The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

TV set-top boxes buyers to benefit from subsidies

digitalBusiness Daily By GALGALLO FAYO and MARK OKUTTAH

Thursday, December 20  2012

Television owners will get a subsidy on set-top boxes as the country makes the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, senior Ministry of Information and Communications officials said Thursday.

The subsidies, to be paid directly to importers of the equipment, are expected to cut by up to half the prices of digital receivers currently standing at an average of Sh5,000.

Ministry officials, who cannot be named commenting on a matter that is before court said the Treasury had agreed to finance the subsidy through the Universal Access Fund to be managed by the Communications Commission of Kenya, which regulates the telecoms sector.

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New communication rules: Kenya refuses to sign on

itu-sg-openingDaily Nation By CHARLES WOKABI

Wednesday, December 19  2012

Kenya has refused to sign the new International Communication Regulations put together by a conference last week as divisions rocked the country’s delegation.

Sources who attended the World Conference on International Telecommunications said Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo took a different stance from what was adopted by technocrats from the Communications Commission of Kenya.

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KENYA ICT INDUSTRY GROWTH LAUDED

Africa Development bankThe Star Newspaper
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Maureen Waruinge

The African Development Bank says Kenya's ICT plans are critical in addressing the social challenges facing citizens such as health matters and banking services. A report from the bank says Kenya has made significant  progress in areas like M Pesa that has made banking  services more widespread and reliable for a majority of Kenyans.The bank says good ICT plans are important for growth and is recommending that Kenya continues to invest in the sector.

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STOP REMARKS ON TV SWICH-OVER, PS TOLD

bitangeDaily Nation  By Paul Juma

Tuesday Dec 18 2012

A High court judge yesterday warned information permanent secretary Bitage Ndemo to stop commenting on a petition challenging the planned switch-off of analogue television.

Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola, who will hear the petition, said that comments posted by Dr Ndemo on Facebook and Twitter had come to his attention.

Consumers’ lobby

The PS should know that the matter is now before the court and the social media cannot help him resolve it, the judge told a state counsel who was representing the information ministry.

The judge told the state lawyer that Dr Ndemo’s concerns over a case filed by a consumers’ lobby last week could only be determined by the court and not the social media.

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Firms plot to cut Safaricom’s lead

MadhurTanejapxDaily Naion By CHARLES WOKABI

Tuesday, December 18  2012

The fight for mobile subscriber numbers is taking a different shape away from the traditional price cuts to product offering.

Smart Company has established that three mobile phone firms are in talks to open up their money transfer agency network in an attempt to reach more customers and increase their geographical presence.

The trio, yuMobile, Airtel and Orange want to build a common front to rival their main competitor — Safaricom.

“Talks are ongoing with two other operators — Airtel Kenya and Telkom Orange — on how best to pass on the benefit of developments achieved in the local mobile money sector to as many consumers as possible and opening up agents is one of the options,” yuMobile chief executive Madhur Taneja told Smart Company during an interview last week.

While confirming the talks, the other two companies declined to divulge more information saying the discussions are at a sensitive stage.

Safaricom’s M-Pesa is the dominant mobile money transfer with about 47,000 agents across the country, 15 million subscribers and transacting over Sh2 billion per day.

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Did Kenya win or lose Internet calls battle?

wcitBusiness Daily Monday, December 17  2012

As Kenyans focused locally on political coalitions, marriages and divorces, governments convened and concluded a meeting in Dubai known as the World Conference on International Telecommunications, 2012. Governments were revising a 1982 Treaty, which describes how international telecommunication services will be governed over the next one to two decades.

ITUs role was best appreciated in 1970s through the 1980s & 1990s when telcos were largely government owned and by extension, the same governments as members of ITU would make binding decisions on how these telecommunication companies (e.g. the defunct Kenya Posts & Telecommunication Companies, KPTC) would interconnect internationally to others. ITU would therefore define the technical standards and protocols for the interconnection as well as the international charges.

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World Bank, AU root for increased ICT uptake

world bankThe Standard Digital By Fredrick Obura

Monday, December 17 2012

World Bank and the Africa Union are rooting for cross-sectoral collaboration and multi-stakeholder approach to harness Africa’s potential in ICT.

In a joint report titled eTransform Africa, the two institutions noted that some of the significant areas ICT could be counted on delivering include the financial sector, agriculture, education, health and climate change.

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Orange to use subscribers in airtime sales, distribution

orangeThe Standard Digital By Fredrick Obura

Monday, December 17 2012

A plan to reduce the number of airtime distributors within the orange-Kenya network is in top gear.

