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HP launches new print range

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HP has launched a range of PageWide, OfficeJet Pro and LaserJet printers, and new Secure Managed Print Services to South African consumers.

“Digitalisation of information plays a key role in business transformation,” says Ravi Perumal, Country Category Manager Print Business at HP. “In an era where businesses are re-defining themselves and facing tougher competition than ever before, digital transformation is helping organisations gain business advantage in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. Whether you are part of a global enterprise or a solo entrepreneur, your ideas are your currency, and we know that presenting those ideas persuasively is one of the most competitive tools you can have. It is why we do what we do.”

The portfolio of printers launched today aims to assist companies of all sizes accelerate the digitisation of their business processes. Digitisation of paper-based processes is a starting point, says Perumal.

HP provided the following information on its new portfolio of business printers:

·       A new brand of HP PageWide printers that provide professional color, low cost of ownership[i], fast speeds[ii], great energy efficiency[iii], and our best in class security[iv] management features;

·       New OfficeJet Pro printers that deliver affordable, professional color and big performance in a compact package for small businesses;

·       New LaserJet printers with phenomenal laser performance, print-shop quality color documents, and best value for black-and-white printing;

·       HP Secure Managed Print Services to help customers secure their print environment with our deepest embedded security [v].

A new era of  Business Printing with HP PageWide

HP PageWide Technology is a proven, reliable scalable print technology developed by HP that has delivered more than 140 billion high quality digital pages via HP printers including large format printers and web presses. Early next year, HP will further expand the reach of PageWide Technology to redefine the copier market with a new portfolio of A3 printers and multifunction printers (MFPs).

The new HP PageWide business portfolio will be available through channel partners and at select retail stores.

New Additions to the HP OfficeJet Pro and LaserJet Pro families

The expanded HP business printing portfolio also includes new HP OfficeJet Pro and HP LaserJet printers, rounding out the options available to customers.

In the last decade, HP has created and firmly established the ink in the office category, offering small and medium businesses professional quality ink-based colour printing at up to 50% lower cost per page than lasers[vi]. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 series features HP Print Forward Design to provide customers productivity with high speeds in a space-saving designs helps preserve office real estate. These new printers also include enhanced manageability and security features, seamless mobile printing[vii].

The HP LaserJet family provides customers with print shop document quality, fast speed and professional black-and-white printing. The new LaserJet products include Original HP Toner cartridges with JetIntelligence technology enabling the industry’s most advanced laser printing platform that offer lean, fast, smart options to help customers accelerate their business.

Reinventing protection with Secure Managed Print Services

Today HP is also introducing HP Secure Managed Print Services (MPS), a new Managed Print Services (MPS) offering focused on security. This enhanced service reflects HP’s defense-in-depth approach to delivering our best in class security management[viii] available today. HP Secure MPS provides security experts with the ability to help customers secure their print environment with end to end comprehensive security protection and then maintain security over time to address evolving threats and compliance requirements.

HP Secure MPS advanced protections include:

·       Its most secure printers[ix] with self-healing capabilities

·       Security software to detect threats as well as protect, monitor and manage the printer fleet

·       Data encryption to better protect confidential data

·       Reporting for regulatory and compliance audits

·       Security expertise to co-develop a comprehensive print security plan

HP has also updated HP JetAdvantage Security Manager software, the policy-based printer security compliance solution[x], to enable greater visibility into what firmware updates have been applied across the HP printer fleet. This feature enables customers to see which of their printers are protected by HP’s advanced printer security including: HP Sure Start BIOS protection, whitelisting and run-time intrusion detection. In addition, HP Enterprise printers can now be monitored for malicious activity by the SIEM (Security Information and event monitoring) tool Splunk.

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When will we stop calling them phones?

If you don’t remember when phones were only used to talk to people, you may wonder why we still use this term for handsets, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK, on the eve of the 10th birthday of the app.

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Do you remember when handsets were called phones because, well, we used them to phone people?

It took 120 years from the invention of the telephone to the use of phones to send text.

Between Alexander Graham Bell coining the term “telephone” in 1876 and Finland’s two main mobile operators allowing SMS messages between consumers in 1995, only science fiction writers and movie-makers imagined instant communication evolving much beyond voice. Even when BlackBerry shook the business world with email on a phone at the end of the last century, most consumers were adamant they would stick to voice.

It’s hard to imagine today that the smartphone as we know it has been with us for less than 10 years. Apple introduced the iPhone, the world’s first mass-market touchscreen phone, in June 2007, but it is arguable that it was the advent of the app store in July the following year that changed our relationship with phones forever.

That was the moment when the revolution in our hands truly began, when it became possible for a “phone” to carry any service that had previously existed on the World Wide Web.

