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NCC Withdraws 41m Starcomms, Zoom Mobile, Others Numbers

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has withdrawn 41,095,448 telephone numbers assigned largely to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators, effectively sealing the blighted fate of CDMA segment of the telecommunications sector,

 

The withdrawal, took place in the first quarter of this year as part of regulatory efforts to put the country’s National Numbering Plan in order, according to New Telegraph.

 

The numbers withdrawn, which are both fixed and mobile, were those of Starcomms, Zoom Mobile (formerly Reltel), Multi-links, MTS First Wireless, Mobitel Limited, Rainbownet Limited, Odu’a Telecoms Limited, M-Tel and NITEL. However, Visafone, which has since been acquired by leading GSM operator, MTN, still has its numbers active in the National Numbering Plan for the first quarter.

 

As at February this year, the duo of Multi-links and Visafone, even though inactive, still had 217,566 lines connected.

 

While the GSM operators now control 99.7 per cent of the market share, the CDMA operators, though virtually non-existent in terms of infrastructure and physical presence, still have 0.15 per cent market share.

 

Visafone, the last standing CDMA operator, with over two million subscribers in 24 states, was acquired by MTN in 2016.

The deal, which was sanctioned by NCC, allows MTN to utilise Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum to launch fourth generation Long Term Evolution (4GLTE) services. That acquisition, however, marked the end of Visafone’s voice services as MTN was not interested in sustaining the CDMA operation but using its spectrum to enhance its data services.

 

According to NCC’s regulation, the Commission has the power to withdraw numbers allocated to service providers if the numbers are being “used for a service that does not satisfy the applicable usage conditions; no number in the block has been brought into service within twelve (12) months of the grant of the application for the assignment; or the block is needed for advancing a clearly identified national interest.”

 

The rule, however, also ensures that the Commission must notify a licensee about the nature of and the reasons for, a proposal to withdraw a block of numbers at least six (6) months before the withdrawal. “Where the Commission notifies a Licensee about a proposal to withdraw a Block from an Assignment to the Licensee— the Licensee shall not thereafter bring into service any Numbers in the Block unless the Commission informs the Licensee that it has decided not to withdraw the Block,” the rule states.

 

Before the licensing of GSM operators in 2001, the CDMA operators had been the saving grace for Nigerians who had been at the mercy of the Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL). It was the days the likes of Multi-links and Intercellular were holding the ace. Post-GSM licensing, the CDMA segment also enjoyed a booming market between 2005 and 2006 when Starcomms and Visafone entered into the telecoms market in a big way, with roll-out plans across several cities in Nigeria.

 

This, however, only lasted for a while, as the boom reached its peak in 2007, and a downward trend set in. Since then, many CDMA operators began experiencing hard times in maintaining their subscriber base, not to mention expanding the existing number.

 

 

 

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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Stay Clear of Our Masts, ATCON Warns NCAA

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Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON
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Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has urged the federal government to restraint Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which is threatening to demolish telecommunication masts in different locations across the country.

 

ATCON said that telecommunications services would be adversely affected if NCAA carries out its threat.

 

NCAA had earlier in the week said it will demolish telecommunication masts in different locations across the country with immediate effect.

 

The NCAA had said the demolition exercise would similarly affect some banks and financial institutions that had discountenanced its regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within navigable airspace in the country.

 

Mr Sam Adurogboye, general manager, Public Relations, NCCA, had said, “A total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations will be decommissioned forthwith. The NCAA wishes to reiterate that it will continue to apply requisite sanctions for violation of extant regulations, especially, where the resolve of the authority is tested.”

 

This came after the NCAA in April had warned all Global System for Mobile Communications providers and telecom operators against the violation of safety regulations, with a 30-day ultimatum handed down for compliance.

 

But Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON, condemned the move to destroy the towers, saying the Federal Government would rebuild them.

 

Teniola said, “We are disappointed that the government is still involved in the destruction of much-needed infrastructure that provides services for those communities that will be impacted by the stance that the NCAA has made.

