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Isn’t a gig enough for me?

With streaming radio, music, video, Skype calls and movies all available on the Internet, one gig of data just does not cut it these days, writes TIM WYATT-GUNNING, CEO of Web Africa.

Last week my mother told me that a gig a month is more than enough for her. Well of course it is Mum, but you’re not getting the most out of your virtual life.

Trust me, it’s so much easier to manage than your real one. I know you can live quite happily within your 1 gig ration because granny did it during the war, but you’re missing out on a whole new world. Think of your digital camera and the hundreds of shots you delete each time you whip it out at the family gatherings. Now think back to the world of Kodak and film, when you had to go to the shop to get them printed – you very rarely took photos because it cost too much to risk taking a bad one. It’s a similar story with the internet. Start getting creative mum, with an uncapped account: you can do what you like when you like, all for a fixed price. Go mad like our other customers have I forgot to tell you that in the last year alone, on average they’re using three times more data than they did before, so join the crowd and YouTube away! Let me help you to open your virtual eyes which probably work better than your real ones. You’re a few clicks away from re-inventing your history and cancelling your new hip because all you need is a cup of tea and a nice young man to come over and tune in your computer to the Web Africa channel for a wicked trip down to the internet. Stop twitching the curtains to get your gossip and instead click your mouse and ask yourself:

¬∑ Do you want to watch your three grandchildrens’ school plays on your computer screen with your feet up with a G&T or trawl all the way out to Cape Town, Joburg and London? I thought so! (That will cost you around four gigs of data for a two hour play)

¬∑ Do you want to call your darling American daughter-in-law Letitia (still married to your other son Henry, you think) every week for an hour at R80 a shot on Hellkom or would you prefer to press the Skype button on your computer that says “watch Letitia talking for free while she covers for Henry”” (that’s about two gigs per hour)

¬∑ If you could listen to that old Abba record right now by hitting a big button on your computer that says “”listen to Abba record right now””, would you? And if you would, then could you resist the Bing Crosby command key, the Cliff Richard space key and anyone else your children remember hoping not to be airing on the wireless as you picked them up from school (we’re limiting that to three gigs. If you want to throw in Elvis, we’re going uncapped right now)

¬∑ You can’t get Talk Radio on medium wave, can you? It’s all fuzzy because you’re in the basement flat. Wouldn’t you die for a “”listen to Talk Radio as if John Maytham is sitting right next to you”” button on your computer? You can, just hit the button. (Every day, three hours a day, we’re looking at another 10 gigs)

¬∑ Because you’re British I know you love a good wait in a queue but honestly, R625 a month on DSTV to be told what, when and where you can watch doesn’t cut it anymore. On the internet, you can watch any epsisode of any series of Murder She Wrote. One entire season for 10 gigs, done and dusted within a day. I know I told you about this in my last email around the future of TV in South Africa, but I doubt you were concentrating.

¬∑ I’m not going to tell you about online lotteries because I bet you my inheritance, if there is one, that you’ve found them already (and with it, another two gigs):

Good for you Mum now you’re downloading, you’re streaming and you ain’t going to stop there because you’ve got the telly on your computer, you’ve got the wireless on your computer, you’ve got the phone on your computer and best of all, you’ve got your entire family on your computer and it’s so much easier to love them that way. Go uncapped Mum, it’s safer than it used to be, and it will make you young again. Guaranteed ‚Ķ. well, more so than your face cream. Our beautiful internet. Early days.

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