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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

Business

Smile Excites SMEs, Offers Them 100% Discount On Devices

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Economic adversity since the Covid-19 pandemic, as has been the lot across the world and especially in Nigeria, brings out the best or the worst in organisations.

In times of adversity, forward-looking organisations rise above the fray and are distinguished by their uncommon display of leadership and empathy.

Smile Nigeria ranks amongst the select few that have soared in their support for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with its recent offers of 100% discount on its devices (especially Routers and SMiFis).

There is no gainsaying that SMEs are the worst hit by the prevailing, harsh economic climate. Invariably, SMEs in the telecommunications sector are not spared by the vagaries occasioned by the inclement economic situation.

It is in this vein that Smile’s gesture to give away 100% discounted (FREE) devices; including SMiFis and Routers, to SMEs in Nigeria will be most welcome.

Smile Routers and SMiFis are the devices that are needed to access Smile’s 4G LTE mobile broadband services.

Smile offers one of the fastest internet services in Nigeria and was recently adjudged as having the most superior Routers and SMiFis available in the Nigerian market.

These gadgets enable customers to experience the joy of the internet on the go and enables internet access for a single person, or a group of employees. The battery life in these devices last for 8 hours and allows for up to 8 simultaneously Wi-Fi connections.

In specific terms, the offer from Smile Communications Nigeria to SMEs entails up to 100% discount on any device offer of SMiFi and Routers.

Smile is offering SMEs a SuperFast internet for only N14,500 that includes a FREE SMiFi device plus 30GB of data and unlimited FREE on-net calls and SMSs (using the SmileVoice App), valid for 30 days.

Once activated, SMEs also get 5GB BONUS data monthly, upon recharge of N3,000 or more, for the following 6 months.  SMEs can also opt for a Router offer at only N25,000 that includes a FREE SmileRouter plus 100GB of data with unlimited FREE on-net calls and SMSs (using the SmileVoice App), valid for 30 days.

This offer also includes 10GB FREE data every month, upon recharge of N6,000 or more, for 6 months.

SMEs can enjoy a 100% discount on any device purchases, and to provide further support, SMEs can now enjoy SmileVoice services with 4 additional SmileVoice numbers (eSIMs) on their first device, which is on offer for both SMiFi and Router devices.

Also available to SMEs is a 50% discount on a bulk purchase of 5 Router devices with a 3-month subscription of N20,000.00 or more. Bulk purchase will attract a 100% discount on 5 Router devices with a 6-month subscription of N20,000.00 or more.

Similarly, bulk purchase of 5 SMiFi devices with 6 months subscription for N10,000.00 or more will attract a 100% discount and a 50% discount with 3 months subscription for N10,000.00 or more.

Stakeholders are of the opinion that with these latest offers, Smile has lived up to its billing as a company that cares and is very desirous to always delight its customers, including SMEs.

A Development Economist, Yusuf Anibaba, observed that the discounts on offer by Smile will go a long way to help assist many SMEs that have been buffeted by the pangs of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Similarly, Anayo Okeke, an entrepreneur based in Ikeja Lagos noted that these discounts couldn’t have come at a better time. To him “Smile seems to know what SMEs are going through during this period; that there is a downturn in our business, is stating the obvious. However, it is heart-warming that Smile’s 100% discount offers can allow Small and Medium Enterprises to be smiling too.”

This cross-section of positive opinion is validated by the fact that only Smile currently offers attractively priced and superior Routers and SMiFis in the Nigerian market.

Smile launched the first 4G LTE network in West Africa in Nigeria in 2014 revolutionising the way people access the internet. The company 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.

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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BANKING

Access Bank Officially Launches Operations In South Africa

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank Plc

Access Bank Plc officially launched in South Africa on Monday and took another step in furthering its footprint across the African continent.

Access Bank chief executive Herbert Wigwe said in a statement that the Southern African Development Community represented the strongest economy in Africa, according to a report in IOL.

The Nigeria-listed Access Bank is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 31 million customers.

It employs 28,000 people in its operations in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, with a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and representative offices in China, Lebanon and India.

Following a merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank, with more than 900,000 shareholders, became one of Africa’s largest retail banks by retail customer base.

Wigwe said the opening in South Africa meant Access Bank SA was now firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy.

Highlighting Access Bank’s presence in Zambia, he said the opening of the South African subsidiary cemented the bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for banking opportunities across the continent.

Access Bank SA chief executive, Bennie van Rooy said Monday was “an exciting event for the South African banking industry”, and the provision of sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.

“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in-depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint.”

Wigwe said the group’s focus was on building relationships, as a partner in businesses and in the communities it served. “It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals.”

“With its transactional account and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and foreign exchange requirements or deposit solutions, Access Bank put the power of choice in clients’ hands,” he said.

