Telecoms and IT

Telecom Contributes ₦1.54tr to GDP

The telecommunications sector contributed N1.54 trillion to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that the figure was derived from recently released Bureau of Statistics’ report on the economy.

Danbatta unveiled the figure disclosed when he received the visiting Chairperson of Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), Madam Angelique Weeks, on Friday in Abuja.

Investors Pump $90m into Flying Taxi

Top high technology investors have doled out $90 million to Lilium, a German start-up with Silicon Valley-scale ambitions to develop a 5-passenger “flying taxi”.

This is one of the best-funded electric aircraft projects to date, Reuters reports.

The company has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest start-ups as it looks to create a new category of aircraft capable of both vertical take-off and electric powered jet flight.

Pilotless Planes Could Save Airlines Billions. But Would Anyone Fly?

Taking pilots out of the cockpit could save airlines billions. But would anyone buy a ticket?

The aviation industry could save $35 billion a year by moving to pilotless planes, according to a new report from UBS. Just one problem: The same report warns that only 17% of travellers are willing to fly without a pilot.

UBS said that the technology required to operate remote-controlled planes could appear by 2025. Further advances beyond 2030 might result in automated business jets and helicopters, and finally commercial aircraft without pilots.

MTN Returns to First-Half Profit after Turbulent 2016

MTN Group, Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, on Thursday returned to profit in the first half of the year, helping the company to move on from a turbulent 2016 that highlighted the risks of its emerging markets strategy, Reuters reports.

The results were bolstered by the absence of charges related to a $1.1 billion fine imposed by Nigerian authorities last year in a long-running dispute over unregistered SIM cards.

Online Skills: Google Hopes to Train 10 Million People in Africa –CEO

Alphabet Inc's Google aims to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in an effort to make them more employable, its chief executive said on Thursday.

The U.S. technology giant also hopes to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, a company spokeswoman said.

Google's pledge marked an expansion of an initiative it launched in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. It announced in March it had reached its initial target of training one million people, Reuters reports.

How Nigeria can Derive Economic Benefits from Drones –Expert

The Team Leader, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Nigeria, Rasheed Mosuro, says the country can derive huge economic benefits from the use of RPAS, otherwise known as unmanned aircraft or drone.

Mosuro, who is also the Quality and Safety Auditor (Engineering) at a private company, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

He said that unmanned aircraft could be used in all sectors of the life of the country.

Telecoms Regulator to Check Health of Other Operators after Etisalat Nigeria Crisis

Nigeria's telecoms regulator will check the financial health of other operators after Etisalat Nigeria defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan, a spokesman said.

"We need to check the books to detect failings on time," he told Reuters by phone, adding that the law setting up the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) empowers it to conduct such checks.

He also said that the commission must approve any new investor with over 10 percent of the shares in a telecoms firm.

Etisalat Takeover: NCC Assures Subscribers of Network’s Integrity

Amid the move to takeover of Etisalat by a consortium of banks, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured subscribers that the network’s integrity would not be compromised.

The Director, Public Affairs of NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos that the commission’s attention had been drawn to the planned takeover by the consortium of banks.

Ojobo said that the regulatory body was aware of the indebtedness of Etisalat to the consortium.

Telecoms: Porting Activities Decline in Nigeria

Porting activities among telecommunications service providers declined by 8,248 in April, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.

The “Incoming and Outgoing Porting Activities of Mobile Network Operators” report obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos  showed that subscribers porting within the networks stood at 33,773 in April, as against the 42,021 recorded in March.

It said that out of the 33,773 porting activities in April; 16,938 were “incoming porting activities” while 16,835 were “outgoing porting activities.’’

Nigeria’s Telcos Struggle for Survival

Telecommunications operators in the country once seen as flourishing are today battling to survive due to unfavourable economic policies being implemented by the government, the Nigerian Communications Week report shows.

The situation has forced some of them to rationalize staff; some have moved their Network Operating Centres (NOCs) to India; while some are faced with difficulties in meeting with their creditor obligations.

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