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Teleology Looks for $50m to Pay Non-Refundable Deposit for 9Mobile



Teleology, the special purpose firm that reportedly emerged the preferred bidder for the acquisition of 9Mobile has till this week to pay a $50 million non-refundable deposit as the 21-day deadline expires.


This is as Smile Telecoms, the reserved bidder for 9mobile is waiting eagerly to step in if Teleology fails to meet the payment deadline.


Smile’s US$300 million bid for the country’s fourth largest telecom provider failed to make the cut, leaving Teleology, led by Adrian Wood, pioneer Managing Director of MTN Nigeria to emerge the preferred bidder with its US$500 million bid.


Smile says it still has its eyes on 9mobile ifTeleology fails to pay the US$50 million deposit


Ahmad Farroukh, executive director, Operations, Smile Communications, a subsidiary of Smile Telecoms Holdings, has stated that Smile has all it takes to reposition 9mobile and make it attractive and competitive again, within a space of 90 days if given the opportunity to acquire it.


Farroukh who spoke to journalists in Lagos, argued that 9mobile deserves the best and should be sold to an existing telecoms company with the right technical expertise and financial strength to manage it and turn it around for the highly competitive market within few months.


According to Farroukh, Smile will bring three dimensional value to 9mobile once it is allowed to take possession of the company.


“The first value is that we are Nigerian company already existing in the Nigerian telecoms space. So we will come up with our existing assets to boost the 9mobile operations. We will seek the permission of NCC to flip our existing 800MHz frequency to 9mobile to enhance its operations. What we are bringing to 9mobile is huge.”


“The 800MHz frequency, which Smile Communications currently operates on, will be added to that of 9mobile to achieve the best frequency ever that will serve the customers better and help 9mobile to come out of its current challenges. Without exaggerating, we are sure to add additional 600 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, into the operations of 9mobile within a space of 90 days, if given the opportunity to acquire it.”


“We will from day one, integrate our existing facilities with that of 9mobile to get the company back to its old good days, when it was the best voice and data telecoms company in Nigeria. 9mobile currently has 500 BTS across the country, and by the time we add our 400 existing BTS and combine it with the 600 BTS that we can provide within 90 days, 9mobile will be having approximately 1,500 BTS, which will match the number of BTS that the largest telecoms operator in the country currently has. So should we acquire 9mobile, we will make it competitive from day one with unprecedented speed of service delivery.”


He added, “The second value that we will bring to 9mobile is the monetary value. We will bring in new investments from foreign financing outside Nigeria, into 9mobile to pay off its indebtedness to the banks and also pay off any other group that the company is indebted to, and we will still have enough to invest in 9mobile and make it competitive. Let me tell you that several countries around the world still believe in the Nigeria story and we will reach out to them to get fresh funds to invest in 9mobile.”


The third dimensional value that Smile Telecoms Holdings will bring to 9mobile, according to him, is about the company’s long standing experience in telecoms business.


“I have handled telecoms business in Nigeria, including being the CEO of MTN Nigeria from 2006 to 2011, before I was appointed as Director to oversee the MTN West African operations, before joining Smile Communications. Nigeria has made me what I am today and I am grateful to God and to Nigeria. In Smile Communications and Smile Telecoms Holdings, we have seasoned telecoms experts and we are bringing that expertise to 9mobile if given the opportunity to acquire it. We are convinced that our three dimensional values will make 9mobile a successful company if we are allowed to manage it,” Farroukh said.


On 9mobile indebtedness to banks, he stated that Smile was very much aware and had a strategy to resolve it. “Yes we are very much aware of the debt profile of 9mobile and we are capable of handling it. What we intend doing if given the opportunity to manage the telecoms company, is to split the debts and give timeframe to offset them. As for the banks who are the biggest creditors to 9mobile, we will ensure that they do not lose any money. We will enter into agreement with them on the modalities of payment and we will surely pay them. We will come up with debt restructuring for both the banks and the vendors and they will get back their money. With 9mobile, we want to be the best data centric operator in Nigeria and we are sure we can achieve it.”


Smile Telecoms,  it will be recalled emerged the Reserved Bidder on the sale of 9mobile handled by Barclays. The company has however expressed concerns with the way the transaction was has handled and has since written to Barclays, the financial adviser that handled the sales process on its concerns.

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 to Regulate Use of Satellite Communications



Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the commission would create a legal framework to regulate the use of satellite communications services and networks.


Danbatta represented by Austin Nwulune, director, Spectrum Administration Department, NCC said this at the Public Inquiry on the Commercial Satellite Communication Guideline and the Draft Consumer Code of Practice Regulations (as Amended).


According to him, the draft commercial satellite communications guidelines are aimed at creating a legal framework to regulate the provision and use of satellite communication services and networks.

He said: “In whole or in part within Nigeria or on a ship or aircraft registered in the country.


“The intention behind the development of the guidelines is to ensure a well-developed and organised satellite communications market in Nigeria.


“With appropriate legal framework that meets international best practices, encourage innovation and guarantee public safety.”


Danbatta said the guidelines would ensure effective management of scarce frequency resources, especially bands where frequency is shared between satellite and terrestrial systems.


He said the guidelines would also encourage use of satellite connectivity to unserved areas that lack terrestrial transmission infrastructure backbone.


