By Dipo Olowookere
The acquisition of Sepura Group Plc, a firm in Cambridge, United Kingdom, which is a leading provider in TETRA products and solutions for organizations worldwide, has been completed by Hytera Communications Corporation Limited, the leading global provider of innovative professional mobile radio (PMR) communications solutions.
“The PMR communications industry is seeing rapid evolution, and Hytera leads in incorporating new technologies and attractive features that deliver more effective solutions for our customers,” said Mr Qingzhou Chen, founder, chairman and president of Shenzhen, Guangdong-based Hytera. “Adding the Sepura Group complements our strengths in technological innovation, especially in TETRA, along with adding sophisticated engineering talent and an experienced operating team, and enhances our channel partnerships around the world.”
Sepura is a market leader in 20 countries and has end-customers in more than 100 countries, and has the second-largest market share in public security in Europe. Hytera’s acquisition of Sepura adds approximately 700 professionals and staff to Hytera’s organization.
“Hytera has been investing strategically in Europe,” said Mr Chen. “In 2011, Hytera acquired what is now Hytera Mobilfunk GmbH in Germany, growing it into a significant PMR provider in Europe and one of our most important research centres. By adding Sepura, Hytera now has two more innovation centers, in the United Kingdom and Spain. With enhanced capabilities, we can better serve local markets and help to address increasing security challenges in Europe,” added Mr Chen.
Established in 1993 in Shenzhen, China, Hytera Communications is the world’s fastest-growing PMR solution provider, and the world’s #1 DMR Tier III Trunking provider. Its more than 7,000 employees serve organizations in more than 120 countries, including in government, the public security sector, the utilities, transportation, and oil and gas industries, and a range of other businesses.
In 2016, both Hytera and Sepura provided PMR solutions for event management and public safety at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Next year, Hytera will provide similar PMR communications solutions for security and event management for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Joining with Hytera gives us access to a broader cross-section of the market, gives our dealers the advantage of a wider range of products and solutions, and provides growth opportunities for our engineers and research and development technicians,” said David Barrass, the interim Chief Executive Officer of Sepura. “With its growing momentum in the PMR space and some very high-profile opportunities, Hytera is executing a clear strategy as it expands globally. It’s a terrific opportunity.”
Last year, Hytera reported year-over-year growth of 39%. In 2016, Hytera’s overall sales of terminals were up 52%, and its overall sales of infrastructure increased 86%.
The announcement of the Sepura deal’s closing comes in the wake of Hytera’s highly anticipated debut at Critical Communications World 2017 in Hong Kong of its new LTE-PMR Convergence Solution, which comprises cutting-edge Multi-mode Advanced Radio terminals, narrowband-broadband infrastructure, and management software. Hytera’s LTE-PMR Convergence Solution incorporates feature-rich broadband technologies while ensuring that critically important voice services remain reliably accessible using narrowband technologies such as TETRA, DMR, and PDT.
Hytera Chairman Qingzhou Chen will visit Sepura’s offices in the U.K. and Spain in June to deepen relationships with key management and to meet personnel. “Hytera has tremendous momentum in the marketplace,” he notes. “Last year, we became the second-largest PMR communications provider in the world, and we believe there remain excellent prospects for growth in key markets.”
CBN Gives Interswitch Payments Service Holding Company License
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A Payments Service Holding Company (PSHC) license has been granted to Interswitch Group by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This followed an earlier announcement by the CBN regarding new licensing categories for participants in the Nigerian payments system.
The integrated payments solution provider is among the first to receive this authorisation from the country’s apex bank.
According to the regulator, the PSHC regulation requires companies with existing or prospective operations across multiple license categories to set up a PSHC. The activities of each of the PSHC subsidiaries operating within those respective licensing regimes are clearly delineated for clearer accountability, effective risk management and the enablement of better regulatory oversight by the CBN.
A statement from Interswitch, a leading financial technology in Africa, outlines that Interswitch’s Group Holding Company retains ownership of the PSHC in Nigeria as well as its other subsidiaries outside of Africa.
