Welcome once again to Nairametrics’ weekly tech news roundup. This week, as always, we bring you a compilation of the major tech events and activities that made the news.
We go behind the scenes, focusing on some of the major talking points and backstories just to keep you updated with the latest developments in the tech space.
This column is dedicated to investors, as well as enthusiasts of Nigeria’s growing tech sector.
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News from Nigeria
NIPOST goes Banking
In recent times, there have been increased efforts by the government to diversify the revenue base of the Nigerian Postal Service and also make it more efficient. As a result, the once-moribund government agency launched the pilot phase of its agency banking service aimed at aiding financial inclusion and banking the unbanked across its vast network of outlets in Nigeria, in collaboration with tier-2 Bank, Wema Bank.
According to NIPOST, the new product, Easy Life Account, was created in line with its bid to leverage new-age technology, to enable it serve Nigerians more efficiently and become an institution that will be integral to the everyday lives of Nigerians through providing valuable services.
It is expected that the postal agency would soon diversify its operations into financial services, insurance, logistics, real estate and e-Government services, in a bid to enhance its revenue.
10,000 hotspot zones going live in Lagos
After its pilot rollout program, Mobi Hunter is working with SWIFT Networks and Google to provide more free Wi-Fi centres in Lagos.
In the pilot phase, some locations including MMA-2, Hard Rock Café, Shiro restaurant, Festival Mall, some Tastee Fried Chicken and Bukka Hut outlets, over 200 BRT Buses, Smart Cabs, Eko Hospital, and VGC Club, benefitted from the free SWIFT Wi-Fi project. According to the company, more locations are being added on a daily basis towards the 10,000 hotspot target in Lagos.
The hotspots can be accessed via the Red Cheetah app which is free to download from Google Play store. Also, users will view adverts at intervals from the sponsors and partners who make the free service possible.
German VC firm announces investment in Nigerian logistics startup
There is more good news in Nigeria’s startup ecosystem this week as Parcel-it, a Nigerian logistics startup, received a huge boost with a new round of funding from venture capitalist firm, GreenTec Capital Partners. Parcel-it, dubbed as the Uber for delivery services, is a Nigerian on-demand logistics startup launched in June 2017. But unlike logistics startups in the ecosystem, Parcel-it aggregates information on courier services and provides a “marketplace” for dispatch-riders.
However, the Germany-based VC company declined to reveal how much it has invested in the one-year-old logistics startup.
Global Tech News
Google appeals EU’s $5 billion fine
Few months after being fined $5 billion for anti-trust issues by the European Union, tech giant, Google, has announced plans to appeal the fine.
EU authorities accused the tech giant of abusing the dominance of its Android operating system to stifle competitors. The company said that it has filed its legal challenge with the General Court of the EU.
In July, EU’s executive commission issued the fine to Google, after it found out that the company forced smartphone makers using Android to install its search and browser apps. It was also alleged that the company paid big phone makers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app.
Google, however, argued that its free, open-source operating system has led to lower-priced phones and stoked competition with its chief rival, Apple.
Android remains the most widely used mobile operating system, beating even Apple’s iOS. The fine by EU, which follows a three-year investigation, is the biggest ever imposed by the organization on a company for anticompetitive behaviour.
Under the ruling, Google must take measures to fix the problem by the end of October or risk further fines.
WarnerMedia plans to unveil streaming service by end of 2019
AT&T has announced plans to unveil a digital video service featuring WarnerMedia’s films and television shows, by the end of next year. This is expected to move into direct competition with rivals like Netflix, Disney, and Amazon.
This means that blockbuster Warner movies like the Harry Potter franchise and “Wonder Woman” could show up on the service, next to TV shows like “Friends” and HBO hits like “Game of Thrones.”
Google+ is shutting down after data leakage
It could soon be time to wave goodbye to Google+ with its over 5.5 million followers, as Google announced that it is going to shut down the consumer version of google plus over the next 10 months.
The decision follows the revelation of a previously undisclosed security flaw that exposed users’ profile data which was remedied in March 2018. The review revealed that a bug in the software allowed apps access to profile fields that were not marked as public.
Also during the week, Google unveiled its new line of Pixel devices at its ‘Made by Google’ media event. The new devices include a set of Google Pixel phones, Chromecast, Pixel Slate and other devices. The global tech giant which celebrated its 20th year recently used its “Made by Google” event to exhibit its range of hardware and cutting-edge gadgets.