Free Wi-Fi has come to residents of Gauteng’s East Rand as the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality starts rolling out the early stages of its connectivity programme at public facilities, writes DUNCAN ALFREDS.
Residents wanting to use the Wi-Fi can choose “Ekurhuleni Free Wi-Fi” network on a smartphone and are allowed a daily cap of 250MB. The Wi-Fi roll-out is coming to public facilities like clinics and libraries in areas such as Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan and Springs.
Officials said the network is robust and high-speed.
“From a speed point of view we don’t put on a cap. They get a capacity of 250MB daily at unlimited speed,” Lydia Ntlhophi, divisional head of ICT business relations management in the metro told Fin24.
She said that at the launch event, 650 people connected to the Wi-Fi network at the same time and experienced a speed of 125mbps.
The network was facilitated by MMIZ and Alcom, which implemented the programme – and which is set for expansion.
“We’re planning for anything between R80m and R120m to connect 695 Ekurhuleni buildings,” said Ntlhophi.
While the programme covers 223 sites , Ntlhophi said that expansion would also include open areas.
“We have about seven big parks in the city and they will be covered.”
The free Wi-Fi roll-out in Ekurhuleni comes after similar projects in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Non-profit Project Isizwe has connected over 700 sites in Tshwane, while the City of Joburg’s ‘Smart City’ initiative has targeted switching on 1 000 Wi-Fi points across the city by the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, Cape Town has about 170 Wi-Fi hotspots and plans to construct another 120 by the end of the year, according to André Stelzner, chief information officer for the city.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.