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Fibre optic firms race to connect counties

thumbThe Standard Digital By Fredrick Obura

Monday December 10,2012

Development comes at a time when the Government has started pushing some of its services online

Jamii Telecoms Ltd (JTL) is seeking to increase its fibre-optic network by building 1000 kilometers (km) in the first quarter of 2013 as it positions itself for Internet tenders to connect county governments ahead of its rivals.

The company says it will increase its fibre network to 5,000 km from the current 4,000 km at a cost of Sh500 million,  in a move that will make it the biggest fibre optic provider in the country in terms of coverage. The firm intends to build the metro fibre optics in major towns in Central and Costal provinces that will include, Meru, Nyeri,Embu Nyahururu, Kilifi and Malindi.

The move will place it ahead of its rivals, Telkom Kenya that has 4,500 fibre km and AccessKenya with 350 km. JTL chairman Joshua Chepkwony said the firm has already ordered for the materials to build the cables and that the project will commence in January and its completion date slated for March next year.

“The project will enable those in  towns to easily connect with their counter parts in other parts of the country without necessarily having to travel thereby cutting on their travel expenses,” said Mr Chepkwony. “We are targeting, corporate, small and medium enterprises as well as Government with our fibre network.”

He said other than the banking institutions, it is targeting, the firm has also set eyes on the Government tenders — to connect learning institutions, health facilities and the administrative offices in the devolved governments.


Kibaki names investment banker to drive Konza tech city


Business Daily By David Herbling

Sunday, December 9  2012

President Kibaki has picked career investment banker John Ngumi to lead the development of the Sh850 billion Konza technology city.

Mr Ngumi, currently director of investment banking at CFC Stanbic Bank, was appointed chairman of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority, the State-owned body that will regulate, monitor and evaluate the development of the multi-billion-shilling ICT park.

The appointment sets the stage for the recruitment of the authority’s board members and its executive officer.

Mr Ngumi will guide the search for investors and cash for the tech city that will be developed through a private-public partnership financing model. The government will provide basic infrastructure like roads and electricity while a master developer will build and sell the premises to tech firms.


Kenya at crossroads on proposed Internet rules


Friday, December 7, 2012

cybercafeIt has been a tough week in the global telecommunications sector as the battle lines over control of the internet were drawn.

In the World Conference on International Telecommunications going on in Dubai, the debate over whether to change the current internet model has been going on, and will continue until next week.

This concerns issues of who should govern the internet, to what extent it should be governed, privacy online, who should pay for content and who to be paid for internet usage among other contentious issues.

This has been seen as a fight between the West and East. On one hand is the US and Canada governments seeking to retain the regulations set as far back as 1988, rules that have seen them retain much control of the net.


UN net meeting 'hit by hackers' causing website disruption

The Standard Digital

Thursday, December 06 2012

wcitA UN conference to discuss the future of internet governance has been disrupted by a suspected hacking attack.

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (Wcit) is debating changes to a wide-ranging communications treaty.

Delegates were unable to access material relating to the meeting after its website was forced offline.

Hacker groups had claimed responsibility, organisers said.

The UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said delegates had been left "frustrated" by the disruption, which lasted for about two hours on Wednesday.

"However, a spirit of camaraderie prevailed," it said in a statement. "With those who had access to up-to-date online versions of the texts willingly sharing with other delegates in order to keep discussions moving forward."


Office Dynamics wins ICT awards

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 -- BY STAR REPORTER

office.dynamicsTECHNOLOGY solutions provider Office Dynamics has won two awards in ICT convocation awards for its role in helping small and medium enterprises acces products suited to their business scope and nature.

Office Dynamics won the best ICT project award and best print solution provider awards at the event organised by Computer Society of Kenya.

Director of Office Dynamics Sanjay Bhudia said the company is determined to win the award again next year as it seeks to introduce new advanced products that will cater for the technological needs of small entrepreneurs.


They all deserve credit for ICT success


Daily Nation By Nation correspondent

Saturday, December 1  2012

The Permanent Secretary for Information and Communication, Dr Bitange Ndemo, has steered Kenya into an ICT hub in Africa and beyond.

It was thus commendable when the Sunday Nation columnist, Mr Murithi Mutiga, dedicated his page for the celebration of the visionary PS on November 18, 2012.

