Call for SADC to Reduce Roaming Rates

GSMA says the time has come to significantly reduce the roaming fees that networks charge in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), says an international body.
GSMA director for Africa, Mortimer Hope, speaking in the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town, argued that, "I wouldn't say abandon, but we should reduce them [roaming fees] dramatically."
Hope maintains that, "We're looking at the SADC region and we're looking at economic integration. There must be free movement of people and services."

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.

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.

Wi-Fi Hotspots for the Disadvantaged

The technological advancement in South Africa in terms of the digital device has made Telkom payphones review their public phones and introduce the Wi-Fi hot spots at a radius of 10 metres.

In 1994, only 15 percent of South Africans had access to telephony, thus payphones were of more help to the citizens.

The major reason for this project to be launched is to help citizens that are disadvantaged in terms of internet access.

Google’s Low Cost Smartphone Announced

Google has announced that it is working on a low-cost smartphone aimed at emerging markets as part of an initiative called Android One.

Google senior vice president, Sundar Pichai, points out that the Android-powered handset will be built with a basic set of features including FM radio, have a screen slightly smaller than five inches (12.7 centimetres) and be priced at R1 000).

Free Wi-Fi at South African Taxis

The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) has announced that it will be providing free wi-fi to commuters in taxis and around taxi ranks.

According to reports, while the project has been spearheaded by the taxi association, it is being implemented through a collaboration between Telkom.

Telkom will be providing the connections and Wi-Taxi South Africa will be responsible for the infrastructure.

ICASA Reviews Proposed New Call Termination Rates

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) says it has started the process of reviewing its proposed new call termination rates.
ICASA spokesperson, Paseka Malekathe, says in order to do the process in a transparent and fair manner, questionnaires will be sent to every licensee to seek information for the review.
ICASA, which was given six months by the court to amend its regulations, has given the licensees are required to submit responses to ICASA by 13 June 2014.

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."

Education 'Key' to Open Wi-Fi Networks

South African cities are engaged in the process of rolling out public Wi-Fi hotpots in an effort to make high speed mobile data freely available.
According to a security consultant at Fortinet, Jonas Thulin, states that the new service though, could be used by criminals to entrap users who are unused to the environment.
"While access for all is a commendable goal, there are security risks in extending free and low-cost Wi-Fi access in public places," explains Thulin.


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