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Solar Power Lumos is partnering with MTN to give you 24/7 electricity via your mobile phone

Lumos’ solution to the Nigerian power conundrum is the Y’ello Box, a gadget that harnesses solar energy to power small homes and businesses.

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Yuri Tsitrinbaum play

Yuri Tsitrinbaum, CEO of Lumos Nigeria


Various solutions have been proffered to tackle the problem of Nigeria’s epileptic electricity supply. In recent times, public and private entities alike have started to gravitate towards solar energy as the need for cleaner, environment-friendly energy mounts. 

Earlier this year, the Y’ello Box officially launched as a collaboration between South Africa-based network provider MTN and Lumos, a company that plans to provide one million Nigerians with power by the end of 2017.

Lumos play




Lumos’ solution to the Nigerian power conundrum is the Y’ello Box, a gadget that harnesses solar energy to power small homes and businesses for a Pay-As-You-Use fee, payable through an MTN mobile phone. 

According to a statement from Lumos, the company already powers one hundred thousand Nigerian homes. That is not a very large number considering Nigeria’s population, but it does seem like a good start.

Lumos also says it has committed $80 million to providing the Y’ello Box solution to more Nigerians and half of that money has already been invested in setting up the company’s operations (it currently employs 450 people) which includes the design and operation of the Y’ello Boxes.

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Yuri Tsitrinbaum, CEO of the Lumos Mobile Electricity Service said: “People don’t have access to the power they need. Fuel is very expensive and other services are unreliable. The Y’ello Box saves customers money all while providing better and more reliable electricity. As Nigeria modernizes, our demand for power increases. It’s time we did more to harness the power of the sun. That is why the Y’ello Box is changing so many lives. It is affordable, it is reliable and paying by mobile phone makes it easy.” 

Lumos has not giving specific details on pricing and other metrics through which its solution can be deemed a mass market solution for Nigeria’s power problem.

MTN play




The company, alongside MTN, does seem to have the financial and technical muscle to push its product into many households in Nigeria. Time will tell if this will be what Nigeria needs or just another product that will be limited by the technology of its time (solar power is yet to dethrone fossil fuels like petrol and diesel as a primary source of energy globally). 

What do you think about the Y’ello Box? Would you get one? Is it the solution we all need to get 24/7 power supply? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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