Is SIM registration easier? Uber fare raise, WhatsApp post-May 15

by | May 11, 2021

This post is a delayed version of Techpoint Digest, a week-daily newsletter that rounds up major happenings in African tech. You can start receiving it hours before everyone else if you subscribe now

Good day,
Oluwanifemi here.

Today I’m discussing:

  • Situation report on SIM registration
  • Increased Uber fare in Lagos
  • After WhatsApp’s May 15 deadline

Has SIM registration gotten better?

Who heaved a sigh of relief when the Nigerian Federal Government removed the ban on SIM sales and registration on April 15, 2021? I did. And I’m sure Mobile Telecom Operators (MTOs), businesses, and every other affected Nigerian did too. Who wouldn’t? The directive stalled a major activity in the telecommunication industry for four months.

The country didn’t even remember to commemorate two decades of welcoming mobile telephony. Keep up: Inside 2 decades of mobile telecommunications in Nigeria

Advertisement

Anyway, a recent discovery has shown that lifting the ban didn’t make SIM registration easier. If you recall, the government’s caveat for discontinuing the ban was that MTOs would be mandated to build a framework that can’t be compromised for the SIM registration process going forward.

Implication: This means the exclusion of third-party involvement. The Nigerian Communications Communications (NCC) may have to approve any registration centre the MTO decides to use. I can’t say what NCC is looking out for, but it appears several centres do not meet the criteria.

What’s the current situation of things? Read this Ogheneruemu’s piece about it.

Uber increases fare

In a recent development, Uber users in Lagos should be prepared to start paying more for their rides beginning today, May 11. Information reaching drivers shows that fares would increase by about 13%, which could get higher at certain times of the day, probably during peak periods.

Some users complained of fare spikes during the strike action that Uber and Bolt drivers embarked on three weeks ago to push home their demands for a fare review. I’ll take this as Uber’s response to the demands. I reason that the ride-hailing company may also be considering toning down on ride discounts. Maybe we should also expect the same from Bolt since they operate similar models.

Should we be concerned that Uber’s reaction to drivers’ requests is to increase fares instead of reducing the percentage commission deducted from each fare? If the initial worry was, “Uber doesn’t think about the drivers,” it has probably changed to “Uber doesn’t think about the riders.”

Similarly, Uber has also increased fares for riders in Egypt. And in the US, it allows drivers to see the fare after accepting a trip. So, there are increasing cases of drivers canceling trips once they are not satisfied with the displayed fare.

Advertisement

Customers seem to be taking this in their stride. I noticed only mild outrage on Twitter, with some citing the economic situation as the reason why fares shouldn’t be increased.

Read more: Uber riders will now pay more for rides as the ride-hailing company increases fares by 13%

WhatsApp post-May 15

aarn giri iGAi6UHDPWI unsplash

Photo by AARN GIRI on Unsplash

It’s getting closer to WhatsApp’s ultimatum for accepting its updated policy. Users who fail to accept it will have their accounts deactivated. The deadline has been moved once to clarify the terms and give every user ample time to either leave the platform or accept the policy.

What changed? The Facebook-owned company has changed the initial terms that had a threatening undertone. They now subtly state that a user’s account will be as inoperable as a deactivated one.

Be the judge: As a reminder to accept the terms, WhatsApp will restrict some key features on users’ accounts on May 15. For a short time, they will still be able to receive calls and view notifications but won’t be able to chat or access their chat list. We are not sure about what would happen after the “short time” elapses.

Still controversial: WhatsApp has taken different steps to set users’ minds at peace about the safety of their data. But using a customised status to communicate once again sets alarm bells ringing as people wonder if Facebook is about to bring ads to WhatsApp.

What are the chances that there would be an exodus to competing platforms because of this?

This is a good time to read this again: Africa’s dependence on Facebook companies and the WhatsApp conundrum

And this: With privacy fears, yet numerous benefits, WhatsApp users face the Hedgehog’s Dilemma

In case you missed it

  • Meet the instructors at Techpoint Startup School (Port Harcourt edition).
  • Clubhouse officially launches Android app. Read.
  • Africa’s digital economy isn’t compatible with internet shutdowns. Read.

Have a great day!

Oluwanifemi Kolawole for Techpoint Africa.

Techpoint Africa
Techpoint Africa

Techpoint Africa is a digital media company that amplifies the best innovations out of Africa through its mediadata, and events.

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Uber’s bet on ‘Okada’

Uber’s bet on ‘Okada’

Today on #TechpointDigest, @nifemeah discusses Uber’s launching its motorbike hailing service, UberMoto, in Ibadan.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap