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WhatsApp latest update is saving time.
You’ll no longer have to save people’s numbers in your phonebook before you can message them on WhatsApp. Simply click on the chat button, and search for the number, and you’ll be able to chat without saving their number.
The feature is now live on Android and iOS.
Starlink launches in Kenya
Image source: Starlink
Starlink is now available in Kenya!
The satellite internet company tweeted that it is now officially extending its services to the East African country.
Whether you are in a remote or rural location, the internet service provider says you can get speeds of over 150Mbps as long as its satellite dish has a clear view of the sky. Kenyans can get the broadband internet service for Ksh6,500/month ($45.9) with a one-time hardware cost of Ksh92,000 ($649.72).
Star-linked countries: Other African countries where Starlink has launched include Mozambique, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Mauritius. The service is set to launch in 17 more African countries in 2023, with Zambia, and Angola scheduled for a 2023 launch. Sixteen countries—Uganda, Tunisia, Ghana and Egypt inclusive—are scheduled for a 2024 release, while 18 more countries have unconfirmed launch windows.
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Safaricom plans to launch satellite Internet service
Image source: AST Space Mobile
Elon Musk’s Starlink will face a new rival in Kenya’s satellite space.
Kenya’s top communications company, Safaricom, has partnered with AST SpaceMobile to launch satellite internet services.
Safaricom signed the agreement through its parent company, Vodafone Group Plc, which is an investor in AST SpaceMobile.
What is AST SpaceMobile? AST SpaceMobile is a company based in Texas that designs and manufactures satellites that provide cellular broadband internet access to people all over the world. Their technology is designed to work with unmodified smartphones, so you won’t need to buy any new hardware to use it.
ICYMI: AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 satellite passed testing in 2022 and partnered with Vodacom and Safaricom for a trial in Q2 2023. After a successful test, AST SpaceMobile will scale up satellite deployments with Vodacom to provide ubiquitous 4G coverage across Africa and beyond.
The future of internet service in Kenya already looks bright!
The revenue-sharing agreement between Safaricom and AST SpaceMobile will be split 50/50, with both entities agreeing to maintain mutual exclusivity in their respective markets as part of the arrangement.
Zoom out: Safaricom’s satellite launch is coming shortly after Elon Musk announced Starlink’s launch in Kenya. The entry of satellite internet providers into the Kenyan market is a positive development. It is likely to increase competition, drive down prices, and improve access to Internet services in rural areas.
Bboxx and MTN to increase Rwanda smartphone penetration
Image source: Tenor
Tech company Bboxx and MTN are partnering to increase smartphone access in Rwanda, per TechTrendsKe. Despite network coverage of 99%, the country’s current smartphone penetration is just 26.3%.
What is their plan? Bboxx, through its pay-as-you-go smartphone service, will give citizens in Rwanda flexible payment plans for purchasing smartphones. Customers can make payments through MTN Mobile Money short code *182*2*4*2#.
On the other hand, MTN Rwanda, in turn, will provide SIM cards, and a starter data pack that consists of 1GB per month for a period of three months.
MTN Rwanda CEO Mapula Bodibe said, “At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life and by partnering with Bboxx, we continue to make this vision a reality. This collaboration represents a significant step in bridging the digital divide by expanding access to affordable smartphones across the country. Together, we are committed to creating a more connected world to enable individuals and communities to access the power of the internet and thrive in this digital age.”
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South African betting site initiates tribunal against Google
Lottoland, a South African betting site has submitted an abuse of dominance complaint to the Competition Commission against Google.
Why? Lottoland alleges that Google has restricted their access to its advertising platform and has applied for interim relief with the Tribunal.
The Tribunal has agreed to hear Lottoland’s interim relief, which spans a duration of six months, starting from the date of the Tribunal’s order or until Lottoland’s complaint against Google with the Commission is resolved, whichever comes first.
Image source: Tenor
Lottoland’s request: Lottoland requests the Tribunal to instruct Google to grant them access to the company’s advertising service platform. Furthermore, Lottoland commits to comply with Google’s terms and conditions and pay the necessary fees for using the platform.
According to a Google spokesperson, the company will carefully examine the report and engage in a constructive dialogue with the commission to address their inquiries.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 04:50 AM WAT, July 19, 2023.
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- The SaaS Accelerator Programme: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.
- Wise Guys SaaS Accelerator Program is looking to help SaaS startups level up through tailored guidance and support from world-class mentors and experts. Apply before September 7.
- The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards 2023 ($5,000 prize) is now open to applications from reporters doing work for independent news organisations around the world, with articles readily accessible to the public by subscription, newsstand sales or online access, with the submitted work available in English are eligible to Apply by August 1.
- If you are a young (no older than 24 years of age) and emerging photographer looking to embark on a career in the world of photojournalism, the Ian Parry Photojournalism Grant 2023 (up to £10,000) is open for Applications. Apply by August 31.
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