Southafrica

Posts Tagged ‘vodacom’

vodacom launches low-cost solar-powered cellphone

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Exploiting eco energy is a great way of protecting the environment. Few mobile networks have gone this route and Vodacom today showed their commitment for the environment by launching the VF 247.

This low cost solar powered cellphone, which has the ability to charge on the go is something that many are calling unique. We at fring think this is genius and selling for only R339.00 this device makes for a great emergency handset.

Designed with an integrated solar panel, users can now charge on the go. Apparently it takes only an hour or two to fully charge this device using nothing but solar energy from the sun. This is not only a huge saving on the environment but will also save consumers  time and money.

“In many communities, electricity supplies are intermittent or non-existent, but with this new handset, people won’t have to worry about when they are next going to be able to charge the battery,” said Joosub.

“It’s so simple and obvious, but the combination of solar power and a low-cost handset will hopefully make a big difference.” SouthAfrica.info

The VF 247 comes with all the basic Voice and text features.  It also has a FM radio, a colour display and a built in torch.

We can’t wait to see a high end smartphone using tis same eco power source in future ;-)

Skyrove eyes 2.6GHz national radio frequency

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

The hard working boys and girls over at Skyrove.com are making waves again.  This time they plan to take on the industry gaints by participating in the first ever auction for national radio frequency in the 2,6GHz band.

The Skyrove business model is simple and allows anyone to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot and earn an income by sharing or selling Internet access to others.  If Henk Kleynhans CEO of Skyrove uses the same model as Skyrove and applies it to the 2,6GHz band, it’s going to be huge.  This would in theory allow the company to scale rapidly via third party clients who could then resell 4G wireless broadband in their local area under license from Skyrove.  The scaling potential is huge and me thinks the larger mobile networks in South Africa are going to sit up straight or miss out.

Most of the smartphones these days have WiFi and this new 4G network linked into the Skyrove model could create a network of WiFi hotspots so large that you could move between networks almost seamlessly.  Thats the theory and me thinks only time will tell how Henk’s model really works. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the larger players in the indusrty respond to this.

I really hope Henk and his team win the license.  Just participating in this auction is going to cost Skyrove R70000 (non refundable). They will also need to put down a refundable deposit of R750000 just to be able to bid.  This is no small auction and taking on the industry gaints is no small task.  Henk and his team obviously have fringing balls of steel and financial backing to boot, because this auction is going to easily clock a few hundred million. Maybe we should be wishing the industry gaints luck, because the new kid on the block is going to kick your butt ;-)

That being said we wish the Skyrove team well with their bid, we are rooting for you!

Vodacom upgrades to 14.4 Mbps

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

fringsters listen up, I have great news for you!

Vodacom has just finished upgrading a huge section of their network (more than 3300 towers across South Africa) to support 14.4 Mbps Internet speeds.  As for the rest of the network you guys will have to make due with the speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps on 3G.  The great news is that with speeds of between 7.2 and 14.4 Mbps fring calling and video stream quality on the Vodacom network will be vastly better than on other local networks ;-)

A little birdy tells me that Vodacom is also testing 21.1 Mbps HSPA services on their network but this will only go live laters.  So it looks like there are only good things to come. Watch this space for progress.

Vodacom 14.4 Mbps internet goes live on 1 May 2010

M-pesa coming to South Africa

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Vodacom and Nedbank Partner to Bring M-PESA
to South Africa
30 March 2010, Johannesburg: Vodacom and Nedbank today announced a joint initiative to bring M-PESA, the biggest global success story in mobile money, to South Africa. M-PESA is an innovative mobile money solution which has already seen enormous success in other African markets, as well as in Afghanistan; enabling even unbanked customers to transfer money from person to person using a cellphone. As Vodacom’s preferred banking partner in the project, Nedbank has engaged proactively with the banking regulator, ensuring that the initiative will meet all requirements set out by the South African Reserve Bank.
Shameel Joosub, Managing Director, Vodacom South Africa, said: ‘Nedbank is the ideal financial services partner for this venture. With their proven track record of providing financial services to those who are traditionally unable to afford it and their innovative approach to banking, we know they will bring a new dimension to the project. Both Nedbank and Vodacom are confident that M-PESA is going to change the lives of “unbanked” South Africans and we are looking forward to the imminent launch of the product.’
Saks Ntombela, Managing Executive, Nedbank Retail, said:  ‘As a bank for all South Africans’, we are delighted to be a part of this innovative, simple money transfer product which offers easy access to funds. We are particularly excited about this offering being attractive to the previously unbanked population who are not yet part of the formal banking system.  Nedbank strives to understand our customers’ needs and is committed to then ensure that what we deliver is a financial product that is easy to use. This illustrates a shared vision between Nedbank and Vodacom.’
Added Joosub, ‘M-PESA has a successful track record in other markets. With the backing of Nedbank and Vodafone, as well as the power of the public’s trust in the Vodacom brand, all of the signs are there that M-PESA is going to revolutionise the way South Africans transfer, share and spend their money.’
The M-PESA service was originally created as a pilot funded jointly by Vodafone and the UK Department for International Development [DFID] Financial Deepening Challenge Fund. Since then, the service has proved immensely successful in the Kenya, Tanzania and Afghanistan markets with more than 10 million M-PESA customers. Vodafone first announced its intentions to repeat its success in South Africa at the GSMA Mobile World conference in Barcelona earlier this year.

