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LTE passes 1Gbps speeds

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T-Mobile, Nokia and Qualcomm have exceeded gigabit speeds using evolved, commercially available 4G LTE technology.

In tests at T-Mobile’s lab, download speeds of 1.175 Gbps were achieved on T-Mobile’s LTE network utilizing Nokia’s 4.9G network powered by the Nokia AirScale Base Station together with the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem.

Technology used in the tests included:

  • Nokia 4.9G powered by AirScale Base Station
  • A Snapdragon X20 LTE modem mobile test device, supporting Downlink Category 18 for theoretical peak download speeds up to 1.2 Gbps
  • 12 independent streams of LTE data
  • 4X4 MIMO, 256 QAM and three carrier aggregation across 60 MHz of downlink spectrum on T-Mobile’s network

Using 12 simultaneous independent LTE data streams between the device and network enables a theoretical peak download speed of 1.2 Gbps. The tests demonstrated that commercially available 4G technologies can deliver unprecedented download speeds well beyond what customers experience today.

“We already have America’s fastest and most advanced LTE network, and we’ve built it to advance faster for customers than anybody else out there,” said Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile. “These tests with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies prove that T-Mobile customers have a lot more speed to look forward to from our LTE network as we evolve to 5G.”

“Using the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, we are breaking through the gigabit barrier, further enhancing network capacity and real user data rates,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “And working with Nokia and T-Mobile, using our second-generation gigabit LTE modem, we’ve now shown the steady strides we are making as we progress on the path to 5G. User devices supporting these speeds are expected to be made commercially available in the first half of 2018.”

“We are helping customers maximize the value of their existing networks by bringing performance closer to that expected from 5G in the future,” said Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia. “With this key test, using T-Mobile’s network and Qualcomm Technologies’ modem, we have not only broken the gigabit speed barrier but have exceeded existing performance using Nokia 4.9G technology, showing the way forward for higher-quality user experiences and services with fiber-like speeds over mobile connections.”

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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