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Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group (www.Orange.com) and MTN Group (www.MTN.com), today announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments across the continent. Mowali makes it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.

Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money (www.MTN.cm/en/MTN-Mobile-Money) and Orange Money (OrangeMoney.orange.fr), bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets. Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.

 

Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.

 

The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.  Mowali enables money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries. From the customer’s point of view, this means “I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator”. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent.

 

For Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange, “by providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa. Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services. “

 

“One of MTN’s goals is to accelerate the penetration of mobile financial service in Africa, Mowali is one such vehicle that will help us achieve that objective. Furthermore, co-operation and partnerships that help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces are key. This partnership with Orange is therefore an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright, digital future.” said Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.

 

 

The GSMA supports the Mowali initiative as interoperability at this scale is a key accelerator for both financial inclusion and Mobile Money usability across Africa.

 

 

“Today, there are over 690 million mobile money accounts around the world. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region. It demonstrates the mobile industry’s continued leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through industry collaboration. The GSMA is proud to support its development,”said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

 

 

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome, in support of financial inclusion. With Mowali, Orange and MTN deliver a solution that will enable them, and other companies, to scale digital financial services across Africa, faster, to everyone—including the poor,” said Kosta Peric, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “This is a signal that a new wave of innovation, which can help alleviate poverty and drive economic opportunity, is coming. We’re pleased to see an implementation of Mojaloop[1]—an open source payment platform available to operators across the sector—help achieve that.”

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AfricaCom 2018 (https://tmt.knect365.com/AfricaCom/) will be another landmark event for Nokia (www.Nokia.com). This  year, the company will again showcase how it is shaping the future of technology to transform human experiences with effortless, simple and dependable technologies. The Nokia team would love to meet you at AfricaCom to discuss any topics that you are interested in and demonstrate our latest innovative products, solutions, and services.

 

 

In today’s digital-driven world, a dramatic shift is underway, changing how businesses connect with their customers, how industries are run and where technology enhances how people live and work. In a hyperconnected world, a change in customer demands is also forcing organizations to become more data-driven to ensure that they can deliver on those expectations.

 

Nokia will be showcasing the latest innovations and engaging in discussions on ultra-broadband, the value of 5G in enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation and the importance of encryption and Virtual Reality (VR). Take part in several focused showcases that include 5G NR Virtual Reality demo, 5G / E2E Automation, Autonomous Customer Care, 5G Future X Network vision animation and IoT use cases. Nokia’s Community Hosted Connectivity Solution, which will be on display, will showcase the unique way to reduce the expense associated with providing mobile connectivity in rural and remote areas, while the WING Smart Agriculture as a Service demonstrates how CSPs can offer an affordable, subscription-based smart agriculture solution, allowing farmers to access weather, soil and crop data for timely actions to increase yield, decrease costs and mitigate risks.

 

Joachim Wuilmet, Head of Customer Marketing and Communications MEA, says AfricaCom 2018 will be the perfect opportunity for customers to engage with Nokia experts to catch up on the latest developments in the dynamic African telecommunications market. “Connectivity is critical to digital transformation on the continent and 5G will gradually become the core of investment and innovation across both infrastructure and technology. This is the path to unlocking new opportunities and leading the race to the future. Our demonstrations will show how it is possible to unleash the full potential of your network today, and how to flexibly build and scale your business for the digital future.”

 

Wuilmet says Nokia is excited to share its next generation of network technology with the broader African market and is confident in the potential of the continent: “Africa is the perfect place to share Nokia’s vision of shaping the future of technology to transform human experiences with effortless, simple and dependable technologies. We look forward to discussing how both existing and new customers can use technology to improve people’s lives.”

 

AfricaCom 2018 takes place at the Cape Town Convention Centre from 13 – 15 November 2018. Nokia will be at stand C95.

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Showmax launches free data deal with Vodacom

Posted by radio On November - 8 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Showmax has launched a deal with Vodacom featuring three months of free access to the Showmax video on demand service and three months of free Showmax data.

