" ITREALMS: 2012


NPA saves $326.895m from agreement with INTELS - ITREALMS

Sponsored@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has explained how INTELS Nigeria Limit...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DigitalSENSE News: Yuletide: Airtel reassures on network quality desp...

This is a complete setback!
DigitalSENSE News: Yuletide: Airtel reassures on network quality desp...: Despite the terrorist attack at the office and installation of Airtel Nigeria and MTN in Kano at the weekend, Airtel has said its str... ... Making SENSE of digital revolution!

Friday, December 07, 2012

TQC debuts with Qlichy.com

Qlichy.com, a portal from the stable of The Quadrant Company (TQC) comes with a mission to broaden the horizon and expand the opportunities for organization in Nigeria and beyond.
It also offers business directory, news and current information across various industries.


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Thursday, December 06, 2012

NCC Report and Consumer Promo Ban

Shortly before it imposed an indefinite ban on all GSM operators from running consumer promotions and lotteries on their networks, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had just conducted yet another quality of service check on the operators. This is in line with its mandate which empowers the regulatory agency to ensure that the licensees meet required standards from time-to-time.

What is however of concern to perceptive industry watchers is that the outcome of the survey did not seem to have influenced the decision of the agency in deciding on a blanket ban on promotions and lotteries which affected all operators, irrespective of their performance as discovered by NCC itself.

Known as the Nationwide Benchmark Drive Test, it was conducted by NCC and covered July to September, 2012 for the four major operators, namely MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat. The first of its kind, the test captured the Call Completion Rate, which encompasses the major network KPI (call drop and congestion). Service providers were ranked in Lagos and the six geo-political zones of southwest, southeast, south south, north central, northeast and northwest.

In the north central zone which produced the highest rating for all the operators, except Glo, Etisalat recorded 94 per cent, while Airtel followed closely with 92 per cent. MTN scored 84 per cent and Glo had 78 per cent.

Next is Lagos where Etisalat had 92 per cent, Airtel 88 per cent, Glo 86 per cent and MTN ended up with 82 per cent. In the northwest, it was Etisalat 90 per cent with Airtel 82 per cent, Glo 88 per cent and MTN 60 per cent.

Airtel led in the south south recording 88 per cent. The rest were: Etisalat 86 per cent, MTN 71 per cent and Glo 78 per cent. Airtel also led in the southwest with 88 per cent, followed by Etisalat which had 81per cent, while Glo scored 79 per cent and MTN 72 per cent.

Airted also led the way in the northeast with 78 per cent followed by Etisalat at 67 per cent, while MTN had 58 percent and Glo 53 per cent. The southeast produced the poorest result. Etisalat led with 85 per cent followed by Airtel at 75 percent. Glo recorded nearly 60 per cent, while MTN scored 53 per cent.

Overall, Etisalat was rated as the best service provider in Lagos, southeast, north central and Northwest. It came second in the southwest, south south and northeast. Airtel was the best operator in three regions – southwest, south south and northeast. It came second in Lagos, southeast, north central and northwest. MTN finished third in south south, north central and northeast; and fourth in the other zones – Lagos, southwest, southeast and northwest – where Glo came third, while Glo finished last where MTN was rated third.

From such a quality of service check, analysts had thought NCC would apply its own prescription in dealing with the subscribers’ headache. Rather, the agency chose to come down hard on all the operators. The indefinite ban on all promotions and lotteries by network operators has continued to generate divergent opinions.

Not a few subscribers believe that NCC should have taken the pains to sanction only those networks that have demonstrated lack of capacity to handle the increased traffic on the platforms as a result of the consumer promotions.

Mr Wale Thomas, a marketing communications consultant, said that the regulatory agency behaves like most establishments in Nigeria that would always look for the easy way out of any challenge. “Why would NCC institute a check on the network and refuse to implement the result of its own findings in dealing with culprits?”, he wondered. “The agency should have imposed the ban on networks that have failed to meet minimal standards rather than sweep all of them along.”

In the opinion of Mr Moses Akapo, another consumer who operates a mobile phone dealership at the Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos, the NCC should encourage the spirit of competition among the network operators, which would ultimately be to the benefits of the consumer. “If one or two network operators are found wanting and the NCC choose to impose the same penalty on all the licensees, it would be encouraging mediocrity rather than promoting meritocracy,” he said.

In a recent interaction with journalists, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), pointed out that issue of network congestion cannot be blamed on consumer promotions and lotteries essentially. According to Mr Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON president, the major causes of poor service quality across networks could be attributed to natural and man-made disasters. He explained that the natural disaster of flooding in some southern parts of the country and the spontaneous attacks on telecoms facilities in some northern parts of the country by gunmen had contributed largely to service disruption.

“The impacts of the attacks had since limited the ability of millions of Nigerian subscribers to access telecommunications services, because the incidents affected over 250 telecoms sites that lost connection and many suffered significant damage beyond repairs,” Adebayo said.

