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In the past week, the Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams hosted a roundtable discussion at AfricaCom titled, ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Human Capital Development for Africa.’ She has also recently spoken of an ecosystem of 4IR in “building a capable 4AR Army” to respond to challenges regarding economic growth faced in the youth sector.

Additionally, also just in the past week, a report from the African Development Bank (AfDB) was launched at the Africa Investment Forum that shows a continent that is ready to embrace (4IR) but needs to improve access to finance, skills and inclusive growth. The report, titled Potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa, highlighted specific areas of growth and investment on the continent, most notably in new technology-led areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analytics,  additive manufacturing and drones, and the internet of things.

 

While the report, and the related discussion at The Investment Forum highlighted many of the challenges facing Africa such as lack of coherent, policy, investment in connectivity infrastructure and access to data and the internet, it also noted that for the first time Africa is embarking on an industrial revolution at the same time as the rest of the world.

 

In September this year, an investment of R140 million ($9.2 million) by US multinational technology conglomerate Cisco was signed as part of a partnership with government in three key areas: job creation through Cisco incubation centres, skills and talent development and National Cyber Security.

 

The Kagiso Trust also just published the findings of a recently commissioned qualitative and quantitative research study,  the first South African study to evaluate, on a large scale, citizen awareness of 4IR and its potential impact on South African society in general.

 

Some of the results of the research study were:

  • Almost half (49.1%) of the respondents believe there will be a societal impact from 4IR.

  • 2 in 5 of the respondents believe that there will be no job creation with the advent of 4IR.

  • Just over half of the respondents believe that 4IR will result in large-scale job losses.

  • Only a quarter of the respondents believe that the 4IR will improve societal equality.

 

With so many developments rapidly taking place, and the still general lack of understanding about just what 4IR entails,  it is critical to take a few steps back and clarify some of the essential points around 4IR and how we embrace and pro-actively address the needs of the 4IR future.

 

4IR refers to a new era that is rooted in a new technological phenomenon—digitalization, artificial intelligence, algorithms and data. In order for an economy to benefit from these changes, as opposed to suffer the consequences of the much predicted mass-unemployment that this revolution will hail, there needs to be a 4IR ready workforce.

 

While many of these technological innovations will mean job losses, there is also the massive opportunity to create jobs via some of the key skills areas required for this new world of work. Some of the essential skill sets include:  the “Cloud”, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, data science and analytics, and cyber security.

 

Earlier this year, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) published a report on the future of work in SA.  The report also imagines what the world of work will look like in SA by 2030. They listed the  12 main driving forces that will shape the South African workplace of the future and placed 4IR and technology at the top of the list.  With the establishment of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, of which the MICT SETA consults, policy is being developed to address 4IR across various sectors including agriculture, finance, mining, manufacturing, ICT and electronics and business.

 

For the MICT SETA (Media, Information, and Community Technology), this understanding is  especially important as we work with both government and the private sector to train the next generation of workers.

 

In order to pro-actively address the imminent changes to the work force of South Africa, the MICT SETA has established a  4IR division and Advisory Committees with four work stream areas of focus:  education, research, policy and labour.  The division will input into Presidential 4IR Commission programmes and ensure alignment with other institutions such as  SETAs, academia, public funded research institutions, labour and community on 4IR policy and implementation. The MICT SETA is also in the process of reviewing and developing new qualification that will address the 4IR skills needed for future of works.

 

As the Head of 4IR at the MICT SETA I am able to see first-hand both the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead and am confident that the multi-faceted and collaborative approach that we are taking will yield results.

 

The opportunity to create a 4IR ready country and workforce will take an immense amount of resources – but fortunately the process has already begun and as we head into 2020 will accelerate into high gear.

