NCC pushes for infrastructure sharing to cut telecom costs in Nigeria

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April 29, 2024
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6 min read
NCC

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Bonjour,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

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

  • NCC pushes for infrastructure sharing to cut telecom costs in Nigeria
  • Regulator wants Glovo, Uber Eats to open shops in Kenya 
  • Bank of Uganda requires ID verification for transactions over $260

NCC pushes for infrastructure sharing to cut telecom costs in Nigeria

NCC building

Last week, telcos in Nigeria considered hiking the prices for calls and data. They've been struggling financially, with MTN Nigeria reporting a big loss because of the naira dropping in value, and Airtel's revenue taking a hit too.

The Association of Licenced Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said that despite tough economic times, they haven't raised prices in over a decade, mostly because of rules from regulators.

What’s new? The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says telcos should share their infrastructure to save money and improve services. 

Aminu Maida, the big boss at NCC, mentioned this during a telecom summit in Lagos. He also talked about the need for teamwork between the government, businesses, and schools to drive innovation.

The NCC thinks setting up all the telecom infrastructure costs a lot, so it’s suggesting partnerships and new ways of paying for it, like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Speaking of challenges, Maida stated that despite having over 219 million mobile subscribers and a tech-savvy population, Nigeria still has several issues such as subpar service and insufficient infrastructure.

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To tackle these issues, he suggested telecoms use tech like AI to make their networks better and smarter. Plus, he talked about how the future looks bright with things like 5G and even 6G, which could change industries like farming and healthcare by connecting everything to the Internet.


Regulator wants Glovo, Uber Eats to open shops in Kenya

A Glovo rider

The Competition Authority of Kenya has informed platforms like Glovo and Uber Eats to open up shops in the country to deal with customer complaints. 

Why? There have been issues with these companies taking forever to sort out problems because they don't have offices there.

The competition regulator did a survey and discovered that folks were having a hard time getting their complaints sorted because everything was being handled from the companies' headquarters abroad. Emails were going unanswered, and it was just a hassle.

Furthermore, the watchdog proposes that these platforms develop their own rules to follow because there are no official laws governing how they operate in the country.

Before closing its doors in the East African country in December 2023, Jumia Food was the only online food delivery platform with an office in Kenya. However, platforms currently operational in the country, such as Glovo and Uber Eats, have offices in Spain and the United States.

Late deliveries have been the most common complaint, followed by receiving items they did not order or poor customer service. Surprisingly, only about 16% have filed any complaints.

Other issues reported include not knowing the full price upfront, being charged extra for delivery, and receiving low-quality products. 


Bank of Uganda requires ID verification for transactions over $260

A building of the Bank of Uganda

The Bank of Uganda has implemented a new rule governing digital transactions. 

Here it is: If you make a transaction online or via mobile money that exceeds one million Uganda shillings ($260), you must verify your ID.

What does this mean? Every time you make a large transaction with a legitimate agent or operator centre, you must show your ID.

Ugandan citizens can present either a national ID card or a passport. If you are a foreigner living in Uganda, you must show a refugee or alien ID.

Why? Because there have been too many scams with mobile money, where crooks team up with fake agents to rip people off.

The central bank says this rule is part of the law and it’s just following the rules laid out in the National Payments Systems Act and some regulations from 2021.

But not everyone's happy about it. Some folks are worried it'll slow things down, especially for people who don't have IDs. And there's also a concern that this might lead to more fake IDs being made.

Meanwhile, Uganda's gearing up for a big project to give everyone new biometric ID cards, starting in June. It hopes this will make online transactions safer by making sure people's identities are legit.


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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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