Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to speak at Nigeria Youth Summit in May

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The founder of Facebook, one of the most popular social network platforms, Mark Zuckerberg, is billed to visit Akwa Ibom State next month.

Zuckerberg is one of the guest speakers invited for a youth economic summit organized by the Niger Delta Young Professionals. Continue reading

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Half of a Yellow Sun: Most Expensive Nollywood Movie

Half of a Yellow Sun

In case you don’t know, transcendent novel of many descriptive triumphs – Half of a Yellow Sun, a book written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been adopted into a movie.

The movie was shot at Tinapa Film Studio, Cross River State, and in the United Kingdom.

The yet to be released film, directed by Biyi Bandele, has most of its cast and crew flown from abroad. The cast comprised Britons and Nigerians such as Chiwetel Ejiofor of Kinky Boots, American Gangster, 2012, Salt; Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II, Crash, The Pursuit of Happiness); Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, For Coloured Girls); Joseph Mawle (Women in Love, Game of Thrones); John Boyega (Attack the Block); Onyeka Onwenu, Nigerian singer and actress; Genevieve Nnaji and Zack Orji.

Before the emergence of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun,’ ‘Tango with Me’ produced by Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, ranked the most expensive film. Shot with the latest Kodak 35mm camera, ‘Tango with Me’ costs over N50 million to make, says Ali-Balogun. In a bid to make a difference in an industry populated by poorly produced films, Balogun travelled to Bulgaria to master film technology. The end product of the trip was an outstanding film that ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ has rivalled.

The movie is said to become the most expensive Nollywood movie ever worth about N1.27billion in production cost, new reports claim.

 

 

Airtel alleged illegal lottery: Court joins NCC as defendant

Airtel ScamA Federal High Court in Lagos has joined the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, as a defendant in a suit seeking to revoke the operating licence of Airtel Nigeria Limited for allegedly operating an illegal lottery.

Trial judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, in a ruling on a motion filed by the initiator of the suit, Benjamin Owiadolor, also joined the National Lottery Regulation Commission, NLRC; Consumer Protection Council, CPC, and Secure Electronic Technology Plc, all as defendants to the suit.

Justice Saidu equally ordered Airtel to provide the call logs of Owiadolor in court.

Owiadolor, who is a lawyer, had filed the suit urging the court to mandate Airtel to refund all sums expended by subscribers who participated in the competition known as “wake up a millionaire promo” by way of credit, which should be done under the supervision of the NCC. Continue reading

NCC Fines Mobile Operators N22m

ncc n 6dasFor violating and contravening the ban on promotions and lotteries on their respective networks, the telecoms regulatory agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC Thursday  slammed a total of N22 million fine on the  four GSM operators including MTN, Globacom Limited,  Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Ltd (Etisalat)  and Airtel.

The ban covered proposed and approved promotions and lotteries after the Commission was inundated with several complaints from consumers and stakeholders against various promotions in the various networks.

It would be recalled that  the four top telecoms firms in the country were fined a total N1.17 b  by the industry regulator by middles of last  year   for not meeting stipulated quality of service benchmarks called key performance indicators.

Accordingly, MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, is to pay N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) on account of five promotions at N2,000,000(Two Million Naira) for each promotion while Etisalat  is to pay N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira) for three promotions in its network.

Similarly, Airtel is to pay N4,000,000 (Four Million Naira) for running two promotions against the ban while Globacom will pay N2,000,000 ( Two Million) for one promotion.

The notice of the sanctions, signed by the Commission’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, said,  “in the event of further non-compliance with the ban, and or refusal to pay the sanction amount within the stipulated time, the Commission shall have no other option than to impose stiffer penalties in accordance with the powers of the Commission, including but not limited to payment of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) for each day that the contravention persists”.

The notice  further stated that the failure of the service providers to discontinue the promotions in accordance with the commission’s directives is a direct contravention of Guidelines on adverts and promotions, as well as the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement Processes, etc) Regulations 2005.

She said that  all  the operators have seven days to pay their respective sanction amounts from date of receipt of the sanction notice on February 22, 2013,  adding that the operators were  liable for   payment of the sum of N1,000,000 ( One Million Naira) for any day that the contravention persists.

It would be recalled that the Commission had earlier in a letter dated November 8, 2012, directed all the licensees to discontinue all promotions and lotteries running on their networks with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, sanctions on MTN were as a result of five promotions including,  Free Airtime for MTN to MTN calls (8AM – 5PM), MTN to MTN SMS and free MB for Data. Dial *559#, Free N100.00 airtime for MTN to MTN calls, Airtime Bonus valid for life. Dial *559#, MTN Super Saver, get 500%, bonus valid till midnight. Dial *507# and  Recharge with N100.00 today and get N500 FREE credit instantly. Hurry and recharge before January 22nd.

For Etisalat, three promotions that attracted it sanctions  will include buy a MIFI device and get 1GB free for six months, buy a router device and get 50 MB free data spread over four months and get 30% instant bonus on every plan subscription/renewal over 200MB.

On the other hand, Airtel is being sanctioned for two promotions including dongle and MIFI offerings and reverse auction service.

In addition, Globacom has been  sanctioned for  engaging in one promotion  of  BUY Samsung Galaxy SIII, or Galaxy Note II and get free 500 MB on activation, and free 100MB X 6 Months.