 

For more information on the work being done on 4IR visit the following websites:

https://www.mict.org.za/

https://www.doc.gov.za/ms-stella-ndabeni-abrahams-induction-session-presidential-commission-4ir

 

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The Joburg Film Festival, brought to you by MultiChoice, will kick off its six-day celebration of global film on 19 November 2019 with the South African premiere of locally-produced horror film, 8, at the festival hub on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton

Between 19 and 24 November, audiences will be able to watch a total of 60 films and documentaries from around the world at six venues (within Auto & General Theatre on the Square and at a free outdoor screening area at Nelson Mandela Square); Ster-Kinekor Sandton City; Cinema Nouveau Rosebank; Maboneng’s Bioscope and Kings Theatre in Alexandra) across Johannesburg.

The Festival will play host to a number of stars, producers and directors, who will participate in Q&A sessions after select screenings across the programme, with daily red carpet premieres giving fans the opportunity to meet the stars themselves.

“The Joburg Film Festival offers a multicultural cinema experience in the heart of Johannesburg,” says Joburg Film Festival Executive Director Timothy Mangwedi. “It’s a cinematic feast that showcases thought-provoking, debate-stoking films from around the world, which we can’t wait to share with the people of Johannesburg”.

 

MultiChoice Group Executive Corporate Affairs, Joe Heshu, says that the company’s support of the Joburg Film Festival is aligned to its role as Africa’s most-loved storyteller. “Our platforms have always supported the best in local and international films, with themed pop-up channels dedicated to film festivals. The Joburg Film Festival the physical manifestation of that support of cinema – offering film fans the chance to enjoy interesting, challenging films in the company of key cast and crew and explore their love for movies”.

 

The Joburg Film Festival line-up includes films from South Africa; Nigeria; Mozambique; Brazil; USA; UK; Morocco and more, with a mix of feature films and documentaries showcasing stories that cross cultural boundaries. Local horror film 8 stars Tshamano Sebe, Inge Beckmann, Garth Breytenbach & Chris April – it tells the tale of an old man, fated to collect souls for eternity, who then seeks atonement after trading his daughter’s soul.

 

Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie, tells the story of a Jamaican immigrant in London who becomes consumed with avenging the murder of his older brother. Frances-Ann Solomon’s Hero is inspired by the life and times of Ulric Cross whose life spanned key moments of the 20th Century like WW2, African independence, Black Power, the rise of a new brand of Black leadership around the world – all events that have shaped the world today.

 

Luce, starring Octavia Spencer; Kelvin Harrison Jr; Naomi Watts & Tim Roth sees liberal-minded couple, Amy and Peter Edgar, who are forced to reconsider their image of their adopted son after they discover he has written an extremely disturbing essay for his class at school.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami delves into the story of larger than life performer and model Grace Jones to discover her as a lover, daughter, mother, sister and even grandmother. The stage is where her most extreme embodiments are realised and her theatrical imagination lets loose: this is where the musical of her life is played out.

Where are you, João Gilbertosets out in the footsteps of German writer Marc Fischer who obsessively searched for the legendary founding father of Bossa Nova, Brazilian musician João Gilberto, who has not been seen in public for decades.

 

Fanney Tsimong’s soulful documentary, My Culture, My Music, illustrates how music has always been a powerful tool within South African culture. A host of South African artists narrate what music and culture mean to them: connecting to the body and soul, healing and providing a sense of being.

 

For a full listing of the 60 films which make up the Joburg Film Festival – and for information on how to book tickets when bookings open on 10 November – visit Joburg Film Festival.

Keep in touch with the Joburg Film Festival on social media, @joburg_film_festival on Instagram, @joburgfilmfest on Twitter and facebook.com/joburgfilmfestival.

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When it comes to award shows, everyone has an opinion. Did Green Book deserve to win the 2019 Academy Award for Best Picture? Was Kacey Musgraves deserving of the 2019 Grammy for Album of the Year? Who could forget the controversy storm caused by Esperenza Spalding’s Best New Artist Grammy win in 2011, beating the likes of Justin Bieber, Drake and Mumford and Sons?

 

What makes the E! People’s Choice Awards (PCA) unique is that they are voted for directly by the general public. It gives winners the ultimate bragging rights to having the most loyal fans.

But the 2019 PCA was particularly unique, as it introduced a new, hotly contested category – 2019 African Influencer of the Year.

