Category Archives: Tech

Enugu Metro Tech follows inventions, innovations and applications of scientific knowledge to serve practical needs of humanity. We report and analyze mobile technology, software applications, hardware gadgets and the startups that give them being.

FinTechs drive profits for SMEs

It is clearly established that FinTechs drive profits and efficiency for owners and managers of SMEs, writes JACHIMMA ANIKWE.

FinTech is simply Finance and Technology coming together to offer innovative solutions to businesses. Most FinTech companies specialize in one aspect of banking services. Specialisation enables them make their services as user-friendly and efficient as possible for their consumers. Even better, they often offer services at a lower cost making more people drawn to their services over those offered by more traditional banks.

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Does remote work improve productivity?

Jachimma Anikwe wonders whether remote work will improve productivity and goes on to provide valuable insights from literature and studies.


What do Steve Jobs, the Disney brothers, and Jeff Bezos have in common on the subject of remote work? The way they started their businesses explains this whole idea of remote work as we know it today.

Continue reading Does remote work improve productivity?

Airtel loses 5G-network bid to little known company

Telecom giant, Airtel Nigeria, loses bid for 5G-Network operations to a little known telecom company called Mafab Communications Ltd.

NCC announced a while ago that MTN Nigeria and Mafab won the the two slots it advertised.

Airtel crashed out after 11 rounds of bidding war that saw rival MTN Nigeria triumph with a bid that is $77.6 million above the reserve prize.

Mafab, the giant Killer, was incorporated in 2020 to offer interconnected telecom services, according to information on its website.

The trio went 11 gruelling rounds in a battle to snatch the 100 MHz, 3.5GHz spectrum for the Fifth Generation (5G) network.

NCC expects the winners to pay the winning bid price of $275 million each between now and February 2022.

All three bidders deposited $19.74m, representing 10 percent of the reserve price for the spectrum.

NCC therefore requires the winners to source and pay up the balance of N255.26 million.

Incredibly, the winning bids are a whopping $77.6 million above the reserve price for the slots.

Other telecom giants such as Glo and 9Mobile kept away from the bidding process.

NCC said it will wait for two years before listing three more slots for bidding.

The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) however has the final say on who is granted the licences.

NFMC is chaired by the Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami.

Airtel loses 5G-Network bid to unknown company

NCC shortlists MTN and Airtel for 5G network licenses

Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) shortlists MTN, Airtel and one new company for licences to deploy fifth-generation (5G) networks.

NCC offers two lots of 100mHz TDD spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, ranging from 3500 – 3600mhz and 3700 – 3800mHz

The agency announced yesterday that only MTN, Airtel and one Mafab Communications Ltd successfully submited bids.

The window for bid submission closed on 29 November 2021.

Among other requirements, successful bidders deposited $19.74m, representing 10 percent of the reserve price for the spectrum.

“The deposit is to subsequently “bind the applicant to take up a licence should it be a successful bidder…,” NCC said.

A mandatory mock auction and the main auction to pick the winners will hold this month, the agency said.

NCC advertised only two lots for bidding in this licensing round, a decision that riled major industry players.

Consequently, two of the majors, Glo and 9Mobile, stayed away from the bid.

Industry stakeholders frowned at NCC’s decision to license only two telecom companies to operate the 5G network.

The succesful bidders in the first round will enjoy a two-year advantage over the competition, they said.

NCC had hitherto announced that another set of three licenses will be available for bidding in 24 months.

However, the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) has the final say on who will be granted the two licences.

NFMC is chaired by the Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami.

Telecom stakeholders say the 5G mobile technology will improve the way that humans live and work.

NCC carried out a 3-month “trial test” for 5G in November 2019 to verify potential health and security challenges.

NCC shortlists MTN and Airtel

MTN sells 575m Nigerian shares as it records strong growth

South Africa’s MTN Group sells 575m Nigerian shares this November, as it announces very strong third-quarter earnings in September 2021.

The 547 million shares represent a tiny 3% of its shares in MTN Nigeria. It however makes good the pledge to divest 14 percent of its holdings to local investors.

