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Finns descend on AfricaCom

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Eight Finnish technology companies joined AfricaCom 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa this week.

The purpose of their visit is to connect with potential clients and present their offering, to eventually form beneficial and value-adding business relationships.

Finland is known for its long history and track record in telecommunications innovation. After the success of Nokia, Finnish telecom businesses have introduced several new technologies and digital services to the global market.

“Finland is one of the world’s leading developers of new mobile communications technology, but Finnish companies also have plenty of know-how in existing telecom technologies. The companies we are bringing along have plenty of specialised expertise to offer to several promising markets in Africa,” says Mr. Kimmo Aura, Finpro’s Connectivity from Finland Program Director.

Joining AfricaCom are network performance and data transfer optimisation specialists Creanord, Exomi and Cumucore, software companies JL-Soft, Methics and Pajat Solutions, as well as data roaming specialist Uros and operator platform developer Tecnotree.

The participating companies offer a versatile selection of future proof technologies for the digitalised world. They enable operators to improve their operational efficiency and come up with new business models and offerings, which in turn benefit end-users and boost their customer satisfaction.

New investments generate new needs

Emerging foreign interest in the African telecom sector stems largely from sizeable mobile communications development projects happening throughout the continent. The mobile markets in South Africa and Kenya, for example, are already highly developed, but reliable data transfer capabilities will become increasingly crucial in the future as mobile Internet access grows more commonplace.

“Faced by the challenge of increasing mobile Internet use, operators are striving to find new ways to make the most of their existing network infrastructure in order to support the future growth of data traffic. This calls for new ways of monetising data traffic as well as improving the capacity of existing networks,” Mr. Aura says.

“Finnish telecom expertise covers the entire operator value chain from core and access network solutions to value adding services and applications.”

Connectivity from Finland has had a strong focus on Africa since its start in 2015, and it has previously organised similar trade missions to select African markets.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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