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Airtel TV bundles are here for you to watch content on the go

Airtel TV bundles are here for you to watch content on the go

To enable subscribers to affordably watch Ugandan live TV channels and other Ugandan content on the go, Airtel Uganda now offers dedicated Airtel TV bundles.

The live TV and video on demand (VOD) platform now has daily, weekly and monthly bundles that customers can access through the My Airtel App or the USSD code *175*2*6#. The daily bundles cost UGX 2,000 for 500MBS, Weekly bundles cost UGX 10,000 for 3.5GB and monthly bundles cost UGX 30,000 for 12GB. 

Additionally, the Airtel TV platform also has a catchup feature that allows subscribers to pause, play and rewind live content. The platform has up to 26 Ugandan live TV channels for them to choose from.

Recently, Airtel Uganda announced that customers can now watch one of Starz’s most highly rated shows, the complete season one to season six of the American drama TV series ‘Power’, as part of its premium content offering, with the complete series now available exclusively on Airtel TV.

The Airtel TV app, which is available on Android and iOS, is subscription-free and offers registered users unlimited access to live TV, news and the entire Airtel TV content library. 

Speaking about the Airtel TV bundles, Airtel Uganda’s Chief Commercial Officer, Amit Kapur said; “We aim to offer our customers the best services at the most affordable rates possible. In our efforts to grow more local content, we are providing a platform where more Ugandan content can be accessed by everyone. We are offering customers a variety of content spanning from live news, sports, movies, music, Food and adventure channels, and lots more by providing the best-in-class content. Viewers can enjoy Hollywood blockbuster movies from Universal Studios, Bollywood and Nollywood content, as well as popular children’s shows such as BBC’s Peppa Pig.”

Airtel TV is also building strategic partnerships across the continent to deliver localized content to customers. Local live news channels, local music channels such as Trace Africa, and African movie channels such as AMC Movies and Nolly Africa, are some of the most watched on the platform, highlighting the demand for compelling content with which audiences can resonate with. 

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Author: EditorAirtel TV bundles are here for you to watch content on the go

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Liquid Telecom is rebranding to Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Liquid Telecom is rebranding to Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Back in 2004, what we know now as Liquid Telecom was rebranded from Econet Satellite Services, which was founded in 1997. After this rebrand, the company went on to launch our high-speed, cross-border fibre network linking Southern Africa to the rest of the world. Currently, they provide services to more than 50 global wholesale carriers operating in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Well, in the pipelines is yet another rebrand – as Liquid Telecom seeks to rename to Liquid Intelligent Technologies. This pictures the company beyond being just a wholesale and retail connectivity provider, but rather as a technology solutions company.

In three years’ time, Liquid should be able to be described as a “technology company providing access to the world’s leading technologies, from AI to cybersecurity, to some of the most advanced compute capabilities in the cloud”. To the effect, the company will have to do some acquisitions.

So far, the group has acquired Standard Bank’s sprawling data centre in Johannesburg, – through its Africa Data Centres unit. This is already billed to be the biggest corporate transaction in South Africa this year. Other acquisitions may be needed as the group begins to focus on new areas such as cybersecurity.

To fund its expansion plans, Liquid Telecom group raised additional capital, which has helped support the acquisitions done and will fund the continued network roll-out and data centre construction.

The company recently unveiled its Cyber Security unit to offer end-to-end managed services for digital security solutions. The offering is designed to protect customers at every intersection of their digitally transformed business including network, people, and systems, revolutionising how cyber security is approached.

It also announced the deployment of its Azure Stack Hub in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The availability of the hub within Kenyan borders will enable businesses to meet local data regulatory requirements and efficiently run latency sensitive business applications.

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Author: EditorLiquid Telecom is rebranding to Liquid Intelligent Technologies

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Airtel Uganda launches its 2020 Customer Service Week

Airtel Uganda launches its 2020 Customer Service Week

In continuation of its tradition to recognize and reward customers and staff, Airtel Uganda has launched the 2020 Customer Service Week under the theme ‘Dream Team 2020’. Customer Service Week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. 

The theme this year reflects the importance of teamwork in providing outstanding service to all customers which leads to key benefits such as the timely closure and resolution of customer concerns, Consistent customer experience that builds brand loyalty and increasing the proactivity, productivity and innovation of teams by reducing their stress levels.

Commenting about this year’s Customer Service Week, the Airtel Uganda Customer Services Director, Lynda Nabayiinda said; “Despite the ongoing pandemic, we felt it prudent to appreciate our customers for their continued preference of Airtel products and services and reward our internal customer service teams for the commendable work they do all year round.”

