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Nigeria Records 44.5% Broadband Penetration in July

Nigeria’s broadband penetration rose to 44.5 percent in the month of July, moving closer to its record peak of 45.9% attained in October 2020. 

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Nigeria’s broadband penetration rose to 44.5 percent in the month of July, moving closer to its record peak of 45.9% attained in October 2020. 

In 2020, broadband usage rose globally during the restriction imposed by various governments to curtail the spread of Covid-19. Many Nigerian businesses were forced to take their business online to sustain operations and retain customers despite zero movements.

According to the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) in its 2020 report; “The increase in data usage is directly linked to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted normal activities and most functions had to be held virtually including schools, and corporate meetings among others”

“The pandemic altered the way and manner business activities were hitherto carried out globally. The year 2020 witnessed a significant surge in data usage,” the report stated. 

However, after the government eased movement and opened up the economy, broadband usage began to slip. In July 2021, it declined to 39.8 percent from a peak of 45.9 percent recorded in October 2020.

The decline continued all through 2021. The government policy on SIM card registration partly contributed to the decline as telecommunication operators lost subscribers during the period.

Broadband usage nonetheless started to witness recovery around August 2021 as it increased to 41 percent. It reached 44.5 percent in July and is now on its way to its all-time high at 45.9 percent. 

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Umaru Dambata says the commission is on course to meet its target of 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025.

He further stated that the commission will make sure it designs a proactive regulatory framework that will strengthen the telecommunication industry and combat the harms that might come with technological advancements in the coming years. 

Nigeria Communication Commission is the government agency empowered to promote and regulate the telecommunication industry. It also has the mandate to protect the interest of telecommunication consumers in Nigeria. 

 

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Telecommunications

MTN Celebrates Customer Service Week by Gifting Subscribers Airtime Top-up

MTN is celebrating its customer service week by gifting Airtime top-ups to its loyal customers through engaging activities on all its social media platforms.

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Mobile telecommunications giant MTN is celebrating its customer service week by gifting Airtime top-ups to its loyal customers through engaging activities on all its social media platforms.

The telecommunications giant is celebrating this year’s edition with exciting activities which include online competitions, trivia quizzes, giveaways, and lots more.

To participate in the Customer Service Week activities, subscribers are required to follow all the company’s social media accounts where all activities and information for the week will be communicated, Investors King understands.

MTN’s theme for this year 2022 Customer Service Week is “No US without U” where it is appreciating the loyalty of its customers and partners of the brand for over 20 years of partnership and loyalty.

Customer Service Week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis.

The goal of the event is to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction and also listen to customers as critical components of building a business. During this week customers are given different types of packages, such as gifts, rewards, and other exciting offers.

Speaking on MTN’s “Customers Service Week” and its commitment to customers, the Chief Customer Service Officer Ugonwa Nwoye said “Our customers mean so much to us, they are the reason we are thriving for more than two decades. This is why we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our customers stay happy and satisfied.”

Customer service has been described as a core means of building brand loyalty and encouraging customer satisfaction. According to Forbes, It is reported that around 70% of American customers report they’re willing to spend more money with companies that provide excellent service.

In other words, a company’s excellent customer service can be one of the most powerful customer retention tools they will have.

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Vodacom Business Africa Launches SD-WAN Software to Countries Across Africa to Eliminate Connectivity Barriers

Vodacom Business Africa has announced plans to launch its SD-WAN software to clients in all 47 operating countries across its African footprint.

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Vodacom Business Africa, an enterprise-focused ICT subsidiary of the Vodacom group and Africa’s preferred pan-African service provider, has announced plans to launch its SD-WAN software to clients in all 47 operating countries across its African footprint.

The SD-WAN Software is a virtual WAN architecture that allows enterprises to leverage any combination of transport services which includes MPLS, LTE, and broadband internet services to securely connect users to applications.

It also assures consistent application performance and resiliency, automates traffic steering in an application-driven manner based on business intent, improves network security, and simplifies the WAN architecture.

Following the launch of the software in Africa, the executive head of strategic marketing for Vodacom Business Africa Wale Odeyemi said, “By launching this offering into Africa, we’re eliminating connectivity barriers that growing businesses are contending with.

“These include increasing cybersecurity threats, escalating data demands and costs, as well as slow or unresponsive digital applications that stall productivity.”

He added that Vodacom Business Africa offers an end-to-end SD-WAN solution, which implies that they provide both the physical network underlay and the digital overlay so that their clients won’t have to approach various providers to set up the kind of network they need.

“Companies can link to multiple providers and let their software decide which is the fastest, most efficient link to perform specific tasks. When choosing our solution, you don’t have to completely replace an existing network, either.

“You can simply strengthen what you already have. as an overlay technology, our SD-WAN can run on top of existing carrier-grade multiprotocol label switching connections (MPLS) and across hybrid WANs. Plus, it’s scalable and configurable to meet each business’s needs and pace of growth”, he added.

The Vodacom Business Africa SD-WAN is fully managed by a team of technology experts, and streamlines networks across multiple locations locally and internationally.

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USSD Service May no Longer be Available as Network Providers Threaten Banks

Network providers have threatened to halt the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offered to the financial institutions operating in the country due to N80 billion unpaid debt.

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Network providers have threatened to halt the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offered to the financial institutions operating in the country due to N80 billion unpaid debt.

Investors King learnt that the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) says it might be forced to stop Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services because banks have failed to pay for services rendered.

Speaking at a conference in Lagos, ALTCON chairman, Mr Gbenga Adebayo lamented that the debt which stood at N42 billion earlier this year has now risen to N80 billion. 

Adebayo noted that despite the government’s effort to resolve the matter, many banks were not cooperating as regards paying their debt. 

He further disclosed that the telecom operators might have to disconnect the banks from the USSD service until they do the needful.

It will be recalled that in March 2021, telecommunication operators had threatened to withdraw their USSD services to financial institutions due to the N42 billion accumulated debt.

The huge debt was a result of the deduction from the commission during the transactions. However, the banks failed to remit to the telecommunications operators who own the infrastructure used for the transactions. 

The USSD service has become an integral part of the Nigerian banking system. Some of the services available on USSD include money transfer, checking of account balance and buying mobile airtime.

Other services which can be carried out on USSD include buying data and generating bank statements or pin codes.

No doubt, the USSD service has significantly helped to drive the CBN cashless policy and financial inclusion. 

It is believed that millions of Nigerians who do not have a smartphone or run out of data or internet connection often resolve to the USSD service. Billions of naira are transacted every day through USSD. Statista reported that the value of USSD transactions in 2020 was a whopping N550 billion. 

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