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MTN, TD Mobile Partner to Unveil Freetel ICE 2 Android Smartphone



(L-r): Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, former EVC of NCC; Mrs. Gozy Ijogun, managing director, TD Mobile; Leo Stan-Ekeh, chairman of Zinox Group and representative of the key partners, during the launch of ICE 2 in Lagos.

MTN, telecoms giant and TD Mobile, Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest mobile device distributor, have officially unveiled the much-anticipated Android smartphone, FreetelICE 2 at an event held Thursday in Lagos.

Designed for the Nigerian market, the ICE 2 smartphone is one of many devices from the stable of Freetel, Japan’s largest selling smart phone brand in open market.

The Device
ICE 2 is designed in the state-of-the-art design center in Tokyo, Japan while manufacturing is overseen by Japanese engineers with over 40 years of experience. In addition, the device is Google GMS certified, confirmation that it meets Google’s performance requirements and properly runs the Google Apps. 

Book lovers will also be thrilled by the ICE 2 which comes pre-loaded with Worldreader’s free e-library of 50,000 e-books, which enables Nigerians to read their favourite book at no cost.

The smartphone will sell for about N13,000 ($35), an attractive price-point that is expected to deepen the pace of smartphone penetration in the country.

Powered by Google’s most recent Android operating system – Android 7.0, the revolutionary ICE 2 comes fully equipped with the latest software and security updates including Google Play Protect: a newly-developed software which continuously works to keep one’s device, data and apps safe. In addition, the smartphone is pre-loaded with MTN’s latest apps including MTN Music Plus.

Massive incentives await the first 200 subscribers to get the Freetel ICE 2. In addition, all customers who buy the device will also enjoy double data bonus on every data bundle they buy for three months, courtesy of MTN.

According to Rahul De, MTN’s chief marketing officer, “We are excited by this partnership because our focus over the years has been on connecting millions of Nigerians to each other and the world, thus expanding access to information, entertainment and endless opportunities.

“The affordable and innovative ICE 2 takes us further along this journey, allowing more Nigerians make the transition to smartphones.”

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Gozy Ijogun, managing director, TD Mobile, disclosed that the launch of the FreetelICE 2 is a fitting testimony to the company’s landmark strides in making ICT products and devices accessible, affordable and usable across Africa.

“Since inception, TD Mobile has been the leading driver of smart devices penetration in the West African sub-region. The launch of the FreetelICE 2 resonates with our mission of spear-heading a technology revolution in Africa and further shows why we have remained in the forefront of bringing the best and latest technology products to the sub-region. Through the strategic partnerships with our massive network of operators, dealers and retailers, we are sure to see the ICE 2 Android smartphone in the hands of millions of Nigerians in no time,” she enthused.

On its part, Adama Diallo, Google’s head of Nigeria for Android Partnerships, emphasized: “We have been truly impressed by the quality of the Freetel ICE 2 at this price point. We are excited to continue working with ecosystem partners like Freetel, TD & MTN to offer Android devices at every price point and connect more Nigerians to the internet.”

A subsidiary of ICT distribution power-house Technology Distributions Ltd. (TD Africa), TD Mobile will add the ICE 2 smartphone to a growing list of devices from international brands represented in line with its status as the biggest mobile devices distributor in the West African sub-region.

Considering TD Mobile’s wide reach and unmatched presence in major Nigerian cities and other West African capitals; the company will deploy its huge distribution capacity in taking the device to every action station in the metropolis as well as every nook and cranny in the hinterlands.

The ICE 2 goes on sale nationwide this September at all major online and offline retail stores including MTN’s retail outlets.

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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Nigerian Invents Device to Replace GSM Recharge Cards



Michael Friday, a Nigerian scientist, has invented a device, ‘Mobile Intercom’, which aims at relieving subscribers of telecommunications services from buying recharge cards.


Michael explained that the quest to free Nigerians from over-dependence on highly expensive imported telecom services, informed his decision to come up with the innovative idea.


He recalled the frustrations he had gone through to draw the attention of the authorities to patent his inventions, said he would require financial grants so that Nigerians can benefit from the discovery.

According to him “Instead of going through Wi-Fi, our chip sets can transmit up to 5,000 meters, which is about 5 kilometres or there about. So if we are able to succeed in developing our own chip sets now, you will see that in an estate, you don’t need to pay money to a telecom company to communicate. In the US today, nobody buys credit anymore. All they buy is subscription. When you buy your subscription your data and your call card and everything is embedded in one.”

Welcoming the initiative, Engr Danazumi Ibrahim, director general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), frowned that that over 90 per cent of the technology in the ICT, transportation, automobile and electronic sectors in Nigeria are imported.


Ibrahim, who noted that funding remains the major challenge impeding the growth of indigenous technology, agreed that the inventive work undertaken by Michael was what is required to achieve the technological advancement of the country.


He however promised to expedite action to ensure Michael’s work is patented accordingly, disclosing that between 2015 to date; his office has patented over 50 intellectual properties of Nigerian scientists and investors.