Nabayiinda also noted that Airtel has put in place all Standard Operating Procedures at all outlets to ensure customer safety as well as innovating ways to serve customers from the safety of their homes.

Activities that have been lined up for this year’s Customer Service Week include; Internal town halls to appreciate Airtel that have excelled in customer service this year, customer rewards and online conversations with our customer care teams to answer customer questions.

Read About: Airtel’s Refer and Earn program

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Africell Angola launching in mid-2021

Africell Angola launching in mid-2021

Africell is set to launch in Angola mid-2021. The telco received its operational license mid this year by the Angolan government. The company is said to have set aside $300 billion to fund its entry into the Southern Africa country.

Angola seeks to have the operator contribute to the development of the country through the creation of over 6,000 jobs in the next 3 to 5 years. It is through this that Angolans will use Africell smartphones and devices more widely for educational, commercial and medical purposes.

Leonel Augusto, chairman of the Angolan Institute of Communication (INACOM) says, “Africell is following the procedures required to exercise its right to operate, including completing negotiations and establishing final terms. Adding, the majority of the stages were now completed and the authority is in the process of polishing details of the operational contract.

Africell’s entry into Angola brings the numbers of its markets to five while it joins two other operators Movicel and Unitel in the country that it will compete with directly. The telco is currently available in four African countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Uganda.

This would be an easier penetration for the company, considering Angola has only two other operators in the market. One of Africell’s strategies is introducing a cost benefit ratio to break through the market.

With the two existing dominant operators, customers suffer as they do not receive better options in terms of price and bringing competition on board would be a better deal.

Reportedly, Africell is pushing the use of existing infrastructure so that operators can save money on duplicate buildouts.

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Author: EditorAfricell Angola launching in mid-2021

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4G Vida K242: The first 4G KaiOS device in Uganda by Africell

4G Vida K242: The first 4G KaiOS device in Uganda by Africell

KaiOS Technologies and Africell recently announced that a new KaiOS–enabled smart feature phone, the 4G Vida K242, is now available in Uganda and will facilitate mobile internet adoption across the country. According to the Digital 2020 report for Uganda, there were 26.83 million mobile connections in January, equivalent to 60% of the population. However, internet penetration was only 24%, with just 2.5 million social media users.

The 4G Vida K242 has been specifically designed for people who are unable to afford a smartphone and want to go online.  It has a user-friendly interface optimized for first-time internet users. It comes with the world’s most popular apps, such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Facebook, and provides access to hundreds of other applications through the KaiStore.

Life, the in-house app that offers life skills training for first-time internet users and ranks as one of the top 10 most downloaded apps in Uganda, is also available via the KaiStore. Retailing at just UGX 120,000 (~USD 32.4), 4G Vida K242 comes with 1.5GB and 850 on-net minutes every month for six months.

Africell operates nationwide 2G, 3G, and 4G networks and is investing heavily to achieve extensive growth in both urban and rural areas.

Neeraj Gala, Chief Commercial Officer of Africell Uganda said, “On top of being the first 4G feature plus phone to be launched in Uganda, we are also making the 4G Vida the most affordable for only 120,000 ugx, inclusive of 1.5 GB and 850 minutes of talk-time on Africell network. Additionally, and as a cherry on top we are offering the customer 1.5 GB and 850 minutes of Africell talk-time for free for 6 months.”

“For millions of people across the world, a KaiOS-enabled device is their entry point into the online services that can transform lives,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Africell is a trusted partner that shares the same mission of reducing the gap between digital haves and have-nots, by bringing smart feature phones with life-enhancing services to first-time internet users across Uganda.”

4G Vida K242 Technical Specifications

Operating System: KaiOS 2.5.3
Network: 4G, Wi-Fi
Display: 2.4”  display
SIM: Supports dual SIM card (SIM 1 – 4G with VoLTE; Sim 2 – 2G)
Battery: 1,500 mAh
Apps and Functions: KaiStore with Google Assistant, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc.

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Author: Editor4G Vida K242: The first 4G KaiOS device in Uganda by Africell

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How to access MPESA in Kenya using USSD Code

How to access MPESA in Kenya using USSD Code

MPESA is one of the most used mobile money services across Kenya and Africa as a whole. The service has over 25 million customers in Kenya who rely on it day to day purchases and payments. The latest development from Safaricom indicates that customers can now access MPESA services through a USSD code menu.

