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Canadian Government to Restrict Chinese Huawei, ZTE from its 5G Networks

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Huawei 5G

Canada has said it will ban two of China’s biggest telecom equipment makers from working on its 5G mobile-phone networks.

The Canadian Industry Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne disclosed the restriction against Huawei and ZTE on Thursday. He said the move will improve Canada’s mobile internet services and “protect the safety and security of Canadians.”

“This is about providing a framework to protect our infrastructure. In a 5G world, at a time where we rely more and more in our daily lives [on] our network, this is the right decision,” Mr Champagne said while speaking to reporters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. 

Investors King has it that this decision by Canada has been widely expected, as its allies had already barred Huawei and ZTE from their own high-speed networks.

This means that telecoms firms in the country will no longer be allowed to use equipment made by Huawei and ZTE.

“Companies that have already installed the equipment made by the Chinese manufacturers must now remove it,” Mr. Champagne added.

Four nations had already placed the same restriction on the companies. They include the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Canada with these other five countries make up an intelligence-sharing arrangement named ‘Five Eyes’ which evolved during the Cold War as a tool for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified information

The Fifth Generation network is the next upgrade to mobile internet networks, offering much faster data download and upload speeds.

It also allows more devices to simultaneously access the internet. It comes as data usage is soaring, as the popularity of video and music streaming grows. This is pushing governments and mobile phone network operators to improve their telecommunications infrastructures.

Canada first announced a review of Huawei equipment in September 2018. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond at the time of publication.

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Telecommunications

Nigeria’s Data Consumption Jumps 413.79%

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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Broadband Penetration - Investors King

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the last four years, Nigeria’s internet population grew by 41.38 million while Nigeria’s internet data usage increased to 350,165.39 terabytes in 2021, up from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018.

During the period under review, broadband penetration rose to 40.88% or 38.12 million users in 2021 from 19.97% or 78.04 million users in January 2018.

NCC data showed GSM internet subscribers grew by 41.39 million from 100.23 million in 2018 to 141.62 million in 2021.

This, experts attributed to growing smartphone penetration and more access to data in Africa’s largest economy.

“Smartphone penetration was up by one percentage point to 33 per cent and our data customer base grew by 14.5 per cent, now representing 34.3 per cent of our total customer base,” Airtel stated in a report.

“Data usage per customer reached 2.6 GB per customer (from 1.8 GB per customer) led by an increase in smartphone penetration and expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.

“This helped us grow data revenue 31.2 per cent in constant currency. Growing penetration and usage of 3G and 4G data customers helped us grow data ARPU 8.2 per cent. Fourth Generation data usage more than doubled in the year, contributing 62.2 per cent of total data usage on the network in Q4’21.”

The telecommunication giant further added that “Our improved 4G network contributed to an increase in smartphone penetration, in data customers and in up-take of large data volumes, resulting in greater data consumption per customer.”

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Airtel Redeems $300 Million of its $1 Billion Guaranteed Senior Notes

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Airtel on Wednesday announced that its subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., has launched a cash tender offer to redeem about $300 million of its $1 billion of 5.35% Guaranteed Senior Notes due in 2024.

According to the telecommunications giant, the tender offer will expire on 19 July 2022, unless amended or extended by BAIN at its sole discretion. However, there is an early tender deadline of 5 July 2022 for noteholders wishing to tender their notes for preferential early tender consideration.

In a statement obtained by Investors King, Airtel said “All Notes accepted for purchase will be cancelled ahead of their maturity in May 2024. BAIN reserves the right at its sole discretion to amend or waive any of the terms of the tender offer.

“A further announcement will be made following completion of the tender offer. This early redemption will be made out of Group cash reserves and aligns with the continuation of our pursuit of a reduction of external foreign currency debt at Group level.”

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Airtel Acquires Additional 58 MHz Spectrum Worth $42 Million

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airtel africa - Investors King

Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunication provider has announced the purchase of 58 megahertz (MHz) spectrum worth $42 million for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a document obtained by Investors King, Airtel revealed that the additional 58 MHz spectrum would be spread alongside 900, 1800, 2100, and 2600 bands across the 14 countries Airtel operates in Africa.

Airtel noted that this investment reflects its confidence in the tremendous opportunity inherent in Congo. It also authenticated the company’s support for the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.

The license for the paired spectrum in the 2100 band comes up for renewal in September 2032, while other licenses will be up for renewal in July 2036.

Investors King also gathered that the additional spectrum will support the 4G expansion in the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability by providing significant capacity to accommodate the continued strong data growth in Congo.

Accordingly, Airtel explained that Congo is the largest country according to their data portfolio, and the second-largest market by population.

This comes on the heels of the company’s full super-agent license granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about a month ago.

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, Investors King reported.

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.

The clearance is in accordance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s aim of increasing financial inclusion by bringing financial services to the country’s unbanked and underbanked.

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