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Mobile

  • MTN launches ‘Made For Home’ residential fixed LTE offering

    MTN is today unveiled its new home internet solution dubbed "Made For Home". Taking a bite out of fixed line internet solutions, the telecom's new offering will use its fixed LTE network, and will be "specifically designed for use within a fixed location". "MTN Made For Home is an easy to use, plug and play solution that requires only a router and a SIM card, to give multiple users within the home instant connectivity to high speed internet, without the trenching and complicated installation procedures, that is typically associated with fixed line products," the company notes in a release. And according to...

  • Cell C customers will soon roam on MTN’s network in smaller cities

    A pretty big announcement in South Africa's telecoms world this morning. MTN will soon let Cell C users roam on its network, to supplement the latter's coverage across smaller towns. In an announcement issued Tuesday, MTN's CEO Godfrey Motsa explained the move is beneficial for both parties. "This deal will help fund our ongoing network expansion while also immediately offering more South Africans in peri-urban and rural parts of our country greater connectivity, as they roam off MTN’s existing network," he explained in a press release. Additionally, for Cell C, it means greater coverage in smaller cities and rural areas, where MTN's...

  • Vodacom’s 4G network exceeds 80% population coverage in South Africa

    Vodacom's 4G services now cover more than 80% of the South African population, the mobile network today announced. It claims that it's the first African mobile network to cross this threshold. "Vodacom now provides 80.12% 4G coverage in South Africa, with 99.78% of the population covered by 3G and 99.97% covered by 2G," it explained in a release. It noted that the breakthrough comes on the back of the company's accelerated rural coverage programme, this despite spectrum constraints. Vodacom opens new ‘Social Media Command Centre’ in Cape Town Vodacom is embracing social media as a valid way for user to submit queries, this...

  • MTN is South Africa’s best mobile network, new report suggests

    MTN is the best mobile network in South Africa according to a new report published by MyBroadband. The company's Q1 2018 Mobile Network Quality Report published Wednesday, gauges the performance of South Africa's big four networks through its Speed Test Android app. More than 140 000 tests were conducted through the 1 January and 31 March test period. Based on pure average download speed, MTN has Vodacom beaten by more than 2Mbps. The yellow team sees an average download rate of 24.12Mbps, while the latter enjoys a still quick but slower 21.26Mbps. Notably, both are above South Africa's average download rate of...

  • BlackBerry sues Snap Inc’s Snapchat for patent infringement

    BlackBerry's back at it again. Not content with simply suing Facebook-owned WhatsApp for alleged patent infringement this year, BlackBerry is now suing Snap Inc's Snapchat for doing the same. According to BlackBerry, Snap "has used BlackBerry's intellectual property to compete with it in the mobile messaging space". These infringements are "damaging" BlackBerry's business, it notes in its complaint. Said intellectual property includes six patents -- 8,825,084; 8,326,327; 8,301,713; 8,209,634; 8,296,351; and 8,676,929 -- that it used and pioneered through BlackBerry Messenger. These cover a broad spectrum, including Snap Map and Snap Ads. Additionally, Bloomberg notes that four of those six patents were...

  • MTN debuts airtime-doubling ‘100% BONUS Starter Pack’

    MTN is this week debuting a new starter pack in South Africa with a value-added twist, just ahead of the 1 April 2018 VAT increase. "The new MTN 100% BONUS Starter Pack rewards customers with 100% bonus airtime each time they recharge," the company writes in a statement. "The SIM card doubles the value each time when they recharge, allowing MTN to further brighten South African’s lives by giving them more value for their rand." This effectively means that users who purchase R30 airtime on the SIM card, will receive R30's worth of free airtime. Said airtime can be used to call...

  • Zando’s apps, mobile site traffic is now zero-rated on Vodacom

    African fashion retailer Zando's apps and mobile site is now zero-rated on Vodacom's networks, the company announced on Wednesday. The agreement means that prepaid or contract users browsing or transacting on the retailer's mobile apps or mobile website won't be charged airtime or data fees if accessed through Vodacom. The retailer explains that the move is keeping in tune with South Africa's greater move towards mobile. "South Africa is fast catching up on the international trend of adopting a Mobile First attitude, with 61% of smartphone usage attributed to accessing internet and applications," it claims in a press release. Zando's head of mobile...