MPESA services will now be accessed by dialling *334# on your phone. This is in addition to the already existing methods of accessing MPESA menu, which is through the toolkit and the mySafaricom app. During the release of its financial results, Safaricom quoted Kenya’s smartphone penetration to be at 40%. This means that a majority of users of its services such as calls, SMS and, M-Pesa, are non-smartphone users.

The Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa, says that they have embarked on a strategy to simplify the telco’s range of products and services for customers. This is to provide them with an even better experience. M-PESA on *334# is the first solution as part of this ongoing strategy and it refines how customers interact with the service.

When you dial *334#, you will be presented with a list of MPESA services that you can use. This includes Send Money; Withdraw Cash; Buy Airtime; Loans and Services; Financial Services; Lipa na MPESA; My Account; and Mfuko wa Biashara.

The new USSD code makes it easy for Safaricom users with feature phones to use it without using the toolkit. It also makes it easier for Safaricom users with iPhones to access MPESA services without digging into settings to find the SIM toolkit.

Read About: Safaricom, Alibaba Group reach deal on M-Pesa payments

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Author: EditorHow to access MPESA in Kenya using USSD Code

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Liquid Telecom unveils its cyber security unit

Liquid Telecom unveils its cyber security unit

Liquid Telecom has unveiled its Cyber Security unit to offer end-to-end managed services for digital security solutions. The offering is designed to protect customers at every intersection of their digitally transformed business including network, people, and systems, revolutionising how cyber security is approached.

Cyber security is a real and imminent threat to businesses and their end-users, as highlighted by the survey commissioned in August 2020 by Liquid Telecom. IT decision makers across Africa were asked for their insights on cyber security trends, with 57% of those surveyed stating that they have seen an increase in threats over the COVID-19 pandemic period. And while many employees across the continent are returning to work, organisations are embracing a hybrid model of digital and onsite working. As such there are increasing concerns over the security of data, shadow IT and the financial implications of a security breach.

Liquid Telecom has streamlined and strengthened its cyber security offerings into one unit to address these growing concerns. With decades of knowledge in this field and an eye on the future, the offering is designed to address the key concerns of IT decision makers, by securing businesses effectively to increase productivity.

David Behr, the Group Chief Digital Officer at  Liquid Telecom, says that the company has successfully secured our own network for the past 15 years.

Although we’re unveiling the cyber security unit today, Liquid Telecom is not new to this space. Through our strategic partnerships with Netskope, Logicalis, Microsoft and Cyber Risk Aware we have curated the best solutions in the industry to address the changing demands of a digitally transformed business world. Allowing customers to focus on their core business offering while we manage their complete IT environment.

While many African companies already have some level of protection, this safeguard may not be designed to protect an organisation at every level of its operation. With 71% of the survey respondents confirming that they use cloud-based services, the need for a solution that secures the network, cloud and desktop is becoming urgent. Separating the cloud, network and security not only puts businesses at increased risk but also increases expenditure.

Liquid Telecom releasing its end-to-end solution is not only well timed but also covers all aspects of security working together seamlessly, decreasing the opportunity for breaches and risks. According to the research 83% of the respondents are putting an increased focus on cyber security this year.

Liquid Telecom has been Building Africa’s digital Future, and now we are just officially putting our stamp on Securing Africa’s digital future.

Read About: Liquid Telecom launches its Azure Stack Hub in Kenya

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How to pay for Jumia purchases using Airtel Money Pay

How to pay for Jumia purchases using Airtel Money Pay

For a while, Airtel Uganda customers have found it a burden making payments for their Jumia purchases. This has been the case because the online shopping platform had not yet integrated the telecom into its payment system and this was a rather big constraint. This has been solved, because Airtel has now partnered with Jumia to enable subscribers complete payments directly on the platform.

The partnership enables Airtel Uganda subscribers to quickly and conveniently make payments for their purchases across all Jumia platforms ensuring cashless transactions that are safer especially in the current times when the world is faced with a global pandemic.

We are excited to partner with Jumia to offer customers a convenient, safe, fast and secure payment solution on one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Uganda at no extra charge. This partnership is a significant step forward in our ambition to digitize Ugandans and promote financial inclusion,” commented Airtel Money Head Merchant Portfolio Mr. Godfrey Muhindo.

Jumia is the largest online marketplace in Uganda providing a platform for thousands of consumers and vendors  across Uganda to connect and transact.

The launch of Airtel money payment onto our platform is a huge addition that we believe will benefit our consumers. Millions of Ugandans depend on mobile money to make their daily transactions, and by expanding our payment methods to include Airtel money, it will make it easier for more consumers to incorporate online shopping as part of their daily transactions,” said Ron Kawamara Jumia Uganda CEO.

How to pay for Jumia purchases using Airtel Money Pay

The service is easy to use once the customer is subscribed to both Airtel Money and the Jumia platform.

  • Visit Jumia site/Download App
  • Create an account and login
  • Enter Airtel number with country code e.g (+256)-752626262
  • Select Item and add to cart
  • Visit cart icon on menu to complete ORDER
  • Proceed to Payment
  • Select Airtel Money Pay
  • Proceed to summary and Confirm.
  • Select Pay Now (Amount)
  • Customer will receive pop up Message to confirm Payment with Airtel money PIN.
  • If payment is successful, customer will be redirected to the confirmation page and given an order number

The new service is valid for all Jumia consumers across the country and for all items available on the Jumia platform including the Jumia Food platform. The service will also support the Jumia contactless delivery initiative launched as a safety measure against COVID-19. Customers will be able to prepay for their orders with Airtel money and, upon delivery, will have no direct body contact or cash exchange with the delivery agent.

Since the Covid-19 advent, Airtel Uganda has signed several local and international partnerships to promote cashless transactions thus enhance the safety of their subscribers. A few weeks ago, the telco signed a similar partnership with Game stores to enable Airtel Money subscribers pay for their purchases using Airtel Money Pay.

On the international scene, Airtel Africa recently announced a partnership with MoneyGram to enable millions of Airtel subscribers get consumers instant access to MoneyGram’s global platform to receive money from over 200 countries & territories without having to even step outside.

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Choosing between shared, dedicated, and managed internet

Choosing between shared, dedicated, and managed internet

Regardless of the size of your business enterprise, an internet connection is a key requirement to reaching your clients efficiently. There’s a lot to consider before zeroing down on the best internet plan to go with but the choice is always between the shared, dedicated, and managed internet solutions.

It is essential that you find out exactly what each of these plans can offer you so that you can decide which one is best for you. The basis here is first understanding your business needs and matching the costs with the benefits.

Let’s a take a look!

How shared internet solutions work

From the name, shared internet implies more than one client using the same connection. A number of consumers can choose to access an internet connection and have the cost of that connection shared between them. This internet solution is often delivered with coaxial copper cable or through a passive fibre network, and is a perfect choice for home internet connection.

With the shared internet plan, it is your service provider that determines the number of users likely to be online at ago. Also, the download and upload speeds on the shared-system are set “up to” a particular speed.

Basically, the speeds achieved are determined by the number of users utilizing the link at that particular moment, that’s why it’s mainly designed for home. For instance, if you are subscribing for an upto 20 mbps, the best speeds you can achieve will be dependent on how many other clients are utilizing the 20mbps pipe at a particular time.

In this case, the service provider does not guarantee these speeds. The more users online, the more the speeds are compromised hence the peak and off peak hours. This is Subject to Fair Usage Policy (FUP).

If traffic on the system is light, users will experience faster download speeds whereas if the system is busy and other users are streaming video or uploading large files, download speeds will decrease.

How dedicated internet solutions work

With a dedicated internet plan, your business is the sole subscriber to a specified amount of bandwidth. Dedicated fibre clients basically own their bandwidth and rarely, if ever, experience downtime. This is because the download and upload speeds are guaranteed and synchronous.

When you subscribe for 10mbps dedicated, the service provider gives you 10mbps speeds all through the subscription period. You should be able to do a speed test at the router and achieve 10mbps. Interestingly, there is no control on how much data you can use . The speed performance will only be determined by how much you decide to load on your link.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about access being oversubscribed.

How managed internet solutions work

A managed internet plan is a dedicated connection between your office premises and the internet, providing the ideal basis for high grade internet connectivity.

With this, the system manages your internet usage to ensure that you enjoy a reliable speed and stable service. If you are taking  up to 5mbps speed, the system dedicates a given amount of data per given period of time and if you hit the max data for that threshold, the systems automatically reduce the speeds for a given period and they gradually increase again until they normalize.

Let’s take a case where you are given 250GB per hour to run at 5mbps. In an event that you use 200GB in 30 minutes, the system will slow you down for the next 30 minutes such that you don’t use up your remaining 50GB before the hour ends. At the top of the hour the system will automatically reload 250GB and return to normal speed. If you don’t hit the cap within the hour then the speeds will remain the same all through. This solution is best suited for SMEs and is also subject to Fair Usage Policy.

The difference between a managed internet plan and the other plans is all about regulation.

A managed service is regulated and overseen by your service provider which your service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure that everything is running smoothly. This makes it easy to effectively and efficiently deal with any faults that may come up with the connection. Eventually, it removes the need for a fully operational IT service for your office.

Making the choice

Making a choice between either of the shared, managed or dedicated internet plans requires an extensive assessment of your current business needs and demands. You also ought to anticipate the type of need your business might expect in the long-term.

If you are on a tight budget, you can choose a less expensive option however at times you may not get an optimal experience especially if your usage patterns lean towards downloading larger files and video streaming.

For a home setting, with basic internet needs and a single location, you are likely to run on a fixed budget. Given that such a business needs the internet for standard jobs like email, limited streaming and web browsing, occasional slow-downs have no effect on activity. Thus, a shared internet plan is the best choice.

A medium or large-sized organization that transfers large files throughout the day, heavily relies on the cloud, and has multiple locations running on one network, will surely run on a much bigger budget.  Here, the technical needs are much bigger and these require guaranteed speeds. In this case, any of the dedicated or managed internet plan is a perfect choice.

With Liquid Telecom, you get to experience each of plans and you can employ any to suit your business enterprise needs.

Liquid Telecom packages

Every package at Liquid Telecom is designed to give descent internet experience and the company continuously monitors usage trends of its customers and closely follows the world trends to make informed business decisions that keep in providing the best and valuable service to its customers.

If you need internet for single or family usage at home, with speed optimized for evenings, weekends and holidays, there’s a plan for you. At just UGX 120,000 installation fee, you get to sign up and enjoy unlimited internet usage on top of a free Wi-Fi router that provides the connection in your home.

Package Users Offer Price
Silver Up to 5 Up to 20 Mbps UGX 169,000
Gold Up to 8 Up to 40 Mbps UGX 269,000
Platinum Up to 10 Up to 100 Mbps UGX 469,000

Then, if you wish to have the internet for office use, you just need to part with UGX 200,000 installation fee, and you’ll be signed up. You can choose from any of the following managed Liquid SME packages to get started.

Package Typical Number of Customers Offer Price
Liquid Office Bronze Up to 5 5 Mbps UGX 200,000
Liquid Office Silver Up to 10 10 Mbps UGX 400,000
Liquid Office Gold Up to 35 15 Mbps UGX 600,000

If you are interested in something more than just internet, the Liquid SME Premium solutions is just for you. These are designed for office use with a minimal contention ratio and a much better experience for collaborative solutions. You can also get these at just UGX 200,000 installation fee and get to enjoy Office 365 services such as Teams, SharePoint, excel, PPT, and exchange.

Package Offer Monthly Price
Bronze Plus 5mbps + 4 seats of Office 365 UGX 290,000
Silver Plus 10mbps + 6 seats of Office 365 UGX 535,000
Gold Plus 15mbps + 8 seats of Office 365 UGX 779,500
For every Extra seat UGX 23,000

However, if your business demands are more robust, a dedicated plan is the way to go. You can contact the Liquid Telecom team and negotiate for the best offer available to get the dedicated and managed connections right in your office.

Read About: Liquid Telecom is setting Uganda free from the GB Bundle Economy

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Author: EditorChoosing between shared, dedicated, and managed internet

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Liquid Telecom launches its Azure Stack Hub in Kenya

Liquid Telecom launches its Azure Stack Hub in Kenya

Liquid Telecom has announced the deployment of its Azure Stack Hub in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The availability of the hub within Kenyan borders will enable businesses to meet local data regulatory requirements and efficiently run latency sensitive business applications.

This investment showcases Liquid Telecom’s commitment to Kenya’s digital transformation by empowering businesses with a cloud solution that is locally available, highly secure, and enables real time business continuity with flexible adoption models.

Over the last two years, Liquid Telecom has taken the centre-stage in driving Africa’s digital transformation with its complete managed Cloud offering on Azure and Azure Stack, backed by an extensive and resilient fibre infrastructure across the continent.

Recently, Liquid Telecom partnered with Cassava FinTech International to launch the Sasai Wi-Fi Finder, a potential game-changer in driving digital and financial inclusion in Africa. The service, which will be offered across the continent, is set to be rolled at thousands of hotspots across Africa.

The Sasai Wi-Fi Finder will allow greater connectivity in a variety of locations, including retail, health care, education, government and small business trade facilities. The App will also give millions of Africans access to social, entertainment and on-demand services offered on the Sasai super App, including Sasai Moments.

The partnership will see the roll-out of the Sasai Wi-Fi Finder in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa in phases over the coming months.

Read About: Liquid Telecom – Setting Uganda free from the GB Bundle Economy

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Author: EditorLiquid Telecom launches its Azure Stack Hub in Kenya