The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is an Incorporated Trustees formed in the year 2000. It is the industry body for all telecommunications companies and those providing subsidiary services to telecommunications service providers in Nigeria. Its objective is to promoting growth in the telecommunications sector and, ultimately, ehnance efficient and affordable telecommunications services delivery to users of these services. Membership of ALTON consists of companies duly licensed in Nigeria to provide telecommunications and related services. These services include telephony services (fixed and mobile), internet and other data services, as well as of infrastructure and other support services/value adding services. Read more..

 
 
 
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Essar to sell yuMobile to Safaricom and Airtel for $120m
Essar Capital said it expects the transaction to conclude during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Iliad in talks with private equity firms on improving T-Mobile US bid
French group continues its pursuit of the Deutsche Telekom-owned U.S. operator.
Telefonica Deutschland clears final EU hurdle in E-Plus deal
Deal with virtual player Drillisch complies with the agreed upfront conditions.
Apple reportedly prepares for mobile wallet with credit card partners
Apple is turning to software and services, rather than hardware, to woo new customers as the rumoured iPhone 6 launch approaches.
EU report proposes releasing 700 MHz for mobile broadband by 2020
GSM Association welcomes report, but calls for a shorter time frame.
Sony CEO takes direct control of mobile phone, TV divisions
Kazuo Hirai seeks to stem declining consumer electronics sales, with U.S. a likely key market for mobile phone business.
Sony CEO takes direct control of mobile phone, TV divisions
Kazuo Hirai seeks to stem declining consumer electronics sales, with U.S. a likely key market for mobile phone business.
Sony CEO takes direct control of mobile phone, TV divisions
Kazuo Hirai seeks to stem declining consumer electronics sales, with U.S. a likely key market for mobile phone business.
Sony CEO takes direct control of mobile phone, TV divisions
Kazuo Hirai seeks to stem declining consumer electronics sales, with U.S. a likely key market for mobile phone business.

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AllAfrica News: ICT and Telecom
All Africa, All the Time.

East Africa: Samsung Unveils Gear S, the Latest in Both Curved and Wearable T...
[CIO]Samsung Electronics has unveiled its Gear S, the next generation smart wearable device that has been designed with an elegant, curved Super AMOLED display and flexible band.
Africa: Ghana's Mobile Number Portability Scheme Outstrips South Africa, Keny...
[Balancing Act]London -Mobile Number Portability (MNP) schemes have been slow to take off in Sub-Saharan Africa and their performance has not been outstanding. Ghana is the exception and has good reason to be bragging about its success. Russell Southwood spoke to Bob Palitz, a telecom consultant who has been involved in the MNP process from its policy and planning stages through to implementation and launch.
Kenya: Essar Finally Sold for U.S. $120 Million
[CIO]The Essar Group yesterday signed a binding agreement for the sale of its telecom business in Kenya. Essar's YuMobile is to be sold for $120million to Kenya's Safaricom Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Kenya. The signing came after approvals were given by the Communication Authority (CA) of Kenya.
Nigeria: UBA's One-Stop E-Payment Portal to Boost E-Commerce in Africa
[Guardian]THE E-commerce in Africa will receive a boost as United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has introduced an online payments and collections platform tagged U-bills, which has already been enabled in all the 19 countries where UBA operates.
Nigeria: Tackling Voter Apathy Through Social Media
[Guardian]AS the count down to the 2015 general elections begins, social media has been proposed as a means of checking apathy of voters during elections. This was the submission of Online and Specialized Publication editor, The Nation newspaper, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin. He spoke in Lagos last week during the second International Press Centre's (IPC) tweet-a-thon conference.