Showmax has launched a new deal with Vodacom featuring free access to the Showmax service and free Showmax data. Vodacom customers who add Showmax to their bill between 1 November 2018 and 31 January 2019 will receive 15 GB of free Showmax data* (5 GB per month for three months). On top of this, the usual Showmax R99/month subscription fee will be waived for three months. There’s no contract or lock-in period – Showmax can be cancelled at any time.

 

This free data deal with three months of free access to Showmax is exclusive to Vodacom customers. To sign up for the deal, visit www.showmax.com/vodacom. The deal is open to both prepaid and contract customers.

Once the three months’ free access period has expired, customers will then be charged R49 per month for Showmax access for the following nine months. In total, this means that a year of Showmax, which would normally cost R1 188, will instead only cost R441 – and that’s with the 15 GB of free Showmax data during the first three months.

 

Showmax apps** feature bandwidth capping functionality, giving viewers the ability to select the most appropriate quality level for the device being used. The low data usage setting, which is perfect for watching on cellphones and tablets, gives 45 hours or more of viewing from 15 GB.

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Telkom confirmed today it had secured a partnership with the leading internet entertainment service, Netflix.

The partnership is Netflix’s first such agreement with a South African telecommunications company and a significant milestone as the company seeks to bring South African consumers the latest technologies and a great entertainment experience.

Telkom Content Executive, Wanda Mkhize said, “we are excited to expand our content offering with Netflix. The Netflix partnership allows us to offer more entertainment.

“As a start, we can respond to customer requests for the inclusion of Netflix on Telkom’s LIT TV Box,” she added. Netflix will be available on Telkom’s LIT TV Box later this year.

 

Maria Ferreras, Netflix’s VP Business Development EMEA, said: “We are excited to partner with Telkom and highlight our commitment to South Africa. With this partnership, Telkom users will easily access the most-loved entertainment experiences that Netflix provides.

 

Netflix service in South Africa includes licensed and original TV series, movies, stand up comedies, documentaries and children’s programmes. Netflix is the home of award-winning Original series and movies like Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, The Crown and The Kissing Booth.

Mkhize said the teams are working on exciting mobile & broadband service offerings to be launched before the end of the year. These will include enhanced LIT video options and data offerings.

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The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector Council has elected Councillor Andile Raletlhogonolo Tlhoaele and Councillor Pheladi Gwangwa as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, respectively. 
The election of the Chairperson and Deputy comes after the resignation of Councillor Nokuzola Ehrens on Thursday, 06 September 2018 and the appointment of Councillor Tlhoaele as Acting Chairperson by the Minister of Telecommunications & Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele on Friday, 12 October 2018.
“The election of Councillor Gwangwa and I mark an important milestone in the work of the Council. The Council is committed to contributing to the success of the sector, part of that success is the implementation of the Code.” said Councillor Tlhoaele, newly elected chairperson
The Council is responsible for developing, reviewing and publishing the B-BBEE ICT Sector Code. The Council is also mandated to monitor the implementation the Code and report progress to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Advisory Council on BEE; the BEE Commissioner Ms Zodwa Ntuli; Minister of Trade & Industry Dr Rob Davies; Minister of Telecommunications & Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele and Minister of Communications Ms Nomvula Mokonyane.
The ICT Sector comprises of four ICT industry sub-sectors; Broadcasting, IT, Telecommunications and Electronics.
The Council functions through the following sub-committees;
1.       Executive Committee, which comprises of the chairpersons of all the sub-committees,  which will be chaired by the Deputy Chairperson Councillor Pheladi Gwangwa
2.         Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Committee chaired by Councillor Petronella Linders
3.         Implementation and Monitoring Committee chaired by Councillor Adrian Schofield
4.         Review and Amendment Committee chaired by Councillor Sara-Jane Capazario
5.         Strategy, Governance, Risk & Funding Committee chaired by Councillor Lucky Masilela
The Council is constituted by fifteen members from the four ICT industry sub-sectors, ICASA, Labour, Community, Youth, Women, the Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services and the Department of Communications.
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Vodacom Eastern Cape region has embarked on a crucial network investment drive in that province and has already invested R300 million over the past three years to ramp up network investment in deep rural areas of the Eastern Cape. This is part of Vodacom’s commitment to expand network coverage for people who live in deep rural areas of the Eastern Cape province, the fourth largest province in South Africa by population, with just over 6.5 million people, covering 168 966 km² land surface area.

