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FTTH comes to Sunninghill

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Residents of Sunninghill in Johannesburg have selected Metrofibre Networx as the preferred fibre supplier for the area.

Working with the local Sunninghill ratepayers association, Metrofibre was selected as the area’s preferred FTTH supplier, enabling residents access to high-speed fibre and data services right to the home. The first estate in Sunninghill went live in June 2015, subsequently a further six have been completed, with 14 more to follow suit, and further construction happening in excess of 10 additional estates.

All in all, the over 6000 residential properties within the area will all be able to tap into the Metrofibre fibre network by the middle of 2016. As a consequence of the agreement reached with Sunninghill, the company has also extended network access to include Barbeque Downs.

“Until recently high-speed data has been an expensive luxury only afforded to a select few who could shoulder the costs of uncapped DSL and LTE services, but fibre changes all of this,” states Jacques de Villiers  at Metrofibre Networx. “With fibre consumers and businesses can now ensure that their browsing is never slowed down, making services such as live streaming television, music and even gaming a qualified option for South African customers. It is fast and cost effective – truly levelling the Internet connectivity playing fields for local businesses and consumers.”

Working hand in glove with the Sunninghill Ratepayers Association, Metrofibre will also be providing fibre access for the security cameras in Sunninghill , at no cost to the residents.

“After extensive research into the various FTTH suppliers in a process that extended almost a year, we at the Sunninghill Community Ratepayers Association elected to appoint Metrofibre Networx as our preferred supplier of fibre to homes and businesses within the Sunninghill area,” states Linda Gildenhuys, chairman of the Sunninghill Ratepayers Association.

Of the reasons initially listed by the selection team as to why they selected Metrofibre as their partner included the fact that when dealing with the company they were provided with a single point of contact to address questions and assist with service delivery. The company’s ability to deliver symmetrical broadband speeds, as well as uncapped and unshaped Internet, and the fact that its network had stood the test of independent user testing and came out with flying colours, also ranked highly on the selection criteria.

Another attractive offering to customers who elect to make use of Metrofibre for their fibre needs in the area is that the company does not hold the association to any contract terms. In fact, once the network is installed, individual customers can freely contact Metrofibre of their own accord at any stage.

The project encompasses two forms of fibre, namely trenched fibre, which is fibre that is laid underground, and aerial fibre for already established and built up areas where trenching could pose a problem. To this end the company recently ran a highly successful aerial project in the Glenferness area, proving the robustness and accessibility of its aerial offering.

According to de Villiers, this ensures that customers are afforded the option to select what they prefer with as little disruption to the existing environment as possible.

Established in 2010, Metrofibre owns and manages South Africa’s first globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) open access fibre network and connects in excess of 60 cloud, application, voice and Internet service providers with their customers. Its network has been built in line with the highest global standards, making use of only superior networking products, providing customers with a carrier class open access fibre network that offers ultra-high speed and low latency connections.

New estates and new businesses in the area are urged to contact Metrofibre , while they are in the development phase of the project should they wish to elect to partner with the company on their fibre needs.

“The quality of our network speaks for itself. Our customers who are residents in these areas, and sign up for access to the Metrofibre network, can now leverage key benefits such as symmetrical broadband speeds as well as real open access where customers can either make use of Metrofibre or a service provider of their choice to access the network. Fibre is, and will, continue to change how businesses and consumers the world over connect with each other,” ends de Villiers.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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