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Smile Telecoms Appoints Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer



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Smile Telecoms, a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, today announces the appointments of Mr. Ahmad Farroukh as Group Chief Executive Officer and Ms. Irene Charnley as Deputy Chairman, respectively, effective 1 June 2019.

Ahmad Farroukh, who currently serves as Smile’s Group Executive Director Operations, is a seasoned and experienced telecoms executive with a distinguished record of commercial and operational success.

Mr. Farroukh’s vast experience extends to executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group (where he served as CEO of MTN Nigeria, MTN South Africa and Group Chief Operating Executive, responsible for 19 countries) and immediately prior to joining Smile, as CEO of Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecommunications operator. Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Ahmad will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria.

Hailed as one of Africa’s most successful business leaders, Smile Telecoms founder and shareholder, Irene Charnley has led the Company’s innovation and pioneering of Africa’s first 4G LTE network infrastructure, using low band spectrum in 800MHz band. thereby revolutionizing the way people in Africa accessed high speed internet. After 12 years at the helm, Ms. Charnley will now serve as Deputy Chairman for the Company and will fulfil a strategic role.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohammed H. Sharbatly, Smile’s Co-Chairman and Group CEO of Smile’s majority shareholder, Al Nahla Group of KSA, said “The Africa telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad is suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich upstart to the fastest, most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa.

“We are equally delighted that Irene will continue to serve the company she founded as Deputy Chair, and we look forward to her ongoing strategic direction and guidance.”

“The next phase for Smile will focus on delivering excellent operational returns, achieving profitability and creating value for all stakeholders, and I believe that Ahmed is best suited to lead the Company forward in this regard”, added Irene Charnley.

“Africa is experiencing explosive data growth, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the operations of one of the continent’s best 4G LTE networks at this exciting time.

It has also been a revelation after over 20 years in the industry to witness the power and versatility of Smile’s proprietary technology applications platform, which was developed in-house and provides a huge competitive and cost advantage,” concluded Ahmad Farroukh.

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GSMA says Youth Population to Drive Strong Subscriber Growth Across Sub-Saharan Africa



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Sub-Saharan Africa will remain the world’s fastest-growing mobile region over the coming years as millions of young African consumers become mobile users for the first time, according to a new GSMA study.

It reveals that more than 160 million new unique mobile subscribers1 will be added across the region by 2025, bringing the total to 623 million, representing around half of the region’s population, up from 456 million (44 per cent) in 2018. Subscriber additions will be concentrated in high-growth markets such as Nigeria and Ethiopia, the report says.

“A new generation of youthful ‘digital natives’ across Sub-Saharan Africa are set to fuel customer growth and drive adoption of new mobile services that are empowering lives and transforming businesses,” said Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA. “With mobile technology at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital journey, it is essential for policymakers in the region to implement policies and best practices that ensure sustainable growth in the mobile industry, and enable the transition to next-generation mobile networks.”

The study calculates that the mobile ecosystem across Sub-Saharan Africa generated almost $150 billion in economic value last year – equivalent to 8.6 per cent of the region’s GDP. It is forecast to generate almost $185 billion (9.1 per cent of GDP) by 2023.

The 2019 Sub-Saharan Africa edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy report series is being published at the ‘Mobile 360 – Africa’ event being held this week in Kigali, Rwanda. The new report also reveals that:

– Around 239 million people, equivalent to 23 per cent of the region’s population, use the mobile internet on a regular basis.

– Smartphones accounted for 39 per cent of mobile connections2 in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, forecast to increase to two thirds of connections by 2025.

-3G will overtake 2G to become the leading mobile technology in Sub-Saharan Africa this year.

– 4G will account for almost one in four connections by 2025. However, 4G uptake is being dampened in some markets by the high cost of 4G devices and delays in assigning 4G spectrum.

-The region’s mobile operators are increasing investment in their networks and are expected to spend $60 billion (capex) on network infrastructure and services between 2018 and 2025 – almost a fifth of this total being invested in new 5G networks.

– Sub-Saharan Africa’s mobile ecosystem supports around 3.5 million jobs, directly and indirectly, and last year contributed almost $15.6 billion to the funding of the public sector through consumer and operator taxes.

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NCC moves to ensure MNOs networks are LTE Compatible



Ismail Adedigba, Head, Information and Reference Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC at the 5th edition of ICTEL EXPO 2019, holding at the Landmark Event Center, Lagos.
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In line with Nigerian Communications Commission’s(NCC) resolve that Nigeria is not left behind in the advancement of new technology in Information and communications technology (ICT) service delivery the Commission has begun move to ensure that all mobile network operators (MNOs) network in the country are Long Term Evolution (LTE)-compatible.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek reports that Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals, based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. It increases the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements.

Also LTE is the upgrade path for carriers with both GSM/UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks. The different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries mean that only multi-band phones are able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), who was represented by Ismail Adedigba, Head, Information and Reference Consumer Affairs Bureau stated this at the ongoing 5th edition of ICTEL EXPO 2019, holding at the Landmark Event Center, Lagos.

According to him, “we are ensuring that all new sites to be built by the mobile network operators (MNOs) are Long Term Evolution (LTE)-compatible.

“We also strive to ensure implementation of harmonised Right of Way (RoW) charges on state and federal government highways at the cost of N145 per linear meter to encourage faster rollout of telecoms infrastructure.