The issuance of the PSHC licence coincides with Interswitch’s 20th-anniversary commemoration, which has seen the company cement its position as a pioneering and integral enabler that has actively supported the growth and development of fintech and payments progressively across Africa over the last 20 years.
It also serves to reinforce Interswitch’s progressive outlook as a frontier-driving company which keeps pushing boundaries to facilitate the creation of new ecosystems that help businesses and individuals scale and thrive, in line with its purpose of inspiring Africa to greatness through innovation, value-creation and excellence.
“Twenty years ago, we placed a bet on the latent potential we saw in the introduction of e-payment channels at the time, particularly ATMs for the delivery of cash just-in-time, and today, we are gratified to see how far the financial technology and payment systems in Nigeria have grown.
“On the back of our receipt of this additional license, we remain strongly committed to a close partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria to facilitate the delivery of the Payments Vision (2025) and, of course, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy,” the founder and Group CEO of Interswitch, Mr Mitchell Elegbe, remarked.
He further reiterates Interswitch’s resolute focus on its over-arching mission to continue championing technology solutions that connect and empower individuals, businesses, and communities across the continent.
Mafab Rolls Out 5G Services in Nigeria
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Another player has joined the 5G network space in Nigeria, and it is Mafab Communications Limited, which won the licence with MTN Nigeria Plc in December 2021.
After it obtained the licence from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for $273.6 million, it delayed its rollout, while its competitor, MTN, started in August in a few cities.
Business Post reports that Mafab on Tuesday held a ceremony at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, to commence operations in the country, promising to deepen broadband penetration.
“We are fully committed to bringing the benefits of 5G services to Nigerians and deploying a network that will drive economic development with increased broadband capabilities nationwide.
“I have no doubt that the service will help deliver improvements in the fields of education, business, smart cities and entertainment,” the Chairman of Mafab, Mr Mushabu Bashir, said.
It was gathered that Mafab would largely use existing infrastructure from IHS towers and, if need be, ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Solutions as well for its operations.
Recall that last month, the NCC again auctioned the 3.5GHz spectrum, which was won by Airtel Nigeria, which intends to launch its operations very soon.
It is not certain how much the Mafab 5G network services would cost. When MTN rolled out its 5G services last year, it sold the device for N50,000 and asked interested customers to pre-order the 5G router.
Airtel Introduces eSIM
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
To make communication easier and reduce the cost of procuring handsets for multiple SIMs, Airtel Nigeria has introduced an embedded SIM (eSIM).
A statement issued by the leading telecommunications services provider disclosed that the planet-friendly service allows customers to use two numbers without needing two mobile phones.
This digital SIM, according to Airtel Nigeria, also enables customers to access the same functionality as someone using a physical SIM.
It offers several benefits over traditional SIM cards as it is quick and simple to set up online, and it is planet-friendly (plastic-free/zero carbon emission).
The eSIM service is now immediately available on the Airtel network, and customers who wish to switch their current physical SIM cards for eSIMs will need to ensure they have a compatible device (dial*#06#), obtain the required QR code and be guided through a SIM Swap process by an Airtel service personnel.
Airtel says it has developed a simple and flawless process to activate the eSIM service for all its customers, just as it believes that the digital SIM will significantly improve the productivity of Nigerians, helping its stakeholders to achieve personal and professional goals.
The acting chief commercial officer for Airtel Nigeria, Mr Femi Oshinlaja, while commenting on the eSIM, stated that, “Airtel Nigeria is always at the forefront in championing technological advancement and creating innovative platforms and opportunities that will make life better, more exciting, and more enjoyable for all those in our stakeholder value chain.
“With eSIM, we are not only bringing the latest technology to the fingertips of our customers, but we are also focusing on our Sustainability goals of digital inclusion and environmental best practices as no plastic is involved with eSIM.
“It is, therefore, our commitment to continue to create offerings that will expand and deepen our digital footprints in line with our positioning as the network of first choice in Nigeria for everything mobile Internet, digital and home broadband.”
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