Informa Telecoms & Media’s recent survey, Africa Telecoms Outlook 2013, was presented last week at AfricaCom, the continent’s biggest ICT exhibition, based in Cape Town. The report, an optimistic one for Africa at large, included these findings...
Traditionally, adoption of mobile technologies in Africa has been very strong. In fact, the continent is the second biggest market in the world when it comes to mobile and is also the fastest growing. Tablet computers have especially been very popular in recent years for not only their long battery life, but also the possibilities they present for key sectors such as education, health, banking, and entrepreneurship.
Telkom’s mobile arm has partnered with the world’s largest Internet search engine to offer South Africans selected Google mobile Web services for free.
This morning, at G-South Africa, in Cape Town, 8ta announced “Free Zone powered by Google” - a service that gives people access to mobile Web search and feature-phone-friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ with zero data charges. According to 8ta, the first page of a Web site linked from search results is also provided at no data cost.
A few days ago Kim Dotcom announced his plan for a new version of his Megaupload site which would use the domain name Me.ga.
.Ga is the country code or ccTLD for the country of Gabon. Last night the government of Gabon said it would suspend the internet domain Kim Dotcomhe had planned used for the service.
African households are becoming ever-richer as the continent's economies surge forward, offering enormous untapped growth opportunities for consumer companies, a report released Wednesday showed. A McKinsey & Company study showed 84% of Africans were "exceptionally optimistic about their economic future", with urban Africans already spending more on apparel and food than those in Brazil, China and India on average.
The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) remains confident it will win the rights to administer the africa Top Level Domain (TLD) once the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) process reaches conclusion, as it has the required 60 percent support of African governments for a geographic name domain.
A dispute over the .africa regional geographic top-level internet domain (TLD) has entered another round. The Kenya-based DotConnectAfrica trust (with headquarters in Mauritius) in a press release this week applauded the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for granting a change request to their application. DotConnectAfrica by mistake had applied for .dotafrica instead of .africa in its application during the new gTLD process in April.
Yet while DotConnectAfrica speaks of a significant landmark victory in the battle for the .africa gTLD, the chances for the DotConnectAfrica TLD are slim at best as the competing application from UniForum SA (NPC), trading as Registry Africa, is officially supported by the African Union. With ICANN, according to its new TLD guidebook, obliged to look for the official endorsement for geographic TLDs – for regions at least 60 percent of the respective governments have to be supportive – the DotConnectAfrica’s bid can hardly win.
This amendment means that there are now two bidders, ZACR and DCA, for the proposed new .africa generic top level domain (gTLD). ZACR was not consulted about the proposed changes, nor was any formal communication received from ICANN.
The Internet Society today announced that it will sponsor 12 new Ambassadors to attend the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Baku, Azerbaijan, 6-9 November 2012. Five returning Ambassadors were also chosen to attend the IGF meetings. The IGF brings various stakeholder groups together to discuss public policy issues related to Internet governance. The IGF Ambassadors Programme enables a new generation of Internet leaders to participate in IGF meetings and to add their unique experiences to the discussions. Each first-time Ambassador is paired with a mentor to help them prepare and to serve as a contact during the meeting. Following IGF, the Ambassadors return to their own communities to apply the experiences and information into their education and work.
The launch of the Africa Strategy at the just concluded ICANN meeting in Toronto, has raised the level of debate on the relationship between Africa and ICANN.
There is no doubt that over the years Africa has not meaningfully participated in ICANN processes, mainly because of a divide between the needs of African stakeholders and depth of issues ICANN addressed. While ICANN participants discussed DNS business and technology development, most of African countries were still addressing issues of universal affordable access and connectivity. How do you debate and contribute to issues on DNSSEC, IPv6, WHOIS data, improvements to Registrar Accreditation Agreement, UDRP, etc. while most of your government and business services are offline? But that was a few years ago.
‘It is time for Africa!’ was one of the World Cup 2010 war cries and, two years later, its significance has again risen to the fore. This time, it serves as a sub-theme throughout Saphila 2012, the biennial SAP African User Group conference taking place until the end of October in South Africa’s North West Province. Africa has been identified as a highly strategic region within SAP’s global expansion plans. The importance with which SAP regards the continent is reflected by the fact this year’s Saphila event is the first to feature a French track to accommodate these customers.
In South Africa Telkom Internet has reported an overwhelming response from qualifying customers to participate in its high speed broadband pilot. Telkom SA has confirmed a solid response from local customers to its broadband pilot project. Earlier this month Telkom Internet invited its customers already using the 4/10 Mbps broadband access product to participate in the high speed broadband trial.
Global software solutions developer SAP has emphasised the importance of Africa in its strategy and believes now is the best time for African mobile app developers, partners and technology companies to engage the company.
There was one obvious take-away from this week's ICANN meetings in Toronto, and for once it was less about policy and more about geography. Simply put, Africa is really - finally - coming together at ICANN, with a new energy, new unity and lots of new participation from African participants. And from top to bottom, the ICANN community seems to be taking notice.
Kenya's ICT sector continues to grow, anchored by falling connectivity costs and growing mobile data subscriptions, according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) quarterly report. The report shows that as of June 30th 2012, there were 29.70 million mobile telephony subscriptions compared to 29.21 million subscriptions posted as at 31st March 2012. Data subscriptions rose by 19.2 percent, from 6.4 million subscriptions recorded in the previous period to 7.7 million subscriptions during the quarter under review. Annual subscriptions grew by 81.7 percent from 4.2million recorded during the FY 2011/2012.
October 2012 has been a momentous month for South Africa’s mobile industry – or that is what management and staff at local mobile and telecommunication service provider Vodacom are likely feeling. The company has officially launched its Long Term Evolution (LTE) service to South African consumers, with CEO Shameel Jousub claiming that 70 sites are live and that LTE-enabled devices are headed for stores.
On behalf of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), I would like to sincerely thank UNIFORUM SA for its highly appreciated contribution in sponsoring the First African Internet Government Forum (AfIGF2012), which took place from 2 - 4 October 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
Toronto, Canada… Leaders of Africa’s Internet community have unveiled a comprehensive plan designed to dramatically increase African involvement in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model. The initiative was presented to ICANN during the organization’s 45th public meeting in Toronto, Canada by the Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG). It was formed after ICANN’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, Fadi Chehadé encouraged a stronger voice from the African continent in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model.
International Internet giant Google is urging East African countries to reduce the costs of Internet services in the region in order to promote more local content. Google has urged East African countries to reduce Internet costs. Google’s Field Access Director Kai Wulff said in Uganda that the region 'receives unlimited capacity and yet a very small portion of it is being used.'
During MyBroadband’s annual conference, Vodacom CEO Shameel Jousub surprised delegates by announcing that the mobile service provider has officially launched Long-Term Evolution (LTE) in South Africa.
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