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Featured Telecom

Africell expands into Angola, its fifth African market

Africell expands into Angola, its fifth African market

Africell has expanded its operations across the African continent to Angola. This follows the issuance of the country’s fourth mobile licence to the telco, in what seemed like a ‘total walkover’.

Yes, the bid for the licence initially had MTN and Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI) part of it. But both of these later decided not to submit any bid documents, leaving only Africell in the path to achieving the licence. 

The licence bid win allows Africell to set up mobile infrastructure and offer internet, fixed-line and pay-TV services. The company will have to work hard to out compete an existent duopoly of Movicel and Unitel, as well as a state-backed Angola Telecom – which only provides fixed and internet access but no mobile services.

Africell currently operates from the UK and provides mobile networks in several African markets, including Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The origins

Before Africell even thought of expanding to Angola, the country’s fourth telecom licence had been given to Telstar – a company that would later turn out to be so little known. However, the licence was revoked 2 days after its allocation.

The Angolan president, Joao Lourenço, cited alleged non-compliance with certain procedural requirements.

It is alleged that Telstar was established in January of 2019, just a month after bids to have the licence opened. The Angolan government was also not willing to award the license to an unknown company, whose main shareholder is an army general. According to the Government Gazette, army General Manuel Joao Carneiro owns 90 percent of the startup and Antonio Mateus, a local businessman, holds the 10.

The revised bidding process began in September 2019 and was completed in January 2020. 

Mid last year, Africell CEO Ziad Dalloul stated that the company had made $300 million available to spend on a launch in Angola in the event it managed to secure an operating licence. 

Read About: LycaMobile officially launches in Uganda

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertAfricell expands into Angola, its fifth African market

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Digital Featured

How to use the Chrome group tab feature

How to use the Chrome group tab feature

Google Chrome is getting a new grouped tabs feature. As long as you are running version 83 of Chrome, you can get to use the feature to group so many tabs into something more organized.

The primary requirement to use the feature is updating your browser. To achieve this, click on the three-dot menu on the top right, go to Help and then to About Chrome. Or, simply type “chrome://settings/help” in the address bar. The browser will automatically update and prompt you to restart.

Once you are done updating the browser, you can then use the group tab feature.

How to use the Chrome group tab feature.

Open Google Chrome on your desktop and right-click on a tab.
If you want to create a new group, click on Add to New GroupYou’ll see a new coloured dot next to the tab.
To rename the group, or to change the colour, you can tap on that coloured dot.
If you want to add a tab to an existing group, go to Add to an Existing Group and select a group.

If you update to the latest Google Chrome version but you still can’t see the tab grouping option, type “chrome://flags/#tab-groups” in the address bar and enable the feature.

There’s a lot you can do with your groups. You can move your grouped tabs into a new window, you can open a new tab in the group, or even ungroup them.

Google says it’s working on an option to let you collapse tabs within a group to save space. 

Read About: How to view or delete saved Passwords in Chrome for Android

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to use the Chrome group tab feature

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Featured Tech

GOtv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

GOtv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

GOtv Uganda is a sister company to DStv, one of the leading pay TV providers in Uganda. Like its sibling, GOtv is a darling to many for its affordable premium content offers and live sport broadcasts. In fact, the pay-tv is a cheaper alternative for those that find DStv bills hefty to clear.

Let’s take a look at the updated GOtv Uganda packages, channels and prices as of May 2020.

Gotv Uganda Packages

Package

Price

Channels

GOtv Lite

Ugx 11,000

12+ Channels

GOtv Value

Ugx 16,000

22+ Channels

GOtv Plus

Ugx 26,000

56+ Channels

GOtv Max

Ugx 39,000

65+ Channels

GOtv Lite

The most affordable GOtv package in Uganda is GOtv Lite. It is priced at Ugx 11,000 per month giving you access to over 12 channels which are mainly local free to air channels. You can pay a quarterly admin fee of UGX 25,000 or an annual admin fee of UGX 70,000 to enjoy the television without interruption.

GOtv Value

GOtv Value package is close to the same as the Lite package, with a few more channels. It costs Ugx 16,000 per month and gives you access to over 22 channels including local free to air ones.

GOtv Plus

For Ugx 26,000 per month, you can get access to GOtv Plus. This package offers you over 57 channels including the local ones. GOtv Plus gives you the ultimate selection of local and international viewing so you can enjoy choice entertainment in the comfort of your home.

GOtv Max

For this package, you get to enjoy over 65 channels at Ugx 39,000 per month. The GOtv Max package allows you to enjoy even more in the comfort of your home. With GOtv Max you can treat yourself to the widest variety of choice entertainment including the best selection of sport.

Read About: DStv Uganda packages, channels and prices as of May 2020.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertGOtv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

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Digital Featured

How to use the PayPal QR code functionality

How to use the PayPal QR code functionality

With the times calling for safer and healthier transactions, PayPal now supports the use of QR Codes to buy and sell goods. The feature, first rolling out in 28 markets across the world, will allow PayPal app users to buy or sell in-person, safely, securely and touch free.

