[Nigeria] Airtel Unveils Smart Speedoo

Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider in Nigeria has unveiled Smart Speedoo, a revolutionary service that allows customers to experience real data while browsing at affordable tariffs, and enjoying free megabytes.

Airtel Smart Speedoo was unveiled at the press conference in Ikeja, Lagos.

Airtel Chief Commercial Officer, Ahmad Mokhles, said the company is passionate about creating innovative mobile Internet platforms, value offerings and opportunities that will help telecoms consumers in Nigeria stay connected and be fully empowered to fulfill their dreams.

“Airtel Nigeria is intensely interested in democratizing data tariff and we have taken a huge step forward in this journey in line with our major objective of becoming the provider of first choice for mobile Internet services,” Mokhles added.

Speaking on how Airtel Speedo works, Vice President, Data & Digital Services at Airtel, Nitin Anand, said customers using Smart Speedoo enjoy low rates in addition to free data the more they browse. “When a customer uses up to 10MB at 1kobo/kb, Airtel gives him 10MB free. And when his usage gets to 50mb, the browsing rate drops to 0.5kobo/kb, then he gets 50MB free. When the customer’s usage reaches 100mb, the rate drops further to 0.2kobo/kb and he is given 100MB free,” Anand explained. Anand further noted that this cycle continues every month, thereby giving Airtel customers the FREE SURF experience.
 
While commenting on the superfast 3G internet, which Smart Speedoo rides on, Nitin noted that Airtel has the largest deployment of 3G Internet Provider (IP) sites in the country enabling the telco offer internet speed of up to 42mbps, which is very close to the Long Term Evolution (LTE) speed.

“Almost 80 to 85 percent of all Airtel 3G sites in Nigeria are IP-enabled so they can give you the speed of 42mbps; this speed is similar to the speed you get on LTE network. So, we can proudly announce that customers can get real data experience on the Airtel 3G network, which is equal to 4G speed,” Anand said.

Head, Data & Portals, Airtel, David Umoh in his presentation explained that Airtel customers using the service do not need to remember USSD code to buy data or worry about their airtime being used up when out of data while browsing, as Smart Speedoo gives pop-up notifications to show usage.
The telecommunications company noted that Airtel Smart Speedoo gives ‘free internet in everyone’s hand’ as it enables customers to be in control of their data usage while also surfing at a very low rate.

Airtel noted that it will continue to roll out more innovative services designed to further empower Nigerians and offer them FREE SURF experience.
Source: Biztechafrica

MTN Goes Live With LTE-Advanced

MTN has joined the growing list of South African telecommunications operators offering next-generation LTE-Advanced broadband services offering theoretical speeds in excess of 100Mbit/s over mobile connections. The company said on Wednesday that it has launched LTE-A in Camps Bay in Cape Town, Moreleta Park in Pretoria and at the Gautrain station in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

The ability to aggregate or pool spectrum is one of the primary benefits of LTE-A, said MTN South Africa acting chief technology officer Krishna Chetty. Using this technology, MTN is able to combine portions of its available spectrum where it can be “re-farmed” or reallocated to enable LTE-A.

The company has launched the LTE-A service despite the fact that it has not been allocated any additional radio frequency spectrum by communications regulator ICASA.

“The lack of critical, high-value spectrum has compelled MTN to re-farm existing spectrum to cater for the rollout of new-generation networks such as LTE-A,” the company said in a statement. LTE-A is still relatively new and thus only a few high-end devices are compatible with the network, it said.

MTN rival, Vodacom, has also rolled out a number of LTE-A sites, although it has admitted it is constrained in its ability to roll the technology out more broadly because it does not have access to sufficient spectrum.

Telkom has also deployed LTE-A in selected areas using the large chunk of spectrum it has access to in the 2.3GHz band.

Source: TechCentral

[Nigeria] Regulatory Services Ban on MTN Lifted – Why?

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has lifted the ban on regulatory services which it placed on MTN Nigeria for several regulatory infractions.
But the lifting of the ban on regulatory services is in no way related to the fine the Commission imposed on MTN on October 20, 2015, for failure to deactivate 5.2million improperly registered SIM cards for which a fine of N1.04Trillion was imposed. These infractions predated this fine.

According to Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, the letter lifting suspension of regulatory services to MTN signed by Mr. Efosa Idehen, Head, Compliance, Monitoring/Enforcement and Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Head, Legal & Regulatory Services, specifically stated that the lifting of the suspension is as a result of several letters from MTN to the NCC requesting for the lifting.

The letter stated that “we have reviewed MTN’s plea and also took into consideration the fact that MTN has abated all the infractions that gave rise to the suspension of regulatory services by the Commission.”
The infractions included, but not limited to, tariffs and promotions by MTN in letters from NCC of May 4, 2015, May 9, 2015 and May 25, 2015 respectively to withdraw unapproved tariffs and promotions specifically MTN Trutalk, MTN Best II promotions among others. Compliance checks on MTN showed that it had failed and deliberately refused to comply with the directives issued by the Commission.

In spite of that, it continued to introduce additional promotions in utter disregard for the NCC directive, contrary to the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and Regulation 8(2) of the Enforcement Regulations 2005 and the relevant provision in the Guidelines for Advertisement and Promotion. Further communication with MTN in letters dated June 19, 2015 and July 13, 2015 did not in any way discourage the operator from these infractions.

Consequently, in a meeting between the NCC and MTN management on October 5, 2015 it was resolved among others that: NCC should compile and communicate list of all outstanding infractions to MTN stating what they need to do regarding each of the infractions; MTN should resolve all the outstanding infractions within two weeks and revert to the Commission; the Commission will monitor and validate the claims by MTN; and MTN must commit to settling all outstanding Annual Operating Levies (AOLs) debts from 2014 and MTN must pay all penalties resulting from these outstanding infractions.

Having reviewed MTN’s plea therefore and in consideration that the operator has abated all the infractions listed above, the NCC hereby lifts the suspension urging MTN “to ensure that it maintains good regulatory standing with the Commission at all times to avoid future occurrence”

In lifting the suspension of regulatory services to MTN, “the Commission expects total compliance with NCA, 2003, Regulations and the Terms and Conditions of Licences issued to MTN and will not hesitate to impose necessary sanctions where MTN flouts any provision of the foregoing regulatory instruments.”
Source: Biztechafrica

[Ghana] NCA Signs MOU With ICTA of Turkey

Ghana’s telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (ICTA) of Turkey, at the Flagstaff House in Accra. The MOU is to assist both regulators to share knowledge and experiences in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The Director General in charge of NCA, Mr. William Tevie and Dr. Omer Fatih Sayan, Chairman of the Board of ICTA, both signed on behalf of their respective institutions. In a brief remark on the MOU, Tevie noted that the NCA’s preparedness to engage with ICTA on issues of mutual interest to both institutions as a practice which is quite common amongst telecommunications regulators with the aim of enabling the respective institutions share knowledge and experiences in the field of Information and Communication Technologies. It is expected that both regulatory authorities would benefit and build their capacities in meeting the growing needs of a fast changing industry.

The Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority, Mr. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, expressed the board’s gratitude to the leadership of ICTA for accepting to team up with NCA to improve the regulatory practices of both institutions through the exchange of ideas, information, personnel, skills and experience.

Source: Biztechafrica