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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

BROADBAND

Danbatta Seeks Stakeholders Collaboration On Achieving Nat’l Broadband Implementation Goals

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L-R: Abubakar Maina, Project Director, BISC; Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC and Chairman, BISC; Dr. Usman Abdullahi, Director, IT Infrastructure, NITDA and Vice-Chairman, BISC; Kelechi Okonta, MD, Zinox Technologies Limited; Ibrahim Dikko, MD, Backbone Connectivity Limited, during the first stakeholder consultation with telecom industry players on the implementation of the new national broadband plan held in Abuja on Tuesday, November 3, 2020….

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that government is putting greater emphasis on the continuous engagement of different stakeholders to secure their buy-in towards achieving the targets of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

The EVC stated this at the first stakeholder consultation with telecommunication industry players on the implementation of the new national broadband plan held at the NCC’s Communications & Digital Economy Complex in Abuja on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Danbatta who was represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services and Chairman, Broadband Implementation Steering Committee (BISC), Engr. Ubale Maska, said the Ministry and its agencies, as well as the industry, must work together towards the attainment of the set goals.

At the event, which is the second of the multi-stakeholder consultation process by the BISC, Danbatta noted that the 30 per cent broadband targets set in the previous NNBP 2013-2018 were met and surpassed due to “our collective efforts, policy direction, regulation and financial commitment by industry players.”

He noted there were, however, some targets that were not met in the previous plan because of various challenges that are presently being addressed.

“The NNBP 2020-2025 has, once again, identified initiatives to be implemented by different stakeholders in order to achieve the set objectives of the plan. The importance of broadband to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), socio-economic development, and especially the digital economy, cannot be over-emphasized,” he said.

The Vice-Chairman of BISC, Dr Usman Abdullahi, had earlier in his welcome address, said the forum was to avail the industry players and representatives of government a veritable platform to collaborate and discuss ways to accelerate broadband implementation for sustainable development of the telecommunications sector and advancement of the digital economy.

Project Director, BISC, Abubakar Maina, made a presentation providing information to stakeholders on previous and new targets, timelines, milestones, strategic pillars, initiatives in the pillars, as well as governance structure in the new broadband plan.

The forum was well attended by industry operators, especially the Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) both physically and virtually, who gave useful inputs for steering the course of implementation of the new broadband plan to success.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new broadband plan on March 19 2020, following the development of the plan by a committee, set up by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on December 16, 2019.

As a follow-up, on July 9, 2020, the Minister inaugurated the BISC, which is primarily saddled with the responsibility of ensuring effective monitoring of the implementation of the new broadband plan.

 

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umlaut Ranks Airtel Nigeria Best In Broadband Coverage, Speed

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Airtel Nigeria has been declared the ‘Best in Test’ following a nationwide broadband assessment by umlaut, an international, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end company that offers advisory and fulfilment services to clients globally.

Hakan Ekmen, CEO of Telecommunications at umlaut, said Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed among other mobile network operators, scoring the highest with 697 points, while MTN emerged second with 663 points, 9mobile with 591 and Glo with 486 points.

The tests were carried out with umlaut’s crowdsourcing methodology, used to evaluate the mobile networks in Nigeria.

Consequently, an extensive analysis revealed two-hundred and sixty-three thousand (263,000) users have contributed 707.4-million samples in 24 weeks from October 2020 until early April 2021.

Speaking on the metrics of the assessment, Ekmen stated that over 80% of urban build-up and population areas were tested to arrive at the results.

He went on to laud Airtel for emerging the best-rated, citing it as a remarkable feat and a positive step towards attaining digital equality in Africa.

“In our nationwide assessment, 82.8% of the urban build-up area and 83.9% of the Population area were tested. We concluded that Airtel Nigeria is Best in Test, achieving the highest umlaut score with 697 points.

“Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed. This is remarkable in one of the largest telecommunications communities on the African continent, a positive step towards Digital Equality”, he stated.

Ekmen went on to state that umlaut’s sophisticated methodology enables the results to be comparable across network operators globally, emphasizing the transparency it provides in not only boosting network quality and performance but also improving the experience for every customer.

