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Airtel, Renmoney Offer Nigerians Easy Way to Own SOLO Aspire M



(L-r): Ian Abrahams, CEO, RenMoney; Tayo Ogundipe, CEO, SOLO Nigeria Limited, and Wole Abu, vice president, Indirect Sales, Airtel Nigeria, during the launch of Airtel SOLO Aspire M in partnership with SOLO Limited and RenMoney in Lagos on Wednesday.

Airtel Nigeria, SOLO and RenMoney have partnered to offer telecoms consumers across the country an opportunity to own premium, quality Smartphones for free, without charge.

Under this partnership, customers can subscribe to the special Smartphone bundle from Airtel for just N4, 150/month for 12months and walk away with the SOLO Aspire M for free.

This special Smartphone bundle gives telecoms consumers 1GB data plan; 60 minutes voice call, 60 SMS and unlimited Social Media access, monthly.

This exciting offer is in line with the partners’ quest to democratize mobile Internet access and ownership while empowering more telecoms consumers to connect with the larger society as well as fulfill their personal, professional and business endeavors; uninhibited by rising costs and reducing purchasing power.

Commenting on the partnership with SOLO, Ahmad Mokhles, chief commercial officer of Airtel Nigeria, said the telco is committed to creating opportunities that will enable telecoms consumers enjoy the very best of mobile experience by providing innovative solutions that enrich a customers’ life.

“With our wide spectrum coverage and super-fast data services, Airtel is well positioned as Nigeria’s number one mobile Internet Company, offering telecoms consumers bespoke and innovative value offerings that will empower them to succeed in their respective endeavors.”

Speaking on the rationale for the package, Tayo Ogundipe, founder & chief executive officer of SOLO said: “Accelerating smartphone adoption in Nigeria is critical to delivering the rich experience that SOLO brings to market. Our Partnership with Airtel and RenMoney is designed to change the game and bring to Nigeria, the same mechanism that has propelled Smartphone adoption in developed markets.

“At a time of difficult economic conditions across Africa, making Smartphones affordable especially for the mass market requires fresh thinking and innovative ideas. That’s SOLO’s DNA and we are proud to be part of the team that’s delivering this unique solution in Nigeria.”

On his part, Ian Abrahams, CEO, RenMoney Microfinance Bank Limited commented: “Partnering with Solo and Airtel for this project was an obvious choice as it aligns with RenMoney’s objectives of providing inclusive, convenient and simple money solutions; we have therefore developed a convenient customer experience that is open to all.  It’s something we have a passion for, and we are excited about partnering to provide these affordable smartphones to all Nigerians.”

To fulfill the monthly N4,150 bundle obligations, customers are required to recharge their lines with corresponding airtime value after obtaining the device.

This can be done using physical recharge cards of any denomination. Customers may wish to reserve airtime on their lines before the expiration of their bundle by using the special *486*PIN# to refill airtime directly into the special account reserved for the phone.

With this new offer, customers can walk into Airtel retail outlets or select phone stores across the country to pick up a brand-new SOLO Aspire M.

A security feature that requires the customer to recharge the monthly commitment is installed; but, in the event the subscription expires, the customer needs only enter the recharge PIN for N4,150 into the dial pad that appears on the screen for recharge to happen.

The SOLO Aspire M is a 5 inch Dual SIM smartphone that runs on Android 5.1 operating system, with 8GB ROM and 1GB RAM.

The offer is a pocket-friendly route to ownership of a smartphone with the added benefit of equivalent value of data, voice call and social media access; giving consumers 12 months of consistent service and ownership.



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NCC Hosts UNODC, Vows to Sustain Collaborations Against Cybercrimes




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will continue to collaborate with other government agencies and international partners towards stemming the tide of cybercrimes.

Mr Sunday Dare, NCC’s executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management, stated this on recently at the Commission’s Headquarters during an interactive session with representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC.

Kamal Toure, the UNODC eLearning Project Officer and Patrick Boismenu, cybercrime expert, were at the Commission’s Headquarters as part of their assessment mission to West Africa to gauge how well Nigeria, Senegal and the Gambia are able to fight cybercrime.

Mr. Dare noted that the Commission performs its regulatory functions in a way that ensures that its licensees take the steps necessary to combat cybercrimes.

He explained that “The role of the NCC here is to do an audit and make sure that we have all the ISPs having active databases and meeting the six months (data retention requirement) as stipulated in the license provision.”

Responding, Patrick Boismenu stated that UNODC is willing to provide assistance in needed areas to ensure that ISPs comply with requirements for data retention because of the crucial role data plays in fighting cybercrimes.

“Our goal is to ensure that cybercrime investigators have access to the tools they need to do their work,” Mr Boismenu explained.

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TCP: NCC Says Consumer Satisfaction, Robust Sector Top Priorities




By Ugo Onwuaso

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is determined to carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the Commission, made the remark during the 81st edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) held in Lagos.

He added that “it has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remains vibrant”.

Mr. Sunday Dare, the executive commission, Stakeholders Management, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said that “the commission would carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy”.

The Chairman said that the regulatory body had made interventions to prevent disruptions in the consumer’s experience.

According to him, “NCC has commenced aggressive enforcement of the Code of Corporate Governance to ensure that licensees in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses.

“The consumer deserves all the credits for the past and indeed the future successes of this industry.

“The Nigerian telecommunications consumers are at the centre stage of our regulation.

“We at the NCC, being consumer centric regulatory organisation have decided to celebrate consumers of the Nigerian telecommunications industry consistent with the eight point agenda that I set out when I assumed office in 2015.

The number two and six items of the agenda are the core drivers of the NCC year of telecommunications consumer initiative.

“While the number two item of the agenda addresses improved quality of service.

And item six is concerned with protection and empowerment of the telecommunications consumers,” he said.

He also stated that all NCC’s initiatives such as SIM card registration, Mobile Number Portability, Broadband policy implementation, development of 2442 and 622 short codes as well as various consumer awareness campaigns were to ensure consumer satisfaction and protection.

Danbatta added that the commission would continue to look out for and protect the interest of the consumer without compromising the interests of other stakeholders in the industry.

Mr Abdullahi Maikano, director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, said that over the years, TCP had proven to be an innovative way of bringing all stakeholders together to discuss and proffer solutions to industry issues.

Maikano said that the TCP had continued to occupy a pride of place in the commission’s activities.

He said that NCC would continue to provide significant resources to ensure that the parliament is held regularly for the benefit of consumers and the industry.

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Banks’ Working for Early Sale of 9Mobile — Fidelity Bank Boss




Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, managing director of Fidelity Bank Plc, has said that all the banks whose money is trapped are working together for smooth sale of the telecoms on or before the end of the year.

This is as the 180 days’ window handed down to the receiver managers of 9Mobile draw nearer.

Explaining industry issues in a recent interactive session with select editors and publishers in Lagos, he said “As you are aware, the creditor banks came together to appoint a new Board and Management for the company, with the Deputy Governor of the CBN as chairman of the Board”.

“The company has good fundamentals with about 22 million subscribers, and it is also very strong in data. Our interest is to ensure the company remains a going concern so that it can attract interested buyers. The banks are working collectively on this,” Fidelity bank chief executive revealed.

It would recalled that at the heat of the $1.2bn syndicated loan default crisis which nearly grounded the former Etisalat, both the telecoms regulator and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), considered the volume of subscribers and intervened.

Part of the intervention was the appointment of Dr. Joseph Nnanna, former Deputy Governor of the CBN to head the chair the board and prepare it for potential investors between 90 to 180 days.

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