The NCC boss said on the draft Consumer Code of Practice Regulations was an amendment on the previous regulations made in 2007.


He said the guidelines would provide a more robust framework, effective and efficient processes /procedures to be followed by licensees in developing their individual consumer code to govern the provision of services and other related consumer practices.


Danbatta said: “This to ensure that consumers are adequately informed of the type of services being offered by operators, thereby aligning with the commission’s function of protecting the interests of consumers  against unfair practices.


“Furthermore, these regulations have been amended to reflect best practice in the industry.’’


Danbatta said the public inquiry forum was part of the commission’s rule-making process aimed at ensuring wide consultation in the development of regulatory instruments in accordance with NCC Act, 2003.


He said over the years, the process had proven invaluable in sourcing the opinions and inputs of stakeholders toward the development of sound regulatory frameworks for the Nigerian telecommunication industry.


Yetunde Akinloye, director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC while speaking on the overview of the amended Consumer Code of Practice Regulations said all codes must be submitted to the commission for approval.


Akinloye said approval should be granted within 30 days of submission of a code, unless the commission informs the licensee to amend the submitted code.


She said an approved code shall be published in two national newspapers within 30 days of approval.


She said: “Licensees are required to provide a copy of the approved code to consumers on request.’’


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NCC Launches TV Commercial on DND for Unsolicited SMS



Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched a nationwide television commercial to further equip subscribers against unsolicited text messages, as part of its efforts to educate and empower telecom subscribers.


The Commission had on March 15, 2017, launched a major campaign of awareness to enlighten subscribers about issues and solutions available to them that will enable them enjoy their services.


Among these solutions is the Do-Not-Disturb Code which enables subscribers who do not want to receive unsolicited text messages to simply text STOP to 2442 in any of the networks.


Subscribers who want particular types of messages have opportunity to choose a particular message type by texting HELP to 2442, to avail themselves of the different options to choose.


The television commercial which features popular comedian Helen Paul and Kanywood’s most popular actor, Ali Nuhu, will break in the broadcast media on Monday, March 26, 2018.


It will feature in major national television networks and local television stations in all the states of the federation.


Also featured in the television commercial is the 622 complaints platform, a toll free number operated by the NCC, where consumers whose complaints are not resolved by the service providers, can report to the Commission for immediate resolution.





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Swift Rolls out Free WI-FI Services Across Lagos



(L-R): Chief Marketing Officer, Swift Networks, Victoria Onwubiko; Managing Partner, AT3 Resources, Tosin Adefeko; Managing Director, Swift Networks, Charles Anudu and Chief Operating Officer, Swift Networks, Chuma Okoye at the press conference announcing the launch of Red Cheetah free broadband service in Lagos.

Swift Networks, Nigeria’s leading broadband service provider is partnering with leading global brands to offer free broadband Wi-Fi service in Lagos.

According to the company, Red Cheetah, is a new brand under the stable of Swift Networks which will offer free Wi-Fi services, starting with an initial 10,000 hotspots distributed all over the state, supported by advertising revenues from leading global brands and partners.

They said that Red Cheetah is expected to help deepen Nigeria’s broadband penetration and aspiration for universal internet access for greater social equity and inclusion.

Charles Anudu, CEO, Managing Director, SWIFT Networks, speaking at the product launch said “The Red Cheetah service model once more follows in SWIFT’s tradition of demystifying and making technology to work for Nigerians so that they can hook up to the digital world to explore, work and entertain more efficiently.

“We are excited to pioneer this cutting edge service model and will rapidly extend it to more cities in Nigeria and the continent.

“The security of every user’s access is enhanced by the Red Cheetah App which establishes a distinct and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to the internet for each device on the platform.

“I strongly believe that this dogged work of over two years is the ideal model that will empower Nigerians to live their most productive lifestyles in a digital world.

“I am extra proud that everything about Red Cheetah is Nigerian and shows what we can achieve when we commit to solving the problems of our society taking our context into consideration”.

Chukwuma Okoye, Chief Operating Officer, SWIFT, said “Our plan is to roll out an initial 10,000 Red Cheetah hotspots in Lagos which will be the largest Wi-Fi footprint of its kind anywhere in Africa and will cover many verticals including schools, airports, buses, taxis, shopping malls, bars, clubs, restaurants, open markets, hospitals and in fact any place where Nigerians need to research, catch up on work and play.

This revolutionary service powered by SWIFT is fast, secure, reliable and supported by legendary sponsor brands with strong commitment to corporate social responsibility to Nigeria”,

Red Cheetah hotspots went live in Lagos earlier this month at certain locations including MMA-2, Hard Rock Café, Shiro restaurant, Festival Mall, some Tastee Fired Chicken and Bukka Hut outlets, over 200 BRT Buses, Smart Cabs, Eko Hospital, VGC Club, among others.

The rollout is ongoing and more locations are being added on a daily basis towards our 10,000 hotspot target in Lagos.

The company said that Prospective Red Cheetah users must first download the Red Cheetah app for Android free from the Google Play Store or and complete a mandatory one-time online registration process.

Users are allowed to register multiple android devices as every device must be independently registered to access the internet via Red Cheetah.

The first Red Cheetah app release is for the Android operating system only while the other operating systems will follow shortly.

Users will be expected to view adverts at intervals from the sponsors and partners who make the free service possible.


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