The rollout of QR codes for buyers and sellers not only incorporates the safety, security and convenience of using PayPal in-person, but also takes into consideration ongoing social distancing requirements, even as we start to see some restrictions be lifted around the world.”

For the meantime, the company is waiving its standard seller transaction fees incurred on sales conducted using a QR Code until 13th September, 2020.

How to sell with the PayPal QR code functionality

If you are selling items in-person at your local shop, you can print a QR code, place it on a screen, table or window and have your consumers simply scan, enter the amount they’re paying and send money immediately. All the customer has to do is to aim a smartphone camera at a QR Code that is printed or present on another screen. This allows you to minimise physical interactions with the customers.

Here’s how to generate your QR code. 

How to pay using the PayPal QR code functionality

If you want to buy something using PayPal, you can go to the PayPal app, click ‘Send’ and tap the QR code symbol in the top right-hand corner. The camera will open and you can scan a seller’s QR code and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.

Enter the amount owed and press “Send.” The app automatically generates a payment confirmation. Show it to the cashier to confirm the amount paid is correct. You’ll both receive a notification that the transaction has gone through.

PayPal QR code availability

PayPal is rolling the QR code functionality out to 28 markets around the globe. These are:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to use the PayPal QR code functionality

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Featured Tech

How to check whether your phone is genuine in Kenya

How to check whether your phone is genuine in Kenya

In Kenya, you can now easily identify whether the phone you hold or are about to buy is genuine or counterfeit. This is through a simple two-step process under a new Mobile Messaging verification service. The verification service, issued by the Kenyan Communications Authority, is free of charge and is meant to boost the fight against counterfeit devices in the country.

How to check whether your phone is genuine

To check if your phone is genuine, dial *#06# on the mobile phone in order to get the International Mobile Equipment Identifier number, also known as IMEI number.

When you get the IMEI number, send it as an SMS text message to 1555 in order to receive the details of the mobile phone including the make and model. These should enable you to identify whether they match the phone you are holding or not.

If the details displayed do not match, then the mobile phone used to send the SMS or intended to be purchased is not genuine.

Counterfeit devices and their threats

The public is advised to use the service in detecting counterfeit devices as these pose a huge threat to personal and national security in addition to facilitating poor quality of service.

Read About: DStv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to check whether your phone is genuine in Kenya

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Featured Tech

Uber Connect: Send items to your friends using Uber app

Uber Connect: Send items to your friends using Uber app

Uber has announced the launch of Uber Connect, a feature that allows users to send packages to family friends through the app. The product provides a cost-effective same-day, no-contact delivery solution for family and friends while encouraging them to remain at home and practice social distancing.

Aaron Tindiseega, Country Manager for Uber in Uganda explains, “During this crisis, we have been working around the clock to find innovative ways to leverage our technology to assist consumers to move essential care packages while also enhancing earnings opportunities for drivers on our platform.”

Uber Connect can be used to deliver a variety of items such as care packages, groceries and much-needed supplies to loved ones while ensuring all social distancing and government directives are followed. With virtual gatherings becoming the new reality, special occasions and family traditions can still be memorable as Uber connects loved ones by moving what matters the most.

How it works:

Package the items in a sealed box or bag, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant. Tell your driver ‘Where to?’ in your Uber app. Choose Uber Connect as the ride (you may have to swipe up for the option)

Follow the notifications: You’ll get notifications providing instructions on how to help ensure a smooth pickup and when your driver-partner is arriving, just as you would with an UberX trip. As you see the car approach in the app, you should head outside and load your item into the car boot.

Share the trip status with up to 5 people in your contact list. Unless it’s a surprise gift, one of these should be the recipient so they can easily monitor the delivery’s progress.

Safety remains a priority and Uber is committed to equipping all users of the app with the information needed to keep safe. To date, Uber has been working with manufacturers and distributors to provide drivers with disinfectants and cloth masks as well as tips to follow to help keep the Uber community safe.

Uber is providing up to 14 days of financial assistance to drivers diagnosed with COVID-19 or ordered to self-quarantine by a doctor or public health authority, including where they have a pre-existing health condition that puts them at higher risk.

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Author: EditorUber Connect: Send items to your friends using Uber app

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Featured Tech

DStv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

DStv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

In this period of lock-down and stay-at-home, DStv Uganda is one of the go-to pay TV providers for entertainment and company. The brand boasts of a strong reputation for its premium content offers and live sport broadcasts.

Let’s take a look at the updated DStv Uganda packages, channels and prices as of May 2020.

DStv Uganda Packages

Package

Price

Channels

DStv Access

Ugx 33,000

75+ Channels

DStv Family

Ugx 49,000

95+ Channels

DStv Compact

Ugx 75,000

125+ Channels

DStv Compact Plus

Ugx 129,000

130+ Channels

DStv Premium

Ugx 219,000

140+ Channels

DStv Access

The most affordable DStv package in Uganda is DStv Access. It is priced at Ugx 33,000 giving you access to over 75 channels including local free to air channels.

