As 2018 passes, we look forward to the year ahead.This year was filled with tech news stories that grabbed the headlines both across Africa and around the world.
From great technology innovations, an unforeseen recession, data bundle hikes and a roll out of the latest games and gadgets, we wrap up some of IT News Africa’s most read stories of the year.
From all of us at IT News Africa, have a great festive period.
South Africa in recession: What does this mean for us?
In September, South Africa had officially entered a technical recession, after Stats SA announced that the country’s real gross domestic product had decreased by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year. Stats SA data further showed a revised 2,6% contraction in the first quarter. Amid the news, the South African rand fell over 2% to R15,22 against the US dollar. Read more.
How to apply for South African smart ID at your local bank
Late last year a rumour speculating that the green ID book was no longer accepted surfaced. This was later confirmed as a hoax. Have you got your new Smart ID Card yet? Now you can apply for your new ID at your nearest bank branch. Although the green ID book is still accepted, the new ID Smart Card is the updated version of the original green ID book. Read more.
SACS cable goes live
The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) is now on-stream and open for commercial traffic. The new digital information highway is the first and fastest link between Africa and the Americas with the lowest latency and will provide a more direct routing for internet traffic in the Southern Hemisphere. Read more.
Top 10 wealthiest African countries according to GDP
The African continent is rich in natural resources. Some of its 54 countries boast resources like diamonds, sugar, gold, uranium, silver, oil and petroleum. Oil being an invaluable commodity, its production puts countries like Nigeria and Egypt at the top in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The continent is also home to fertile ground capable of growing a wide array of agricultural produce, bringing about plenty of opportunities for trade. Read more.
Top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa 2018
Africa’s economy is projected to continue to rise to 3.2 percent in 2018 and to a further 3.5 in 2019, this is according to the latest World Bank report released early 2018. According to the report, non-resource intensive countries are expected to expand at a solid pace, helped by robust investment growth. South Africa, Nigeria and Angola, the region’s largest growing economies will be slightly weaker than expected, as the region is still experiencing negative per capita income growth, weak investment, and a decline in productivity growth, but the rest of Africa will be more favourable. Read more.
Mobile and Telecoms
The best and cheapest mobile data bundle alternatives in South Africa
Although the petrol price is on the steady decline and inflation has settled, exorbitant mobile data costs is still a problem. Many people have taken to social media over the past few months to rise up against ridiculous spikes in data bundles around South Africa. The #DataMustFall movement was aimed at the four main mobile providers: MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom. Even though this movement received wide support from the public and Icasa, major changes have yet to be made. Read more.
Cell C offres 4G for les than R5 per gigabyte
Cell C has announced its fixed LTE-Advanced promotional offer bringing customers data access from less than R5 per Gigabyte. Customers can select from one of three packages to get the best value data deals. A 50GB contract for R359 per month (R7 per Gigabyte), a 100GB contract for R539 per month (R5,40 per Gigabyte) and a 200GB contract for R859 per month (R4.30 per Gigabyte). The data is available for use at any time of the day or night, and works within the Cell C LTE-A coverage area. Read more.
DStv family access and easyview can now get DStv Now
On 24 January 2018, MultiChoice announced that DStv Family, Access, and EasyView customers can now get access to DStv’s streaming service, DStv Now, thus making the service available to all major DStv package holders. The addition will see the newly added packages gain to access Catch Up via DStv Now. Where previously, streaming Live TV and accessing Catch Up via DStv Now was only available to DStv Premium, Compact Plus, and Compact customers said Multichoice. Read more.
Gadgets and Gaming
Samsung Galaxy S9 launch revealed as leaked image surface
According to a report by Engadget, Samsung confirmed on 10 January 2018 that the company will not be releasing its flagship Galaxy S9 and S9+ at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018). You will not, however, have to wait long for the device as DJ Koh, the Korean conglomerate’s mobile chief, confirmed at a press conference in Las Vegas that the company will launch the Galaxy S9 and S9+ at Mobile World Congress. Read more.
4 signs your phone has been hacked
Our mobile devices have become an integral part of our lives, whether it be to stay connected across the various social media and messaging platforms or as an essential business tool, the importance of these devices has never been greater. These devices are, however, vulnerable to attacks from hackers and once these keyboard wielding criminals have access to your device the results could be catastrophic for that particular victim. With the rising vice of hacking in our society, it is important to know about some clear signs that can help you discern if your phone has been tampered with in any way. With all this in mind, Jumia Travel has identified 4 clear signs that your phone has been hacked. Read more.
South Africa’s mobile-first secure banking success has international potential
A strong focus on its digital banking strategy – and particularly secure mobile transactions – has propelled Capitec Bank to the forefront of innovative banking in South Africa. Smartphone app transactions now outstrip those undertaken in Capitec’s physical branches, which has helped result in operational savings of US$12,5 million (R180 million) last year. International analysts say financial institutions around the world could benefit from its pioneering methods. Read more.
More millenials are buying life insurance digitally according to FNB
FNB Life has seen a significant increase in the number of millennials between the ages of 31 and 33 exclusively taking out life policies on digital channels. Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, says “Our omni-channel strategy which enables us to service customers through various channels of their choice, including online banking and the FNB App continues to pay off as the number of underwritten life policies, which are digitally originated, continues to increase.” Read more.