“We are also working with relevant stakeholders to ensure elimination of multiple taxation and regulations; encourage spread of 3G coverage to, atleast 80 per cent of the Nigerian population over the current 56.4%of the population covered with 3G networks.

“Furthermore, the Commission is encouraging the operators’ upgrade of their 2G base transceiver stations (BTSs) to 3G; spread of Fifth Generation (5G) to, at least five per cent of the population; spread of 4G/LTE services to 100 per cent of the population with a minimum broadband speed of 1.5 megabit per second (Mbps); and finally, deployment of at least one Access Point of fiber with a 10 gigabyte per second (Gbps) capacity in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the Federation through the INFRACO.”

L-R: Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Technology, Mr Chima Igwe, Immediate past president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (LCCI), Dr Nike Akande, Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Ministry of Communications, Mrs Moni Udoh , President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase and Chairman, trade promotion board, Gabriel Idahosa, at the Opening ceremony of the LCCI 5th edition of ICTEL EXPO 2019, in Lagos, on Tuesday

He noted also that fourth industrial revolution will have the capacity to enhance every facet of our lives, and not just the workforce alone.

The NCC boss revealed that the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution have the potential to connect everything into one giant communicating network.

Danbatta said “the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s technologies, such as AI, augmented reality, robotics, Cloud computing, Big data, Over-the-Top (OTT), Block-chain technology, advanced security systems and 3-D printing, etc., are rapidly changing the way humans create, exchange, and distribute value.

“As with previous revolutions, this will profoundly transform institutions, industries, and individuals.

“More importantly, this revolution will be guided by the choices that people make today: the world in 50 to 100 years from now will owe a lot of its character to how we think about, invest in, and deploy these powerful new technologies.

“Suffice it to state that the Fourth Industrial Revolution involves a systemic change across many sectors and aspects of human life and as such, the crosscutting impacts of emerging technologies are even more important than the exciting capabilities they represent.

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, President of Assocation of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria said that every industrial revolutions we have witnessed in the time past was associated with one form of technical innovation or the other, noting that these technical innovations were protected by the government before it thrived

He added however, that in Nigeria, the case is not the same, that government is not doing enough to protect stakeholders in the industry.

Adebayo who was represented by Mr Aremu Olajide said every revolution started with an innovation, an enabler and they complement each other but unfortunately in Nigeria the challenges that exist does not encourage for the right infrastructure to be provided.

He noted that if the challenges in the information and Communications Technology sector is not addressed the quest to be part of the fourth industrial revolution will be a mirage.

He explained that every enabler in the sector should complement each other, adding that if we don’t get it correct at any stage, we cannot move to another stage.

He reiterated that for us to get it, infrastructure must be provided at all level of the economy.

According to him, “Government should declare these enablers a national critical infrastructure, create an environment for the youth to be innovative, create a smart city initiative, find lasting solutions to protecting infrastructure.

“All these put in place will ensure a conducive environment for 4IR to thrive,” he said

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One Charge, 4 Days on, TECNO 5000mAh Big Battery Smartphone Pouvoir 3 is now Available



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Global premier mobile phone brand TECNO Mobile under TRANSSION HOLDINGS, launched the another powerful smartphone device from their Pouvoir serieswhich is known for its huge battery capacity.

This new TECNO smartphone is dubbed the Pouvoir 3 and it comes fully equipped with a powerful battery that solves all your battery problems.

A lot of our everyday experiences are closely tied to our smartphones therefore the most heartbreaking experience in recent times has to be the loss of battery power and the ultimate demise of a smartphone device in times of need. With TECNO Pouvoir 3,

  • you can use the Wi-fi, GPS, Bluetooth, or any connectivity feature all at once for more than 20 hours
  • you can turn your backlight on to the brightest for more than 24hours
  • you can make calls for up to 43 hours—that’s almost two days
  • you can experience the magic of more than 120 hours of music playback
  • you can watch videos for up to 22 hours– which means you can comfortably watch 10 movies in a row
  • you can enjoy the game for up to 13 hours non-stop !

“Being from the stables of the Pouvoir series that is known for its incredible battery capacity and performance, the Pouvoir 3 proudly delivers on battery life, with 4 days uninterrupted stand-by performance. With its 5000mAh battery being the focal point, the Pouvoir 3 device takes you from a meager battery percentage at the end of the day to an impressive battery charge that can last for an extremely long time without the need to recharge.”said by Stephen HA, Vice President of TRANSSION HOLDINGS and Managing Director of TECNO Mobile.


Besides to the long-standby battery, TECNO Pouvoir 3 also delivers a non-aging battery performance that stands the test of time and in turn leads to a revolutionary smartphone experience.

The new powerful addition to the Pouvoir family comes with a high performing glossy design that is lighter, thinner and sleeker than its predecessors, and comes equipped with a new technology that gives way to a whole new function. The device also comes with a 6.2-inch notch screen and super full view that projects images in a better fashion- which is a substantial improvement from its predecessor – The Pouvoir 2.

Pouvoir 3 dons an array of new features such as: Face Unlock and fingerprint sensor for optimized security, AR emoji, FM radio that doesn’t necessarily need earphones to work and so much more.


And on the camera angle, the new TECNO Pouvoir 3 device is not a slouch as it dons a 13MP front camera and 13MP rear camera, has a large internal storage of 32GB ROM+ 2GB RAM and runs on Android 8.1 OS based on HiOS 4.1, which will deliver a fluid performance.

TECNO Pouvoir 3 will comes in 3 distinct colours: Midnight Black, Champagne Gold and Aqua Blue.

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