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Mobile

  • Rocking The Daisies and OppiKoppi 2017: your essential festival app kit

    It's once again festival season in South Africa, and kicking off the year's musical escapades is a weekend double header. Both Rocking The Daisies in the Western Cape and OppiKoppi in Limpopo will take place this weekend in two opposite corners of the country -- but just because you're spending the weekend in dusty tents with limited power supply doesn't mean you can't use technology to make your partying just that bit easier. While there are a few apps you should have on your smartphone for both events (and the festivals to come), we'll take a look at specific apps you should...

  • Afrihost Mobile Data review: an answer to #DataMustFall?

    Data prices is an issue bubbling beneath the surface of South African politics and culture. As more South Africans use social media and other data-reliant technologies, the price of those crucial megabytes have come under the spotlight. And especially so in 2017. President Jacob Zuma acknowledged these issues at the State of the Nation Address in January, while citizens have also made their feelings known through campaigns like #SocialMediaBlackOut and #DataMustFall. Across the fence, telecoms are also making changes. Vodacom launched its Meg Your Day campaign in June, while MTN has reiterated its free Twitter service, albeit with a few bumps. But even...

  • Afrihost adds budget option to Fixed Wireless LTE-A lineup

    South African ISP Afrihost has announced a budget option to its Fixed Wireless offering, running on the Rain Network backbone. "Afrihost is going all-in and now offering Free LTE-Advanced Modems with signups until the end of November," the company announced in a press release. "This is on top of the Double Data that users can lock in until the end of November 2018." Alongside its more expensive packages, like the 330+330GB Anytime Data offering at R1549pm, Afrihost is introducing a new entry level product to the lineup. "We are also launching a new 25+25GB Package today at R299pm to cater to users with...

  • Vodacom’s IoT division now connects ‘three million things’ in South Africa

    Hot on the heels of MTN Business's Internet of Things (IoT) network announcement, Vodacom revealed that its IoT division is now connecting more than "three million 'things'" across South Africa. Deon Liebenberg, the managing exec of Vodacom's IoT division explained that this is a clear indication of the growth of IoT and related technologies in the country. "It’s worth noting that it took us eight years to get to two million connections and it took us only one year to get to three million," he explained. "The rate of IoT adoption is picking up speed locally and with the commercial rollout of...

  • MTN Business announces dedicated IoT network

    MTN has today announced a dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) network that it suggests will "enhance security of business-critical information". It quoted two distinct network technologies, namely LoRaWAN and NarrowBand-IoT. LoRaWAN can be viewed as WAN's low-power, low bit-rate cousin. It transfers less data than traditional WAN, but is used to connect devices that usually feature battery-powered sensors. NarrowBand-IoT, or NB-IoT, is typically used for indoor devices, and is allocated a slice of spectrum within the LTE band. MTN's new network will carry full support for both. "e have created a dedicated network that has its own core business support systems and operational...

  • Cell C lumps voice, SMSes and data into new ‘Social Bundles’

    Cell C today revealed its latest stab at solving the #DataMustFall crisis in the form of seven new prepaid package offerings. Dubbed Social Bundles, these packages don't simply include data but "additional data for Facebook and WhatsApp, local any network voice minutes and SMS and free games," Cell C explains in a press release. It claims that the bundles allow users to communicate across a number of different channels, and not simply social media. "The value created within these new bundles are unique, and we know our customers will instantly feel the benefits of all that the Social Bundles offers," adds Jose...

  • Vumatel explains planned R89/month fibre internet in Alexandra

    Fibre provider Vumatel made headlines in local tech publications last week when it revealed plans to deliver 100Mbps fibre internet to residents of Alexandra for just R89 a month. The move elicited skepticism from some, especially when you consider that fibre internet in wealthier suburbs has a much higher price. Vumatel marketing head Kirsten Eddey told Memeburn that it indeed started at R89 a month for "up to 100Mbps". So how did the provider come up with the concept? "With the recent surge in 'data must fall' conversations, we decided to look at how we could contribute to the movement. We realised...