Today, most activity carried out by most people on their mobile devices would probably follow the order of social media in first place – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all jostling for attention – and  instant messaging in close second, thanks to WhatsApp, Messenger, SnapChat and the like. Phone calls – using voice that is – probably don’t even take third place, but play fourth or fifth fiddle to mapping and navigation, driven by Google Maps and Waze, and transport, thanks to Uber, Taxify, and other support services in South Africa like MyCiti,  Admyt and Kaching.

Despite the high cost of data, free public Wi-Fi is also seeing an explosion in use of streaming video – whether Youtube, Netflix, Showmax, or GETblack – and streaming music, particularly with the arrival of Spotify to compete with Simfy Africa.

Who has time for phone calls?

The changing of the phone guard in South Africa was officially signaled last week with the announcement of Vodacom’s annual results. Voice revenue for the 2018 financial year ending 31 March had fallen by 4.6%, to make up 40.6% of Vodacom’s revenue. Total revenue had grown by 8.1%, which meant voice seriously underperformed the group, and had fallen by 4% as a share of revenue, from 2017’s 44.6%.

The reason? Data had not only outperformed the group, increasing revenue by 12.8%, but it had also risen from 39.7% to 42.8% of group revenue,

This means that data has not only outperformed voice for the first time – as had been predicted by World Wide Worx a year ago – but it has also become Vodacom’s biggest contributor to revenue.

That scenario is being played out across all mobile network operators. In the same way, instant messaging began destroying SMS revenues as far back as five years ago – to the extent that SMS barely gets a mention in annual reports.

Data overtaking voice revenues signals the demise of voice as the main service and key selling point of mobile network operators. It also points to mobile phones – let’s call them handsets – shifting their primary focus. Voice quality will remain important, but now more a subset of audio quality rather than of connectivity. Sound quality will become a major differentiator as these devices become primary platforms for movies and music.

Contact management, privacy and security will become critical features as the handset becomes the storage device for one’s entire personal life.

Integration with accessories like smartwatches and activity monitors, earphones and earbuds, virtual home assistants and virtual car assistants, will become central to the functionality of these devices. Why? Because the handsets will control everything else? Hardly.

More likely, these gadgets will become an extension of who we are, what we do and where we are. As a result, they must be context aware, and also context compatible. This means they must hand over appropriate functions to appropriate devices at the appropriate time. 

I need to communicate only using my earpiece? The handset must make it so. I have to use gesture control, and therefore some kind of sensor placed on my glasses, collar or wrist? The handset must instantly surrender its centrality.

There are numerous other scenarios and technology examples, many out of the pages of science fiction, that point to the changing role of the “phone”. The one thing that’s obvious is that it will be silly to call it a phone for much longer.

  • 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
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MTN 5G test gets 520Mbps

MTN and Huawei have launched Africa’s first 5G field trial with an end-to-end Huawei 5G solution.

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The field trial demonstrated a 5G Fixed-Wireless Access (FWA) use case with Huawei’s 5G 28GHz mmWave Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in a real-world environment in Hatfield Pretoria, South Africa. Speeds of 520Mbps downlink and 77Mbps uplink were attained throughout respectively.

“These 5G trials provide us with an opportunity to future proof our network and prepare it for the evolution of these new generation networks. We have gleaned invaluable insights about the modifications that we need to do on our core, radio and transmission network from these pilots. It is important to note that the transition to 5G is not just a flick of a switch, but it’s a roadmap that requires technical modifications and network architecture changes to ensure that we meet the standards that this technology requires. We are pleased that we are laying the groundwork that will lead to the full realisation of the boundless opportunities that are inherent in the digital world.” says Babak Fouladi, Group Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer, at MTN Group.

Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Technology and Information Officer for MTN SA said: “Next generation services such as virtual and augmented reality, ultra-high definition video streaming, and cloud gaming require massive capacity and higher user data rates. The use of millimeter-wave spectrum bands is one of the key 5G enabling technologies to deliver the required capacity and massive data rates required for 5G’s Enhanced Mobile Broadband use cases. MTN and Huawei’s joint field trial of the first 5G mmWave Fixed-Wireless Access solution in Africa will also pave the way for a fixed-wireless access solution that is capable of replacing conventional fixed access technologies, such as fibre.”

“Huawei is continuing to invest heavily in innovative 5G technologies”, said Edward Deng, President of Wireless Network Product Line of Huawei. “5G mmWave technology can achieve unprecedented fiber-like speed for mobile broadband access. This trial has shown the capabilities of 5G technology to deliver exceptional user experience for Enhanced Mobile Broadband applications. With customer-centric innovation in mind, Huawei will continue to partner with MTN to deliver best-in-class advanced wireless solutions.”

“We are excited about the potential the technology will bring as well as the potential advancements we will see in the fields of medicine, entertainment and education. MTN has been investing heavily to further improve our network, with the recent “Best in Test” and MyBroadband best network recognition affirming this. With our focus on providing the South Africans with the best customer experience, speedy allocation of spectrum can help bring more of these technologies to our customers,” says Giovanni.

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