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AWS gets global cell service

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Eseye’s global cellular SIM service is now available on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace, allowing customers to global deploy IoT devices safe and securely.

Eseye announced details of a new, fully integrated, global cellular connectivity service, available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace and featured on the new Internet of Things (IoT) category landing page.

AnyNet Secure Cellular Connectivity is a new Software as a Service (SaaS) product designed exclusively for IoT device deployments and available to AWS customers on AWS Marketplace. The cellular service is one of the first to directly integrate with AWS to enable customers to globally deploy IoT devices and securely activate, provision, authenticate and certify ‘things’ over-the-air, and finally to ingest data from these devices onto AWS for further data processing. AnyNet Secure Cellular Connectivity on AWS Marketplace is an easy way to buy and manage SaaS products that combine with the enhanced multi-IMSI/operator global roaming capabilities of Eseye’s established AnyNet Secure SIM Card, which is newly offered for sale on Amazon.com.

“AnyNet Secure Cellular Connectivity on AWS Marketplace combines two distinct offers from Eseye and AWS, making it significantly easier for AWS customers to purchase, scale and manage cellular connectivity for their local, regional or global IoT device deployments,” said Damian McCabe, Eseye’s GM Americas. “The availability of AnyNet Secure SIM Cards on AWS Marketplace creates a near seamless end-to-end deployment.”

Eseye has developed pricing based on SMS message buckets that are issued through, and align fully with, AWS’s billing system. As a result, cost management is simple and transparent across what can be massive and highly dispersed IoT estates.

“AWS Marketplace is excited to have Eseye AnyNet Secure available to AWS customers looking to solve IoT connectivity between the cloud and hardware devices,” said Barry Russell, General Manager of Global Business Development, AWS Marketplace and Catalogue Services, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Eseye is a dedicated AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced tier member, which also achieved AWS IoT Competency status. We see value in customers’ ability to procure and deploy the complementary hardware component on AWS Marketplace with just one click.”

Countries able to access AnyNet Secure Cellular Connectivity via AWS Marketplace include the USA, Canada, Australia and EU28. For a complete list, please click here. Eseye plans to quickly extend coverage to include all 440 Mobile Network Operators across 190 countries, currently available with the AnyNet Secure SIM Card.

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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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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