NCC grants 25 companies licences to offer telco services 

June 7, 2023
6 min read

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¿Qué tal?

Egyptian healthtech startup, Rology, has acquired Arkan United, a teleradiology company based in Saudi Arabia.

Teleradiology refers to the electronic transmission of diagnostic images for interpretation and/or consultation from one location to another.

With this acquisition, the company says it is better able to reach medical professionals and patients across Egypt and beyond with its newest teleradiology advancements.

Rology claims it will revolutionise teleradiology and enhance patient care by combining Arkan's expertise with Rology's cutting-edge network and technology.

Rology is an on-demand teleradiology platform that uses AI and cloud computing to deliver reports within 12 hours or in 60 minutes for emergency cases.

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • NCC grants 25 companies licences to offer telco services
  • LemFi enters Kenya
  • Takealot slammed for a derogatory product listing

NCC grants 25 companies licences to offer telco services


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted licences to 25 companies to provide mobile telecommunications services under the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) framework.  

An MVNO is a business model where a current or new brand leases the radio spectrum of an established MNO (Mobile Network Operator) to offer value-added services to customer segments that the established MNO does not fully serve.

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So, these 25 licenced companies will provide the same services as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile.

Why is this important? Due to competition brought on by the MNVO's entry, subscribers could pay less for calls, data, and other telco offerings.  

Along with making access to telecommunications services more affordable, this move will expand telecom services to more rural, underserved, and unserved communities nationwide.

Under the MVNO framework, the nNCCNNNCC established various licence categories, ranging from Tier 1 to Tier 5.

Tier 1 is a virtual operator entirely reliant on host facilities and has limited tariff control. Tier 2 is a sample facilities operator with an intelligent network and broad tariff control.

Tier 3 is a care facility operator with significant tariff control and the ability to negotiate interconnection agreements. Tier 4 is a virtual aggregator/enabler that performs aggregation and enabling but only operates in unserved areas.

Finally, Tier 5 is the Unified Virtual Operator, which can operate across all segments/tiers."  

Although no company has obtained a tier 1 licence, which is the lowest, the licenced 25 companies are in categories 2 to 5.

Seven companies, including Routelink Integrated Systems Ltd., Asel Telecom Nigeria Limited, Briclinks Africa Plc, Pisi Mobile Services Limited, and Imose Technologies Limited, got Tier 2 licences.

Some Tier 3 licencees are Zegtel Limited, Telewyz Limited, Siu Telecommunications Network, and Metropolitan Consortium Nigeria Ltd.  

DMK Telecommunication Nig. Ltd., Environmental Expressions Limited, and Imbil Telecoms Solutions Nig. Ltd. are among the new Tier 4 operators.

And in Tier 5, we have Choffan Communications Limited, H & Y Business Global Limited, Taima Technologies Ltd, USKS Ventures International Ltd, and Paribas Communication Limited.

LemFi enters Kenya

LemFi founders

LemFi, a cross-border payments startup, has expanded into Kenya.

The company has partnered with Pesa Swap, a local online and mobile payment solutions provider, to help Kenyan diaspora send money home.

Its target market includes Kenyans living in the US, the UK, and Canada. Users can send money for free directly to bank and mobile money accounts via the LemFi app.

The app supports multiple currencies through several wallets that users can open and fund with money from various accounts.

It also provides a Kenyan Shilling wallet setup, allowing users to open and fund their accounts using mobile money.

Once the account is open, the customer can easily convert their Kenya Shillings to other currencies, such as USD, GBP, and CAD, depending on their transactions.

LemFi — previously Lemonade Finance — plans to reach over 500,000 Kenyans residing abroad.

Takealot slammed for a derogatory product listing 


South Africa's Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has ruled against Takealot, an eCommerce platform in the country, for listing a bracelet — a rose gold bangle — with a potentially offensive message prominently displayed.

The regulator has requested that no images of the offensive jewellery item be included in any promotional materials.

The complainant, Kevin Harris, claimed that the phrase "best f***ing b****es," printed on the bracelet, is derogatory to women.

The ARB noted that the visual, which displays a legible expletive, is the problem rather than the sale of the bracelets themselves.

The phrase "f***ing b****es" exacerbates the problem because several words, including "f***ing," are listed as unacceptable for use in advertising globally.

The complainant further claimed that because the Takealot website is not age-restricted, children might be exposed to the offensive advertisement while browsing.

Takealot turned down the chance to address the complaint through the ARB, but it removed the listing while the regulator looked into it.

Because the ARB doesn't have to decide cases where the advertiser informs it that it has withdrawn the advertisement and won't be using it again, taking the listing down could be in response to the complaint.

However, Takealot has not responded, so the regulator cannot conclude that the company has taken down the ad.

Besides, given that Takealot is not an ARB member, it is presumed that it does not voluntarily submit to the regulator's authority.

But the ARB determned that the advertisement violated Clause 1.1 of Section II of the Code of Advertising Practice and was offensive.

“No advertising may offend against good taste or decency or be offensive to public or sectoral values or sensitivities, unless the advertising is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society … Advertisments should contain nothing that is likely to cause widespread or sectoral offense.”

The regulator also says it won’t be taking action, given that Takealot's listing for the bangle appears unavailable and that the advertisement is only visible on the website.

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Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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