He further said that the unprecedented flood in some parts of the country destroyed Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) along its path, leading to significant service disruption in the affected areas, with consequential impact on service availability in some other parts that were not affected by the flood. “Other than disruption to services, our members have lost equipment worth several billions of naira to the flood disaster across the country, as over additional 300 BTS sites were affected by the flood,” Adebayo said.

Announcing the ban on consumer promotions and lotteries on the networks on November 8, NCC said it would be in force “until such a time as may be determined by the commission.” It said that the affected telecoms operators included Globacom Limited, MTN, Intercellular Nigeria Plc, Visafone Communications Limited, Etisalat, Airtel and Multilinks Telecoms Limited.

*Moses  Adigun, a Lagos-based consumer rights activist contributed this article.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

DigitalSENSE News: NigComSAT bill is vague says NCC, asks Senate to discard

"NigComSAT currently operates those services as a licensee of the NCC, while the provision that it would engage in activities that would enhance the space industry in Nigeria is vague and subject to several interpretations by the NCA 2003."
DigitalSENSE News: NCC to Senate: Drop NigComSAT bill: Hon. Itanyi The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has told the Senate to put an end to any consideration of the proposed bill on...

... Making SENSE of digital revolution!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Comviva, MasterCard, Tutuka to boost finanicial inclusion drive

The trio of Comviva Technologies,  MasterCard Worldwide,  and Tutuka announced a strategic collaboration that combines Comviva’s mobiquity mobile payment platform, Tutuka’s prepaid processing platform and MasterCard’s global electronic payments network to further extend financial inclusion to millions of consumers across Africa.

ITRealms gathers that the collaboration would enable operators provide mobile money services using Comviva’s mobiquity platform to their customers prepaid MasterCard cards or Virtual Card Numbers (VCN), which is linked to their existing stored value accounts.

Also, these would facilitate customers’ purchase of goods and services at millions of physical and online retailers worldwide where MasterCard is accepted, as well as transfer funds and pay bills.

At present stored value accounts, managed primarily by mobile network operators offer services only to users within the operators network such as mobile top-up, bill payments, merchant payments, cash withdrawal and P2P payments.

Remmy Nweke
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Google invites actions against WCIT-12

Google invites internet community to take action against the proposed close door meeting at the Dubai meeting of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) schedule for  between December 3 and 14, 2012.

Part of the meeting's top agenda is the alleged governments plan to increase censorship and regulation of the Internet.

Join the action: https://www.google.com/intl/en/takeaction/

ITRealms recalsl that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) convenes the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 3-14 December 2012. 

The acclaimed landmark conference will review the current International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), which serve as the binding global treaty designed to facilitate international interconnection and interoperability of information and communication services, as well as ensuring their efficiency and widespread public usefulness and availability.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

DigitalSENSE News: All in one from Etisalat = data-voice-sms

The Easyflex plan comes with four variants the Flex N1000, Flex N700, Flex N500 and Flex N300.
Flex N1,000 offers customers up to 100 minutes talk time to call any network or 100 megabyte data or 400 SMS to any network; Flex N700 bundle offers customers 70 minutes talk time to call any network or 70 megabyte data or 280 SMS to any network; Flex N500 offers customers 50 minutes talk time to any network or 50 megabyte data or 200 SMS to any network.

While Flex N300 offers customers 25 minutes talk time to any network or 25 megabyte data or 100 SMS to any network. Customers can however mix and match as they browse, call and send SMS to all networks as they wish on all four variants of Easy Flex. 

Etisalat customers on any of the prepaid packages who wish to enjoy the huge benefits of 
easyflex will have to migrate by dialing *344*bundle of their choice#. For instance, to purchase Flex N1,000, customers  should simply dial *344*1000#, *344*700# for  Flex N700, *344*500# for Flex N500 and *344*300# for Flex N300.

DigitalSENSE News: Etisalat unveils EasyFlex: (L-R): Director, Product & Service, Mr. Lucas Dada; Head, Consumer Market, Mr. Idowu Adesokan; Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Wael Am... ... Making SENSE of digital revolution!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

8 of 10 SMES not satisfied with telcos - Survey

Latest survey on Telesperience from Comarch, a global provider of end-to-end solutions for telecommunications, has revealed that eight of 10 European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have plans to change telecom provider.

ITRealms gathers that the Telesperience research was based on a survey on 298 European SMEs in France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK), according to the author and Chief Analyst, Telesperience, Ms Teresa Cottam.

She said that the level of satisfaction of European SMEs with their telecom service providers was identified during the survey.

 The survey, she said, was done by an analyst firm, Telesperience, on 298 European SMEs, to see what they saw as the most valuable services that Consumer Satisfaction Problems (CSPs) could offer them, but also to identify the main churn and dissatisfaction factors. 

