- N1.08tn Shortfall Threatens Telecom Service Quality
The quality of voice calls and data services is expected to worsen this year as telecommunications companies have failed to raise the N1.08tn needed to fill the current infrastructure gap in the sector.
With N40m needed to build a base station, the telecoms firms will need an investment of N1.08tn to build additional 27,000 base stations this year.
Till date, telecoms companies in Nigeria have built about 33,000 base stations against the estimated 60,000 base stations said to be needed in the industry for the operators to provide optimum quality of service to their over 60 million subscribers.
“Going by the strong economic headwinds and the continuous downslide in revenue generation, it has now become very glaring that the telcos cumulatively cannot possibly come up with such funds this year that is needed to build additional 27,000 base stations and strengthen the quality of service,” a top management employee in one of the major telecoms firms said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source added, “What this implies is that we will not be able to provide best quality of service this year. To be candid with you, the quality of service may even get worse this year if urgent steps are not taken to tackle this challenge.”
The Head, Public Relations and Protocol, MTN Nigeria, Funso Aina, said, “We plan to roll out as many new BTS as possible this year, most especially sites that are fully optimised for 4G coverage. We also intend to consolidate our 3G coverage in many areas too.”
Nigeria’s telecoms investment rose from $500m in 2001, following the licensing of the Global System for Mobile Communications operators, to $15bn in mid-2008; $25bn in 2009 and $32bn in mid-2013.
The figure has increased currently to over $68bn from $38bn in 2014, the Nigerian Communications Commission said.
According to the latest NCC statistics for November 2016, mobile subscription also increased from less than 500,000 in 2001 to over 153 million; teledensity moved up from less than one per cent to over 107 per cent; while mobile Internet subscription has risen from base zero to close to 100 million.
However, industry players stated that aside the dwindling telecoms revenue, the national roaming service was another challenge affecting the raising of funds to build additional 27, 000 base stations.
A telecoms analyst, Mr. Akin Akinbo, said “We expect major telecoms companies such as MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom, Etisalat as well as ntel, among others, to deploy aggressively this year, but we have noted that a policy such as the national roaming service being introduced by the NCC may slow investment in this area.
“This is because an operator that does not have coverage in an area can just agree with an operator with coverage in that area to service the former’s subscribers, thereby foreclosing the desire to invest due to an operator’s ability to leverage on the network of another.”
Despite reservations being expressed in some quarters about the national mobile roaming service, the NCC said it would go ahead with its implementation, saying the policy would not deter investment.
The Head, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, told our correspondent, “National mobile roaming is a must. It is not a matter of whether or not it will happen. It is already part of the licensing conditions given to the operators.
“So, what we are working on through various stakeholders, especially the service providers, is the framework for launching the service to make life easier for telecoms subscribers. So, whether we like it or not, it is coming soon.”
Sharing Akinloye’s views, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said the national mobile roaming service was good because it would help subscribers to have network access at all times even if their service providers did not have network in an area.
“National mobile roaming will allow a subscriber, who finds himself in any part of the country where his service provider has no network coverage, to make and receive calls as well as send and receive text messages,” Ojobo stated.
He noted that till date, regulation on national mobile roaming was non-existent in Nigeria, adding, “Only international roaming service between Nigerian telecoms players and their counterparts in other countries is possible.”
YouTube Suspends Trump Channel
YouTube Suspends Trump Channel
Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday temporarily suspended President Donald Trump’s channel and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts after last week’s Capitol riot.
Trump’s access to the social media platforms he has used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC last week.
Operators say the embittered leader could use his accounts to foment more unrest in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” YouTube said in a statement.
The channel is now “temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a ‘minimum’ of 7 days,” the statement read.
The video-sharing platform also said it will be “indefinitely disabling comments” on Trump’s channel because of safety concerns.
Facebook last week suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the violent invasion of the US Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the certification of Biden’s election victory.
In announcing the suspension last week, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Trump used the platform to incite violent and was concerned he would continue to do so.
Twitter went a step further by deleting Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. It was already marking his tweets disputing the election outcome with warnings.
