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Pigeon beats Telkom

2009-09-09 12:23

Birgit Ottermann

Cape Town - Winston, a homing pigeon, has made history by beating a Telkom ADSL line in delivering 4GB of data from Howick to Hillcrest, outside Durban in just 2 hours 6 minutes and 57 seconds, whereas the ADSL download was "still just under four percent complete" at 11:45.
The rest of the story...(News24)

28,982 Posts
Google looks to Cape for tech innovation

Google announced today that its Africa technology incubator, called Umbono, would be located in Cape Town.

A statement issued by the US-based search engine giant said this decision was based on its ongoing commitment to foster innovation in Africa.
Technology incubators are groupings of small start-up high-technology companies, usually funded by either one large investor or by numerous smaller funds to help these fledgling enterprises through the first difficult years of their development.
"News that Google has decided on Cape Town is a feather in the cap of the Western Cape, which has been positioning itself as the best place for technology start-ups," said Jeny McKinell, executive director of the Cape IT Initiative, a private/public technology incubator.
McKinell said the Cape IT Initiative, along with private technology investment group Silicon Cape, had been lobbying Google to locate its new venture in the Mother City for about a year.
Google said that the idea of its incubator was to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local technology stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders. "The Umbono programme will help selected start-up teams transform their ideas into companies."
It goes on to say that, as part of its goal to strengthen the web ecosystem across Africa, Google hopes that Umbono will further encourage the growth of the developer community and support the country's already flourishing tech sector.
"The South African tech scene is incredibly dynamic, particularly in Cape Town," said Luke McKend, the country manager for Google South Africa. "We've seen some terrific start-ups come from this environment, companies like Yola, MXit and Twangoo. Google's latest investment with Umbono is a great extension of our overall strategy in the region to strengthen the web ecosystem."
Part of the Google innovator support model will see selected technology start-ups enjoy free office space and bandwidth, in addition to the $25,000 to $50,000 (about R175,000 to R350,000) in funding they'll receive from Umbono's panel of angel investors and Google for six months.
Google said that, throughout the programme, teams would not only benefit from local connections, but also from the extensive mentorship network of Google experts who could provide guidance on issues ranging from product design and commercialisation, to legal incorporation and valuation.
"Our mentor base is a key component of the Umbono programme," said Johanna Kollar, Umbono's programme manager. "Our experts - Googlers from around the world who are volunteering their time - are passionate about technology in Africa and will be able to help teams with the challenges they face, whether it be on the product, business or technical front."
Applications will go live on the Umbono website from March 22, and the programme is open to all South African residents. The deadline for first-round applicants is April 15, but the website will continue to accept applications from interested candidates.

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Weird how ICASA approves so few radio stations... :nuts:

All 'Smiles' as new FM station airs in Cape Town

In the latest instalment of her "Backstory" series, Gill Moodie writes exclusively for

Today Smile 90.4fm – Cape Town’s new FM radio station – started broadcasting.

Backed by SA’s pre-eminent film producer Anant Singh, Smile 90.4fm won the first FM licence to be awarded by the regulator, Icasa, for Cape Town in 14 years.

It was a successful applicant amid a group that also saw Richtrau – a consortium led by Given Mkhari’s MSG Afrika Investment Holdings – get the licence for Power 98.9FM in Johannesburg.There was also the Durban-based One Gospel,for which the licence is held by KNI –a consortium led by Revered Abe Sibiya who also heads the One Gospel satellite TV station.

Power FM’s station manager, Ferdinand Mabalane, told last week that preparations were afoot for switch-on this year but he did not want to commit to a launch date while Sibiya did not respond to requests for information about One Gospel.

It does not appear that the station is on the air yet.

Last year Sibiya told that he was pushing to launch the radio station in June if all went well.

Smile 90.4fm – which held its official launch in Cape Town last week – will be unique in that it will be completely bilingual – going out in 50% Afrikaans and English and with a mix of music and talk. Half of the music will be local.

It has won a 10-year licence, which MD Tony Mallam told was quite surprising.

Mallam, who has worked for the SABC and was a shareholder in and financial director of Kfm – said: “My first licence with Kfm was for six years and when we got the paper work for this one, it was for 10 years. We checked with Icasa and they felt it was a mission to renew every six years.”

