Wednesday 24 March 2010

ADSL uncapped at R219 per month

 MaTiCa    24 Mar : 12:24
 None    Internet

MWEB aims to ‘free the web’ with the lowest prices ever on uncapped ADSL accounts

MWEB aims to ‘free the web’ with the lowest prices ever on uncapped ADSL accounts

An online social media campaign called ‘Free The Web’ has over the past few days gained momentum, sparking speculation that one of the larger companies are planning something big.

A Facebook page was created with the message “We're frustrated by the limitations of the internet in SA. Let's celebrate the greatness of the web and call for a change! Join us and be the first to know when we succeed in our cause to Free The Web in SA!???

This Facebook page quickly grew in popularity through both word of mouth and an aggressive advertising campaign, and has to date attracted over 13,000 fans.

The company behind the initiative, which was until recently unknown, said that “Our grand plan is announced in just a few days time (today).???

MWEB unveils their plan

It has now been revealed that MWEB was behind this social media campaign, and the announcement was indeed significant: Uncapped ADSL bandwidth at affordable rates.

“On 22 March 2010, MWEB will launch a series of affordable uncapped ADSL products in the South African market targeted at both consumers and businesses,??? the company said in a press statement.

The product offerings are as follows:

MWEB Connect (Consumer product; month-to-month)

1. Uncapped ADSL 384kbps: R219
2. Uncapped ADSL 512kbps: R299
3. Uncapped ADSL 4096kbps: R539

All inclusive

1. Uncapped All-inclusive 384kbps: R349
2. Uncapped All-inclusive 512kbps: R599
3. Uncapped All-inclusive 4096kbps: R899

MWEB BUSINESS (Business product; 12 month contract)

1. Uncapped ADSL 384kbps: R499
2. Uncapped ADSL 512kbps: R699
3. Uncapped ADSL 4096kbps: R1 999


1. Uncapped All-inclusive 384kbps: R629
2. Uncapped All-inclusive 512kbps: R999
3. Uncapped All-inclusive 4096kbps: R2 259

Official Press Release:

South Africans are today a step closer to being able to use the internet like the rest of the world does as MWEB, South Africa’s leading ISP, today launches a full range of uncapped ADSL packages for consumers and businesses at an affordable, highly competitive price. With products priced from R219 per month and some 40% cheaper than other offerings, MWEB is the first major player in South Africa to offer uncapped ADSL on a significant scale, available 24 hours a day, with all the value-added products, technical back-up and a world-class network – at an affordable price.

Rudi Jansen, MWEB CEO, says the time has come for South Africans to experience unlimited internet access that is within their means. “Internet penetration in South Africa remains below par - in fact, South Africa has fallen behind a number of other African countries in recent times. The lack of well-priced, generously-provisioned bandwidth has been holding us all back, and as a result we are missing out on an immense economic opportunity.

“In his state of the nation address last month, President Jacob Zuma promised to increase broadband access, reduce tariffs and ensure a high standard of internet service, in line with international norms. MWEB’s latest move is supportive of the government’s objectives to increase internet take-up as part of its efforts to encourage greater economic growth and social upliftment. By lifting the usage cap and increasing competition, MWEB will greatly assist the industry change that is needed in this country.

ICT industry analyst, Arthur Goldstuck, agrees with this sentiment, saying cheap, unlimited broadband by MWEB marks a key shift in South African Internet history. “It has been proven that accessible technology builds the economy. This is the kind of catalyst we’ve all waited for; we hope it's the gambit all other providers will have to match. If it delivers what it promises, the consumer and business user and ultimately the country will be the beneficiaries.???

Vast benefits
Citing the examples of France and South Korea and pointing to various global ICT programmes aimed at overcoming the 2009 economic slump, Jansen says the direct and indirect benefits including the multiplier effect of cheap, abundant bandwidth are nothing short of remarkable.

