World Mobile, the first mobile network built on blockchain and run by the people, partners with Altaeros, developers of the world’s first autonomous aerostats, to connect the unconnected. Through this partnership, Altaeros and World Mobile will provide low-altitude aerostats (tethered balloon platforms) with a coverage area of approximately 8,000 km^2 each, forming part of World Mobile’s Dynamic Network.
World Mobile plans to launch these balloons across Africa to connect hundreds of millions of people. Several aerostats will launch in Zanzibar anchoring the network and delivering connectivity near to 100% of the island. Each aerostat will connect hundreds of thousands of subscribers and each subscriber on the network will create a blockchain wallet. World Mobile will be deploying thousands of aerostats across the continent.
The aerostat system consists of a helium-filled envelope and stabilising fins. The unique 3-tethered architecture limits the aerostat’s movement in the air (pitch, roll and yaw), which is essential in stabilizing telco coverage so connectivity doesn’t drop in and out. The aerostat is attached to a movable mooring platform with built-in software that adjusts the balloon’s position depending on wind conditions. The onboard communication system, using beamforming technology (a technique that focuses a wireless signal towards a specific receiving device) will allow 3G, 4G and 5G handsets to connect directly and will also connect WM AirNodes in the vicinity via traditional and alternative spectrums.
“We’re on a journey to bring modern infrastructure to billions of un-served and under-served people around the world. We’re driven by a belief that business and technical innovation are the keys to creating a positive, scalable impact. World Mobile is the perfect partner to work with to deliver our vision as they strive to connect the unconnected, everywhere,” says Altaeros CEO/CTO Ben Glass.
“World Mobile is on a mission to connect the unconnected and build the first mobile network powered and run by the people. Working with leading tech partners who share our values will make us stronger,” says World Mobile Founder and CEO Micky Watkins.
World Mobile is the first mobile network powered and run by the people. Their fearless commitment to community, the environment, and technology will help them go where no telecom has gone before. By joining forces with their users, they’ll connect billions of unconnected people worldwide—allowing everyone the freedom to explore the world.
Altaeros is on a mission is to help bring connectivity to those who need it most. Founded at MIT in 2010, Altaeros is focused on developing and deploying innovative real-world infrastructure solutions to bring affordable services anywhere needed, helping businesses and communities access the basic building blocks to allow for prosperity. Altaeros is headquartered in Somerville, MA.
Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.
In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.
Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.
According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”
Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.
Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.
For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co
Carbon Acquires Vella Finance to Enhance SME Offerings
Digital financial services provider Carbon has completed the acquisition of Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company specializing in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The acquisition, announced through an official statement on Wednesday, signifies Carbon’s strategic move to bolster its SME offerings.
Although the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Carbon’s acquisition of Vella Finance, founded two years ago under its parent company, One Credit Limited, underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint in the fintech space.
Vella Finance’s expertise in AI-powered SME banking solutions particularly caught the attention of Carbon.
Through this acquisition, Carbon aims to leverage Vella Finance’s innovative technology to provide actionable insights from financial transactions to its SME customers.
Tolu Adedayo, co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, noting that several team members from Vella Finance have joined Carbon following the acquisition.
Adedayo further revealed that Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers would be transitioned to Carbon Business in the near future.
Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized the alignment of values and vision between Carbon and Vella Finance, highlighting the potential for synergies and growth in the SME banking segment.
The acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies as they aim to revolutionize financial services for SMEs in Nigeria.
Alibaba Eyes Gulf Expansion, Seeks Partnerships in Saudi and UAE Markets
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, is actively pursuing expansion into the Gulf region, notably in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, revealed the company’s strategy during a panel discussion at Dubai’s World Government Summit, highlighting a commitment to local partnerships as a key aspect of their approach.
Evans underscored Alibaba’s recent endeavors in Saudi Arabia, indicating a concerted effort to deepen its presence in the region’s burgeoning e-commerce landscape.
The move signifies Alibaba’s strategic pivot towards collaborative ventures following a period of strategic realignment prompted by government scrutiny and leadership changes.
The Gulf’s growing ties with China, driven by mutual economic interests and investment diversification initiatives, present an opportune moment for Alibaba’s expansion efforts.
However, geopolitical complexities, including heightened US scrutiny of China-linked entities, add a layer of challenge to Alibaba’s Gulf aspirations.
As Alibaba seeks to reclaim its leadership position in the global tech industry, the pursuit of partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the UAE underscores the company’s adaptive approach to international expansion.
The success of these ventures could potentially reshape the Gulf’s e-commerce landscape and deepen economic ties between the region and China.
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