We were informed in October that our very own Bonang Matheba had been awarded the accolade, surpassing the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Cassper Nyovest, Tiwa Savage, Minnie Dlamini-Jones and Diamond Platnumz who were nominated alongside her. Knowing our Queen B would attend the awards to accept the historic award, Africans watched eagerly as she offered behind-the-scenes snapshots into the fun via her social media channels, and strutted her stuff across the iconic red carpet.

Expanding her reach

Bonang owned the PCA red carpet in outstanding pink and unmatchable confidence.

Accepting the first ever African Influencer of the Year Award, Queen B thanked E! Entertainment Television for recognising African talent. “I also have the most amazing fans, so thank you to my B-Force and shout out to everyone back in South Africa,” she gushed.

Earlier this year, Bonang won the Inspiration & Influence Award at the Global Social Awards in Prague, and we’re sure she’ll continue to bag international awards after her permanent move to that side of the world. We’ll be sad to see her go when she leaves after the Sun Met next year, but you can be sure we’ll be following her journey on her socials.

Speaking of Bonang’s socials… did you check her Insta?

In true influencer style, Bonang took her 6.8 million Instagram fans along with her as she dazzled the PCA red carpet.

She shared shots of the décor and drinks at the event, before sharing a pose with her award in her figure-hugging pink dress. You can also spot her with various celebs and watch her interviews with the E! journalists.

 

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The South African Breweries (SAB) along with its judging panel announced the winners of the annual SAB Environmental Media of the Year awards at its headquarters in Johannesburg last night. Stroop – journey into the rhino horn war took the Video Media (Long Form) award for 2019.

The awards, now in their third decade, aim to recognize South African journalists who have excelled at reporting on, and creating awareness of, environmental issues across print, electronic and digital media. Bongani Bingwa, MC of the event, says it was a unanimous decision by the judges for the hard-hitting South African film that has ignited world-wide interest in rhino poaching and has screened at numerous film festivals as well as on TV channels around the globe.

 

This is the 25th award for the filmmakers of Stroop, Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod. “The film has won so many international awards which is wonderful of course!  But it’s very important to be recognized back home,” says an emotional de Bod. “This is a very prestigious award, and has been given out by SAB for over thirty years, so to have the focus put squarely on rhino poaching, considering all the environmental issues out there, is just vital and I’m very pleased about that.”

 

One of the film’s characters, Karen Trendler, was honoured with the Nick Steele Memorial Award for Environmentalist of the Year – the top nod at the award ceremony.  “How wonderful that Karen has been recognized for her thirty years of service to caring for and rewilding wild animals!” Scott adds that Trendler, a world famous wildlife rehabilitator, shared this with notable environmentalists who have made meaningful impact in their fields like the UN Patron for the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, and lion advocate Gareth Patterson.

 

This is the first cash award that the filmmakers have won for the film and Scott says they are choosing to share it with their mothers, who they moved in with during the four years of filming on Stroop.

 

Stroop is a gripping wildlife crime thriller documentary that takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride between Africa and Asia. These first time filmmakers embed themselves on the front-lines of the rhino poaching crisis where they are given exclusive access to the war unfolding.  Carving out six months for the project, the two women quickly find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined, only emerging from their odyssey four years later.

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At the AfricaCom international congress, Orange (Orange.com) is partnering with itel (itel-mobile.com), the leading mobile brand in Africa and, once again, with KaiOS Technologies, maker of the leading operating system for smart feature phone KaiOS, to launch a new 4G version of the Sanza Phone, “Sanza XL”. From December 2019, this mobile phone with voice recognition functionalities will be on offer for around 28 US dollars in seven countries in Africa and the Middle-East: Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Mali and Senegal. Other Orange Group countries will follow in 2020.

 

The simplicity of a feature phone combined with the advanced functionality of a smartphone, at an affordable price

The Sanza XL has a bigger screen than the Sanza at 2.8’, an improved 2 Megapixel camera, 4 GB of internal memory for more storage and high-speed 4G access, while retaining excellent battery life of up to 7 days depending on usage.

The device enables access to over two hundred essential applications, including: WhatsApp to send voice messages in any language, Boomplay, YouTube, Facebook and the Google Assistant to control certain device functions with your voice.

