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Telkom up-ends mobile data

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Telkom has announced an overhaul of its mobile product offering with the launch of its FreeMe service which is designed to get rid of confusing contracts, endless T&C and pricey extras.

Telkom says FreeMe flies in the face of years of mobile industry tradition, where customers had to navigate confusing contracts, seemingly endless Ts&Cs, high peak rates and pricey extras, by prioritising simplicity, ease of use and value.

“Telkom FreeMe offers our customers smartphone plans that liberate them from everything they’ve ever hated about their network,” said Telkom Consumer CEO, Attila Vitai. “Data has become the central requirement for most smartphone users, so that is what we have prioritised”, he said.

The Six Plans

Beginning 25 July, customers will choose the amount of data they want from a simple plan, available in six data sizes. By choosing one of the new Telkom FreeMe plans, customers will have access to Telkom’s fast network with no hidden costs and no confusing contracts.

“We have listened to our customers and we know that they are data hungry – so that is what we are giving them: six simple plans in six data sizes,” he explains.

“In addition, we are driving a value revolution with free texts, free high quality IM calls, free calls to Telkom Mobile and Telkom Fixed Line numbers and free Wi-Fi across all six plans, and on our two top end products, free calls to any network as well.”

“We have reviewed our spectrum capacity to allocate it more efficiently to achieve greater coverage and deliver faster data speeds and ultimately drive Over The Top services.

This has allowed us to bypass the interconnection fees charged by other networks to offer our customers true value innovation. With zero rated calls over WhatsApp, Viber and BlackBerry BBM – our customers now have access to over 1 billion call options worldwide and over 6000 WiFi hotspots absolutely free.”

Online ordering

Soon Telkom customers will also be able to complete their FreeMe orders online in just fifteen minutes with next day delivery in metropolitan areas and within two to three days in other areas. “Everything will be easier and more affordable in ways that weren’t possible before,” Vitai said.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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