- Smile Unveils 0702 4G LTE Pack
Having pioneered the launch of 4G LTE technology among telecoms operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Smile Communications Nigeria limited has launched a new SIM proposition on the 0702SMIlLE 4G LTE range.
The broadband company also used the occasion of the launch to unveil its first brand ambassador, Steve Onu, popularly known as Yaw.
The product launch and unveiling of its brand ambassador, according to the firm, reaffirmed its commitment to innovation, value creation and service excellence.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Smile Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, stated that Smile Communications is Nigeria’s leading telecommunications network and service provider that is dedicated to providing high-quality, reliable, superfast broadband access, voice and SMS using the 4G LTE technology. He observed that Smile Nigeria had gone ahead to distinguish itself through innovation, value-creation and service excellence.
According to Azudialu-Obiejesi, “Smile Communications was the first to introduce 4G LTE technology in Nigeria, and has since then, redefined service quality and standard in the Nigerian telecommunication sector. Our goal was to make Nigerians get and gain more from telecommunication services. This inspired our deployment of the 4G LTE, which revolutionised the way Nigerians access the internet and communicate with families and friends, home and abroad”.
He stated that in just three years of operation, the company has acquired a reputation as an innovative organisation, and one devoted to greater appreciation of its customers. He enthused that insights gained from positive institutional orientation have helped in scaling up the company’s innovation and creativity. For instance, Smile Communications Limited provided a reliable connection for web surfing, online movie and music downloads, High Definition (HD) Video streaming and super clear voice calls at the lowest call rate across all networks, which hitherto was a challenge, he said.
As a customer focused company, Azudialu-Obiejesi explained that the company was always desirous to offer the best service at the most appropriate price.
“Smile Communications is the only telecommunications service provider in Nigeria that offers voice calls and SMS from one data plan. Our call rate is as low as 8kobo per second, on the SmileVoice only plan and lowest call rate when our customers make calls home from anywhere in the world. These propositions further reaffirm our status as a customer-centric organisation,” he noted.
To make the benefits of Smile’s industry-defining service reach a broader segment of the Nigerian population, Azudialu-Obiejesi disclosed that the company has commenced an aggressive network expansion drive which will see it cover all cities in a very short period thereby ensuring that more Nigerians will have access to Smile’s superfast and super reliable 4th Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) broadband services.
The Managing Director, Smile Nigeria, Godfrey Efeurhobo, said the company had in the past, introduced a number of innovative voice and data services and is reinforcing its 0702 number range on the heels of its recent introduction of the lowest call tariff that allows its customers to make calls at 8kobo per second to any network from within and outside the country at the same rate, using SmileVoice App on any smartphone, and its 4G LTE SIM on boice over LTE compatible handset.
Efeurhobo reaffirmed that Smile offers the best value proposition and experience to customers in Nigeria. He stated that there were multiple benefits of using a Smile 4G LTE SIM in a compartible LTE device. The Nigerian consumers, he stated, will enjoy superclear voice calls on Smile network at lowest call rates in the market and also enjoy superfast internet experience such as video/music streaming/downloads and SMSs, all using one Smile bundle plan, which is a first in the market.
On the unveiling of Steve Onu alias Yaw, Efeurhobo avowed that the choice of Yaw, a versatile Radio/TV personality, as brand ambassador for Smile Nigeria is coherent with Smile’s values for innovation, creativity, versatility and values of reliability, respect and service.
He contended that the new brand-positioning proposition accentuates Smile’s quest to expand its scope of operations, provide its customers with unrivaled quality service and contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of mobile broadband penetration in Nigeria. He also added that Smile remains the only telecom provider that allowed voice calls and sms from one data plan and the benefits include calls as low as 8k/sec to all networks on the SmileVoice Only Plan, this gives Smile the unique positioning of offering bespoke and affordable propositions for Nigerians. The company has presence in eight key Nigerian cities, which include Ibadan, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin-City, Kaduna, Asaba and Onitsha.
SWIFT Launches SWIFT Go, a Fast, Cost-effective Service for Low-value Cross-border Payments
New service enables businesses and consumers to send payments in seconds with full transparency and strong security; SWIFT Go is a key building block in the co-operative’s strategy to enable instant and frictionless cross-border transactions; Seven leading global banks already live with the service.
SWIFT today announces the launch of SWIFT Go, a transformative new service that enables small businesses and consumers to send fast, predictable, highly secure, and competitively priced low-value cross-border payments anywhere in the world, direct from their bank accounts. Seven global banks, which collectively handle 33 million low-value cross-border payments per year, are already live with the service.
