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Mobile Operators & Internet Tech

  • Samsung’s Android browser gets major updates, OneUI design flair

    Samsung Internet Beta, the Korean company's mobile browser, is getting a slew of updates, it announced on Tuesday. "Along with updating our engine to Chromium 67, our new 9.2 Beta will be the first to feature the OneUI design language," said Daniel Appelquist, Samsung's director of web advocacy and open source. The company originally revealed OneUI -- an all-new interface for upcoming Samsung devices -- last November. It's now slowly hitting devices locally, including the likes of the Note 9. The updated browser features a new icon for Samsung Internet, along with simpler placement for menus and options on device screens. "The new UI shifts...

  • Chrome’s incognito mode isn’t really incognito at all, report suggests

    Google is making Incognito Mode more incognito, a report by 9to5Google claims. Currently, Incognito Mode does not really hide your presence from websites because web developers can still detect if you're using the mode in the first place, making it pointless. Essentially, developers enable the "FileSystem" API to detect you. This API is meant to be disabled during Incognito Mode, because it is where data would usually be stored. The report explained that "when asked for a file system while in Incognito, Chrome will create a virtual one using RAM, to fully ensure it’s deleted once you leave Incognito". Eventually however, Google intends...

  • FNB Connect gets data transfer, monthly rollover and usage alert features

    If you're an FNB Connect user, you will now have the option to roll over your remaining data to the following month. In a statement on Tuesday, FNB revealed that the move is in response to ICASA's requirements on data expiry on mobile networks. FNB Connect will also introduce a free data transfer feature, allowing users to send data to one another on the network. This also includes data that has rolled over. The network is also adding an option for users to receive data depletion notifications at 50%, 80% and 100% "allowing them to actively track and manage usage". "This is part...

  • Zimbabwe’s ISP Econet confirms government ordered internet shutdown

    Zimbabwe's largest internet services provider Econet on Wednesday confirmed that it had halted users' internet access on government orders. This comes after protests erupted across the country this week after a record fuel price increase was announced on Saturday. Read more: #ShutdownZimbabwe: internet access disrupted amid protests "We are obliged to act when directed to do so," the company told its customers. Additionally, a screenshot of a now-deleted Facebook post made by Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa, spotted by Zimbabwean publication Techweez, confirmed that "failure to comply would result in three years imprisonment of local management". Media watchdog MISA Zimbabwe also confirmed that Econet was...

  • #ShutdownZimbabwe: internet access disrupted amid protests

    According to multiple reports, internet access across Zimbabwe has been disrupted amid ongoing protests that erupted after Saturday's record fuel price hike. Last weekend, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa more than doubled the price of petroleum and diesel, making it the most expensive place in the world to purchase fuel. This was in a bid to address fuel shortages and illegal trading, reported the BBC. However, the move has since fueled heated protests within the country's largest cities. On Tuesday, a swathe of Zimbabweans reported disruptions to their internet access, with Facebook and WhatsApp inaccessible. Twitter was also affected. https://twitter.com/misazimbabwe/status/1085018519241216000 https://twitter.com/tawmug/status/1085096994312519680 https://twitter.com/theBlackZw/status/1085086040015204353 According to a report by...

  • Vodacom users can stream the FA Cup for R35 a match via Video Play

    Vodacom on Monday announced that its Video Play customers will be able to livestream the FA Cup, the English football competition, for its duration, ending in May 2019. "This means that football lovers, who are on the Vodacom network can register for Video Play and binge on the next five rounds of English football from January," the company explained in a press release. Customers can pay per match, or access the entire season without having to subscribe. "Vodacom customers will have access to live, delayed-live or catchup to all their favourite teams in the FA Cup, including highlights and clips from as...

  • AT&T renames its 4G service ‘5G E’ and its rivals are not happy

    Network operators spend a large wad of the cash you send them formulating new marketing campaigns. But while some are awkward (if not downright cringe), others are totally bogus. In the US, AT&T in late December announced that it would push updates in the new year that would replace the 4G LTE logo displayed on phones' status bars to "5G E". The move was the next phase of a technology rollout, which included improvements made to its existing 4G offerings. But there's one problem: the software update can't exactly help your 4G LTE smartphone "grow" a 5G modem. Just as a diesel...

