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Vox pumps R550m into fibre

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Vox Telecom is to invest R550m in three key areas of the business, namely extending the Vox fibre rollout through its wholly owned subsidiary Frogfoot Networks, bolstering job creation and improving efficiencies through enhanced automation.

“The capital injection into our operations endorses our conversion strategy,” says Jacques du Toit, CEO of Vox. “We are moving away from being just an Internet service provider (ISP) into a Telco that provides connectivity and integrated services. We are laying the foundation to secure market share and growth in key geographic precincts around South Africa.”

Vox will deploy the bulk of the investment to fast-track its fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business programme. In the past 18 months, the company says, it has secured 86,000 fibre-to-the-home and just over 10,000 fibre-to-the-business opportunities.

“We now have more than 300 coverage areas where we are able to provide fibre related services,” says Du Toit.

Vox will also invest in growing its sales force across the country from 280 to 450 people in the next 18 months. Over the last 24 months Vox has invested R50m into the first phase of its sales expansion programme.

“This programme has proven to be extremely successful and we will continue with this approach.  We have broadened our horizons and don’t necessarily focus on individuals from the ICT industry, but passion for technology, ambition and personal commitment to success are amongst the key attributes we are looking for.

“This means we will have the largest direct sales force in the South African telecommunications sector and will continue to take market share from the incumbents.  To further bolster our sales strategy, we have embarked on an extremely aggressive drive to recruit channel partners, which includes, agents, resellers and wholesale partners.”

Du Toit says that the company is acutely aware of the massive ICT skills shortage locally and has seen the sector grow faster than people can be developed and upskilled.

“With the planned increase in the sales force, we know that a large amount of money needs to be allocated to train field engineers so that from a technical perspective they are able to deal with everything from a copper installation all the way through to fibre installation and maintenance.”

To demonstrate its commitment to transformation, Vox says, it has identified 24 previously disadvantaged individuals who will be invited to participate in its 14 month executive management development programme.

“We believe these building blocks will go a long way to not only guaranteeing growth for the business, but in showing our commitment to the future of the industry and South Africa.”

Vox will continue to focus on the automation of its internal processes.  This includes the migration to a new OSS/BSS platform that has been developed over the last two years.

“This investment comes at a critical time for us, especially when you consider the current South African economy and as such, it demonstrates that our shareholders believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it and it also shows that investing in fibre is the right thing to do.”

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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