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Operators Decry High Cost of Fibre Optic Leasing



High cost of leasing fibre optic infrastructure has been blamed for the desire of telecommunications operators to seek ownership of that transmission link, Nigeria Communicationsweek has learnt.


Metro or national fibre optic infrastructure is required by telecommunications operators to transmit bandwidth from where they are bought to their network operating centres for service delivery especially data.


Stakeholders in the telecommunications space have attributed lack of transmission infrastructure in the country to poor service delivery and high cost of data services especially in cities outside of Lagos where most of the undersea cable that brought bandwidth to the country land.


Against this backdrop that operators seek ‘Right of way’ approval to enable them lay fibre optic along state and federal roads to move bandwidth required to deliver services to their subscribers.


Abhulime Ehiagwina, chief financial officer, ntel, a 4GLTE operator, said at a recent Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) ‘breakfast meeting with the CEO’, that high cost of leasing fibre optic from owners of the infrastructure does not make economic sense compared to owning the link.


“Imagine if we lease fibre to deliver service from Port Harcourt to Aba, it will cost us N20 million per month. The question is, how many subscribers can we get in a short run that will cover this amount and other associated cost in delivering service to Aba? This is why operators seek ‘Right of way’ approval to lay their own fibre links,” he said.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that leasing of intra city fibre optic is not cheap either as it costs N200, 000 to lease fibre to transmit 20mega of bandwidth for Victoria Island to Ikeja in Lagos Nigeria.


It was in response to this that Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has licensed InfraCos that are expected to deploy fibre optic infrastructure for operators to lease at competitive cost.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek also gathered that some existing national and metro fibre links are not being use by operators as a result of high cost which is why stakeholders are calling for articulated business friendly policy in the deployment and provision of telecommunications transmission infrastructure in the country.


Ajay Awasthi, chief executive officer, Spectranet, a 4G LTE internet service provider, said that it costs higher to move bandwidth from Lagos to Ibadan than moving it from London to Lagos.


Engr. Samuel Adeleke, immediate past president, Internet Services Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) said that licensing of spectrum as a way to increase broadband penetration is not enough to achieve the target.


“NCC needs to look at the proper use of its licenses moving forward. For instance, Globacom has invested in intra-city and inter-city fibre network, which are presently not in use. This infrastructure is required to increase broadband penetration in the country, the regulator should ensure the effective utilization of licensed spectrum,” he said.


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Nigeria Becoming a Mobile-first Country- Anammah



Juliet Anammah, Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria has said that Nigerian Mobile phone market, remains Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 162 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 84%.


She made this disclosure at the launch of Jumia’s Annual Mobile Report ahead of this year’s Mobile Week held recently in Lagos.


Anammah, said Africa boasts of a mobile subscription base of 1.04 billion, representing 82% of its total population with 435 million users and 34% penetration rate while Nigeria has 98 million users, 21 million Smartphone users and 65% penetration rate.


She attributed the growth to the multiplicity of affordable smartphones and a growing market for second-hand devices as one of the major roles in driving the country’s e-commerce sector, which is estimated to be worth 13 billion USD by 2018.


She noted that the multiplication of easy payment options such as credit or debit cards payment, even cash on delivery, and the increasing use of social media sites (active social media users) as drivers that enhanced the adoption of smartphones in Nigeria and Africa.


She said the number of mobile subscribers grew astronomically in 2017 and its penetration increased to 84% in comparison with 53% in 2016, adding that the availability of lower price points’ phones paved way for more Nigerians to own mobile phones.


“With an increase in the number of affordable phones entering the Nigerian market and looking at the trajectory of growth between 2016 & 2017 (31% growth year-on-year), there is a strong indication that by the end of 2018, there might be a 100% penetration of mobile subscriptions,” she added.


Anammah, stated that only 17 million smartphone users out of 21 million are active on social media via their mobile phones.


She added that Average Price of Smartphones in Nigeria Continues to dip Year-on-Year as against other African countries, stressing that smartphone sold on Jumia platform in Nigeria in 2014 was at 216 USD per unit but have seen a decline from 216 USD in 2014 to 100 USD in 2017.


She noted that Asian mobile brand like Infinix, Tecno, Fero etc, contributed to the declined with the introduction of lower price points’ smartphones adapted to the profiles of African users


Olubayo Adekambi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, responding to the question on what influenced consumers buying behaviour in 2017, said that the preponderance of low-cost smartphones and the drive towards aspirational self-enhancement, coupled with exciting mobile operator-led propositions further drove smartphone penetration, with many first-timers finding a compelling reason to pick up low-priced smartphones or second-hand smartphones.


He noted that Peer-to-peer mobile video sharing and over-the-top video platforms drove incremental increases in internet usage, with the so-called illiterates joining the bandwagon to enjoy their latest comedy on the go.


“This mobile trend is shifting advertising’s focus from traditional TV to short videos shown as branded content with subtle product placement.


“According to’s Mobile Poll, WhatsApp is the most actively used app for video sharing and an average Nigerian spent 35 minutes per day on this platform,” he added.

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