“Broadband lifted South Korea out of the devastation of the Asian market collapse in 1997,??? he says. “In 1995, 1% of their population dialed up to the Internet. In 2009, more than 95% of households had broadband. The change is deep and irreversible - everybody has high-definition video on demand. Online gaming conventions are as big as soccer matches or rock concerts. South Koreans spend twice as much per capita online as US citizens.???

South Africa’s turn
Jansen says MWEB hopes its actions are a precursor to a meaningful industry response. Since South African telecoms policy was liberalised to permit ISPs to offer services on their own networks, MWEB, a first-tier ISP with its own international bandwidth provisioned through SAT3 and Seacom, is now able to compete with telcos by providing Internet access on its own network.

“In spite of the current stranglehold that Telkom currently has on the internet market in South Africa, we felt that action of this significance was necessary to get South Africa to join the rest of the world and enjoy the social and economic benefits that broadband internet has to offer,??? said Jansen. “This offer will enable South Africans to access and download content on scale never seen before. We have a real chance to lift ourselves from broadband mediocrity in South Africa, or we risk falling into broadband oblivion,??? he added.

MWEB has invested significantly in its network to produce a top quality, reliable network that has been engineered to world-class standards and which will accommodate the volume of traffic expected. MWEB recently achieved Tier-1 ISP status with the migration of its customers to its own IPC network, thereby limiting its reliance on other Tier-1 providers for its bandwidth needs. With its new IPC link, MWEB will have more control over its ADSL network. Jansen said he is confident that the additional control will mean better performance and higher service levels.
“We will also be utilising bandwidth on both the SAT3 and SEACOM international cable systems in order to have full redundancy on our international bandwidth,??? he said. “We signed up with SEACOM in March for a long-term agreement and we are purchasing significant bandwidth as SEACOM provides MWEB with a very attractive solution for international network capacity, at the best price currently available to the South African market.???

He added however, that for any ADSL service to be successful a close working relationship with Telkom is needed as they still control the last mile. MWEB will continue to work with Telkom to ensure MWEB subscribers receive the best possible network experience in the country.

MWEB is introducing six data-only ADSL packages for consumers and businesses. The consumer data-only products will cost R219, R299 and R539 per month for line speeds of 384Kbps, 512 Kbps and 4Mbps respectively. The MWEB Business data-only offerings will cost R499 per month for a 384Kbps line, R699 per month for a 512Kbps line, and R1 999 per month on a 4Mbps line. These services are available on any line rental package available from Telkom, even Telkom’s “Closer??? subscription bundles.

In addition, MWEB will offer three consumer all-inclusive packages (ADSL line rental included) for R349, R599 and R899 per month for line speeds of 384Kbps, 512 Kbps and 4Mbps respectively. The all-inclusive offerings for businesses will cost R629 for the 384kbps option, R999 for the 512Kbps option and R2 259 for the 4Mbps package.

All business products are unshaped, and as in the rest of the world, no bandwidth caps will apply to any of these services.


The MWEB Business products are specifically designed to suit the needs of small and medium sized businesses, usually seen as 5 or more connected devices. Andre Joubert, GM of MWEB Business, explains that the MWEB Business packages are fully managed. “If something goes wrong, MWEB’s support engineers will remotely log on to fix a router or send an engineer on-site at no additional charge, and also liaise with Telkom, for their portion of the fault.???

Joubert says the Business packages have other advantages too.
- They are unshaped.
- The service is designed to cater for the throughput of business applications not usually associated with consumer products
- MWEB includes use of a business-grade router worth R3 999 in the 12-month contract.
- The product comes with fixed IP addresses, offering the ability to host servers and deploy a VPN connection.
- MWEB runs a dedicated call centre that offers business-specific technical skills.
- The service is fully MWEB VoIP compatible.
- The product comes with reports and proactive fault communication.

In addition, says Joubert, while MWEB Business packages are at a premium compared to consumer products, they’re still up to R1 800 less per month than comparative business products on offer. The throughput will be better than is currently available in the market.

