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Moto back with smart double

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Lenovo subsidiary Motorola Mobility has launched the Moto G5S Plus and the Moto Z2 Playtwo smartphones in South Africa.

The Motorola Moto G5S Plus and the Moto Z2 Play, with JBL SoundBoost 2 Moto Mod, named the Best Phones of 2017 by CNET, will be available in select Telkom stores nationwide.

“Like the Motorola brand, Telkom is a veteran in the telecommunications industry. Both have a rich heritage of keeping the South African consumer connected through innovative products and cutting-edge technology. We are very excited to be launching these two new Motorola models at Telkom stores,” says Patrick Halpin, Smartphone Territory Lead for South Africa, SADC & IOI at Lenovo Mobile Business Group.

“Telkom is looking forward to partnering with such a pioneering brand like Motorola,” says Megan Nicholas, Managing Executive: Consumer and Mobile at Telkom. “The smartphone market is in such an interesting place at the moment, and we are enjoying being part of this revolution.”

The Motorola brand returned to the South African cellular phone market in 2016, bringing their Moto Mods that enable users to transform their smartphones. The South African Moto Mods Family includes a JBL SoundBoost 2 speaker so users can take the party with them and the power packs from Incipio so consumers are never out of battery.

Lenovo provided the following information:

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

The first new Motorola model that will be available at Telkom stores from 20 September is the Motorola Moto Z2 Play, which comes with the upgraded JBL SoundBoost 2 Moto Mod, offering high quality sound in a snap. The new JBL SoundBoost 2 gives a full party’s worth of music for up to 10 hours. The built-in kickstand also provides a truly immersive audio-visual experience, all in a snap, with no pairing required. And with its water-repellant coating, a little spill or splash won’t stop the music either. The Moto Mod comes in black, and features a premium design with fabric and streamlined contours for a better feel in your hand. The app My JBL SoundBoost 2, allows users to adjust the sound to personal preferences.

With a thinner, lighter design and faster performance, the second-generation Moto Z Play delivers incredible features, and enables unlimited possibilities with all-new Moto Mods. The combination of laser autofocus and dual autofocus pixel technology on the Moto Z2 Play allows users to take brighter, sharper photos, even in low light. The next generation laser autofocus has an expanded range of up to five metres, so you can focus on objects three times further in a virtually dark environment. And with the 5MP front camera and dual colour corrected flash, selfies look great, day or night.

With a powerful combination of style and strength, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play has an all-metal unibody design that not only looks great, but stands up to everyday wear and tear. The 5.5” Full HD Super AMOLED display offers razor-sharp details, up to 30 hours of battery life and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.2 GHz octa-core processor.

New Moto Experiences offer an even more unique and meaningful software experience, including the Night Display feature, which automatically adjusts the phone’s screen to warmer tones at night, reducing the blue light that can disrupt sleep. Instant queries in Moto Voice will provide helpful information like weather or calendar updates, and a redesigned fingerprint reader.

Motorola Moto G5S Plus

The second new Motorola model that will be available at Telkom stores is the Motorola Moto G5S Plus. This phone has even more top features such as dual cameras which, until now, were reserved for premium phones. Dual 13MP rear cameras, combined with special photo enhancement software, makes it easy to do more with photos. In addition, the 8MP wide-angle front camera on the Motorola Moto G5S Plus has LED flash and a new panoramic mode so users can capture even more.

The phone’s 3000 mAh battery holds enough power to easily get users through their day. But if extra juice is needed, the TurboPower™ charger can provide up to six hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.

The phone offers an all-metal unibody design crafted from a single piece of high-grade aluminum, so it’s not only beautiful, it’s stronger than ever. It has a 5.5” Full HD display, a blazing-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.0 GHz octa-core processor, powerful graphics capabilities and support for 4G LTE.

The fingerprint reader on the Motorola Moto G5S Plus does it all, from unlocking your phone to making mobile payments. The phone is also easier to use, thanks to Night Display and Quick Reply, two new Moto Experiences.

Availability and pricing 

The Motorola Moto G5S Plus is currently available at R289 per month on a 24 months FreeMe 1 GB package. For R429 per month, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play with JBL Soundboost 2 Moto Mod bundle will be available on a 24 months FreeMe 1 GB package at select Telkom stores nationwide.

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Queues and cash-only frustrate SA’s commuters

A new study by Visa reveals the success factors for improving travel and creating smarter cities

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The use of cash-only payments was a frustration for 38% of Johannesburg commuters and 37% of Cape Town-based commuters, according to a new global study by Visa. Another commuter frustration when paying for public transport has been long queues – 67% of Johannesburg commuters and 64% of Cape Town commuters.

Visa, in collaboration with Stanford University, came up with these findings in one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation, and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth.