The sale furthers the intent of the company to localize 14% of the Groups holding in MTN Nigeria over the medium term.

MTN Group CEO, Mr. Ralph Mupita said the sale will begin with block offers to institutional investors. This will be followed  with a fixed price offer for retail investors to buy into the company.

The group announced the plan after reporting a strong third-quarter growth in both revenue and core profit.

Key Takeaways

  • MTN sells 575m Nigerian shares to institutional and retail investors
  • Revenue grew by 19.1% to $8.2billion between January and September 2021
  • Earnings before EBITDA increased by 24%
  • Growth powered from earnings in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa
  • MTN now has 272million subscribers across 20 markets in Africa and Middle East
  • It has also mobilized 119million data users.
  • Also has 51 million registered mobile money users in 16 markets; with $175.5b in transactions

Mupita said the group achieved “double-digit service revenue growth and expansion” through its commercial push as well as execution of its Ambition 2025 strategy.

The Groups earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the third quarter increased by 24.1%.

Revenue increased 19.1% to R125billion ($8.2bn), buoyed by solid performances in its Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa operations.

The Group saw its data and fintech revenue take a leap to 34.5% and 35% respectively.

“Focused on driving our industry-leading connectivity business, we sustained voice revenue growth of 6.9%,and a 4.1million addition to active data users in the quarter,” Mupita said.

MTN now has 119million data users in the continent, sourced from users who work from home, digital entertainment users and online education.

Overall, it said its subscriber base increased by only 200,000 to 271.9 million in the third quarter.

The modest growth in subscriber base is the impact of new SIM registration requirements in Nigeria, the company said.

Despite the depression in SIM registrations, Nigeria recorded a service revenue increase of 23.5% with an EBITA margin of 52.6%. In comparison, South Africa service revenue and EBITDA margin were 7.7% and 41.6% respectively.

Deadline for SIM-NIN linking extended to 31 December

Deadline for SIM-NIN linking extended to 31 December 2021 following pleas by mobile operators, authorities said.

Challenges with capturing phone owners at home and overseas in the national identity database force government to extend registration deadline.

Government requires citizens and legal residents to obtain National Identity Numbers(NINs) and link them to their phone data.

Authorities warned yesterday that those who fail to link their lines by year-end risk losing access to the phones.

This is the seventh deadline extension, this time at the request of local telecom operators, officials said in a statement.

Government hopes to, among other uses, deploy the database to assist security agencies track and contain criminal activities.

Thus, the effort won’t succeed if every phone number is not linked to the national database to match individual profiles.

Diaspora Nigeria is however not the only group that government is finding difficult to track down and capture in the identity register.

Communication Minister Isa Pantami also listed foreigners, diplomats, and citizens “in other areas that were hitherto unreachable.”

The citizens include “Nigerians in remote areas, schools, hospitals, and worship centres,” according to a joint statement from NIMC and NCC.

Government said it bowed to appeals by Mobile Network Operators for another extension to enable them push for better compliance.

The operators argued that the critical groups shouldn’t be removed from the network as this will widen the digital divide.

Registration progress report

Agencies handling the process said over 66 million NINs have been issued, representing one-third of Nigeria’s estimated 200 million population.

“A significant part of the populace is yet to be registered into the National Identity Database (NIDB),” the authorities said.

NCC and NIMC said there “over 9,500 enrolment systems and over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres” to capture citizens worldwide.

The statement was endorsed by spokespersons Ikechukwu Adinde (NCC) and Kayode Adegoke (NIMC).

Deadline for SIM-NIN linking extended

Anambra moves to deepen broadband use

Anambra State Government will on 30 March host a stakeholders’ forum on moves to deepen broadband infrastructure use in the State.

Federal and state officials as well as diplomats, investors, and industry associations are expected at the virtual forum which will kick off by 2.00 p.m.

The theme of the Forum is “Facilitating Broadband Access in Anambra State through a Favourable Right of Way Regime.” 

The State had in June 2020 waived charges for Right of Way (RoW) for fibre optic cable deployment, from N600 per linear meter to Zero Naira.

The slash was part of  the State’s “Integrated Urban Regeneration Initiative,” designed to reverse infrastructure decline in urban and semi-urban areas.

