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Telkom brings ultra-fast speed to copper

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Telkom’s whoelsale division Openserve, is about to introduce G.fast broadband technology in its network, allowing DSL lines to deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps on copper lines.

This innovative technology utilises the copper tail or drop wire within the customer premises, as an alternative access technology, to deliver high speed broadband where viable.

The announcement was made by Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer, Sipho Maseko,  at the company’s Annual Results presentation this week.

“Openserve, is amongst the first few companies to utilise this technology globally and is geared to rapidly expand its high speed broadband footprint across the country,” says Alphonzo Samuels, Openserve Chief Executive Officer. “This is a testament to Openserve’s commitment to innovate and enable high speed broadband access to as many homes as possible. In our endeavour to utilise multiple technologies, G.fast enables us to further extend the use and lifespan of our existing copper infrastructure.”

In areas where Openserve has an access fibre footprint, it is now possible for residents in townhouse complexes, smaller gated communities, multi-dwelling units and office parks, who already have existing copper access lines to experience high speed broadband speeds of up to 100 mbps.

“As the most experienced broadband infrastructure player in the South African market, we are aware of some of the needs as well as the challenges faced by residences to get access to high speed broadband technology,” says Samuels. “We continuously look to innovate and bring in new technologies which will enable greater access to more residences.

“G.fast helps us overcome the hesitation that many Home Owners Associations and Body Corporates of multiple-dwelling complexes have with granting permissions to upgrade infrastructure on their properties. We’ve now have found a way to better make use of infrastructure that is already in place thus reducing any disruption or possible harm to the aesthetics of the estate or the associated expense.”

Openserve will extend the access fibre in the suburb to an equipment room typically in the basement or gatehouse where the copper access distribution point (DP) is situated at the complex. A G.fast node will be installed where the fibre extension is terminated and complex residents will now have access to the higher broadband speeds available utilising the existing copper tail/drop wire. These residents will then have access to a wider range of high speed offerings from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of their choice.

“We’ve completed testing G.fast technology in our labs with results indicating amazing suitability to our broadband network especially in scenarios where the length of the copper tail/drop wire is 150m or less. Our proof of concept is currently well underway in-field.

“We are excited to share this with our ISP and broadband resell partners who will now be able to reach an even broader customer base to grow their businesses and get these higher speed broadband services to even more of their customers.”

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Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?

It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.

Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.

When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.

That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.

In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.

The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.

Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.

“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.

“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”

Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.

In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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Robots coming to IFA

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Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.

The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.

The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:

Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.

Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.

Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.

Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.

Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.

And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.

IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit www.ifa-berlin.com

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