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MTN Joins Facebook and Other Global Companies in Metaverse Investments



MTN Metaverse

Real estate in virtual space is growing at a rapid rate with many investors paying millions of dollars to secure spaces in this non-tangible world. MTN Group is the latest investor to own virtual corporate space in the Metaverse, others are global platforms like Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Snapchat, Amazon, among others.

The African company announced in a press release that it has purchased 144 plots of virtual lands with an overall area of 12x12m. However, the price for which the land was bought was not disclosed.

According to Bernice Samuels, MTN’s Group Executive for Marketing, this investment plays in line with the company’s commitment to supporting African innovation. Notably, MTN Group has bagged the title of being the first African-owned company to make investments in this virtual reality initiative.

Speaking about the update, Bernice disclosed: “This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumer’s digital experiences and engagement. We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers’’.

The company was said to have made this purchase on Ubuntuland – a virtual reality space being developed by Africarare and Mann Made Media. Ubuntuland will showcase and promote some of the best art, fashion, entertainment, sport, tech and creativity from Africa and will provide a platform for artists across the continent to showcase their work.

Africarare is the first South African metaverse. The company accommodates and manages digital land with roots in the African continent. The company sold out its debut Non-fungible token (NFT) art collection last year for about $50,000.

This purchase by MTN also plays a critical role in the company’s attractiveness to customers as attention is being drawn towards the Metaverse. Also, this purchase is coming after a recent brand refresh by the company that positioned the company as a technology company, as opposed to a telecommunications company which it was formally known as.


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NCC Raises Alarm of New Vehicle Hacking Techniques



Nigerian communications commission

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  has issued a warning to the public about a new hacking technique that allows hackers to access and hijack vehicles.

Investors King recalls a similar issue reported some months back on phone and telecom users’ cyberattack schemes that were detected by NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team.

Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs (DPA), made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

According to Adinde, the newest alert issued by the NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) stated:

“The fact that car remotes were categorized as short-range devices that make use of Radio Frequency (RF) to lock and unlock cars informed the need to alert Nigerians on this emergent danger.

“The vulnerability is a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack or, more specifically, a replay attack in which an attacker intercepts the RF signals normally sent from a remote key fob to the car.

“It manipulates these signals and re-sends them later to unlock the car at will.

“With this latest type of cyber-attack, it is also possible to manipulate the captured commands and re-transmit them to achieve a different outcome altogether.

“Multiple researchers disclosed a vulnerability, which is said to be used by a nearby attacker to unlock some Honda and Acura car models and start their engines wirelessly.

“The attack consists of a threat actor capturing the RF signals sent from your key fob to the car and resending these signals to take control of your car’s remote keyless entry system,” the advisory stated.

He did say, however, that the NCC-CSIRT has suggested certain preventative measures or solutions in the warning that car owners may use to avoid becoming victims.

The only way to avoid being affected, according to the commission’s cyber-alert unit, is to reset your key fob at the dealership.

“Besides, the affected car manufacturer may provide a security mechanism that will generate fresh codes for each authentication request, this makes it difficult for an attacker to ‘replay’ the codes thereafter.

“Additionally, vulnerable car users should store their key fobs in signal-blocking ’Faraday pouches’ when not in use.”

He urged automobile owners in these categories to choose Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) rather than Remote Keyless Entry (RKE), which would make it more difficult for an attacker to read the signal because crooks would need to be within close range to commit their crimes.

He further explained that the PKE is a vehicular safety feature that opens a door on approach or when the door handle is pulled when the user is in direct range to the car.

He further stated that when walking away or exiting the automobile, the user locks it.

He went on to say that the RKE system, on the other hand, is the industry standard for remotely enabling or disabling a vehicle’s doors and storage area.

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About 60 Million Subscribers Have Linked Their NIN – MTN



MTN Nigeria - Investors King

Telecommunication giant, MTN has revealed that about 60 million users, representing 85% of its subscribers, have linked their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIM as of April 25th.

This is not the first time MTN is bouncing back and swaying through the tide. Recall that Investors King reported that MTN gnashed a whopping N298.7 billion profit despite subscribers declining by 8 million to 68.5 million in 2021.

MTN claims that 19 million of its users were affected when the government ordered telecoms to prohibit outgoing calls on phone lines that were not yet linked on April 4, 2022.

However, as of April 25, 8.7 million people who were previously restricted, had submitted their NINs for verification, with about 1.2 million of them being reinstated.

In its first-quarter financial results, MTN reported that its subscribers had increased to 70.2 million as of March 30, 2022.

However, as of April, nearly 10 million of its subscribers had not yet linked their NIN.

MTN stated: “Following the NCC’s directive on 4 April 2022 that all operators should restrict outgoing calls for subscribers whose SIMs are not associated with NINs, we implemented the directive on approximately 19 million of our affected subscribers at that date.

“However, subscribers whose outgoing calls were restricted for non-submission of their NINs require their NINs to be verified before being reactivated. As at 25 April 2022, about 8.7 million of those restricted submitted their NINs for verification, of which approximately 1.2 million have been reactivated, many of whom are high-value customers.

“Outgoing voice revenue from the subscribers who are yet to be reactivated therefore contributed approximately 7.8% of total service revenue based on FY 2021. In terms of how general traffic trends have evolved since the implementation of the directive, we have seen a drop off in traffic following our compliance with the directive”.

However, the company added that it has begun to witness a slow recovery as affected users are reconnected and voice conversations are resumed.

“As MTN Nigeria, we continue to engage our affected subscribers while providing hardware support for the National Identity Management Commission to accelerate the verification of NINs submitted. We have taken significant steps to help drive NIN enrolment for subscribers who do not yet have a NIN, deploying over 4,200 points of enrolment across the country. We have also provided multiple channels to enable our customers to submit their NIN for verification and linkage,” the company stated.


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CBN Issues Airtel Africa Full Super Agent Licence



Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria has finally granted Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa a full super-agent licence, the telecommunications company announced on Tuesday.

The final approval came a few months after approval-in-principle was granted in November 2021. Approval-in-principle is a temporary approval that is subject to meeting specific requirements over the next six months.

Six months down the line, Airtel Africa has met all the requirements and finally received a full super-agent licence to expand its agency network across Nigeria.

“The licence allows us to create an agency network that can service the customers of licenced Nigerian banks, payment service banks and licenced mobile money operators in Nigeria,” Airtel Africa stated in a statement obtained by Investors King.

The approval is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s strategy at deepening financial inclusion by taking financial services to the unbanked and underbanked across the country.

A recent study has shown that 34.9 million, or 39.7% of the adult population in Africa’s largest economy are excluded from financial services due to inaccessibility and other structural constraints. Only 28.6 million adults were documented in the banking system, representing 32.5% of the adult population.

The huge numbers of the unbanked and underserviced are the reason the CBN launched super agents, payment service providers and other licences to increase the number of people captured in the financial system, and subsequently, the internal revenue generation.


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