DStv Family

DStv Family package is close to the same as the Access package, with a few more channels. It costs Ugx 49,000 per month and gives you access to over 95 channels including local free to air ones. Designed with the whole family in mind, Family offers a selection of channels including Universal channel Sony Max, Africa Magic Movies and more, with DStv Family there’s something for everyone.

DStv Compact

For Ugx 75,000 per month, you can get access to DStv Compact. This package offers you over 125 channels including the local ones. For entertainment fans, the package includes premium channels like M-Net Action and M-Net Series while animal and nature lovers can enjoy channels like the Animal Planet and National Geographic. The package also includes a range of lifestyle, news, music, series, kids’, religion and interactive channels.

DStv Compact Plus

For this package, you get to enjoy over 130 channels at Ugx 129,000 per month. The Compact Plus package allows you to watch programmes online with the DStv Now App, and enjoy the comfort of managing your account, fixing error codes and making payments all online.

DStv Premium

The most expensive package is DStv Premium that will cost you Ugx 219,000 for every single month. With it, you’ll always have all the live sports coverage, latest news, top documentaries, non-stop movies, series, kids’ programming and a whole lot more, all at your fingertips.

Compare with: 2019 packages and prices.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertDStv Uganda packages, channels and prices in 2020

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Featured Startups

40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs: Simplifying payments interoperability

40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs: Simplifying payments interoperability

As part of its on-going Financial Inclusion efforts, HiPipo has officially launched the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs initiative with online registration currently underway.

40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs, running from  25th May to 5th July 2020 will have 40 Africa based FinTech companies get introduced to Mojaloop OSS and guided on how to best use this open source software to achieve the best financial inclusion results for their bigger audiences with Women led FinTechs given special attention.

Mojaloop OSS is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion. It was originally developed by ModusBox with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Level 1 Project in 2017. It made its entry in to Uganda in September 2019 with a 3 days Hack Mojaloop Developers workshop held in Kampala and organized by HiPipo – a local partner of Mojaloop in the country.

While announcing the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs initiative, Innocent Kawooya – the HiPipo CEO noted that this initiative will help to expose local FinTechs, Developer teams or emerging companies to new tools available to reach the poor and as such extend access to innovative financial services.

FinTechs should be excited because they have a grand chance to expand their market, first through learning and developing interoperable solutions using new amazing technologies such as Mojaloop. And secondly, because of the many discoveries and lessons they are going to make from the many astonishing and failed stories that we are going to discover and expose to the FinTech community and the world,” Mr. Kawooya said.

40 days 40 fintechs

He adds that, “Thanks to this initiative, Mobile Network Operators and Banks are going to be more open to integration and collaboration and last but most importantly, one or a number of the FinTechs that will participate in the initiative, collaborate and embrace the use of Mojaloop might turn into the real heroes of our economy that will maybe create a payment switch that will simplify payments interoperability in different markets forever.” 

HiPipo aims to influence and shape financial technology and policy decisions within regulators, policy makers, government, political, economic, and social systems and institutions.

Follow this link to learn more about and register for the 40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs project.

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Author: Editor40 DAYS 40 FINTECHs: Simplifying payments interoperability

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Featured Telecom

2Africa: A New subsea cable linking Africa and the Middle East

2Africa: A New subsea cable linking Africa and the Middle East

A new subsea cable to go around Africa and the Middle East is under construction. 2Africa, backed by Facebook, China Mobile, MTN Group, Vodafone Group, Orange, among others is said to be the “most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region”.

The 9 parties have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks to build the cable in a fully funded project. The cable will be 37 000km in length, making it one of the longest in the world, and will interconnect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.  

The system is expected to go live in 2023 or 2024, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbit/s on key parts of the system.

The 2Africa cable has been designed to improve resilience and maximise performance, including the option of a seamless optical crossing between East Africa and Europe. The 2Africa parties and Airtel have signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide a completely new crossing linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the first in over a decade.

This also includes new cable landing stations and deployment of next-generation fibre on two new, diverse terrestrial routes parallel to the Suez Canal from Ras Ghareb to Port Said, and a new subsea link that will provide a third path between Ras Ghareb and Suez.

The 2Africa cable will implement a new technology, SDM from Alcatel Submarine Networks, allowing deployment of up to 16 fibre pairs instead of the eight fibre pairs supported by older technologies, bringing much greater and more cost-effective capacity.

Source: Facebook

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Author: Editor2Africa: A New subsea cable linking Africa and the Middle East

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Digital Featured

How to create a custom avatar on Facebook

How to create a custom avatar on Facebook

Avatars are one of the unique ways to spice up your personality and expressions in social interactions. We’ve seen Bitmojis and Memojis, and wondered how we – that don’t have any of the supported devices – can make use of them. Now, Facebook has started rolling out its own avatars in the US.

The app will now let you create customized avatars of yourself and post them in comments, in Messenger as well as via Stories.

What are Avatars?

“Avatars enable you to share a range of emotions and expressions via a digital persona that’s uniquely representative of you, so we’re excited to bring this new form of self-expression to more people around the world.” – says Facebook’s Fidji Simo in a post.