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How 5G will change everything

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The next big shift in mobile network technology is upon us. MATT BRANDA, Qualcomm’s director of technical marketing, explains how it will change the way we connect.

Mobile networks have been redefined once before in their 30+ year history. From primarily voice networks with 1G/2G, to high-speed data networks with 3G/4G LTE which mobilized the Internet and ushered in the era of the smartphone. And now, as we progress toward 5G, a new kind of mobile network sits on the horizon. A network that will connect new industries, enable new services, and empower new user experiences. A network that will rise up to meet the significantly expanding connectivity needs of today and tomorrow.

At Qualcomm, we are working on a rich roadmap of 4G LTE technologies that has begun this transformation. Pushing the boundaries and capabilities of LTE toward 5G is just one more way Qualcomm is bringing the future forward faster. These new technologies are not only vastly enhancing mobile broadband performance and efficiency, but also expanding LTE to new frontiers such as unlicensed spectrum, device-to-device communications, the Internet of Things, and much more. Introducing LTE Advanced Pro—part of the global 3GPP standard starting with Release 13 and beyond.

Propelling your mobile broadband experience to the next level

LTE Advanced Pro is evolving existing LTE technologies, as well as introducing new features, to make your mobile broadband services faster, more reliable, and more responsive.

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1. Delivering fiber-like speeds by evolving Carrier Aggregation (first introduced with LTE Advanced) to aggregate across more carriers, diverse spectrum types and different cells.

2. Extending LTE to unlicensed spectrum globally with Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) to make the best use of the vast amounts of unlicensed spectrum available.

3. Driving significantly lower latency by evolving the LTE TDD and FDD frame structure for faster, more responsive connections.

4. Increasing flexibility of the LTE TDD and FDD frame structure such as allowing dynamic configuration of uplink and downlink capacity based on traffic conditions.

5. Enabling many more antennas at the basestation (up to 64-antenna elements) to exploit 3D beamforming (FD-MIMO)—significantly increasing capacity and coverage.

Proliferating LTE to connect new use cases and services

LTE Advanced Pro is also introducing new technologies that push the boundaries of LTE to support the proliferation of connected cars, smart cities, smart homes and wearables—connecting the world around us. This includes enabling new classes of LTE services that open up new opportunities for the entire mobile ecosystem.

6. Connecting the Internet of Things (IoT) by delivering advanced techniques (LTE-M, NB-IOT) to significantly extend battery life, reduce device costs, and deepen coverage—optimizing LTE for the communication needs of remotely gathering small amounts of data periodically from machines, wearables, and sensors.

7. Building the connected car of the future by delivering new LTE device-to-device and multicast capabilities (LTE V2X) to connect cars to each other, to pedestrians, and to everything around them—making your driving experience safer and more autonomous.

8. Creating a converged digital TV network by evolving LTE Broadcast to enable a single network for Digital TV services for both your mobile and fixed devices (e.g., your home television/STB).

9. Empowering new proximity services by expanding the LTE Direct device-to-device platform to give your mobile devices and apps the ability to passively discover and interact with the world around you—for example, social networking and local search applications.

10. Delivering robust public safety communications by using LTE technologies and the LTE ecosystem for robust public safety services such as Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk communications.

If you want to learn more about the ways LTE Advanced Pro is redefining mobile networks, check out our upcoming webinar with FierceWireless: Leading the Path to 5G with LTE Advanced Pro. You can get further information on both LTE Advanced Pro and 5G from our website. And finally, don’t forget to check us out at MWC2016 where we will be demonstrating LTE Advanced Pro and 5G technologies at the Qualcomm booth. See you then!

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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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