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Billionaire Elon Musk Acquires Twitter At $44bn

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Twitter on Monday confirmed it is selling the platform to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk in a deal valued at $44 billion.

The sale was a dramatic shift for the board, which had originally maneuvered to block Musk from taking the social media network private.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a joint statement announcing the takeover.

Musk had taken a major stake in the firm earlier this month before lining up last week some $46.5 billion in financing to push forward with the purchase.

Twitter moves to block Elon Musk’s takeover
Twitter board chair Bret Taylor said the body “conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” according to the statement.

“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

The polarizing Tesla chief’s campaign to buy the social media giant sparked concern that his unpredictable statements and alleged bullying are contradictory to his stated aims for the platform.

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NiRA Hails Pantami as FG Pursues National Policy for Second-Level Domains Adoption

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Prof. Isa Pantami, NiRA
Prof. Isa Pantami

Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has applauded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) led by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, following the approval of a National Policy on the Nigerian Government Second-Level Domains during its meeting on Wednesday 16th February 2022.

The approval was granted by FEC following a presentation by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami).

The Policy was developed to strengthen public confidence in the use of digital technologies and participation in the digital economy.

The Policy is also in line with the implementation of the Nigerian e-Government Master Plan, approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2018.

The Master Plan has the vision to create a world-class open and digitalized government that connects with people to drive efficiencies in public administration, the responsiveness of civil services, and transparency in governance leading to improvement of the quality of life of Nigerians.

Muhammed Rudman, President of NiRA

Muhammed Rudman, the President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

Reacting to the development, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, the President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), described Professor Pantami as a ‘Digital Economy Crusader’ who has shown understanding of the need to intensify the adoption of Nigeria country code top-level domain (ccTLD), .ng within and outside the government circle.   

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) a multi – stakeholder-led organization, is the Registry for the .ng domain name and maintains the database of names registered in the .ng country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) namespace in the interest of Nigerians and the global Internet community.

Rudman said that the need to switch over to .ng is no longer negotiable in view of the significant role it plays in the country’s digital economy agenda.

He said that NiRA supports the Minister in his efforts to ‘promote transparency in governance, protecting the Nigerian cyberspace, and promotion of the Digital Nigeria agenda’.

“The National Policy as adopted by FEC is apt because for years NiRA has been pushing for the government to accelerate the adoption of the second-level domain (. gov. ng, .edu.ng, .mil.ng) under the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD.ng).

“So, what the Minister has done is commendable because the main objective is ‘to eliminate the use of top-level domains for Government business and the use of private emails for official correspondences by the end of the year 2022”.

Rudman said that with proper awareness of the Nigerian domain name, the local content would not only be grown but will help to save the country the cost of a capital flight over-dependence on foreign domain platforms imposed on the economy.

According to him, the Policy when implemented will also encourage knowledge-sharing amongst Nigerians and equally enhance progress in the development of IT in the country.

He noted that the task was given to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) led by Mallam. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi to ensure every government worker adopts the second-level domain name for official communication is achievable.

The President of NiRA who further described the.ng as a national resource and unique identifier for every Nigerian on the internet, pledged the organisation’s continued support to government policies geared towards the adoption.

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MTN, Airtel, Mafab, Get Approval From NCC Over 5G Deployment

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Airtel Networks Ltd and Mafab Communications Ltd., have been announced bidders of the forthcoming 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum auction.

Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced , said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Adinde said the license was for the deployment of Fifth generation (5G) networks in the country.

He noted that the qualified bidders met the criteria for participation in the licensing process of 3.5Ghz spectrum, including payment of the stipulated Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as outlined in the Information Memorandum (IM).

Mr Adinde said that the mock auction was scheduled for December 10, while the main auction will be held on December 13, both in Abuja.

He said: “The stage is now set for the three companies to participate in the main auction.

“They will also participate in the mandatory mock auction process, which will come as a precursor to the main auction.

“The commission has also reaffirmed the dates for the conduct of both the mock auction and the main auction.”

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NCC To Revitalise Telecom Special Numbering Service Segment

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is taking a decisive regulatory move to ensure sustainability, profitability and fair competition in the Special Numbering Service (SNS) segment of the nation’s telecommunications sector.

This move informed the decision of the Commission to hold a Stakeholders’ Forum on the ‘Determination of Call Termination Rate for Special Numbering Service Providers in Nigeria. ‘

The forum, held at the Conference Room, NCC Head Office in Abuja on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, was well attended by representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Special Numbering Service (SNS) providers and other stakeholders who participated actively in the discussions.

Addressing the gathering, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the meeting was convened following the extensive work of a committee set up by the Commission to look into the issues and complaints emanating from the SNS segment of the telecoms market. A key concern according to her, was the perception of high cost of delivering services to end-users in the SNS segment.

Accordingly, Akinloye stated that, “This meeting is convened to discuss issues pertaining to the special numbering services (SNS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications market.

Statutorily, the NCC is the custodian and manager of the toll-free and non-toll-free numbers licenses, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria”, she said.

She explained that owing to the scarce and finite nature of the numbers in the sector, the NCC, as the regulator, was under obligation to ensure the utilisation of the numbers by the licensees in a way that delivers value to the final consumers and ensures sustainability of the industry.

“The SNS has been in existence for the past 15 years, with some licensees actively engaged in the segment. However, we have noted some observations and complaints from different quarters on the use of these numbers. We have observed, for instance, that there has been no effective utilisation of the numbers” she said.

Akinloye also said the Commission had observed that the uptake of the numbers has been abysmally poor, contrary to NCC’s expectation as the sectoral regulator. She stated that NCC has also received complaints from the licensees regarding the perceived high rates aand charges by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who are owners of the major infrastructure being used by SNS providers to deliver services to end users.

According to her, based on this, the NCC set up a committee to do a thorough review of the market segment; research similar markets in other jurisdiction for benchmarking; and determine the appropriate call termination rates, through proper investigation, consultation and stakeholder engagements.

She said the Committee had done extensive work in this regard and as part of its rule-making process and regulatory transparency, the NCC has organised the consultative forum “to share outcomes of the Committee’s findings with the licensees, discuss the regulatory interventions that need to be taken and get inputs from all MNOs, SNS providers and other relevant stakeholders.”

Also speaking during the meeting, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC, Bako Wakil, lamented that the SNS segment of the market has not been fully maximised because of the cost elements involved.

However, Wakil said, if cost can be reduced, there will be greater benefits from economies of scale. “So, there has to be a way of making people use the service more if the price is appropriate. In the last 15 years of introducing SNS providers, there are less than 3,000 people using the service and yet, we have licensed additional number of players in the segment. Therefore, we are looking at profitability, sustainability and vibrancy of the Value-Added Service segment,” he said.

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