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Mobile Data 'to Explode' in SA - Cisco

According to a study by Cisco, South Africans complain about high data costs and the price of mobile devices, but despite that, the Internet is set to grow exponentially.

The company points out that, "Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) reveals interesting growth figures and projects that mobile data traffic in South Africa will increase nearly eight-fold over the next five years and grow twice as fast as fixed IP traffic in South Africa."

MSF Opens Up Access to Humanitarian Data

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a humanitarian-aid non-governmental organisation, initiates an open-access approach within the humanitarian sector in the hope that other medical aid organisations will follow suit.

According to a report published in PLOS Medicine, MSF has made the data clinical and research staff collect, freely available online – marking the first time a medical humanitarian organisation has fashioned a policy to openly share its data.

Free Internet for WC Communities

Economic Development and Tourism Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Alan Winde, has announced that three of Western Cape’s poorest communities will benefit from a new R3 million broadband project to be completed by 2014.
 
The communities will receive free access to high-speed wireless Internet, which the MEC says should run at about one megabyte per second (the current entry-level for most paying users).
 
“It is our intention to reach as many residents as possible. The impact will be proposal-dependent,” states Winde.

Education 'Key' to Open Wi-Fi Networks

South African cities are engaged in the process of rolling out public Wi-Fi hotpots in an effort to make high speed mobile data freely available.
 
According to a security consultant at Fortinet, Jonas Thulin, states that the new service though, could be used by criminals to entrap users who are unused to the environment.
 
"While access for all is a commendable goal, there are security risks in extending free and low-cost Wi-Fi access in public places," explains Thulin.
 

Neotel Purchase Could be Good for Broadband Access

Subject to regulatory approvals‚ South African communications network operator Neotel could be bought for R6.55-billion.

A statement says, “Liquid Telecom is partnering with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH)‚ a South African investment group‚ which has committed to take a 30 percent equity stake in Neotel.”

Through a single access point‚ businesses across Africa will be able to access 40 000 kilometres of cross-border‚ metro and access fibre networks and these currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya‚ with further expansion planned.”

​Cell C Launches its LTE-A

South Africa’s third largest mobile network Cell C says it has activated its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

Cell C’s move to launch LTE-A comes after the company is the last among major networks to launch LTE last year in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Rivals Vodacom and MTN launched LTE networks in 2012.

Free Wi-Fi Changing Lives in JHB

The City of Johannesburg's Wi-Fi users are allocated 300 megabytes daily and 50 percent of libraries and clinics also have free Wi-Fi.

Access to the Internet is considered a major requirement in any developing country and the City of Johannesburg is well on its way to achieving this with many free broadband spots launched six months ago.

Fibre Broadband for the Wealthy Questioned

High installation costs for fibre broadband results in it predominantly being rolled out in wealthier suburban areas, says an expert.

According to Duncan Alfreds, companies such as Telkom and Vumatel have been targeting more upmarket suburbs with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology.

He quotes Kalin Bogatzevski, chief executive officer of 123Net, as saying that, “There are many new fibre players focusing on FTTH opportunities, although the reach and availability is substantially limited – some focus on gated and cluster communities specifically.”

Gender and Internet Governance in Africa

As a researcher selected to participate in the gender and Internet governance exchange, what quickly became clear was the near absence of a gender perspective in Internet governance forums. The lack of this perspective is likely affect outcomes and recommendations around content, access and human rights online. The following talking points highlight work that has been done by the Association for Progressive Communications on gender and Internet governance issues.

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