According to the UN[i], by 2050, 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban centres – and the number of “megacities” with populations greater than 10 million people will rise from 43 today to 51 within that same period. South Africa is no different, with the majority of the country relying heavily on the public transport system. In fact, according to the General Household Survey (GHS) for 2018, a total of 54 209 000 minibus/taxi trips take place in South African per month. 

Building on Visa’s experience working with transit operators, automotive companies and technology start-ups, Visa commissioned a global study, “The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity” to better understand the challenges commuters face today and in the future. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing their pain points.

The South African Perspective

Payments lie at the heart of every form of travel, and will continue to become more integral as more cities move to contactless public transportation, digital payments for parking and rental services such as bikes or scooters.  Malijeng Ngqaleni, Deputy Director-General of the South African Inter-governmental Relations, states that a high as 60% of South African households spend on average of 20% of their monthly income on transport, while in rural areas this number can be as high as 31%.

Aside from cash-only payments, another commuter frustration when paying for public transport has been long queues – 67% of Johannesburg commuters and 64% of Cape Town commuters. Over the last few years, a number of mobile-driven taxi-hailing apps have been launched in the South African market to counteract these concerns and commuters are open to the possibilities presented by mobile apps. The Visa study echoed this by showing that 77% of Johannesburg commuters and 76% of Cape Town commuters would be willing to try a consolidated app to make payments for public transport.

 Mike Lemberger, SVP, Product Solutions Europe, Visa says: “The future success of our cities is intertwined with – and reliant on – the future of transportation and mobility. Visa and our partners have an important role to play, both in streamlining the payment experience for millions of commuters around the globe, and supporting public transportation authorities in their quest to build sustainable and convenient transportation solutions that improve the lives of the people who use it.”

Herman Donner, PhD and Postdoctoral Researcher from Stanford University co-authored the report and summarised: “When looking across the technology landscape, there already exist many products that could easily address people’s daily frustrations with travel.  However, none of these solutions should be developed in isolation. A major challenge therefore lies in first identifying relevant technologies that provide suitable products for the market then managing implementation in conjunction with  a broad set of stakeholder including  mobility providers, technology companies, infrastructure owners and public transport agencies.  From our research, we think that many of these small, incremental changes have the potential to make a significant difference in people’s daily travel,  whether it’s to help find parking, get the best price to refuel their car or plan their journey on public transportation.”

Click here for the detailed global findings.

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Women take to tech, but more needed

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By HAIDI NOSSAIR, Marketing Director META, Dell Technologies

$12 trillion – that is the value in additional global GDP that remains locked behind the gender gap. This is according to the latest Women Matter report from McKinsey, which also reveals startling disparities in the workplace. Even though women make up more than half of the human population, only 37% contribute to GDP on average – and in some countries that proportion is significantly lower.

The reasons for this can be put in three areas. Fewer women – 650 million fewer than men – participate in the global labour force. Women are also more likely to be in part-time employment and thus work fewer hours. Finally, female employees are more common in lower-productivity sectors than in higher-productivity areas.  Are women not being offered the opportunity or are they holding themselves back?

Among STEM careers this ratio is particularly dismal: only 24% of engineering professionals are women, and as few as 19% of careers in ICT are filled by women.

What is the cause of this? Studies have found that women pursuing STEM careers are higher in countries with more oppressive policies towards women, because those careers hold the promise for financial freedom and more social autonomy. In contrast, countries with progressive attitudes towards women tend to produce fewer female STEM graduates. Then how can we encourage women from early ages to take the path of STEM education?  And how can organizations ensure women have equal opportunity at the hiring stages.

Certainly addressing gender inequality is crucial and must not stop.. Where women are increasingly more part of the workforce, there are often still barriers preventing them from assuming higher management roles. Female entrepreneurs often struggle more to gain investment capital. Corporate cultures are rarely aligned with the pressures of balancing work and family obligations. Decision makers may simply lack exposure to the potential of female candidates. Female pioneers have also argued that women are too risk-averse when compared to men. 

Whether these assertions are true is a matter for debate – and that’s exactly why every professional man and woman should be talking about them and identify action to change the status-quo. This is not just about female rights, but about social upliftment: companies with a mixture of male and female leaders perform better across the board and companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability.

The digital economy we live in today represent a golden opportunity for increased women contribution to the workforce as technology breaks the boundaries of location and time for the workplace and where labor intensive jobs may today be performed by data scientists. 

For two days in March, top professionals will gather to talk and exchange ideas around creating more roles for women, larger appreciation for female professionals, as well as counter the attitudes among women holding them back from greater career success and autonomy.

If you want to be part of this conversation, join the Women in Tech Africa summit today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town – learn more at https://www.women-in-tech-africa-summit.com/ and use the code DELL20 for a 20% discount.

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