In yesterday’s budget speech, The National Treasury has announced that they have set aside quite a substantial amount for the school broadband project.
The school broadband project aims to bring broadband internet to different schools across South Africa. This project is led by the Department of Communications.
A whopping R374 million has been set aside for the project. In the official Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, the Treasury further explained that the Adjustments Appropriation Bill and the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill set out amendments in the current financial year. (more…)
South Africa’s internet connectivity is set to rise tremendously.
Cisco – a networking group – used their Visual Networking Index to project the estimated amount of network connections in South Africa by 2017; and the numbers are staggering.
The group projects that South Africa’s Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will quadruple between 2012 and 2017. This means that the estimated number of network connections in the country will be more than 133 million.
Considering that South Africa is far behind in network connections when compared to strong economic countries such as the United States, 133 million is quite a bit.
If indeed South African network connections climbs to 133 million, that will mean that the compound annual growth rate between 2012 and 2017 will be 31%.
Microsoft is bringing it’s white spaces project, which forms part of their 4Afrika Initiative, to South Africa.
What is the ‘white spaces projects’ you may ask? ‘White Spaces’ refers to unused television frequencies. These are usually used as buffers to prevent interference between the different channels that are being used.
The wondrous thing about these ‘white spaces’ is that they can be used to deliver wireless Internet services. And that is exactly what Microsoft is planning on doing in Africa.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced their first white spaces projects in Kenya and Tanzania and it looks like South Africa is next in line.
The US company plans to explore the potential to deliver broadband Internet at a lower cost in South Africa through the white spaces project.
Mteto Nyati, the managing director of Microsoft South Africa, has emphasised the importance of bringing wireless Internet to remote areas and first time web users.
Nyati said in a statement: “Technology holds enormous potential for many aspects of development, but it is particularly key to areas such as education and healthcare. Reducing the cost of broadband access means millions more South Africans will get online. This will create new opportunities for education, healthcare, commerce and the delivery of government services across the country”
Universal access to the internet in South Africa is no longer being held back by high prices or a lack of education, but by government and regulatory inefficiency. Smartphones and mobile computing devices are getting cheaper and broadband far more affordable. But the spectrum needed to deliver high-speed bandwidth is still clogged up by the government’s frustrating delay in switching TV broadcasts from analogue to more efficient digital signals, says Mark Taylor, CEO for Nashua Mobile.
“We are at a juncture where technology developments have outpaced our regulations. The freeing up of spectrum through the digitisation of TV signals is lagging behind, and has serious implications for our operators remaining on the forefront of offering the latest technologies to South Africa.” Network operators are introducing the latest LTE wireless technology for high-speed, high-capacity data, but they cannot set up national LTE networks because spectrum is not available. “It’s critical that we see the delivery of additional spectrum quickly to remain globally competitive, otherwise South Africa will fall further behind in the broadband divide,” Taylor warns. “Universal access to broadband is starting to border on a human right. We can’t deliver that because TV channels are still using the spectrum, so digital migration must be finalised.” (more…)
While the iPhone 5 was not a massive upgrade from the previous 4S model, the addition of high speed LTE networking is something a lot of people have been looking for. But it arrived on SA’s shores without LTE enabled for any of our networks.
Problem is that Apple approves networks before they enable LTE on their iPhones – and if the networks dont have Apple’s approval, the phone simply would not connect to the LTE networks, even if they are available. While some might argue that it is typical from Apple to try and control these things, maybe Apple would want more tight control over anything affecting reception after the Antennagate issues of the iPhone 4.
Luckily Vodacom now has LTE enabled for contract iPhone 5 devices – MTN and Cell C has no such support right now, despite carrying the iPhone 5.
Mobile broadband is the biggest single revenue opportunity in Africa in the immediate and longer term, according to the results of a recent Industry Outlook survey commissioned by Informa Telecoms & Media. This resonates with Informa’s forecasts that suggest that annual mobile data revenues in Africa will reach US$18.5 billion by 2016 accounting for 22% of the region’s total mobile service revenues as compared with 12% in 2011.
Informa Telecoms & Media commissioned the survey for AfricaCom 2012 and will publish the results in its “Africa Telecoms Outlook 2013: Seizing new revenue opportunities” report at the event in Cape Town between 13 – 15 November.
Mobile data growth will power a number of revenue opportunities. The business case for 4G technology will emerge, according to 70% of the survey’s respondents, as the growth of mobile data services continues to accelerate. Giving mobility to broadband services will empower enterprises and especially SMEs to benefit from more mobile working thereby generating greater business agility.
Yet there remains a large constraint on the ideal of connecting Africa. Even the cheapest mobile phone is still not affordable for many there. There is a powerful message from Informa’s survey: seven out of 10 respondents agreed that operators must use their buying power and distribution networks to make more devices available and device manufacturers need to make more affordable devices.
A central message from the survey is the need for mobile network operators (MNOs) to take notice of the changing demands and characteristics of its customers. Nick Jotischky, principal analyst for emerging market analysis at Informa Telecoms & Media comments, “There is more depth to a mobile operator’s customer base in Africa than two or three years ago and, for this reason, MNOs need to gain a greater insight into their customers’ behavior and offer them services that match their individual needs and preferences. Using this insight to design new business models that combine an MNO’s traditional capabilities (mobility, location) with Internet-style services (search, mapping) will enable a more compelling and personalized set of services to a wider variety of customer segments”.
Jotischky will chair a session at AfricaCom on November 13 discussing Africa’s evolving telecoms market with a number of Informa analysts and copies of the report will be made available there.
Lilian van Zyl from Moneysmart made this great infographic showing the current cost differences in SA when it comes to mobile broadband. South Africa’s current explosion of mobile phone use have led to massive increases in the amount of data we use. In fact, we are pretty sure that for some some users, the data bundle attached to a contract is of greater concern than the talk time.
Moneysmart‘s infographic focusses on prepaid data rates, and show some very clear differences in price. The current smaller cellular operators are obviously heading for price war in the data sector, which we feel is a lot more relevant than the recent international call decreases. But enough with the chat, see the infographic below:
When it comes to broadband worldwide, the general trend is quite well known by now – over time, while broadband internet becomes faster and better, the cost comes down. Quite simple. That is why we keep on seeing great offers for internet bundles on our mobile devices. But, leave it to the fixed line operator Telkom to go and change that little formula.
A few weeks ago we got the great news that Telkom would be increasing its minimum ADSL line speeds from 384kbps to 1Mbps, while 1Mbps clients get their lines upgraded to 2Mbps. This is great, but those speeds are still way behind the rest of the world. But now, just as Telkom is increasing the speed, they have decided it is also good time to bump up the price of ADSL line rentals, as well as most of their other services, by a few percentage points.
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