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Cost of Data to be Reduced as FG Plans to Launch ‘Dig Once’ Policy

The Federal Government has said it would launch the ‘Dig Once’ policy before the end of the year to lower the cost of infrastructure deployment for telecommunications companies and subsequently reduce the cost of telecommunications services for Nigerians.

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Telecommunications - Investors King

In a bid to reduce the cost of broadband infrastructure, the Federal Government has said it would launch the ‘Dig Once’ policy before the end of the year to lower the cost of infrastructure deployment for telecommunications companies and subsequently reduce the cost of telecommunications services for Nigerians.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof. Isa Pantami made the announcement while speaking at the fourth edition of the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) on Dig Once Policy and Fibre Strategy in Nigeria with the theme: Laying the Foundation for Ubiquitous Broadband for Nigeria’s Economic Breakthrough

The minister who was represented by Engineer Usman Aliyu, Secretary of the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC) stated that by implementing the ‘Dig Once’ policy, the government seeks to achieve 70% broadband penetration by 2025. 

He said, “Some of the objectives of the policy are provisioning of shared infrastructure for existing internet service providers and entrants, promotion of installation of ready-made buried fiber conduit for broadband deployment, and reduction of the barriers to entry for Internet Service Providers. 

“Others are to promote coordination and reduce the number of excavations and disruptions caused due to fiber installation works, to lower the cost of broadband internet service deployment, to promote the joint installation of infrastructures in a single phase and avoid unnecessary future digging as well as encouraging infrastructure, and to promote a unified and affordable pricing regime across the federation for Right of Ways.” 

He further disclosed that once the policy begins to function in the country, there would be lower costs of repair and maintenance of installed fiber infrastructure and a lower cost of broadband internet service deployment. 

This new policy was announced a few days after the government directed all telecommunications operators to revert to the old price and abolish the 10 percent increase on data and calls previously imposed on Nigerians.

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Telecommunications

MTN to Bid For Second 5G Spectrum; Other Telcos Protest

MTN to bid for a second 5g spectrum on December 16, 2022

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MTN Nigeria - Investors King

Nigerian mobile telecommunications company, MTN has showcased a potential interest to bid for a second 5G spectrum in the forthcoming auction which is scheduled for December 19, 2022.

The potential bidding however has been opposed by other telecommunication companies which claimed the move is against the spirit of competition. 

Investors King could recall that MTN and Mafab Communications won the first 3.5GHz spectrum license for a 5G network which was auctioned in December 2021 by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

The highly competitive auction which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja also witnessed the participation of Airtel

Subsequently, in September 2022, MTN finally launched the 5G network to boost internet speed in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri.

However, to access the 5G network, users will need to have compatible devices which is a bit expensive for average Nigerians.

To this end, MTN thereafter partnered with a phone financing company, Intelligra to bridge the cost of 5G-enabled smartphones. 

According to MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Adia Sowho, the partnership with Intelligra is aimed to drive 5G adoption in Nigeria. 

Meanwhile, barely two months after MTN launched its 5G network, the leading telecommunication company in Nigeria has showcased a potential bid for the second spectrum which is scheduled to hold on Friday. 

At a stakeholders engagement meeting organised in Lagos, MTN’s General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Ikenna Ikeme, said the company had entered the last auction in 2021 with the expectation that it was an open market and it would be allowed to participate in other auctions should the need arise.

This, however, did not go down well with other telecommunication companies which claimed that should MTN be allowed to participate in the second auction and eventually win, it will make them dormant players which could affect the overall growth of the industry. 

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta who presided over the engagement session noted that all contending issues will be given due consideration before the auction on Friday. 

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Telecommunications

Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Others Activity Level Jump Despite Stock Market Negative Close

Investors transacted 187,094,282 shares worth N2.535 billion in 3,326 transactions with Access Bank accounting for 87,923,339 shares valued at N704,474,274.95

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Despite the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) opening in the red on Monday, activity on Access Bank continued to increase while Zenith Bank and others followed closely.

