AfricaCom 2015: Day 3 – BlackBerry, ONTAPtv & More

November 17th saw the launch of AfricaCom 2015; South Africa‘s largest tech conference which gathers the chief decision makers among the country‘s digital industry. Present where a wide variety of networks, businesses, manufacturers and service providers, alongside day-long series of panels, forum discussions, debates and talks dealing with unique topics pertaining to South Africa‘s digital environment.
We were live at the Cape Town International Convention Center to report on the latest developments, trains of thought, and devices on display. While AfricaCom offers an enormous variety of daily events and seminars to take part in, we were present at the launch of, and had an exclusive interview with Nader Henien of BlackBerry. We also scoured the latest devices from Wiko, including the newly released Fever smartphone.
ONTAPtv: South African launch and preview
Following the launch of Showmax in South Africa and swirling rumours surrounding Netflix’s arrival in the country in partnership with Vodacom, ONTAPtv is the latest VoD (Video on Demand) service to arrive on South African shores.
Introduced by Lindsay Scott Servian, the Head of, the new service is set to offer South Africans a uniquely tailored service optimized for low-bandwidth environments. The service, which was first rolled out in Hong Kong, China, is now operating locally as a subscription service or a la carte VoD offering.
Consumers will be able to browse a wide variety of titles through ONTAPtv, which is capable of running in browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, as well as on dedicated iOS and Android apps. Users will be able to search for titles by searching for keywords, actors, themes or moods, and will be able to rent feature films from R25 ZAR per title.
Servian further demonstated how the service was optimised for low bandwidth environments, demonstrating how a user could download a feature film on an Android tablet, cease an internet connection such as through activating Airplane mode, and continuing to watch the title. Through this, Servian stated, users would be able to make use of resources such as public internet connections and watch content they had subscribed or rented privately.
BlackBerry: Exclusive interview with Nader Henein
With the recent introduction of the Priv, BlackBerry is a company that has enjoyed a global resurgence of interest – no more so than in South Africa. We sat down with Nader Henein of Advanced Security Solutions at BlackBerry to find out more about the Priv’s focus on security and BlackBerry’s strategy going forward:
“We’ve always been focussed on security”, Henein said, “We have a very good reputation for security at the enterprise level and privacy at the personal level. We’ve now transitioned that into the Android operating system.”
We haven’t skimmed out on any of the features on the hardware or the software oft the device… they (Google) have been very supportive of the work we’re doing on the Priv, because up until now security has not been dealt with properly, while it is something that is very much at the core of BlackBerry.”
Nader continued to state that expanding into the Android ecosystem will remain BlackBerry‘s focus, as well as expanding the company‘s Enterprise System, and cited the recent acquisition of more than five new companies and technologies to further enhance the firm‘s security offerings.
Be sure to stay tuned for a full interview with Nader Henien coming shortly to Bandwidth Blog On Air, our weekly podcast, and check out our other coverage from AfricaCom 2015, including device previews from Huawei, Alcatel, and Wiko.