Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tech News Around South Africa

Vodacom makes first ever Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call in South Africa

Vodacom recently made the country’s first ever Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call over its 4G/LTE network. Typically reserved for data, the move to use 4G/LTE technology to carry voice traffic will in the future mean better call quality for consumers and a more efficient use of network resources. 
Andries Delport, Vodacom’s Chief Technology Officer said:  “VoLTE is a win-win technology - it’s good for the consumer and for Vodacom. The implementation of the VoLTE infrastructure is the first step towards commercial implementation that will ultimately result in faster call set up times, better voice quality and an overall improved quality of service. The migration of voice traffic to the 4G/LTE network will also have the benefit of freeing up capacity currently used to carry voice services." 
Vodacom is working with the handset manufacturers to ensure the technology is embedded in local handsets.
This latest development is part of the Vodacom's on-going R9 billion network investment programme. On top of recently implementing enhanced voice services (HD Voice plus) and making the first VoLTE call, Vodacom has also been adding base stations, and expanding fibre optic infrastructure to improve both the reach and quality of coverage. Vodacom also recently was the first operator to achieve true 4G (LTE-Advanced) on a live mobile network in South Africa. The first commercial test of the 4G network resulted in download speeds exceeding 300 Mbps.
“Technology is constantly evolving and making sure we’re at the forefront of these developments is crucial to our success. Vodacom prides itself on having a world-class network and I’m proud to be part of a team that not only successfully implements new technologies but so often manages to do it first,” said Delport.

FNB Banking App scoops App of the year award

FNB won the award at the 2014 App of the year award at the MyBroadband 2014 awards ceremony.
"We are honored that our App has been acknowledged by MyBroadband and more importantly its readers and our customers as it demonstrates the ongoing growth and popularity of the FNB app," says Sahil Mungar, FNB Digital Banking.

 "Having been the first bank to launch a banking app for smartphones as well as a bespoke tablet banking app in South Africa, we are encouraged to see up to 100 000 people a month, who don't bank with us, using our app to access their eWallets, check forex rates, and use Geo Payments, indicating a positive user experience," continues Mungar.

Joburg audiences are SA's biggest music streamers (SkyRoom Live) 

According to stats from SA’s  biggest live music streaming portal SkyRoomLive the majority of SA’s music streamers are based in JHB followed by Cape Town and Polokwane, with the device of choice being a Blackberry Curve 9320, Apple iPhone and iPad to stream, in total, approximately 34.6 Terabytes of data monthly via SRL.

“Virgin Mobile is a proud supporter of SkyRoomLive, as this partnership brings to life our commitment to supporting local musicians as well as fostering young talent.  This innovative platform, created by Eban and his homegrown team, is pushing the boundaries and making a noise at both a local and global level,” says Vanda Harries, Virgin Mobile South Africa Head of Brand and Communications.

Interestingly, additional SRL usage stats show that South Africans are using Chrome, Opera Mini and Safari as their preferred browsers when live streaming these events, with the most popular device being the Blackberry Curve 9320, Apple iPhone and iPad.

“In terms of actual music content, Urban and Hip Hop are by far the most streamed music events for South Africa. This is mainly due to international influences as well as natural demographics and local interests,” continues Eban.

According to’s 2014 world rankings for Online Content Providers, SRL is currently ranked number 12 in the world under the likes of American Express Unstaged, Red Bull Studios, Livestream and Boiler Room.

SRL has grown exponentially since its first live stream broadcast in 2012 and caters for a diverse demographic of music lovers – from urban and hip-hop to indie rock and Afrikaans. SRL has already achieved over 2-million live and archived views over one year alone, with an average of 600,000 Facebook impressions per week.

Be sure to catch the next volume of SkyRoomLive and Virgin Mobile Urban Sessions. Visit or for more information.

LG rolls out the G3 Beat Mobile Phone For South Africa 

Highlights of the LG G3 Beat include:
·         Laser Auto Focus enables the G3 Beat to focus on precious moments faster than ever before by measuring the distance between the subject and the camera using a laser beam.
·         Touch & Shoot lets users simply touch anywhere on the display to focus and shoot, reducing a two-step process to just one.
·         Gesture Shot allows you to simply clench your hand in front of the screen to automatically begin a three-second countdown before the picture is snapped.
·         Smart Keyboard learns how you type for faster input with fewer mistakes, reducing errors by up to 75 percent.
·         QuickMemo+ lets you jot, sketch, take notes and be as creative and inspired as you want to be.

Key Specifications:
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor 1.2 GHz Quad-Core
Display: 5.0-inch HD IPS (1280 x 720, 294ppi)
Memory: 8GB and includes 16GB Micro SD Card
Camera: Rear 8MP with Laser Auto Focus / Front 1.3MP
Battery: 2,540mAh (removable)
Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Size: 137.7 x 69.6 x 10.3mm
Weight: 134 g
Network: 4G LTE / HSPA+ 21Mbps (3G)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0,  A-GPS/Glonass, NFC, USB 2.0
Colors: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold
Other: Touch & Shoot, Smart Keyboard, QuickMemo+, Gesture Shot

Local consumers can get their hands on the LG G3 Beat in October 

This edition by +Fred Felton 

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