Officials said the programme would also boost digital infrastructure rollout to towns and communities, diversify the economy, and leverage digital services for commerce, education, innovation, manufacturing and eGoverment.

Federal officials, including Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, have praised Anambra’s commitment to a Digital Economy.

Chair of the State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB), Barr. Chike Maduekwe, said the forum is in line with the strategy to create a robust and sustainable digital economy for Anambra State.

He described Broadband Infrastructure Development programme as a subset of the “Anambra State Integrated Urban Regeneration Initiative.

Anambra State is ready for broadband infrastructure investments, he said.

“Anambra State Government has drawn inspiration from the Federal Government’s efforts and initiatives, but also recognizes that it needs the support of players in the ecosystem, for a success of its broadband rollout programme in the State.

We envisage that high level involvement and participation in our planned Stakeholders’ Forum is a critical first step in this direction”, he explained.

Anambra moves to deepen broadband use

Rwanda deploys robots for Covid-19 frontline workers

Robots on Covid-19 Duty in Rwanda – Reuters Video

Rwanda, the East African nation, deploys robots and drones to protect Covid-19 frontline health workers and transport support tools.

The robots are stationed isolation centres to take temperatures, monitor patients, take vitals readings and record messages for caregivers.

They can be programmed to carry trays bearing food or medicine to patients, a healthcare ICT personnel told Reuters.

Three of such robots are currently stationed at Rwanda’s Kanyinya Covid-19 treatment facility, close to the capital city of Kigali.

“They help us decrease or reduce the risk of transmission between patients and our doctors and nurses, said Dr. David Turatsinze.

Turatsinze said health workers hitherto visited patients four times daily but the technology has cut such visits by half.

The robots were donated by the United Nations Development Programme, officials said.

The country has also deployed drones to help move medicine and blood to the isolation centres.

Rwanda, with a population nearing 13million, has so far recorded 198 deaths out of 15,459 infections to date.

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Rwanda, the East African nation, shows the way, deploys robots and drones to protect Covid-19 frontline health workers and transport support tools.

How to Set Up Emergency Phone Contacts and Info

Have you ever wondered how to set up or view emergency phone contacts and info on your smartphone? Here’s is all you need to know.

In the old days, we were simply told to set up special numbers and save them as ICE on our phone contacts. ICE is short for in case of emergency and it is for a number of persons to contact if the owner of a phone is involved in an emergency and needs others (first responders) to help them quickly.

With today’s Smartphones, we input not only contact numbers but also health information that can be very decisive in an emergency. Anyone with a smartphone can set up emergency information.

Should we set up emergency information? No one prays for a personal emergency, but it can happen. Emergency phone contacts and info on your phone can save a life. Literally. What is more, it can happen to others and if we are the first responders, we shall also need emergency information to assist them.

I always advise those who want to skip information on existing conditions to consider using their personal doctors as one of their emergency contacts.

What Emergency Information should we provide?
Today’s smartphones give us options to provide two types of information. One is information on medical conditions – allergies, existing conditions, prescribed drugs, blood type, etc. The other information we need to provide are emergency contacts – up to three persons that we want to be contacted in an emergency.

Emergency Phone Contacts and Info is a choice

The type of information we provide as medical conditions is a personal choice. What first responders usually look out for are key information like blood types (in case of blood transfusion) drug allergies and current prescriptions. I always advice those who want to skip information on existing conditions to consider using their doctors as one of their emergency contacts. If you want to do that, ensure this is very clear by saving the contact as “My Doctor” or something else that will be so obvious.

What personal contacts should you provide? Parent or spouse is first on the list. Your personal doctor is another possibility. Your boss or HR person in your work place is also a possibility. Think of three persons that will promptly act if contacted about us in an emergency and use them as our emergency contacts.

Here’s how to set them up on IPhone and Android

Emergency Information on IPhones

IPhone users can easily set up their medical ID and have it displayed on the screen even or hidden from view when the phone is locked.

