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How to upgrade and save on cellphone bills

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Recent results have shown that South Africans can save up to 18% on their cellular bills should they change their contracts on their expiry dates.

If you were on the perfect package 2 years ago, how much can you save by moving to the perfect package now? Tariffic, a South African company that helps businesses and individuals manage & minimise their cellphone bills, has just released its quarterly ‘’Tariffic Tracker’’.   The findings show that consumers can save 18% on their cellphone bills after 2 years by making sure they upgrade to the perfect cellphone contract for them.

Tariffic saves its users about 40% on their cellphone bills by ensuring that they’re on the right packages and that cellphone are being managed properly.  Antony Seeff, Tariffic’s CEO, says, “By optimising your contracts every time they expire, you can save an additional 18% which is a total saving of nearly 50% on your original cellphone bill.”

Key findings from Tariffic’s Tracker  

  • South African Mobile Network Operators are introducing new packages on a regular basis, and have introduced nearly 40 different packages over the past two years.  Within a period of under two years, our users could save an average of 18% on their voice contracts by making sure that they’re on the right packages when their contracts expire.  In order to achieve this, the consumers considered would have had to move to a different package in 75% of the cases.  And it’s impossible to identify which package to change to without help.  Consumers can find their perfect packages, for free, at www.tariffic.com
  • Telkom and Cell C currently offer the cheapest voice contracts, followed in most cases by MTN.  Vodacom comes in last in 3 out of 4 instances.
  • Cell C’s new Pinnacle packages are offering an incredible amount of value thanks to their introductory promotion which sees users getting 3x the inclusive value of the contract, for the lifetime of the contract, if they sign up before the end of January 2017.  These Pinnacle packages are being recommended for 3 out of 4 users and coming in as the Tariffic Pick in 2 of those cases.
  • Telkom’s new data-centric FreeMe packages are also performing incredibly well, and are being recommended for all the voice contract users considered.  Even though these packages are showing an average saving of 29%, they are being compared to Telkom’s previous packages which were also very affordably priced.
  • MTN customers are seeing an average saving of a massive 33% over the 18 months due to the introduction of MTN’s MyMTNChoice+ Packages.
  • Not only have Vodacom not introduced any new packages to our Tariffic Tracker users, but the prices for their Smart contracts have actually increased over the period.
  • When it comes to data contracts, there has been very little movement in the market.  No meaningful new packages have been introduced over the period and although Cell C’s data prices have come down slightly (by 5% for Maleek), MTN’s have increased by the same amount.

    The Tracker Findings

Notes On The Calculations

  • Tariffic only offers packages that are publicly available in service providers’ broadsheets and websites.
  • Only SIM-only deals from the 4 major network operators were considered.
  • The Tariffic Tracker users are based on actual user profiles, and it is assumed that these users’ behaviour has stayed consistent over the period.
  • Tariffic doesn’t take into account any short-term promotional bundles offered as part of a contract. Promotions that are included for the full 24-month period of the contract are included, and are valid as of the publication date.
  • The total price shown will include the additions of any necessary add-on bundles and out of bundle spend.

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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