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MWC: ZTE claims 5G lead

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ZTE showcased its latest achievements in 5G commercialisation, 5G connectivity, cloud services, IoT applications and new terminal products at Mobile World Congress.

In early 2017, ZTE released a full range of pre-5G solutions for both high and low frequency bands in addition to the initiation of a wide array of 5G field tests. ZTE plans to deploy commercially viable pre-5G solutions by the end of 2018 followed by 5G products in commercial networks in the first half of 2019, and is already prepared to help operators deploy 5G networks.

At MWC 2018, ZTE showcases how the company is working with partners in rolling out 5G commercialization solutions and key technologies verification, including the most commercially viable 5G field test network currently available, the first 3GPP standards-based multi-vendor IoDT test, and the industry’s first carrier grade 5G end-to-end commercial network slicing.

Qualcomm, China Mobile and ZTE are scheduled to jointly demonstrate what’s being described as the world’s first 5G New Radio (NR) Interoperability Data Testing (IoDT) system (3.5 GHz) with a data connection based on 3GPP Release 15. Successful data connection represents an important milestone for large-scale fast verification of 5G NR technologies and commercialization, supporting in-time deployment of 5G commercial networks.

ZTE also showcases its 4G and 5G hybrid networking solutions and products that can help operators quickly incorporate and deploy 5G solutions on their existing 4G network infrastructure, as well as the latest Pre 5G products that have incorporated elements of commercialization. Integrated Pre 5G solutions can build complete 5G networks, enabling 5G network functionalities, 5G network architectures and 5G business applications. ZTE’s 5G Flexhaul solution, featuring ultra-high clock accuracy and ultra-low time delay, in addition to having passed backhaul and fronthaul testing on the operators’ networks, as well as TITAN, a centralized routing and signalling platform that provides 5G Fronthaul and FMC (fixed–mobile convergence) and fully supports network reconfiguration on the access layer, will allow operators to quickly incorporate and deploy 5G networks.

As the day when most businesses are cloud-enabled will quickly be upon us, ZTE’s innovative 5G cloud infrastructure, cloud network and services, as well as cloud-enabled business solutions, are all displayed at the MWC 2018. ZTE’s SDN-based IP +optical vPIPE solution including a few illustrative business use cases in addition to the carrier-class basic computing platform are also highlighted at the event.

In addition, ZTE’s network intelligence solutions combining artificial intelligence and big data, as well as key businesses including big video and IoT will help operators succeed commercially in the 5G era.

Turning to ZTE’s work in Internet of Everything solutions, ZTE’s IoT “Chip, Network, Cloud” strategy will soon be implemented on the telecommunications solutions providers’ global platforms. Furthermore, ZTE’s new IoT platform created in association with multinational operators around the world makes its debut at the show. The company also displays business applications including smart street lighting, parking, meter reading, and air quality monitoring, with a demonstration setup at the Shanghai World Expo Museum as a prototype.

ZTE is an industry leader in 5G next-generation networks that will provide incredible connectivity for consumers and enable an entirely new ecosystem of products and services. Its leadership in 5G enables ZTE to understand the future of connectivity and design mobile devices with both the consumer experience and future network dynamics in mind. This year at MWC 2018, ZTE Mobile Devices announced the ZTE 1.2 Gbps smartphone, which will become the industry benchmark for 5G devices. ZTE will launch 5G mobile devices in late 2018 or early 2019. 5G tablets, CPE, and smartphones are all under development and will be launched as leading carriers around the world provide 5G service to consumers.

“Ready for commercialization, ZTE’s 5G solutions are going to be launched soon.” As a pioneer in the 5G era, ZTE has made the roll out of its 5G solutions the core goal. In the past year, research and development teams at ZTE worked assiduously through the creative process during which they came up with the ideas and the proposed solutions, followed by the R&D stage with tests and verification as well as cooperation with industry partners to complete proofs of concept in terms of commercialization.

ZTE sees itself moving towards a digital society and intelligent transformation in the very foreseeable future by joining hands with operators and customers to deliver 5G commercially viable solutions that benefit businesses and consumers alike.

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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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