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The Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market recorded a significant growth in the final quarter of 2014, with holiday purchases and aggressive end-of-year promotions spurring a particularly strong performance in the consumer segment. This is according to the latest figures from the IDC.

According to the IDC, the overall MEA tablet market grew 26.1 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter to total 4.43 million units, with the activities of several Far East manufacturers spurring significant annual growth in shipments of Android (33%) and Windows (131%) tablets. Read more

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Gilat Satcom has unveiled the launch of its ‘Village Island’ portfolio, which according to the company enables rural villages and remote communities in Africa where ARPUs are low to take control of their digital futures. According to the company, the Village Island will be launched at the Innovation Access Digital Africa summit, which is set to take place during 14th-16th April at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

The company revealed that Village Island has been developed to provide internet, VoIP and IP video over a private satellite network. According to Gilat Satcom, this will allow connectivity for individual villagers starting from USD 1 a month. Read more

FTTH Council Africa

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52 African countries are now connected to submarine cables, either directly or by terrestrial cross-border fibre optic networks. 44% of Africans live within a 25-km reach of a fibre node.

The key question now is which cities and suburbs are taking the lead in building access networks? In an attempt to answer this question theFTTH Council Africa, in collaboration with Africa Bandwidth Maps are undertaking research to determine network reach and identify Africa’s most connected cities.

Africa’s inventory of terrestrial transmission networks has more than doubled in the last five years. According to the latest research by Africa Bandwidth Maps, Africa’s total inventory of transmission network edges towards 1 million route kilometres, the continent had a total of 586,707-km of operational fibre optic network by December 2014. This comprises of long-haul, metropolitan and FTTH/B (fibre-to-the-home/building) terrestrial fibre optic networks. Read more

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MTN Business has launched Bring Your Business Online, a platform that gives small and medium-sized businesses (SME) increased visibility by providing online presence on the MTN managed domain for less than R20 a month.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of the South African economy, however, many of them are limited from reaching their full potential because they rely on word of mouth or traditional methods of promoting their services. With this new solution, MTN Business gives them a secure online platform to expand their reach through the expansive footprint of the digital world,” says Alpheus Mangale, Chief Enterprise and Business Officer at MTN Business. Read more

research conducted

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Running a small business is challenging, not only when it comes to designing and managing the best product or service, but also when it comes to presenting your creation to the public. When compared to large companies, there’s certainly less help available for critical processes like establishing a mobile online presence.

According to research conducted by the Endurance International Group, small businesses in the US are currently vastly underserved in that arena — 71 percent of small businesses queried said they would benefit from having a mobile app, but 78 percent did not have one. Endurance is stepping in to rectify that disparity with an auto app builder called Instant AppMachine, a collaboration between Endurance and The Netherlands-based tech developer AppMachine, and announced it in a bit of a party atmosphere at SXSW.

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The Vodafone Foundation has announced the Instant Classroom initiative, a digital ‘school in a box’, which according to Vodafone, can be set up in a matter of minutes.

The initiative is intent on helping pupils in refugee camps as well as offer them the opportunity to continue their education. The Instant Classroom has been designed for areas where electricity and internet connectivity are unreliable or non-existent, and will be deployed in partnership with UNHCR’s Innovation and Education units. Read more

Read more at IT Africa News 

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At Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC), IT News Africa caught up with Erik Dahlman who is currently one of Ericsson’s top 5G experts.

During the course of the interview, Dahlman gives a brief overview of what 5G technology is. Additionally, he discusses when 5G will be rolled-out as well as gives an estimated forecast of when the service will be introduced into the African continent.

Dahlman also gives an explanation on how 5G can be utilised as well as how it will benefit the connected world.

 

Read more at IT Africa News 

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MTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the continent.

The new service will leverage the extensive footprint of MTN’s Global MPLS network, to provide customers with connectivity between their data centres or businesses and the AWS EU Ireland region. This will give enterprises across Africa a dedicated link with which they can access the flexible, scalable and reliable AWS cloud.

“The relationship with Amazon Web Services is an important step in our plans to address the needs of enterprise customers in emerging markets, particularly Africa,” says MTN Group Chief Enterprise Officer, Mteto Nyati. Read more

Stuck in the waiting room

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A long-touted health-care revolution may at last be about to arrive

Oct 11th 2014 | ROME | From the print edition

THE idea of telemedicine—health care provided using telecommunications equipment—has a lengthy history. Radio News, an American magazine, devoted its cover to a patient at home consulting a doctor in his surgery via a television link as long ago as 1924. When NASA began monitoring astronauts in space in the 1960s, fantasy became reality. It has been touted as health care’s future ever since.

But even smartphones and tablets have failed to usher in the telemedicine revolution: most health care still happens face to face. Now, enthusiasts think the wait is nearly over. Governments have been slow to embrace an approach that could improve coverage and outcomes, as well as saving money. But they are under increasing pressure from ageing populations and a surge in chronic diseases, just as public budgets are being squeezed.

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Mozilla has revealed that the Firefox OS will soon expand to Africa. The Firefox OS ecosystem has gained support from three new key partners in the region: Airtel, MTN South Africa and Tigo, operated by Millicom, are the first carriers working with Mozilla to soon bring first Firefox OS smartphones to Africa.

“We are proud to see that with Airtel, MTN South Africa and Tigo, Firefox OS gains additional support to soon extend the Firefox OS footstep into Africa”, says Rick Fant, Mozilla’s VP Planning and Ecosystem. “The continued growth of Firefox OS holds great promise for enabling millions more people to access the mobile Web at an affordable cost, while helping to remove control points in today’s closed mobile ecosystems.” Read more