The Unveiling of Nokia 105

Nokia 105

Nokia has unveiled a simple £13 mobile phone that can last for 35 days on a single charge. It is aimed at emerging markets where electricity is rare, but could also be sold as a back-up phone.

The Nokia 105, which is set to go on sale within weeks, has a colour screen, built-in torch and an FM radio.

It’s now the cheapest phone in the Finnish firm’s range, and was hailed as ‘the ultimate festival phone’ at its launch.

A spokesman for Nokia said: ‘The phone was created to offer the essentials – phone calls and SMS – but also some desirable extras.

Nokia’s experience in optimizing phone quality, combined with its global footprint and economies of scale, is a major contributor to being able to work to such a low price.’ Continue reading

Ikeja Computer Village to be relocated to Katangua Market

As a follow up to the story on the relocation of Ikeja Computer Village, our correspondent, during a visit to Katangua Market, along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, gathered that Katangua is the proposed site where the Ikeja traders may be resettled.

In terms of size, Katangua is bigger than the Computer Village, as the market covers about 26 hectares of land with most of the traders dealing in second-hand clothes. Katangua shows a vivid picture of a disorganised setting. While the major entrance to the market from Lagos-Abeokuta expressway is almost taken over by street traders, a large portion of the market has been overtaken by refuse. Continue reading

Globacom introduces new pocket-friendly tariff plans

Globacom has introduced five new subscriber friendly tariff plans targeted at its prepaid customers. The telecom company said the new plans, Hi-Flyer and Talkfree have been introduced to address the needs of high value voice and data subscribers while the new G-Bam, new Infinito and new Gista which already exist, have been repackaged to offer more value to customers.

Elaborating on the new tariff plans, Globacom’s Coordinator, Marketing, Adeniyi Olukoya said that the new tariffs will deliver more value to subscribers on the network. “Whether they spend more on calls or data, these new tariff plans will deliver more value as subscribers can make calls within the network for as low as 5k/sec and international calls for as low as 15k/ sec”, he said.

Olukoya explained that subscribers on the Talkfree plan will enjoy 150 free minutes and 150 free SMS monthly while Glo-to-Glo calls on the plan will be at 15k/sec and calls to other networks will be at the rate of 18k/sec. To enjoy the fantastic Talkfree rates subscribers will pay a monthly subscription fee of N1,000 only.

With the Hi-Flyer plan, customers who subscribe to any data plan from 200MB and above will enjoy calls to all networks at 18k/sec. Under this plan, the customers will enjoy the best data usage, unrivalled customer experience and fl at calling rates to all networks. Continue reading

RUMOUR: Microsoft Bringing Office to Linux

Linux OS running Microsoft Office Suite, 2010

Microsoft is considering a native Linux port of her popular Microsoft Office software.  Fragments of a rumour circulated at a recent open-source conference.

If the gossip, born at last weeks Free Open-Source Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM), is correct – and it is far from that at present – the increasing ‘commercial viability’ of Linux on the desktop is to be credited with piquing Microsoft’s interest.

First Ubuntu Phones available in October – Shuttleworth

Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth with the Ubuntu Phone

The first Ubuntu-powered mobile phones will be reportedly be available from October this year.

Reporting on a meeting Shuttleworth attended in New York earlier this week, Michael Hickins of the Wall Street Journal writes that the Ubuntu founder announced plans for the Phone to ship in ‘two large geographic markets’come October of this year.

October is a lot nearer than the ‘early 2014′ date previously proffered by Canonical – a date that many critics deemed to be ‘too late’ if the OS wishes to gain traction against rivals.

Mozilla will launch the first handset running their web-friendly Firefox OS in South America later this year. Other handset manufacturers, including ZTE, and over 7 major national network carriers have also announced plans to ship devices running it. Continue reading

NCC affirms new interconnect rate under way

Operators in the Nigerian telecommunications industry will soon get a new interconnect rate, Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, has said.

If this information is a piece to go by, Ojobo, confirmed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent, also disclosed that consultants on the new rates had reached advanced stages in determining the new rate that will apply in the industry soon.

Interconnect rate represents the cost of terminating a call on another network. In other words, it is the rate that a network operator that originates a call pays to the operator on whose network the call is terminated.

The interconnect rate is important in telecommunications because it helps in defining tariffs for calls that involve at least two networks. Operators recover at least the cost of interconnection for calls on other networks.

New interconnect rate for the industry became imperative following the expiration of the current interconnect rate in December 2012.

The current rate, which came into operation in 2009, has been N8.20 per minute. Continue reading

Huawei, Microsoft launch cheap smartphone in Lagos

Microsoft on Tuesday announced a partnership with Chinese manufacturer Huawei to offer an affordably priced smartphone in Africa geared toward tapping into the continent’s exploding mobile market.

4Afrika smartphone Introducing the phone at an event in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, a Microsoft executive said the aim was to have the 4Afrika phone priced at below $200. The Huawei phone model is not exclusive to the continent, but the 4Afrika version is being adapted to African markets, including with apps geared toward specific countries. At the Nigerian event, officials demonstrated apps including a dictionary for the local Yoruba language and local news. Continue reading