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Vodacom 4G+ tunnels down to Gautrain routes

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Vodacom announced today that it has extended its 4G coverage along most Gautrain routes to include 4G+ in the underground tunnels, a first in South Africa.

The move will ensure that Vodacom customers can continue to make calls, check e-mails, send messages and surf the internet when they travel on the Gautrain.

This means that 4G and 4G+ coverage is immediately available on route to Gautrain’s Rosebank, Sandton, Marlboro and Midrand stations with speeds of in excess of 100Mb/s achieved in deep underground environments. The next phase of the project will be to enhance coverage along the track between Marlboro and OR Tambo International Airport as well as between Marlboro and Pretoria to ensure a seamless and uninterrupted experience on all Gautrain routes.

“This initiative is part of our concerted drive to give our customers a differentiated service and seamless connection everywhere in South Africa. The basis of our competitive advantage lies in the superiority of our network, which we have achieved through continued investment in our network infrastructure. In the past two years alone, we spent R17 billion so that we continue to provide great value to our customers,” said Andries Delport, Vodacom Group Chief Technology Officer.

Earlier this year, Vodacom enabled its high speed 4G+ service at Gautrain Station platforms in Sandton, Rosebank and Park Station in addition to the 2G, 3G and 4G coverage first deployed at these stations in 2015.

To provide underground coverage at these stations, Vodacom used distributed antenna systems located throughout the three stations. Each of these systems is connected via fibre-optic cable to network equipment located in Rosebank.

“Greater access to spectrum will enable Vodacom to undertake more initiatives of this nature while also extending broadband coverage to the remotest parts of our country. South Africans want faster speeds, wider coverage and lower prices which is why it is so important to secure access to additional spectrum in South Africa,” Delport says.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to three readers.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers. To enter, first follow Gadget and Gammatek on Twitter. Then click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite), mention @GadgetZA and the link to this article (bit.ly/FPFortnite) to be considered valid.

Click here to see the Funko Fortnite characters and to select the one you want to tweet.

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CES: ThirdEye X2 mixed-reality glasses

The X2 mixed reality (MR) glasses, unveiled at CES last week, are the smallest mixed reality devices yet. They boast a 42-degree field of view, HD resolution, and run on the Android platform. The glasses are not connected to wires or tethered packs, and boast a built-in VisionEye Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) system for accurate environment tracking. The UI allows the user to wear it while completing tasks indoors and outdoors.

Click through to read how the software makes these glasses a reality.

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Nick Cherukuri, founder of ThirdEye, said: “The goal of the X2 was to integrate SLAM into a small glasses form factor – that is the future of making MR Glasses mass produced.”

ThirdEye has also partnered with a major manufacturer, which will enable the X2 to be shipped in mass scale, which is currently a significant hurdle for many startups.

The glasses have built-in software like the ThirdEye App Suite, which provides a full MR software platform built into the units. The App Suite includes live audio and video streaming, AR data communication between remote users in the form of a “see what I see” application, and 3D scanning capabilities.  The glasses run on Android 8.0, creating a platform for a worldwide community of developers to submit AR, VR, and MR applications to the ThirdEye App Store. 

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