South Africans Going Digital – SAIRR

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says people in South Africa and the rest of the world are increasingly going digital, be it for business or leisure.

SAIRR states that the Internet users are growing in number in spite of relatively slow broadband speeds and high costs.

It says the largest single share of Internet users among the four population groups, are people who gain access via cellphones or mobile networks.

4G, Wi-Fi, Growth in the Next Five Years

A survey reveals that 3G is overtaking 2G as the primary cellular technology, with 4G accounting for 56 percent of mobile data traffic by 2019.

According to the latest annual update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2014 to 2019, the ongoing adoption of more powerful devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections may see 3G surpassing 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2016.

Cell C to Enter the LTE Race in SA

Mobile network operator, Cell C, is set to enter the LTE race in South Africa after announcing a plan to invest R8 billion in a next generation broadband network.

Rivals Vodacom, MTN and Telkom Mobile have already launched LTE networks in South Africa with Vodacom being the first to launch LTE in South Africa in 2012.

However, Cell C, which is South Africa’s third largest mobile network, plans to catch up after signing agreements with Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE.

SA Warned About ‘Mobile Data Crunch’

Experts say South Africa does not have the necessary spectrum to cater for the country's growing appetite for mobile data.

Mortimer Hope, director of Spectrum and Public Policy Africa at the GSMA, Mortimer Hope, has been quoted as saying that, "The number of mobile data users and their average usage are increasing exponentially. Mobile networks will come under increasing strain to meet this demand unless additional spectrum is made available for mobile broadband."

Vodacom to Connect 250 000 Homes

Vodacom plans to connect 250 000 homes and businesses to fibre broadband over the next three years.

The company announced that it has signed on Alcatel-Lucent to build a ‘gigabit passive optical networking (GPON) solution’ in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

Vodacom says the mobile network says it plans to reach about 150 000 homes and 100 000 business within the next three years.

SA Has A 'Right' to Cheap Data

According to Duncan Alfreds, data cost remains a barrier to many South Africans accessing the Internet and reducing that cost should be the priority, an industry insider insists.

In his article titled ‘SA has a 'right' to cheap data’, Alfreds echoes Kevin Hurwitza, chief executive officer’s view that, "Access to cost-effective data should be a basic right to consumers, not a luxury."

Mobile Data 'to Explode' in SA - Cisco

According to a study by Cisco, South Africans complain about high data costs and the price of mobile devices, but despite that, the Internet is set to grow exponentially.

The company points out that, "Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) reveals interesting growth figures and projects that mobile data traffic in South Africa will increase nearly eight-fold over the next five years and grow twice as fast as fixed IP traffic in South Africa."

Free Internet for WC Communities

Economic Development and Tourism Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Alan Winde, has announced that three of Western Cape’s poorest communities will benefit from a new R3 million broadband project to be completed by 2014.
The communities will receive free access to high-speed wireless Internet, which the MEC says should run at about one megabyte per second (the current entry-level for most paying users).
“It is our intention to reach as many residents as possible. The impact will be proposal-dependent,” states Winde.

Government Broadband Tender Cancelled

Broadband for all in South Africa has hit a snag as bidding for government’s first phase of its 'Connect' project has been cancelled, according to a tender bulletin update.

The tender, which was headed up by the telecommunications and postal services ministry, was originally divided in two phases.

Phase one was allocated R1.5bn and was expected to connect 6 235 government facilities in eight district municipalities. Phase two was subsequently planned to connect 35 211 facilities in another 44 disctrict municipalities by 2020.


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