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Mobile Operators & Internet Tech

  • 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...

  • 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,"...

  • 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...

  • 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 --...

  • This movie is free to torrent on The Pirate Bay, thanks to its creators

    Torrenting, in the case of Hollywood, is the thing that shall not be named. It's the downfall of the movie industry, and killer of careers. But in this particular case, it has proven to be the complete opposite. TorrentFreak this week reported that a movie called The Man From Earth: Holocene is available to download right now on The Pirate Bay. But unlike most movies on the website, its creators put it there. In 2007, movie producer Eric Wilkinson found his indie sci-fi flick The Man From Earth was trending on IMDB. Not quite sure why, he stumbled across a review...

  • MTN is the fastest mobile network in South Africa, report reveals

    In South Africa, there's much debate surrounding which of the four mobile networks is fastest, let alone which is the most cost effective to use. But we can now, somewhat, put the debate to rest. MyBroadband today published its Mobile Network Quality Report for South Africa, looking at the Q4 2017 performance of these networks. Data is accrued through the publisher's Android Speed Test app, which played host to some 113 000 tests and 8250 users during this period. And notably, there is a clear winner. MTN's average download and upload speeds saw the highest average of any network, with 22.22Mbps and 10.07Mbps...

  • MTN, Ericsson’s new 5G network trial hits 20Gbps speeds

    It took a while for South Africa to embrace the speed that 4G LTE offers, but the latest generation of the mobile technology is already on the horizon. MTN, together with infrastructure giant Ericsson today launched their 5G technology and applications trial at the latter's HQ in Johannesburg. The trial itself won't be felt by South Africans just yet, but it does become the continent's first test of the technology, which promises faster speeds than 4G LTE, lower latency, and better coverage for high density areas. Initial numbers are promising too. According to MTN, initial tests saw a throughput of 20Gbps --...

  • This is how global internet speeds changed in 2017

    You may not feel it if you're still using ADSL over century-old copper lines in South Africa, but global internet speeds over both fixed broadband and mobile networks have increased in 2017. And increased by quite a fair bit at that. According to a new report by Ookla's Speedtest, the company noted a 30.1% jump in mobile download speeds between November 2016 and November 2017, and a 38.9% increase in mobile upload speeds during the same period. This equates to a global average of 20.28Mbps down, and 8.65Mbps up. Fixed broadband networks have also accelerated. 40.11Mbps down is now the global mean, increasing...

  • These are MTN’s Black Friday data deals for 2017

    There are so many deals hitting consumers on Black Friday, that it's hard to keep track. (Sidenote: Gearburn's doing an excellent job in this regard). But what if you aren't looking for hardware? What if you're looking for data? MTN will be offering a number of data deals it's calling "Mega Deals" on Black Friday, appealing to those of us who send one too many high-resolution moon moon GIFs. "MTN will be offering all customers on MTN Zone and MTN Muziq price plans, a guaranteed discount of 95%, during the HAPPY HOUR timeslot from 15:00 – 15:59 daily" between 24 and...