US tech companies pledge $750 million to Obama Education Campaign

Published by on Feb 6th, 2014, No Comments


In the fast-moving digital age that we live in, it is of the utmost importance that educational institutions keep up with the pace to ensure that children across the globe receive the best possible education in this ever changing world.

However, exposing kids to the latest technological advances and improving their level of education costs (a lot) of money. This is why the US is garnering the support of various, giant tech companies to offer their kids the very best.

US president Barack Obama and tech companies across the United States, are promoting a new initiative to equip schools with new technology and fast, accessible internet.

Last week, at the US State of the Union address, Obama said that various tech companies have pledged more than $750 million in tech, support and services.

The initiative ties in with Obama’s ConnectEd project, that was launched in June of last year. This education technology campaign focuses on bringing fast broadband internet access to all schools, as well as offering students the opportunity to work with the latest gadgets that tech has to offer.

The goal with this campaign, Obama said, is to bring high-speed internet access to 99% of US schools within the next 5 years.  (more…)

The ANC wants to give free WiFi and better broadband to all

Published by on Jan 13th, 2014, 1 Comment


As the 2014 national elections draw closer, the race is on between parties to spread their manifesto’s and encourage people to vote for them. 

This year, however, many parties are hammering on about telecommunications, digital prowess and everything internet – perhaps more so than previous years.

With the need for better, cheaper and more reliable internet getting bigger across the country, various parties are promising improvements in this sector, should they get your vote.

The ANC has also come to the party on this note, and promised their supporters (and of course the rest of South Africa) significant improvements in this area.

On Saturday, the ANC revealed their 2014 election manifesto to a rather large crowd at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

The man himself, president Jacob Zuma, addressed the crowd and, while making promises about the usual, compulsory things like job creation and education, JZ also revealed the ANC’s plan to better internet in the country. (more…)

Government reserves substantial amount for broadband in SA schools

Published by on Oct 24th, 2013, No Comments

South-Africa-Internet-Broadband-ADSLIn 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 Traffic to grow exponentially

Published by on Aug 23rd, 2013, No Comments

Internet SA

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 launches White Space Project in SA

Published by on Jul 29th, 2013, No Comments

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.

Microsoft Africa

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”


Procrastination hampers telecoms uptake – Nashua

Published by on May 15th, 2013, No Comments


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…)

How to enable LTE on your Vodacom iPhone 5

Published by on Jan 29th, 2013, 24 Comments

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 a Massive Revenue Opportunity in SA – Study

Published by on Nov 9th, 2012, 1 Comment

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.