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FNB connects 100 000 SIMs

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FNB has announced that over 100 000 active SIMs have been distributed for its mobile network since its launch in June of the year.

“We didn’t expect to exceed the 100 000 active SIMs mark before the end of the year but the strong organic uptake by customers is an indication that there’s a strong need for a transparent and flexible mobile service. 75% of the new SIMS are prepaid and 25% are post paid, while 40% of customers fall within the 26 – 35 age group.  This is a demographic that values flexibility and prefers to take control of how they spend on mobile services,” says Ravesh Ramlakan, CEO of FNB Connect.

“We are naturally activating approximately 1 000 SIMs daily and we are pleased to see that a number of customers have taken up the FNB Connect Flexi product without a device,” adds Ramlakan.

The FNB Connect Flexi is an innovative product in the market; it’s a month-to-month offering that can be tailored to each individual’s needs by using sliders to choose your data, voice and SMS needs.

“The Flexi product has had a very positive response, with all customers on this plan adjusting their package at least once before settling on a combination that suits their lifestyles,” says Ramlakan.

FNB Connect is integrated into Online Banking, the Banking App and Cellphone Banking using a single login and customers can manage their SIM while manage their banking. Customers are able to check the activity on each of their SIM cards with details of each transaction made in real time.

Any actions required for SIM management such as changing limits, switching international roaming on and off, blocking the SIM or ordering a new one can easily be performed from these digital banking platforms.

FNB Connect’s Auto Top-Up has also proven to be a success in the initial months. Customers have an option to automatically top up their airtime or data which means that they will never run out of airtime or be out of bundle when it comes to data.

“We are expecting the strong growth to continue as customers are seeing value in the flexibility, transparency, control and rewards associated with our products,” says Ramlakan.

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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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