She also revealed that some of the key issues included that SMEs do not feel loyal to their CSP(s) – 8 out of 10 plan to change service provider in the near future; The biggest causes of frustration amongst SMEs are billing-related issues, low quality of services and networks, and the inability of service providers to quickly and effectively resolve problems; and the most important factors for SMEs when selecting a telecom service provider are service availability, service quality and dedicated tariff plans, while low price is only rated as fourth on the list.

Additionally, Ms Cottam said, eight out of 10 SMEs do not see handset selection as being a “deal breaker” as they prefer a cheaper service to their ideal handset. While 48 per cent of SMEs would prefer to have a single service provider for all their services, even as she pointed out that the services that SMEs would value include: access to itemized and archived bills, an ability to set spending limits for their employees, as well as fixed-mobile convergence.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ebube, winner of MTN Ultimate promo gets unsolicited FB page

Ebube Essien-Garricks ... Real pix of ultimate promo winner @ MTN hdqtr Wednesday

The 27-year old student of College of Health Science and Technology, Rivers State, Ms Ebube Essien-Garricks, who emerged the winner of a Cessna 182T aircraft in the MTN Ultimate Wonder promo, opted for Naira equivalent of N64 million.

ITRealms gathered that within a few hours of emergence, unknown persons have created a Facebook account on her behalf to show-off her win and probably further endorse the brand for fulfilling its promise.

Although a couple of Nigerians who commented on her wins, are still very high skeptical, others expressed excitement with her at this joyous time.
As at the time of filing this report, Ebube just have 44 likes, but no friends yet, while marriage proposal has increased!

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Why we placed blanket ban on promos, lotteries - N...

Check this out and you can see reasons why NCC acted! Defending and protecting the consumers

DigitalSENSE News: Why we placed blanket ban on promos, lotteries - N...: Apex telecommunications regulator in the land, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has adduced real reasons why it placed

 ... Making SENSE of digital revolution!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CDMA BlackBerry: Another first from Visafone across MEA

The largest Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile network in Nigeria, Visafone Communications, has again become the first CDMA network to offer BlackBerry smartphones in the whole of Middle East, Europe and Africa.

DigitalSENSE Business News recalls that Visafone Communications in partnership with Research In Motion (RIM) launched three brands of BlackBerry smartphones; Bold 9930, Curve 9310 and Curve 9370 respectively, which are to be made available from October 29th, 2012.

Speaking at the formal launch of the devices in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of Visafone Communications, Mr. Srinivasa said that the partnership with RIM brings the wide range of smartphones on demand by the Nigerian market, especially BlackBerry.

He also said the unique selling point of the company in terms of the BlackBerry devices and its after sales services is the company’s flagship shops which numbered up to 88 across the nation. And the rating of the company by the government’s regulatory agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission as the number one in terms of quality of service.

“The moment is here to ping on Visafone network,” he declared.

Also speaking, RIM Regional Director for East, Central and West Africa, Mr. Waldi Wepener revealed that RIM chose to add Visafone to its list of partners in the country as a result of Visafone’s good quality of service.

Wepener further disclosed that RIM presently has 5 partners in Nigeria including Visafone as the only CDMA network on the list. He expressed RIM’s pride in supporting Visafone with the launch of BlackBerry solutions to their existing and new customers across the nation.

“BlackBerry solution from Visafone offers customers a strong selection of smartphones and a wide range of services that connects them to people and information,” Wepener said.

According to Wepener, the BlackBerry Bold 9930 on Visafone has a high performance keyboard, a 5.0 megapixel camera with a responsive high-resolution touch screen and Wi-Fi as its special features while the Curve 9310, a 3.2megapixel with an inbuilt FM radio. The Curve 9370 has an optical trackpad for easy and one-hand navigation with inbuilt GPS and Wi-Fi support.

The three devices, like any other BlackBerry devices allow users to easily interact with their social network in real time. They can also support external storage memory expansion up to 32 GB.

The Chairman of Visafone, Mr. Jim Ovia in his address said the network has an amazing call rate alongside its supersonic data experience, and that users of Visafone BlackBerry can roam everywhere in the world which is going to give users an edge.
“This launch is a major boost to the NCC’s efforts to achieve growth of data usage and quality of services to Nigerian,” Ovia said, that the partnership denotes a big step forward in the continent’s mobile history.

Ovia equally said that Visafone has the right strategies in place that would enable to the company to operate in the future, urging the general public to support the merger of telecommunications companies.

According to him, merging of telecommunications companies does not imply that all is not well with either of the parties.

Visafone has some records to its name, from being the first network operator to have 1 million subscribers in 6 months on inception to also being the first to get 2 million subscribers in 9 months in the nation.
Visafone is also the first telecommunications company to be Open Market Handset (OMH) compliant and the first to offer prepaid and postpaid roaming opportunity across Africa.

Remmy Nweke & Yinka Awosanya

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