  • Vodacom opens new ‘Social Media Command Centre’ in Cape Town

    Vodacom is embracing social media as a valid way for user to submit queries, this after the company launched its "specialist Social Media Command Centre" in Cape Town on Wednesday. The company revealed at its launch event that it will spend "in excess of R15-million on staff, equipment, infrastructure and technology over the next year" to meet the growing demand on social media. Said demand experienced on social media has grown two-fold in the space of a year, it added. "The exponential use of social media amongst our customer base has necessitated the introduction of a specialised unit to service these channels,"...

  • Microsoft teases ‘lighter’ version of Skype for Android, but is it Skype Lite?

    According to a new blog post by The Skype Team (great pre-2000 teen punk band name), Skype for Android will receive a "new optimized version" for use on lower-end or aging devices. "This update -- starting to roll out in the next few days -- is lighter on both disk and memory consumption, allowing for greater speed and better audio and video quality on lower end Android devices, as well as increased performance in challenging network conditions," the post adds. The Team isn't clear if this "lighter" version is divergent from its current Android app, but it will work on devices...

  • The Moon is getting its own 4G network in 2019

    I only just got 4G LTE in my area, but noooo, serving the planet Earth is just too damn boring for some companies. Four firms, including Nokia and Audi, will in 2019 build a 4G network on the surface of the Moon, because even Millennial space dust needs high bandwidth. The move was announced this week at MWC 2018 in Barcelona. But this ludicrous idea does have a point. The network will allow astronauts to beam information -- be it video, audio or raw data -- from the Moon to Earth, that is, once humans actually reach the satellite's surface once again. And...

  • Go go Google Go: all the Go apps in one convenient place

    The last year or so has seen Google release a variety of lightweight "Go" apps for emerging markets, using less data and requiring less storage space than the standard apps. It can be confusing to remember all the Google Go apps if you haven't been keeping track. Heck, I've been keeping tabs somewhat and even I find it confusing. In any case, here are all the major Go apps from Google. Many of these might just be glorified web apps but we'll list them anyway. Google Go The obvious one is a lightweight version of Google's bread and butter, the search engine. And...

  • These are MTN’s new customer care, airtime balance numbers

    Keeping in tune a new ICASA regulation, MTN will ditch its old airtime balance check number, voicemail numbers and customer care numbers (short codes) in the coming weeks. MTN is the second South African telecoms network to announce its new list of short codes, following Vodacom's announcement earlier this week. "From 24 March 2018 the short codes that MTN customers use to check their airtime balance, retrieve voicemail messages and to contact the call centre, will be replaced with a new set of numbers," the company explained in a press release. "To allow customers time to familiarise themselves with the new codes,...

  • Vodacom’s ditching its old customer care, airtime balance numbers

    Vodacom's customer care, prepaid recharge and airtime balance check numbers have just become a little bit harder to remember. The telecoms network will be "changing its customer care contact numbers to comply with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Number Plan Regulations, 24 March 2016, Government Gazette Number 39861," it notes in a press release. "The numbering plan regulations and standardisation of certain short codes is applicable to all licensees that have an independent electronic service licence (I-ECS) and applies to both mobile and fixed networks and not only 'cellular networks'." Vodacom users can still dial 111 to reach customer...

  • Watch out for the latest OTP scam plaguing MTN’s network

    If excessive spam calls weren't enough, South Africans will now need need to guard against a new MTN scam plaguing the network. Using OTPs, or one-time PIN numbers, scammers can gain access to a users' MTN account, purchase airtime and data, and then transfer said purchases to another number. According to MTN, fraudsters gain the OTP from users directly, asking them to provide it during spam calls. "Unfortunately, fraudsters are everywhere and we want to be sure all our customers are protected at all times, across our entire business," explained Jacqui O'Sullivan, the company's corporate affairs executive. "Our systems are designed to safeguard...

  • [Update] Vodacom users ‘can’t make calls’ in Johannesburg due to network issue

    Update: The issue that affected a large number of Vodacom users across Johannesburg has been resolved, the company tweeted. We have resolved the issue where customers in Gauteng were unable to make calls earlier this morning. We apologise for the inconvenience this caused. — Vodacom (@Vodacom) January 19, 2018 Original article: If you're in and around Johannesburg this morning, on the Vodacom network and can't make or receive calls, you're not the only one. The service provider is today aware of and addressing connectivity issues around South Africa's economic hub. Users on Twitter reported issues early Friday, complaining that calls cannot be placed --...