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Telcos Urged to Boost Broadband Capacity in Hinterlands



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  • Telcos Urged to Boost Broadband Capacity in Hinterlands

Worried about the limited broadband capacities in the hinterlands, which has been attributed to high cost of broadband services in cities that are located outside the shores of the country, the Chief Executive Officer of VDT Communications, Mr. Biodun Omoniyi has asked telecommunications operators (Telcos) to pull resources together to enhance the trunk capacities of broadband connectivity from the shores of the country to the hinterlands.

Omoniyi who spoke in one of the panel sessions during the launch of Insurance Market online platform, at the eInsurance Conference organised by Pinet Informatics in Lagos recently, decried paucity of broadband capacities in the cities, which he said, had led to high cost of broadband services rendered by telecommunications operators in the country, even though the country has excess broadband capacities at the shores.

He the excess capacities were provided through the landing of broadband submarine cables at the shores of the country from Europe by MainOne, Glo 1, MTN WACS, and SAT-3.

Omoniyi who blamed the paucity of broadband capacity in the hinterlands on lack of coordinated efforts by the telecommunications operators to build a national backbone of broadband capacity from the shores to the hinterlands, called on telecommunications operators to form a synergy that would enhance the trunk capacities of broadband connectivity to cities outside the shores of the county.

According to him, once this is achieved, it would not only reduce cost of broadband services in the country, but would also boost broadband connectivity for all players in the insurance industry, whom he said, were willing to embrace technology to further grow the insurance sector and the newly launched Insurance Market online platform.

“Insurance is a key sector to economic growth but it’s market penetration is still very low in Nigeria. The sector needs technology and broadband connectivity to deepen penetration and this can only be achieved if the telcos provide ubiquitous broadband and expand their 4G LTE technology for players in the insurance sector to key into,” Omoniyi said.

Speaking on how the insurance sector could access the Internet, Omoniyi said there must be sufficient and affordable wireless technology like the 4G LTE technology across the country.

He said VDT, one of the sponsors of the eInsurance Conference, has been servicing over 80 per cent of insurance companies in the area of broadband connectivity. He promised quality service, while insisting on sufficient and affordable broadband cost.

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who delivered a keynote address at the eInsurance forum, said there were policies offered by most insurance companies and the rising number of customers and policy holders makes it difficult for most insurance companies to operate effectively and efficiently without the adoption and use of information and communications technologies (ICTs).

Pantami who was represented by the Deputy Director, Corporate Strategy and Research at NITDA, Dr. Idris Mohammed Yeluwa, said; “There are number of ways that ICTs can be integrated into the insurance process, especially in the area of big data analytics, which is about analysing vast amounts of data in order to identify patterns, trends and other business information that can help decision makers to make informed decisions.”

The Managing Director, Pinet Informatics, Lanre Ajayi said the essence of the launch of Insurance Market place, was to provide an online platform, where insurance companies could set up micro websites on the online platform for enhanced transaction between vendors and buyers of insurance policies.

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


Interswitch is the Most Valuable African Startup



interswitch limited

Interswitch, the leading payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is Africa’s most valuable start-up at a US$ 1 billion valuation.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch uses switching infrastructure to connect different banks in Nigeria and powered banks’ ATM cards. Presently, the company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network.

In 2010, Helios Investment Partners bought two-thirds of the company and in the following year, Interswitch bought a 60 percent stake in Bankom in Uganda.

Interswitch owns Verve, Nigeria’s most used payment card, and accounted for 18 million of 25 million cards in circulation in Nigeria. The company also owns Quickteller and recently purchased VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.

Like Interswitch, Stripe, the company that acquired Nigeria’s Paystack for over US$200 million, is the most valuable startup in the USA at over US$70 billion valuation.

Klarna, Nubank, Paytm and Grab leads in Europe, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia with valuations of US$10.65 billion, US$10 billion, US$16 billion and US$14 billion, respectively.

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E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion



The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.

Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:

“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”

 Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.

To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.

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Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales



Alibaba single day

Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.

Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.

China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap

Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.

According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.

Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.

However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.

Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.

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