SWIFT Go enables financial institutions to offer a seamless payments experience for low value transactions often initiated by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to pay suppliers overseas and by consumers sending money to friends and family internationally. Using tighter service level agreements between institutions and pre-validation of data, SWIFT Go enables banks to provide their end customers a fast and predictable payments experience with upfront visibility on processing times and costs.
The SWIFT Go service builds on the high-speed rails of SWIFT gpi, which have transformed the speed and predictability of high-value payments. The service marks another milestone in SWIFT’s strategy to enable instant and frictionless transactions from one account to another, across SWIFT’s network that connects more than 11,000 institutions, and 4 billion accounts across 200 countries worldwide. It will further strengthen the capabilities of banks to serve their customers in the high-growth small business and consumer payments segments.
Stephen Gilderdale, Chief Product Officer, at SWIFT said: “SWIFT Go is a further step towards achieving our vision of enabling anybody, anywhere, to send money instantly and securely around the world. The new service is a direct response to the needs of small businesses and consumers for fast, easy, predictable, secure and competitively priced cross-border payments. Our new service will allow banks to compete effectively in one of the fastest growing segments of the payments market, delivering a seamless experience for their customers.”
SWIFT Go was developed in close collaboration with the global SWIFT community and is underpinned by several key pillars:
- Speed: Tighter service levels between banks increase speed. A single payment format increases straight-through processing, while services such as pre-validation remove frictions that cause delays.
- Predictability: The amount, time, fees and FX rate of a payment are known in advance. The sender and receiver of a payment can track the status in real-time.
- Easy to use: The user experience is simple and streamlined, with data requirements known upfront. Strict network validation provides for easy initiation and processing of SWIFT Go payments
- Competitive prices: Processing fees are agreed between financial institutions upfront so they can provide their customers with full transparency; increased straight-through processing further reduces processing costs.
- Security: Senders and receivers have peace of mind that payments are underpinned by the strong security of the SWIFT network. Seven leading global banks are now using SWIFT Go live: BBVA; Bank of New York Mellon; DNB; MYBank; Sberbank; Société Générale, and UniCredit.
Raouf Soussi, Head of Enterprise Payments Strategy of Client Solutions, BBVA said: “BBVA is very excited to be one of the first banks to sign up to SWIFT Go and we recognise the potential of this solution to revolutionise the way SMEs and consumers move money around the world. We have listened closely to our customers and we know how much they value a secure service that ensures payments reach their destination quickly and seamlessly.”
Isabel Schmidt, Head of Direct Clearing and Asset Account Services Products, Bank of New York Mellon said: “It’s no secret that for many years consumers and small businesses have been running into varying pain points when transacting international payments. These challenges have included opaque costs and lack of certainty on how quickly funds are delivered to the final beneficiary. This is why BNY Mellon is pleased to be the first US bank to go live with SWIFT Go, a new service that overcomes all of these challenges and assists financial institutions in delivering a competitive, seamless, fast and predictable payments experience to their customers.”
Feng Liang, Deputy CEO, MYBank said: “SWIFT gpi has become the benchmark for high-value cross-border transactions and we are confident that SWIFT Go will be equally as transformative for SME payments. By providing for instant, seamless transactions within one of the highest growth areas of our industry, we expect that adoption of SWIFT Go will be widespread and that it will quickly be established as the industry standard for lower value transactions.”
Jean-François Mazure, Head of Cash Clearing and Correspondent Banking, Société Générale said: “As customer expectations for faster payments evolve, the correspondent banking industry requires a solution to more competitively process SME and consumer payments. SWIFT Go fits perfectly with it, allowing us to provide an outstanding experience to our customers with predictable, seamless, and frictionless low-value cross-border transactions reaching beneficiaries accounts quicker than ever.”
Raphael Barisaac, Global Head of Cash Management, Global Co-Head of Trade, UniCredit said: “UniCredit has long been a keen supporter of innovations within payments that deliver excellent outcomes for end-customers, and as such we are very proud of our involvement in SWIFT Go. This is a service that will lead to real benefits for SMEs and consumers, allowing them to enjoy the speed, predictability and transparency that SWIFT gpi has brought to high-value transactions.”
Bank of America, Coinbase Ventures Invested in Paxos’ $300M Funding Round
Paxos – a provider of blockchain infrastructure – said Bank of America, crypto exchange FTX, Founders Fund and Coinbase Ventures were among a heavyweight list of investors in its $300 million Series D funding round, the firm disclosed on Thursday.
