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Mobile Internet Subscription Hits 93.5m

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Mobile internet in Nigeria
  • Mobile Internet Subscription Hits 93.5 Million

The number of mobile Internet subscription in the country rose by 35.71 million between 2013 and 2016, an analysis of data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown.

According to the NCC, the mobile Internet subscription in the country stood at 93,554,076 as of September 2016 while as in October 2013, the total mobile subscription stood at 57,840,229.

This means that within the period of three years, mobile Internet subscription rose by 35,712,777. It also means that within the period of three years, mobile Internet subscription rose by 61.75 per cent.

Although at 32,771,259 subscribers, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited had the largest mobile subscription as of September 2016; Etisalat’s showed the biggest leap over the three year period as its mobile Internet subscription rose from 5,640,789 to 15,062,650, showing a difference of 9,421,861 or 167.03 per cent increase.

On the network of Airtel, the mobile Internet subscription rose from 9,650,631 in October 2013 to 18,832,238 as of September 2016. This shows a difference of 9,181,607 or 95.14 per cent growth rate.

Subscription on Globacom rose from 12,975,809 to 26,887,929 within the period. This means that the subscription grew by 13,912,120. This shows a growth rate of 107.22 per cent.

On the other hand, mobile Internet subscription on MTN rose from 29,477,200 to 32,771,259 within the period. This means that the mobile Internet subscription on the network rose by 3,294,059, showing a growth rate of 11.17 per cent.

Although over a period of three years, mobile Internet subscription in the country increased by 61.75 per cent, the subscription actually declined in the last one year.

Mobile Internet subscription in the country attained its peak in November 2015 when the subscription attained the height of 97,824,017.

As of October 2015, mobile Internet subscription stood at 97,518,398. This means that in the last 12 months, mobile Internet subscription in the country has declined by 3,964,322. This shows that the subscription declined by 4.06 per cent.

In the last three quarters of the year, the Nigerian economy has been in recession. The decline in the mobile Internet subscription could therefore mean that with lesser disposable income, more Nigerians who could not renew their data subscription opted out, leading to 4.06 per cent decline over the one year period within which the nation has witnessed recession.

The increase in mobile Internet subscription in the last three years has increased the revenue stream of digital operators. Even at an Average Revenue Per User of only N500 per month, 93,554,076 subscribers means additional N46.78bn a month in the coffers of mobile operators.

At the inception of digital mobile services in the country, operators had concentrated on only voice services. However, with advancement in technology, demand for higher productivity and mobile office, the rise in social networking and ubiquity of smartphones and other digital devices; there has been an increase in the demand for data services.

This has also reflected in the recent emphasis on mobile broadband services by both the industry regulator and mobile operators. In simple terms, broadband Internet means faster Internet services. Many subscribers are actually frustrated at the slow speed of connection offered by their service providers.

A number of operators have responded by making additional investments and launching 4G services. There is even fear that some that do not actually have 4G capability have only joined the bandwagon to advertise 4G services; just as they offer 2G services in the garb of 3G services.

An online professional, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had been disappointed with the 3G offerings of two operators and therefore had not bordered about the new pitch of 4G technology.

“The 4G is limited to specific areas of the some cities. If you are not within those areas, you cannot enjoy 4G,” the subscriber said.

The Executive Vice-Chairman at the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently put broadband penetration in the country at 21 per cent although the Alliance for Affordable Internet had also recently put the nation’s broadband Internet penetration at 14 per cent.

Danbatta said to reduce pressure on the existing lower microwave frequency bands and increase broadband access across the country, the NCC planned to license the 38 GHz and 42 GHz bands, adding that both bands were suitable for short hop and point-to-point terrestrial links.

The bands also support 3G/4G/LTE backhaul and a high degree of frequency reuse due to the high directivity of their antennas.

He said, “Currently in Nigeria, more than 10 terabytes of telecommunications capacity exist at the landing point, but the challenge is the deployment of fibre infrastructure across the country that will effectively distribute this capacity to the distribution nodes at the metropolitan areas of all regions in the country that will supply sufficient fibre capacity to the backbone.