Nigeria: 'In Jos, Digital Transition Is Progressing Steadily'
[Guardian]Jos -Since June 30, 2014 when the pilot scheme of Nigeria's march to digital terrestrial broadcasting was launched in Jos, the capital city of Plateau State, about 90 per cent digital coverage of the entire state has been achieved so far. At a breakfast briefing marking the 22nd anniversary of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) two Sundays ago in Abuja, Director-General of the regulatory agency, Mr. Emeka Mba expressed satisfaction that the pilot scheme so far, has been progressing as projected. He
Nigeria: Funds Allocated for Emerging Local Tech Firms
[CAJ News]Lagos -LOCAL start-up businesses have received a major financial boost after the country's leading technology firm, CcHUB, boosted its incubation programme with the launch of a $500 000 seed investment fund.
Kenya: Kenyan Banks Take On Mobile
[EA Business]Nairobi -In what will come as good news for Kenyans, the country is gearing up for a mobile wallet revolution as banks move into a market segment that has been dominated by Safaricom and other mobile operators.
Nigeria: NCC Declares 13 Telecoms Operators Inactive
[This Day]The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator has declared 13 telecoms operators that were hitherto vibrant, as inactive.
Nigeria: Bank, GSM Partnership Sets New Agenda for Financial Inclusion
[Guardian]ON the heels of the official unveiling of Diamond Y'ello Account, a mobile telephone banking product from Diamond Bank Plc, in partnership with MTN and ICT company in Nigeria, MTN, it becomes imperative for one to take a peep into the future to ascertain what to expect of this latest innovation on Nigeria's financial landscape, and its implication for the future.
Nigeria: Airtel Takes ICT to Rural Dwellers
[Guardian]AS part of a strategic effort to empower more Nigerians, Airtel has announced an empowerment initiative that focuses on creating information and communication technology (ICT) awareness among people at the grassroots.
Africa: Microsoft's the Platinum Sponsor of 2014 Demo Africa
[CIO]Microsoft Corp has taken up platinum sponsorship of this year's edition of DEMO Africa that will be held later in the month, in Lagos, Nigeria. The company will participate in the event for the 3rd time under the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative.
Kenya: Safaricom, Airtel Kenya Finally Acquire Yumobile for U.S.$ 120 Million
[CIO]The Essar Group yesterday signed a binding agreement for the sale of its telecom business in Kenya. Essar's YuMobile is to be sold for $120million to Kenya's Safaricom and Airtel Kenya. The signing came after approvals were given by the Communication Authority (CA) of Kenya.
East Africa: Business Mobility Gets a Spotlight At CIO Executive Breakfast
[CIO]Mobility is the ability to work anytime and anywhere that's the main message from CIO East Africa's Executive Breakfast held at The Fairmount Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi.
Uganda: Iwayafrica Launches High Speed Fibre Access for Uganda's SMEs
[CIO]Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica Uganda business has launched its new fibre connectivity service in Uganda.

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TeleGeography CommsUpdate
Daily news on every market in the global telecommunications industry.

Far EasTone granted approval to offer 1800MHz LTE services
Taiwanese multi-service operator Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) has reportedly obtained approval from the National Communications Commission (NCC) to offer LTE-based services using spectrum in the 1800MHz band, according to the Taipei Times. With the operator having initially launched using the 700MHz band for its 4G offerings, in July 2014 CommsUpdate reported that the local telecoms regulator had given the nod to the proposed exchange of spectrum in the 1800MHz band between Taiwan Mobile and FET; this move was expected to enable both operators to begin offering 1800MHz LTE services on a commercial basis as early as the end of the third quarter of 2014. Having now been given permission by the telecoms watchdog to launch 1800MHz LTE services, FET has wasted no time, and the frequencies are understood to already be in commercial use in Taipei, Greater Tai-chung and Greater Kaohsiung. By the end of this year, coverage in the nation?s five most populous cities is expected to increase to around 80%.
Rime of the ancient operator: GT&T looking to remove fixed line albatross with...
