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Monthly income of SA’s Internet users revealed

Effective Measure released its demographic statistics for November 2013 recently, showing that over 40% of South Africa’s Internet users have a monthly household income of over R20,000. Effective Measure is the official traffic measurement partner of the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA), and provides accurate demographic statistics for South Africa’s top websites. The November 2013 Effective Measure statistics are based on 112,875 surveys conducted through the company’s online survey tools. According to the results, 40.46% of Internet users in South Africa have a household income of over R20,000 per month. 7.54% of these users have a household income of over R70,000 per month

International expert to speak at Mobile East Africa

World-renowned mobile expert Tomi Ahonen has been confirmed to deliver a special address during the Mobile East Africa 2014 main conference on 12th & 13th February, as well as a dedicated full-day workshop on Friday, February 14th. Considered by many to be the best speaker on mobile in the world, Mr. Ahonen is travelling from Hong Kong to Kenya for the first time and will be sharing his views on the future of mobile and digital. Forbes ranked him as “the world’s most influential expert in mobile” in 2012; Mr. Ahonen has spoken at more than 300 conferences in over 60 countries and his cumulative audience totals over 100,000 people. He is the author of 12 bestselling books on mobile and digital communities and consults to Fortune 500 companies around the globe, helping to define their mobile strategies.Mobile East Africa 2014 is taking place at the Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi, Kenya on February 12th through 14th.

ICANN: Applicants for Exclusive Access TLDs Respond to GAC Category 2 Safeguard Advice

In its Beijing Communiqué, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) issued advice to the ICANN Board of Directors regarding New gTLD applications. The Safeguards on New gTLDs: Category 2, Section 2 of the Communiqué states: "For strings representing generic terms, exclusive registry access should serve a public interest goal" and includes a list of strings that the GAC "considers to be generic terms, where the applicant [was, at the time,] proposing to provide exclusive registry access." On 19 August 2013, ICANN inquired as to whether the applicants for the strings identified plan to operate the applied-for TLDs as exclusive access registries. For more information, view the announcement. The majority of applicants indicated that they did not intend to operate the applied-for TLDs as exclusive access registries. For the 12 applicants that indicated that their applied-for TLDs would be operated as exclusive access registries, ICANN asked applicants to provide an explanation of how exclusive registry access for the applied-for TLD will serve a public interest goal.

New entrant scheduled to change the picture for African news

In 18 months time viewers cross Africa will be able to tune into a new pan-African multilingual news channel called Africanews. This is the result of a partnership between Euronews and national television channel of the Republic of Congo. From its base in Brazzaville and its regional network across the continent, Africanews will follow the same editorial mandate as Euronews and work towards becoming the first pan-African rolling news channel. Initially the offering will be in English and French, after which other languages will be added. Media reports state that senior executives from both Euronews S.A and Télé Congo signed a cooperation agreement in early January pertaining to the launch.

South Africa in Talks With Telkom on Broadband Partnership

South Africa’s government is in talks with fixed-line operator Telkom SA SOC Ltd. (TKG) about taking part in a partnership to boost broadband usage in the country, according to Communications Minister Yunus Carrim.

“We are negotiating with Telkom because obviously they have 147,000 kilometers (91,400 miles) of the fiber optic,” Carrim said in a Jan. 25 interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to ensure that we get the most cooperative relationship we can between state-owned companies, the government, publicly-listed companies like Telkom and the private sector.”

Can African businesses overcome the technology adoption gap?

IBM today announced the results of a new study entitled ‘Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies’, which found that while nearly 87 percent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53% are pushing forward with adoption. IBM’s survey findings also confirmed that 36% of the African businesses embracing emerging technologies could be considered “Pacesetters” amongst their peers in terms of their focus on prioritizing and rapidly adopting technologies. The survey of 180 Africa-based IT leaders across 29 industries in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco was conducted by IBM’s Center for Applied Insights, in collaboration with the IBM Center for CIO Leadership

How do we accelerate internet access in Africa?