 The Company has recruited Pillar Technologies, a Nairobi based IT company to pilot a project that will see Orange subscribers roped in the sale of airtime at an attractive commission.

In the new development, Orange subscribers will only need Sh250 to become distributors and earn commission of up to 0.5 per cent from the purchase of Sh500 worth airtime per month.  

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Kibaki set to launch Konza City in January

konzaDaily Nation By CHARLES WOKABI

Friday, December 14  2012

The groundbreaking ceremony of Kenya’s first techno city is scheduled for next month setting the stage for the development of the Sh850 billion project.

According to a senior official in the Ministry of Information and Communications, the multi-billion Konza ICT Park project will be launched by President Kibaki on January 23.

“This will set the ground for the actual development of the city to begin,” Konza Technology City Business Process Outsourcing director of administration Henry Mung’asia told KNA Friday.

The announcement comes barely a week after the President appointed career investment banker John Ngumi to lead the development of the multi-billion technology city setting the pace for the recruitment of the project’s board and chief executive officer.

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Forget 4G doodads, all we need is a bloody network

cybercafeDaily Nation By WAGA ODONGO

Monday, December 17  2012

News on the wire is that the government is determined to set up a 4G network before the next General Election in March. I feel the smartphone pulsing with vibrations of anticipation as the next phase of the digital utopia is unveiled.

The onward and upward journey of technological progress continues. Your 4G-spot is about to be activated. Full speed ahead, next stop: Konza.

4G supposedly goes like the wind and is vital to get it to be competitive. It is something to do with the Silicon Savannah, I am told. Silicon Savannah sounds like a plan by the government to start issuing out silicone breast implants, but I recently learnt that it has to do with bits of computer code.

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Alarm over huge increase in Web attacks, viruses

AndroidTabletpxDaily Nation By CHARLES WOKABI

Sunday, December 16  2012

Surging demand for Android powered gadgets triggered an explosive growth in the number of cyber threats targeting the platform in 2012, a new report reveals.

According to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin released at the weekend, 99 per cent of mobile malware detected by the Kaspersky Lab in 2012 was designed for the Android platform.

“Although malicious programmes for other mobile platforms, such as Symbian, Blackberry and J2ME, are still being developed, 99 per cent of newly discovered malware targeted the Android platform,” Kaspersky said in the bulletin.

The lab said it identified more than 35,000 malicious Android programmes in the year — which is about six times more than what was recorded last year.

An increase in the uptake of Android devices as consumer appetite for smartphones increases could have made the platform the biggest target for cybercriminals.

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Social security provider now activates Sh300m IT system

NSSFpxDaily Nation

By NATION REPORTER
Sunday, December 16  2012

The social security provider has activated a new technology system to upgrade its operations.

The new system, dubbed SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), will also help the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) on real-time management across its core business functions.

According to the fund’s managing trustee, Mr Tom Odongo, the Sh300 million system has been activated at the fund’s head office before progressively being rolled out across the branch network countrywide.

“By migrating from our manual systems to an enterprise-wide ERP system, we are making a historic shift from the inefficient NSSF of yesteryears to a modern NSSF which provides value to its members through centralised modern IT systems,” he said.

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Airtel adds value to your cents with new bundles

AirtelpxSaturday Nation 15 Dec 2012

By NATION Reporter

Airtel Kenya has announced the introduction of a new range of affordable and flexible calling rates, effective immediately.

With the new Pamoja bundles, Airtel consumers can gain up to 2.5 times more talk time depending on the bundle they choose.

During the festive season, Pamoja bundles will allow family and friends to come together while achieving cost savings. Now there’s a reason to celebrate.

Customer calling needs vary day by day.  Now with Pamoja bundles, Airtel Customers can choose a tariff every day which matches their needs, making the most of their cash flow that day.

In addition to giving real value, Airtel's new Pamoja bundles include smaller denominations with prices ranging from two cents up to five cents per second, because we know every cent counts whether at home, work or school.

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KENYANS WIN VODAFONE APP STAR CHALLENGE

ronoDaily Nation Friday 14 Dec, 2012

By Nation correspondent

Two Kenyan innovations emerged top in the first-ever Vodafone app star challenge held i south Africa yesterday.

Beating 6,000 entrants from six African and middle eastern countries, Mr Gerald Kibugi won the first prize with his action adventure game app’ tough jungle’ that introduces users to Kenya’s culture and history in an interactive way.

His app is an original Kenya game with different levels of play which are revealed after successful navigation of one level. Mr Gilbert Rono, another Kenyan and a first year student at Kenyatta university, won the second prize for his ‘ eureka’ app-an educational application that helps student solve mathematical problems.