Yet it has not been Dr Ndemo alone in this business. As much as he should take credit for the implementation of the ICT policy, other players and contributors to the prevailing ICT status in Kenya equally deserve mention.

One such person is former PS James Rege who oversaw much of the development of the ICT policy that has ensured Kenya remains etched on the global map in terms of ICT revolution.

It was Rege who established the structures and relevant policies from scratch and Dr Ndemo picked up from there. That foundation has been instrumental in taking Kenya to the next level, I believe.

Other ministry technocrats have equally been instrumental in pushing Kenya’s ICT agenda forward.

Some of the brilliant ICT ideas initiated by Rege include the establishment of an ICT Park (akin to the proposed Konza City), development of a template on fibre optic connectivity, and the need to provide all school-going children with laptops in order for them to keep tabs on technological advances across the world.


Inside Kenya’s trendiest and most expensive school


Daily Nation


Saturday, December 1  2012

The classroom looks like a computer lab. Only that it is eight-year-olds busy on the laptops and iPads as the teacher introduces today’s lesson. It is history for Year 4 pupils.

In an ordinary Kenyan school, one would find them crowding their heads on a dog-eared book that has seen better days. The lesson would probably be about the origins of “our” people, phenomena and what to find in the school’s environment.

Not in this school in Nairobi’s Karen neighbourhood. Here, each of the pupils is glued to a laptop or iPad with Wi-Fi connection.

Their teacher, Ms Rachel Cain, is also working on a laptop. Everyone is tech-savvy at Kenya’s trendiest and most expensive school, the GEMS Cambridge International School. It is arguably Nairobi’s newest school, being only three months old.



Tuesday, 04 December 2012/ The Standard.

New measures could include setting up “toll” charges for information across borders, and censure by governments.


wcitThe head of the UN’s telecommunication overseers sought Monday to quell worries about possible moves towards greater internet controls during global talks in Dubai, but regulations are likely to face stiff opposition from groups led by a major US delegation.

The 11-day conference-seeking to update codes last reviewed when the Web was virtually unknown-highlights the fundamental shift from tightly managed telecommunications networks to the borderless sweep of the internet.

But others at the Dubai conference –including a 123-member US delegation with envoys from tech giants such as Google Inc and Microsoft Corp-worry that any new UN oversight on the internet security could be used by nations such as China and Russia to justify further tightening of Web blocks and monitoring.


Digital TV to switch off millions


Daily Nation Tuesday, December 4  2012

TVpxMore than 80 per cent of Nairobi residents will be without television signal come December 31, when the government implements a self-imposed deadline for digital television switch.

The government has said it will stop all analogue television transmission within Nairobi at the end of the year as part of the ongoing migration to digital TV.

“It has become expensive to manage and we need to free up the resources it takes up so that we can expand access to high-speed internet,” Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo said.


College takes cue from expanding Kitengela



Daily Nation Monday, December 3  2012

It is one of the latest private colleges in Kitengela town and does not have much to offer in terms of an institution of higher learning.

But the formerly sleepy town is coming alive with buildings being erected here and there with more people moving in to settle or do business.
When Apogee Institute of Professionals (AIP) opened its doors early this year, therefore, it did so with the intention of filling a void.

The expanding Kitengela town meant that there would be more young people in need of higher education.

Strangely, despite its expansion, Kitengela does not seem to have caught the interest of the growing thirsty universities and colleges in Nairobi and other towns.


Analogue TV switch off set for December 31

 By Fredrick Obura

The Standard Saturday, December 01 2012

analogueIf you live in Nairobi and have not bought a decoder that enables your television to receive digital signals, you better get one immediately or else you will not get any TV signals by December 31.

This is according to the Information Ministry and the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) that have arrived at December 31 as the date they will switch off analogue TV signals in the capital.

This means that unless your TV set can receive digital signals, you have to acquire a decoder or acquire a gadget that receives the digital signals and decodes them for viewing on analogue TV sets. Most of the local TVs are analogue.


Why business continuity plans fail


Business Daily Wednesday, November 28  2012

businessLast week, I discussed the need for local organisations to create business resilience plans. In response to this article, I received a number of comments on the same topic and a number of readers requested that I address the top reasons why business continuity programmes fail and how to address these gaps.