Orange applications will also be available on the phone: My Orange, Orange Money and Livescreen to enable users to keep up-to-date on their favourite topics.

In Africa, price is often an obstacle to purchasing a mobile phone and, by extension, accessing the internet. This is why the Sanza XL will be on sale for around 28 USD and will be progressively launched in 7 countries, followed by the other Orange Group countries in 2020. By extending the Sanza range with the Sanza XL, Orange, a champion of digital inclusion in Africa and the Middle East, is reasserting its commitment to supporting its customers and offering internet access for all.

Orange is present in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has around 125 million customers as of 30 September 2019. With revenues of 5.2 billion euros in 2018, this area is a strategic priority for the Group. Orange Money, its mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has 45 million customers. Orange, a multi-service operator and benchmark partner of the digital transformation, provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.

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Over 120 free-to-air television stations, including public broadcasters from 15 African countries, are expected to take part in the next Johannesburg edition of the DISCOP film, television, and digital content market and co-production forum that kicks off from 20th November for three days of intense networking and deal building.

These public broadcasters will be acknowledged and celebrated for their role as the dominant force in the African market where 85% of audiences still actively watch free television.  While the launch of a range of new SVOD services across the continent may dominate discussions, behind streaming’s tech dazzle, the more mundane business of selling content to Africa’s ordinary linear networks is high on DISCOP Johannesburg 2019’s agenda.

 

Contrary to a certain belief, advertising-driven TV remains strong. According to recent reports, the market share of linear ad-supported television, currently 36.7 percent of the overall global market, would actually rise to 40.1 percent by 2025 and more than half of the industry’s global revenues will still be in free-TV six years from now.

 

“All the major streaming and pay-tv services will be attending,” noted Patrick Zuchowicki, General Manager and Founder of DISCOP, who adds, “But pre-market reports point to strong demand for programming from commercial and public broadcasters. The bulk of the business for the vast majority of content suppliers is still in traditional television.”

 

135+ global and regional content sellers and 150+ African independent content producers will take part in a reconfigured market that will go beyond content selling and buying and also cover the co-production of original content. A total of 250+ programmers, acquisition, commissioning, production and marketing executives from 35+ African countries are also expected to attend seeking both finished content, adaptation rights and projects in development.

 

DISCOP JOHANNESBURG 2019’s sidebar conference program will feature focused thematic sessions that will provide an opportunity for a more dynamic, hands-on learning experience. Topics to be covered will include content monetization strategies, the booming animation industry, bringing eSports to television screens, the importance of dubbing, the export of original African content, branded content, and how to tackle disinformation.

 

“There is no question that Pay-TV penetration, access to mobile television and VOD adoption is on the rise.” says Andrew BoozerDISCOP’s Conference Director, who adds, “This is why we have designed a conference program that will help ad-supported TV channels stay at the top of their game and build stronger ties with local talent, up-and-coming producers and advertisers who still  think that linear television is the most powerful ad-medium on the continent.”

 

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Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa CEO, South Africa of Naspers reaffirmed the company’s commitment to drive more investment in backing South African tech founders and entrepreneurs, during the panel discussion, “South Africa the Investment Case: Global businesses doing business in South Africa”.

 

The panel, chaired by John McCorry, Bloomberg News Executive Editor, Africa, was part of the 2nd South African Investment Conference that is taking place in Johannesburg from 5 to 7 November.

 

 

“We have never lost sight of the fact that Naspers was founded in South Africa. We are the largest company on the JSE and South Africa is an important market for us,” explained Mahanyele-Dabengwa. “That’s why we established the Naspers Foundry – a South Africa focused tech-business funding initiative — with a ZAR 1.4 billion (roughly $100-million) commitment to back promising entrepreneurs in South Africa.”

 

 

Of the total ZAR 4.6 billion commitment that the company announced last year, which includes the ZAR 1.4 billion for Naspers Foundry, the group has so far invested ZAR 1.3 billion of its original pledge in its existing South Africa businesses Takealot, Mr D Food and Superbalist, as well as Media24 and OLX. Naspers Foundry made its first investment of ZAR 30 million in online cleaning services company, Sweepsouth in June this year. This female founder-led business has created 15,000 jobs for domestic cleaners.

