Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tech News Around South Africa

BlackBerry devices are now available for purchase at BlackBerry Store in Vodacom World

BlackBerry customers in South Africa can purchase their devices and accessories directly from the BlackBerry Store at Vodacom World in Midrand.

Customers are now able to experiment the BlackBerry devices before deciding which one will best help them communicate, collaborate and get things done.
The selection includes a wide range of BlackBerry devices including the BlackBerry Passport, which redefines Productivity for mobile professionals with boundary-breaking design and features. The Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry that combines the unique stylish design of the iconic and timeless Porsche Design brand with the fluid and effortless productivity experience of BlackBerry® 10 technology which will also be available soon.

BlackBerry 10 devices maximize users’ communications, collaboration and productivity thanks to their iconic keyboard experience, battery life, integrated hub and ease of sharing information and photos across social networks – and they are now available for purchase directly at the BlackBerry store,” said Martin Fick, Senior Country Product Manager at BlackBerry South Africa.
In the BlackBerry Store, customers will also benefit from technical advice, support for device set ups, software upgrades and much more.

The BlackBerry Store is open 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and 9:00am to 2:00pm on Sundays and public holidays. Be sure to pop in from 5 to 7 December and 12 to 15 December for great special offers and fun in-store activities to celebrate the new look shop.

Vodacom superfast 4G is a first for SA

Vodacom recently unveiled the next development in 4G technology, capable of downloading an entire 1Gb movie in less than a minute. This is the first time that this has been achieved on a live mobile network in South Africa using a smartphone, and shows the potential of mobile technology to supply the country’s broadband needs into the future.

During the test, which was conducted directly on a mobile handset and used carrier aggregation technology, download speeds of 270 Mbit/s were achieved. At this speed an entire music album could be downloaded in 10 seconds. This is approximately four times faster than the fastest speed achieved with LTE technology on Vodacom’s network.

Speaking about this test, Vodacom Group’s Chief Technology Officer Andries Delport said:

“Vodacom prides itself on innovation and being the first to bring new developments to South Africa, and this next step in 4G technology gives an idea of just how far mobile technology has evolved.”

These trials follow the recent completion of a multi-billion rand six year-long radio network renewal programme which has seen every single Vodacom base station in South Africa replaced with new equipment.

Delport said:

“We’ve just completed the longest and probably the most complex engineering project in Vodacom’s history which involved switching out the equipment at every single site across the country. This new equipment means that all of our base stations are 4G ready, meaning that Vodacom is ideally positioned to support Government’s broadband objectives. We’re looking forward to rolling this higher speed technology out as soon as additional spectrum becomes available.

“In addition to this, the new equipment is more easily configured to handle future upgrades and is better for the environment, with reduced energy consumption and a smaller footprint compared to the old technology. Thanks to this project, Vodacom’s South African network is amongst the most advanced in the world.”

The upgrade programme, which began in Mpumalanga in June 2008, was completed on 15 September 2014 in the Free State and consisted of swapping out the equipment in over 10 000 base stations. The net effect of this investment project is that Vodacom customers will have an improved network experience with faster data speeds, more stability and fewer dropped calls.

Delport concluded:

“The radio network swap project is about much more than superfast speeds. We’ve also been investing heavily to make sure that we have the capacity to handle the massive growth in call and particularly data volumes in South Africa. Broadband access is one of the keys to economic development and thanks to this project we’re ready and able to play our part.”

For more on Vodacom’s network renewal programme watch the interview between Aki Anastasiou and Andries Delport -

Presenting The Load Shedding App

Eskom has just released The Load Shedding App.
It is available on the Apple Store and on Google Play. 
There is also a version for mobile browsers.
You can get it here:

This edition by Fred Felton
Twitter @fredfelton 

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