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Cell C frees WhatsApp

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Cell C has announced it is making WhatsApp Calling free to its customers from Sunday for the remainder of the month.

It says it is dousing this ”to show its support for all over-the-top (OTT) players and their unhindered participation in the South African mobile industry”.

The move comes following calls by rivals MTN and Vodacom for the operators to be protected from OTT players by the regulator, Icasa. They believe that these players are having a free ride on their infrastructure, costing them revenue without giving anything in return.

“For two years, Cell C has embraced services like WhatsApp and Facebook by offering customers innovative and very affordable products and services. This is just one of the ways we at Cell C can express our protest at the calls by our competitors to regulate OTT services,” says Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Cell C points out that the mobile industry across the world is changing and at a far faster pace than many would have expected, and that “Cell C understands that alienating OTT players and the unique services they offer will only disempower consumers”.

By creating partnerships with OTT players, network providers have the ability to find ways for everyone to benefit: “Cell C has a use case, having grown its customers using WhatsApp and Facebook since the introduction of its social application focussed products.”

Says Dos Santos, “These services offer some of the most affordable communications in the market today and regulating them will only increase the cost to the consumer. This at a time when the industry is being called on to lower the cost to communicate.”

Dos Santos says while regulation has its place, the focus should rather be on ways to reduce input costs of the mobile players including; infrastructure sharing, access to valuable spectrum, and the development of a national broadband network for the delivery of next generation broadband technologies.

Cell C will continue to embrace OTT services as they have become invaluable services to consumers and will voice its stance to the Portfolio Committee on Tuesday.

Customers who want to use WhatsApp Calling must ensure that their handsets have the correct settings to ensure they are not charged for data. Customers can get the correct setting by dialling *147# and selecting option 8. They can also contact the Cell C Call Centre on 084 140 for assistance.

All contract customers and prepaid customers on the MegaBonus plan will be able to make calls free of charge, with no data costs incurred using the WhatsApp Calling feature.

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Smash hits the
Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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