 

 

Naspers is one of the ten largest consumer internet companies in the world and one of the largest technology investors.

“Naspers can bring a unique perspective on global trends given its operations and investments in the consumer internet space in the most populous countries in the world,” she explained. “Our investment strategy for Naspers Foundry is simple and clear. We will partner with exceptional local entrepreneurs to build businesses with high-growth potential that address real societal needs in South Africa and beyond.”

 

 

As CEO for South Africa, Mahanyele-Dabengwa’s focus is to find and develop tech-enabled businesses with the potential to become the next big thing. Foundry will look for promising investments in Naspers’ existing verticals in South Africa’s e-commerce and internet sectors and beyond. These include online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, among others.

 

 

Mahanyele-Dabengwa said digital platforms were not only the future of doing business in South Africa but were also the means to make job creation more accessible, an opportunity to create a skilled workforce that can compete globally, and to create local products and services that improve the daily lives of ordinary people.

 

 

“We understand digitisation is directly linked to economic potential and that developing new platforms is a means to making South Africa more competitive on the global stage,” she said. “But I also firmly believe that it is not only about the businesses we build; we — as investors and corporate entities — need to make sure that we are supporting the country itself.”

 

 

Mahanyele-Dabengwa said Naspers Foundry’s investments would have to address bigger societal needs and help stimulate the South African economy and tackle youth unemployment, respectively. She believes a unique blend of the best of technology with the best of human endeavour will unlock the full potential of South Africa’s young people.

 

 

To address unemployment in impoverished communities, the company launched Naspers Labs, a social impact programme to help young, unemployed South Africans to open doors to their first employment opportunity. The Labs provide a structured development journey enabling students to realise their potential and tap into online learning platforms, including those that Naspers has invested in, such as Udemy, Codecademy, and SoloLearn. To date more than 1500 youths have passed through the programme with 79% of graduates securing their first job.

 

 

“For me and for Naspers, digital transformation is a means to enable countries such as South Africa to leapfrog legacy structures. Digital enablement can only happen in companies that attract and develop highly talented people with strong digital and analytics capabilities. If we can’t find them, we must develop them,” she said.

“We can no longer say that technology is the future; it is the present. And our investment strategy will make it an economic reality.”

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Radio 2000 broadcast from Chiefs Village

Posted by radio On November - 7 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

Kaizer Chiefs will on Friday, 8 November host Radio 2000 for a live broadcast of the Phat Joe and the Family breakfast show from the Kaizer Chiefs Village.

The show hosted by Phat Joe and Nala will mainly focus on the upcoming Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on Saturday taking place at FNB Stadium.

 

Phat Joe will interview prominent Kaizer Chiefs personnel including; Marketing Director Jessica Motaung, Football Manager Bobby Motaung, former player Kaizer Motaung Jnr, Captain Itumeleng Khune and other exciting players.

 

There will be great prizes for those who will be at the Village for the Outside Broadcast and listeners at home. Prizes include tickets to the sold-out match, Kaizer Chiefs jerseys and Vodacom hampers.

Supporters are invited to be a part of this exciting collaboration between Amakhosi and Radio 2000 at the Kaizer Chiefs Village from 6am-9am on Friday morning.

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East Coast launches a new digital station

Posted by radio On November - 5 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

East Coast Radio has launched an exciting new digital radio station that will be jam-packed with golden oldies from the early 60’s to the 90’s.

East Coast Gold caters to music lovers who are looking for a music experience that embraces their love of classic hits.

The digital radio station is accessible via the East Coast Radio app and on the station website.

East Coast Radio is the first commercial radio station in South Africa to launch a digital music radio station.

 

East Coast Radio Managing Director, Boni Mchunu said that she is proud of the strides ECR is making.

