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Broadband: NCC Gives Nod to New Technology for Coverage

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Telecommunications - Investors King
  • Broadband: NCC Gives Nod to New Technology for Coverage

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday gave its nod to the use of a new technology – TV White Space – that has the capacity to extend broadband internet coverage especially to rural communities and other underserved communities.

Executive Vice -Chairman at NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, conveyed the approval of the use of TV White Space for mass Internet coverage at a workshop organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria in Abuja.

Danbatta who was represented by newly appointed Acting Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Mr Austin Nwalune, said that the government was eager for the use of TV White Space to increase broadband penetration in Nigeria.

TV White Space which is being championed by Microsoft and Google refers to unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum.

According to Tech Republic, television networks leave gaps between channels for buffering purposes, and this space in the wireless spectrum is similar to what is used for 4G and so it can be used to deliver widespread broadband internet.

Nigeria has struggled in the last five years to reach a broadband penetration of 23 per cent. Given the paucity of cable broadband internet, much of the country’s broadband penetration has been achieved through mobile broadband, although many experts doubt the classification of such services as broadband because of poor speed.

About 3.9 billion around the world, reportedly, cannot afford fixed broadband internet access. Even in the United States with high broadband penetration, about 60 million people lack access to broadband internet.

This makes the use of TV White Spaces for broadband internet attractive and trials of the use of the new technology for Internet services has begun in several jurisdictions in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Danbatta said TV White Space presented a cheaper and quicker option for broadband coverage of Nigeria.

He said, “We have TV White Spaces abundant in Nigeria. It is an effective means of serving underserved communities. The communications minister is more eager than ATCON to see pervasive use of TV White Space in Nigeria. It is a cheaper way of making broadband available.”

Speaking at the event, President of ATCON, Mr Olusola Teniola, said the association was at the vanguard of advocacy for deploying TV White Space for broadband Internet service because of the benefits to the populace.

Teniola who was represented at the event by the Vice- President of the association, Mr Ikechukwu Nnamani, said the technology was a veritable tool to serve communities that were likely to remain un-served.

President of Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, Kalpak Gude, said TV White Space was not only important for Nigeria but also for everywhere else because of broadband gaps across the world.

He lauded Microsoft for championing the technology, adding that it was a veritable tool for resolving broadband challenges across the world.

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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Company News

BUA Cement Announces 24.6 Percent Increase in Profit to N43.4 Billion in H1 2021

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BUA Cement stock - Investors King

BUA Cement Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest cement manufacturing company, on Thursday reported a 22.7 percent increase in revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2021.

Revenue rose from N101.261 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N124.278 billion in the first half of 2021.

The company disclosed in its unaudited financial statements release through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by Investors King.

As expected, the cost of sales inched higher by 19.1 percent from N55.539 billion in H1 2020 to N66.158 billion in H1 2021. While gross profit expanded by 27.1 percent to N58.120 billion in H1, up from N45.723 billion.

The cement manufacturing company grew other income by 52.3 percent from N47.653 billion filed in H1 2020 to N72.6 billion in H1 2021.

Administrative expenses rose to N4.17 billion in the period under review, representing an increase of 57.9 percent when compared to N2.643 billion recorded in H1 2020.

Operating profit increased by 23.8 percent from N40.809 billion in the corresponding period of 2020 to N50.524 billion in the period under review.

Profit before income taxes rose by 26.9 percent to N49.700 billion in H1 2021 from N39.165 billion in H1 2020.

The company paid N6.3 billion in income tax in the first half of 2021.

Therefore, profit after tax stood at N43.396 billion in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 24.6 percent when compared to N34.819 billion achieved in the same period of 2020.

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Seplat Energy Appoints Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company, the company disclosed on Thursday.

Dr. FitzGerald will replace Lord Mark Malloch-Brown who retired from the Board of the Company on 1st August 2021.

Dr. Emma FitzGerald Profile

Dr. FitzGerald is a seasoned executive in Energy & Water, with hands-on experience in transformation through her many years of working at Shell, ranging from building its lubricants business in China to running its Global Retail network.

From 2007-2010, she was accountable for Shell’s Downstream strategy and played a key role in reshaping Shell’s renewables strategy including the creation of Raizen, a game changing biofuels JV with Cosan. From 2013 to 2018 she ran gas distribution and water & waste networks for National Grid and Severn Trent where she successfully
positioned them as sustainability thought leaders in their Industries.

Most recently Dr. FitzGerald served as CEO of Puma Energy International, a global energy company owned by Trafigura and Sonangol, which is focused on high potential developing markets in Africa, Asia and Central America. In 2020 she set up Puma’s Future Energies division to play a critical role in helping customers and communities find the right energy solutions to support the energy transition. Over the last 10 years she has served on various Boards in executive and non-executive capacities and currently sits on the board of UPM Kymmene, an international paper & biomaterials business focused on innovating for a future beyond fossil fuels.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. A. B. C. Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT Energy said: “The Board of SEPLAT Energy is indeed delighted to have Dr. Emma Fitzgerald on board as she brings vast knowledge in important areas such as the energy sector, renewables and sustainability. SEPLAT Energy has a great future ahead and looks forward to the enormous contribution she will make towards its continuing global success.”

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Company News

Robinhood IPO Priced at Lower End of Range, Firm Valued at $32B

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Robinhood-Investors King

Stock and crypto-trading app Robinhood has secured a $32 billion valuation via its initial public offering (IPO) and is set to debut on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday.

According to a press release on Wednesday, Robinhood has priced its offering at $38 per Class A common stock share.

The pricing is at the lower end of the $38-$42 per share price range the company had targeted and had planned on selling 5.5 million shares targeting a $1.89 billion raise.

Net proceeds from the sale will go toward working capital, capital expenditures, funding tax obligations, hiring efforts, customer support services, among others.

Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Thursday, according to the release.

Earlier this month, Robinhood began unconventionally offering a portion of its IPO to users via its app — a view some consider to be a risky gamble.

Known for its zero-fee trading structure, the company has continued to endure hits to its image as well as legal and political ramifications stemming from the fallout of the GameStop saga and limitations to users trading crypto.

The company is trying to reshape that image and is reportedly working on a new feature that will help protect users from crypto price volatility while hiring a former Google alumn to improve its overall product design.

“Robinhood intends to use the net proceeds for working capital, capital expenditures, funding its anticipated tax obligations related to the settlement of RSUs, and general corporate purposes including increasing its hiring efforts to expand its employee base, expanding its customer support operations and satisfying its general capital needs,” the firm said in the announcement.

Robinhood filed the public offering prospectus on July 1, noting at the time that 17 percent of its total revenue in Q1 came from crypto trading transaction fees, which represented a big jump from the 4 percent in Q4 2020.

“While we currently support a portfolio of seven cryptocurrencies for trading, for the three months ended March 31, 2021, 34 percent of our cryptocurrency transaction-based revenue was attributable to transactions in Dogecoin, as compared to 4 percent for the three months ended December 31, 2020,” the firm said in the initial filing.

Still, the company’s CEO Vlad Tenev is staring down allegations from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over his failure to register Robinhood Financial relating to compliance issues.

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