FTTH Council Africa

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52 African countries are now connected to submarine cables, either directly or by terrestrial cross-border fibre optic networks. 44% of Africans live within a 25-km reach of a fibre node.

The key question now is which cities and suburbs are taking the lead in building access networks? In an attempt to answer this question theFTTH Council Africa, in collaboration with Africa Bandwidth Maps are undertaking research to determine network reach and identify Africa’s most connected cities.

Africa’s inventory of terrestrial transmission networks has more than doubled in the last five years. According to the latest research by Africa Bandwidth Maps, Africa’s total inventory of transmission network edges towards 1 million route kilometres, the continent had a total of 586,707-km of operational fibre optic network by December 2014. This comprises of long-haul, metropolitan and FTTH/B (fibre-to-the-home/building) terrestrial fibre optic networks. Read more

tablets

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Good news for laptop and smartphone buyers: a novel flash-memory design should cut costs and boost capacity.

Intel, Micron and Toshiba want to give you the best of both worlds when it comes to flash memory, the storage technology used in smartphones, tablets and higher-end laptops.

Today, smartphones and tablets often don’t have enough room for all your apps, photos, videos and music. And laptop buyers have to decide between hard drives, which are cheap and roomy, but slow, and flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) that are fast but expensive.

A partnership between Micron and Intel, though, is now beginning to yield flash chips with triple the capacity of the top alternative from Samsung. And Toshiba announced a competing chip that matches Samsung’s capacity, a competitive move that should help maintain pricing pressure. Read more

it announced Google Cloud Launcher

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Google’s Cloud service just got a little easier to use. Today, it announced Google Cloud Launcherwhich makes it easy to deploy applications like WordPress or entire stacks like LAMP in a single click.

The new launcher features more than 120 open source applications that are either configured by Bitnami or Google Click to Deploy. You simply need to select a piece of software, choose a few options and it’s up and running. Read more

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Phase3 Telecom has revealed plans to begin the deployment of an aerial fiber optic infrastructure from Kano in Nigeria to Gazaoua in the Republic of Niger. According to Phase 3 Telecom, the network will run from Kano state through Katsina state before arriving at Gazaoua. Phase3 also revealed that the cable will be 228 km long. While no solid completion date of the project was given, Phase3 stated that the project is expected to be completed in months to come.

According to Phase3, the Republic of Niger is a landlocked country that borders seven countries; Algeria, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. The lack of backbone infrastructure between the Republic of Niger and its neighbors leaves Niger unable to fully enjoy the broadband advantage to its fullest. Read more

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Journalist and author Howard W. French and more than 150 other writers and professors sent a letter to “60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeff Fager on Wednesday faulting the CBS News program for its “frequent and recurring misrepresentation of the African continent.”

“In a series of recent segments from the continent, 60 Minutes has managed, quite extraordinarily, to render people of black African ancestry voiceless and all but invisible,” French, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, wrote in the letter, which was signed by college professors and writers from across America. Read more

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MTN Business has launched Bring Your Business Online, a platform that gives small and medium-sized businesses (SME) increased visibility by providing online presence on the MTN managed domain for less than R20 a month.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of the South African economy, however, many of them are limited from reaching their full potential because they rely on word of mouth or traditional methods of promoting their services. With this new solution, MTN Business gives them a secure online platform to expand their reach through the expansive footprint of the digital world,” says Alpheus Mangale, Chief Enterprise and Business Officer at MTN Business. Read more

paper

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A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited.

The biologists fear that the new technique is so effective and easy to use that some physicians may push ahead before its safety can be assessed. They also want the public to understand the ethical issues surrounding the technique, which could be used to cure genetic diseases, but also to enhance qualities like beauty or intelligence. The latter is a path that many ethicists believe should never be taken.

“You could exert control over human heredity with this technique, and that is why we are raising the issue,” said David Baltimore, a former president of the California Institute of Technology and a member of the group whose paper on the topic was published in the journal Science.

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For the last two weeks the Nigerian public has been in a frenzy trying to guess #JIMsBigThing! The only thing that was evident was that whatever Jumia, Infinix and MTN had up their sleeves undoubtedly had to be grand.  To everyone’s delight, #JIMsBigThing was revealed on Monday, March 9th as the spectacular Infinix Hot Note and immediately, it became the fastest selling pre-order in Jumia history.

The Infinix Hot Note is the latest and greatest innovative addition to the Infinix family. For starters, it is powered by a 4000 mAh battery and a uniquely developed charger, that allows 3 times faster-than-normal charging and can last up to 2 days. Yes, wow indeed! “We want to give Nigerians a chance to enjoy a revolutionary smartphone that is tailored to suit their needs. The Infinix Hot Note is a superior alternative to 5.5 inch smartphone and will provide users with a better experience through innovative fast-charge Design,” noted Infinix Mobility Co-founder Benjamin Jiang. Read more

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The need for enlightenment in the community led Humphrey Musila, a US-based Kenyan student to launch African Tutor an online platform where young people across the African continent can access information such as scholarships, jobs and many other opportunities.

According to Musila, the idea was born last year November while in college and he registered the company in Kenya in a move to fill the gap.

“I realized that there was a wide gap between young people in a country like US and countries in Africa in terms of access to opportunities and resources. Despite many miles away from my home country, I decided it was my responsibility to bridge that gap by giving back to my community- to the best of my knowledge.” Read more

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The Botswana Innovation Hub, in collaboration with Microsoft, the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP), Global Broadband Solutions, Vista Life Sciences, BoFiNet, Adaptrum and USAID-NetHope, has launched a new TV white spaces (TVWS) pilot project.

The project, known as Project Kgolagano, will provide internet connectivity and telemedicine services to local hospitals and clinics, which will enable access to specialised medicine in Gaborone and other locations around the world.

TV white spaces is a technology that enables the delivery of broadband using dynamic spectrum access. Unused spectrum on the frequency range – commonly used to deliver television channels – is used and known as TV white space or TVWS. Microsoft through its 4Afrika initiative has launched similar pilots across Africa including Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania and Ghana. Read more