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Nigerian telecoms operator, Mafab, rolls out 5G network services

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Nigerian telecom operator, Mafab Communications, has began rolling out its 5G network services in Abuja, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The company which was one of three telecoms operators that won the bid for the 5G 3.5GHz Spectrum licences in November, 2021, while also used the occasion to unveiled a brand-new logo for the company, is the newest in the telecommunications industry in the West African country.

The Chairman of Mafab, Dr. Musbahu Bashir, who spoke at the launching, said his company, though, though new in the industry, will offer users both voice and data services nationwide.

“The rollout of Mafab SG network is the beginning of immense opportunities for the country as it represents Nigeria’s capabilities and infinite possibilities,” he said.

“Six Nigerian cities, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna has been listed for deployment of services, while time line for other cites for deployment is in the works.

“The prospect of increased job opportunities as a consequence of the value-chain benefits the technology will generate and offer is the dream we have all gathered here to launch today,” he said.

Bashir added that the 5G network will usher into Nigeria and the West African sub-region a wide array of business opportunities, wherein various business outfits will expand their frontiers with operational ease and speed.

“This will be good news for businesses especially in the fields of education, medical sciences, engineering, security, the banking sector, SMEs, smart cities, transportation and entertainment.”

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Airtel Africa declares $523 million nine-month net profit

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One of Africa’s biggest mobile network operators, Airtel Africa, had declared a profit of $523 million over a nine months period ending December 31, 2022.

The profit margin, according to a financial report released by the company, showed a 12.1% increase from $514 million during the same period the previous year.

The report further stated that the company’s mobile services revenue in Nigeria grew by 20.9 percent, while East African revenue increased by 11.9 percent, just as 11.8 percent was recorded in Francophone Africa.

Revenue from voice services from its African operations increased by 12.7% while data recorded a revenue rise of 22.3%.

The company’s mobile money service recorded a 29.8% growth, largely attributed to a 32.5% growth in East Africa and 21.7% in the Francophone Africa market.

The financial report released by the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, also said company’s total customer base increased to $138.5 million, up by 10.1 per cent, with the company saying it spent $490 million over the last nine months on its 4G and 5G spectrum across key markets to improve quality.

“The company’s total customer base increased by 10.1% to hit 138.5 million as the penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving the data customer base up 13.6 percent and mobile money customer base up 22.2 percent,” the report said.

“Providing affordable, innovative, and essential services to customers in our 14 markets with unparalleled network quality and customer service is integral to our ambition of transforming lives across Africa.”

“Over the last nine months we have spent almost $490 million on 4G and 5G spectrum across key markets to improve network capacity and quality, future-proof the company for continued growth opportunities, and facilitate economic progress in all our markets,” Ogunsanya said.

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Kenyan judge rules Meta can be sued in local courts for rights violations

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A Labour Court in Kenya has ruled that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, can be sued in the East African country, following a suit filed by a former Facebook moderator, Daniel Motaung, claiming poor working conditions.

Meta had, in a counter suit, tried to have the case dropped, with the argument that Kenyan courts do not have jurisdiction over their operations.

The social media company had argued that while it has operations in Kenya, it’s a foreign company and its contracts with Sama don’t make it susceptible to Kenyan laws.

But while delivering judgement on the case on Monday, the Labour Court judge, Justice Jacob Gakeri, dismissed its appeal and insisted that Kenyan courts can rule on the case.

In the originating suit, Motaung, a South African national, had alleged that Meta and its local outsourcing partner, Sama, had exposed him and his colleagues to “toxic” work conditions while they were contracted to work as content moderators.

Matuong had claimed that he was subjected to “forced labor, exploitation, human trafficking, unfair labor relations, union busting, and failure to provide adequate mental health and psychosocial support” by Facebook and its parent company.

In his ruling, Justice Gakeri said:

“The second and third respondents’ names, Meta Platforms Inc and Meta platforms Ireland Ltd, shall not be struck out at this stage.”

The case between Motaung and Meta is due for further determination in early March.

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