FOURTH mobile operator 8ta is testing BlackBerry smartphones on its network and will likely be ready with an offering early next year. The operator is also in discussions with Apple to offer its iPhone smartphone range, but was unable to give any details at this point, as it is bound by a strict non-disclosure agreement.
The BlackBerry play will be a significant one for the newcomer, as it has been recognised as a fast-growing cellular brand in SA. - ITWeb
UNIFORUM SA handed over support materials for IT learners and teachers to government and independent schools, saying the material is for grade 11 learners, a build-up on the grade 10 material developed and distributed last year as part of its corporate social investment arm, CO.ZA Cares. The material will be distributed to over 425 schools countrywide next year. - ITWeb
AFRICAN rural populations will decline if connectivity is not rolled out, as young people go to where they have access to telecoms, says Karl Jonas, a director at the Fraunhofer Competence Centre Network Research Institute. Jonas says Europe has already experienced a similar trend, with young people leaving the countryside in search of better and more connected lifestyles in large urban areas. - ITWeb
OPEN SOURCE e-mail provider Synaq, through a partnership with Vox DataPro and Always On, will offer a cloud-based e-mail application free of the cost of the bandwidth needed to access it. The partnership offers free WiFi Web mail access for the application, dubbed openCloud, at speeds of up to 21Mbs. This means Synaq's customers can access their e-mail via the cloud, without having to pay for bandwidth required to do so. "As much as 40% of enterprise bandwidth is consumed by e-mail traffic," says Yossi Hasson, MD of Synaq. - ITWeb
PERSONAL communications by employees are ringing up a total cost of about R5.9 billion for South African companies, says Unison Communications. These organisations find that between 17% and 28% of their communications budgets are chewed up like this. "When one considers that corporate spend for 2008 for fixed voice, mobile, LCR [least-cost routing], bulk SMS and Internet was believed to reach R34.8 billion, these cost implications take on a darker turn," says Craig Young, group MD of Unison Communications. - ITWeb
THE PRESIDENT of the High Court and principal judge at the East African Court of Justice, Justice Johnston Busingye, has revealed that all the 22 courts in Rwanda will start online services next year. He says they are planning to allow online filing of cases, pleadings, fix hearing dates, publish court calendars on their Web site and avail the judgments online. - The New Times
THE REPLACEMENT insurance on Nigeria Communication Satellite 1 (NIGCOMSAT 1) has been valued at $46 billion, says MD of Nigeria NIGCOMSAT, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai. He argued that the failure of SAT 1 was not peculiar to Nigeria or the fault of the Chinese firm that put the satellite in orbit, but was due to an international crisis. - Daily Independent
TELECOMS industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya is reviewing licensing and spectrum fees to enable broadcasters and courier operators to reach rural areas. The regulator said the lower fees would be announced by March next year, while the operators are expected to pass on the benefits to consumers in the form of lower prices. - Daily Nation
BENJAMIM Fernandes, commercial director of Mozambique's publicly owned mobile phone company M-Cel, was sacked just hours after criticising the government on a radio programme. When asked his opinion about the government decree that ordered the compulsory registration of all mobile phone SIM cards, Fernandes said he could not understand the government's decision and that it damaged the interests of the mobile phone operators. - Mozambique News Agency
ACER, the world's second-largest PC vendor, hopes to clinch the top spot from rival HP next year, the Taiwanese company's CEO told a Swiss newspaper on Sunday. "If the mobile world continues to grow, we will necessarily replace HP as the world's biggest computer-maker," CEO Gianfranco Lanci told the SonntagsZeitung in an interview. - Reuters
A SURVEY by GfK found 56% of smartphone owners are keeping their options open about which phone to buy next. Just 25% plan to stay loyal to their phone's operating system, and Apple has the highest number of loyal users, with 59% of iPhone users saying they'll stay loyal. Only 35% of BlackBerry users say they will stay faithful, and 28% of Google's Android users. - Reuters
A SWEDISH appeals court has upheld a ruling against three men behind file sharing Web site Pirate Bay, cutting their prison sentences and raising the fine. The case was brought by Swedish subsidiaries of leading music and film companies, including Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Brothers as the industry continues to fight against the sharing of film and video over the Internet. - Reuters
SMARTPHONES and Twitter were the hottest products in Japan in 2010, a survey showed. Flat-screen TVs equipped for digital broadcasting placed fourth in Dentsu's annual "Hit Product Recognition Survey", and energy-saving appliances ranked eighth. - Reuters
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