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ICT entrepreneur and founder of Trenching Systems Pty Ltd, Andile Tlhoaele, one of the pioneers of micro-trenching innovation in South Africa announced an important partnership with the United Kingdom (UK) based Telmax Limited to acquire the Marias manufactured Sidecut SC3C micro-trencher machine to further enable the roll-out of fibre infrastructure in South Africa.

The installation of fibre using micro-trenching in South Africa was first done at Woodlands Estate, Bloemfontein in 2015. Micro-trenching innovation is a technique of laying fibre using specialised machines. These machines cut a narrow and shallow ditch on the road surface alongside the pavement where the curb and the tarmac meet without damaging the road infrastructure. Micro-trenching has been proven to be the quickest way to lay fibre. The technique prevents the damaging of municipal infrastructure including the road, has minimal disruptions to traffic and generally fewer complaints about the inconvenience during the roll-out.

 

4th Industrial Revolution applications can only be realized through access to high-speed internet. Access to high-speed internet through fibre is by far the most convenient way to access high-speed internet. Micro-trenching is the fastest way to deploy fibre infrastructure with minimum disruptions to services and whilst protecting existing infrastructure.

Tlhoaele is one of the first individuals who invested in the Sidecut SC3C micro-trencher machine to roll-out infrastructure installations using micro-trenching innovation in South Africa back in December 2014, with the second investment made by Telmax in July 2015.

 

“As the former chairperson and director of ICT committee for the Mooikloof Heights Home Owners Association (NPC) one of the estates in Pretoria east, I can attest to the benefits of access to high speed internet through fibre. Back in 2016, owners decided to roll-out fibre in the estate. Today with problems caused by Covid-19 and the need to work from home, residents are enjoying the convenience of high-speed internet through fibre. As a South African company, we also want to contribute towards reducing data costs, create employment and addressing the challenge of upskilling labour,” explains Tlhoaele, who goes elaborates further, “With one machine onsite, we are able to create ten labour intensive job opportunities,  from backfilling, landscaping and cleaning after trenching. The same labour skills can be  upskilled to fibre installations, terminations, floating, splicing and testing on other projects.”

 

Tlhoaele, has over 20 years experience in the ICT industry and is the founder of Inforcomm, Skillslab and Moja Centres. He is also the chairperson of the B-BBEE ICT Sector Council, the Electronic Waste Association of South Africa (eWASA) and MICT SETA 4IR Advisory Committee

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With IT job vacancies continuing to climb as companies struggle to recruit and obtain critical skills in South Africa, there is an opportunity to upskill or reskill individuals to meet this demand.

 

Prudence Mabitsela, founder and Managing Director of Dynamic DNA, a leading training and skills development company empowering Africa’s ICT generation, believes these skills are needed to build the economy of South Africa and to close the digital skills and gender divide in the country.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) kicks into gear and more companies speed up their digitisation strategies due to the global pandemic, now is the time to add these scarce skills to your resume to ensure employability and career advancement in the sector.

“There are many opportunities in a variety of industries not just the IT sector,” says Mabitsela “Jobs span across banking and financial services, retail, Fintech, government, legal, logistics and many more. It is imperative that both learnerships and upskilling or reskilling of existing employees are prioritised so that we can close the digital divide.”

One way that Mabitsela believes individuals can take advantage of this skills demand is to take specialised, certified courses which can range from one year to a few months in duration for one qualification and depending on the course, and with the advancement of technology many of these can be done online.

“It is important to ensure that these courses are aligned with the MICT SETA qualifications framework and provided by an accredited training provider,” she advises. “This ensures that you receive quality education given by qualified lecturers with a certificate that is internationally recognised.”

Here are the top 6 most in-demand IT jobs in the country and the skills you need to get ahead:

Software developer 

There are key skills required in software development today that are worth investing in to ensure that your career stays on track. Cloud computing is one that everyone should add to their CV in 2021 as more companies move their environments into the Cloud. That means learning platforms like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform will be highly beneficial for your career.