In its application, the station’s funding target was R36-million.

“We’re aiming to better that. We’re aiming to use less than that,” Mallam said. “The better we do advertising-wise, the less the shareholders will have to put in. It’s a three-year break-even. That’s our target financially.”

Mallam said that some competitors in the licence-application process were aiming for a one-year break-even target – a time frame he did not think was realistic.

“It’s a big financial investment, which is why we’re very glad to have the likes of (Singh’s) Videovision on board,” he said.

Singh, who joined the radio bid in 2009 before Smile successfully won the FM licence, is co-chairman of the board with Dr Ernest Messina, who is also chairman of the Groot Constantia Trust.

The Durban-based Singh is not new to the radio industry or the Cape Town business scene.

He is also the main driver behind Cape Town Film Studios while Videovision and Kagiso Trust Investments acquired the former SABC radio stations, Radio Oranje (OFM) and East Coast Radio, in 1996. This led to the formation of the JSE-listed Kagiso Media.

Singh was a board member of Eastcoast Radio, OFM and Kagiso Media until he resigned these directorships in 2006.

Smile’s investors comprise Videovision; Women’s Development Bank Investment Holdings; Allparts Cape; African Peoples Investment Company; and Radio 021.

Although the station has blue-chip investors such as Singh, it began as a small independent consortium founded in 2008 by Lizma van Zyl, who came up with the idea of a bilingual station in conversation with Ton Vosloo, the chairman of Naspers.

Vosloo – who Mallam described as a “moral supporter” of the station – was at Smile’s launch last week.

Van Zyl, who has worked in broadcasting – including the SABC, Kfm and - for more than 20 years is Smile’s content head while another veteran broadcaster, Clive Ridgway, is the station’s programme director.

Ridgway was Kfm’s head of programming for many years.

Many of Smile’s presenters – who include Bobby Brown, Benito Vergotine and Eloise Pretorius – came on board at less than they were earning before, Mallam said.

“We have been very conservative when it comes to finances. I’ve worked in venture capital and entrepreneurial businesses and the one thing about bootstrapping a company is that you have to be very lean and you have to grow into yourself. So even though it looks like we’ve got this huge talent, we’ve been very conservative about what we’re paying people. They are aware of the potential of the business and they’ve joined us with an upside in mind.”

Mallam said Smile would be spending a lot on marketing – with billboards, bus-shelter ads and print adverts in the works – to get it known among listeners as fast as possible but would also be using social networks.

“Again, it has to be clever use of money,” he said. “Shareholder funding is not a bottomless pit.”

Mallam forsees that the station will be competing against the big three Cape Town stations – Kfm, Heart and Good Hope – but also against successful community stations such as Voice of the Cape and Radio Tygerberg, both of which have gained Afrikaans listeners in the past two years.

“Overall, I think we will fragment the market,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it because… I think we’ll take a little bit from everyone.

“Our biggest challenge is to literally get people tuned in because when they do, they will love us and they will talk about it to their friends so there will be word of mouth and social media,” said Mallam. “The challenge is to draw the core of our audience in the first six months. It’s not about gradual growth. This is about making a big impact and then growing from there.

“Gone are the days when you launch quietly and grow steadily. People’s consumption of media these days is governed by a short focus of attention so you’ve got to grab them now. We’ve got to be a talking point in Cape Town. We want people saying: ‘Did you hear this on Smile 90.4? Did you hear what the guy said this morning on Smile 90.4?’ ”


6,941 Posts
^^ I want a really, really good music radio station with less talk. Something between a VH1-original and MTV mix. Sometimes 5fm can be single-minded in some of their music selection and Kfm, in my opinion, is abysmal. Abysmal by comparison to their Primedia cousin, Highveld Stereo in Johannesburg.

Great... but not really interested in another talk-bilingual-local-focus radio station. But hey, that's the youth talking. ;)

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Agreed. I honestly couldn't be bothered about the opinions of DJ's on various matters. I want to listen to music when I turn on the radio.

5FM is OK, but there's far too much talk. Their music selection is quite diverse, but that often leaves me frustrated by some of the most atrociously repetitive rap I've had the displeasure of hearing.