“At ECR we are committed to innovative, cutting edge offerings and East Coast Gold is a testament to that. It’s a proud moment for us as KZN’s No.1 Hit Music Station to launch something that is the first-of-its-kind and especially to hero this unique music offering. We are extremely excited to launch East Coast Gold and more importantly we look forward to the future as we launch many more of these unique digital stations,” said Mchunu.

Kagiso Media Chief Exec for Radio, Nick Grubb said: “We see that access to streaming channels is starting to grow in the SA market, and they offer an infinite number of new entertainment options to consumers. But we also see high loyalty to FM radio brands that have been a part of listener’ lives for so long. This is an exciting combination of these two factors. Anyone can publish a music channel these days, but ECR will do it radio-style – with their unique flair, talented presenters, and reliable local information.”

The line-up

The digital offering has an exciting line-up planned for listeners.

Veteran radio presenter, Gordon Graham, will helm the breakfast show, weekdays from 6am to 9am. The morning show will include news and traffic reports.

Jane Linley-Thomas brings her colourful personality to the daytime show (weekdays 10am-2pm), while KZN favourite, Damon Beard heads up the drive show (Weekdays 3-7pm).

Radio legend Alex Jay will keep listeners entertained on the weekends.

Sunday Solid Gold will air the best music from the 60’s and 70’s.

East Coast Gold launches officially on Monday, November 4 on the East Coast Radio website and app, which is available free from the App store and Google Play store.

How to stream East Coast Gold 

Via the ECR website

  • Head to the home page
  • Click the black and gold ‘Listen to East Coast Gold’ button
  • Turn up the volume and enjoy

Via the ECR App

  • Search for ‘East Coast Radio’ on your app store

  • Once downloaded, click the red and yellow ECR logo to toggle between the East Coast Radio and East Coast Gold stream

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DStv Now served more than 500,000 unique users during match day.

In addition to the Springboks making history at the 2019 Rugby World Cup Finals this weekend, another revolution has been quietly underway. This year marks the point that live-streaming of sports went mainstream in Africa, breaking all-time online viewing records.

Much like the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup campaign, sport live-streaming had a somewhat rocky road to the final. But when things really counted, streaming delivered a record-breaking performance.

In the opening game, as South Africa faltered against New Zealand, DStv Now had its own challenges with some viewers missing out during the first half of the game. Fast-forward to the Final six weeks later and the situation was dramatically different, with viewing breaking all-time records for concurrent users and throughput, and this was all achieved with no downtime or outages.

Speaking about this, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice said:

 

 

“Live events are the single biggest challenge a streaming service like DStv Now can face, as the huge number of concurrent users not only puts our systems under unprecedented load, it also strains the systems of the companies downstream from our servers who deliver the stream to customers. It’s fair to assume that the load during the Final was the largest ever seen in Africa, with three times more peak concurrent viewers than in the first game and double the number who watched the 2018 football World Cup Finals. Over the course of the day, we served more than half a million unique users.”

 

 

The number of active DStv Now users is four times higher than just two years ago, and there’s no sign of growth slowing. The number of hours streamed in a single day on the service now regularly tops one million, which is more than 100 years’ worth of viewing for a single person.

Talking about what the company changed to see the turnaround in DStv Now performance between the first and last games of the Rugby World Cup, Ekdahl said:

 

 

“We were disappointed at the problems we experienced early in the tournament. We’d of course done load testing and provisioned plenty of capacity, but we didn’t anticipate how congestion in one specific system could cascade into others. I’m proud of the work our engineering team has done to learn from that mistake, to rework systems architecture, and also work with partners who deliver the stream to customers to sort out bottlenecks affecting image quality. Our customers rightly expect systems to work, and in the face of record-breaking demand during the Final, DStv Now delivered the goods.”

 

The data carried by content delivery network partners during the Final peaked at more than 500 Gbps (more than 4,000 GB of data per minute), another record for DStv Now in Africa.

“This was a major test of our systems and the capacity of distribution networks and ISPs in the region. I’m pleased we came out on top and look forward to working with our partners to beef up streaming ability ready for 10 times and even 100 times the traffic we’re seeing now because the one thing we know for sure is that streaming video is going to keep growing,” concluded Ekdahl.

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