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Internet traffic in SA to quadruple in just a few years

THE country’s internet traffic is expected to quadruple by 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 31%, according to research released on Friday by global technology firm Cisco. According to Cisco, South Africa’s internet protocol traffic both on fixed-line and mobile platforms is expected to reach an annual run rate of 6.1 exabytes — almost 6.55-billion gigabytes — per year by 2017. Cisco explains that 6.1 exabytes are equivalent to two-billion DVDs per year, 128-million DVDs per month, or 174,939 DVDs per hour.

Midrand is SA’s fastest internet suburb

MIDRAND has been rated South Africa’s top broadband suburb with an average speed of 10.92Mbps, while the country continues to lag behind its peers in rolling out high-speed internet services.The latest Ookla net index published last week shows that the average download speed in South Africa is 4.03Mbps, which is far lower than the global average of 13.64Mbps. There is not even a single suburb in South Africa with an average broadband speed higher than the global average or matching it

Anti-GMO activist makes up-turn, urges Africa to adopt technology

Dar es Salaam. East Africans member countries and other African countries have been challenged to ignore the anti-GMO activists who insist that the only way is to cut the continent off from new technologies and retreat from the modern world.According to former anti-GMO activist, Mr Mark Lynas, most of the anti-GMO case is based on myths and misconceptions, saying there is still a widely held view that GM crops are necessarily sterile and cannot be replanted. This myth goes back to the original terminator technology, which was researched by Monsanto but never adopted.

Phase one of Safaricom’s city fibre project to be finished by November

Safaricom will complete phase one of its city fibre project by the end of the year, made up of 600km of laid fibre in Nairobi.Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom general manager for business enterprise, said the project will then proceed to other big cities in the country with Mombasa and Kisumu among those targeted. Another 600km will be covered by March next year with many of the counties already linked by fibre.

ICANN 47: Policy Debates and Cautious Optimism

If the meeting in Durban is any indication, we've come a long way in the past year. There were no outbursts of the type that characterized previous meetings. There were no indicted war criminals invited to dinner. And though it may be too soon to say for sure, I don't think a letter will be sent to the government of South Africa about the quality of the hotel.For a number of reasons, I think we have reached a turning point in the effectiveness of ICANN in the Internet governance ecosystem.

Africa to get Internet domain soon

A statement by the African Union Commission’s Information and Communication Directorate in Abuja on Sunday said the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) bid for dotAfrica has passed “initial evaluation” following approval by ICANN and that works are at an advanced stage for the continent to acquire its own domain name. According to the statement, the ICANN’s new TLD Program Initial Evaluation Report indicated that “based on the review of the application it has passed initial evaluation. The application is eligible to proceed to the next step in the program.“

Microsoft SA unveils tech 'think tank'

Microsoft South Africa has unveiled the first Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC) in Africa – a high-tech multi-million rand facility that it says will help local companies of all sizes become more globally competitive by helping develop “next-generation solutions” for their most pressing business problems.Dubbed a “technology think-tank on digital steroids”, the MTC houses millions of rands worth of hardware and devices from a range of local partners.

Africa’s tech revolution a big gain for new sites

Ian Isherwood, founder of Kenya’s first online dating site DateMe Kenya, has lauded the ongoing tech revolution in Africa saying that there are many possibilities for people with websites. Isherwood told HumanIPO days after he launched his new site, which had already recorded 5,000 fans on its Facebook fan page after 12 days.

South Africa cracks 4Mbps average broadband speed

The latest Ookla Net Index statistics show that South Africa’s average broadband speed has exceeded 4Mbps for the first time. The Net Index website, which uses data from millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, shows that the average download speed in South Africa is 4.03Mbps. This is up from 3.86Mbps two months ago

Tech Trailblazers launches partnership with African startup network Afrilabs

Hot on the heels of recent tie-ups with London's Innovation Warehouse and the China-Axlr8r programme, enterprise-focused startup awards firm Tech Trailblazers has announced a new collaboration intended to expand its reach in Africa.Tech Trailblazers' latest partner is AfriLabs, a pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs, made up of some 20 accelerators and startup communities across 13 countries.