 

Other skills include upskilling on version control tools such as Git and SVN; containers and tools like Docker and Kubernetes; Des such as VSCode and for Java Programmers, Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ. If you only know one database programming language, then adding a few more is critical in 2021 because this will keep you ahead of the competition.

 

 

Computer Network and Systems Engineer 

In the interconnected world we find ourselves in, computer networking skills are increasingly in demand. If you are wanting to lead your career forward the following skills will ensure you get there: Linux; Juniper; DOD; Windows; Active Directory; Network Security; VoIP; System Center Configuration Manager; Business Process; Configuration Management; OSPF; Domain Name Systems; Unix; and Architecture skills.

 

ICT Systems Analyst 

Due to digital disruption and advancing technologies it is important for the systems analyst to get the skills needed to deal with the technologies that are reshaping businesses. Advancing your skills in these technologies will definitely help you get there: AI (Artificial Intelligence); BI (Business Intelligence); Big Data; RPA (Robotic Process Automation); Blockchain; the Digital Economy; Information Security; Cloud Computing; Software Development; Agile IT Project Management; ML (Machine Learning); and DL (Deep Learning).

 

 

Programmer Analyst 

A programmer analyst usually has a broad skillset ranging  those vital IT technology skills to softer skills like communication, problem solving and even creativity. From a tech perspective these are the most sought-after skills: developing apps in the .NET framework; database management; Microsoft SQL Server; managing and securing Windows-based apps; developing web apps; create mobile apps with .NET; able to use a range of operating systems; advanced Java features; develop interactive client-side web pages; and use popular coding languages, frameworks, and technologies like Java, Javascript, PHP, C#, Python, C++, SQL, and .NET.

It would also be beneficial get certifications in newer computer systems such as cybersecurity; cloud computing; platform optimization; automation; deep learning; intuitive application development and big data.

 

 

 

ICT Security Specialist 

With the increasing rise of cybercrime, every ICT security specialist needs a range of skills to ensure their company is secure from attack. Beyond the fundamental networking and security skills the following are worth adding to your CV: Incident Detection and Response; Security Management Frameworks; now more than one of these common operating systems and their vulnerabilities iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux; understand different Network Infrastructures; Data Privacy; Data Analysis; Network Monitoring systems like Splunk, Solarwinds and Nagios; as well as soft skills like problem-solving; teamwork and  skills.

 

 

 

Business Analyst

It is important as a business analyst to stay up to date with industry developments and be able

to analyse the capabilities of the myriad of tools out there. From a technical perspective depending on your current certifications, it is worth updating these skills in 2021: Data Analysis; Business Process Models; SQL Server; Microsoft Visio; Test Cases; Test Plans; UAT; Data Warehouse; JAD; Application Development; User Acceptance; UML; Web; Activity Diagrams; QA, SME and many more.

 

 

You also want to add non-technical skills like research, negotiation, communication, financial planning, and decision-making to your CV if you haven’t already.

 

 

These specialised skills will develop your career and set you apart from the competition, not to mention securing your employability well into the future. Take your future into your hands and speak to your employer about how you can close the digital skills gap in your organisation.

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The Walt Disney Company Africa and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have today signed a distribution agreement to bring local and international live sporting events, news programming, as well as library and film sporting content from ESPN to SABC Sports viewers across South Africa, through its SABC Sports Channel.

With this agreement, SABC Sports viewers will unlock a selection of premium sports content. The undisputed home of American Sports, ESPN brings an unparalleled portfolio of US sporting content and documentaries to its viewers across the world. In Africa, the broadcaster extends this offering by showcasing the latest in European football and other international franchises.

 

Kicking off this weekend is the premiere of two brand-new ESPN-branded football slots that will air each Saturday and Sunday on the SABC Sports Channel at midday during European football season. The dedicated slots will offer viewers a live English Championship match on Saturdays at 13:30 and a Dutch Eredivisie game on Sundays at 12:15, as well as highlights from the US’ Major League Soccer and premiere football news roundups from ESPN’s magazine shows, including the popular ESPN FC.