 

Vodacom’s commitment to accelerate network coverage for people who live in deep rural areas has already yielded a positive societal impact. Within months of Vodacom having deployed new 3G sites, most of these communities are now part of the internet revolution underway. As a result, school going kids can now access the internet for the first time, whilst those who are actively looking for jobs are using their smartphones to apply for jobs over the internet. They have the option of using Vodacom’s e-School and jobs portals that are both zero-rated for Vodacom subscribers. Those who previously had to travel long distances to do banking are doing this on their devices from the comfort of their homes.

 

 

Mpumelelo Khumalo, Managing Executive for Vodacom Eastern Region commented:

“Providing network connectivity for people who reside in rural areas remains central to Vodacom’s commitment of extending our network in the Eastern Cape. This is part of our vision to make sure that we connect everyone whether they live in the cities, townships or in the rural areas, and that takes investment. It can no longer be acceptable for people in rural dwellers to watch the internet revolution from the side-lines, they need to be part of it and reap the associated economic benefits. We mean serious business when we say that rural and township areas should have the same network experience such as the people who reside in urban areas are accustomed.”

 

 

The region invested R750 million in upgrading the network over the past 3 years, of this R300 million was invested in deploying networks in rural areas. The capex went on building new sites, radio and transmission network upgrades, providing more capacity in overloaded areas and crucially deploying new sites and coverage in rural areas. Additionally, the region built new sites to bring new coverage in the rural areas in the following municipalities: Ngqushwa, Raymond Mhlaba, Amahlati, Enoch Mgijima, Walter Sisulu, Mhlontlo, Umzimvubu, Mnquma, Nyandeni, Port St Johns, Ingquza, Mbizana, Ntabankulu, Matatiele, Elundini, Senqu, Inxuba Yethemba, and Dr Beyers Naude.

 

 

On a practical basis, this means that Vodacom brought faster data services to tens of thousands more people living in rural areas who currently only have voice services and 2G data services. This has helped consolidate Vodacom’s position as South Africa’s best network and the network provider with the country’s best rural coverage.

 

 

The region has planned 30 new sites in rural areas for this financial year. They are planned in the following areas: Mnquma and Amahlathi municipalities (5); Ngqushwa, Ndlambe and Makana (5), Mbashe and Ntsika Yethu municipalities (3 sites); Igquza (1); Sunday’s River Valley (3); Kou-Kamma and Kouga (3); George rural (3), KSD (3),  Dr Beyers Naude (2) and Hassequa municipality (1).

 

 

“We are sending a strong message that Vodacom is taking serious steps in ensuring that people in rural areas are connected and have access to fast data speed so that they become part of the internet revolution and take full advantage of its positive impacts. We plan to do more to connect deep rural areas through our Rural Coverage Network Expansion Programme,” concluded Khumalo

 

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Now in its 10th year investing in tech entrepreneurs in Africa, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) (https://Meltwater.org) (www.MESTAfricaSummit.com) today announced the third MEST Africa Summit, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, June 18-20. Formerly the Africa Tech Summit, this year’s event will go Pan-African, bringing together top entrepreneurs, investors and executives from Africa, Silicon Valley and Europe, to network and discuss trends, challenges and opportunities affecting markets across the continent, under the theme The Year of the African Scaleup?

 

Following two successful events in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria, this year’s Summit will take place in Cape Town, South Africa – the location of the third MEST incubator, which officially launched (https://goo.gl/LUP9aW) in November 2017.

 

 

MEST is also announcing the MEST Africa Challenge, a Pan-African pitch competition open April 1 in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra and Cape Town. The final pitch event for the competition will be held on Day 2 of the Summit and will include winners from each city’s regional event, which will be held in late April/early May. Details and application can be found at www.MESTAfricaSummit.com.

 

 

“We’re excited to bring together leading players in the tech and investment space from across the continent and the globe once again, this time in our new home in Cape Town,” MEST Managing Director Aaron Fu said. “The MEST Africa Summit serves as a meeting ground for Pan-African entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem partners, and this year looks to ignite discussion around the real challenges and opportunities businesses face when reaching scale, as the startup space in Africa continues to mature.”

