication Technology of the House of Representatives has been mandated the to investigate the cause of non-patronage of the multibillion Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited.

 

The committee is also to proffer solutions and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.

 

The House resolution followed a motion sponsored by Honourable Danasabe Hosea entitled, “Need to Investigate the Non Patronage of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT)”.

 

The lawmaker recalled that the Federal Government had contracted Kosmo – 3m Rocket from Russian Plesetsk Spaceport to launch its first Earth Observation Satellite, the Nigeria – 1 on September 17, 2003, at the cost of ₦30 million.

 

He added that, “Nigcomsat – 1 Communications Satellite was launched in China at the cost of ₦200 million, but it failed in orbit in 2008 after running out of power, owing to an anomaly in its solar array.

 

The Federal Government he added that, had, since 2003, spent about ₦85 billion on five Satellites which were meant to provide communication data and images for government agencies and the private sector with the aim of saving billions of foreign exchange and generating revenues estimated at $ 20 billion for the country.

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NCC Set To Dump Paper Numbering for Automated Numbering System, Meets Stakeholders

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday held a consultative forum with a broad spectrum of stakeholders as part of the processes planned towards the introduction of an automated numbering system in Nigeria.

 

This is Consistent with the commission’s distinctive tradition of broad spectrum consultation prior to taking regulatory decisions.

 

Speaking during the consultation forum, Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner Technical Services who represented Prof. Umar Danbatta, the EVC/CEO of NCC informed the participants that, “Numbers are scarce resource and one of the core functions of the Commission is to ensure that this scarce resource is effectively and efficiently managed”.

 

He also informed the audience that the automated system will be launched very soon by the Commission.

 

Paul Dinwoke, CEO Molcon Multiconcepts Limited, Consultants to NCC on the project also told the participants that some of the benefits of the automated system include convenience, transparency, efficiency, easy tracking, ability to choose number options, and strengthening of online payment systems.

 

Bako Wakil, Deputy Director Technical Standards and Network Integrity also told the audience that the deployment of automatic numbering management system is part of NCC’s efforts to automate her business processes within and outside the Commission.

 

The Forum was attended by many stakeholders, including licensees of the Commission and staff.

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Five Reasons To Stop Wearing Headphones Always

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By Ogunfowoke Adeniyi

Headphones are very important because they make work and travel more fun. Therefore, it’s so common today to see people strolling with their headphones.

Despite the seeming advantage (s) of headphones, it should not be constantly plugged in your ears for the following reasons shared by Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency.

 

You Can’T Hear Cars Coming At You

It’s much safer to walk around without your headphones. This is because you cannot hear cars coming at you and this can lead to an unavoidable accident. According to research, serious injuries have increased 300% in the last six years for pedestrians wearing headphones. So, make it a rule not to use your headphones on the road.

 

Headphones Overuse Can Damage Your Ears

Your ears may be damaged if you overuse headphones. So it’s probably best to let them breathe now and then.

 

You Can’T Hear The People Around You

For people who are headphone addicts, they must have been told several times by a friend that they called out to them and they didn’t respond. Why? Because they had their headphone plugged in. If this is the report you always get, it is time to stop plugging your ears when you are around people.

 

You Miss The Little Things

After sight, hearing is the most important sense that engages us. If we can see but lack the sound-correlated ambience, we become dissociated. It’s like we are putting our minds on autopilot, and just going through the motions of daily life.

 

You Risk Coming Off As Rude

Even if you’re the friendliest person around, headphones make you unapproachable. It makes it harder for people to call out to you.

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