 

SABC Sports will bring the world’s top track and field athletes to its viewers through ESPN’s four live World Athletics Events, with the first coming straight from Nairobi with the U20 Championships, currently on air. Additional events include the World Indoor Championships from Serbia (March 2022), World Race Walking Championships from Belarus (April 2022) and the World Championships from the USA (July 2022).

 

After a successful inaugural season in Kigali earlier this year, teams from across the continent will once again gather to showcase the best in local basketball talent in a hotly-anticipated second season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). SABC Sports viewers can look forward to select fixtures of this celebrated local league being broadcast live on their screens in 2022.

 

Boxing fans will need to look no further as the SABC Sports will be bringing live boxing events and programming to viewers in 2022, including over 150 hours of boxing content from ESPN’s vast library, showcasing the greatest in boxing events, athletes and moments in the sport’s history.

 

SABC Sport General Manager, Mr. Gary Rathbone stated: “This agreement is going to add significant depth to our current offering on the SABC Sports Channel. Our channel will now offer unrivalled content to our local sport fans seven days a week, thanks to ESPN’s great boxing archive and film and documentary library. With the addition of long-awaited regular live boxing events, as well more live Football, Athletics and African Basketball, it’s clear that this partnership will deliver right across the board for our viewers”.

 

Rathbone also added that: “This partnership will not only give our viewers access to great sports content but will see the SABC Sport Channel and our teams benefiting from the resources and experience that this collaboration with ESPN offers.”

 

Says Kyle De Klerk, Director: Sports, The Walt Disney Company Africa: “With this content agreement we are excited to not only be bringing ESPN’s unprecedented and compelling sporting offering to new audiences, but to also be taking a great step in highlighting and celebrating some of the up and coming leagues and athletes from around this continent.”

 

Says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with SABC to include ESPN, bringing another diversified and exciting brand from Disney’s portfolio to local free-to-air audiences.”

 

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Sanlam and MTN Group announced today that they are joining forces in an exclusive strategic alliance (the Alliance) to distribute Sanlam Group insurance and investment products across Africa, further developing MTN’s mobile financial services business.

 

The Alliance will build a digital insurance and investment business, which will be an integral part of MTN’s fintech offering. It will provide people across the continent with easier access to these services, particularly those sectors of the population that have typically been unable to access traditional distribution channels for such products.

The Alliance has the potential to pre-empt and adapt to digital disruption in markets where both Sanlam and MTN operate. It will also enable MTN to accelerate and scale its InsurTech offering through its brand and reach and by leveraging Sanlam’s licensing and geographical footprint, as well as its broad product capabilities and expertise. MTN InsurTech businesses currently have approximately 6 million active policyholders, with target of over 30 million policyholders by 2025 with this new Alliance.

The collaboration provides Sanlam with the opportunity to extend consumer access to its products and grow its Africa operations by providing insurance to MTN’s customer base across the continent, thereby deepening its extensive footprint in Africa.

Commenting on the formation of the Alliance, Sanlam Group CEO Mr Paul Hanratty said: “We are excited by MTN’s development of modern mobile financial services for the benefit and empowerment of the African consumer. It gives us great pride to be able to partner with MTN to build the best possible range of solutions in the insurance and investment arena for consumers. We anticipate strong long-term growth in mobile financial services and insurance and investments are no exception to this.”

The collaboration offers MTN the opportunity to provide more value-added services to its customers, enhancing its existing offering. “MTN Group is equally excited to be partnering with Sanlam in driving financial inclusion across the continent and providing customers with insurance and investment products tailored to the needs of the African consumer,” said MTN Group President and CEO Mr. Ralph Mupita.

“Sanlam is the ideal partner as the leading insurance and investment business across Africa, and with partnership key to its strategic and execution approach. MTN has built a scale fintech business with over 100 million wallets, of which approximately half are actively using Mobile Money services every month, presenting a meaningful opportunity to further drive financial inclusion through the provision of appropriate insurance and investment solutions.”