  • Here’s how municipalities should do free WiFi – Project Isizwe

    Project Isizwe's Tshwane Free WiFi Project is probably the standout free WiFi initiative in the country today. Featuring relatively generous data caps and loads of zero-rated content, there's no doubt that it's been a game-changer for many citizens. We've also seen the Western Cape Free WiFi project and a few other similar initiatives pop up. But other regions in South Africa have been a little slow to get the ball rolling. Now, Project Isizwe has published a blog post by CEO Dudu Mkhwanazi, comprehensively outlining ways that municipalities can create sustainable free WiFi projects. "The critical importance of connecting citizens both now...

  • Which Android period tracking app should you be using?

    Periods are annoying. They're painful, they're messy and they get in the way of life. You probably know this. For me, the most difficult part of periods is the unpredictability. I'm not on hormonal contraception, and my cycle can sometimes last over forty days -- resulting in an agonising week of suspense and dark pants. I know I'm not alone in this anxiety, because there are so many period tracking apps on the market -- but how do we know which one will be accurate? Can we really leave the protection at home if some algorithm tells us to? I decided to take...

  • Vodacom launches ‘video data bundles’ for Showmax and DStv Now

    Vodacom has today announced a new set of data bundles for video streaming addicts. Dubbed Video Data Bundles, the company is hoping the deals will make "streaming services a lot more affordable for its customers". Notably, the packages are available for prepaid users, including customers on top-up and post-prepaid plans. "Video Data Bundles have been created specifically for OTT services, like Showmax and DStv Now. The bundles will be sold alongside the general data bundles, across all channels, and will be offered in various sizes, validity ranges and pricing," the company notes in a press release. And yes, at present, the bundles are...

  • Telkom LIT: zero-rated streaming on FreeMe packages

    Telkom has announced Telkom LIT (don't say "fam"), an initiative to zero-rate streaming services on selected FreeMe mobile data packages. The company confirmed that free music streaming on Google Play Music, Apple Music and Simfy Africa would apply to 2GB FreeMe packages and above. Want zero-rated video streaming too? Then you'll want a 5GB FreeMe package or better. Zero-rated video streaming applies to Showmax, Netflix, YouTube and Google Play. In case you forgot, Telkom's 2GB FreeMe deal costs R149, while the 5GB deal will set you back R299. Unfortunately, the 1GB FreeMe package isn't included in the zero-rated malarkey. Meanwhile, the network has...

  • Update: Vodacom’s nightmare data fiasco fuels social media fire

    Update: Vodacom South Africa has issued the following update to media Tuesday afternoon: Vodacom confirms that it has reimbursed customers affected by last night’s billing issue and remains committed to ensuring that all customers are refunded in full. We thank customers for their patience while the matter was being resolved and reiterate our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused. Customers that may have outstanding queries are kindly requested to contact our call centre for resolution on 111. The issue was caused by a configuration change on our prepaid and top up billing system that was problematic. We were able to...

  • VAST, Showmax lets you download shows at the mall for free

    Showmax users can now download and stream content for free through one of 83 VAST WiFi hotspots across South Africa, the company today announced. This comes after a partnership was struck to zero-rate Showmax data on VAST's networks, set to last for a three-month period. "Thanks to the downloads feature on Showmax, this zero-rated data means much more than just having something to watch while you're at the mall," explains Chris Savides, head of Showmax Africa. "Once you log onto one of the VAST WiFi sites, download up to 25 TV shows or movies and the data won't cost you a cent....

  • 7 Android apps that seriously need a ‘lite’ version

    Earlier this week, we got word that Google has revealed Search Lite, a lightweight (duh) version of its iconic web search tool. Offering the usual search functionality, as well as a host of other features, the app stands out thanks to its small install size and emphasis on data saving. It's not the first Lite app we've seen though, with Facebook, Messenger, Skype and even YouTube (in a limited fashion) seeing tiny apps being launched. But what about other services in need of a Lite version? Twitter Yes yes, Twitter Lite is actually a thing, but it's merely a lightweight website rather...

  • Data saving app Opera Max is officially dead

    After a stellar run of three years, Norwegian internet company Opera has announced that its data saving app, Opera Max, is officially dead. The announcement comes after a reassessment of Opera's focus areas, with browsers becoming its integral subject. "The product had a substantially different value proposition than our browser products, and represented a different focus for Opera. We, therefore, focus on our browsers and other upcoming services," it noted in a brief press release. Opera Max will no longer be updated The app itself allowed traffic to be funneled through Opera's servers, compressed, and returned to users in a thriftier package. Overtime...