Most business resilience programmes fail is because most organisations manage business continuity programs in silos with poor coordination, no communication, and limited collaboration.


KRA case highlights dilemma facing employee innovators


Business Daily

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | By Frankline Sunday

In 1978, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs began work on a revolutionary innovation that was poised to change the course of the world of computing.

The Apple Lisa project would see the first personal computer with a graphical user interface go into mass production targeting business users.

However, four years into the project Jobs was forced out of the team and three years later was fired from Apple, the company he had co-founded and that had just gone public.

The story of the iconic CEO’s exit and return a decade later is one that inspires innovators in tech companies across the globe.


CCTV in city center shall address traffic, insecurity

cctv camera

The Standard Digital Nov 28, 2012

Installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in sections of Nairobi’s Central Business District can be a gamechanger in how built-up urban centres tackle issues like crime, crowd control, terrorism, traffic gridlocks and general security issues.

If successful it can be adopted by other major towns, including Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru, and Eldoret.

Studies by the World Bank show that by 2030, most people in sub-Saharan Africa will be living in cities.


Standard Digital awarded best media website

By Jelimo Chelagat

The Standard Nov 26, 2012

slidestandard1The Computer Society of Kenya has awarded the Standard Group for having the best media website at an awards ceremony dubbed a ‘Night with the stars’, held in Nairobi.

The awards dinner held on Thursday was aimed at recognising individuals and companies which have made outstanding contributions in the information and communication industry. The event was the 17th edition of the annual fete.

Speaking at the ceremony, Information and Communications minister Samuel Poghisho lauded ICT industry in Kenya for their innovation adding that this has given Kenya international recognition.


Kenyan firms eye Ethiopia as new investment hub

Daily Nation

Thursday, November 22, 2012 | By CHARLES WOKABI

newsA number of Kenyan companies are gearing to invest in Ethiopia as a new growth market, with the two countries opening up their boundaries.

President Mwai Kibaki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on Wednesday signed an agreement meant to open investment opportunities and improve trade between the two countries.

The two nations have a total population of 130 million people.


Digital revolution takes root in Kenya’s healthcare system


Business Daily

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | By EVELYN SITUMA

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (Chai) has been working on transforming Kenya’s paper-based healthcare system to the digital format.

Using an open-source web application, the initiative has been working on applications since last year in partnership with Strathmore University.

Chai has been able to create five web-based applications currently in use in the medical field. The most publicised of them is the Automated Disease Surveillance Application.

The system details incidences of 14 diseases categorised as epidemics, giving a country weekly status report on each. The incidences of the diseases are recorded every Tuesday from 240 hospitals.


Global IT company enters new partnership with SAP


Sunday, November 18  2012

technoGlobal IT firm Techno Brain has entered a new partnership with SAP to offer one-stop domain expertise in key markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

In a statement, the companies said the partnership is targeted at enterprises in the midmarket segment to help them reduce operating costs, optimise asset utilisation, meet customer requirements and surpass quality and compliance objectives.

“This partnership is strategic for us. It will address a set of niche, vertical markets in Africa that have a need for ready-made enterprise solutions,” said Techno Brain CEO Manoj Shanker said.



By Daniel Nzia

The Standard Friday November 16, 2012

ictleoInformation communication technology (ICT) resource centres will be established in 25 schools in Makueni County before the end of the year.MultiChoice Kenya in partnership with the Ministry of Education will establish the centres in six constituencies. Education minister Mutula Kilonzo announced that the Government would make ICT part and Parcel of teaching and learning in all levels of education.


Safaricom Platform Coming Home

Dailiy Nation November 14, 2012

collymoreTelecom firm Safaricom has rebounded to post a 94 per cent jump in after tax profits in its half-year profits driven by a growing customer base, easing inflation and a stable exchange rate.

Safaricom on Thursday reported Sh7.8 billion in profits, significantly higher than Sh4 billion made during a similar period last year.

“We are relieved to have recovered from the damaging price wars. We are now focusing on customer growth,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

Total revenue grew 19 per cent to Sh59 billion. Voice revenues accounted for Sh37.4 billion or 63 per cent of total revenues.


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