The Alliance will build and leverage the strengths and assets of both Sanlam and MTN to establish a digital insurance and investment capability across Africa.

In the initial period, the Alliance will be chaired by Ralph Mupita, with Paul Hanratty as Deputy Chair. While approximately 46% of Africa’s population has access to and uses cell phone services, insurance penetration remains low at less than 5% in most markets except South Africa.

The transaction is subject to the parties concluding definitive agreements and completing the relevant suspensive conditions.

MTN is the largest telecommunications operator in Africa with a presence in 17 countries on the continent and a total of more than 270 million subscribers across its total 21 markets. It is also a large fintech operator, with a presence in 19 countries and 100 million wallets, 800 000 agents and 650 000 merchants signed up.

Sanlam is the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa, with a presence in 33 countries across the continent. Forming mutually beneficial partnerships is part of Sanlam’s business model and is a key pillar for accelerating growth on the African continent.

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Apple unveils the next generation of Apple TV 4K

Posted by radio On April - 21 - 2021 ADD COMMENTS
Apple yesterday announced the next generation of Apple TV 4K, delivering high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision and connecting customers to their favourite content with the highest quality. At the heart of the new Apple TV 4K is the A12 Bionic chip that provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding, and audio processing. And with an all-new design, the Siri Remote makes it even easier to watch shows and movies on Apple TV with intuitive navigation controls. Together with tvOS — the most powerful TV operating system — Apple TV 4K works seamlessly with Apple devices and services to magically transform the living room in ways that everyone in the family will love.
“Apple TV 4K is in a category of its own, leveraging a deep integration of Apple hardware, software, and services that delivers a massive upgrade to any TV for the very best cinematic experience,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With the A12 Bionic and the all-new Siri Remote, Apple TV 4K lets customers enjoy their favourite shows, movies, and more in the highest quality, with simple and intuitive controls. And of course, Apple TV 4K offers easy access to Apple services, along with thousands of apps on the App Store for even more entertainment options.”

Improved Video Experiences

With A12 Bionic, Apple TV 4K now supports high frame rate HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Dolby Vision video, enabling fast-moving action at 60 frames per second (fps) to play more smoothly and appear more lifelike than ever before.1 Apple is working with leading video providers around the world, including FOX Sports, NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Red Bull TV, and Canal+, as they begin to stream in high frame rate HDR. And with high frame rate support in AirPlay, videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision on the new Apple TV 4K.
Through an innovative colour balance process, Apple TV works with iPhone and its advanced sensors to improve a television’s picture quality.Apple TV uses the light sensor in iPhone to compare the colour balance to the industry-standard specifications used by cinematographers worldwide. Using this data, Apple TV automatically tailors its video output to deliver much more accurate colours and improved contrast — without customers ever having to adjust their television settings.

The Redesigned Siri Remote

 

 

The all-new Siri Remote features an innovative clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for better accuracy, and is also touch-enabled for the fast directional swipes Apple TV users love. The outer ring of the clickpad supports an intuitive circular gesture that turns it into a jog control — perfect for finding a scene in a movie or show. And with its one-piece aluminium design, the new Siri Remote fits more comfortably in a user’s hand.
The new Siri Remote also has a power button that controls a TV’s power, and another for mute, making it the only remote needed while enjoying TV. Using Siri, customers can easily search for specific shows or movies, control smart home accessories, check sports scores or the weather, and much more. Siri now works on Apple TV in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand, joining the 13 countries and regions that already support Siri.3

More to Enjoy in the Living Room

 

 

Apple TV 4K runs tvOS — the most powerful TV operating system — offering a truly unique experience. Its tight integration with Apple devices and services gives everyone in the family a range of entertainment to enjoy from the comfort of their living room.4

Apple TV 4K delivers the most cinematic home theatre experience, giving customers easy access to all their favourite entertainment on the biggest screen in the home, like award-winning shows and movies on Apple TV+, including “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” “Greyhound,” and “Wolfwalkers,” and other popular video services through the Apple TV app. Using AirPods, up to two viewers can enjoy private listening without disturbing others.

