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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Whatsapp Inc. to introduce Free Calls as from April 2014

WhatsApp Inc., the mobile messaging
service that agreed to be acquired last
week by Facebook Inc. for $19 billion, said
Monday that it would offer voice calling as
early as April, allowing free phone calls
among WhatsApp's 465 million users. Jan
Koum, the co-founder and chief executive
of WhatsApp, also said during a speech at
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that
he is hoping to grow the service to one or
two billion users. Mr. Koum said that the
WhatsApp voice product would "focus on
simplicity" as it has with its text-based
messaging service. He said that WhatsApp
would first release a version of the voice
service for Apple Inc.'s
iPhone and Google Inc.'s Android
platforms,
followed by services for Microsoft Corp.'s
Windows Phone, as well as some phones
by BlackBerry Ltd. and Nokia Corp.
"We want to continue to have that
minimalistic approach to the product," he
said. "We at WhatsApp want to get out of
the way and let people communicate." Mr.
Koum added that the voice product would
"use the least amount of bandwidth, and
we optimize the hell out of it."
Speaking about the Facebook acquisition
announcement earlier this month, Mr.
Koum said that the product wouldn't
change, stressing that WhatsApp would
remain independent. He cited Instagram's
example, after the acquisition of the
photo-sharing service by Facebook.
Mr. Koum said that WhatsApp was likely
valuable to Facebook because "we both
want to make the world more connected,"
though Mr. Koum stressed that WhatsApp
wanted to know "as little as possible"
about its users, including details such as a
user's name. "There are no plans to
change anything that we do with the
product today," he said, using words like
"minimalistic," "utilitarian" and
"uncluttered" to describe his philosophy.

RIM Blackberry unveils the Q20 and Z3 smartphone series

BlackBerry has announced a new duo of
smartphones at the MWC 2014 - the
BlackBerry Z3 and the BlackBery Q20.
The BlackBerry Z3 is a full-touch smartphone
with a 5" display and runs BlackBerry OS
10.2.1. BlackBerry CEO John Chen says that
this is the first phone to come up with the
strategic partnership with Foxconn.
Update: specifications of the Z3 came in and
the 5" display boasts a qHD resolution and is
powered by a 1[b].2GHz dual-core
Snapdragon 400 chipset[/b] and 1.5GB of
RAM. Internal storage is 8GB, but there's
no information if there's a microSD card slot
available.
At the back, there's a 5MP camera, while
at the front there's a 1.1MP one. Music lovers
would also like the fact that the Z3 features an
FM Radio, too.
The phone will hit Indonesia in April and will
cost less than $200 off contract.

NCC bars MTN, Airtel and Glo from sales of new sim cards and imposes fines on them

Good news for Etisalat?
Press Release
NCC imposes N647 Million fine on Airtel, Glo
and MTN,
…Bars them from selling SIM Cards
The Nigerian Communications Commission,
NCC, has imposed fines in the total sum of
N647,500,000 Million on three service
providers, Airtel, Globacom and MTN Nigeria
Ltd for failing to meet the Key Performance
Indicators, KPIs, for quality of service in the
month of January 2014.
Consequently, the three companies have been
barred from selling SIM Cards with effect from
1st till 31st of March 2014, and are also
barred from all promotions in their networks
until they improve on the failed KPIs for which
they are sanctioned.
The details of the sanction showed that Airtel
Network Ltd, and MTN Nigeria
Communications Ltd, are to pay a fine of N185
Million each while Globacom Ltd is liable to the
tune of N277,500. In addition, each of the
operators must pay the sanction amount on or
before March 7, 2014, failure upon which each
will be liable to pay N2,500,000 per day as
long as the contravention persists.
The sanctions, which were communicated to
the three operators in a letter signed by the
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission,
Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Commission will
carry out an audit of the three companies on
March 1, 2014 and also on March 31st, 2014,
to ensure that no sale of new SIM Cards takes
place in any of the three networks within the
period.
The letter made reference to an earlier
directive of December 10, 2014, which
warned the operators that "if the Quality of
Service does not improve by 31st December,
2013, the Commission will be compelled to
direct operators to, among others, suspend
the activation of new SIMs and subscribers
until such an operator can prove that it has
met the Key Performance Indicators specified
in the Regulations".
According to Dr. Juwah, " the Commission
after careful collation of statistics from the
Network Operating Centres, NOC, of all major
networks operators for the month of January
2014, has concluded that the service provided
by some of the operators during the period
fell below the Key Performance Indicators
published by the Commission in the Quality of
Service Regulations, as amended".
Details of the sanction also indicated that
Airtel failed on Call Setup Success Rate, CSSR,
and SDCONG, while MTN failed on Call Setup
Success Rate , CSSR and Drop Call Rate, DCR.
On its part, Globacom failed on Call Setup
Success Rate, CSSR, Drop Call Rate, DCR, and
SDCONG.
The Key highlights of the sanction are that the
concerned operators must adhere to the
following conditions:
1. Payment of the fines shall be on or before
March 7, 2014.
2. Failure to settle the said amount within the
stipulated period, the operators shall continue
to be liable to pay the sum of N2,500,000
( Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira
Only) per day for as long as the contravention
persist.
3. To stop the sale of new SIM Cards
throughout the month of March 2014, with
effect from March 1 to 31, 2014.
4. The Service Providers shall not churn or
delete inactive or ( None revenue generating
SIMs) from their networks during the period of
March 1 to 31, 2014.
5. The Service Providers shall not supply new
SIM Cards from their warehouses or other
sources to its Dealers or third parties
throughout the period from March 1-31, 2014.
6. The Service Providers shall stop all
promotions until the KPIs which have been
identified in their respective networks are
positively addressed.
The directive further warned that "any
deviation or alteration of provisioning pattern
( in terms of average daily number of
provisioning) in the remaining days of
February 2014 compared to the regular
provisioning rates by the concerned service
providers shall be construed as a breach to
the Direction.

Boko Haram kills 40 students at Fed Govt College Yobe

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram
members has in early hour of today attacked
and killed dozens students of Federal
Government College Buni Yadi, Gujba Local
Government Area of Yobe State. Yobe state
Police Commissioner, Sanusi A Rufai
confirmed that twenty nine male students
were killed and twenty four structures that
include the Administration block, students
hostel and staff quarters were burnt down.
A resident in the area said he has counted 39
lifeless bodies within the premises. "The
attackers started the operation around 12:15
unpertubed until after 4 am, the students
wunted 39 copses" he said. Daily trust
gathered that the assailants stormed the
school premises in 6 Hilux pick up vans and
motorcycles and separated only the male
students before they opened fire on them. "It
was too horrible because, some of the
students were slaughtered, some were burnt
inside the hostel", a source said.
He said that many school structures were
burnt down along with the occupants including
the staff quarters residents in Gujba.
The source also stated that three ambulances
passed to the school to convey the dead and
injured. Armed Security operatives were seen
moving to the town, although there was no
telecommunication ere slaughtered and fired
with guns.
I conetwork in the area. Army spokesman,
Captain Eli Lazarus confirmed the attack
adding that they are yet to know the number
of casualties.

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