“The commission is finalising subsidy agreements with two infrastructure companies, Infraco Nigeria Limited and I-Connect Infrastructure Services Limited for the Lagos and North Central Zones, respectively to facilitate the rollout of broadband services.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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FirstWave Signs Level 1 Partner Agreement with pan-African technology company Moja Access

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Neil Pollock, CEO, FirstWave Cloud Technology - investorsking.com

Leading Australian-headquartered, global, cybersecurity-as-a-service company, FirstWave Cloud Technology Limited (ASX: FCT) (FirstWave), is pleased to announce the signing of a three-year Level 1 Partner Agreement with Moja Access, part of CSquared Group (www.csquared.com), a pan-African technology company.

Moja Access is the Kenya-based operating company of CSquared, a joint venture between Google LLC, Japan-based Mitsui & Co, investment firm Convergence Partners, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group), with the goal to make commercially driven investments to improve and increase connectivity and internet access in Sub-Saharan Africa.

CSquared currently operates fibre and last mile WiFi networks in several cities across Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia, with over 40 mobile operators and internet service providers relying on its infrastructure for serving mobile consumers and corporate customers. These four African nations had over 10 million Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and over 70 million internet users at the end of 2020.

In the initial phase of this partnership, FirstWave has deployed its recently launched FirstCloud™ WebProtect DNS platform for each of CSquared’s four territories for use by CSquared’s operating companies and Level 2 partners. CSquared’s operating companies’ partners and their end-customers will get the web security solution as part of their internet service on an “opt-out” basis.

As a consequence, revenue generation will commence immediately, and end-customers can ‘opt-out’ if, for any reason, they decide they do not want the service. Moja Access is currently in conversations with customers for uptake of this service.

The Partnership Agreement is for a 3-year term with rolling 6-month extension options thereafter and in keeping with FirstWave’s unique service proposition – democratising enterprise-grade cybersecurity-as-aservice – the vast number of MSMEs and Internet users across these 4 African nations can now be protected on CSquared’s network from cyber intruders, on a consumption basis, at an affordable monthly price.

FirstWave’s business head for EMEA & North America region, Sundar Bharadwaj, said, “CSquared Group’s Kenya-based entity Moja Access is a truly innovative partner for FirstWave in Sub-Saharan Africa with excellent credentials with its Telco and ISP client base. We look forward to expanding the reach for our Enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions to small and large end-customers through this partnership.”

Lanre Kolade, Group CEO of CSquared, said, “We are very excited to have signed this partnership with FirstWave. Our clients, including Telcos and Internet Service Providers, will benefit from FirstWave’s differentiated SaaS products. It will allow us to rapidly deploy and sell on a consumption based monthly pricing model, enterprise grade cybersecurity services to all our clients and their end-customers, large and small.”

FirstWave’s CEO, Neil Pollock, said, “I’m delighted to welcome CSquared Group’s Moja Access as our 8th Level 1 partner and see initial revenues already flowing from the partnership. CSquared is a fast-growing pan-African service provider backed by two large global corporations Google LLC and Mitsui & Co. CSquared already delivers robust fibre connectivity and internet access to thousands of end-customers via its 40+ mobile operator and ISP clients. With revenues already delivered, the partnership has had a really positive start.”

This announcement has been approved for release by the Board of Directors.

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Fintech Startups Hit $121.7B in Total Funding, a $20B Increase in a Year

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Fintech Startups Raises $121.7B in Funding in 2020

Recent years have witnessed a surge in the number of fintech investments, with record funding levels and rising valuations. The strong investment activity in the fintech sector continued in 2020, despite the global slowdown in venture capital deals caused by the COVID-19.

According to data presented by AksjeBloggen.com, the cumulative value of funds fintech startups raised over time hit $121.7bn in February, a $20bn increase in a year.

Asian Fintechs Raised $50.3B, 40% of Total Funding

The financial services industry continues attracting tech companies that transform how people and businesses spend, invest, save, and borrow money. The rapid growth of the entire sector has been followed by the increasing number of venture capitalists willing to invest in fintech companies and support their business.

In 2018, fintech startups raised $31.3bn with the cumulative funding value reaching $71.3bn that year, revealed the Crunchbase data. By the end of 2019, this figure jumped to $95.8bn, a $24.5bn increase in a year.