The company also deleted more than 70,000 accounts linked to the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims, without any evidence, that Trump is waging a secret war against a global cabal of satanist liberals.
Trump also was hit with suspensions by services like Snapchat and Twitch.
The president’s YouTube account has amassed 2.77 million subscribers.
The home page of the Trump channel featured a month-old video of Trump casting doubt on the voting process in November’s presidential election, and had logged some 5.8 million views.
On Tuesday, an activist group called on YouTube to join other platforms in dumping Trump’s accounts, threatening an advertising boycott campaign.
Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020
While the pandemic has devastated countless businesses, it has provided a major boon for eCommerce platform Shopify.
Shopify’s stock rallied by 169.9% in 2020 compared to the industry’s 26.6% growth. As of mid-December 2020, according to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish site Sijoitusrahastot, it had a 90 RS rating, which means that it had outperformed 90% of stocks during the year.
Based on the Zacks Consensus Estimate, its Q4 earnings per share (EPS) are set to jump by 188.37% to $1.24 while its sales will grow by 78% to $899.2 million. For the full year 2020, analysts project a massive 1,137% jump for the Shopify EPS.
Shopify Merchants Sell Over $5.1 Billion on Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Since Shopify went public in 2015, its stock has risen over 40-fold to more than $1,200 at the end of December 2020. Between 2016 and 2019, it skyrocketed by over 1,400%.
The eCommerce platform’s earnings for Q1 to Q3 2020 grew at an average of 552%. That was well above the 101% three-year average. In Q3 2020, its revenue nearly doubled from $390.6 million to $767.4 million.
Earnings in Q3 2020 rose from a net loss of 29 cents to $1.13 per share. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) soared by 109% reaching $30.9 billion, compared to 46% in Q1 2020 and 119% in Q2 2020. For the first nine months of 2020, there was a revenue increase of 82%.
For the first time, Shopify’s GMV surpassed that of eBay in Q2 2020, doing it again in Q3 2020. It claims to have a 6% share of the US market, higher than eBay’s but lower than Amazon’s 37%.
During the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, merchants on the Shopify platform sold goods worth $5.1 billion. Compared to 2019, this marked a 76% uptick and set a new record. Comparatively, independent businesses on Amazon sold goods worth $4.8 billion. The number of buyers on Shopify increased by 50% year-over-year (YoY) to 44 million during that weekend.
Global Digital Payments Market to Grow by 23.7% in 2020 to $4.9 Trillion
While it was already under way prior to the pandemic, the global shift to digital payments has been positively affected by the crisis.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish website Sijoitusrahastot, the global digital payments market grew by 21% YoY in transaction value during H1 2020. Statista projects that the market’s total transaction value will grow by 23.7% year-over-year (YoY) in 2020 to reach $4.93 trillion. The number of users is also set to increase by 10.1% YoY to reach 3.47 billion.
Asia’s Digital Payments Market to Reach $2.88 Trillion in 2020
In the period between 2020 and 2024, the global digital payments will grow at a 13.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $8.17 trillion by 2024. The market’s top segment is digital commerce, estimated to grow at 4.8% YoY reach $2.93 trillion in 2020. By 2024, it is set to grow to $4.11 trillion, growing at a CAGR of 8.9%.
China will take the lead in digital payments, growing to $2.31 trillion, as well as in digital commerce, reaching $1.17 trillion in 2020. For Asia as a whole, digital payments will reach $2.88 trillion in 2020 as per a Statista report.
According to McKinsey, Asia generated $900 billion in 2019 as payment revenue, almost half the global total. Between 2018 and 2019, digital payments in Asia Pacific grew by 24.7%. Comparatively, the growth rate was 14.1% in the global market, 12.2% in Europe and 5.6% in North America.
China has a dominant role in the market, thanks to mobile payments. Based on a Finextra report, 70% of China’s consumers use mobile wallets regularly. It estimates that in 2020, 80% of global mobile wallet revenue will come from China.
Capgemini projects that in 2020, mobile payments in APAC will grow at 13.9% YoY to reach $277.5 billion. In contrast, the figure will be $229.1 billion in Europe, growing at 6.2% YoY and $184.8 billion in North America, growing at 3.0%.
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