Telecoms and IT

Mobile Internet: Service Providers Collaborate Across Africa, Middle East

Orange on Monday announced a new partnership with Google, to bring the best of mobile internet across its full African and Middle Eastern (Orange MEA) footprint.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Yves Maitre, the Executive Vice President of Connected Objects and Partnerships, Orange, which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Etisalat Sues MTN Over Use of Frequency in Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria has filed a court case against rival MTN over the use of a new frequency band which MTN acquired when it bought internet provider Visafone, it said on Monday.

South Africa's MTN bought the privately held Nigerian firm Visafone last month to improve its broadband services in its biggest market, giving it access to the use of 800 MHz frequency band on CDMA technology.

MTN Hires Former U.S. Attorney General to Help on Nigeria Fine

MTN Group has hired a former top U.S. law enforcement official to help challenge a $3.9 billion fine imposed by Nigeria for failing to disconnect unregistered users, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the newspaper said former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder pleaded with Nigerian officials last month on behalf of the telecoms company.

Africa's largest mobile phone company was handed a $5.2 billion penalty in October, prompting weeks of lobbying that led to a 25 percent reduction to $3.9 billion.

'FG’S $25B Infrastructural Fund Receiving Favourable Interests'

The plan of the federal government to raise a $25 billion Infrastructural Fund from the global community and establish long term bankable projects is gaining traction, according to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“We have seen considerable, favourable interests from some sovereign wealth funds and other nations,” the VP told a delegation of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry that paid him a courtesy call today in his office.

Telecoms Minister tells MTN to Drop Lawsuit Over Fine

South African cellphone operator MTN should drop its legal action over a $3.9 billion fine imposed in Nigeria to help facilitate talks on a possible settlement, the Nigerian telecommunications minister said on Tuesday.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) slapped a $5.2 billion fine on MTN in October for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards but after weeks of negotiations reduced it by 25 percent.

Google to Pay £130m Back Taxes –Official

Google, now part of Alphabet Inc. says it will pay the 130 million pounds back taxes imposed on it by the British tax authority.

The taxes were imposed after the British tax authority took a second look into why the company had paid low tax returns since 2005. Google said late on Friday the 130 million pounds would settle a probe by the British tax authority, which had challenged the company’s low tax returns for years. It said it had also agreed a basis on which tax in the future would be calculated.

MTN aims to Settle Nigerian fine Out of Court

A judge has given South African telecoms company MTN Group until March to try to reach a settlement with the Nigerian authorities over a disputed $3.9 billion fine, sending its shares 8 percent higher.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposed the penalty on MTN last year for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards.

Nigeria has been trying to halt the widespread use of such SIM cards amid worries these are being used for criminal activity, including by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

Association Tasks Telecoms Operators on Service Delivery

The President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies, Mr Lanre Ajayi, has urged service providers to invest in network expansion to provide quality services.

Ajayi, who made the call on Tuesday in Lagos, said that increasing investments would result to network expansion and reduce the persistent congestion on some of the networks.

``The current poor service quality is as a result of congestion on the networks so when they expand more traffic will be accommodated,’’ he stated.

MTN says Nigeria Unit to Report Roughly $955m FY Profit

South African telecoms group MTN said on Tuesday its Nigerian business is likely to report about $955 million in annual profit after tax, confirming a newspaper report in the west African country.

"Profit after tax figure for MTN Nigeria for the period ended 31 December 2015 being quoted in the press article, is 190 billion naira ($955 million), which is within the current estimate," the company said in a statement.

Africa's largest mobile operator has been fined $3.9 billion in Nigeria for failing to disconnect users of unregistered SIM cards.

'Telecom Firms Should Put Security Before Profits'

Telecom firms operating in Nigeria should not put their desire to make profits above security concerns, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday.

Nigeria has been pushing telecom companies to verify the identity of their subscribers amid fears that unregistered SIM cards were being used by criminal gangs in a country facing an insurgency by Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

MTN, Africa's largest mobile operator, has been fined $3.9 billion in Nigeria - its biggest market by sales - for failing to disconnect users of unregistered SIM cards.