Apple Music on Apple TV 4K turns the living room into a concert hall, offering multiroom audio and time-synced lyrics for millions of songs.

Apple Fitness+ on Apple TV 4K brings studio-style workouts to customers in the comfort of their own homes, featuring a team of some of the world’s most welcoming trainers across 10 different workout types. The first fitness service built around Apple Watch, Fitness+ integrates key metrics from Apple Watch right on the big screen to offer a personalised and immersive experience that keeps motivation high throughout every workout.

Apple Arcade on Apple TV 4K offers unlimited access to a growing collection of more than 100 premium games — featuring new original releases, award winners, and beloved favourites from the App Store, all without ads or in-app purchases. Players can pair supported game controllers to enjoy games like “NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition,” “SongPop Party,” and “Star Trek: Legends” on Apple TV 4K and continue the action from iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

AirPlay on Apple TV 4K lets customers effortlessly share videos, school projects, and other content from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac, directly to the TV. Videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision thanks to high frame rate support in AirPlay. Photos on Apple TV 4K serves as a dynamic photo album for family members and friends to enjoy photos, videos, and Memories on the big screen.

Apple TV 4K can be used as a home hub to control HomeKit accessories, and allows customers to view HomeKit video cameras and doorbell notifications on the television screen.

 

With multiuser support on Apple TV 4K, family members can enjoy their own personalised recommendations for shows, movies, and music, access their purchased apps in the App Store, or play games on Apple Arcade.

Apple One is the easiest way to get all of Apple’s subscription services in one simple plan, including Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, Apple News+, and iCloud. With a single subscription, customers in over 100 countries and regions can enjoy their favourite Apple services across their favourite devices, including Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
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Vodacom is reducing pricing on certain 30-day data bundles by up to 14% as part of its ongoing commitment to reduce the cost to communicate and connect more people to the digital economy.

 

The latest price reduction includes the frequently purchased 1GB bundle, which is now R85, a 14% reduction from R99. As part of these price adjustments Vodacom is also giving greater value to customers by allocating up to 33% more data on selected 30-day bundles, to ensure customers get more value at last year’s prices. This will promote digital inclusion and assist our 43 million customers in making savings at a time when they need it most.

 

 

Vodacom has also re-introduced the 30-day 2GB bundle at R159 to give customers wider choice and more value. Tariffs on the 50MB, 3GB, 5GB, 10GB and 20GB 30-day bundles remain unchanged.

“For the past four years, we have remained relentless and consistent in our approach to democratise access by bringing about affordable mobile prices. Our aim in reducing these prices is to ensure customers are constantly connected on SA’s leading network. Our purpose is to connect for a better future and ensure that no one is left behind in this new digital age. It is one of the most critical ways we believe we can create a more equal society for all,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business.

 

Since April 2019, Vodacom has almost halved the price of data to ensure access to affordable communication solutions for everyone, especially those with limited resources.

New Allocation Old Allocation Old Price New Price
50MB R12 R12 No price increase
200MB 150MB R29 R29 33% value increase
350MB 325MB R55 R49 8% value increase + 11% price reduction
500MB R79 R69 13% price reduction
1GB R99 R85 14% price reduction
2GB New Bundle R159 New Bundle
3GB R229 R229 No price Increase
5GB R349 R349 No price increase
10GB R469 R469 No price increase
20GB R699 R699 No price increase

 

“In our journey towards becoming a leading Pan African technology company, we will not stop until everyone is connected, as it is part of creating a sustainable, inclusive digital society. As a purpose-led organisation, the voice of our customer is important to us, as such we have reintroduced certain bundles to meet the customer demand so we can go further together,” added Mendes.