KFM is, quite simply, terrible in terms of their music choices. They're masters at killing songs by overplaying them, they seem to stick to Top 40 and oldies, but even their Top 40 seems to be behind the rest of the world by a few weeks. They also make some strange choices when it comes to filler songs. You'd swear There's Gotta Be More to Life by Stacie Orrico were released yesterday at the rate they play it.

If only we had a decent rock-focussed radio station that focussed on the music more than the chatter :( It seems the only think closest to it is AFM 91.3FM, but I can't say I'm a fan of the more experimental Afrikaans choices :lol:

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
CT honoured as top offshoring destination
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 10 Jun 2013

The Cape Town CBD has received two Offshoring Destination of the Year Awards from the National and European Outsourcing Associations.

The awards, which saw Cape Town beating numerous international contenders, mark the city as a global leader in offshore and local business process outsourcing (BPO). BPO involves specific business functions – including call centre outsourcing, customer-related functions, and administration – being outsourced to a third-party service provider.

Both international and local companies consider the Cape Town CBD as a location of choice for BPO, which has resulted in a growing number of call centres in the city. These are a major source of economic growth, and have created approximately 7 500 jobs, as well as generating R1.7 billion for the provincial GDP.

With new international investment increasing, and the expansion of current outsourcing companies, these figures are expected to grow considerably. Although countries such as India, China, and Australia have typically been seen as favoured BPO markets, SA is ‘coming into its own’ in terms of growth in the sector following the two awards, says Gareth Pritchard, CEO of Business Process Enabling SA.

“The CBD is very popular with both local and international companies due to its good transport links, excellent infrastructure, availability of property and access to a large educated talent pool,” says Pritchard. “There is a growing base of high-end skills in financial and legal services amongst the talent pool, making the Cape Town CBD an ideal customer service base and highlight the CBD as a world class offshoring location."

According to Rob Kane, chairman of the Central City Improvement District, the Cape Town CBD’s centrality, cleanliness and safety all contribute to its popularity.

“The Cape Town CBD continues to see growth in the contact centre industry, as more outsourcing companies, both locally and abroad, notice the consistency of excellence and quality the environment offers,” he says.

“We are proud that prominent brands and local company contact centres such as Metropolitan Health, Edcon, Woolworths, ASDA, Lufthansa, Shell, Bloomberg and Wonga call the CBD home and look forward to welcoming more brands to this premier business destination,” says Kane.

Source: ITWeb

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice :banana:

Company's Garden free wi-fi pilot project begins today

Cape Town's Company's Garden will soon move into the tech-savvy era with free wi-fi services which could eventually spread to more areas in the city centre.

The city, along with the Iziko Museums and wi-fi specialists Connected Space, are busy putting the final touches to the wi-fi installation at the historic gardens.

The service is expected to be active tomorrow.

Smartphone and tablet users will be allowed 100MB of data each day and can learn a thing or two about the trees and plants in the gardens by scanning a code which will access information and interesting facts about the flora.

The wi-fi project will be a pilot for further provision of free wi-fi service to the public across the CBD.

Signage will alert visitors to the wi-fi parameters that will include the Company's Garden restaurant and outside of the aviary.

Mayco member for community services Belinda Walker said: 'We are very excited to bring the convenience of free wi-fi to a public space and give those who visit the chance to enjoy the breath-taking surroundings... at the same time.'
The public will be directed to a URL where they can log in.

For any problems accessing the service, users can contact the support line at 072 979 5056.

Cape Times

Source: IOL Property

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If anyone's wondering exactly where this is, it's Prestwich Memorial (where Truth Coffee is).

Green Point offers free Wi-Fi
2013-09-18 07:26
Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Green Point residents and visitors have been granted access to a free public Wi-Fi hotspot.

The access point is located at St Andrew's Square about 1km from the city centre of Cape Town and the service was launched on 12 September.

"We are constantly looking for ways to make Green Point a more accessible and attractive place to live, work and play, so it’s wonderful to have the free Wi-Fi up and running," said Marc Truss, Green Point City Improvement District (GPCID) CEO.

The GPCID has worked with the City of Cape Town to produce the service.

Despite the promise of higher speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks, Wi-Fi is increasingly being used as a high-speed alternative while LTE rollout is being frustrated by the lack of spectrum allocation.

Metros like the City of Cape and Tshwane have being actively making Wi-Fi available to residents.

