'Project Loon' is almost ready for lift-off

Google's ambitious plan to connect the world via balloons, Project Loon, is preparing for lift-off as the web giant reports it has "almost perfected" the technology and will announce its first operator partners in Africa soon. 

Speaking at the GSMA Mobile 360 conference in South Africa, the good news comes from Google's regional business lead, Wael Fakharany. He believes that it's now "time to scale" the technology in Africa, and connect people to the rest of the world via high-speed broadband. 

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Telecoms services take the brunt of Boko Haram

Boko Haram, a terrorist group in allegiance with ISIL, has been giving Nigerian security agencies trouble since it was founded back in 2002. The group's attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, and it's thought Boko Haram is responsible for the deaths of 17,000 people since 2009 alone. 

The recently-appointed president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered security agencies operating in the region to eradicate insurgency within three months. As part of this move, telecommunication companies...

By Ryan Daws, 08 September 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Consumers, Government, Mobile, Operators, Regulation, Surveillance.

SMS is banned in Central African Republic

There are those who argue that in the modern world, internet access should be classed as a human right. The ability to communicate certainly should be, and yet the level of constant connectivity we have today is sometimes so overbearing that we need to cut off from it for a while - but at least that disconnection is of our own choice.

According to Agence France-Presse, text messaging is now considered a threat in the Central African Republic. It follows waves of violence supposedly organised via the medium in...

By Ryan Daws, 09 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Government, Industry, Networks.

Microsoft launches White Space pilot in Africa for low-cost broadband

Whilst Bill Gates may be spending less time at Microsoft, instead focusing more on incredible global philanthropic work with his – and his wife Melinda’s – Gates Foundation.

The research teams back at Microsoft have launched a third pilot in Africa to explore the possibility of low-cost broadband.

The Redmond-based giant has had previous forays into Africa under the aptly-named ‘4Afrika’ initiative - now in its third iteration - this current pilot makes use of TV and...

By Ryan Daws, 29 July 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Broadband, Consumers, Infrastructure, Research.

Mobile will connect the next billion Internet users, but at what cost?

Emerging markets continue to feature heavily in the keynote speeches at MWC 2013, with both Nokia and Bharti Airtel’s CEOs highlighting that the next billion Internet connections will come from mobile users in emerging markets.

Ovum forecasts that emerging markets will be the key source of future mobile connections growth, particularly in Africa and Asia-Pacific. Between 2012 and 2017, Ovum expects that there will be 1.6 billion new mobile connections across the world, with 61% of these coming from Asia-Pacific....

By Ovum Research, 27 February 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Asia, Mobile, Networks, Operators.

Expectations for the Next-Generation Mobile Phone

As more consumers transition to smartphones that are intended for internet access, their device performance expectations evolve -- sometimes in ways that were not anticipated by device manufacturers or mobile network service providers. According to the latest market study by In-Stat, the rapid adoption and growth of smartphones -- and of other mobile computing devices -- have pushed the expectation needle for the ideal feature set to new levels. As a result, most handsets today already include a multitude of features like a digital camera, GPS, email capability, touchscreen, and...

By David H. Deans, 04 November 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Apps, Asia, Billing.

Low Cost Smartphones for the World's Poorest Citizens

The next one billion people on the planet who are first-time users of the internet will likely gain access via a smartphone, not a computer. Moreover, the internet offers them the prospect of new hope and socioeconomic advancement. Why? Many of these people are poor, very poor. In most developing nations, the typical Android smartphone -- typically selling for $400 to $500 -- is way out of reach for many consumers that currently have a feature phone or perhaps no phone at all. These potential smartphone owners currently only have one operating system (OS) choice in the low-cost category, (the under-$150...

By David H. Deans, 02 November 2011, 1 comment. Categories: Africa, Asia, Consumers, Europe, India, LATAM, N America, Research, Smartphones, UAE.

Blackberry service improves but brand damage is done

Blackberry assured its users that services across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India were ‘operating with significant improvement’ this morning, following a disastrous three day outage.

Users of Blackberry’s messaging and email services worldwide have been experiencing severe disruption since the 10 October, when a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure at its data centre in Slough, Berkshire in the UK caused the system to fall over.

Unfortunately for Blackberry,...

By Matt Henkes, 13 October 2011, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Consumers, Devices, Europe, India, Industry, Mobile, Smartphones, SMEs.