 

 

To highlight Vodacom’s continued support, the zero-rated ConnectU platform launched last year offering free access to critical essential services, information and cheaper data, benefits over 14 million unique registered users per month. ConnectU offers even more affordable data prices for customers living in 2000 of South Africa’s lower income suburbs, villages and towns. The service also addresses other key societal needs by connecting users to news, job portals, educational content on the e-School platform, and information on health, wellness, safety and security. Through ConnectU, customers also have access to emergency services such as the what3words emergency findme website and more.

 

 

For even more value, customers can continue to access personalised discounted offers through Just4You. Over the past seven years, the popular platform has provided tailor-made data and voice deals based on individual usage patterns and location.

 

 

Reducing the barriers to communicate includes having access to low-cost devices. Over 4.2 million of Vodacom’s low-cost branded suite of smart devices, which are 3G and 4G enabled, have been sold in South Africa. This access to connectivity has been further enhanced by prepaid device financing, enabling customers with no credit facilities to pay for 4G devices in instalments.

 

 

“Since April last year, we have saved our customers billions of rands through our cost-reduction initiatives and we will continue to do so. We will also invest over R50 billion over a five-year period in infrastructure and new technologies, to increase broadband coverage and data speeds which will bridge the digital divide even more. All our initiatives form part of our social contract, which is a commitment to ensure everyone is connected irrespective of their socio-economic circumstances. We are on a mission to connect everyone and will continue to play our part to combine our technology with the power of individuals, society, businesses and government so we can go further together,” concludes Mendes.

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Nokia (www.Nokia.com) 5G radio and FastMile 5G gateways provide ultra-fast Fixed Wireless Access services to subscribers; Safaricom also showcased 5G hologram and UHD video communication using live 5G network.

 

Nokia has announced today that it is powering East Africa’s first 5G commercial services with Safaricom, the leading telecoms operator in the country. Nokia’s 5G Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) technology and 5G FastMile gateways enable ultra-fast Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services to Safaricom’s subscribers across Kisumu and the Western Province of Kenya.

5G technology will enable new applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence for Safaricom subscribers. It will also benefit enterprises across important energy, healthcare, education, transport and entertainment applications.

At a launch event in Nairobi, Safaricom showcased the capabilities of the 5G network with three use cases — 5G hologram, Ultra-HD video communication and virtual fashion shopping. In the hologram showcase, the live 5G network was used to teleport Safaricom’s executives from Safaricom office in Kisumu to the launch event in Nairobi. And in the second showcase, Ultra-HD video communication was made using the 5G Fixed Wireless Access connectivity powered by WiFi-6 with Nokia Beacon 6. The third showcase of virtual shopping will change shopping experience allowing users to try on clothes “virtually”.

 

 

Nokia has leveraged its AirScale SRAN platform to enable ultra-low latency, huge connectivity and extreme capacity to support the demands of today and tomorrow. The 5G network utilizes massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) radio to improve spectral efficiency and throughput capacity, maximizing the return on Safaricom’s RAN investment. In addition, Nokia’s FastMile 5G gateway provides fiber like speeds for fixed wireless services to subscribers. Also, the company’s network planning, deployment and integration services ensured timely rollout of the network.

 

 

As part of the network, Nokia 5G Cloud Mobility Manager delivers the scalability, flexibility, high availability and performance needed to support the growth of mobile and enterprise services. Nokia’s NetAct network management system helps Safaricom have consolidated network view for improved network monitoring and management.

 

 

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, said: “We are proud to be the first operator in the East Africa to launch 5G services, bringing the benefits of 5G technology to our customers. 5G capabilities will change a lot of things in unimaginable ways for people and enterprises, playing a key role towards fulfilling our vision to transform lives. Our long-term partner Nokia’s technologies and services expertise helped us achieve this milestone in our journey to provide world-class broadband services to our customers.”