 

“We have said in the past, and in support of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, that those base stations and towers that are destroyed would not be rebuilt. We expect the government to now rebuild what they have destroyed.”

 

 

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Workz Group to Deliver 50m eSims by 2024

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Workz Group, Mobile and IoT solutions provider, has announced a long-term partnership with the manufacturer of mobile IoT modules to deliver a projected 50 million embedded SIMs (eSIMs) by 2024.

 

The deal sees Workz provide secure data generation, management and personalisation for eSIM chips to be deployed globally by the cellular module leader for use in machine-to-machine (M2M) devices.

 

Workz, which offers eSIM technology and cloud management platforms to device manufacturers, network operators, technology enablers and governments, was recognised in an industry report by BIS Research earlier this year as a key player in the eSIM market.

 

Workz is the only GSMA-certified manufacturer of eSIM technology (EUM) in the Middle East and Africa.

 

The certification guarantees the secure management of data both physically and virtually during production and personalisation of eSIMs.

 

Personalisation refers to the upload of the SIM’s unique information to its smart chip.

 

Workz is one of only six providers in the world to carry such accreditation and possesses two certified facilities located in Dubai and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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VDT communications Launches 4G LTE Advanced services

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L-R: Mr. Adewale Akinade, Head, Finance & Account; Mrs. Bimbo Ikumariegbe, Deputy Managing Director; Mr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO; Mr. Victor Omoyeni and Mr. Dan Adah, Head, Corporate & Retail Sales all of VDT Communications during the Media Launch of the VDT 4G LTE Advanced Data Service in Lagos.
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VDT communications, a leading broadband communications service provider has launched its retail data network – 4G LTE Advanced service into the market.

 

The product themed:”Live the life” is aimed at bridging the dearth and poor quality network gap being witnessed in the market today.

 

Engr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications Limited, Speaking at the media launch, said that their decision of launching 4G LTE service is to bridge the gaps that exist in the market due to poor quality networks, poor customer service and inadequate support service.

L-R: Abimbola Ikumariegbe, Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer, VDT Communications Limited, Engr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications Limited and Engr.Victor Omoyeni, Chief Technology Officer the Media Launch of the VDT 4G LTE Advanced Data Service in Lagos.

 

He noted that with VDT’s 4G LTE Advanced Data Service all these yawning gaps will be filled with superior network quality, top-notch network performance and proactive customer and support services.

 

He explained that the opportunity to actualize this dream came with the successful acquisition of a broad channel 2.3GHz Spectrum from the Federal Government through Bitflux Communications Limited; a consortium which VDT is the principal partner.

 

According to him, “VDT LTE is leveraging on the Bitflux network it painstakingly and deliberately built from the scratch to provide premium quality 4Gbroadband experience in the country.

 

“So our ultimate goal is to offer members of the public an exceptional broadband experience every time they use our network.

Home CPE on display during the launch

 

“Thus, enhancing all aspects of their lives qualitatively and quantitatively; helping them to achieve more and truly live the life they are meant to!”

 

Omoniyi said that based on the huge acceptance and patronage the product received during the pre-launch test period, they intend to deploy the first phase in Lagos state where they have 80% network coverage, with hope of covering the remaining 20% in no distance time.

 

He added that they plan to deploy this product to four other leading cities in the key economic zones of Nigeria and the rest of the country in phases.

VDT’s Mobile Mifi Devices

 

According to him, “our official service launch is scheduled to take place early next month in Lagos.

 

“With the huge acceptance and patronage we received during the pre-launch test period with about 80% network coverage of Lagos State, VDT LTE would expand strategically to cover the entire Lagos State and other leading cities in the key economic zones of Nigeria and the rest of the country in phases.

 

“Our products range includes home CPE and mobile mifi devices at highly attractive rates.

 

“These we offer with free 30GB of data. We also offer the most attractive free night browsing [8pm to 7am] plan available in the industry.

 

“Furthermore, we still offer a free power bank[depending on the home CPE purchased]. Our data plans also come in highly affordable rates; as low as N3,500 and unlimited internet data plan at low prices.”

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