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InfraCos to Access N65b Broadband Subsidy

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  • InfraCos to Access N65b Broadband Subsidy

Infrastructure Companies (infraCos) expected to drive broadband penetration in Nigeria would have access to the N65 billion subsidies over the next four-years.

However, investigation reveals that InfraCos that will access the subsidy are required to meet some set milestones, as compiled by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), even as it seeks to get approval for more funding from the Presidency.

InfraCos are licensed by NCC to provide Layer 1 (dark fibre) services on commercial basis; focus on the deployment of metropolitan fibre, and provide transmission services, available at access points (Fibre to the Node or Neighbourhood – FTTN) to access seekers.

Already, the Commission planned to license seven operators – one provider for each of the six geo-political zones, and one specifically for Lagos. Six operators have already been licensed, while the remaining one for the North Central, whose process had started, would be unveiled in August.

Those licensed already include MainOne for Lagos; Zinox Technology Limited for South East, and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for North East. Others are O’dua Infraco Resources Limited for South-West, Fleek Networks Limited for North-West, and Raeana Nigeria Limited for South-South zone.

Speaking with journalists, during his visit to Lagos, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, confirmed that funds have been budgeted for the project, and that the Commission is seeking approval for more from the Presidency.

He also revealed that NCC is now at the verge of concluding on the last InfraCo for the North Central, which was initially licensed to IHS Holdings, noting that many companies have shown interest in the region. “You will even be surprised that those who already bided and won some other regions could also be among those interested in the last InfraCo licence. It all boils down to their capacities. Each zone is independent of another zone.”

With regard to the N65 billion subsidies, Nkemadu explained: “The InfraCo project will be financed yearly, and this is subject to the operators meeting the required milestones. We are not going to pay them to do the job, but we are going to give them money for jobs well done. We shall soon conclude the signing of the subsidy agreement; that process is currently on. The period to get Nigeria connected through the InfraCos is four years; so to access the N65 billon subsidy, we divided the milestones into one year each.”

Some of the milestones operators are expected to meet include that the InfraCo should have established the project; must have started digging metro fibre, pilling, cable installation. It must have brought in equipment and got all necessary approvals in the region of interest.

While the NCC awaits approval to release the N65 billion, Nkemadu said “The provisions we have made in our budget for 2018 and 2019 did not cover the N65 billion. So, we need to get approval from the Presidency to give us lee way that will ensure more money is made available to the InfraCo.”

Meanwhile, an industry source told The Guardian that the President Muhammadu Buhari is also keen on seeing that broadband and Internet access gaps are bridged. As such, NCC is expected to close the 120,000km fibre connections gaps that currently exist in Nigeria.

Recall that the Executive Vice- Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, had warned the InfraCos that failure to rollout broadband infrastructure within six months will lead to withdrawal of their licences, as they were given a time frame of one-year to commence country-wide rollout.

Danbatta had said: “This is one of the biggest projects that have ever been undertaken by the regulatory agency. The licence has been granted and there is a time specified in the licence document within which they must start deploying the infrastructure, which is one year. They have since done six months and they have six more months before we see visible infrastructure rollout of broadband services in this country.”

The Guardian checks however, showed that the InfraCo for Lagos, MainOne, has started the deployment of infrastructure across the state.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Lenovo Sales in Q3 2020 Surge by 8.3%, HP Sales Up by only 0.7%

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Lenovo Sold 18.3 million PC to Top Other Brands in Q3 2020

Lenovo was the top PC brand in Q3 with a total of 18.3 million unit shipments. According to the research data analyzed and published by StockApps, compared to Q3 2019 when its unit shipments totaled 16.9 million, there was an increase of 8.3%.

Based on a study by IDC, Lenovo’s stellar performance coincided with an overall increase of 14.6% in global PC shipments. Gartner’s estimate of growth in global shipments is more conservative, at 3.6%, but does not include Chromebook sales.

HP Leads US Market with 30.8% Market Share; Lenovo in Third Spot

Lenovo’s market share increased from 24.5% to 25.7% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020. On the other hand, HP’s market share contracted from 22.3% to 21.6% in the same duration.

In terms of global shipments, HP took second place with 15.4 million shipments, up from 15.3 million in Q3 2019, a 0.7% increase year-over-year (YoY). Part of the reason for HP’s drop was a 30% YoY decline in desktop shipments. Together, HP and Lenovo accounted for 47.3% of the PC market share.

On the other hand, in the US market, HP was the top brand with 5.1 million unit shipments and a 30.8% market share during Q3 2020. Lenovo came in third, behind Dell, with 2.5 million unit shipments and a 15.3% market share.

Acer showed the highest growth during Q3 2020, with an increase of 29.5% YoY in global shipments. Dell was the poorest performer of the top brands, with a 4.6% decline YoY. According to IDC, total unit shipments during the quarter were 81.3 million, while according to Gartner, the total was 71.4 million. Chromebook shipments, which made the difference between the two reports, grew by 90% YoY.