 

 

Amr K. El Leithy, SVP, Middle East and Africa Market, Nokia, said: “With over 200 commercial 5G agreements with leading customers across the globe, Nokia has been bringing 5G network to every part of the world. Our 5G network for Safaricom is a key part of this journey and we are committed to working with the operator to transform the communications landscape in the country. This will open new business opportunities for Safaricom.”

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Openview to carry SABC Radio channels

Posted by radio On March - 26 - 2021 ADD COMMENTS

eMedia Investments, the company behind free-to-air satellite service Openview, and the SABC, have announced a ground-breaking new distribution agreement that will enhance both companies in the free-to-air category of television broadcasting.

 

 

The collaboration between South Africa’s fastest-growing satellite network and SA’s most established broadcaster signals a seismic shift in the country’s broadcasting landscape.  With this agreement the SABC ensures that its content, in all its formats, continues to resonate with the prescripts of its public mandate, and more so in providing universal access to credible content. The agreement also guarantees High Definition broadcast quality and free access to the SABC’s television network wherever you are in South Africa. For Openview this agreement enhances its strength in the DTH space with additional content and a solid binding collaboration with the Public Broadcaster.

 

In addition to carrying SABC 1, 2 and 3, Openview will carry three additional television channels from the Public Broadcaster and all its 19 radio channels. Through this agreement the SABC is officially entering the free-to-air satellite market which will supplement its channels on DTT and streaming platforms.  First amongst the three new channels will be a standalone SABC Sports Channel that will launch on Openview soon.

 

Openview’s aggressively growing base of 2.3 million households will have access to four SABC television channels, with two more to be announced in due course, and 19 radio stations, including the biggest South African radio brands – Ukhozi FM, Metro FM, Lesedi and Umhlobo Wenene.  This enables previously geographically restricted FM radio channels to be received throughout the country via digital broadcasting on a free-to-air basis.

 

 

Notwithstanding this agreement at the platform level, the SABC’s broadcasting services will continue to compete for audience and advertising with eMedia-owned channels and services, as they currently compete on the analogue network.

 

 

Commenting on the new multi-year signal distribution and channel carriage agreement, eMedia Investments COO, Antonio Lee, says, “This is an exciting development for both the SABC and ourselves.  The agreement ushers in a new level of collaboration between a private free-to-air satellite platform and public free-to-air broadcast services. There is no doubt it will boost the offering of Openview and will extend the SABC’s audience reach.  We can now offer our Openview audience additional quality content and access to digital broadcast radio in the widest variety of languages possible in South Africa.  We hope this is the start of a stronger and more fruitful relationship between Openview and the SABC”.

According to the SABC’s COO, Ian Plaatjes, “This agreement enables the SABC to grow its channel offering and reach into the digital broadcasting space with three additional HD television channels. The first channel to be launched will be an SABC Sport Channel and will be distributed simultaneously across Openview, DTT, Telkom One and other streaming platforms. This collaboration will enable the SABC to optimally exploit its rich sport content rights and leverage the Openview reach to provide an improved integrated sport value proposition for our advertising clients across platforms. The agreement also enhances the distribution of SABC radio stations to create an increased value proposition for our radio advertising inventory.  The other two TV channels, to be announced within the next 3 months, will leverage extensive SABC content and archived material.”

 

Openview and the SABC believe that this agreement will expedite digital migration from analogue-only households to digital broadcasting platforms with more compelling free-to-air channels and content. Together with the DTT platform, Openview provides audiences with a free HD alternative to both analogue terrestrial and pay satellite options.

 

Openview boxes can be purchased at all leading retailers nationwide.

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DStv adds Amazon Prime Video to its Explora Ultra

Posted by radio On January - 18 - 2021 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Video joins an impressive list of streaming services and apps available on the Explora Ultra, including Showmax, Box Office, Netflix and Joox.

 

DStv has added global streaming service Amazon Prime Video to its recently launched DStv Explora Ultra decoder. DStv customers with a Prime Video membership can now access the entertainment service, ranging from movies and TV series, including Amazon Originals with a click of a button on the Explora Ultra.

