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Porting from MTN to Cell C: A Review

Published by on Jan 17th, 2013, 38 Comments

I’ve been a loyal MTN customer for around the last twelve years. I started on prepaid with a Nokia 5110 as a teenager and then graduated to multiple contracts of ever increasing values and costs as I started using my cellphone for work and contacting girls. In recent years MTN has gone to the dogs: I had an iPhone 4 with them and almost never saw 3G signal instead being left on EDGE for mobile connectivity. Since data has become more important to me than how many SMS messages I get the lack of speed left me wanting. Add to the fact tons of dropped calls and plenty of dead spots in Johannesburg I was ready to move.

Ever since Allan Knott-Craig Snr joined Cell C they’ve changed their offerings to be highly competitive although I’d heard horror stories about the quality of the network. As mentioned earlier, my priority was data and I’ve had pretty good quality data on my Cell C data stick at home. Another issue is price, the iPhone 5 is currently R399 for 200 minutes, 200 sms’s and 500mb of data. Compared to MTN and Vodacom, this is at least R150-R200 cheaper. Enough about price though, this is an issue of network quality.

I phoned Cell C direct, got asked a million questions about my income and 7 days later an iPhone 5 was delivered to my door. I must commend the call center staff for being knowledgable and really friendly, more than I can say for my previous networks call center. While there was some issue with porting from MTN to Cell C (the sales agent forgot to initiate the porting process which is human error and could happen anywhere) but otherwise they communicated with me perfectly throughout the process.

As a whole I get a consistent 3G connection on my iPhone 5 (there is no LTE yet but this is true for any of the networks) and it’s actually rare for me to see an EDGE connection. There are spots where the quality is terrible, specifically in the Hyde Park area of Johannesburg (I get bumped to Vodacom here) but otherwise it’s perfect.

Cell C is great, don’t believe the negative press.

Samsung Note II users get Free Navigation Software

Published by on Jan 16th, 2013, No Comments

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is already one of our favourite devices (see our review here), and now it becomes even better value. Samsung Electronics SA has partnered with Garmin Southern Africa to offer the Garmin Navigon navigation app on all Samsung Galaxy Note II devices  at no additional cost.

“We are thrilled with this partnership as it provides our Galaxy Note II users with the ability to experience true turn-by-turn navigation on their mobile devices without needing to be connected to the internet resulting in extended battery life and reduced data costs,” says Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa. (more…)

earhoox: The solution for rebellious, loose and uncomfy earbuds

Published by on Jan 16th, 2013, 1 Comment

earhoox, a product that aims to solve the problem of loose and uncomfortable earbuds that just won’t stay put has launched on popular crowd funding site IndieGoGo.  With only four days remaining earhoox has raised over $8, 000 of its $18, 000 goal.  

earhoox are designed to work with standard earbuds that are included with many popular personal consumer electronics including mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players.

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Gartner: By 2016 85% of all flat-panel TVs will be Smart TVs

Published by on Jan 16th, 2013, No Comments

Nearly 85 per cent of all flat-panel TVs produced in 2016 will be smart TVs, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide unit production of flat-panel smart TVs will grow from 69 million in 2012 to 198 million in 2016. Worldwide unit production of smart TVs in 2013 is expected to reach 108 million.

However, analysts said that smart TVs alone won’t spur demand in the market. TV manufacturers must recognise the need to offer some compelling reasons for consumers to choose their brand over a competitor’s.

“In the end, the choice may be all about the extra content that one TV brand offers over another. Consumers will be asking questions such as, which Internet TV services can the TV access? Are these the sites I think are valuable? Can I use my smartphone or tablet with this TV?” said Paul O’Donovan, principal research analyst at Gartner. “It is critical for the TV industry during this global economic downturn and decline in consumer confidence levels, to sustain sales and maintain or grow market share — especially in emerging markets. This is difficult when demand has slowed, so the extra functionality offered by smart TVs becomes the product differentiator — if prices are already competitive and all other variables are equal between brands.”