???Now businesses can run more effectively without having to worry about their internet costs. This is set to drive growth in the SME sector in particular.???


MWEB will use the occasion to consolidate its numerous ADSL offerings into a simpler portfolio. On the consumer side, a number of capped packages prevail, but these will enjoy additional cost-savings. For example:
1GB R89 no frills now costs R69
2GB Data Cap Only will be migrated to 3GB at R145
1GB All-inclusive 384Kbps will be migrated to 2GB at R199


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Monday 25 January 2010

Firefox surges

 MaTiCa    25 Jan : 18:39
 None    Software

Firefox downloads boosted by new release and Internet Explorer security scare.

Mozilla's open source browser experienced a healthy boost in popularity last week on the back of a new release and security concerns about Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

On Friday the Mozilla Foundation released version 3.6 of the popular open source browser and by Monday morning almost 12 million copies of the latest version had been downloaded. At the time of writing on Monday morning, 11 921 680 copies of Firefox 3.6 had been downloaded according to the Firefox download-tracking site. An average of around 42 downloads per second were being recorded on Monday morning.

The majority of downloads were from the US where close to 2.5 million copies had been downloaded over the weekend. This was followed by Germany (1.5 million copies), Brazil (640 000), France (580 000) and Japan (414 000). South Africa had recorded just over 18 000 copies downloaded over the weekend. In comparison Morocco recorded in excess of 31 000 downloads in the same period. South Africa was listed as number 55 in the total number of downloads by country.

Firefox 3.6 is a significant upgrade for web users and includes a number of new features including personas for customising Firefox's appearance, many new HTML5 features including geolocation, CSS gradients, native video and the new Web Open Font Format for including fonts in web designs.

Extra boost

While most of the downloads of Firefox 3.6 are likely to be done by existing Firefox users, the browser also received a additional boost in the past week when new security flaws were revealed in opponent Internet Explorer. The security risks in IE prompted the German government to recommend web users adopt another browser to protect themselves when online.

The result was a significant increase in downloads of alternative browsers, most particularly Firefox. According to the Sydney Morning Herald Mozilla said that it had seen an increase of more than 300 000 downloads of its browser in Germany over a four-day period following the warning. Norway-based Opera also reported an increase in downloads following the warning.

Microsoft said at the time that the flaws in IE were insignificant but they did issue a security update for IE on Thursday last week.


Firefox Logo

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Saturday 23 January 2010

Hack Brings Multitouch to Nexus One Browser

 MaTiCa    23 Jan : 21:23
 None    Hardware

Google’s Nexus One phone has gained kudos for its vivid OLED screen and slim design.

Google’s Nexus One phone has gained kudos for its vivid OLED screen and slim design. But the lack of multitouch support for its gorgeous display has left some users frustrated.

Now there’s a hack for it. A developer has modified the Android 2.1 operating system running on the Nexus One to enable multitouch for the device. Though it enables the feature for the Nexus One browser, for now, it is likely to soon become a part of other applications, such as maps.

Earlier this month, Google launched Nexus One as the first smartphone that would be sold by the search company itself, rather than a manufacturing or carrier partner. The Nexus One is designed by HTC and is currently available on T-Mobile’s network for $180 with a two-year contract with T-Mobile. An unsubsidized version of the phone costs $530.

But the lack of multitouch on the Nexus One has left many users puzzled. Nexus One has a touchscreen but users can only tap on it with one finger. So none of the two-finger pinch-and-zoom gestures that are popular among iPhone users are available. Google has said it will consider adding the feature in future updates.

The Android community, though, isn’t holding its breath. Steve Kondik, a developer who goes under the nickname Cyanogen, has offered a few files and instructions on code to add multitouch to the device.

“You will initially lose your bookmarks and browser settings by doing this,??? he warns. Hacking the phone could also void its warranty.

But as this video shows, getting multitouch in the Nexus One browser could just be worth it.



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