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Truecaller Hits 43 million African Users, Releases a Business Solution

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Truecaller, a caller ID service and phone search engine, has launched an identification solution to help companies prove their legitimacy while calling customers, thus increasing safety and reducing fraud.

Truecaller helps users to see who is calling and automatically screens out spam calls and SMSes.

Truecaller Business Identity, a modern enterprise solution, allows companies to verify their identities using a green checked business badge that accurately displays the company’s profile name, photo, and logo.

“Fraud continues to be a major problem across Africa, and as a company, Truecaller wanted to provide solutions on a business as well as a personal level,” said Zakaria Hersi, Director of Business Development in Africa. “Trust is at the core of everything we do, and because we spend so much of our time on our phones, we need to make sure that our contact takes place in a secure atmosphere, which was also part of the strategy behind our harassment campaign in March this year.”

The new solution increases trust and productivity in business-to-business contact by providing customers with the assurance that the caller is a Truecaller-verified business.

A checked business on Truecaller gets a verified tick mark icon and can lock their brand name and profile picture in addition to the green Caller ID and green Verified Business badge.

Consumers would be able to tell which calls to trust as a result of this.

Importantly, users will continue to see the amount of spam marks as before, and they will have the option of labeling checked phone numbers as spam or blocking them entirely.

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Telecommunications

MTN Nigeria Paid $273.6 Million for 3.5GHz Spectrum Licence to Facilitate 5G Rollout

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Karl O Toriola - Investorsking.com

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has emerged as one of the winners for 3.5GHz spectrum licence bids organised by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Three companies, MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications and Airtel Networks Limited, participated in the bid for the 3.5GHz spectrum auction needed for the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) internet. MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications emerged as the two winners in the keenly contested bid.

Airtel Networks Limited dropped out of the bid after the 11th round at $270 million. Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, therefore announced MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited as the two winners.

Each of the winners will now pay $273.6 million for the spectrum. However, MTN Nigeria will pay an additional $15,900,000 to get lot one of the spectrum, while Mafab will pay $11,120,000 to get lot two.

The two winners are now expected to make full payment by February 24, 2022. To qualify for the bid, each of the bidders had paid a non-refundable N7.5 billion, a 10 percent of N750 billion or $197.4 million starting amount for the bidding.

Mr. Karl Toriola, MTN Chief Executive Officer represented MTN at the bidding. Airtel Networks was represented by its Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Sreeddhar Krishna Menon, and Mafab Communications Limited was represented by its Chairman, Alhaji Musibau Bashir.

Commenting on the success of the bidding, MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola, said “5G is the future of network technology and offers incredible possibilities for new and enhanced services for our customers. Our successful bid presents an opportunity to be at the forefront of delivering these technological advancements to as many Nigerians as possible.

“The benefits of 5G are multi-faceted, and they hold the key to unlocking new avenues for the nation’s growth and development. It is far more than high-speed internet or faster-streaming speeds; 5G has implications for improved service delivery across every sector. It has the potential to transform our nation’s economy and make a difference in the daily lives of every Nigerian. We thank the NCC for organising a transparent auction which will transport us into the ‘tomorrow’ we desire.”

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NCC Urges Telecommunications Operators to Respect Licensing Requirements, Addresses Stakeholder Engagement

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has encouraged telecoms licences across different areas of the telecommunications sector to strictly follow their licensing obligations, in order to ensure the adequate provision of services to their consumers.

This call was made by the Chairman of the NCC’s Board of Commissioners, Prof. Adeolu Akande at the third edition of the Commission’s Talk to The Regulator (TTR) Forum, which took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. The theme of the programme was: ‘Improving Stakeholder Satisfaction’.

According to Akande, the essence of conducting the forum across the country’s geo-political zones was to show the Commission’s licensees that responsibility does not end with receiving licenses, but with working closely with the licensing authority to address matters affecting regular operations.

Even past the issuance of licenses to the operators, Akande announced in a statement that the Commission is truly concerned with setting own the necessary regulatory frameworks as well as initiatives that can encourage the smooth execution of licence conditions.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC & CEO) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, when speaking on the centrality of stakeholder engagement to the Commission’s regulatory activities said that the Commission takes feedback from stakeholders’ engagement initiatives as vital to building a robust licensing era in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

The EVC – represented at the forum by the Executive Commissioner of Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu – emphasised the Commission’s commitment to stakeholder engagement as a way to solidify collaboration with licencees, identify concerns and jointly develop and execute practical solutions.

Danbatta stated that the focus of discussion for the stakeholder meetings had been on licensing processes, procedures and policies all working towards improving stakeholder satisfaction. He emphasised the need to gather insights from every geo-political zone in order to encourage mutually beneficial relationships and boost understanding between the Commission and its important stakeholders.

Danbatta stated that notable successes have been recorded due to the Commission’s focus on giving stakeholders top priority. He stated that contributions to the country’s GDP grew to 14.42% in Q2 2021, active internet subscriptions surpassed 140 million, teledensity reached 99.98%, and broadband penetration hit 40.01% as at the end of September 2021.

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MTN Shares Fall by 10% After IPO Pricing

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MTN

MTN Nigeria (MTNN), Nigeria’s second-biggest listed company saw its shares fall by 10% on Wednesday to see a five-week low after it had set a retail public offer price which was lower than its share price on the stock market.

MTN shares had closed at N190 a unit on Tuesday, but lost N19 to close at N171 per share on Wednesday despite the expected renewed interest in the company following its ongoing share sale.

The South African telecommunications company MTN (MTNJ.J) opened its offer for sale to retail investors at N169 for each share on Wednesday, in order to sell about 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria.

The public offer closes on December 14 and signifies the first stage of a share sale to retail investors where the South African-owned company will look to scale down all its holdings in MTN Nigeria to 65% from its present 87%, over a period of time.

This was said by the Chief Executive Officer of the MTN Group, Ralph Mupita at a roadshow that was held in Abuja.

The Chairman of the MTN Group, Mcebisi Jonas was also in attendance of the show, which was held alongside a state visit made by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The fall in the MTN Nigeria shares moved the main share index (.NGSEINDEX) down by 1.8% to observe its lowest point in three weeks.

Two years ago, MTN listed its Nigerian company in Lagos, and at N90 for a share. This made it the second-largest stock when considering market capitalisation.

In March 2020, shares of MTN Nigeria fell back to the listing price due to lockdowns enacted to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

There have been a few IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) in Nigeria since the global financial crisis of 2008, which was responsible for clearing out over 60% of the stock market’s capitalisation.

MTN’s offer includes a bonus share for every 20 shares bought, with an incentive open for retail investors who hold their shares for at least a year after allotment.

 

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