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DFA targets 20 000 business connections via fibre

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By March 2016, Dark Fibre Africa hopes to give 20 000 businesses access to its high-speed fibre optic network using a service provider of their choice.

Fibre backbone provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) aims to establish 20 000 business connections in its fibre to the business network by March 2016. These connections will provide businesses across South Africa with access to a high-speed fiber optic network via an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice.

There is an increase in demand for fibre optic network connectivity across South Africa, which is partly due to the country playing catch up to other more developed markets around the world. According to Reshaad Sha, Chief Strategy Officer at DFA, “Although there are several drivers leading to increased demand for connectivity, we have identified that globally cloud computing is a critical driver for the adoption of fibre based connectivity. In order for cloud computing to deliver the benefits of cost saving, business continuity and business agility, it requires a secure and super-fast connection that only a fibre network can provide.”

Although cloud adoption in Africa is still in its infancy, demand for cloud services are growing in the private sector across South Africa. Almost half of 100 JSE-listed corporations are using a form of cloud computing as they are looking to use innovative solutions to develop a competitive edge and drive efficiencies across the business. “The challenge that many of these businesses face is that the demand for bandwidth is dependent on availability and ease of access, but the demand is needed to motivate for the investment in this infrastructure,” says Sha.

To address this challenge, DFA will expand its network and simplify the ease of access to this high-speed fibre network for businesses across all major and secondary cities across South Africa. This will complement the work that is being done by various ISPs that have, over the past 18 months, accelerated their enterprise sales activity to increase market penetration and connect customers to fibre based networks.

According to Sha, “This is a step in the right direction to help South Africa to catch up to some of the more developed and even some of the emerging markets around the world that have already invested significantly in fibre connectivity.” The Network Readiness Index 2014 which ranks countries in terms of ICT readiness, digital infrastructures and robust innovation systems, ranks South Africa at number 70 while countries such as Brazil (69), Mauritius (48), Turkey (51) and Saudi Arabia (32) rank higher. In terms of the readiness subindex which looks at infrastructure, affordability and skills, South Africa ranks even lower at 98 out of 144 countries across the globe.

“By investing in our fibre networks, we aim to help address two of the drivers mentioned in the readiness subindex, namely infrastructure availability and affordability. In doing this, we will provide the infrastructure needed for companies to adopt cloud based services, use collaboration tools and leverage technologies that will support their own innovations and business growth,” concludes Sha.

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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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