Welcome to Nairametrics’ weekly tech news roundup. Today, as always, we bring you a compilation of the major tech events and activities that made the news, last week.

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 community.

You know we love feedback, so please keep them coming


MTN first to join the IOT World Alliance

A little drift from the MTN Nigeria and CBN saga that seems likely to be settled soon.

During the week, MTN became the first African telecommunication company to join the IoT World Alliance. The IoT is a collaboration of mobile network operators aimed at running globally connected businesses through smart business decisions.

MTN Group Executive for Enterprise Business, Oliver Fortuin, said “Not only did we join a community of like-minded telecommunications companies committed to making global connectivity cheaper and simpler, but as MTN we believe this partnership supports our efforts to deliver on our core belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.”

In the same vein, IoT World Alliance Chairman, Mark van den Berg, commented that, “We are pleased to have MTN on board, and look forward to leveraging the scale and reach that MTN has in Africa and parts of the Middle East. I think it is an exciting and long overdue partnership, not only for MTN Group but also for IoT World Alliance, as we work towards enabling our customers’ IoT device connectivity.”


SpongeBob creator dead

On a sad note, Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the mega-hit Nickelodeon cartoon series, “SpongeBob SquarePants” died on Monday. He was 57.

The cause of death was ALS, which Hillenburg revealed he had been diagnosed with last year in March. Only adult fans, who still watch cartoons will be able to relate to this loss, not too long after our super hero, Stan Lee, also left us.

Nickelodeon released a statement saying, “We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ with a unique sense of humour and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere.”


Microsoft wins this time

Microsoft and Apple dueled all week for the title of Most Valuable U.S. Company, reviving a decade-long rivalry marked by industry domination, misfires, comebacks, iconic gadgets and two transformative business leaders: Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs.

Microsoft, based in the Seattle area, was within $1 billion of unseating the Silicon Valley iPhone maker for largest U.S. market capitalisation on Wednesday. Market cap is the total value of a company’s stock shares.

Microsoft slipped into the lead by close of trading on Friday, with a market cap of $851 billion, according to one valuation. Apple was worth $847 billion. Amazon.com was in third place at $826 billion.

The technology sector clawed back the ground it had lost, as investors’ infatuation with the so-called FAANGs – Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com, Netflix, Google – has cool down.


WhatsApp improving messaging since 19…

We suspect that WhatsApp has been listening in on our conversations at the Nairametrics HQ. So there is this colleague who rarely types on his phone keypad, as he is always recording and sending voice notes. When asked why he always does this, he just smiled and said, “It’s easier for me to send voice notes than type; it helps me express myself better.”

Reports from WABetaInfo has suggested that the latest additions to the WhatsApp Beta for Android may include consecutive voice messages and group call shortcuts.

The two updates were delivered to the beta version of the messaging app on 27 November, but they might not be available to all users of WhatsApp Beta for Android… yet.

The latest voice messaging feature will allow users to automatically play voice messages if they are sent directly after each other.

This will be available when two or more voice messages are detected by WhatsApp. The app will automatically play all other consecutive voice messages, removing the need to manually play each clip.


You will use 5G in your lifetime

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that it has started trial testing its 5G network, which is expected to be rolled out in 2020 with the 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz spectrum bands, beginning with the Eko Atlantic Project.

Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said 5G broadband data will drive connectivity and allow humans interact with connected devices to check their health status and remotely control home appliances without physical contact.

Although, he acknowledged the challenges in infrastructure rollout and spectrum availability in the country, he maintained that the NCC was already working to address the challenges.


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