Fixed line incumbent Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) has appeared before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to justify a proposed series of price hikes to its fixed line services. Kaietur News Online writes that GT&T applied to the regulator for permission to introduce the new rates in July this year, and has already had one hearing with the watchdog. GT&T contends that it is operating at a loss and needs to implement the changes in order to survive, but the commission has so far been reluctant to green-light the plan, disputing GT&T?s claims and challenging its business plan. The operator has requested permission to implement fourfold increases on charges for installing fixed lines from GYD500 to GYD2,000 (USD2.5 to USD10) for residential subscribers and from GYD1,500 to GYD6,000 for business customers, whilst monthly line rental costs would be doubled to GYD1,000 for private users and GYD3,000 for enterprise subscribers. A representative from the company added that even the higher rates were still much lower than prices for mobile services. The official went on to say that GT&T was aware that many subscribers would reject the price hike and cancel their subscriptions, but said the move was necessary, nevertheless. Stressing the company?s financial troubles, another GT&T spokesman, Gene Evelyn, told the PUC that its current rates were not able to cover the cost of providing a fixed line service, saying that it was ?like an albatross around [the company?s] neck.?*Also speaking at the hearing, consumer rights advocate Leonard Craig fiercely criticised the company, pointing out that GT&T ?has a history of not delivering to the Guyanese people?, citing the operator?s minimal investment and lack of innovation. Craig lambasted the incumbent, laying the blame for any financial difficulties on ?boardroom ineptitude?, giving as an example the provider?s E1 digital subscriber line service: ?GT&T has always had the capacity to deliver this service but waits until it is approaching obsolescence before introducing this as a service to Guyana.? According to Mr. Craig, GT&T has been deliberately misleading in its calculations in an effort to overstate the cost of providing fixed line services. Further, the activist explained that the incumbent should have a surplus on every call, due to the fact that customers are billed by the minute, whilst interconnection fees are charged on a per-second basis. *Already sceptical of GT&T?s position ? having noted that the company?s financial statements for 2011 seemingly negate its claims of financial difficulties ? PUC chairman Prem Prasaud told the incumbent that its request would be rejected if it was proved that the company?s parent was extracting its guaranteed 15% return. As noted by TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, under the terms of the privatisation of GT&T, the new parent company Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) agreed to provide public telecoms services in exchange for a guaranteed minimum rate of return of 15% per annum on capital dedicated to public use. The pact, signed back in 1991, has been the subject of long-standing acrimony and litigation between the government and ATN/GT&T. *The PUC did not reach a decision and will submit further queries to the operator in two weeks. GT&T said it would respond to the questions within a week of receiving them and added that it would also reply to Mr. Craig?s concerns.
Negotiations continue on PT/Oi stake in Unitel; target price ?USD2bn?, source...
Brazilian telecoms operator Oi, which is in the process of merging with Portugal Telecom (PT), is in talks to sell a 25% stake in Angola?s leading cellco Unitel to other shareholders for ?more than USD2 billion?, according to people familiar with the matter quoted by Bloomberg, contrasting with other recent reports estimating that the Portuguese/Brazilian group would expect roughly USD1.3 billion in sale proceeds. Angolan business tycoon (and Unitel board member) Isabel dos Santos and other shareholders including Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol are among the possible buyers according to the anonymous sources, who added that Grupo BTG Pactual, one of Oi?s largest shareholders, is an adviser on the sale process. Oi effectively entered the indirect ownership of Unitel when PT contributed its assets in a May capital increase as part of the planned Oi-PT merger. Isabel dos Santos and other Angolan shareholders have claimed that a transfer of PT?s shareholding in Unitel triggers fellow shareholders? right of first refusal over the foreign-owned 25%, although PT has disputed that assertion. According to a filing from Oi, the book value of the Unitel minority stake was EUR494.3 million (USD652.1 million) at the end of last year, not including accounts receivable from Unitel of EUR238.2 million mainly for unpaid dividends, while the stake is assigned a ?fair-market value? of around USD1.8 billion in Oi?s company financial reports. However, PT/Oi?s effective stake is 18.75%, as the 25% Unitel interest is owned via holding company Africatel, a 75%-owned PT subsidiary (while a Nigerian fund bought 25% of Africatel in 2007, giving it 6.25% in Unitel), theoretically placing the value at closer to USD1.3 billion. None of the parties named in the Bloomberg report were willing to comment on the potential sale process, although two of the anonymous sources agreed that BTG is keen to see Oi partner Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) and America Movil-backed Claro Brasil in a mooted joint purchase and breakup of rival TIM Brasil, inferring that the Angolan deal is linked to this strategy. Espirito Santo Investment Bank added in a research note that a sale of the Unitel stake would be ?a possible way to finance an offer for TIM Brasil and it would also clear doubts over the capacity of the company to monetise this asset.? As reported last week by CommsUpdate, Oi has instructed BTG to review its options ?with the purpose of enabling a viable proposal for the acquisition of the shares of TIM?.
