Nigeria’s postal service, NIPOST, has just announced its adoption of the innovative global addressing system what3words. Nigeria is the seventh country to adopt what3words, and the third in Africa. The system is already being used for mail deliveries in Mongolia, Sint Maarten, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Tonga and Solomon Islands. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and its most populous country with approximately 184 million inhabitants. It has the seventh largest population in the world.
Nigeria’s poor addressing system means that only 20% of its inhabitants receive mail at home. 79% of homes and businesses cannot receive deliveries to the door, and the remaining 1% receive their mail using one of the 478,000 P.O. boxes throughout the country. A postcode system does exist, but only 5% of mail gets properly addressed with the postcode, hampering the efforts of NIPOST to improve its quality of service.
How it works
Determined to improve this situation, NIPOST has set itself the ambitious target of increasing home delivery to 70% within the next 2 years and 90% by 2020 through the Mail for Every House Initiative (MEHI), and has adopted what3words to help it achieve these goals. The innovative global addressing system has divided the world into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, each with a unique 3 word address. It means that every home and business in Nigeria has a simple and accurate address that is easy to remember and to use. For example ///bracelets.hesitations.mutes refers to the exact 3m x 3m square at the entrance to the main post office in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
Available in 14 languages, with many more currently in development, what3words is used in over 170 countries by governments, postal services, logistics companies, emergency services and NGOs, as well as individuals. It is more accurate than traditional street addresses, simpler than landmark-based directions, and easier to remember and communicate than GPS coordinates. The system has built-in error detection and is available through a free mobile app and API integration. The system even works offline, without a data connection.
“We are very pleased to be collaborating with what3words as an addressing solution with huge potential to unlock opportunities” said Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi, Nigeria’s Postmaster General. “Better addressing is a key to NIPOST’s agenda, which aims to transform, innovate, and deliver more services to more people all over the country”.
Young people make up 62% of Nigeria’s population, and this is reflected in the significant increase in cross border e-commerce in the country; 53,612 parcels and packets were handled in 2016 (approx. 200 per day) which is up 70% since 2014. The e-commerce market is currently worth $12 billion, but there is still huge potential for growth. With improvements to infrastructure, innovation around payment systems and a reliable addressing system, Nigerian e-commerce could be set to take off at an incredible scale.
“With a rapidly growing ecommerce ecosystem, Nigeria is a very exciting country to be working with,” said Chris Sheldrick, CEO and Co-founder of what3words. “Postal services have a critical role in building a strong economy and NIPOST are firmly focused on the future, and are taking steps to modernise and grow their capacity and range of services.”
what3words is an innovative global addressing system. It has divided the world in 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, each with a unique 3 word address. 3 word addresses are easy to remember, and to share via email, text or over the phone. The addresses are pre-assigned, using an algorithm and each 3 word address refers to a precise 3m x 3m square somewhere in the world. The what3words API is being integrated by business, apps and services across the world in a wide variety of sectors. It is also used by individuals via the free what3words app. The system is currently available in 14 languages, with many more in development, and it is also optimised for voice recognition. Since its launch in 2013, what3words has won many awards, and in 2016 CEO Chris Sheldrick was named EY’s British Accelerating Entrepreneur.
Culled from Nairametrics
After acquiring Visafone, here are somethings you need to know…
What is Visafone Customer Migration?
Visafone customer migration is a simple process of migration that allows all VISAFONE numbers work on the MTN network and function as a GSM service.
As a Visafone customer, why do I need to do this customer migration to MTN?
You will be required to perform the migration because VISAFONE is now owned by MTN and all VISAFONE lines now be powered MTN.
Will I be required to change my number?
No, you are not required to change your number. Your VISAFONE number will be retained on the MTN network.
What will happen to my tariff plan for data or voice?
All tariff plan and data bundle packages will remain unique to VISAFONE.
Where can I go to do the SIM migration?
You can visit any MTN or VISAFONE Retail shops nearest to you to perform the migration process.
How much does it cost to do the migration to MTN?
The Migration process and New SIM Card are FREE of charge.
How long will the migration process take to be activated on MTN network?
Migration process is instant but your line will be expected to be active on the MTN Network within 24 hours of activation.
Do I expect any further service distruption afterward as a result of the migration?
No, we do not expect any further service disruption however, if you do experience disruption for any reason, you can always let our Customer Care Representatives know, they will be glad to help you restore your service promptly.
What are the requirement for the migration process?
The following details will be required from you to validate ownership of the line before a Migration is done on any VISAFONE number
- Duly filled Migration form (to be provided to customer on visit).
- An active VISAFONE MSISDN.
- Three (3) frequently dialled numbers.
- A Valid ID card – International Passport (Data Page), Driver’s license, National ID, Voters Card, etc.
- VISAFONE SIM or Starter Pack/kits (Optional).
- Last recharge and activation date (optional).
Can I send somebody to do the migration on my behalf?
No, you cannot. PROXY Migration process is not allowed.
What will happen to my Visafone data balance after the migration to MTN?
You will not be able to retain your data balance, however you will be duly compensated after your SIM migration is done with the appropriate validity period.
Will I be able to subscribe to MTN product & service once the migration process is completed?
No, you will only be able to subscribe to only Services designed for VISAFONE customers for Voice and Data. MTN VAS services will be available for all Visafone numbers.
