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Telcos, OTT Urged to Collaborate



  • Telcos, OTT Urged to Collaborate

Stakeholders who gathered at the 2019 Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF), which held recently in Lagos, have stressed the need for a collaboration between telecoms operators and Over the Top Technology (OTT) players, as a means to further grow the Nigerian economy.

Organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the forum sought to address grey areas of OTT operations in Nigeria, as they contribute to the revenue loss of telecoms operations, which was reportedly put at $386 million between 2012 to 2016.

The speakers said there was need for collaboration between telecoms operators and OTT players instead of regulating the operations of OTT players.

Some stakeholders had suggested the need for OTT regulation as they felt that free services like WhatsApp calls, Skype calls, and WhatsApp messaging, offered by OTT players to their customers while riding on the network of telecoms operators, were eating deep into the revenue streams of telecoms operators, and have been causing them loss of revenue.

The Chief Executive Officer, Medallion Communications, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, who featured as one of the panelists, said: “It is true that OTT operations are cutting deep into the revenue generation of telecoms operators, who spent so much money to build the network on which OTT players are riding upon to provide free services to customers, but I am happy that telecoms operators also see the need for OTT players to operate in the ecosystem because they are contributing in driving increased broadband penetration in the country.”

The Executive Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, in his keynote speech at the forum, highlighted the key trends shaping the telecoms industry to include high demand, disruptive competition growth like the OTT/Telecoms competition, data dominance, and connecting things.

Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at the NCC, Mr. Mohammed Babajika, said the trend necessitated conceptualising innovative ideas within the telecommunications ecosystem as a central requirement for the industry sustainability and investment drive.

Speaking on the topic: Formulation of Policy and Regulation for OTT–Challenges and Prospects, Danbatta said OTTs were content delivered over the internet, and that their prospects were numerous such as increasingly supporting future service model that are rapidly expanding across multiple communications and digital service domain; growth of smart phones that are affordable, which pushes the demand for broadband; and increased mobility that brought convenience. He, however, pointed out the challenges of OTTs to include data protection and privacy issues among others. He, therefore, said there was need to compare notes with other jurisdictions as regards to the market dynamics, policy and regulatory challenges of OTT services among others.

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


Again, IBM Revenue Plunges for Third Consecutive Quarter




IBM Revenue Declined for a Third Straight Quarter in the Third Second Quarter

IBM revenue plunged for a third-straight quarter in the period ended September 30, 2020, according to the latest financial results of the company.

The company’s revenue declined by 2.6 percent year-on-year to $17.6 billion in the quarter, while revenue from IBM Global Business Service declined by 5 percent to $4 billion with Global Technology Services unit recording a 4 percent decline in revenue to $6.5 billion.

Again, the Systems segment that includes mainframe hardware and software experienced a 15 percent decline in revenue to $1.3 billion. The company’s global financing revenue plunged by 20 percent to $273 million.

However, revenue from Cloud and Cognitive Software segment that includes Red Hat rose by 7 percent to $5.6 billion.

The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement. “Separating the managed infrastructure services business creates a market-leading standalone company and further sharpens our focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. This will accelerate our growth strategy and better position IBM to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.

The decline in earnings was in line with the company’s pre-announcement that COVID-19 would impact its overall performance this year.

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Paystack Stripe: Stripe Pays Over $200 Million to Acquire Nigerian Paystack Startup



stripe buys paystack

Stripe Acquires Paystack for Over $200 Million

Stripe, American financial services, and online payment processing for internet businesses headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, is in the process of acquiring Paystack, a Nigerian based online payment processing startup.

While the terms of the deal are not in the open, sources familiar with the deal said Stripe is paying over $200 million to acquire the Nigerian startup.

Paystack presently has about 60,000 customers that cut across small businesses, fintechs, schools, online betting companies and larger corporations. The sources said the plan will be to continue operating independently in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Suggesting this is one of the reasons Stripe raised $600 million in funding earlier this year to expand its API-based payments services into more regions.

There is enormous opportunity,” said Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and CEO, in an interview with TechCrunch. “In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast. Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

Shola Akinlade, the CEO of Paystack said the deal will help the company expand in Nigeria and beyond. “Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us,” said Akinlade, who co-founded the company with Ezra Olubi (who is the CTO).

For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move.

The deal is expected to boost the attractiveness of Nigerian startups, especially the fast-growing fintech industry.

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Facebook, Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS), Others Partner to Boost Blood Donations in Namibia



Facebook, Others Partner to Improve Blood Donations in Namibia

Facebook Inc, the world’s leading social media giant, has partnered the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services to launch a new feature to encourage people to donate blood.

This means, starting from today people between the ages of 18 – 66 now have the option to sign up as blood donors on Facebook, be notified when blood donor centres near them have an urgent need for donations and invite friends to donate as well.

Accordingly, the same feature was launched in Chad, Guinea and Mali today, meaning Facebook blood donating feature is now available in 12 Africa nations. Other African nations enjoying the feature are Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The program that was first launched in 2017 has now attracted more than 70 million people who have signed up on Facebook to donate blood through partnerships centres around the world.

Speaking on the initiative, Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Director Facebook Africa, said: “COVID-19 has changed how and where people can give blood, causing countries around the world to experience shortages of voluntary blood donations at this critical time. In keeping with our Mission, we recognized the role Facebook can play in connecting people that want to donate blood with opportunities to do so. The partnership with the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and Ministry of Health and Social Services is such an important one. We strongly believe it will enable Namibians to make a positive impact to the blood donation ecosystem in the country.

Zita Tobin, Manager, Donor Recruitment and PR for NamBTS said: “We are truly excited by the partnership with Facebook the tool will assist us bolster our blood collections during the pandemic and beyond, as only 1% of the population donate blood”

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