If bandwidth is like water, then Africa is a desert with Perrier vending machines everywhere. If you have money, you’re fine. If you don’t have money, you’re dying of thirst. Although over 70% of Africans have a mobile phone, and over 90% are covered by mobile networks, less than 10% use the internet. That means most Africans can’t email CVs, research Wikipedia, self-diagnose health problems, or generally find out what is happening in the world. We all know that mobile phones have revolutionised Africa. For the first time in history most Africans can speak to one another, a game changer for a continent too long cut off from the rest of the world. The time has come for the next revolution. The mobile internet revolution. An avalanche of cheap smartphones over the past five years means that Africans now have the devices needed to connect the internet. Nowadays the problem is no longer getting devices into the hands of Africans, the problem is connectivity.

How African businesses can overcome the technology adoption gap

IBM today announced the results of a new study entitled ‘Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies’, which found that while nearly 87 percent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53% are pushing forward with adoption. IBM’s survey findings also confirmed that 36% of the African businesses embracing emerging technologies could be considered “Pacesetters” amongst their peers in terms of their focus on prioritizing and rapidly adopting technologies. The survey of 180 Africa-based IT leaders across 29 industries in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco was conducted by IBM’s Center for Applied Insights, in collaboration with the IBM Center for CIO Leadership.

Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria lead in mobile banking

Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, and the African continent as a whole, lead the world in the uptake of mobile banking, according to a new report by mobile trade association MEF. The first report in MEF’s Global Consumer Insights Series on Mobile Money said 82 per cent of consumers in Africa engaged in mobile banking, with the global average 66 per cent and 15 per cent of mobile media users using mobile payments to pay for goods in 2013. “In Africa, the ‘mobile-only’ culture means the mobile money account is the bank account,” the report said. Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa lead the way within Africa, with engagement rates of 92 per cent, 78 per cent and 76 per cent respectively, though it said the data was skewed by Kenya’s use of mobile for banking.

New Web Africa uncapped ADSL prices unveiled

Web Africa reduced its uncapped ADSL prices for residential and business customers by between 12% and 62%, starting on 24 January 2014. The latest Web Africa uncapped ADSL prices bring them in line with competing ISPs like Telkom Internet, MWEB, and Afrihost. Web Africa’s new residential uncapped ADSL pricing starts at R199 for a 2Mbps service, increasing to R1,399 for a 40Mpbs account.

Country focus: Technology and troubled Central African Republic

At the beginning of 2014 internal conflict between Christian and Muslim communities in the Central African Republic (CAR) grabbed the world’s attention. History shows that periods of stability have been few and far between for the region and according to latest reports, interim president Catherine Samba-Panza has appealed to EU countries for help to achieve order following fresh waves of unrest and uprising. The conflict has forced almost a million people from their homes and EU leaders are poised to send a military force to support French and African troops already deployed in the region.

Latest in time recording terminal technology available through AWM360

For businesses seeking to invest in the most up-to-date, multi-functional and flexible time recording terminal infrastructure, AWM360 has available high-tech solution, the B-web 96 00, manufactured by its global partner Kaba AG Switzerland. Kaba AG is a leading manufacturer worldwide of products for Enterprise Data Collection (EDC), the collection and processing of all safety-and time-relevant company data for measuring, visualising and optimising targets and risks of the company. AWM360 is a local business technology partner and solution provider within the Southern African Human Capital Management (HCM) and Workforce Management Solutions markets. It has taken over sole distributorship of a wide range of hardware and software solutions manufactured by Kaba AG to the Southern African region.

WEBINAR: ICANN Strategy Panel on Identifier Technology Innovation

ICANN invites everyone to an update on the activities of the Strategy Panel on Identifier Technology Innovation. ICANN Strategy Panels' work will inform ICANN's new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan. As it prepares to offer its advice to the ICANN President and CEO, the Strategy Panel wishes to walk you through the work it has undertaken and to seek your input on the preliminary set of conclusions it has reached. This webinar will also be the opportunity for you to ask questions. ICANN Strategy Panels serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue: your feedback and contributions are key to this project and will be carefully considered. Webinar Details

Fastest wireless broadband connections in SA

The latest MyBroadband speed test results shows that MTN’s LTE and Vodacom’s 3G networks provided the highest average speeds. MyBroadband revamped its speed test platform in August 2013, offering more speed test server locations and moving the platform to Teraco and NAPAfrica’s vendor neutral data centres. Over the last month 90,754 speed tests were performed on MyBroadband’s speed test platform. The results show an average download speed of 8.88Mbps and an average upload speed of 1.97Mbps. When the results are filtered to only include mobile broadband connections, it shows that MTN’s LTE service outperformed its competitors.

