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Botswana hub gives SA coverage

Globalstar has announced that its gateway in Gaborone, Botswana has gone live, enabling Globalstar to deliver affordable simplex coverage across Southern Africa and the rest of the continent.

The new gateway, in partnership with Broadband Botswana Internet (BBi), provides Globalstar’s full line of simplex services, including its SPOT portfolio of personal tracking solutions.

While some regions in South Africa do offer terrestrial and cellular infrastructure, much of the country’s rural expanse has limited or no network coverage or communications infrastructure. In these regions in particular, Globalstar’s satellite services, which leverage the industry’s only complete next generation satellite constellation in orbit, provide a solution for  tracking of people and assets. The Globalstar network enables professional, corporate and government users to monitor vital infrastructure, taking advantage of the capabilities of M2M and the emerging Internet of Things. Globalstar simplex solutions can also enhance the effectiveness of life-saving emergency first responder services.

A wide range of South African commercial and government users, as well as consumers, can now take advantage of Globalstar’s new blanket simplex coverage:

Oil & gas providers can benefit from precise, time and resource-saving solutions from the M2M-based, SmartOne product line. Remote workers in remote areas on land or offshore can keep head office, customers, family and friends abreast of their location with SPOT Gen3®, which also provides a one-touch lifeline in an emergency.

 Mining, construction and engineering companies can help safeguard staff and equipment even in the most remote regions of the country with SPOT Gen3 and SPOT Trace and SmartOne products.

Commercial trucking companies can more accurately track and monitor their fleets with SmartOne from Globalstar. At the core of SmartOne is a vibration sensor that alerts owners to any motion, such as attempts of theft. The device not only relays a vehicle’s location accurately, but it can dynamically report engine runtime and monitor faults, both of which can significantly enhance operating efficiency.

Farmers can monitor their valuable livestock with Globalstar-enabled tracking collars including FindMyAnimal (www.findmysheep.com). Animals can be tracked wherever they roam, helping to protect against theft and mitigating the risks of natural predators. The collars can also help farmers remotely monitor the status of water and feed sources for far-flung herds. Farmers across South Africa can now benefit from the same Globalstar-enabled tracking collars that are being used to protect livestock in Northern and Central Africa.

Animal preservation agencies can better help ensure the survival and welfare of South Africa’s many endangered species by using Globalstar powered wildlife tracking solutions provided by Globalstar’s VAR partners. Globalstar’s small, rugged devices are already being used to monitor Southern Africa’s endangered rhinos . With the Botswana teleport now live, scientists and preservation professionals across South Africa can gain a better understanding of migration patterns and animal behavior, which will lead to more effective conservation.

Local and National Government officials will be able to leverage the Globalstar satellite constellation to better safeguard military and other first responder personnel even in areas beyond cellular reach.

For consumers, sportspeople and adventurers, the SPOT Gen3 safety device can summon help with the touch of a button. It also gives family and friends peace of mind with the ability to track the user’s route. Since 2007, SPOT has been responsible for over 3,500 rescues worldwide. Plus, SPOT Trace will provide South Africans with leading satellite-enabled anti-theft protection for cars, motorcycles, boats, ATV’s or any other valuable item they may want to keep tabs on. Intelligent motion sensors alert the user of any unexpected movement. SPOT Trace is small, rugged, waterproof and easy to conceal – and can make all the difference in safeguarding valuable possessions.

“Expanding our service throughout Africa demonstrates Globalstar’s ongoing commitment to making our technology globally accessible,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar. “We see expansion into South Africa as a significant growth opportunity for our low cost satellite solutions. For the first time, people and industries across the country will have access to affordable satellite solutions for personal and asset tracking in even the most rural regions, and we look forward to working with BBi to making our technology available to more people and businesses across the region.”

Africa News

Africa gets broadband boost

ITU and Nexpedience, a supplier of proprietary point-to-multipoint broadband infrastructure, are partnering to bring broadband access to Africa.

Under the terms of the deal, Nexpedience will provide 180 new Expedience base stations worth USD 1 million, to be deployed in six nations across the continent. The first nation to benefit from the new infrastructure is Burundi, with deployments also planned for Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda and Swaziland.

