The Executive Vice Chairman, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has said that the Commission has not concluded plans for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network, saying it is still conducting research.
He added that the Commission only recently published the Draft Consultation Document on the Deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology in Nigeria
Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ike Adinde disclosed this during the capacity building training for the members of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) held in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said, “Nigeria only undertook 5G trials in selected locations within the country in collaboration with an Operator in 2019. The trial, among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present.”
According to him, “The Commission also has an ongoing engagement with the academia while at the same time funding 5G related research projects, all in a bid to ensure the nation is provided with the best in terms of research findings and policy input to drive the implementation and deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.”
Danbatta reiterate that 5G will affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially. 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized across the globe by 2035, supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 trillion worth of goods and services. This impact will be much greater than the current 4G network.
In his words, “5G when fully deployed will provide increased speed and bandwidth as well as provide deeper coverage to reach people in rural or challenging locations. In addition, 5G will provide strong security for the various sectors of government and private organizations.”
He also noted that, “Due to its sheer scale and scope, the ITU predicts 5G will accelerate the achievements of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) from affordable and clean energy to zero hunger.”
He added that the misrepresentation of 5G technology has the potential of derailing the launch of this new technology in our clime. “Many Nigerians including citizens in more civilized countries were hooked on the notion that the introduction of 5G technology was the reason behind the spread of the novel COVID-19 Pandemic.”
“This misconception was even made worse because those saddled with the responsibility of informing, educating and enlightening the average Nigerian telecom consumers were also bereft of the knowledge of this new technology and hitched a ride on the band wagon of doubters.”
“This is the reason why training such as this is necessary for members of NITRA who have continued to cover the ICT industry in Nigeria. We will ensure that the NCC maintains this training periodically for our crucial stakeholders in the media to ensure that the information that reaches the average Nigerian is accurate and timely”, the EVC added.
He also said, “It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that whatever we want to introduce to the Nigerian telecoms space is well understood by Nigerians and all those who make use of our telecoms services.
He assured NITRA that he Commission will continue to support capacity building and other initiatives which foster closer interaction and build stronger relationship with its members.
Also, while presenting a paper on ‘Tips for doing good news, features and investigative copies, Dr. Declan Okpalaeke, urged the members of NITRA to always use their observation skills while sourcing for news. He said, Following trends as well as combating myths and rumours are key to develop a great story ideas.
81% of Nigeria Consumers Shop More Online Since Start of Pandemic-Mastercard Study
A Mastercard study on consumer spending* has revealed that over four out of five (81%) consumers in Nigeria are shopping more online since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Data, apparel, beauty products and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), have seen the highest surge of online activity. More than 90% of Nigeria consumers said they had purchased data top-ups online while 64% shopped more online for clothing, 56% for beauty products, with gifts, books and groceries tying equally at 51% each.
With fewer opportunities to browse in the store or on the high-street, social media has emerged as the main platform for finding the most attractive products and offers, with 71% and 64% of respondents saying they had discovered new sellers through Facebook and Instagram respectively. In fact, 78% of typical in-store bargain hunters said they spend hours searching different sites to find the best deals.
When it comes to paying for goods or services online, speed is a key factor for Nigeria shoppers, with 79% quoting this as a major consideration when choosing a business to buy from.
The Rise of Virtual Experiences
While adapting to the ‘next normal’, people have been changing the way they consume entertainment and learn new skills.
In fact, 87% of Nigeria consumers said they were using the downtime as a positive learning experience. More than half of the respondents (61%) said they had taken a virtual cooking class, 59% learnt to manage their health and get medicines online, 29% have been mastering a new language and 35% have been learning to dance online.
51% of respondents have been educating themselves on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, and just over a third (38%) said they have been learning how to film online.
It is clear from the research that shoppers are rapidly moving away from more traditional forms of retail and opting for contact-free and digital transactions. This, in turn, is presenting e-tailers and businesses in Nigeria and across the region, with new challenges on how to best leverage the shift towards online shopping and deliver fast, convenient and secure transactions.
“There’s no doubt that the way we live and shop has drastically changed as a result of the pandemic. With the surge in online shopping in Nigeria, businesses need to optimize their operations to ensure they consistently deliver convenient, enjoyable and secure transaction experiences to their customers. At Mastercard, we are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships with fintechs, banks and other key players across Nigeria to support businesses as they make the most of this new reality,” said Ebehijie Momoh, Senior Vice President, Mastercard West Africa.
Securing New Shopping Habits
With the rapid rise in online shopping, consumers are also becoming increasingly aware of the associated risks. And, with 82% of consumers now managing their banking needs online, more than half (68%) have said that a secure checkout was fundamental for a good shopping experience.
This is a key priority for Mastercard, as it is working to reduce online fraud and protect retailers from data breaches, while ensuring that consumers still enjoy a convenient and hassle-free payment experience.
To advance these efforts, Mastercard recently rolled out its patented tokenization technology across the region. Tokenization encrypts consumer data by replacing card numbers with digital tokens. This prevents improper usage at any other location and provides additional security and peace of mind for consumers and merchants alike, resulting in higher approval rates while minimizing online fraud.
Plaqad To Launch First Of Its Kind Global Communications Platform
Plaqad, a marketing and public relations software company, is set to release a proprietary marketing platform that lets brands advance an affordable, data-driven campaign from start to finish. The platform, which automates the entire campaign workflow, gives users the ability to find and hire talent and service providers, launch a campaign, track and measure campaign performance and process vendor payments—all in one place.
Plaqad launched its initial offering, SocialCred, a free influencer and social media ranking tool, in June. SocialCred is a free influencer and social media ranking tool that leverages non-traditional metrics to measure influence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
It provides social media users with actionable insights to grow their influence, while also providing brands with sufficient data on influencers to make informed decisions on which creator to partner with. The tool, by downplaying traditional metrics like reach and impressions, also helps to counter influencer fraud and measure real engagement.