Statistics show that 2020 witnessed $20.3bn of investments into the fintech sector, despite a significant drop in global venture capital funding caused by the pandemic. The cumulative value of investments hit $116.1bn last year, and this figure rose by another $5.6bn in the last two months.

Statistics show that Asian fintechs lead in the total value of investments, with $50.3bn in funding rounds so far. The North American companies raised $47.8bn in funding, ranking as the second-leading region globally. European fintech startups follow with $18.2bn worth of investments.

The Number of Fintech Startups Tripled in Two Years

Although the COVID-19 may have influenced the investment activity in the fintech sector, the pandemic also triggered a surge in the use of fintech solutions, creating a huge space for new companies.

The BCG data revealed the number of fintech startups worldwide tripled in the last two years, rising from over 12,200 in 2019 to 26,000 in 2021.

As of February 2021, there were 10,605 financial technology startups in North America as the leading region, up from 5,800 in 2019.

However, statistics show Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have witnessed the most significant increase in the number of fintech startups. In 2019, almost 3,600 companies were operating in this sector. Since then, the number of fintech startups in the EMEA region surged by 160% to more than 9,300.

Asia and the Pacific ranked third with more than 6,100 fintech startups as of February, up from 2,800 in 2019.

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AFP Supports Access to Renewable Energy with €70m

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300MW Solar energy

AFP Supports Access to Renewable Energy with €70m

The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) is supporting access to renewable energy for Nigerian manufacturers with €70 million under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) Nigeria Programme for renewable energy.

The fund would be administered through the Access Bank Plc and the United Bank for Africa Plc.

However, only renewable energy projects like solar, wind, small hydro, biomas including waste-to-energy power plants would be eligible for funding under the SUNREF initiative.

The AFP described energy efficiency projects (EEP) as capital expenditure projects that would allow energy consumers to use less energy for achieving the same level of energy service.

The AFP made this known during the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency investors’ virtual conference that was held on Wednesday, in partnership with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), which is a technical assistance programme co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Government and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power and All-On of the Shell Foundation.

The conference was aimed at enabling the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) to understand the SUNREF’s technical requirements, equipment and installation quality standards, self-regulatory initiatives and certification for industry practitioners.

The President of the Nigerian Manufacturers Association (MAN), Mr. Mansur Ahmed, who participated in the conference, described the financial and technical assistance offered by the SUNREF as significant opportunity that came at a time, “we needed it most more than ever” to address one of the most militating factors against industrial development of Nigeria.

Mansur said: “Clearly, this is the time for every effort to shore up the manufacturing sector is very welcomed. Therefore, I am delighted that this green energy project is focusing on renewable energy in improving energy efficiency.

“It is our hope that our members will take the full advantage of this facility and be able to diversify their energy sources, improve energy consumption and be able to expand their productive capacity, which is indeed very important in the current state of our economy. I, therefore, urge our members to take full advantage of this.”

The Country Director of the AFP, Ms. Virginie Diaz, said in her opening remark during the conference that the SUNREF would basically provide financial and technical assistance “aimed at supporting business strategies in the green energy sector in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which Nigeria has been supportive of.”

Also, the Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Ms. Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, said the conference would enable investors and service providers to showcase their products and be able to develop relationships with clients and prospective investors in Nigeria.

She added: “I will like to highlight that this collaboration is an innovative financing and project that will help to address Nigeria’s energy gaps by mobilising foreign investments to finance green power projects.”

The SUNREF Nigeria Team Lead, Mr. Javier Betancourt, described SUNREF as integrated environmental finance that is dedicated to developing renewable energy in Nigeria.

Betancourt said in his presentation during the conference that the AFD has put in place targeted support to develop innovative green financing through dedicated credit lines through local financial institutions in the country.

He said: “The SUNREF is part of the broader initiative to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as the sustainable use of natural resources.”

According to the Chief Executive Officer of All On, Dr. Wiebe Boer, the mission of the SUNREF is to bring the members of the MAN into the green energy fold.

Boer observed that any opportunity to address the significant gap that exists in access to energy in Nigeria would have considerable economic and social impacts.

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