Nakhtel plans 4G rollout in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan
Nakhtel, a mobile CDMA network operator in the autonomous region of Nakhchivan, is seeking a licence to provide GSM services in Azerbaijan, reports Azernews. Farid Hajiyev, head of press at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (MCIT NAR), said that Nakhtel is applying to Azerbaijan?s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) for a licence to operate in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands. He revealed that the company plans to deploy a 4G network in Nakhchivan, before rolling out services to the territory of Azerbaijan ? initially using the base stations of existing Azeri network operators Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon. Deployment is scheduled to begin towards the end of the year or in early 2015.
INEA takes control of regional fibre project
Polish triple-play cableco INEA has taken a 74.68% stake in Wielkopolska Broadband Network (Wielkopolska Sieci Szerokopasmowej, WSS), a company which is rolling out a fibre-optic backbone/distribution network in the Wielkopolska voivodeship (region) in western Poland under an agreement inked in December 2010 between the public-private venture?s participants. Telepolis.pl reports that once finished, the WSS network will be 4,500km long with 576 access points available to broadband operators on an equal access basis, with the aim of expanding next generation access (NGA) fixed internet services to underserved areas (including locations previously deemed unprofitable to do so), by constructing at least one network access point in each Wielkopolska community. The cost of the project amounts to PLN410 million (USD128.5 million), of which European Union (EU) funding will cover 85%, while according to the plan the WSS network should be completed by the end of this year. The Wielkopolska voivodeship retains a 25.17% ownership stake in WSS, while Asta-Net holds the remaining 0.15%. INEA is the Wielkopolska region?s biggest cableco and is reportedly among the five largest cablecos in Poland. Back in April 2013 CommsUpdate reported that INEA had ambitions to roll out a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to pass 200,000 Wielkopolska homes and businesses, additional to the 360,000 cable homes passed by its network at that date (claiming 170,000 cable subscribers). Also at that date the WSS public-private partnership was expected to provide a fibre-optic backbone and distribution network of 4,000km (later upped to 4,500km) ?to put 95% of Wielkopolskie homes within 4km of a distribution node?.
Viva Kuwait gets nod for local stock exchange listing
Viva (Kuwait Telecom Company) is said to have received regulatory approval to list on the local stock exchange, almost six years after the company completed an initial public offering (IPO). According to Reuters, the company made the announcement in a market filing, although it has not specified when it expects to actually join the bourse. As noted in TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, Viva previously staged an initial public offering (IPO) in July 2008, going on to raise KWD25 million (USD94 million) in a sale open to Kuwaiti nationals only. A commercial launch of GSM-900/1800 services across the capital Kuwait City followed on 3 December 2008.
Eircom looks to forge ahead with EUR3bn stock market flotation, paper says
Irish PTO Eircom is expected to forge ahead with a EUR3 billion (USD3.94 billion) stock market flotation, possibly as early as October, even as ?interest from trade buyers and private equity players wanes?, the Sunday Independent reports. US telco AT&T Inc has decided not to submit a bid, despite making a preliminary approach to Eircom?s advisors, while a number of private equity groups including KKR, Apax Partners and CVC have also reportedly sounded it out about a deal. The paper reports an unnamed Eircom shareholder as saying that Vodafone Group and Deutsche Telekom are still interested, but this has been ?downplayed? by sources at the Irish carrier. If no one emerges with a late bid though, Eircom is expected to launch its third flotation in 15 years.
