South Africa: Lampposts to become broadband towers

MTN has begun replacing Johannesburg’s streetlight infrastructure with lampposts that double as cellular base stations, with hundreds of deployments planned before Christmas.

MTN South Africa has secured a tender from City Power, Johannesburg’s electricity supply agency, to turn lampposts into cellular base stations in a move the operator believes will go a long way to solving coverage challenges not only in South Africa’s largest city but across urban South Africa.

Source: TechCentral

South Africa: Now Parkview asks suppliers to quote for FTTH

Residents of another upmarket Johannesburg suburb have kick-started the process of building a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in their neighbourhood. Parkview has signalled plans to follow the example of nearby Parkhurst, which has taken an early lead in building FTTH.

“We have fast fibre-optic cables running through and around the suburb that could be used to provide much better broadband Internet services at reasonable cost,” the Parkview Residents’ Association (PRA) says in a newsletter that will be sent to residents later this week.

Source: TechCentral

Nedbank launches Send-iMali service

South Africa's Nedbank has launched Send-iMali, a fast, safe and easy-to-use system for sending money through a mobile phone, the internet or the Nedbank App Suite to any valid South African mobile phone, anytime, anywhere, IT Africa reported.

The mobile money transfer system enables anyone with a mobile phone to receive funds through a Nedbank ATM. The service can also be used by clients who may have forgotten their wallet or card at home, as it allows them to use a mobile phone to make cordless withdrawals at a Nedbank ATM. It can also be used in rural areas.

Source: TechCentral

Mxit active users down by almost 2 million

Popular South African instant messaging service Mxit has seen a sharp decline in the number of active users in the last year, said CEO Francois Swart.

According to a story on TechCentral, Mxit’s active user base went down from 6.5 million to 4.9 million, this while other social networks such as Facebook’s have grown to over 10 million active users.

It’s probably no surprise that Mxit’s numbers are showing a decline, with strong competition from the likes of WeChat and WhatsApp making major strides in the African market.

Source: TechCentral

Vodacom faces competition probe

Vodacom has revealed that the Competition Commission has decided to investigate a complaint lodged by Cell C, in which the smaller mobile operator has accused its larger rival of abusing its dominance in contravention of the law.

“The group received a complaint from the Competition Commission in which it is alleged that Vodacom South Africa abused its market dominance in contravention of section 8(a), 8(c) and 8(d)(i) of the Competition Act,” the operator says.

Source: TechCentral

Vodacom debuts low-cost smartphone

Vodacom has become the latest operator to debut a low-cost, own-branded smartphone aimed at getting more South Africans connected to the Internet.

Following the launch earlier this year by MTN of the Steppa smartphone, which costs R499  Vodacom has announced it will also begin selling a low-cost unit it's calling the Smart 4 mini for R899 on prepaid. It's also available on aggressively priced 24-month contract deals starting at R49/month.

Source: TechCentral

Google launches SA elections hub

Google has launched an online South African Elections Hub as the country gears up to go to the polls.

Google has launched an online South African Elections Hub as the country gears up to go to the polls in three weeks time.

The Internet giant describes the hub as an online portal where voters, journalists and campaigners can easily track all the latest news, trends and information related to the 2014 general election, the fifth since the advent of democracy 20 years ago.

Source: TechCentral

Telkom denies rumours mobile tower deals

Telkom on Wednesday denied speculation in the media that it has received a proposal from a Southeast Asian company or grouping for the sale of its mobile towers business in a deal that reportedly could be valued at as much as US$3bn.

On Tuesday, a report on a website called Business Tech said that the investment group, which, curiously, the website failed to name, wants to set up factories in South Africa to build tower infrastructure.

Source: TechCentral

Facebook knocks Mxit from its perch

Until now the largest social network in South Africa, Mxit, which claims to have 7,4m active monthly users, has been knocked from the top spot by Facebook, with an estimated 9,4m active users, a number the researchers say may actually be on the conservative side.

This was the key finding of the South African Social Media Landscape 2014 research study published on Tuesday by World Wide Worx and Fuseware.

Source: TechCentral

MTN South Africa reports 22% rise in first-half profit, beats market estimates

South Africa-based regional wireless operator MTN Group has reported a 22% increase in profits for the six months ending 30 June 2013, beating market expectations, buoyed by a strong rise in its overall subscriber base. The Group’s so-called ‘headline earnings per share’, which excludes one-off exceptional items, reached ZAR6.54 (USD0.772) for 1H13, up from ZAR5.36 for the corresponding period of 2012, beating the median estimate for profit of ZAR6.49 per share, in a poll of analysts carried out by Bloomberg.

Source: TechCentral
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