Tshwane made no bones about its intention to drive Wi-Fi and internet access as a priority.

"The purpose of this initiative is to bring Wi-Fi connectivity to every household, every street and every corner," the city said.

World Bank figures show that for every 10% increase in mobile penetration, there is a corresponding 0.8% increase in gross domestic product (GDP).

The service is Green Point mirrors a similar project in the Company Gardens and a pilot project in Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain on the Cape Flats.

The Wi-Fi service is unlimited and users simply select "GreenPointCID- FreeWi-Fi" when they within the effective zone.

Source: News24

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·

More free Wi-Fi for Cape Town
Staff Writer
October 14, 2013

Harrington Square is offering free Wi-Fi in a project which aims to grow access to other areas in Cape Town

Harrington Square in District Six has been offering free Wi-Fi to visitors from 11 October 2013. This initiative forms part of a project of the Cape Town Partnership, Connected Space, District Six Museum, Charly’s Bakery, Woodheads, and The Bank.

“Driven by the utility of free Wi-Fi, this is the first step towards using Harrington Square as a public hub and cultural heart,” said Cape Town Partnership.

The network is operated by Connected Space – the same company that is offering free Wi-Fi in Gardens.

Connected Space explained that the free Wi-Fi access provides Internet services so people can use social media, e-mails, and general surfing – not high speed downloads.

“The data is managed to ensure each user will receive a good quality internet connection with pleasing speeds,” the company said.

“This is now our second free public Wi-Fi area in Cape Town that we have launched. We have already identified the next site which will hopefully be up and running by the end of the month,” said Connected Space.

Source: MyBroadband

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Facebook to host Cape Town hackathon
2014-08-28 14:50 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24

Cape Town - Facebook will host its first ever hackathon in Africa with a Cape Town event the global social network announced.

In September, US-based Facebook will host an event targeted at designers who may win the opportunity to work on the creative brief for the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship.

"Facebook is a platform that works best when creatives market for people, rather than at them," said Rob Newlan, head of Facebook Creative Shop Europe for Middle East and Africa.

Facebook is a globally popular social network with around 1.3 billion subscribers. Though the company has been criticised over privacy, it continues to grow exponentially.

The tie-in with the Loeries is aimed at cross-pollinating marketing skills that could also help Facebook refine its marketing offering to brands looking to reach an increasingly mobile and impatient audience.


"In this workshop, we hope to show how social media allows brands and creatives to play a powerful and positive role in people’s lives by engaging with them in imaginative ways," said Newlan.

In the US, reports suggest that fewer teens are using Facebook and the company has expressed concern about activity in key demographics.

From a marketing point of view, there may also be trouble for Facebook as large corporations scale down their advertising on the network.

General Motors said in 2012 that there was little justification for advertising on Facebook because of a low correlation with vehicle sales.

However, Facebook reported in its annual results that daily active users had increased by 19% (829 million) over 2013, and mobile users increased by 39% to 654 million.

Those numbers have propelled Facebook's revenue to $5.4bn in 2014, from $3.2bn last year as advertisers have scrambled to engage with the audience.

"The hackathon hosted by Facebook is one of many opportunities emerging for young people to excel in the brand communications industry," said Andrew Human, CEO of The Loeries.

The hackathon is limited to 40 participants and will take place between 10:00 and 16:00 at Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town.

Source: Fin24

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cape Town to implement open data policy
September 26, 2014

The City of Cape Town approved the open data portal and policy on Thursday, it said

“As part of the City of Cape Town’s commitment to ensuring transparent, accountable and accessible government, council today approved the City’s Open Data Policy,” the city said in a statement.

“In having done so, the City of Cape Town is embracing the use of open data to promote economic growth, development and inclusion.”

The policy would allow residents to have access to economically relevant metro data which would help to drive personal agency, creativity and innovation.

Mayoral committee member for corporate services Xanthea Limberg said the city generated a significant amount of data that was potentially useful to residents.

“In the Information Age, making public sector data available allows us as government to tap into the creativity and innovative thinking of business and society,” she said.

“This will help us build a better city and allow us to truly make progress possible together.”

After an extensive internal and external public participation process, the city had decided to implement the portal within the next three months.

“While we are committed to being open and transparent in this process, we need to be mindful of certain data that cannot be placed in the public domain,” Limberg said.