Do I have to perform SIM registration?
Yes, to be sure we have your full details on our system in compliance to regulatory requirement.
Since Visafone SIM are CDMA compatible, will my existing CDMA devices or handset work with the MTN SIM?
No, MTN SIMs will only work with a GSM compatible device or handset. However, some CDMA devices or handset are compatible with GSM SIMs.
How do I know if my CDMA device or handset is also compatible with GSM SIM?
This is dependent on the type of device or handset you have, however, you can check the network options on the device or handset to select available network support options.
Will MTN provide me with a GSM compatible device?
MTN will not be providing you a GSM compatible device, however, MTN has made adequate provision for a substantial airtime bonus compensation into your line after migration.
How can I get a GSM compatible phone to buy?
We have range of phones/handsets available in-store to buy. The Customer Care Representatives will be glad to assist you to make the best of choice.
How do I have access to MTN product and service details?
The Customer Care Representative will also be available to assist you but for quick and details access to Visafone Product and Services, you can visit: www.visafone.com.ng
If I need service support and I need to speak to a customer care rep, what do I do?
To speak to a customer care representative, simply dial 222. You will be assisted.
What time of the day can I call 222?
The 222 helpdesk works 24hours, 7 days a week. You can call at your most convenient time and be sure you will get help.
I have a Visafone recharge vourcher(s), will I be able to use it after migration to MTN?
No, you will not be able to use your VISAFONE recharge voucher on MTN.
Which recharge airtime vouchers will I be able to use after migration to MTN?
You will be able to recharge with MTN recharge cards (VTU or Logical or Physical recharge voucher).
What airtime value will I get if I rechage with MTN voucher?
You will get same value of any denomination purchased.
Will I be charged based on MTN service tarrifs?
No, you will be charged based on Visafone product and service tariff plans, remember you will retain your Visafone tariff and remains as Visafone line.
After swaping to MTN, if I don’t use my line for a period of time will I be disconnected?
Yes, we operate in accordance to NCC guideline to discount all dormant lines within a period of 90 days but not more than 120days off the network.
What do I do if I travelled for a long period?
You can subscribe to our product called “keep my number”, which allows you extend your dormancy period for you to 1year.
How do I subcribe to that and what does it cost?
You can simply dial *365*1# OR SEND KMN to 36500. This service cost N500.00 yearly.
Will I be able to take part in any MTN promos and free offers once swapped to MTN network?
No, you may not be eligible to take part in any MTN promos except promotion targeted at Visafone customer.
Will my network reception still be restricted to only where Visafone has network coverage?
No, you will have access to MTN extensive network coverage Nationwide.
Airtel Nigeria has announced the introduction of its Smart Number service. According to the company, the Smart Number service essentially allows individuals to use an additional line or number on their original Airtel SIM card.
The new package, according to the company, has been designed to empower owners of small businesses as well as separate their professional and personal mobile lines – while maintaining the use of a single phone and SIM card.
According to Airtel, the Smart Number is a virtual number that has been mapped to the customer’s primary mobile line so that both lines can be used on a single phone. The company further revealed that with this service, customers can define and determine the period when the Smart number is made active and reachable.
Apart from the user-controlled option, other features of the Smart Number include voice mail, call transfer and value-added services such as conference calls and group SMS, among others. Also, Airtel customers using Smart Number can maintain privacy and security by screening unwanted calls.
The Airtel Smart Number, which comes in two different packages – Basic and Plus, is available for both pre-paid and post-paid customers. The Smart Number can call or send texts to all networks except international destinations. To make calls or send SMS through the Smart number, the subscriber is required to dial/text 66 before the recipient’s number.
Credit: IT News
There are indications that Nigerian Communications Commission is seriously considering the regulation of over-the-top (OTT) services in the country.
In case you didn’t know, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Netflix and the likes are all considered OTT services.
One reason behind the plan to regulate these services is the fact that the authorities claim they pose a great danger to the core business of telecom service providers because they don’t directly earn revenue from them.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in a document titled “An Overview of Provision of Over-The-Top [OTT] Services” described OTT as “services carried over the networks, delivering value to customers, but without any carrier service provider being involved in planning, selling, provisioning, or servicing them.”
Another reason for the planned regulation is claims that telecom operators loose revenue as a result of the popular use of mobile messaging and internet calls, which are replacing traditional calls and SMSes at the speed of light.
In the above mentioned document, the NCC stated that OTT service is “a disruptive technology that is rapidly gaining ground against traditional telephone network technologies.”
This claim is further backed by reports that, MTN, Nigeria’s biggest telecom network, saw its average revenue per user drop with regards to subscription base last year.
The NCC report also looked into other issues. The report claimed OTT services now overwhelm their telecom networks and with diminishing revenues, they have little incentive to invest and improve broadband capability.
Also, the report also looked into the security risks posed by the use OTT services. They expressed fears, especially as it relates to identity theft and intercepting communications, due to the lack of oversight.
In all, the NCC report raises the need to evaluate the possibility of OTT services paying for the use of network infrastructure even though we all know the telecom operators earn revenue from data charges through which users’ access OTT services.
The Nigerian Communications Commission is not the first regulatory body that’s trying to regulate OTT services. Last year, regulators raised the issue in India, and recently, South African regulators considered doing same.