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Telkom brings ultra-fast speed to copper

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Telkom’s whoelsale division Openserve, is about to introduce G.fast broadband technology in its network, allowing DSL lines to deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps on copper lines.

This innovative technology utilises the copper tail or drop wire within the customer premises, as an alternative access technology, to deliver high speed broadband where viable.

The announcement was made by Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer, Sipho Maseko,  at the company’s Annual Results presentation this week.

“Openserve, is amongst the first few companies to utilise this technology globally and is geared to rapidly expand its high speed broadband footprint across the country,” says Alphonzo Samuels, Openserve Chief Executive Officer. “This is a testament to Openserve’s commitment to innovate and enable high speed broadband access to as many homes as possible. In our endeavour to utilise multiple technologies, G.fast enables us to further extend the use and lifespan of our existing copper infrastructure.”

In areas where Openserve has an access fibre footprint, it is now possible for residents in townhouse complexes, smaller gated communities, multi-dwelling units and office parks, who already have existing copper access lines to experience high speed broadband speeds of up to 100 mbps.

“As the most experienced broadband infrastructure player in the South African market, we are aware of some of the needs as well as the challenges faced by residences to get access to high speed broadband technology,” says Samuels. “We continuously look to innovate and bring in new technologies which will enable greater access to more residences.

“G.fast helps us overcome the hesitation that many Home Owners Associations and Body Corporates of multiple-dwelling complexes have with granting permissions to upgrade infrastructure on their properties. We’ve now have found a way to better make use of infrastructure that is already in place thus reducing any disruption or possible harm to the aesthetics of the estate or the associated expense.”

Openserve will extend the access fibre in the suburb to an equipment room typically in the basement or gatehouse where the copper access distribution point (DP) is situated at the complex. A G.fast node will be installed where the fibre extension is terminated and complex residents will now have access to the higher broadband speeds available utilising the existing copper tail/drop wire. These residents will then have access to a wider range of high speed offerings from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of their choice.

“We’ve completed testing G.fast technology in our labs with results indicating amazing suitability to our broadband network especially in scenarios where the length of the copper tail/drop wire is 150m or less. Our proof of concept is currently well underway in-field.

“We are excited to share this with our ISP and broadband resell partners who will now be able to reach an even broader customer base to grow their businesses and get these higher speed broadband services to even more of their customers.”

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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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