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Telkom offers ADSL customers fibre trial

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Telkom has invited more than 11 000 DSL customers across the country to experience Telkom’s fibre technology at no additional cost.

ADSL customers within Telkom’s fibre footprint will be given the opportunity to upgrade their copper-based connectivity to the more advanced fibre network. These customers will also have the opportunity to test Telkom’s Boltspeed 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps fibre products, for free, for two months.

Telkom is offering these customers the option to migrate from their copper-based DSL service, to an equivalent fibre-based service, in a phased approach.

This means that DSL customers who are currently on 2 Mbps, 4 Mbps and 8 Mbps DSL products can now, for no extra charge, move across to the more stable and reliable fibre network. During the two months trial, they also are able to test the 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps line options and can then make a call at the end of the two months, which package they choose to adopt.

“Telkom has the largest fibre network in the country and we want to take this high performing technology into our customer’s homes, businesses and schools. This unique trial offer is a win-win for customers in that we will migrate them to our Telkom fibre, at no additional cost,” said Telkom Consumer MD, Attila Vitai.

“We are delighted to be able to offer thousands of customers the opportunity to experience the speed and reliability of fibre. Our installation teams are working to secure installations within 7 to ten days from order”, he said.

Telkom customers will also not be charged any installation free, as long as a like-for-like installation is possible.

After the two month trial, customers will be able to upgrade to the 10 Mbps or 20 Mbps options or, they can return to their original 2 Mbps, 4 Mbps and 8 Mbps speeds, however their line will permanently have been upgraded to fibre.

“Fibre is the next evolution of fixed line broadband connectivity and we want our customers to enjoy the best technology experience we can offer. Not only does fibre offer faster speeds but it is less susceptible to electronic interference, lightning and water damage than the copper network,” Vitai added.

“Ultimately, this technology upgrade and fibre trial is mutually beneficial to Telkom and our customers. Telkom will be better equipped to deliver stable and reliable services while customers get to enjoy the many benefits of Boltspeed fibre connectivity,” concluded Vitai.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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