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Cell C zero-rates Facebook

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Cell C has announced it will offer promotional zero-rated access to Facebook, making it the second app-based service after WhatsApp to be offered free to subscribers.

Through this offer, says Cell C, it is reaffirming its commitment to provide the best value offerings to its customers through innovative partnerships. The popularity of the WhatsApp promotion has allowed it to expand its value adds and will continue to look at innovative ways to bring these services to its customers.

“Facebook is one of the most popular services used by our customers and this offering will make it more affordable for them to share their lives with those closest to them,” says Cell C CEO, Jose Dos Santos..

From 1 July, Facebook usage will be free to all existing and new postpaid, top up and prepaid customers and will continue until 31 August 2015.

Customers will be able to use Messenger, post comments and pictures, view and share posts and pictures and view News Feed and profiles at no charge. Breakout Internet browsing, VOIP calling, Facebook videos, YouTube and Instagram will be charged at standard data rates or will deplete data bundles available. Customers will also have the option to buy Cell C data bundles while on Facebook or Internet.org.

Postpaid and top up customers will automatically get free access to Facebook and Internet.org while prepaid customers need to ensure they recharge once every 30 days to show they are active on the network.

Additionally, Cell C and Facebook are partnering to bring affordable Internet access to consumers through the launch of Facebook’s initiative, Internet.org free basic services in South Africa.

Internet.org was developed by Facebook and its technology partners to create a way to bring affordable Internet access to under-served communities. Through network operator partnerships, that have the drive to bring these basic services to customers for free, Facebook has launched this service in many under-serviced countries in Africa and around the world.

“We are excited to bring Internet.org free basic services to Cell C customers in South Africa,” says Markku Makelainen, Director of Global Operator Partnerships at Facebook. “With Internet.org free basic services, more people in South Africa will have access to resources and information that can create new opportunities and ideas, and help improve their lives.”

Time and again, access to information and ICT has proven to incorporate people into the formal economy and driven top line improvements for those that participate. South Africans in both the private and public sector need to continue to drive initiatives in this space to ensure that the country can compete on a global stage.

From 1 September, for a period of 12 months, customers who want to continue using Facebook Messenger, post comments, view and share posts and view News Feeds and profiles free of charge, can do so by accessing Facebook through the Internet.org application.  Viewing and posting pictures, as well as, breakout Internet browsing, VOIP calling, Facebook videos, YouTube and Instagram will be charged at standard data rates or will deplete data bundles where available. Customers will also have the option to buy Cell C data bundles while on Facebook or Internet.org.

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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