Oak HC/FT led the funding round, which the nine-year-old company announced in late April at a valuation of $2.4 billion. The round also included PayPal Ventures and Mithril Capital, among others. The firm has raised more than $540 million over multiple funding rounds.
The company noted that Bank of America joined the Paxos Settlement Service earlier this year. The platform uses blockchain technology to achieve the same-day settlement of stock trades.
“We’re defining this space and are excited to grow our enterprise solutions besides these market leaders,” Paxos CEO and co-founder Charles Cascarilla said in a press release.
Paxos started providing infrastructure for PayPal’s crypto service last year, which has extended to PayPal’s Venmo payments app. Credit Suisse, fintech Revolut and Societe Generale are among other customers.
In an April interview with CoinDesk, Cascarilla called the latest funding round “confidence capital” that would give customers certainty that Paxos would “be around for the next five to 10 years.”
In a statement, Founders Fund partner Napoleon Ta called Paxos “a trusted operator in blockchain-based financial market infrastructure,” highlighting “its commitment to regulation, reliability and security for enterprises entering digital asset markets.”
NCC Sets Fresh Operational Fees, Spectrum Prices For Telecommunications Operators
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has set up an annual operating regulatory levy to ensure that all licenses were properly and equitably assessed to meet statutory and regulatory expectations.
This was disclosed by the Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, during the Public Inquiry on two regulatory instruments draft held on Thursday, in Abuja.
Danbatta explained that the two key regulatory instruments were tailored to meet the challenges and to further strengthen the market structure of the industry.
The instruments include the Annual Operating Regulations and the Frequency Spectrum Regulations, which fees and pricing fall under.
He said “The first instrument will bring the regulations in line with current realities and sustain the enviable contributions of the communications sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
“The second instrument is a vehicle that enables the commission to meet its role and exclusive mandate in Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 by assigning this scarce national resource in an equitable manner. The regulations also ensure that frequency spectrum are assigned and managed in a way that ensures fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services. The public inquiry is precursor to the commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management and unveiling of next-generation services through varied enablers.”
The NCC Boss informed that the Commission had commenced the process of deploying Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria, which largely depended on the appropriate frequency spectrum.
With the explosion in technologies, Danbatta said there was also an attendant secondary reliance on different approaches to maximize frequency spectrum.
He noted that this led to the need for designation of several bands of frequency spectrum for communications services and a key illustration was the recent identification of some Spectrum frequencies for 5G deployment.
Professor Danbatta assured that the Commission was conscious of the expectations and the need to ensure that the required regulatory frameworks were in place to meet these challenges.
He noted that this had made the reviews, which the Commission was conducting an important milestone as the public inquiry is pushing the country to the front queue of this global efforts.
“We must be prepared on both ends of the industry to push the country forward for these remarkable changes; while the licensees continue to invest in deployment. The Commission will sustain its drive-by ensuring regulatory efficiency and excellence,” the NCC Boss restated
He expressed optimism that the review would ensure effective and efficient utilization of frequency spectrum and also ensure a fair approach to the management of finance in the industry in the near future.
Danbatta urged participants to make their contributions freely and raise issues that would assist the Commission in developing and issuing regulatory instruments that would continually contribute to the development of the industry and sustain its positive contributions to the nation’s economy.
Earlier, in her address, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services of the Commission, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, said the objective of the public inquiry was to secure the buy-in of all stakeholders and ensure the efficiency of the regulatory instruments when implemented.
She explained that the Commission decided to review the Annual Operating Regulations 2014 and the Frequency Pricing Regulations 2004 to ensure that the regulatory instruments issued were abreast with developments in the industry.
According to Amuwa, the Annual Operating Levy Regulations review will look at the current licensing structure and ensure that all the spectra of licensees will be properly covered.
“Another key part of the review is to clarify and clearly outline the benchmarks for assessment. This will not only ensure regulatory certainty but further entrench transparency in the process. On the other hand, the review of the second regulation, the Frequency Spectrum (Fees and Pricing) Regulations is expected to provide more guidelines on the parameter for determination of proper fees and pricing of spectrum. This will also make adequate provisions for different spectrum licensing processes and their assessment parameters,” she explained.
Present at the event were the Executive Commissioner, Technical Standards, Engineer Ubale Maska, the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Directors, Deputy and Assistant Directors as well as External Stakeholders.
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