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Our Target is To Reduce Data Cost to N390 Per Gigabyte By The Year 2025 – NCC

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has assured Nigerians that all hands are on deck to ensure a significant reduction in the cost of data by 2025.

During an interview in Lagos, Prof. Umar gave the assurance on reduction in data cost and also said that telecoms subscribers’ expectations from NCC are high and they want the commission to do more and diligently look into the area of fast data depletion.

While speaking, Prof. Danbatta said, “NCC is already working hard to address their concerns. We did our benchmarking recently and we discovered that the cost of 1 Gigabyte of data has come down below N500, which represents a 50 percent reduction from what it used to be.

“There is however a target to reduce data cost to N390 per Gigabyte by the year 2025 and we are almost there. The target, as enshrined in the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) is to achieve N390 per Gigabyte in the cost of data by the end of 2025, but the recent benchmarking that the NCC did, showed that the cost of data has reduced to more than 50 percent from what it used to be at the beginning of 2020.

“For us as industry regulator, this is a good sign that data cost is coming down and that the issue data depletion as experienced by subscribers, is gradually been addressed.

“NCC has instituted a forensic audit on the cost of data, just like we did with the cost of Short Message Service (SMS) on a particular mobile operator, where we discovered that the operator unlawfully surcharged its subscribers to the tune of over N100 million and we have asked the particular operator to make refunds immediately and the operator has commenced refund to the affected subscribers. This could have gone unnoticed, if not for the quick intervention of NCC. We have plans to even extend the forensic audit on SMS to other telecoms operators.

“So like we did for SME, we are doing the same for data to find out the reason for fast data depletion and it will be carried out across all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). By the time the audit is completed and the result is out, perhaps we will have better information of what is happening in the data segment, as it relates to fast data depletion”.

He added: “The telecoms industry is still fraught with the challenge of telecoms infrastructure deficit because of the existing clusters of access gaps in the country, which NCC is fast reducing.

“Infrastructure deficit will deprive telecoms subscribers of the right quality of service that they deserve and the NCC is working hard to address infrastructure deficit in the country in order to boost access and connectivity”

He further said that NCC needs to act in line with the government policies on infrastructure and also continue to deploy broadband infrastructure in order to solve the challenges of congestion on the networks as well as ensure the right speed of accessing telecoms services.

According to Danbatta, “Government is looking at the additional deployment of fiber optic cables in the next four years, in addition to what is currently on the ground.

“The NCC is desirous that telecoms services are pervasive and accessible to all Nigerians, irrespective of their location, even in remote and isolated communities. We need adequate infrastructure to address quality of service across networks.”

“Speed in accessing the internet is very important, hence the National Broadband Plan recommended two digits target of 25MB per sec for urban areas and 10MB per sec for rural areas of the country.

“Another area of target as recommended by the National Broadband Plan, that will enhance the quality of service, is the broadband penetration, and it recommended a target of 70 percent penetration by 2025, but there is a recent presidential order that we should attain 60 percent broadband penetration by 2023”. He added.

Prof. Danbatta explained that broadband penetration has deepened to 45.93 percent as of October 2020, from less than 6 percent it was in 2015.

Given the current statistics, Danbatta is convinced that Nigeria will exceed the projected broadband penetration of 60 percent by 2023 and 70 percent by 2025.

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

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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.

(AFP)

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

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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.

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Global Digital Payments Market to Grow by 23.7% in 2020 to $4.9 Trillion

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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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