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Afrihost moves the data needle

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Fresh from announcing that it will once more be an independent company, the broadband service provider has unveiled three dramatically different new data deals.

In the wake of announcing this week that it will buy back a controlling share currently held by MTN,

Afrihost has also declared it “will practically be giving data away to all new and existing clients”.  It has announced three separate initiatives aimed to change the way people think about connectivity.

“Afrihost is always working to change the face of connectivity in South Africa and giving clients more for less,” it said in a statement. The strategic intention is to redesign the concept of capped ADSL by introducing a number of cost-cutting options, and boosting potential data use dramatically,

Free-Time, described as a first in South Africa, gives Monthly Capped DSL clients Unlimited Free Internet between midnight and 6pm every day. This means that Afrihost Monthly Capped clients will only use their data cap between 6PM and midnight, essentially giving them free unlimited internet for 18 hours of the day.

Afrihost is also offering their clients Double-Data on all Monthly Capped DSL Packages, including Bundles, for the rest of the year. In other words, if a client signed up for the 100GB Capped DSL package normally receives 100GB Monthly Data, with the Double-Data offering they will receive an additional 100GB of Promotional Data – so they will have 200GB of data to use each month at the price of 100GB.

Thirdly, Afrihost has also addressed  Uncapped clients by introducing cost reductions, without sacrificing quality of service. The price of the Afrihost Home Uncapped DSL packages will drop by 20% upward, with the 1Mbps package falling over 50% – making it the cheapest Uncapped DSL available in South Africa. This price change, says Afrihost, has no effect on the quality or speed of the Home Uncapped DSL Packages. These price updates are also applicable to bundles.

The revised pricing will take effect today for all new signups, and current clients will be charged the new rate from the next billing cycle.

Price changes to Uncapped Data Packages:

Package
Was – per month
Now – per month
Saving per month
Home Uncapped 1Mbps
R97.00
R47.00
R50.00
Home Uncapped 2Mbps
R167.00
R77.00
R90.00
Home Uncapped 4Mbps
R237.00
R147.00
R90.00
Home Uncapped 8Mbps
R327.00
R237.00
R90.00
Home Uncapped 10Mbps
R367.00
R297.00
R70.00
Home Uncapped 20Mbps
R597.00
R397.00
R200.00
Home Uncapped 40 Mbps
R987.00
R797.00
R190.00


Price changes to Uncapped Data Bundles

Package
Was – per month
Now – per month
Saving per month
Home Uncapped 1Mbps Bundle
R149.00
R99.00
R50.00
Home Uncapped 2Mbps Bundle
R299.00
R229.00
R70.00
Home Uncapped 4Mbps Bundle
R499.00
R399.00
R100.00
Home Uncapped 8Mbps Bundle
R659.00
R579.00
R80.00
Home Uncapped 10Mbps Bundle
R729.00
R659.00
R70.00
Home Uncapped 20Mbps Bundle
R969.00
R779.00
R190.00
Home Uncapped 40 Mbps Bundle
R1449.00
R1249.00
R200.00

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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