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MTN, Mafab Acquire 5G Spectrum For $547m

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MTN, Mafab Acquire 5G Spectrum For $547m

MTN Nigeria and Mafab Nigeria Communications Limited, have won the two available lots of 100 MHz TDD slots of 3.5 GHz band for the deployment of the 5G network in the country.

Recently, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) approved MTN, Mafab, and Airtel Networks Limited for the bidding process.

The three companies participated in the 5G auction and the bidding began at $199.37 million, as against the reserve price of $197.4 million set by the NCC.

After about eight hours and 11 rounds of bidding, the auction ended at $273.6 million for each available lot, and MTN and Mafab emerged as winners.

Bidding was set at $275,904,886 for the 11th round. Airtel remained in the bidding process until the last round when it fell off.

MTN paid an extra sum of $15.9 million to be assigned the preferred lot of Lot One, while Mafab was assigned Lot Two, at no extra cost. In its Information Memorandum, the commission had said it was auctioning two lots of 100 MHz each in the 3.5 GHz band ranging from 3500 – 3600 MHz and 3700 to 3800 MHz.

Mafab, led by Alhaji Musibau Bashiru, is a new entrant in the telecoms sector and was licensed in July 2020. The company has an international data access licence from the NCC. The winners have until February 2022 to pay for the spectrum, or lose it.

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MTN Nigeria Risks Losing Millions Of Users, Here’s Why

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MTN Nigeria Risks Losing Millions Of Users, Here's Why

Thousands of MTN Nigeria users have since Tuesday, January 11, 2022, been experiencing poor service from the telco.

The telco subscribers, who spoke to Newsrand confirmed that without any word from MTN Nigeria, they didn’t know why it has been a struggle for them to browse the internet, and receive calls as well.

Lamenting over the poor network service, Ibukun Ayanlowo, a payment merchant, said the poor internet service has affected her business, such that her sales have dropped in the last few days.

I run a PoS business, and my network has to be good for me to run transactions for people. So, you can see how it has affected me. For instance, I make between N70,000 to N100,000 every day, and due to the poor service from MTN, I’m struggling to make N30,000 in the last two days,” Ayanlowo stated.

Like the PoS operator, digital marketer Cynthia Nwokolo also said she has not been productive since Tuesday.

Her words: “I have not been able to do as much as I do since the last two days. For instance, I need internet service to meet my KPIs and all. But not much has been done.”

When our correspondent reached out to the telco for reaction to its customers’ complaint, it promised to get back. But as at the time of filing this report, there was no response from it.

What this means

MTN, being part of the company with the largest market capitalisation on Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), has no doubt disappointed its customers. And the situation is becoming more worrisome, as the telco has left the challenge unattended to, such that business owners who leverage the network service provider to make earnings are now recording losses.

This development and nonchalant response from MTN may result in the loss of subscribers, which presently stands over 67.5 million, as the distressed users are seeking alternatives already.

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Reactions As Twitter Ban In Nigeria Got Lifted

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Reactions As Twitter Ban In Nigeria Got Lifted

The lifting of Twitter ban in Nigeria has generated mixed reactions from Nigeria, who took to the social media platform to express themselves.

As reported on Newsrand, in the late hours of Wednesday, January 12, 2022, Twitter ban in Nigeria was lifted after seven months.

The decision was announced by the Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, who said President Muhammadu Buhari authorised the ban lifting.

Kashifu, in a statement, said: “The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.

In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”

What led to Twitter ban in Nigeria

It would be recalled that in the early hours of Friday, June 4, 2021, Mohammed made the disclosure of the Twitter ban in Nigeria. Hence, Nigerians would no longer be able to access it pending the time the ban would be lifted.

Twitter was banned after President Muhammadu Buhari‘s tweets about the insecurity in the country, was deleted.

A day before the ban, Buhari made a snide comment about some Nigerians, which instigated the tweet deletion.

Citing Nigeria’s civil war experience between 1967 and 1970, Buhari threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand.”

According to the president, most of those “misbehaving” by burning electoral offices were maybe too young to understand the gravity of war.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” he tweeted.

Going by Twitter policy, the tweet was deleted.

The reactions from Nigerians

While some people jubilated over the development, others reacted otherwise, saying it is a political move ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

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BlackBerry Shutdown: Nigerian Phone Dealers React

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BlackBerry Shutdown: Nigerian Phone Dealers React

BlackBerry shutdown, which was put to effect from Tuesday, January 5, 2022, has triggered reactions from Nigerian phone dealers, who expressed opinions that it wouldn’t affect a lot of people.

In what appeared to be the end of an era, the BlackBerry shutdown means that the older devices of the Canadian-based company, would no longer function. Although some of its devices using the Android operating system will still work. These include models launched from 2015 to 2018, starting with the BlackBerry Priv to the BlackBerry Evolve X.

Newsrand understands that BlackBerry shutdown was first announced two years ago, when the company’s chief, John Chen disclosed that the company had officially moved from being a device manufacturer to a software developer.

The company is now security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world,” Chen was quoted as saying.

Reacting to the BlackBerry Shutdown, Godwin, a phone dealer in Computer Village, a popular electronic device market in Lagos State, said the development would not affect people, especially Nigerians.

According to Godwin, many Nigerians had stopped using BlackBerry devices a long time ago.

Godwin’s words: “If I’m right, 95% of Nigerians have stopped using Blackberry; so shutting it down is like winding down a business that has long been shut down. I don’t think the effect will be felt by anybody. Blackberry had sometimes about three or four years ago, if I’m right, informed the public about the shutdown. When Android came, people no longer considered Blackberry, they left Blackberry and shifted to Android and Windows phones such as Lumia.

But the problem people encounter most of the times with Windows phones is that it’s difficult to use some applications like WhatsApp. Some phones especially those from Windows are not compatible with WhatsApp and it’s hard to find someone who does not use WhatsApp in Nigeria.

They’ve started winding down before now and the truth of the matter is that nobody will feel the impact of the shutdown. The circulation of Blackberry especially during this period when Android and iPhone are all-around has reduced drastically. People have stopped using the device even before they shut down. Let me just say about 98 percent of the Nigerian populace has shifted to Android and iPhones. They find those phones more advanced than Blackberry products.

Echoing Godwin’s opinion, an Abuja-based phone dealer, who doesn’t want his name mentioned in this report, said “before now, everybody had been informed that the device would shut down. So everybody has zeroed their minds from it already. Shutting it down yesterday did not come as a surprise to me. People don’t really use Blackberry anymore in Nigeria.

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