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Facebook launches Graph Search

Published by on Jan 16th, 2013, No Comments

Finally, Facebook has a challenger to Google in search – but with a few very important differences. Mark Zuckerberg yesterday launched the new “Graph Search” feature at the Facebook campus. The new service will enable users to quickly search through photos, friends, places and members interests.

The most scary part of how powerful this search engine will be is the sheer number of users it can use to get results. Right now Graph Search uses 1 billion people’s profiles for data, and a trillion connections between them. For example, if you “Like” a friend’s picture of trail running, Facebook might assume you might like trail running. Build that data out further with things like location info and basic profile details, and then Facebook can quickly link them up for natural language based search questions like:

People: “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Kruger National National Park,” “software engineers who live in Cape Town and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”

Photos: “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in Cape Town,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

Places: “restaurants in Johannesburg,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” “countries my friends have visited”

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SAP announces new Afaria MDM Solution

Published by on Jan 15th, 2013, No Comments

SAP has announced the latest version of Afaria, SAP’s mobile device management solution. Enhancements to the solution include deepening enterprise integration and distribution capabilities to effectively manage and secure the large number of users bringing their own devices into the workplace. To address the growing demand of enterprise mobile apps, SAP is including new app and self-service portal designs to provide a familiar, consumer-like app portal experience in the enterprise.

“The rise in smartphone and tablet adoption in Africa has meant that enterprises need to be able to effectively manage these devices. Many businesses are adopting the global trend of allowing employees to work on their tablets or smartphones,” comments Pfungwa Serima, CEO of SAP Africa.

“To address this trend, enterprises are developing ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) programmes in the workplace that require a highly scalable, mature EMM solution – either on-premises or in the cloud – to effectively manage and secure all the various mobile devices and apps entering the workplace.”

As recognised by IDC, SAP Afaria effectively meets the EMM (enterprise mobility mangement) needs of enterprises. These needs include traditional mobile device management (MDM), as well as managing and securing the entire mobile device, app and data life cycle across the enterprise. The latest release of SAP Afaria aims to remove complexity and support the growing mobile workforce by helping ensure that all data stored and transmitted via mobile devices is protected and secure. It will allow customers to gain greater control and insight into a wide range of devices and apps, remotely backup and delete data if a device is lost or stolen, and easily deliver fixes, upgrades and refreshes to mobile users. (more…)

UBS Analyst: Surface tablet sales projection falls by 50%

Published by on Jan 15th, 2013, No Comments

According to a report by Bloomberg, Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS estimates that Microsoft’s Q2 earnings will be less than expected, having sold only half of the amount of units of what he originally projected for the Surface tablet.

The Surface went on sale in the U.S. on 26th October with a price tag of $500, $600 or $700

Thill estimates that only 1 million Surface tablets, down from 2 million, were sold during the holiday season cycle that ended in December in comparison to Apple, expected to have made iPad sales of around 20 million units.

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Pastel enters personal finance market with online management tool

Published by on Jan 15th, 2013, No Comments

Pastel My Money, an online personal finance management tool, is now available to everyone with web access, for free and aims to make personal finances management simple.

Tough economic times call for stricter control of personal finances. But it’s not easy to save money if you don’t know how it’s being spent. Pastel My Money is an ideal tool to manage transactions and track spending. Because it’s online you have control over your finances from anywhere through a computer, tablet or smart phone, as long as there’s an internet connection.

“The need for mobility is a reality in everyone’s lives and a personal financial management tool in the cloud is the perfect way for money-conscious consumers to manage their budget,” says Steven Cohen, managing director of Softline Pastel.

Each profile allows up to three users and three households all at no cost, which means no monthly payment hassles or expensive installation fees. Getting started is as easy as registering on the website. 

Probably the best feature of Pastel My Money is the automatic bank feed which imports bank statements from an unlimited number of internet bank and credit card accounts. For a monthly fee equivalent to one cappuccino, Pastel My Money will update and automatically refresh the account daily with any new transactions available in online banking, meaning that users are never out of touch with their financial status.

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