Thursday, November 27, 2008

A lesson in geography...

In my first year of high school, the first geography lesson was to examine why we think the earth is circular or not. When you get into a room overlooking the ocean, or when in the middle of the ocean in a wobbly small boat, that lesson comes back.

Then there are the mountains, ranges or whatever the hills bordering the ocean in Mauritius are made of. It could be out of volcanic activity, folding or faulting. My geography teacher would be very disappointed that I can not differentiate which is which.

Geography comes in hardy here, though it is not a matter of life and do not have to know.....

After the sunset....

The sunset..... in the middle of the Indian Ocean

This is how the sun went down. It was quite an experience. I know, the sun goes down everyday, but when you are surrounded by water, it feels good.

Indeed I took that boat ride... quite an experience

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The joy of having a reliable internet partner

I think kenyans have been used to getting such a raw deal on internet service that we suffer from the Stockholm syndrome. For example, the AfriNIC conference room, the net doesn't go down. It is the opposite of what we experienced at the EAIGF forum where KBM, one of the companies touting itself as the most efficient failed to deliver.

Can you imagine, a conference talking about internet access could not provide connectivity to participants. It was such an embarrassment.

I guess consistent service makes you feel there is some hope.

only that in Kenya, service seems to have gone to the dogs!

I am sure there are numerous stories of ISPs that failed to deliver on the contractual bandwidth and the speeds. Companies have personalized definition of broadband, even GSM companies offering crappy services also call it broadband.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This is Mauritius......

Stay on...for a sunset cruise

You are excused if you choose to stay on. I will be going on a sunset cruise, so expect more photos on Thursday.

The village in me......

The village in me thought that this was a giant pool and wondered how people were to swim next to the building, only to discover that it is a design, the whole place looks like a swimming pool everywhere.

You feel like jumping in, wherever you are...

A country serious about tourism

I never imagined sleeping in a room costing 1000 Euro a night, room only. I thought I would not get close to that, that I would be stuck with the $50 a night and those guest houses that increase the cost depending on the influx of customers, if they rise by midnight, then you pay more or they add another person, in the same bed, anyway, am kidding.

But the rooms are cosy....and you almost get to a holiday mood, it will be hard for me to convince that am working.

But I am!

Air Mauritius is crap but the country is awesome

I missed the Air Mauritius flight on saturday, they said the plan could not take off, it stalled on the runway in Port Louis, so we had no choice but to fly on Sunday, others said the flight did not have an important spare part.

As usual, there was more info from rumors than from the airline. I was mad and I almost refused to go after a friend said that the flight could be jinxed but he was over reacting.

But after I saw the country, I was blown away, the village girl was challenged to dream. I had not dreamt of this one.

The place looks good...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vodacom Group records increased profits, revenue

The Vodacom Group revenue has increased by 14 per cent to 26 billion South African Rand while profit from operations increased by 12.5 per cent to 6.4 billion Rand for the six months ended 30 September.

Vodacom has seen a number of significant changes over the past few months; as it evolves, we’ve increased the non-voice share of our business and increased the portion of our business coming from high growth markets outside South Africa, said Pieter Uys, Vodacom CEO.

With the intended acquisitions of Gateway Communications and StorTech the company has opened up further opportunities in servicing the total communications needs of corporate clients, added Uys. Vodacom has gained footholds in important new markets across Africa.

The results show that total number of Vodacom customers increased 13.1 per cent to 35.7 million and. The group’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 13.9 per cent to 8.7 billion rand while the net profit after tax grew by 3.2 per cent to 3.8 billion rand and cash generated from operations increased by 15.6 per cent to 8 billion rand

The data segment continued to grow rapidly, with revenues up 43.3 per cent, accounting for 13.1 per cent of Vodacom’s service revenue.
During the period, Vodacom completed the 7.5 billion rand Black Economic Empowerment transaction known as Yebo Yethu public offer, which was three times oversubscribed.

“Vodacom is committed to meaningful transformation in South Africa and we were delighted to conclude this major transaction,” said Uys. “We were particularly successful in promoting broad-based ownership, gaining more than 100,000 new
shareholders - almost 60% of which had applied for the minimum number of shares.

Vodacom, which is the e market leader in South Africa, is committed to further investment in sub-Saharan Africa though South Africa will remain the hub.


Telkom South Africa records revenue increase

Fixed-line operator Telkom South Africa has recorded 9.8 per cent increase in revenue to 29.8 billion South African Rand for the six months ended 30 September, and promised to offer more converged services.

Telkom's fixed-line business reported revenue growth of 2.8 per cent to 16.565 billion rand, while the revenue from data service increased by 12.2 per cent to 4.4 billion rand.

The ability to pull traffic back onto the fixed-line network through mobile service and leverage the next-generation network for full convergence and high-value data services will enhance Telkom's core defend and grow strategy, said Reuben September, Telkom Group CEO.

However, the group’s EBITDA decreased by 2.8 per cent to 10 billion rand and cash generated from operations decreased by 0.5 per cent to 6.4 billion rand while headline earnings per share increased by 0.4 per cent to 745.2c per share.