 

 

Panel discussions during the Summit will feature expertise from leading African entrepreneurs, investors and executives, and will highlight those companies looking to scale to new African markets and the partners who can help them succeed. Topics include a debate over the best African country to start a business; a discussion of the latest fintech, agritech and blockchain innovations, why women code better, and more. Tickets are now available at Eventbrite.com (https://goo.gl/QUY4FS). Space is limited.

 

 

MEST is currently accepting applications for partners and speakers. Early sponsors include Merck (www.Merck.com) and MTN (www.MTN.co.za) and ecosystem partners AfricArena(http://AfricArena2017.com), SiMoDiSa (www.SiMoDiSa.org), Wesgro (www.Wesgro.co.za), Alpha Code (www.AlphaCode.club) and Silicon Cape (www.SiliconCape.com). Previous Summit partners include Samsung Business, AB Consulting, Google, Interpay, Agrivi, Interswitch, VC4Africa and more. Past speakers include Mitchell Elegbe of Interswitch, Jason Spindler of I-Dev, Funke Opeke of MainOne, Matt Flannery of Kiva, Iyin Aboyeji of Flutterwave, Angel Adelaja of Fresh Direct, Jason Njoku of iROKO, Tomi Davies of ABAN and more.

 

 

In November 2017, MEST launched incubator spaces in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa, adding to its flagship incubator and training program in Accra, Ghana. Truly Pan-African, MEST also has a presence in Nairobi, Kenya and Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

 

 

Since its inception in 2008, the Meltwater Foundation has invested $20 million into the program, supporting aspiring African entrepreneurs through the training program and incubator. Now in its 10th year, nearly 300 individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and over 50 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship from MEST. Three companies — Claimsync, AdGeek and messaging app Saya — have been acquired.

 

 

MEST entrepreneurs have developed solutions addressing local and global markets, received outside follow-on funding from global investors, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as Y-Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars. MEST entrepreneurs have also been selected by President Obama as representatives of the African business community at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.; have been named Mandela Washington Fellows, a flagship program of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI); and have been selected for Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Africa

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mCoin is powered by ONEm’s Global and scalable Platform, which has the ability to reach billions of people around the world even through traditional mobile without the Internet

Introducing mCoin (www.ONEm.com/mcoin), the first cryptocurrency accessible on any mobile. mCoin is a unique first of a kind inclusive cryptocurrency, that makes it possible for the 3 billion people around the world who don’t have access to the Internet to take advantage of new kinds of services tied to blockchain technology.

 

mCoin is powered by ONEm’s (www.ONEm.com) Global and scalable Platform, which has the ability to reach billions of people around the world even through traditional mobile without the Internet.

 

Unlike other Cryptocurrencies, people will have the ability to trade mCoin securely through their SMS based virtual wallets which is not connected to the Internet. Users will be able to earn mCoins through “Pseudo-Mining” which is a type of “Proof of Work” based on meaningful activities. mCoin is bringing together a community of people outside the domain of the Internet who for the first time will be able to participate in sharing information that will have positive social and economical impact.

 

Millions of small businesses around the world will have access to mCoin through ONEm’s Sweb for Business, Market Place, mCatalogue and many social applications that use SMS and/or the Internet.

 

ONEm’s powerful ecosystem can be harnessed by Governments and Organizations to provide valuable services for their citizens who don’t have access to the internet, and in the same vein make use of mCoin’s underlying SMS accessible blockchain technology.

“It is exciting to see so many people who share in our vision for an inclusive Cryptocurrency outside of the domain of the Internet. People from all over the world are participating in mCoin Pre ICO and taking advantage of the attractive bonus packages now available as they see tremendous high growth potential of a cryptocurrency that can reach this very big un-tapped market” said Christopher Richardson, CEO of ONEm.

