By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the four major mobile telecommunications operators in the country – MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile, grew their subscribers base by 0.1 per cent or 195,313 in the month of July 2021.
The industry statistics report by the commission showed that the total number of subscribers in July grew to 187,470,860 from 187,275,547 in June 2021.
It attributed the marginal growth to the lifting of a ban on the sale and activation of new SIM cards in April 2021 by the federal government.
After months of not being able to register new SIM cards, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Pantami, lifted the embargo, noting that it was in line with the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
Giving the breakdown of the number of active subscribers for telephony services on each of the licensed service providers in July, the telecommunications industry regulator noted that MTN led with a total of 73,123,732.
This was followed by the indigenous service provider – Glo which had 51,137,799 active subscribers, and Airtel with 50,301,237 followed by 9mobile with 12,908,092 active subscribers.
However, broadband penetration dropped to 39.8 per cent in July from 39.9 per cent in June 2021, while internet subscriptions decreased further to 139.7 million in July from 140.2 million in June.
The Internet subscription report released by the commission is a combination of Mobile (GSM), fixed wired line, Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technologies.
According to an Industry report from the NCC, Mobile (GSM) dropped to139,384,180 in July from 139,814,91 3 in June, while fixed-wired line increased to 13,946 from 12,188, with VoIP declining to 346,054 from 348,068 in June.
Nigerian Start-ups Jostle for #StartupSouth’s $30k Equity Pool
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Start-ups in Nigeria have been given an opportunity to pitch for a pre-seed equity pool of $30,000 offered by an SSE Angel Network known as #StartupSouth.
The firm is organising a boot camp later in the year and it has opened applications for entries, which close on Thursday, September 30, 2021, a statement made available to Business Post read.
The StartupBootCamp by #StartupSouth is a two-week virtual acceleration programme aimed to identify early-stage start-ups within the South-South and South-East regions of the country with competent teams, high growth potential, signs of traction, and the ability to create jobs.
It was stated that the start-up teams while undergoing the training, will receive support to revalidate their business model, prepare for pitching and linkages with potential investors at a DealDay Session during #StartupSouth6 in Enugu.
According to the statement, the top five teams will slug it out for a share of up to $30,000 equity pool made available by SSE Angel Network.
“For the last 7 years, #StartupSouth has consistently pushed for a more democratized tech and innovation ecosystem where founders, especially within the South-East/South-South regions, can access funds and support, thereby giving investors more deals.
“We are excited to open the call for the StartupBootCamp by #StartupSouth,” one of the representatives of the firm, Owen Shedrack, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Interested teams have been advised to apply via https://bit.ly/ss6-pitch.
Sigma Pensions Trains 100 in Digital Marketing, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), Sigma Pensions, in collaboration with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), recently trained 100 youths in Digital Marketing, Web Development and Graphics Design.
The 5-day Digital Bootcamp was part of Sigma Pensions’ Corporate Social Responsibility to equip young people with digital skills that will add value to them, improve their employability, create businesses and in extension grow the Nigerian economy.
As a business that has experienced the power of digital technology and its exponential impact on growth, the project is timely and relevant especially in these times when STEM skills are in high demand.
Held from September 6-10, participants ranging from age 18 – 25 came together for the live event which was held at John Centre Hall, Peb 04 Plaza, Dalaba Street, Behind Shoprite, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.
Day 1 of the intensive digital boot camp introduced participants to data analysis, and digital marketing fundamentals.
The Sigma team was available on Day 2 to educate participants briefly on financial literacy after which a deep dive into the web development and graphics sessions commenced.
The graphics sessions covered the technical know-how of graphics design; visual hierarchy, page layout techniques, design use typography.
Web development classes covered the practical and theoretical aspects of web development, which involved developing a website for the Internet (World Wide Web) and also Content Management System (CMS).
The 5-day event closed with an exhibition where participants showcased their ideas, websites and designs where the most outstanding group was rewarded with a cash prize of N200,000.
Mr Afolabi Folayan, the Executive Director, Operations Sigma Pensions, stated that, “In 2016, we embarked on a digital transformation journey which has resulted in a radical transformation in our business and service delivery to both internal and external customers.”
He noted that by leveraging technology, Sigma Pensions had little or no negative impact during the pandemic as seamless customer service was achieved with minimal interruptions.
Through this bootcamp and subsequent ones, Sigma Pensions hopes to equip young Nigerians with relevant digital skills which will serve as a springboard for a career in any preferred field in tech.
Tiktok Limits Kids to 40 Minutes Per Day in China
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
As China continues to cut down on accessibility to video games for younger children, the Chinese version of Tiktok called Douyin has said that all its authenticated users under the age of 14 can only access the app for up to 40 minutes a day, which must be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In a statement issued by the Chinese short video app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, users under the above age bracket will now access the app in a “youth mode” in its mission to moderate the exposure of young ones from inappropriate video content.
“The measures would apply to all users registered with their real names and as being under 14 years old. The mandatory measures are designed to protect younger users from harmful content.
“Up to 40 minutes, a day of Douyin for younger users will henceforth serve up edifying content such as science experiments, museum exhibitions, and history lessons,” the statement read.
Authorities have directed game companies and platforms like Douyin to use real-name identification for all its users; the process requires users to provide a phone number and other identification to access online games.
ByteDance, the parent company, said the content available to users in youth mode will now include educational material like “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.”
This is coming barely 21 days after the Chinese Government placed restrictions and limits on the gaming time for minors to three hours per week (8:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.) on Fridays and weekends as a bid to stop gaming addiction facing the country.
In recent times, Chinese regulators have strictly push against minors being exposed to online dangers such as “blind” and “chaotic” worship of internet celebrities which has been posing violations of core socialist values.
In the same vein, it has recently launched a six-month-long national campaign to address what it perceives as major issues in the digital industry such as disturbing market order, infringing users’ rights, threatening data security, and unauthorized internet connections.
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