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Vodacom launches VoLTE in SA

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Owners of the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge as well as other compatible handsets will now be able to make Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls.

Owners of the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are now able to make voice calls over Vodacom’s 4G/LTE network. A commercial first in South Africa, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) users will experience faster call set-up times (the amount of time it takes between dialling a number and the phone ringing at the recipient’s end), better voice quality, and additional capabilities such as being able to continue browsing the web or using apps while simultaneously making a call.

VoLTE technology, which enables mobile voice traffic to be carried natively over a data network, was originally demonstrated by Vodacom in September last year. However, until now the service has been limited by a lack of compatible devices.

Andries Delport, Vodacom’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “VoLTE is now officially up and running in SA thanks to these new handsets. Within the next month VoLTE functionality will be added to additional devices, and we expect usage will grow rapidly as more and more handset manufacturers include the functionality.”

At present the VoLTE service is available to contract customers who have compatible handsets. There is no additional charge to use this service.

The launch of VoLTE follows on from Vodacom’s roll-out of Enhanced Voice service last year. Available country-wide, Enhanced Voice is comprised of HD voice which significantly increases the clarity of voice calls, Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) which removes the echo that sometimes occurs when making calls and Noise Reduction (NR) technology which eliminates background noise. HD voice is supported by the majority of smart devices while AEC and NR technology is in use by every device on the network.

“The implementation of Enhanced Voice last September signalled a step change in call quality for South Africa. Moving forward our next milestone is to include video calling and media sharing as part of the VoLTE service,” said Delport.

How to enable VoLTE

Customers with compatible handsets will need to run a software update to enable the service. The update will be available from 11 April 2015.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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