Author: Gugu Lourie

South Africa’s communications watchdog on Thursday called on mobile operators to offer free services during the coronavirus situation. The country has recorded the highest number of people in Africa who have tested positive for Covid-19 or coronavirus. “ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of SA) is requesting all network service providers to heed the call to enable the country to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, by facilitating easy and affordable (and/or free) access to data,” the regulator said in a statement. The regulator added that it was engaging the sector on possible ways of radiofrequency spectrum relief for the duration of…

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African Rainbow Capital Financial Services Holdings (ARC FinHoldCo) announced on Thursday that it has invested R300 million South Africa’s first fully digital bank TymeBank. ARC FinHoldCo increased its holding in TymeBank to 100% over the course of the year, new partners were introduced resulting in a sell-down of control to 65.5% at 30 June 2019. The bank, which is backed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, said it was embarking on a capital raise which will see the ARCH FinHoldCo interest diluted further. TymenBank is adding 3 500 and 4 000 customers per day, with about 40% of bank accounts being active…

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South African mobile data network operator rain, which recently launched its intelligent 5G transport network, continues to invest in its 5G network across the country, said investors African Rainbow Capital (ARC). In an investment update published on Thursday, ARC said: “Overall, the growth prospects for Rain remain optimistic.” The company said Rain’s revenue growth has been encouraging and significant progress was being made to further improve on network performance and stability. “Rain is well-positioned to become a major player in the 5G data market,” said ARC. ARC added that during October 2019, Rain launched the country’s first 5G network for…

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To understand the new smart monitors and other pro devices of tech health, we should look to Silicon Valley and the quantified movement of the latest generation. Apple’s Watch records exercise, tracks our moves throughout the day, assesses the amount of time we are stood up and reminds us to get up and move around if we have been sat for too long – let’s not forget Tim Cook’s “sitting is the new factor” line. Routinely evaluating your risk factors for various medical conditions, screening for cancer and other diseases, and assessing your lifestyle habits helps you stay healthy. It’s…

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aYo, a mobile micro-insurance joint venture between MTN and SA’s third-biggest insurer Momentum Metropolitan, seems to be winning the minds, hearts and wallets of existing and new customers. In 2017, Momentum Metropolitan and MTN launched aYo, a micro-insurance joint venture. It began its roll-out in Uganda in January 2017 and has also been deployed in Ghana and Zambia. With insurance penetration low in many countries in the African region, aYo aims to draw on the resources and capabilities that both companies provide to improve this and offer relevant, accessible and easy-to-use insurance solutions to consumers. “Our aYo joint venture recorded…

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The hybrid BMW i8 Coupé and the BMW i8 Roadster will make way for a new range of all-electric models. BMW announced on Wednesday that the production of its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car will end next month, nearly six years after it was introduced in a big way to the German automaker’s lineup. This is the final stretch on the way to the “Hall of Fame” of BMW sports cars for the i8. The BMW i8 started its worldwide success story as a unique symbiosis of futuristic design and pioneering technology. The BMW Group’s first plug-in hybrid model paved…

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The SA Post Office announced on Wednesday that Coronavirus or COVID-19 delays mail to and from the Far East. he South African Post Office advises its clients that it cannot accept mail destined to the following countries: China Malaysia Indonesia Taiwan South Korea Sri Lanka Vietnam Bangladesh and Kuala Lumpur The Post Office said mail to Hong Kong is not affected. The airline carriers currently used by the SA Post Office for transport to and from these countries are unable to uplift mail due to challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, it added. “As a result, mail from these counties…

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MTN, Africa and the Middle East biggest mobile phone operator delivered a strong set of results for the year to end-December 2019, as it signs up more data and mobile money service customers plus mobile telephony subscribers. “We added 18 million customers to reach a total of 251 million and increased our data users by 17 million to 95 million and our fintech customers by 7 million to 35 million,” said Rob Shuter, the CEO of MTN Group. “This growth is central to our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. We also saw improvements in…

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The latest data released today by MTN shows that the number of active Mobile Money (MoMo) users increased by 7,5 million to a total of 35 million, generating a monthly ARPU of $1,15 in the year to end-December 2019. “The value of MoMo transactions in the year was $96,1 billion ()R1.54 trillion), with 9 200 transactions processed per minute (up from 6 800 per minute in 2018),” the company said. The launch of MoMo in South Africa and Afghanistan brings to 16 the number of markets in which we are currently live. “In November we launched MTN Homeland, a mobile remittance…

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MTN Group on Wednesday disclosed that its instant messaging platform, Ayoba has reached 2 million monthly active users. To ensure Africa doesn’t miss out on the instant messaging revolution, MTN launched its own instant messaging platform, Ayoba, in March 2019. “Ayoba is now live in 12 markets and has registered two million monthly active users,” said  MTN’s CEO, Rob Shuter. Ayoba was integrated into 12 MTN markets and is also available across multiple markets on the Google Play Store and via the Ayoba website as an OTT offering. MusicTime! is now live in six MTN markets. “We plan to continue…

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