Tag Archives: Internet
Internet: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 6:25 pm
Google launched an online learning portal a year ago offering digital skills courses free to anyone in Africa, designed to use up as little data as possible. Many people who took the courses had limited internet access and high data costs. The US tech giant is now turning its attention to web-focused skills training for small businesses across Africa. In addition to skills and workforce training, Google is laying fiber optic cable, easing access to Android phones as it expands on the continent. Google was valued at $109.5 billion in 2016.
Global Risk Insights, 11:42 am
There has been no internet access for Cameroon’s English-speaking regions for 58 days. Many banks and ATMs are closed, plunging the regional economy into chaos. Local businesses are losing foreign contracts. Anglophone Cameroon is home to Cameroon’s growing tech scene and five of the country’s seven seaports. The internet blackout is forcing Nigerians working in the Cameroonian tech sector to return home. It may play a decisive role in the upcoming 2018 elections when President Biya seeks another term.
Dana Sanchez, 5:18 pm
Chinese company Xinwei agreed to buy Israeli satellite company Spacecom for $190 million despite a Sept. 1 rocket explosion on the launchpad in Florida that took Spacecom’s share prices down more than 50 percent. The explosion destroyed a rocket owned by tech and space entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX. It was carrying a satellite that Facebook had planned to use to expand internet access in Africa. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he wouldn’t give up on internet for Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Norway-based Opera claims its web browser reaches 100 million African users. How did they get there? There is a high degree of correlation between income and the browser used. But there’s also frst-mover status. Long before smartphones arrived in Africa, Opera was the de facto mobile phone browser. Other browsers came in with more features that most people didn’t need at the expense of bandwidth. That’s how Opera built its name as the go-to browser in communities with low internet connectivity, especially for mobile users.
Staff, 12:19 pm
Bitcoin remittances in Africa have not really taken off. The slowness of blockchain-based digital currency has been compared to the internet’s slow start, and how web use eventually became mainstream. Few consumer friendly applications have been created yet. Merchant adoption has been sluggish and there has been a lot of negative press regarding scams, money laundering and underground markets. Bitcoin growth is set to become exponential, especially in Africa. There are a number of reasons.
Dana Sanchez, 6:01 pm
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in Kenya today meeting tech entrepreneurs and promoting this week’s scheduled launch of an Internet satellite for rural Africa. He said he was “deeply disappointed” to hear that the satellite had been destroyed. “We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided,” he posted on Facebook. Losing the Amos-6 satellite, valued at $200M, could place the future of the industry in doubt, a stakeholder said.
Keren Mikva, 3:40 pm AFKI Original
Internet user penetration in Africa is less than 10 percent. Ghana’s Nii Quaynor is concerned that Africa is late to the party. “Africa is about to miss a great development opportunity in much the same way Africa lost on the industrial revolution, unless serious and truly committed efforts are made to address the rapid expansion on the Internet-user gap between Africa and industrialized countries.” Here’s why Quaynor is often called the “Father of the Internet in Africa.”
Dana Sanchez, 5:13 pm
The entire fixed satellite services sector is under pressure from the economic slowdown plus an increased supply of satellite bandwidth. Intelsat is struggling to service $15 billion in debt at a time of slow growth in its satellite telecommunications business. Just to maintain its current fleet requires a capital investment in about three satellites a year. Fresh concerns about near-term prospects for the major satellite fleet operators were raised after Eutelsat — one of the world’s big three — issued a revenue and profit warning.
Dana Sanchez, 9:42 pm
Joburg-based mobile provider Econet plans to install ad-blocking by default for 40M subscribers in four African countries, claiming it will save customers data charges. Users will have to opt in. Some in the ad industry aren’t concerned because Shine has few users where it’s already doing business — in the Caribbean. But this is Africa. What Shine does have is the support of carriers. Shine is limited in the U.S. due to net neutrality laws. Data plans are particularly painful for consumers in emerging markets, Shine says. Ad blocking is essential and meaningful there.
Dana Sanchez, 1:03 pm
Facebook has successfully tested its solar-powered Aquila drone, part of a fleet that will eventually provide Internet access to parts of sub-Saharan Africa if all goes according to plan. The Aquila drone is massive, foreboding and terrifying, according to one source. It has a 140-foot wingspan, but weighs less than 1,000 pounds. It consumes energy equivalent to three hairdryers, but uses laser technology 10 times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away.
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