Microsoft South Africa has partnered with Brightwave to bring Wi-Fi and TV white spaces technology based on broadband access to more than 213 000 students at 609 primary and secondary schools.
This Brightwave partnership is part of Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative (AAI) program, a partnership-based programme that invests in internet connectivity, energy access, and IoT (Internet of Things) projects in unserved and underserved communities. The AAI program seeks to support, accelerate, and scale innovative business developing technologies that enable local communities to utilise cloud-based services and business models that reduce the cost of Internet and energy access to help more people participate in the digital economy.
“Far too many South Africans lack internet connectivity along with the educational, commercial and economic benefits of cloud-based services,” says Paul Garnett, senior director in Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative team. “Through partnerships such as these, we will be able to empower entrepreneurs to provide connectivity to many more people and consequently, enable the creation of critical services for many more South Africans who need it most.”
This strategic partnership with Brightwave will enable cloud consumption and digital transformation solutions in Health, Education, Public Safety and National security. The Brightwave deployment is being co-funded by Microsoft and Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA).
The partnership also allows Brightwave to leverage the Microsoft partnership to sell Internet access, devices, as well as cloud-based services such as Office 365 to government offices, small businesses, and consumers.
“This enables Brightwave to offer an integrated services value proposition that will power e-Learning, e-Health, e-Government, and e-Commerce in rural and underserved communities in South Africa” says Charles Mwaura CEO of Brightwave.
Brightwave provides broadband Internet access in the sprawling underserved per-urban community of Soweto in South Africa. The ISP has successfully deployed and commercialised the largest Wi-Fi network in a predominantly disadvantaged community in South Africa, through offering data bundles at a tenth of market prices by leveraging an ad-driven “freemium” model. The deployment in OR Tambo district of 609 sites is part of the expanding portfolio of broadband sites being deployed in rural and underserved communities across South Africa by Brightwave.
“This initiative will provide many entrepreneurs within underserved communities and rural areas with the tools they need to create businesses, address community problems and also help close the local skills gap, by enhancing the learning experience available to schools in these areas,” says Lumko Mtimde, CEO of USAASA.
AppDate: A security boost for schools
In his latest app round-up, SEAN BACHER features Karri, ChatBack, Charge Running, Bookings Africa and HomeChoice.
With large amounts of cash and very little security, schools are now becoming an easy target for criminals. Numerous schools across the country have already been raided, with several serious incidents and even fatalities.
In partnership with Nedbank, Karri has introduced a mobile payment app to address this growing problem. The app enables parents to send money securely to their child’s school. Hundreds of schools countrywide are using Karri, with most now refusing to accept cash payments from parents.
The app offers a simple alternative to children bringing cash to school by allowing parents to make payments via an app on their smartphone. It is free for parents to use and there are no hidden costs or sign-up fees for the school.
Platform: Android and iOS
Expect to pay: A free download
Stockists: Visit Karri here for downloading instructions.
Visit the next page to read more about ChatBack, Charge Running, Bookings Africa and HomeChoice.
ParkUpp is here to sell your unused parking spot
Prop-tech startup ParkUpp is helping residents and property owners to make some extra cash from their unused parking. This is proving to be a winner for JanuWorry, the month that often brings financial stress post the December holidays for many individuals and businesses across South Africa.
ParkUpp already has over 4500 listings on its platform, predominantly in Johannesburg and Cape Town. They include The Union Castle building owned by Izandla Properties, Design Quarter on William Nicol Drive, along with other commercial and residential parking facilities.
The app has also been awarded some accolades from property industry incumbents such as the Women’s Property Network (WPN) for Young Achiever’s category and South African Institute of Black Property Professionals (SAIBPP) for Disruptor of the Year. Also headed to Silicon Valley for a two week bootcamp with Kingson Capital, a South African based Venture Capital firm.
This award winning platform not only creates extra income from empty parking spaces, it also decreases drivers’ anxiety of parking in unsafe space and also saves them a buck. In the Cape Town CBD, with over 45% cars parked on-street: paying an average of R18/hour, amounting to R2880 a month, ParkUpp users are able to save up to 50% by renting out a parking for R1500.
ParkUpp co-founder Michael Savvides says home owners or businesses often get frustrated when they find someone illegally parked in their bay. “Instead of being frustrated, list your parking during the times it is unused for people to park in your space legally. No one really wants to knock on someone’s door to ask for parking so our platform is removing that uncomfortable feeling.”
“We create trust between owners and drivers through our vetting processes. We save drivers 50% on parking costs and generate extra income for the owners and we also provide access to spaces that were previously inaccessible,” he explains.
“Our current focus is to increase occupancy rate for the listing parking bays, businesses and individuals who need parking can visit the platform to make a booking or suggest a location where you need parking,” he concludes.
As a driver, should you not find your preferred parking, email the team with suggested locations at email@example.com in order for them to find you safe, secure and affordable parking for you.