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How to upgrade and save on cellphone bills

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Recent results have shown that South Africans can save up to 18% on their cellular bills should they change their contracts on their expiry dates.

If you were on the perfect package 2 years ago, how much can you save by moving to the perfect package now? Tariffic, a South African company that helps businesses and individuals manage & minimise their cellphone bills, has just released its quarterly ‘’Tariffic Tracker’’.   The findings show that consumers can save 18% on their cellphone bills after 2 years by making sure they upgrade to the perfect cellphone contract for them.

Tariffic saves its users about 40% on their cellphone bills by ensuring that they’re on the right packages and that cellphone are being managed properly.  Antony Seeff, Tariffic’s CEO, says, “By optimising your contracts every time they expire, you can save an additional 18% which is a total saving of nearly 50% on your original cellphone bill.”

Key findings from Tariffic’s Tracker  

  • South African Mobile Network Operators are introducing new packages on a regular basis, and have introduced nearly 40 different packages over the past two years.  Within a period of under two years, our users could save an average of 18% on their voice contracts by making sure that they’re on the right packages when their contracts expire.  In order to achieve this, the consumers considered would have had to move to a different package in 75% of the cases.  And it’s impossible to identify which package to change to without help.  Consumers can find their perfect packages, for free, at www.tariffic.com
  • Telkom and Cell C currently offer the cheapest voice contracts, followed in most cases by MTN.  Vodacom comes in last in 3 out of 4 instances.
  • Cell C’s new Pinnacle packages are offering an incredible amount of value thanks to their introductory promotion which sees users getting 3x the inclusive value of the contract, for the lifetime of the contract, if they sign up before the end of January 2017.  These Pinnacle packages are being recommended for 3 out of 4 users and coming in as the Tariffic Pick in 2 of those cases.
  • Telkom’s new data-centric FreeMe packages are also performing incredibly well, and are being recommended for all the voice contract users considered.  Even though these packages are showing an average saving of 29%, they are being compared to Telkom’s previous packages which were also very affordably priced.
  • MTN customers are seeing an average saving of a massive 33% over the 18 months due to the introduction of MTN’s MyMTNChoice+ Packages.
  • Not only have Vodacom not introduced any new packages to our Tariffic Tracker users, but the prices for their Smart contracts have actually increased over the period.
  • When it comes to data contracts, there has been very little movement in the market.  No meaningful new packages have been introduced over the period and although Cell C’s data prices have come down slightly (by 5% for Maleek), MTN’s have increased by the same amount.

    The Tracker Findings

Notes On The Calculations

  • Tariffic only offers packages that are publicly available in service providers’ broadsheets and websites.
  • Only SIM-only deals from the 4 major network operators were considered.
  • The Tariffic Tracker users are based on actual user profiles, and it is assumed that these users’ behaviour has stayed consistent over the period.
  • Tariffic doesn’t take into account any short-term promotional bundles offered as part of a contract. Promotions that are included for the full 24-month period of the contract are included, and are valid as of the publication date.
  • The total price shown will include the additions of any necessary add-on bundles and out of bundle spend.

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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