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NIC splurges Sh740 million on new mobile banking system

nicBusiness Daily By GEOFFREY IRUNGU

Wednesday, December 12  2012

Mid-tier NIC Bank has spent about Sh740 million ($8.6 million) on a new core banking system to facilitate rolling out of new products to be offered through mobile phones. It will also expand it Internet and branchless banking.

The listed banker said the products will hit the market during the first quarter of next year. Though details were not immediately available, there is a possibility the bank will be seeking to compete with other institutions that have recently unveiled products intended to push both deposit and loan services through mobile and Internet-banking platforms.

Commercial Bank of Africa and Safaricom’s M-Pesa have a partnership dubbed M-Shwari, Equity Bank has the pioneer M-Kesho with the same telecom firm, while deposit-taking microfinance firm Faulu Kenya has Kopa Chapaa with Airtel. Faulu has gone to court to challenge the M-Shwari product claiming it is a duplication of its product.

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Telkom Kenya faces heat over unlimited data service

telcomThe Standard Digital By Paul Wafula

Thursday 13 Dec 2012

Telkom Kenya’s unlimited Internet package has run into trouble, The Standard can reveal.

The company, which is one of Kenya’s biggest players in the data market, has been selling its unlimited Internet package for months. But it turns out that while customers assume they will get uninterrupted service, some are being cut off while online.

And the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) now says it would take the firm to court unless it comes clean on the reasons for the ‘deception’.

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Mobile Internet forces PCs to evolve

IPad1stGenDaily nation SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday 13,Dec 2012
The shift to smart phones and tablets became a landslide this year, crushing the desire for laptop computers and pressuring manufacturers to adapt to the mobile Internet era.

The trend promises to gain momentum in 2013, with people using handheld gadgets to remain connected to the Web on the go and switching to sophisticated systems in homes or offices.

“Tablets will not kill PCs (personal computers),” Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett tsaid. “Tablets will force them to evolve.”

Signs that the evolution is underway include Microsoft overhauling Windows to synch the world’s most widely used computer operating system with tablets and smartphones as well as desktops and laptops.

Microsoft is even selling its own Surface tablet based on the Windows 8 software released in October.

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ICT innovations offer home-made solutions for Africa’s growth

phoneBusiness Daily By Okuttah Mark and Agencies

Wednesday, December 12  2012

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovations are delivering home-grown solutions in Africa, transforming businesses and driving entrepreneurship and economic growth, says a new report.

The report by the World Bank and African Development Bank, with support from the African Union says in the last five years, Africa’s mobile phone market has rapidly expanded to become larger than either the EU or the United States’ with some 650 million subscribers.

At the same time, Internet bandwidth has grown 20-fold as hundreds of thousands of kilometres of new cables have been laid across the continent to serve an increasing number of its one billion citizens.

The new access is quickly changing lives and driving entrepreneurship, fuelled in part by collaborative technology hubs, and delivering innovation and home-grown solutions for Africa.

The report emphasises the need to build a competitive ICT industry to promote innovation, job creation, and boost the export potential of African companies.

Africa’s Internet bandwidth has increased 20-fold in the past five years, supported by over 68,000km of submarine cable and 615,000km of national backbone networks.

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Court order gives landlords temporary reprieve

KRAThe Standard Tuesday, December 11 2012

By Paul Wafula

Hopes for implementing a system that will help the Kenya Revenue Authority net rental income tax cheats during this financial year have dimmed after the High Court extended orders stopping the taxman from procuring the database to February next year, following a dispute with an employee.

A KRA employee, Mr Samson Ngengi, went to court to force the authority to recognise his effort in developing the system by issuing him with a certificate of innovation and compensating him. But the taxman ignored his plea and wanted to procure the system from a third party. The latest development, however, compounds the taxman’s headache of bringing the lucrative realestate  sector into the tax bracket at a time the Government is counting on rental taxation to plug its budget shortfall.

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Kenya Rises Six Points in Connectivity Ranking

safaricomDaily Nation Tuesday December 2012

By Muthoki Mumo.

An analysis by German firm Deutsche post places the country at 94 out of 132 nations sampled, noting that Africa is the fastest growing in link-up rates.

Kenya has inched up six positions in the global ranking of economic and social connectivity. The country was placed 94 out of 132 countries in the Global connectivity Index published last week by German logistics firm Deutche post (DHL). In the previous edition of the index, Kenya was in the 104 position.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya was ranked 11, beating countries like Senegal, Malawi and Namibia. South Africa and Nigeria were the most connected countries in the region.

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