  • Black Friday: these are Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom’s data specials

    Looking for more data this Black Friday? We take a look at what South Africa's big four networks -- Cell C, MTN, Telkom, and Vodacom -- are offering consumers this year. Cell C's Black Friday specials Following the announcement of its MediaPlay contract packages earlier this year, Cell C is now "is doubling the inclusive anytime data for both MediaPlay Postpaid and MediaPlay TopUp customers who purchase a 24-month contract". In a release, the mobile network suggested that the offer is valid for any new subscribers or those upgrading, and will be valid until 6 January 2019. "The double data will last for...

  • Standard Bank Mobile is South Africa’s latest (virtual) network

    South Africa has a new (virtual) mobile network operator in Standard Bank. The financial services provider today confirmed that it will ply its trade in the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) space with Standard Bank Mobile. The network will be supported by Cell C, which also platforms rival offering FNB Connect. While Cell C and MTN will do the heavy lifting, as an MVNO, Standard Bank Mobile offers packages on its network favouring its own banking clientele. Users who don't have a Standard Bank account cannot use the network. The network's base subscription fee is R39 per month, while voice calls are...

  • LiFi could light up your internet connection within the next 10 years

    An internet connection has become a basic requirement for billions of people across the world. But what happens when a wireless connection isn't available, either because it's unfeasible or constrained by other factors? Researchers from the UK's UCL and Northumbria University are turning their eyes, and data transmission hopes, to the light. And quite literally too. Dubbed LiFi, the successor to radiowave-based WiFi will use light produced by special LEDs that will send and receive data to and from devices. "The LEDs we are developing are plastic, flexible devices which are cheap to make and which are already appearing in high-end mobile phones,...

  • Rain announces plans for ‘ultra-broadband’ 5G service in South Africa

    Get ready to hear about 5G a lot more in the coming months. The latest company to make use of the term is data-only network Rain. The company today announced  that it will launch a 5G wireless network in South Africa, this after it launched its 4G data service to consumers in June. 5G is a blanket term to describe the fifth generation of mobile communications, and includes lower latency, faster transfer speeds, and the ability to "differentiate between fixed and mobile devices" and adjust internet connection requirements accordingly. The service, which will demonstrate its network in Cape Town in November, will...

  • Vodacom improves its VoLTE service with new audio codec

    Vodacom launched VoLTE (Voice over LTE) a little over three years ago now. Today, it announced that it's further tuning this offering. The company is replacing the old AMR codec, with the higher bandwidth EVS codec, or Enhanced Voice Services. While AMR has a relatively limited audio bandwidth of up to 7kHz, EVS allows for bandwidth of up to 20kHz, increasing the overall quality of the service. This, Vodacom claims, brings CD-like audio quality to its VoLTE offering. "Vodacom is always looking to improve the experience customers have on our network," said Siyabonga Zulu, Vodacom's exec for radio network engineering. "Deploying Enhanced Voice...

  • Web’s inventor Tim Berners-Lee wants to give users control of their internet data

    Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with having invented the World Wide Web, says he plans to reinvent the internet -- by helping users to regain ownership of their private internet data, through his new startup Inrupt and its Solid platform. Speaking at the 38th Gitex Technology Week in Dubai yesterday, Berners-Lee said the initial dream of the World Wide Web as a tool that would fuel democracy had now faded and been replaced instead by a place full of click-bait articles and fake news. "A lot of people are finding that they're not so happy about it," he added. But above all, privacy has become a major concern, with the...

  • Everyone’s wondering what happened to the ANC’s website

    If you've been wondering what happened to the ANC's official website, well, it's down. You can check for yourself here, but any attempts to visit the site are greeted with "no input file specified" error. When visiting specific pages, we were met with a "the server is currently undergoing maintenance" message. The website has been down for at least two days, users online report. According to a Business Live report, it's because the ruling party in South Africa hasn't paid its bills on time, service provider bills that amount to R32.5-million. Although the ANC denies these claims, suggesting that no money is owed...

  • MTN’s Free Twitter service is coming to an end tonight

    Make sure you have data on your account this evening, because MTN's free Twitter service is coming to an abrupt end at midnight tonight. "It’s been over four years. #FreeTwitter will be laid to rest on Tuesday midnight, 25 September," the company tweeted on Saturday, suggesting that its Free Twitter service was becoming unfeasible. "Its last wishes were for you to make the most of it this weekend. May its soul live forever in your memes and GIFs." It’s been over four years. #FreeTwitter will be laid to rest on Tuesday midnight, 25 September. Its last wishes were for you to make...