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
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.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has unveiled two prototype removable lithium-ion batteries that can recharge in minutes, using a bespoke charger.
The lower capacity battery charged by 68% in two minutes – but is not big enough to run a smartphone for long.
The higher capacity one charged by 48% in five minutes and could provide up to 10 hours of talk time, the firm said.
Current battery life is a significant limiting factor in the performance of portable devices.
Many tech firms and entrepreneurs are researching the issue.
In March, Samsung announced that the batteries in its new Galaxy S6 handsets could power up to four hours of usage after a 10-minute charge.
Israeli start-up Storedot unveiled a fast-charging device at the beginning of the year which it hopes will eventually be able to charge any smartphone battery in under one minute.
Scientists are also researching alternative battery materials to the traditional lithium-ion such as aluminium and graphene.
Huawei says it used heteroatoms – atoms which are not carbon or hydrogen – which the firm claims can increase charging speeds without affecting the battery’s overall lifespan.
“Everyone in the world – consumers and all the manufacturers – would benefit from some unforeseen breakthrough in battery chemistry technology,” Microsoft president Rick Osterloh said.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied media reports that it is talking to MTN over the N1.4 trillion fine the regulator slammed on the network.
This week, news emerged that the commission asked MTN to pay a fine of NGN200,000 on each of the over 5 million unregistered lines that are active on the network despite the commission’s order directing all operators in the country to disconnect SIM cards with incomplete registration information.
According to NCC, MTN would have to pay a penalty for keeping unregistered subscribers on its network.
A senior NCC official who claimed that the commission was yet to enter into any talk or discussion with MTN on the issue of fine.
The official who pleaded anonymity said the telecom firm was economical with the truth for saying “we are in talks.”
MTN’s Public Relations and Protocol Manager, Funso Aina had previously said that the telecom operator was in talks with NCC and the matter may be resolved soon.
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ruled that MTN Nigeria, the nation’s biggest mobile phone operator by subscriber numbers, owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, be handed the biggest sanction ever witnessed in the Nigerian telecoms market.
MTN Nigeria will pay the landmark fine for allegedly undermining efforts by the Nigerian government to tackle security challenges and the war on terror and allied crimes, as the telecoms operator has allegedly refused to deactivate unregistered mobile phone lines on its network, NCC says.
People conversant with situation at the Abuja headquarters of NCC say the telecoms regulator reckon that MTN Nigeria’s alleged disobedience of earlier directives to deactivate unregistered mobile phone lines on its network significantly opened the country to grave security threats.
Following the regulatory sanction, MTN Nigeria will be made to pay the sum of one trillion naira and forty billion, and may possibly face other sanction as the matter was also directed to the Directorate of State Security (DSS), Nigerian Army, and the Presidency, in what may suggest a broader spread of consequences for the telecoms company.
Technology Times sources reckon that by copying other security and law enforcement authorities in the country, there are fears of other consequences beyond the landmark punitive fines for the telecoms company.
Credit: Technology Times