“This will include copyrighted third party data; information that infringes on the privacy of individual citizens; information that the City cannot legally disclose and information that is deemed to be confidential.”

An open data steering committee, which would include members of the public, would monitor the implementation of the policy as well as approve requests for additional data sets.

Information that was determined to be inappropriate by the committee would not be made available on the portal.

The city said the African National Congress in council voted against the measure.

“Had this policy decision been up to the ANC, the City’s vast wealth of information would have remained inaccessible to the communities which need it most,” it said.

Source: MyBroadband

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Neotel fibres up the Western Cape
Friday, 26 September 2014 14:57

Communications network operator Neotel is celebrating their eighth birthday this year. The company has a number of achievements to be proud of including 15,000kms worth of fibre connecting over 42 cities and towns in South Africa.

“We are planning to fibre up the Western Cape,” said Sunil Joshi, MD and CEO of Neotel. “We are investing up to R1bn in CAPEX in the region and deploying about 16,100km of fibre, while providing the speed that the province has been asking for.”

In the last eight years, the company has been playing a meaningful role in the revitalisation of telecommunications sector, with launches of game-changing innovations such as usage-based Wide Area Network (which the company says is the only offering of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa) and usage based broadband.

“Neotel has continued to innovate in South Africa.We are also continuing to provide business services which are usage based. For example, we provide broadband on demand, Wide Area Network (WAN) service, and video to the business customer. For households, we are still looking into providing the most appropriate broadband and voice services at the best price we can offer.”

Recently, Neotel entered into an agreement with the Western Cape Government and SITA (State Information Technology Agency) for the provision of broadband services for over a 10 year period.

“We will deliver broadband services to about 2,000 buildings across the province of Western Cape. That entails providing at least 10mb/s speed to all the buildings in the initial phase - including schools and hospitals. By the end of the first phase, we will be providing 100mb/s speed to 90% of the sites. The remaining 10% will be getting 1GB/s speed, or greater,” Joshi said. “In addition to that, we will also be providing WiFi hotspots to almost every ward in the province.”

Neotel is also a proud partner of Project Isizwe, which helps drive free WiFi connectivity in the country, thus helping achieve a more connected South Africa. Adding to Neotel’s success, the company says its fibre has never gone down and its broadband products have regularly been voted as the best service offering in the country.

“We are a young start-up business that began with two people, a laptop and a spreadsheet, and is now 1,000 people strong with R3.8bn in revenue.”

“Please engage with us. We would love to work with the local businesses in the Cape and add value to them to help them grow – both in South Africa and the chosen markets around the world – using broadband as well as voice and other data services.”

Source: CBN

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
FNB takes Silicon Cape to new heights
2014-10-15 12:29 - Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Silicon members will now have access to the tallest five-star green building in Africa, FNB's Portside building.

The Mother City’s transformation into the Digital City of Africa took an exciting step forward on Tuesday, when First National Bank (FNB) and Silicon Cape announced a three-year strategic partnership worth R1m per annum in funding and resource support to boost business activity in South Africa.

The Silicon Cape initiative is a non-profit organisation that was started by Dragons Den entrepreneur Vinny Lingham and venture capitalist Justin Stanford in 2009. It aims to improve the ecosystem for tech businesses, by providing a platform for the community to collaborate, share resources and amplify tech innovation.
Read more on Fin24

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Help map out Cape Town's top tech start-ups
2014-11-06 13:49 - Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – Over the past few years, the Mother City has been strategically changing its identity into the Digital City, with edgy tech start-up entrepreneurs from all over the world jumping at the opportunity to live and work in Cape Town.

The growth has been fast, but it’s hard to know where to find all these cool cyber nerds. That’s where Rowan Polovin’s neat map has found a gap.
Read more on Fin24

23,309 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
MTN expands its fibre broadband roll-out in Cape Town
By Staff Writer - September 4, 2015

MTN has expanded its FTTH footprint to the Western Cape, and trenching has already commenced in the suburbs of Fresnaye and Bakoven.

The operator is preparing to connect around 1,000 (561 in Fresnaye and 373 in Bakoven) homes with the FTTH network before the end of 2015.

Bakoven’s project commencement date was 18 June, and Fresnaye’s was 1 July 2015.
Read more on MyBroadband
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