Nepal?s NTA renews Ncell's GSM mobile licence
The government of Nepal has renewed the mobile operating licence of privately-owned carrier Ncell allowing it to operate GSM services for the next five years. This is the first licence extension for the firm, previously known as Spice Nepal Private Ltd, since it acquired its concession and launched services ten years ago. According to The Himalayan, Ncell?s licence expired on 31 August. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) said it decided to renew the concession given that the cellco has been making regular payments on its GSM licence over the past two years. The renewal fee is NPR20 billion (USD208.5 million) and Ncell has been making regular instalments of NPR2.5 billion over the past two years, it said.
Telefonica expects to complete GVT acquisition by mid-2015 if all goes to plan
BNAmericas writes that Telefonica is confident it will complete the takeover of Brazilian fixed operator Global Village Telecom (GVT) from Vivendi by mid-2015 ? if all goes to plan. The Madrid-based carrier filed a notice to the stock market detailing its acquisition roadmap and the terms of its offer in the wake of Vivendi?s announcement that it had entered into exclusive talks with Telefonica over a deal ? closing the door on rival Telecom Italia (TI). *In its roadmap, Telefonica says it expects to receive the necessary shareholder approval from Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) investors by October and the thumbs up from Anatel and the antitrust agency Cade next year. The Spanish giant has bid EUR7.45 billion (USD9.79 billion) for GVT, broken down as EUR4.66 billion in cash ? funded through a capital increase for Telefonica Brasil ? and 12% in share in the enlarged Telefonica Brasil, following said increase. Further, it is offering Vivendi the chance to exchange 4.5% in shares in the enlarged Telefonica Brasil operation for an 8.3% voting interest in TI ? via shares owned by the Spanish parent in its Italian counterpart. With the three-month exclusive talks now underway, Telefonica hopes to ink a definitive agreement with the French media group in November. *Vivendi agreed to engage in three months of talks with Telefonica. If all goes well, Telefonica predicts that it will sign a definitive agreement with Vivendi in November.
Iliad reports 10% rise in H1 sales, but profits edge down
French telecoms operator Iliad, which is currently considering a plan to purchase T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom, has reported a 10.4% year-on-year increase in revenue to EUR2.02 billion (USD2.65 billion) for the six months ending 30 June 2014, although net income fell 1.3% to EUR139 million as a one-time tax charge and costs related to its 4G network rollout in France bit into the bottom line. On a positive note, the group ? founded by internet entrepreneur Xavier Niel ? said it continued to win new mobile users in a highly competitive French market. Having started out in the broadband segment, Iliad launched its low-cost mobile service in early 2012 and quickly ate into its rivals? profits and market share by engaging in a ruthless price war with inexpensive tariff plans. It commanded a 13% share of the domestic mobile segment by end-June with mobile revenue climbing 24% y-o-y in H1 2014, to EUR745.7 million, thanks to more than a million net new additions in the six-month period. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 6.6% over the same period to EUR624.2 million.
UCOM picks Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade Armenian fibre infrastructure
Alternative fixed telephony and broadband services provider UCOM LLC has selected Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its national network infrastructure with the deployment of the vendor?s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS). In a press release, the French-US gear maker said that the PSS will be a key element of UCOM?s 100G WDM/Optical Transport Network (OTN) solution. The altco?s new IP-Optical converged network is the first in Armenia to offer transmission speeds of up to 100G, it said, and will address traffic growth across the country and enable faster and less expensive deployment of new services to meet demand from residential and business customers for increased bandwidth for new devices, applications and use of the cloud.*Commenting on the upgrade, UCOM director Hayk Yesayan said: ?As we demonstrated by being the first company in Armenia to offer [fibre-to-the-home] FTTH, UCOM is dedicated to staying at the forefront of communications technology advancement in our country. Alcatel-Lucent was able to demonstrate that they had the best solution to meet the growing bandwidth demands of our customers. We look forward to future joint projects with Alcatel-Lucent.?