“We look forward to the opportunities that present themselves with opening doors for individuals and businesses, and growing possibilities as we go,” said Wigwe.

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Business

Helium Health, Nigerian Health Tech Startup Launches In Kenya

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Lagos-based e-health startup, Helium Health has launched its operations in Kenya, partnering with three local providers, including Philips Healthcare Technologies to integrate new services, including an EMR to serve the entire East African market.

Launched in 2016, Helium Health is the largest Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems provider in West Africa.

The startup was founded by three entrepreneurs, Adegoke Olobusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, with a shared passion for solving the practical problems that they identified within the Nigerian health sector using technology.

“We have been planning to expand into Kenya’s thriving health tech sector since last year, so we’re very excited to be hitting the ground running in 2021, already working with three new local partners to help improve efficiencies and provide a better service to patients.

“We believe there is a great opportunity to harness cutting-edge technology to help improve the way healthcare data is gathered and managed across Africa, so partnering with like-minded healthcare providers and facilities in Kenya are an excellent fit for us.” Tito Ovia, the co-founder, said.

Jean Kyula, Country Manager for Helium Health Kenya and formerly a National Health Service (NHS) doctor in the UK added, “We are confident that we can play a major role in supporting both Kenya’s public and private healthcare sectors.

“We are delighted to announce that we are open for business, already working with three new partners in Nairobi, and rolling out in Uganda and Liberia. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of technology in healthcare, and the need to keep building better systems, develop more remote access solutions, and improve efficiencies in our healthcare sector, so we’re looking forward to working with more partners, doctors, hospitals and clinics as we move forward.” Jean said.

In May 2020, Helium Health successfully closed a US$10 million Series A funding round (the largest fundraising of any software as a service (SaaS) healthcare provider in Africa) to scale. It later announced that it will be expanding in both existing and new markets, launching operations in East, North and Francophone West Africa.

Helium Health has already partnered with facilities in Uganda and Liberia onboarding their 90-plus users early in 2021 and is now extending its services to facilities in Nairobi.

Helium Health offers a full suite of products covering the complete healthcare value chain, from Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems, to credit and telemedicine products.

Over 300 healthcare providers and 5,000 health professionals in Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana currently use Helium Health’s technology, allowing healthcare facilities to accept payments and issue invoices with ease, access quick funding, and hold televisits with their patients, making it easier for patients to get diagnosed from their homes.

In 2020, Helium Health won the IFC Tech Emerge award, an award that matches innovative health tech startups with leading healthcare providers across Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to implement pilot projects and build long-term partnerships.

Helium Health will pilot its technology in the East African market.

 

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Business

BoICT Lecture 2021 Focuses On 5G as New Frontier For Superior Service Delivery

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This year’s Beacon of Information and Communications Technology (BoICT) awards/lecture series scheduled for July 24, will be exploring 5G as a new frontier for superior service delivery in the telecommunications space.

The BoICT Distinguished Lecture Series, now in its 12th year, is widely regarded as the most prestigious annual event available in the ICT industry in Nigeria.

This year’s theme: “5G: Exploring New Frontiers for Superior Service Delivery” leans heavily on the buzz around 5G- which if harnessed to its fullest potential, will feed the accelerated rise of the Internet of Things, enabling a smarter and more connected world.

Mr. Ken Nwogbo, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief, Communication Week Media Limited, the organisers of the lecture, said that the choice of the theme is based on the need to address the conspiracy theory against the technology as well as explore enormous benefits of the 5G in delivering quality telecommunications services.

“The lecture is followed by the awards ceremony which rewards best practices and recognizes outstanding contributions to the growth of the ICT sector.

“The awards are free and awardees are chosen by readers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek through a transparent voting process,” Nwogbo said.

He noted that the voting platform has already opened and business leaders and readers are implored to cast their votes via this link. http://webthinkers.net/poll/polls.html

The Beacon of Information and Communication Technology (BoICT) awards series, is widely regarded as the most prestigious annual event available in the ICT industry in Nigeria.

It is designed to explore efforts to put Nigeria on the global Information and Communications Technologies map.

The lecture series, however, is reserved for distinguished achievers in the ICT sector.

Past Keynote lecturers include Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, then EVC, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa, former Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC); Dr. Jean Luc Fort, CEO at OR System France and a specialist in Counterparty Risk; and Professor Chris Nwagboso, Chairman, Knowledge Factory International, United Kingdom.

Others are Uche Orji, managing director/chief executive officer, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA); Biodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications; Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director, Rack Centre Limited; and Peter Adedayo Arogundade, managing director and chief executive officer, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited.

They also include John Obaro, CEO and founder of Systemspecs, Dr. Isa Pantami, former DG, NITDA; and Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale, co-founder and COO, of Digital Encode Limited among others.

 

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