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Though the Vodacom Please Call Me saga is unresolved, at least inventor Ari Kahn has finally been acknowledged

Who really invented the Please Call Me service? It’s the question that’s been repeated innumerable times as the free messaging service saga reached a crescendo last week with threats, accusations and demonstrations outside Vodacom World. The answer – as is now common cause – was Ari Kahn, MTN’s lead data consultant who pioneered this innovative idea. “Callme” as he first na...[Read More]

Who really invented Please Call Me? The long-running saga is in the news again, but will the true story ever come out?

This column first appeared in Financial Mail in 2015.  It has all the makings of a grand story of a rags-to-riches story: a resourceful man who had a great idea that took off. It gets better, that inventor didn’t get a cent from his invention but now, in a David-vs-Goliath confrontation, he will wrest glory (and royalties) back through a lengthy and protracted court battle. But, is that inventor f...[Read More]

Vodacom’s Video Play has secured the rights to live-stream the FA Cup

And here we have an unusual announcement that could have far greater ramifications — Vodacom has revealed that its Video Play streaming service has secured the rights to live-stream the FA Cup in South Africa. Users of the service will be able to watch FA Cup matches — live, delayed, or on-demand (provided the match has ended, of course) — from 26 January right up until the 18 Ma...[Read More]

Can’t get ADSL or fibre? Rain’s LTE-A service could be a good alternative

The newcomer to the mobile data game, Rain, uses LTE to offer an alternative to fixed-line internet for homes and small businesses, and in doing so, go some way to reducing the exorbitant data costs facing South Africans each month. The company is constantly expanding its coverage and plans to broaden the range of products it offers, but at this stage Rain only offers LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) packages...[Read More]

The best (and worst) prepaid data prices in SA

Data remains a hot topic in South Africa. Pressure from consumers and the #datamustfall movement recently prompted regulator Icasa to abolish data expiry, which will mean that once you buy data its yours to use. No non-sensical expiring, vanishing or other skullduggery. But, if you’re planning on changing service providers or getting a new contract, a bit of research is key to getting the be...[Read More]

Data won’t fall yet, but at least it won’t expire

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has finally made a decision on the future of data for mobile users, and it is definitely looking up. The new regulations state that mobile data shouldn’t expire. Initially, the regulator’s draft regulation of data bundles proposed that data should expire in a tier-system depending on how much data was bought. For example:...[Read More]

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ deals in South Africa

Now that the grand reveal has happened, everyone wants to get their hands on the S9 and S9+ (well, a lot of people). We’ve done the necessary digging to find all of the once-off prices as well as contract specials on offer from local service providers. It’s possible to buy the new devices for cash, too, and then use the SIM of your choice. Prices for the standalone Galaxy S9 vary from ...[Read More]

Facebook and Vodacom testing OpenCellular platform to get rural areas online

Two years ago Facebook announced OpenCellular, an open-source project aimed at building hardware that will allow mobile operators to offer connectivity cost effectively in rural and other under-serviced areas. Vodacom’s parent company, Vodafone, announced at Mobile World Congress today that it’s been trialling OpenCellular in South Africa and India, while other trials by other operator...[Read More]

Vodafone Smart V8 – Just a great looking budget phone?

At first glance, the Vodafone Smart V8 could pass for a flagship smartphone, but in reality it is just a great-looking budget-range smartphone. The Smart V8 is a great follow-up of the previous gen Smart V7 Plus — Vodacome looks to be hitting the upgrade mark here. This smartphone has the outer appearance of a flagship phone, but we’re not quite there yet. Yes, it packs a couple of decent sp...[Read More]

Vodacom cuts out-of-bundle rates, but they’re still around R1,000/GB

South African mobile operator Vodacom has today announced it’s cutting out-of-bundle data prices from the middle of October 2017. The new rate for prepaid and top-up customers will be 99c/MB from 15 October, while contract customers have been paying 89c/MB since the beginning of October. You’ll have to forgive us for not getting too excited at this news on account of having a calculato...[Read More]

Stuffed Ep 01 – CES, Mario and Ts&Cs

“Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?” Not only is it the title of Irish band The Cranberries’ debut album, but it’s our answer when people ask us about Stuffed, our new 20-minute podcast wrapping up the week’s tech and gadget news. In this, the first episode, Stuff publisher and editor-in-chief Toby Shapshak and Stuff editor Craig Wilson reflect on CES ...[Read More]

Vodacom zero rates basic Facebook use, but beware the Ts&Cs

Ask those who like to go commando in short shorts, anyone on the receiving end of American cultural imperialism, or economists, and they’ll tell you, freedom always comes at a price. Ultimately, there’s no such thing as free, and Vodacom’s new Facebook Flex offering is no exception. The deal is this: Vodacom’s making basic Facebook use free. And we do mean basic. Users who ...[Read More]

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