Ericsson awarded BTC Mobile network expansion deal
Botswanan wireless operator BTC Mobile, which operates under the beMobile brand, has selected Ericsson for the expansion of its network infrastructure. According to a report by Mmegi Online, the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with the aim of boosting mobile network coverage and increasing subscriber numbers. ?We have set ourselves apart in the market as a service provider that customers across the various groupings of low and high income levels can count on for the widest coverage,? commented Paul Taylor, CEO of beMobile?s parent Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTC).
EC gives Telefonica/E-Plus deal final approval
Telefonica Deutschland has received final clearance for its EUR8.55 billion (USD11.9 billion) acquisition of Dutch telecom operator KPN?s German mobile unit E-Plus, after the European Commission (EC) confirmed that the previously announced agreement with Drillisch complies with the agreed upfront conditions. The approval raises the potential for further consolidation in European telecoms markets; the combination of Telefonica and E-Plus will reduce the number of German network operators from four to three, with the enlarged Telefonica becoming the market leader ahead of Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone Germany. ?With the final clearance of the EC now granted, we are able to close the transaction soon, and create a leading digital telecommunication company in Germany,? said Markus Haas, CSO of Telefonica Deutschland, with the firm?s CFO Rachel Empey adding: ?By combining the strengths of both Telefonica Deutschland and E-Plus, the new company is well positioned to challenge the market with even more innovative products and services, combined with a great customer experience.?*In the course of the merger clearance process, Telefonica has agreed to sell upfront 20% of its mobile network capacity using a ?mobile bitstream access? model, with the opportunity to extend up to an additional 10%. Telefonica had signed a corresponding contract with Drillisch, which the EC has now confirmed complies with the upfront conditions associated with the approval of the transaction. Telefonica Deutschland says it ?remains confident? of closing the acquisition during the third quarter of 2014; as a next step, the firm will execute the capital measures to finance the transaction.
TDC and private equity duo expected to bid for Get
Norwegian cableco Get expects to receive binding offers from Denmark-based TDC and two private equity funds, with the sale process likely to value the company at around EUR1.4 billion (USD1.84 billion). According to Reuters, which cites sources familiar with matter, it is anticipated that European private equity duo BC Partners and EQT will both table bids ahead of the 11 September 2014 deadline that has been set for offers. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May 2014 the group of investment companies that own the Norwegian cableco were said to have hired banks to advise on plans to list shares in the cableco on the stock market. With it suggested that the offering could actually value Get at around NOK15 billion (USD2.4 billion), including debt, it was claimed that Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank would be global coordinators in the initial public offering (IPO), while UBS and Barclays were said to be involved as bookrunners. In the latest development it has been noted that Get's current owners, the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs and investment firm Quadrangle, have launched the sales process in tandem with preparations for an IPO; the 'dual track process' has been designed to maximise investment.
TI extends Telecom Argentina sale deadline again?
Telecom Italia (TI) has further extended the deadline to complete the sale of Telecom Argentina to investment company Fintech, according to Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the matter. Last November the Italian company agreed to sell its entire controlling interest in its Argentine unit to Mexican billionaire David Martinez?s investment company Fintech for USD960 million, as it seeks to cut its debt in the face of rising competition in its domestic market and the economic downturn in Europe. Last month, TI agreed to extend the deadline to complete the sale from 12 August to 1 September, but the firm has now given Fintech up to 30 more days to obtain regulatory approval for the purchase of Telecom Argentina. The status of the deal will be discussed at a board meeting scheduled for 25 September, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified because the decision had not been made public. They added that the terms and conditions of the agreement signed with Fintech remain unchanged.

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