Lastly, according to a report by Statista, the global PC industry shrunk for seven consecutive years between 2012 and 2018. It went from 365 million unit shipments in 2011 to 259 million in 2018. The seven-year slump came to an end in 2019 when worldwide shipments grew by 0.6% according to Gartner and 2.7% according to IDC.

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Combined Market Cap of Five Largest MedTech Companies Surged by $40bn YoY

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Five Largest MedTech Companies Gained Combined $40bn Year-on-Year

The coronavirus outbreak put immense pressure on the healthcare industry, forcing pharmaceutical institutions to roll out clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed. However, many other companies also played a huge role in identifying symptoms and keeping the virus under control, which sparked significant innovations in the medical technology market.

According to data presented by AksjeBloggen, the combined market capitalization of Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic, Siemens AG, and Cardinal Health Inc., as the five biggest MedTech companies globally surged by $40bn year-over-year, reaching $394.3bn in October.

Abbott Laboratories Market Cap Jumped by 31%, the Biggest Increase in 2020

The World Health Organization defines medical technology, or MedTech, as the use of knowledge and technology in devices, medicines, and procedures to advance human health. One aspect of that which has been drawing more and more attention lately is remote healthcare services or telemedicine, as the growing number of people seek medical advice from the safety of their homes.

In September 2019, the combined market capitalization of the five major Medtech companies amounted to $354.2bn, revealed the Yahoo Finance data. By the end of the year, their combined value of shares rose to $398.7bn.

However, the first quarter of 2020 witnessed a significant drop, with the figure plunging to $359.1bn after the stock market crash in March. The following months brought a recovery, with the combined market capitalization of the five companies rising to $385.4bn in June.

The increasing trend continued in the fourth quarter, with the figure increasing by $8.9bn between June and October.

As the leading MedTech company globally, Johnson & Johnson witnessed an almost $40bn increase in the market capitalization year-over-year, growing from $340.3bn in September 2019 to around $380bn last week.

However, statistics indicate that Abbott Laboratories, the second-largest MedTech firm, witnessed the most significant market cap growth in 2020. In December 2019, the combined value of shares of the Chicago-based healthcare company specialized in nutrition, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic treatments, and medical devices amounted to $153bn. After falling to 139.5bn in March, this figure recovered to $161.8bn in June and continued rising.

In August, the company announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued Emergency Use Authorization for its BinaxNOW COVID-19 portable and affordable antigen test that can deliver results within 15 minutes. Since March, the company has got US authorizations for five other coronavirus tests, including the ID Now that can provide results within minutes.

The Yahoo Finance data show Abbott Laboratories market cap jumped to $194.1bn last week, a 31% increase year-over-year.

Siemens AG Market Cap Rose by 20% Year-over-Year

As one of the leading manufacturers and developers of medical devices in the industry, Siemens AG has also witnessed substantial market cap growth in 2020. Their products mostly center around diagnostic equipment and medical imaging systems, the largest contributor of more than €86.8 billion in revenue in the 2019 fiscal year. Statistics show the combined value of the German company’s shares rose by 20% year-over-year, rising from $87.4bn in September 2019 to $104.4bn last week.

The market capitalization of Medtronic plc, the Irish firm that has been at the top of the industry for nearly three decades, rose by 3.5% YoY. In December 2019, the market cap of the medical device company peaked at $151.3bn. After a sharp fall to $120.8bn in March, this figure recovered to $150.4bn last week.

The Yahoo Finance data indicate that Cardinal Health, Inc., an American multinational health care services company providing supplies to more than 75% of the US hospitals, witnessed the smallest increase in the combined value of shares. Statistics show its market cap rose by $350 million after the stock market crash in March, landing at $14.3bn last week, a 3.7% increase year-over-year.

 

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Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Record 8m Installs YTD, Grows by 155% YOY

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8.43 Million People Install Buy Now and Pay Later Apps

Data presented by Stock Apps indicates that Buy Now, Pay Later applications have recorded about 8.43 million downloads. The downloads are on a year to date basis.

Coronavirus spurs BNPL apps downloads growth

The highest downloads were recorded as of September 20th at 1.4 million. As of January 20th, the BNPL applications had been downloaded 962,000 times.

The application downloads recorded a significant decline across the year between March and April at 767,000 and 734,000, respectively.

The Stock Apps research also overviewed the application downloads on a year over year basis. As of September 2019, the apps had been downloaded 650,000 times. During a similar period this year, the apps had recorded 1.4 million downloads.

The research explained the soaring popularity of BNPL apps registered this year. According to the research report:

“The Buy Now, Pay Later apps enables customers to purchase goods with payment plans segmented into installments. The apps have been on the rise this year as the coronavirus took a toll on the economy. Most people lost their jobs as different states imposed lockdowns to contain the virus. Due to the pandemic, consumer spending dropped. Essentially, as the economic uncertainty grew, many consumers were more comfortable buying a variety of essential items that had the option to make smaller payments over time without adding to their credit card debt.”

The research also linked the rise to consumers who are shunning credit cards due to high costs.

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