Designed to withstand extreme meteorological conditions and capable of providing up to 32 kilometres of sector coverage, Nexpedience’s base stations have been specifically designed for rural deployment.

ITU’s Wireless Broadband Network in Africa project aims to develop and implement wireless broadband connectivity and applications that will provide free or low-cost digital access for schools, hospitals, and under-served populations in rural and remote areas Africa-wide.

At the signing of the agreement in Geneva, Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) emphasized the need to make developing countries part of the global broadband revolution: ‚”This partnership represents another important element in ITU’s efforts to bring broadband technology to the world even in the poorest nations. I am confident that this new partnership will accelerate broadband uptake right across the African continent, bringing the power of high-speed connectivity to users everywhere, from big cities to small villages.‚”

Kiriako Vergos, CEO of Nexpedience said: ‚”Giving access to broadband technology to underserved populations in Africa is of great importance to us. There are enormous benefits to be derived from a ‚’broadband-seed’ deployment strategy, and we decided to partner with ITU because we know that the organization has the team in place to get it done.‚”

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Tour√© said the new agreement is a ‚”major step forward in getting Africa connected‚”. Dr Tour√© led the establishment of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in 2010, which has the aim of putting broadband at the heart of the global development agenda.

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Nokia backs tech hubs for developing world

Nokia, AppCampus and infoDev are collaborating with mobile innovation hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to act as scouts for local talent.

Nokia, AppCampus and infoDev, a global innovation program of the World Bank, have announced a collaboration with mobile innovation hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America – a move that will empower these hubs to act as scouts and agents for local talent, fast-tracking their access to AppCampus funding.

AppCampus was established in 2012 as a mobile application accelerator program managed by Aalto University in Finland. With an 18 million euro joint investment between Microsoft and Nokia, the aim is to foster mobile application development on Windows Phone and any other Nokia platform.

The announcement earmarks part of that investment fund for twenty six awards per annum for the best mobile innovation ideas to be made via the mobile innovation hub network, starting with infoDev’s mobile application labs in South Africa, Kenya, Armenia and Vietnam, as well as mobile application laboratories in Egypt (TIEC), Nigeria (CC Hub) and Mexico. The value of each award ranges from 20,000 Euro (US$ 26,000) to 70,000 Euro (US$ 90,000) depending on the complexity of the solution or business model behind the idea.

‚”By working jointly with the mobile innovation hubs, we are able to connect more effectively with local developers in emerging markets and provide support in terms of funding, especially for locally relevant innovations,‚” says Pekka Sivonen, Head of AppCampus. ‚”Although the criteria to access the AppCampus funding remains the same, with ideas needing to be original, competitive and scalable, the advantage is faster processing and the mentorship provided by these innovation hubs.‚”

The hubs and mLabs will be responsible for scouting talent and vetting ideas to be submitted to the global pool. infoDev’s mLabs foster regional entrepreneurship, employment and competitiveness by providing open spaces where developers can find training, mentoring, technical expertise and access to financing. In a short time, mLab-supported startups have brought over 120 commercial apps to market The best new entries from this network will compete against each other each quarter for the available awards.

‚”Nokia, working closely with infoDev, has supported the establishment and operation of a number of mLabs across emerging markets in support of local developers,‚” says Jussi Hinkkanen, vice president corporate relations for Nokia Middle East and Africa. ‚”The AppCampus collaboration showcases our commitment to strengthening the growing mLab network around the world and infoDev’s vision of supporting emerging market entrepreneurs in conquering local, regional and global markets‚”.

The official launch of the program took place during the mobile stream at the Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship in East London, South Africa, organized by infoDev and the South African Department of Science & Technology. A key theme of the Forum is how innovation can lead to high-growth entrepreneurship which creates sustainable jobs. Valerie D’Costa, infoDev’s Program Manager says, ‚”The AppCampus initiative fits with the philosophy of infoDev of supporting innovative entrepreneurs from developing countries. We want to support those who can excel with some level of mentorship, skills training and seed financing. We provide potential job-creators better access to markets, which is what we are all about.‚”

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