Connect with us

Telecom

MTN May Exit Nigeria over Harassment, Fines

Published

on

MTN Nigeria may exit the Nigerian market over incessant harassment and threats to its operations from many quarters in the country.

 

This came as Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa arrived Nigeria to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to reassure of safety of Nigerians, following the killings of many Nigerians in renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Cyril Ramaphosa

But the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had Monday began the picketing of MTN offices, which NLC claimed was in protest against non-unionisation of its workers.

 

The leadership of the NLC and other members had barricaded the head office of the company in Lagos for hours, preventing workers from carrying out their daily duties.

 

Tobechukwu Okigbo, Corporate Relations Executive, MTN in his reaction, said the “the violence and the needless destruction of property is deeply saddening. As always our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our employees, some of whom were attacked by supposed NLC operatives and have sustained injuries.

 

We do not prevent our employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit and owe our employees the obligation to ensure they are not compelled to join associations. MTN supports the freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

All workers have rights that should be protected. We work hard to not only ensure that this is done but also to ensure that our company is a Great Place to Work. We will continue to champion our peoples’ rights, whether they are part of a union or not and work hard to minimise disruptions in service to our customers” he added.

 

But another official said that the network firm may consider shutting its Nigerian operations if the hostilities continues.

 

MTN is facing a plethora challenges in Nigeria ranging from incessant imposition of fines and penalties by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to endless harassment by the National Assembly through Senate probes.

 

Sometime ago too, the Senate began harassing the company over alleged illegal transfer of $13.2 billion.

 

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Telecom

MTN, Ericsson Begin First 5G Customer Trial Deployment Africa

Published

on

MTN Group and Ericsson have announced the first 5G customer trial deployment in South Africa starting with a fixed wireless access site at technology company Netstar’s headquarters in Midrand.

The field deployment in Midrand, situated between Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria), is part of Ericsson’s continuing efforts to deliver end-to-end 5G capabilities to support MTN South Africa’s growth as well as 5G and enterprise ambitions. Following the field deployment, MTN is planning to test other 5G use cases.

The Ericsson 5G solution deployed operates on 28 GHz band with a total operating bandwidth of 100 MHz using Ericsson trial antenna integrated radio units and Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform providing Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in the customer premises. Many of the Netstar employees can also connect to this trial 5G network through the different WiFi access points.

Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO MTN South Africa says: “We have been working in close partnership with Ericsson on 5G for tests in the lab, field trials, and now initial customer test deployment. Throughout this process, our customers and their service requirements are our top priority. Our aim is to build a network to cater for current and future required services.”

Chiarelli noted that the current discussion regarding the imminent release of much-needed additional spectrum, should also include 5G spectrum in the primary 3.5 GHz band.

“ICASA has a great opportunity to get South Africa on par and in some instances, ahead of the international game, by allocating 5G spectrum at the same time as the additional 4G spectrum.

“The additional 4G spectrum will extend high speed internet access to all South Africans and will help to further drive down the cost of communication. Access to 5G spectrum will see our nation able to actively participate on the cutting edge of the digital economy and we cannot afford to fall behind the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he said.

In addition to facilitating the delivery of next-generation mobile broadband, cloud and providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment, this collaboration will also enable new industry use cases thanks to increased throughput and reduced latency.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: “5G holds immense potential of opportunities, driving the industry’s digitization and the pursue for innovation. Our collaboration with MTN South Africa will enable us to jointly develop 5G use cases based on real business needs that will support MTN to meet their future business requirements.”

Continue Reading

Telecom

Angst over Plans to Reduce MTN $8.1Bn Fine to $800m

Published

on

The upper chamber of the National Assembly has queried the rationale behind the plan by the Federal Government to reduce the $8.1 billion fine imposed on the MTN, a communication giant, to $800 million.

 

The development, which is presently causing controversy in the Senate, has been described as an issue that should not be ignored by the lawmakers.

 

The Senate maintained that it has interest in the issue, adding that what Federal Government does with the fine is of little interest to it.

 

The Senate, which said how the percentage of reduction from $8.1 billion to $800 million was arrived at is of interest to it, added that it should be intimated why the reduction became necessary and also what informed the penalty of $8.1 billion in the first instance.

 

A pointer to what Federal Government is planning, it was learnt, was that with the help of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) it may have concluded arrangements to cut the $8.1 billion fine to $800 million through the back door.

 

Speaking with newsmen, Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, disclosed how the CBN failed to implement Senate resolutions passed to it before conducting another investigation into the alleged infraction by MTN.

 

Ibrahim, who said that his committee would immediately demand from CBN a detailed report on the matter to be better informed, noted that that is the only way Nigerians would know what transpired between the CBN and MTN on the $8.1 billion fine.

 

The lawmaker pointed out that the last time the Senate heard about the issue was when it had a little retreat last two weeks in Lagos, where CBN did the presentation of its biannual activities to the committee (Senate Committee).

 

Senator Ibrahim said that the CBN explained that its investigation was based on a petition from a law firm and its stand was that the penalty was correct.

 

Continue Reading

Telecom

Huawei Places Nigeria on Short-term Radar for its Data Centre Offering

Published

on

Multinational ICT firm Huawei has officially launched its AI-integrated public Cloud offering for Africa at AfricaCom 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa and confirmed the data centre will be located in Johannesburg to offer comprehensive cloud services in early 2019.

In early November 2018 Huawei issued a statement announcing its intention to launch its first public cloud data centre in Africa.

According to Huawei, ‘globally its cloud business unit Huawei Cloud has introduced over 120 cloud services in 18 categories and cover 60+ general solutions including SAP, high-performance computing (HPC), Internet of Things (IOT), security and DevOps’.

Edward Deng, Vice President, Huawei Cloud, confirmed the immediate strategy is to focus on increasing regional presence in South Africa before moving on to other countries in Africa – with Nigeria firmly on the short-term radar.

Deng said Huawei’s strategy is to positioning cloud to help Africa build a fully connected, digital Africa, and specifically offer cloud with AI “to make Africa’s cities and industries more intelligent”.

Huawei Cloud will offer a full stack of AII solutions and the company believes its offering is differentiated from competition by being “ultra-fast and ultra-simple.”

However, executives stressed that the company’s focus is on the customer and “not on market competition.”

Deng said that like it did with mobile technology, the continent has another opportunity to leapfrog with cloud services.

The company predicts that globally, 85% of enterprise applications will be deployed to the cloud by 2025.

“It’s a great opportunity for us here in Africa,” said Deng, highlighting that cloud will offer a new way for enterprises to adopt applications and leverage a model that offers cost saving, speed to market and security.

If cloud is the ‘aircraft runway’, technologies like AI, IOT and 5G represents the engine, he added.

Robert Nkuna, Director General at South Africa’s Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services (DTPS), said Huawei’s Africa cloud launch is a timely contribution to South Africa’s digital transformation process.

Nkuna cited several current and scheduled projects that the country’s government has prioritised, including the release- and licensing of high demand radio frequency spectrum (in 600MHz, 700MHz and 800MHz frequencies) and this process is “at an advanced stage” and will likely be concluded at the beginning of 2019.

In addition to infrastructure roll out, the DTPS has earmarked the country’s 5G readiness and the development of this ecosystem, as well as preparation for the 5G Symposium planned for next year.

Along with South Africa’s participation at the World Radio Conference, the country will press ahead with the formation of a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, incorporating the private sector and civil society, to take advantage of advances in ICT, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.