Light Start - Vuma does Cape Town, Manga motoring, Vodacom VR and Uber's hunt for fresh blood - Stuff

Light Start – Vuma does Cape Town, Manga motoring, Vodacom VR and Uber’s hunt for fresh blood

Vumatel takes on Cape Town

Vumatel graphicThe plucky fibre company that kickstarted Johannesburg’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) scene has announced its pink shirts will now be seen around some of the Mother City’s neighbourhoods. The company announced on Friday that it’s successfully installed fibre in the Cape Town suburb of Tamboerskloof, with Oranjezicht and Vredehoek next on the list. Vumatel currently has services in almost 30 Johannesburg suburbs, and says it’ll use the same approach in Cape Town it’s used there. That is, if you want fibre you need to go here and register your interest. Preferably encourage your neighbours to do likewise, because the more people who express interest in a particular suburb the sooner Vumatel’s likely to roll out there. Ah, that old demand meeting supply lark.

Source: Vumatel

The Manga-inspired Toyota

Toyota Manga Car AltToyota’s UK special projects department is our new favourite Toyota department. It’s decided to reimagine the fictional AE86 as though it were a real car. Called the “86 Initial D concept”, the car is based on an animated one featured in the Initial D comic series that concerns a young petrol attendant named Takumi Fujiwara who spends his nights speeding (and drifting) along treacherous mountain roads in an old Toyota Sprinter Trueno. Is he out to save the world, vanquish villains or defend his girlfriend’s honour? No, he’s delivering tofu for his dad’s business. The comic may have done nothing for tofu sales, but it made the Toyota Sprinter Trueno — or Corolla Levin and Corolla GT as it’s known elsewhere — and the more current Toyota 86, as much working-class heroes as Opel’s Superboss.

Source: Gizmag

Vodacom’s going virtual, really (well, sort of)

Vodacom VR headsetSouth African mobile operator Vodacom has made its own handsets for a decade now, and with good reason. Why should the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have all the fun (and make all the money)? Last financial year the operator sold more than 2.5 million of it’s Vodacom-branded devices, which accounted for a whopping 25.7% of its total device sales. Well fan us with a budget tablet and call us spendthrifts! To celebrate the decade milestone and sell even more kit, Vodacom’s announced half a dozen new in-house handsets and tablets, including the mid-range Smart ultra 7 and the high-end, LTE-enabled Smart platinum 7. To make the latter even more appealing the company has launched an accompanying Vodacom branded virtual reality (VR) headset. If you think it looks a lot like Samsung’s Gear VR headset, well, you’re quite right.

Source: Vodacom Now

Uber South Africa wants new riders

Uber rebrandIt’s been a pretty tumultuous year for Uber in South Africa. Between protests, price cuts that didn’t work and most recently a large group of drivers unionising to try and pressure the company to pay them better, Uber’s been putting out fires all over the place. Nonetheless, Toyota Corolla sales continue to sore as ever more people seek to become drivers, or employ one. With the recent price reduction failing to boost demand for the service as expected, Uber’s now announced it’s doubled the value of the incentive for existing users to get new users to sign up and take a trip, but only for a limited time, mind you. Previously, riders who shared their referral code would get a trip worth up to R100 if someone used their code (that someone would get a ride up to R100 for free, too). Now that’s R200. Though it’s worth noting that’s a ride up to the value of R200, not R200 in credit. Which sucks a bit. Why? Because we almost never take a trip that costs more than R100, and because in the early days Uber used to give you credit for referrals, not a single trip.

Source: Uber

Craig is Stuff magazine's editor. He provides tech analysis and commentary for TV stations like eNCA, CNBC Africa and BusinessDay TV, and radio stations like 702, CapeTalk, PowerFM, MetroFM and Classic FM. You can contact him via craig@stuff.co.za

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