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Spectrum Fees Exorbitant, Airtel Tells NCC

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A leading mobile telecommunications operator, Airtel, has asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to review its spectrum pricing template in line with prevailing economic situation in the country.

Airtel made the call in response to the NCC invitation to stakeholders to submit comments and observations on its licensing proposal for 38GHz and 42GHz spectrum bands as well as re-planning of 23GHz spectrum band.

In its submission obtained from the NCC’s web portal on Sunday, Airtel urged the regulatory agency to review spectrum fees and pricing to reflect the present economic realities.

The company stated, “Airtel respectfully requests for the review of the commission’s Frequency Spectrum (Fees and Pricing Amendment) Regulation 2009 considering the high cost of microwave frequency when compared with jurisdictions with similar economic indices and the prevailing economic situation in the country.”

In response, the NCC said the concern on spectrum fees review had been noted. It, however, added that spectrum fees were calculated using the appropriate band and bandwidth factors. It stressed that the pricing was in line with the Nigeria Communications Act, 2003.

The NCC had recently sold a broadband frequency, 2.6GHz, which was only applied for by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited. Operators had largely shunned the frequency sale because the starting price was believed to be exorbitant.

Airtel also told the NCC to be cautious of the fact that the International Telecommunications Union had proposed the frequencies it planned to sell (38GHz and 42GHz spectrum bands) for International Mobile Telecommunication.

The operator, therefore, urged the regulatory agency to reserve some portion of the spectrum for the IMT should it go ahead with the planned sale of the spectrum.

According to the ITU, the initial set of the IMT standards approved was called the IMT-2000. Recently, however, the global telecommunications standards body approved the IMT-Advanced standard and added that it would keep progressing the upgrade for the next generation of the technologies.

The IMT-Advanced systems are broadband mobile systems that include the new capabilities of the IMT that go beyond those of the IMT-2000. Such systems provide access to a wide range of telecommunication services including advanced mobile services, supported by mobile and fixed networks, which are increasingly packet-based, according to the ITU.

It explained that the IMT-Advanced systems supported low to high mobility applications and a wide range of data rates in accordance with user and service demands in multiple user environments.

The IMT Advanced also had capabilities for high quality multimedia applications within a wide range of services and platforms, providing a significant improvement in performance and quality of service, it added.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Startups

5000 Startups From Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa Completed Google Training Programme

No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme.

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No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme. The programme was designed to help business owners learn soft skills that complement their hard talents.

Investors King learnt that Google received more than 10,000 applications for this year’s edition. 

It could be recalled that earlier this year, Google announced a plan to train 5,000 African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with participants coming from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. 

Google noted that participants will go through a training academy where they will undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3,000 hours of training on fundamental aspects of business to help them navigate the challenges faced by SMEs in Africa.

According to the press statement released by Google Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub Sahara Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde after the completion of the training, participants attended a five-day virtual boot camp where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding. 

While dividing them into 23 cohorts, they were also trained in digital marketing and effective financial planning.

This is in addition to the one-on-one mentoring sessions received by each participant. The mentoring session was handled by a network of trained mentors and coaches. 

Meanwhile, Aderemi-Makinde further revealed that Google has launched a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice. 

He added that Google will continue to do more to help African entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.

“(The) speaker series will allow Small and Medium Businesses to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis,” he said. 

He stated that Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the global economy while noting that in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 per cent of jobs. 

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Based Food Tech Startup, Orda Raises $3.4 Million in Seed Funding

Orda Africa has now raised a combined $4.5 million raised by the African-centric food tech company. 

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Nigerian-based food tech startup, Orda announced it has raised a sum of $3.4 million in seed funding after it raised $1.1 million in pre-seed funding at the beginning of this year. This makes it a total of $4.5 million raised by the African-centric food tech company. 

Investors King understands that Orda is an African restaurant cloud operating system that helps restaurants to move from pen and paper to a fully automated digital platform. 

According to the startup, it aims to help more African restaurants maximize their business operations and expand distribution. 

The tech company added that it plans to improve on some new features which include loan, credit, and payment options which will eventually enable its clients to maximize the potential of their business. 

Investors King learnt that this new round of funding was co-led by Quona Capital and FinTech Collective. Other institutional investors which participated in the seed funding include Far Out Ventures, Lofty Inc Capital, Enza Capital, and Outside VC.

In the last one year, Orda has been able to increase its customer base to more than 600 restaurants across Nigeria and Kenya while its weekly processing orders has increased by more than 500 percent. 

Speaking about the growth and focus of the company, Orda’s CEO and co-founder, Guy Futi said “From day one, Orda has been focused on building solutions for small and medium-sized restaurants”.

“These businesses operate with slim profit margins and the power of Orda’s software and financial solutions can catapult their business. Our goal is to provide end-to-end solutions that help them optimize their operations so they become more prosperous”. 

Founded in 2020 by Guy Futi, Fikayo Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri, Orda has the vision to help small-sized African restaurants optimize their business and achieve sustainable growth.

Meanwhile, the company has attributed its growth over the last 12 months to the excellent team it has put together, a trend it hopes to continue in the coming months. 

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Social Media

Twitter CEO, Elon Musk Alleged Apple Plans to Remove Twitter From iOS Store

Musk claimed that Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter

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Twitter’s new owner and CEO, Elon Musk, has alleged that Apple Inc. is planning to remove the Twitter app from the iOS App Store, the billionaire revealed this in a series of tweets yesterday. 

“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk tweeted on Monday. 

Aside from the threat to remove Twitter from its App Store, Musk also disclosed that Apple has mostly’ stopped advertising on Twitter.

In the following tweet, Musk claimed that Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. “Do they hate free speech in America,” he asked. 

Investors King had reported that a number of big brands which include Ford, Volkswagen, and General Motors have paused paid advertising on the microblogging platform. 

The brands have alleged that Twitter under the leadership of Elon Musk will open the social media platform to hate speech. 

If Apple eventually removes Twitter from the iOS store, it would be detrimental to Twitter’s business, which is already struggling with a loss of advertisers following Musk’s takeover. 

Millions of users get the Twitter application from the Apple iOS store. Therefore new users will not be able to download the Application on the iOS store while existing users will be deprived of updating the app. 

Washington Post reported that Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022, spending $48 million on ads on the social platform. 

The newspaper added that Apple’s spending accounted for more than 4 percent of Twitter’s revenue in that quarter.

Although Apple CEO, Tim Cook nor any of the company’s representatives responded to Musk’s post. 

The tweet however caught the attention of United States lawmakers who have proposed bipartisan legislation that aims to dismantle the power that Apple and Google wield through their app stores.

“This is why we need to end the App Store duopoly before the end of this year,” one of the lawmakers, Rep. Ken Buck tweeted. 

“No one should have this kind of market power,” he added.

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