Prime Video joins an impressive list of streaming services and apps available on the Explora Ultra, including Showmax, Box Office, Netflix and Joox.

 

Prime Video’s award-winning TV shows and movies includes leading Amazon Originals such as The Wilds S1, Homecoming which starred Julia Roberts in Season 1 and Janelle Monáe in Season 2. Other Amazon Originals include The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hanna and Upload.

Nyiko Shiburi, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa says, “The Explora Ultra is a one-stop-shop for entertainment fans looking to access a catalogue of dynamic entertainment from multiple content providers.

“We are excited to add Amazon Prime Video to the DStv Explora Ultra’s pot of exceptional content. This opportunity unlocks access to more quality global content for our customers and is another way to access Amazon Prime Video content, whilst complementing DStv’s promise to offer the very best in local content.”

DStv currently hosts more than 140 channels that offer a wide selection of content ranging from sports, news, lifestyle and education.

How to access Amazon Prime Video on an Explora Ultra

Existing Amazon Prime Video Customers: DStv customers who already have a Prime Video account simply open the app on the Explora Ultra’s homepage, sign in with their account details and start viewing.

New Customers: Customers who wish to access Prime Video can open the app on the Explora Ultra’s homepage, and they will be directed to sign up for an account on the Amazon site. They will be billed directly by Amazon.

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On Saturday 28th of November 2020, ayoba (www.Ayoba.me) was awarded the Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application (https://AfricaDigitalAwards.com) in Accra, Ghana.  The Awards were held by the Africa Digital Festival to honour Africa’s Digital Champions and ayoba features amongst many prestigious winners.  Accepting at a virtual award ceremony, ayoba thanked the millions of users whose support has helped to realise the dream of bringing content and connectivity to Africa.

 

The Award is a result of many achievements during the course of the year.  This can be seen in the sharp rise in user numbers in the fourth quarter, as users respond positively to the many significant updates to the app.  The application is now available in 22 languages of which many are from Africa such as Xhosa, Zulu, Ibo, Arabic and more, all contributing to the unique hyper local focus for ayoba.  Ayoba also offers the possibility for its users to send and receive money via our partner’s MTN Mobile Money (MoMo).  This functionality is available in Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda.

 

 

Having started the year as an instant messaging app with a small offering of content channels, ayoba has ended the year with 124 content channels – including news and official COVId-19 updates, music and music news, full gaming offering, lifestyle updates and education across 7 languages.  Users and artists have reacted well to the addition of a music player via MusicTime® in ayoba which provides 200 new tracks every week.  Gaming has also been well received  and today the application has more than 120 free games.

 

 

The newest version of the app also sees the inclusion of MicroApps.  MicroApps are lightweight web apps, developed by third parties to address a specific community need, and are accessed from within the ayoba app.  Like the ayoba app itself, MicroApps are zero-rated for MTN customers, which means they can be used even when the user has zero data balance.

 

 

We are so proud to launch MicroApps,’ says Nolan Wolff, Head of ayoba.  ‘One of our key goals for ayoba is to build a platform that brings opportunity for African developers.  MicroApps will allow local developers to create apps that reflect local culture and values, and solve local challenges.  It’s an incredibly exciting community development platform.

 

For developers in Africa, where app adoption is a common difficulty, MicroApps in ayoba present seamless access to our existing user base, and offer the benefit of a zero-rated infrastructure that would be too complex and costly for developers to implement themselves.

Wolff continues:  ‘Developers are also able to leverage ayoba APIs to create a more personalised and relevant experience.  An interesting element is that developers can leverage ayoba’s messaging interface for interaction with users in a safe and convenient manner.’’

To support developers who are interested in building MicroApps on ayoba, ayoba has launched the ayoba Developers Portal at https://developer.ayoba.me/, where Developers can view the API documentation, have their queries answered, and submit their MicroApps for publication on the ayoba app.

The ayoba application remains unique with its SMS continuity functionality, allowing users to send messages to another even if the receiver does not have the application or does not have a smartphone.

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