Breaking news: Vodacom and Nedbank Partner to Bring M-PESA to South Africa

Hot on the heals of the FNB / Paypal announcement comes a very exciting announcement by Vodacom and Nedbank.

“Vodacom and Nedbank today announced a joint initiative to bring M-PESA, the biggest global success story in mobile money, to South Africa.

M-PESA is an innovative mobile money solution which has already seen enormous success in other African markets, as well as in Afghanistan; enabling even unbanked customers to transfer money from person to person using a cellphone.

The M-PESA service was originally created as a pilot funded jointly by Vodafone and the UK Department for International Development [DFID] Financial Deepening Challenge Fund. Since then, the service has proved immensely successful in the Kenya, Tanzania and Afghanistan markets with more than 10 million M-PESA customers. ”

fringsters this is very good news for all the unbanked South African fringsters out there, we will be watching this story closely as it unfolds and will bring you the latest on mobile money as it unfolds.

South Africans must link cellphone to ID or be cut off

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Breaking news from South Africa:

From Wednesday, anyone buying a pre-paid SIM card in South Africa must provide proof of address and identification, according to a new law.”

The compulsory registration of all SIM cards in use, in terms of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) will come into effect from 1 July 2009.”

Existing Vodacom, MTN and CellC contract customers will have 18months to register “subscribers that fail to comply with RICA within the specified time period will be deactivated”.

The new law also only allows for in person registration and no telephonic registrations will be allowed. You will also need to have the following with you when registering.

*Cellphone number
*Full names and surname
*ID number or passport number.
*Physical address.

Note: Not sure how this will affect tourists purchasing pre-paid simcards during the 2010 world cup soccer but I think you would be able to use your passport and accommodation info when purchasing.

“Cell C customers can register at all Cell C franchise stores or at stores where they see a RICA sign. Alternatively, they contact Cell C’s contact centre on 140 (free of charge) from a Cell C cellphone or 084 140 from any other phone for more information on RICA.

MTN customers can register at all MTN’s services centres across the country and in the event customer need guidance and clarity the MTN customer care number is 173, free from an MTN cellphone or 083 173 from any other phone, for prepaid subscribers.

Vodacom customers can register their SIM cards at any Vodacom outlets or they can contact their Customer Care Centre on 111, free from a Vodacom cellphone, or 082 111 from any other phone to find the nearest RICA agent where they can register their SIM card.” Mybroadband.co.za

fring iPhone bugs? Here’s the update

Monday, October 6th, 2008

It’s been a busy weekend at the fring HQ. We would like to thank you all for your inputs, feedbacks, kind words and bug reports, Keep them coming.

After reading hundreds of mails, here’s a few things I thought we should point out:

1. The annoying “dot in the Email” bug –
So this is now a known bug that prevented some users from registering. We are working on it and will issue a solution ASAP.
In the meantime you have a few options:
-  If you’re using gmail you can drop the dot and register as abcd@gmail.com instead of ab.cd@gmail.com – gmail supports this kind of modification to the user name.
- If you’re not using gmail you can leave this field empty and register with no Email address. Please write down your user ID and password since you won’t have an option to retrieve your password at a later stage.

We are already working on a fix to this bug – it should be available on the App Store in the next few days.

2. “Call terminated” on Skype and SIP
In most cases you’ll get this error when trying to make a call to a not recognized number. In order to make a successful call you should enter the number in its international format, for example:

For the US dial  +1XXXXXXXX or 001XXXXXXXX
For the UK dial +44XXXXXX or 0044XXXXXXXX

But the best way to make an ‘Out’ call is by choosing a contact from the address book (Apple inc. in this example) –> Choose the type of call (SIP or Skype Out) –> Here you’ll have a chance to edit the number so it will fit the international format –> Click ‘OK’ and you’re done.

Please make sure you’re fully loggen in to Skype when trying to make the call, during the peek time this might take 2-3 min.

I’ll get back to my Emails now, we’ll be back here with more tips and tricks. Keep the feedback coming and thanks for your support.

Officially unlocked iPhones on sale in Hong Kong

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Gizmodo.com is reporting that for only $700.00 you can now buy an officially unlocked 8Gig iPhone 3G from the Honk Kong Apple Store. This news comes only hours after Vodacom South Africa launched their handsets, for roughly $800.00