Plaqad, first established in 2017 as a startup within BlackHouse Media (BHM), one of the most successful PR companies to come out of Africa, was built to connect brands and individuals to bloggers, news websites, publishers and social influencers.
Today, Plaqad, strengthened by a community of over 15,000 influencers, creators and publishers, has successfully placed over 25,000 pieces of content on social and web platforms across four continents. It has paid out over $1 million on hundreds of campaigns to members, in effect helping its program members monetize their content, platform and influence.
“Plaqad, a contorted way of spelling the word ‘placard,’ is a protest against the norm,” said BlackHouse Media and Plaqad Founder, Ayeni Adekunle. “In line with our mantra ‘Make Your Voice Heard,’ we continue to live our mission to help businesses irrespective of their sizes, location or budget, reach and effectively engage their audience. We conceived the idea for Plaqad to help democratize an important aspect of modern communications.”
Amplifying Your Brand’s Message
Plaqad houses two broad products: PlaqadM, an online freelance marketplace that connects brands to thousands of freelance service providers, and PlaqadIQ, a robust set of social media tracking and analytics tools, to measure and optimize the performance and impact campaigns.
While both products sit on one platform, brands do not have to utilize or pay for both. For example, a brand can pay to track a campaign using PlaqadIQ without having to hire service providers on PlaqadM. This flexibility is also reflected in the platform’s payment models. Plaqad users can choose to pay a monthly or annual subscription, depending on their needs and usage frequency.
“Our platform gives every individual and brand a voice in the marketplace by opening up access to quality talent and tools and automating the entire process of executing PR and marketing campaigns,” said Plaqad CEO Gbenga Sogbaike. “Plaqad levels the playing field, giving SMBs the ability to connect to quality service providers regardless of budget, while also tracking their campaigns real-time all in one place.”
The Plaqad platform is the result of years of industry experience, active listening, data and insights gathering and solution-driven engineering to uniquely solve age-long PR and marketing issues.
Brands and agencies still grapple with challenges relating to limited access to quality talent, poor attribution, opaque agency and influencer practices and a largely cumbersome and slow engagement process. By providing brands, agencies and individuals with the tools and resources they need to effectively engage their desired audience in a seamless and measurable way, Plaqad is helping to address some of these issues.
Plaqad’s history is rooted in innovation, from being the first to create a content trading social network for bloggers, news websites, publishers and social influencers (micro-bloggers), to launching Africa’s first Influencer Compensation Report.
Its parent company BHM has been named PR Agency of the Year for three consecutive years and has published the continent’s only PR report since 2015. BHM built Africa’s first PR app and was named the Best PR Agency to Work in Nigeria in 2017. Its roster of blue-chip clients includes Heineken, ViacomCBS, Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, MTN and Multichoice. When BHM rolled out its U.K. operations earlier this month, it became the first Nigerian PR firm to go international. Founder Ayeni Adekunle is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).
“We are driven by innovation and it is reflected in the solutions we bring to the market,” said Ayeni. “With Plaqad, our goal is to build the most convenient and efficient community-led marketing platform. We want to build communities that give people the power to directly collaborate and exchange value on multiple levels, and ultimately give everyone—organizations and individuals—the power to make their voices heard, without barriers.”
SocialCred is Plaqad’s response to the mushrooming issue of influencer fraud and fake news. Its algorithm measures real influence and minimizes influencer fraud by downplaying traditional metrics like follower count, reach and impressions, focusing instead on engagement rate, audience sentiments (positive, neutral or negative), content quality and the creators’ ratio of original to shared posts within a 30-day window.
While designed as a tool for influencers and the brands that want to engage with them, the free app is available to all social media users. Individuals are awarded badges—titled A-Lister, Big Shot, Socialite, Trend Setter, JJC, Superstar, and Learner—based on their rankings.
Beyond the fun factor, SocialCred’s badges serve an important function, helping brands assess and select influencers based on their influence quotient across Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. The platform makes it easier for brands to find genuine influencers who can drive real actions.
It also helps influencers to get better—and acquire bigger and better badges—by offering tips and tools to boost their visibility and social credibility.
“Influencer fraud is one of the biggest threats to the success of brand campaigns,” said Sogbaike. “SocialCred is our first step to promoting greater transparency and accountability in influencer marketing, thereby helping practitioners to counter influencer fraud. SocialCred separates real influencers from those simply faking it. We will keep adding new features to improve the app and expand its use cases.”
SocialCred is available now.
The Plaqad platform, including PlaqadM and Plaqad IQ, will be in full release beginning today. From November 30 through December 15, Plaqad is offering brands, agencies and individuals the opportunity to test drive the game-changing platform at no cost. For more information, visit plaqad.com.
MTN Appoints Omnicom Group As Global Marketing Services Provider Across Operations
MTN Group names Omnicom Group as MTN’s lead agency partner across its footprint following a competitive pitch process. Cementing a partnership that commenced in 2017.
Regarding the appointment, Group Business Director, SPV Communication Solution a representative of the Omnicom Group, Saidat Lawal-Mohammed said “We’ve all had a tough year and this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time as a reward for the hard work and commitment of the team. We look forward to supporting the MTN Group as they achieve great feats over the next few years”.
“MTN is delighted with the outcome of the Global Marketing Services RFP. The calibre of submissions from all bidders was of an exceptional standard, despite the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in,” commented Bernice Samuels, Group Executive for Marketing. “Omnicom proved themselves not just as a creative powerhouse, but also demonstrated a solid commitment to partner with MTN in achieving our common goal to contribute to Africa’s progress.” she concluded.
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