USD45m to create Pan African University for Science, Technology and Innovation

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Board of Executive Directors has approved an African Development Fund (ADF) grant of USD45 million to support the creation of a Pan African University (PAU). The university, consisting of five Pan African Institutes, will focus mainly on science, technology and innovation.The new university would be a groundbreaking step in strengthening higher education and building human capital in Africa. Africa has been slow to develop its science and technology sectors and commercialize its innovations. Currently the best African university ranks just 113th globally. Of the 400 top universities worldwide, only four are in Africa, all of which are in the Republic of South Africa. Also, while Africa accounts for 13.4 per cent of the world’s people, it produces only 1.1 per cent of world scientific knowledge

SA ‘cheapest’ for mobile data in Africa

WHILE South Africa is one of the most expensive markets for prepaid mobile voice prices in Africa, Research ICT Africa (RIA) has found that when it comes to mobile data pricing, the country fares better than others on the continent.Data is becoming the major revenue source for mobile operators and the market has become highly competitive. South African consumers are benefiting from the competition between mobile operators to lure and retain data customers. In comparison to other African countries, such as Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa has the cheapest 1GB contract mobile broadband basket at a price of $9.81.

Limpopo is Microsoft’s latest white spaces trial

Microsoft’s white spaces project in Limpopo, South Africa, is underway with the blessing of the government and will begin by providing low cost wireless broadband to five schools.White spaces technology utilises frequencies of spectrum which have been allocated but are not being used locally by a broadcaster. It has however, not being given the green light for commercial rollout by the regulator yet.Pilots are already underway in Cape Town, rural Kenya and Tanzania and many believe white space technology is a fast and efficient way of providing low cost broadband to rural areas.

Botswana launches digital TV

But unlike most of its neighbours, Botswana has chosen the Japanese rather than European broadcasting standard for digital terrestrial television.South Africa spent a year working with its neighbours in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) considering alternatives to the European DVB-T standard. This followed intense lobbying by Japan and Brazil to adopt ISDB-T. South Africa eventually settled on the second generation of the European standard, with most of Sadc — with the exception of Angola and Botswana — falling in line.

Mobile TV makes case for DMB

Mobile TV, the company hoping to introduce mobile television services in South Africa using Korea’s digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) standard, believes there will be substantial demand for its services. But rival Kagiso Media is less convinced.The company wants to offer digital radio — using the DAB and DAB+ standards — as well as multimedia content to consumers using DMB-enabled devices like phones and tablets. It has asked the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for a licence to do this and made its case at public hearings last week.

Senate Appropriations Committee Critical of NTIA Role Within ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee

On July 18th the Senate Appropriations Committee issued Report 113 — 78 on S. 1329, the "DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE AND JUSTICE, AND SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2014". Philip Corwin reporting in a post on Internet Commerce Association website: "The Report contains language that is harshly critical of the role played by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) within ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), and would require NTIA to report back within thirty days after enactment of this spending measure on ICANN's compliance with the Affirmation of Commitments and whether the new gTLD program is proceeding in a manner consistent with cybersecurity concerns."

The A-list: top technology for small businesses

It's generally accepted that IT is a key driver of business growth in small businesses. However, SMEs are not equally good at identifying and deploying the optimal mix of technologies. This can have important implications: a recent study by Symantec, for example, found that 'top-tier' SMEs typically spend 7 percent less on computing than 'bottom-tier' ones (Symantec's tiers are based on an index of IT confidence). This may reflect the fact that tech-savvy businesses tend to invest in the right technology, avoiding the costly need to 'rip and replace' their mistakes.

Research: Server virtualization and mobile computing among top SMB technologies

As more technologies become available, they become more accessible and cheaper for small and medium-sized businesses to obtain, as evidenced by a TechRepublic survey.Some of the results were surprising as information was gained about technologies the survey revealed respondents either already have, or will be implementing. This includes server virtualization and mobile computing. Both have definitely hit their stride in the last few year

Bandwidth: The real challenge holding back Africa's tech hubs

With 88.4 million people living within its borders, Ethiopia is the second largest country in Africa by population. When it comes to internet penetration, however, it shares a spot at the bottom of the table with Somalia and the Central African Republic. The capacity of undersea cables connecting Africa to Europe, Asia and the Americas has soared by more than 10,000 percent over the last four years — neighbouring Kenya can boast around 2Tbps of connectivity and is adding more fast — but Ethiopia has less than 9Gbps of bandwidth to the outside world, and it's holding innovation back.

Accelerator, 88mph to hold Silicon Valley event targeting African Diaspora tech entrepreneurs

88mph, a web/mobile accelerator based in Cape Town & Nairobi would be holding an event in San Francisco targeted at Africans in the Diaspora looking to start tech businesses in Africa. The organization provides early-stage web/mobile companies with up to $100K in funding through their 3-month startup accelerator program. They also provide access to mentorship from hundreds of experienced startup mentors around the world. The organization recently partnered with Samsung Electronics Africa to provide some of their startups with placement in the Built for Africa App store giving them much needed distribution on up to 10 million+ phones across Africa.