Telkom achieved a 96 per cent increase in broadband subscriptions and ADSL average installation time improved to 17 days from 20 days, while 60 per cent of all ADSL installations are now done through the self-install option. Telkom is targeting 592 000 ADSL subscribers for the 2009 financial year.

Mobile-based transmission stations have been increased to a total of 589 and optic fiber deployment now covers 3 800km, while a packet exchange has been commissioned in Abuja, Nigeria, for 300 000 subscribers.

Telkom’s intended expansion beyond South Africa is demonstrated by the acquisition of MWeb Africa and 75 per cent of MWeb Namibia, for $63 million.

“The transaction for the largest satellite-based ISP in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to close in the first half of the 2009 calendar year,” said September.

Telkom intends to accelerate the expansion of the network, including the next-generation network, selectively build a mobile network and explore acquisitive opportunities, particularly in the data centre arena, noted September.

“I am excited about Telkom’s repositioning within the market,” he added. “Our strength is our network and we intend to utilize the proceeds to leverage this strength for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

MISA calls for consultation in Zimbabwe telecoms crisis

The Media Institute of Southern Africa has labeled the current telecommunications crisis in Zimbabwe, driven by hyperinflation as an affront to the rights and freedom of the citizens.

The crisis arose after Econet Wireless withdraw its contract line services for clients under the Business Partner scheme, which has left thousands of Zimbabweans deprived of their right to communicate, said a statement from MISA, Zimbabwe chapter.

“Other mobile service providers and affiliated service companies, in tandem with Econet Wireless, have increased tariffs, with the average cost of a text message having risen from approximately 1000 Zimbabwean dollar (approx. US$0.28) to at least 20 000 dollars (approx. US$5.65), an increase of 2000 per cent,” MISA said.

The sole fixed telephone network, run by the state-owned company TelOne; is in an appalling state of affairs with erratic coverage in urban areas and is virtually non-existent in rural areas.

There are three mobile telephone networks in the crisis gripped country - Econet Wireless, Telecel, and TelOne- which have failed to cope with the market demand for their services in Zimbabwe's hyperinflationary environment, added the statement.

The state of affairs in the telecommunications industry is a serious impediment to the right of the people of Zimbabwe to communicate; as well as their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed in Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, noted the statement.

Article 9 of the African Charter includes the ability to use and access tools of communication such as the internet, fixed telephones and mobile telephone networks by ordinary people, as emphasized by the World Summit on Information Societies (WSIS) held in Tunis, Tunisia 2005.
Citing the importance of telecommunications in rebuilding the tattered economy, MISA urged the providers not to unilaterally increase the tariffs.


Mcel and AIRCOM optimize 3G in Mozambique

Aircom International has partnered with Mozambique mobile phone service operator Mcel to support the update planning tools for 2G and 3G networks.
The deal, a million dollars will allow Mcel to use Aircom’s network planning and optimisation tools ASSET and OPTIMA to plan and manage its new 3G UMTS network, which is currently being deployed.

Mcel enjoys a long-standing and productive relationship with Aircom for the existing network planning and management needs, said Luis Mhula, Mcel Chief Operations Officer.

“We’re delighted that Mcel has decided to work with Aircom for such an important project,” said Graham Kemp, Managing Director, in charge of Africa at AIRCOM International. “Mcel’s decision to use Aircom’s tools and consultancy is testament to the high quality of service that we provide to all of our customers around the world.”

Using the Aircom tools, Mcel expects to be able to accurately plan the new 3G network implementation and monitor its ongoing performance quickly and easily, said Mhula. Aircom will carry out measurement and model-tuning, to identify optimal configurations for specific network traffic requirements and conditions within Mcel.
Aircom will also provide support and training for Mcel engineering teams as they make the transition from GPRS to 3G.

Ceragon Expands its Footprint in Africa

Ceragon Networks a provider of high-capacity wireless backhaul solutions is expanding its footprint in Africa by opening two new local offices in Lagos, Nigeria and another in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“As one of the leading players in the high-capacity mobile backhaul market, we believe that we should have physical presence in two of the fastest developing mobile countries in the world,” said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon Networks.
Africa is a project-oriented region and having local representation allows Ceragon to join forces with local partners throughout southern and western Africa, Palti added. This way Ceragon can offer existing and newest customers, complete projects with excellent control and close follow-up.
Nigeria is one of the continent’s single largest mobile markets according to industry research group Wireless Federation, with over 44 million subscribers as of September 2008. Nigerian mobile operators are expected to reach more than 70 million subscribers by 2010.
South Africa has 43 million users to date, according to the Wireless Federation report. Despite an extremely high penetration rate, South Africa’s mobile market continues to demonstrate an annual growth rate of over 10 per cent.
The company has also received a new, $1.5 million order for its high-capacity trunk solutions, FibeAir 3200 to be deployed in Africa by a leading international carrier in Eastern Africa.
Ceragon high-capacity wireless backhaul solutions are also used by Botswana Telecom, Millicom Tanzania, and Neotel in South Africa.

Another interesting one......

Those naturally naughty shapes and sizes......

What do the pictures resemble???
That was a question posed by someone, I did not know what to say though I must say my mind was almost in the gutter.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008