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iflix (www.iflix.com), the world’s leading entertainment service for emerging markets, offering subscribers unlimited access to thousands of TV shows, movies and more, today announced it has entered into a major two-year distribution agreement with LEGO Systems (‘LEGO’) to add a wide range of the most popular LEGO series to iflix’s extensive library of award-winning titles.

iflix will offer its subscribers across the Middle East and Africa unlimited access to both stream and download an incredible selection of LEGO Kids content including Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu, The Kingdom of Shadows and The Way of The Ninja, Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu Day of the Departed, Nexo Knights, Friends of Heartlake City, Jurassic World Indominus Escape, Marvel Superheroes Maximum Overload, Marvel Superheroes Avengers Reassembled, DC Superheroes Batman Beleaguered, and City Shorts.

 

The agreement between iflix and LEGO will see 122 episodes across 10 titles added to the streaming service for fans to enjoy.

 

iflix Head of Content Africa and the Middle East, Evert van der Veer said: “LEGO is one of the world’s most recognized and beloved brands, and we are excited to bring LEGO’s premium titles to our members both young and young-at-heart on a dedicated LEGO-branded channel for all to enjoy. iflix is committed to providing the best in entertainment from around the world to all our subscribers, and this deal with LEGO is key to delivering on that promise.”

 

“We are pleased to partner with iflix to bring LEGO content even closer to fans in the Middle East and Africa”, said Gina Costelloe, Senior Content Distribution Manager, IBLE. “Through the extensive library of content available on the new Channels feature, fans of all ages will have direct access to their favorite stories and characters anytime they want.”

 

Now available to over one billion consumers across 25 territories throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa, iflix offers consumers, a vast library of top Hollywood, Asian and Middle Eastern regional, and local TV shows and movies, including many first run exclusives and award-winning programs, each subscription allows users to access the service on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets, for viewing wherever, whenever.

 

 

For new subscribers, iflix offers a complimentary one-month trial with full access to its service, features and content. Go to www.iflix.com to register.

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The global head of TMT (www.TMTfinance.com/capetown) for Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank (www.StandardBank.com), is predicting continuing deal flow and increasing investment in Africa’s flourishing telecom, media and technology sector in 2018, against a backdrop of improving economic growth and increasingly stable currency outlook across key markets such as Nigeria.

 

 

Speaking ahead of the TMT Finance Africa in Cape Town 2018 (https://goo.gl/3JLU8L) conference, Nina Triantis, Global Head of TMT at Standard Bank, said there were investment and financing opportunities for the right companies in Africa, with disruption, innovation and consolidation likely to be the major deal drivers in the sector over the year ahead.

 

“Investment and M&A in TMT is still especially active in Africa, despite some various economic challenges still facing select countries. Investment in technology is driving applications and innovation across the continent and across sectors,” she said. While economic and currency issues have dampened investor appetite in countries such as Nigeria over the past 12-24 months, conditions are now improving and stabilising, according to Triantis, which is leading to an increasing appetite from investors looking at the region, she added.

 

Standard Bank is one of the key sponsors of TMT Finance Africa in Cape Town 2018, with Triantis and Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank’s Chief Economist and Head of Research, among the headline speakers at the event, which is taking place in Cape Town, South Africa on March 15.

Triantis will be joining the TMT M&A Panel alongside multinational telecom operators Vodacom and MTN, while Ballim will be delivering a Visionary Keynote Speech centred on African Investment Outlook, ahead of the Opening Leadership Panel session.

 

 

“Telecom operators are consolidating and the race to provide new broadband and wireless infrastructure is intensifying, which is resulting in increased need for capital and a lively deal flow,” Triantis commented. “The debt and equity markets are both supportive for the right companies, and we expect to see several IPOs and M&A transactions in 2018,” she added.

 

Over 70 speakers will join the event, including companies such as: MTN, Econet Wireless, Vodacom, Millicom, BCX, MainOne, Convergence Partners, SEACOM, Intelsat, Liquid Telecom, Teraco, Uber, Safaricom, Letshego, Wananchi Telecom, Rand Merchant Bank, Michael Jordaan, iROKO, Citi, MallforAfrica, Ethos Private Equity, Investec Asset Management, Primedia, Econet Media, Ringier Africa, Nedbank Capital, Credit Suisse, WIOCC, WorldRemit, Kwese Sports, Kana TV, IFC World Bank and Absa Capital.

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