Is Africa ready for digital TV?

The days of traditional broadcasting or sending video/ sound via analogue signals in Africa are numbered – that much is clear, particularly in light of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline for the migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT) by June 2015. Once that deadline passes it is understood that there will be no more international support for- or of analogue spectrum. Today, many African countries are chasing time to ready themselves through intensive end-user awareness programmes, facilitating communication between stakeholders, including service providers, and adapting their strategies accordingly. The migration, while relevant to both radio and television broadcasting, is currently focused on television broadcasting. The rationale behind the migration is that it will lead to more efficient use of spectrum, to an improvement of viewing experience, as well as to the availability of more frequency for alternative allocation and usage.

Lagos MobileMoneyExpo taking place next month

The fourth MobileMoneyExpo in Lagos next month will focus on low-income individuals and attempt to introduce banking to “the bottom of the pyramid in Africa”, the continent with the largest market for mobile money. It was confirmed in September HumanIPO would be lead media partner at the expo, which starts on February 12, with the event focusing on financial inclusion for the unbanked. “Financial inclusion has become the buzz word within the regulatory, policy, financial, innovators, technology circles and other stakeholders in the formal financial services space but significant barriers still exist,” said organisers MobileMoneyAfrica. “The event will address what needs to be done to overcome the hurdles of reaching the millions of people who do not have access to formal financial services but yet own a phone in Africa,” said MobileMoneyAfrica’s principal associate Emmanuel Okoegwale.

The coolest things technology has up its sleeve in 2014

From wearable technology to space tourism, 2014 will be a year of significant technological leaps. We take a look through some of the most ground-breaking developments of the year ahead. Electric cars take to the track As the name suggests, Formula E is all about electric power. The arrival of this new petrol-free motor racing competition is a significant step for both the car and the environment. Two years ago motorsport's international governing body, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), announced its ambitious plan for an electric car race that would mimic the hugely popular F1 series. As the arrival of Formula E looms, experts predict that it could have a big impact on the future of car manufacturing. Initially, the cars in the competition will be powered by enormous battery engines.

15 African technology startups to watch in 2014

The most recent figures for mobile and internet usage are promising, and show room for growth. "Only 16 percent of the Africa's one billion people are currently online, but that share is rising. More than 720-million Africans have mobile phones, 167-million already use the Internet, and 52-million are on Facebook," reported consultancy McKinsey, in a report entitled " Lions go Digital: The Internet's transformative potential in Africa."

Africa set for free Wi-Fi boost this year

Africa is set to see an increase in the number of free Wi-Fi hotspots in 2014, in line with recent moves to connect entire cities in both Rwanda and South Africa. According to Ruckus Wireless, a company specialising in Wi-Fi infrastructure, initiatives based on those implemented in Kigali, Rwanda, and the City of Tshwane, South Africa, will become commonplace this year. HumanIPO reported in November the City of Tshwane, in partnership with the non-profit Project Isizwe, was rolling out the first phase of free Wi-Fi for the city. Just a few months earlier, it was announced that the Smart Kigali initiative was planning to set-up free Wi-Fi zones in the Rwandan capital.

87% of CEOs in Africa to take on technology this year – PwC survey

Almost 90% of CEOs in Africa plan to increase investment in technology in 2014 and position technology amongst the top three considerations, claim media reports covering research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC’s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey reveals that the perception of technology amongst senior executives is that it is an easy enabler of agility and growth because it helps with risk management and skills development and retention. The Survey features input from global CEOs sourced from well over one thousand interviews in 68 countries, as well as the results of in-depth interviews with 33 CEOs from five continents towards the end of 2012, ahead of 2013. In its coverage of the Report, CIO East Africa says that aside from interest in the predictive qualities and benefits associated with data analytics, there is also a focus on outsourcing business processes and functions.