Airtel Nigeria has been declared the ‘Best in Test’ following a nationwide broadband assessment by umlaut, an international, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end company that offers advisory and fulfilment services to clients globally.
According to CEO of Telecommunications at umlaut, Hakan Ekmen, Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed among other mobile network operators, scoring the highest with 697 points, while MTN emerged second with 663 points, 9mobile with 591 and Glo with 486 points.
The tests were carried out with umlaut’s crowdsourcing methodology, which was used to evaluate the mobile networks in Nigeria. Consequently, an extensive analysis revealed that 263,000 users have contributed 707.4-million samples in 24 weeks from October 2020 until early April 2021.
Speaking on the metrics of the assessment, Ekmen stated that over 80 per cent of urban build-up and population areas were tested to arrive at the results. He went on to laud Airtel for emerging the best-rated, citing it as a remarkable feat and a positive step towards attaining digital equality in Africa.
“In our nationwide assessment, 82.8 per cent of the urban build-up area and 83.9 per cent of the population area were tested. We concluded that Airtel Nigeria is Best in Test, achieving the highest umlaut score with 697 points,” Ekmen said.
MTN Group Plans To Invest $120M in South Sudan
MTN has announced that it will be investing over $120m in capital expenditure in South Sudan over the next 3 years.
This was made known during a courtesy call on the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit by MTN Group Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, and MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita who were on a visit tour of the Southern & Eastern Africa region.
According to a brief statement posted on the group’s official LinkedIn platform, both officials discussed issues of mutual interest, including investment in digital infrastructure and services.
MTN South Sudan recently received approval from the South Sudanese government to begin Mobile Money operations in South Sudan.
MTN Group was adjudged for the second year in a row, the most valuable African brand in the Brand Finance Africa 150 rankings, which assigned the group a brand value of US$2.7 billion – US$1.0 billion above the next most valuable brand.
A report on the 2021 survey’s findings states that “the telecoms giant dominates on home soil too, this year holding onto its decade-long reign as South Africa’s most valuable brand”.
Brand value is defined as the “net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market”.
Brand Finance Africa said the value of the continent’s top 150 brands fell by a combined US$5.5 billion in 2021, largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic creating uncertainty and impacting brands’ ability to do business as usual. In 2020, it had assigned MTN a brand value of US$3.3 billion.
Mobile Operators Experienced 16,000 Outages in Seven Months, Says Minister
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has disclosed that there were about 16,000 reported outages by mobile network operators in the country from January 2021 to July 2021.
The outages, according to him, were due to fibre cuts, access denial and theft, leading to service disruption in the affected areas.
The Minister who disclosed this in Maiduguri, during a recent town hall meeting, where he addressed the vandalism of power and telecommunications infrastructure, noted that the protection of the critical infrastructural facility was key to the nation’s security, economic vitality, public health and safety.
The event, which was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, was attended by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, his Deputy, Mr. Usman Kadafur, and other stakeholders. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, led some other ministers who were panellists at the town hall meeting.
Pantami, who was represented by the Commissioner for Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Ubale Maska, decried the situation where telecoms installations that were destroyed in the attacks by terrorists had not been replaced as a result of the lingering insecurity and tensions in parts of the North-east.
As a way forward, the minister recommended continuous stakeholders buying-in and synergy among security forces.
He also urged the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill for onward submission to the President for assent.
Pantami, also said the Fifth Generation (5G) network, that was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, would be deployed in Nigeria in January 2022. He said when deployed, it would aid the surveillance of public assets against vandalism.
He said while the technology would boost surveillance against criminal elements vandalising public infrastructure across the country, other measures should be put in place to arrest them and bring them to book.
The minister disclosed that there were over 50,000 telecommunication sites across the country, which made it difficult to manage manually except through the deployment of modern technology.
Nokia and African Telecommunications Union (ATU) to Speed up Digital Transformation and the Knowledge Economy in Africa
Collaboration to leverage the power of ICT including 5G for Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0), connecting the unconnected and transforming lives; Both organizations reiterate commitment to shape policy, develop talent, and promote inclusion and diversity in Africa.
Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) to drive digital transformation and the knowledge economy for socio-economic development across the continent. The two parties will leverage the power of telecommunications, including 5G networks, to connect the unconnected and identify innovative use cases, as well as business models. In addition, the MoU will lay ground for both organizations to better help governments shape telecom policy, develop talent and promote inclusion and diversity. This includes women, as well as the underprivileged in both rural and urban areas.
The MoU was signed in Nairobi, Kenya, by John OMO, Secretary General at ATU and Rajiv Aggarwal, Nokia Representative and Head of Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia.
Announcing the partnership, Rajiv Aggarwal, Head of Central, East and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia, said: “We remain keen on supporting Africa’s digital transformation journey and by collaborating with the ATU, we strengthen this commitment. We will leverage our global technology expertise and insights on policy matters to positively impact the universal socio-economic development in the continent.”
Co-signing the MoU with Mr. Rajiv, John OMO, Secretary General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), said: “Our vision is to make Africa a full and active participant in the global information and knowledge society by enabling universal access to ICT systems and services across Africa. Collaboration with a global industry leader such as Nokia is therefore crucial in this regard and will help us accelerate towards a digital transformation and knowledge economy.”
The MoU framework is guided by six tenets designed to facilitate this acceleration. These are:
- Sharing of best practices on telecom technology trends and developments
- Identification of innovative industrial use cases toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Recommendation on implementation of emerging technologies and business models
- Promotion of connecting the unconnected with broadband
- Development of emerging talent for digital innovation
- Promotion of inclusion and diversity
Nokia has a long history of collaboration with international organizations and bodies across the globe. Regionally in MEA, Nokia recently partnered with UN Women to promote inclusion and diversity in Middle East and Africa. Nokia is also working with UNICEF as part of a shared-value partnership in Kenya to connect schools with broadband and empower children in rural as well as disadvantaged urban areas. In November 2020, Nokia supported the Forge Academy in South-Africa with the launch of a fully inclusive artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory to help students to become entrepreneurs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the global digital economy.
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