He further stated that while the results in Nigeria are quite impressive, there is still room for improvement in global comparison, however, the competition in Nigeria’s telecoms landscape is working favourably for consumers in the country.

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Smile Brings Smiles To Customers With Double Data Delight

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Smile, West Africa’s pioneer 4G LTE broadband service provider, will, beginning tomorrow, be offering its teeming customers a 100% bonus on recharge on any of its Bigga data plans.

This bonus offer, fondly dubbed ‘Double Data Offer’, will last for fourteen days from the date of purchase.

In essence, Smile customers will enjoy double data on the range of Smile’s Bigga data plans that include several packages such as 130GB, 100GB, 75GB, 60GB, 40GB, 30GB, 20GB, 15GB, 12GB, 10GB, 8GB, 6.5GB, 5GB, 3GB, 2GB and 1.5GB plans.

But for this specific double data offer, the bonus will be valid for fourteen days from purchase. Vitally, the 100% bonus on recharge to subscribers purchasing any Bigga data plan will be used before the paid bundle.

Abdul Hafeez, Smile Nigeria’s Chief Marketing Officer said the 100% bonus offer is one of the many ways that Smile utilizes to smoothen for its customers the apparent rough patches occasioned by the current inclement economic situation in the country.

With the 100% bonus offer, Abdul Hafeez opined that Smile is offering its loyal customers double data as a thank you gift for their continuous support and patronage and therefore, urged the customers to ensure that they maximize the benefits of this too good to be missed offer while it lasts.

Smile said in a statement Tuesday morning that customers desirous to benefit from the double data offer will have to utilize the numerous Smile recharge platforms that include Shops, Kiosks, Field Sales Representatives and Authorised Smile dealers.

Other avenues available to the customers are 3rd Party Online channels like Banks, Quickteller, Paystack, Jumia Pay, etc. Subscribers can also recharge directly through their MySmile App and MySmile Portal online.

Ashade Abdurraheem, an Ikeja based IT entrepreneur, noted that this double data offer could not have come at a better time than at the twilight of the Ramadan period with the consequent Sallah holidays.

He surmised that with the coming Sallah festivities, the 100% bonus offer would further enable many Nigerians to easily access broadband service from Smile and enjoy the best internet experience in Nigeria.

Renowned for its customer-centric bent, Smile is reputed to have berthed more customer-focused and pocket-friendly products than any of its peers in line with the company’s philosophy of deploying broadband to make Nigerians enjoy the best internet experience.

Indeed, Smile was the first to launch VoLTE on its network and has continued with its innovation, having introduced SmileVoice, which is a free mobile app that enables customers with any Android or Apple iPhone device (including those which are not VoLTE-enabled) to make SuperClear voice calls over Smile’s 4G LTE network.

Smile was also the first to introduce an Unlimited offering, which enables SuperFast data and SuperClear voice, all on one bundle.

 

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Smile Nigeria Explains Recent Network Outage, Compensates Customers

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Smile Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s leading telecommunication services providers, has explained the recent network outage experienced by its customers.

The company said in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday that it regretted the inconvenience the outage may have caused its customers.

Smile disclosed that the outage was due to network upgrade and modernization activities as well as the maintenance upgrade that it embarked upon to strengthen its network infrastructure.

The telecom firm also disclosed that most customers affected by the outage have been compensated and that others yet to be compensated will surely get their bounties in due course.

The statement noted that as a customer-focused company, Smile has taken appropriate steps to forestall a recurrence of such an outage and to ensure that all the customers affected by the outage are compensated.

Smile, therefore, urged its customers to go ahead and enjoy the superfast internet access for which the company is known, and which has become its hallmark.

Renowned as the first 4G LTE network in West Africa having first launched VoLTE on its network, Smile has continued with its innovation by introducing SmileVoice, which is a free mobile app that enables customers with any Android or Apple iPhone device (including those which are not VoLTE-enabled) to make SuperClear voice calls over Smile’s 4G LTE network.

It was also the first to introduce an unlimited offering, which enables SuperFast data and SuperClear voice, all on one bundle.

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