Investors transacted 187,094,282 shares worth N2.535 billion in 3,326 transactions with Access Bank accounting for 87,923,339 shares valued at N704,474,274.95. This may not be unconnected to Herbert Wigwe’s recent acquisition. The Chairman, Access Holdings Plc has dumped almost a billion on Access Bank stocks in the last one month.

The banking index appreciated by 26 basis points (bps) on 3.48% and 1.42% gain in the value of Union Bank of Nigeria and Sterling Bank.

The consumer goods index and industrial index were unchanged on Monday. The oil and gas shed 38 basis points on 2.56% decline in Oando.

The market vaue of all listed equities stood at N23.867 trillion, a decline of N82 billion from N23.949 trillion it closed on Friday. The NGX All-share index shed 0.34% from 43,968.75 index points it settled last week to 43,818.12 index points.

The Exchange Yea-to-date return declined to 2.58% as only 13 stocks closed in the green against another 13 that lost points. See other details below.

Top Five Gainers

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
FTNCOCOA N 0.31 N 0.34 0.03 9.68 %
CHIPLC N 0.58 N 0.62 0.04 6.90 %
MANSARD N 1.53 N 1.62 0.09 5.88 %
CHAMS N 0.24 N 0.25 0.01 4.17 %
UBN N 5.75 N 5.95 0.20 3.48 %

Top Five Losers 

Symbols Last Close Current Change %Change
JOHNHOLT N 0.81 N 0.73 -0.08 -9.88 %
SCOA N 1.75 N 1.58 -0.17 -9.71 %
PRESTIGE N 0.39 N 0.36 -0.03 -7.69 %
UNITYBNK N 0.57 N 0.54 -0.03 -5.26 %
AFRIPRUD N 5.35 N 5.10 -0.25 -4.67 %

Top Five Trades

Symbols Volume Value
ACCESSCORP 87923339.00 704474274.95
ZENITHBANK 19323689.00 385788915.25
TRANSCORP 10679983.00 11613144.33
UNITYBNK 10175240.00 5339887.59
NGXGROUP 5255594.00 112846073.20

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Telecommunications

About 9.7 Million Phone Numbers Barred From Making Calls

Around 9.7 million phone numbers were barred by the two largest telecommunications companies in Africa.

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MTN

Two leading mobile telecommunications networks in Nigeria, MTN and Airtel have barred about 9.7 million phone numbers from making calls due to issues related to National Identification Numbers. Earnings reports filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show. 

Investors King gathered that in April 2022, more than 72 million phone numbers were barred from making calls. The directive to barn phone numbers that were not linked to their National Identification Number came from the Federal Government through the Nigeria Commission Commission (NCC). 

A joint statement released by the spokespersons of NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke partly read: 

“Outgoing calls will subsequently be barred for telephone lines that have not complied with the NIN-SIM linkage Policy from the 4th of April, 2022. Subscribers of such lines are hereby advised to link their SIMs to their NINs before the Telcos can lift the restriction on their lines,”. 

The statement added that the president has approved the implementation of the policy after the deadline has been extended on several occasions. 

The federal government had earlier stated that the policy will help the government to fight insecurity, particularly bandits and terrorists. 

Meanwhile, both MTN and Airtel have revealed that the policy has eaten deep into their profit as almost 10 million phone subscribers could not make outgoing calls. 

A look at the two telecoms eating reports shows that while 16. 2 million subscribers who had their lines barred have submitted their NINs for verification only 6.5 million had been verified as of September 30, 2022

Leaving about 9.7 million phone subscribers in the cold despite submitting their NIN for linkage. A responsibility that is expected of the National Identity Management Commission

Revenue growth for the first half of the year was impacted by the effect of barring outgoing voice calls in Nigeria for those customers who had not submitted their NINs, Airtel noted in its report. 

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