IPhone owners can usually create emergency contact on their phones during initial set up. Open the Health App, and you will be prompted to enter the information. If you skipped this procedure during initial setup, you can remedy the defect as follows:

  • Open Health App and select Medical ID
  • If prompted, tap Create Medical ID. If not, simply tap Edit
  • Enter information you want emergency responders to see.
  • If you want ICE info available from IPhone lock screen, turn on Show When Locked.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Medical ID to locate and enter Emergency Contacts
  • Note: You can only enter contacts that are listed in your Contacts App. Also, the Health App will ask you to confirm the person’s relationship to you.
View Emergency Information on IPhone
  • When Medical ID is visible on your locked screen all a first responder needs to do is tap the Medical ID icon on the locked screen to read the information.
  • When Medical ID is not visible from your locked screen, emergency responders can still access the information with just a few taps, as follows:
  • Swipe up on the locked screen
  • Tap Emergency button that appears
  • Tap Medical ID

Emergency Info on Samsung Phones

Samsung phones are different from other android phones because adding emergency numbers and medical information can be done directly from the Contacts App.

It is a straightforward process:

  • Open Contacts App.
  • Tap on your name at the top of the screen.
  • Scroll to bottom of your profile page to find the Emergency Section
  • First, enter Medical Conditions you may have (allergies, medications, blood type, etc). Tap Save when done.
  • Then select Emergency Contacts and add people to your emergency list.
View Emergency Info on Samsung

Emergency contacts are not usually shown on locked Samsung phone screens. To view emergency contact information on a Samsung phone:

  • Swipe up on the lock screen and then,
  • Tap Emergency Call

Emergency on Other Android Phones

Non-Samsung Android phone users go through a different process to set up Emergency information.

  • Open the Settings App.
  • Select and tap About Phone.
  • Select Emergency Information

If the above does not work (the Emergency info is not found in About Phone), try the following:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap Users & Accounts (or Accounts in the case of Techno).
  • Tap Emergency Information
  • When you get to the Emergency Information, tap the pencil icon to edit information and add emergency contacts.

Conclusion

The process for accessing and viewing your emergency informationphoned when information is not visible on the locked screen, whether IPhone or Android or any other phone. Simply swipe up on the screen to bring up the pre-set unlock method (PIN, pattern, etc). This will also display the Emergency Information or Emergency Call button.

First responders are able to get help quickly and learn what to do fast for the phone owner in an emergency situation.

No one prays for a personal emergency, but it can happen to one. It is important to know how to set up emergency contacts and information on your phone and how to find it in other phones during emergency; it can save a life. Literally.

NASA honours Nigerian scientist for space patents

Nigerians in US celebrate as NASA honours and inducts Nigerian scientist, Dr. Robert Okojie, into the Inventors Hall of Fame.

The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) manages the space programme and conducts aeronautics and space research. Okojie joined the silicon carbide research group at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in 1999.

Dr. Okojie follows a handful of distinguished Nigerian innovators and inventors across the United States recognized for their scientific feats.

“Dr. Okojie has turned US Patent acquisition for NASA into an assembly line effort,” an elated admirer said.

He has 21 US patents to date, 20 of which he acquired while working in NASA, with two additional patents on the way.

“That makes an average of one US Patent for every year that he has worked for NASA,” said a Nigerian-American university don, Dr. Primus Igboaka.

Okojie gained worldwide recognition as leading expert on silicon carbide-based microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used in extreme environments.

Like other Nigerian-based US inventors, he is an inspiration to millions of Nigerian youths at home and abroad.

His 20 plus patents relate to high-temperature devices, including several licensed for commercial use.

One of these patents reduces spacecraft weight which cuts fuel consumption and creates additional space for scientific payloads.

He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers relating to his field and received numerous accolades before the NASA honours.

Among the awards are the 2009 NASA Abe Silverstein Medal for Research and the 2012 Glenn Research Center Distinguished Publication Award.

He was also recognized in 2002 as Scientist of the Year by the National Technical Association for his “exceptional accomplishments in advancing the state–of–the–art of MEMS for use in harsh environments.”

In 2007, he received the Cleveland Executive Board Wings of Excellence award.

Okojie who received all of his University education from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, currently researches single chip integrated multifunctional sensing.