Internet

Nairobi Bitcoin firm partners with Airtel after cutting Safaricom links

Business, Internet
Nairobi-based bitcoin trading platform BitPesa has partnered with Airtel to offer bitcoin payments and trading services in the country, barely three months after Safaricom terminated M-Pesa links to the firm. BitPesa indicates on its website that it is offering bitcoin payment and trading services in four African countries including Kenya (through Airtel), in Uganda (Airtel and MTN), Tanzania (Airtel and M-Pesa) and Nigeria through Quickteller and Paga. It is not clear whether the deal with Airtel was signed with its Indian parent group or with the Kenya office. The Business Daily could not establish the nature of the partnership between BitPesa and Airtel, with Elizabeth Rossiello, chief executive of the bitcoin trading platform, saying she could not comment on the matter at thi...

Facebook Launches Africa Internet.org Innovation Challenge

Internet, Mobile, social media
Facebook has launched the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa. According to the social media company,  this is with the aim of recognising developers and entrepreneurs who are using the internet to improve the standard of education and economic health in their communities. Developers across Africa are invited to enter the challenge. Prizes Facebook has prepared to present an Innovation Challenge Award of US $150,000 to the app, website or service judged to be the best in two categories: learning/education and economic empowerment. Each Innovation Challenge Award winner will also receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 from Facebook’s FbStart program. Two apps, websites or services in each category will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of $50,000.

WhatsApp dominates Africa’s mobile traffic

Internet, Mobile
Sandvine has released its latest Global Internet Phenomena report, which revealed what people use their broadband services for. According to the report, Africa is a region with potential for growth, but few understand what the traffic composition in the region is. “Thanks to being deployed in over 20 networks in the region, Sandvine is able to publish mobile usage statistics for a third straight year,” the company said In North America, mobile Internet traffic is dominated by YouTube and Facebook says Sandvine. YouTube accounts for nearly 20 percent of all mobile traffic, and Facebook tops 16 percent. In  Africa, for instance, in terms of mobile traffic, the continent’s most dominant service is a tool that many in the US haven’t even heard of: WhatsApp. WhatsApp is the smartphone messagi

UN Report says 3.2 Billion People Now Online, but Number Still Falls Short of Internet Target

Internet
Some 3.2 billion people are now online, representing 43.4 per cent of the global population, but the number still falls significantly short of reaching the anticipated goal of 60 per cent by 2020, according to a United Nations report released today. While the proportion of households projected to have Internet access in 2020 will reach 56 per cent, exceeding the 'Connect 2020' target of 55 per cent, only 53 per cent of the global population will be online in 2020, the report found, ranking the Republic of Korea first in the information and communication technology (ICT) 2015 Development Index (IDI). Africa ranks worst, with 29 of 37 countries in the IDI's bottom quarter, and 11 figuring last out of 167, illustrating the importance of addressing the digital divide between the continent and...

Google wants to be the ‘Cloud Company’ by 2020 competing with Amazon Web Services & Microsoft Azure

Business, Internet, Mobile
Urs Hölze, the senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, predicts that within the next five years, Google’s Cloud Platform revenues could surpass its advertising revenue. Speaking at the Structure Conference, he acknowledged that the company is coming from behind in a market where Amazon GOOG 2.03% Web Services and Microsoft MSFT 1.66% Azure have greater mind share in corporate accounts. But he also said Google has 13 years of experience in big accounts thanks to its Google Search Appliance business and Google Apps. “Our reputation lags reality, but will catch up,” he noted, alluding to product announcements “coming soon.” He did not elaborate. He also held that Google’s cloud growth rate is probably leading the industry in terms of growth, noting that Microsoft

Turkish government has blocked access to Reddit

Governance, Internet
The Turkish government has officially blocked access to Reddit. Users first reported last night that they were unable to access the social media site, and as of Saturday the ban still appears to be in effect. It's not clear how long the block will remain in effect. Reports theverge.com An official government site confirms the ban with a generic message that reads, "After technical analysis and legal consideration ... administration measure has been taken for this website." The note is dated November 13th. According to the statement, Reddit was taken down under Turkey's controversial internet censorship law, known as Internet Law No. 5651. Under the law, Turkish Supreme Council for Telecommunications and IT (TIB) can ban websites and block internet content for a handful of reasons, includ...

Facebook now hits 1 billion daily active users

Internet, Mobile, social media
Facebook's growth shows signs of rising daily. Facebook has announced that it has over one billion users on average using it everyday. In August it announced it had passed a milestone of having one billion users on the site in a single day. By the next month that was the average. That's a year-over-year increase of 17 percent. Monthly active users increased by 14 percent to 1.55 billion as of the end of September, an increase of 14-percent from the year before. Meanwhile the company continues to see a majority (78-percent) of its ad revenue come from mobile. In the earnings statement CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, "we're focused on innovating and investing for the long term to serve our community and connect the entire world." Reports by Roberto Baldwin Facebook reported earnings on Wednesda...

AIG startups in Nigeria to get zero data charges in app deal from MTN

Internet
This week, online marketplace Kaymu becomes the latest member of the Africa Internet Group (AIG) network of companies to get zero data apps on the MTN network and this follows previous announcement of similar services for ecommerce giant Jumia and hotel booking platform Jovago. This is how it works. MTN is offering these startups zero-rate data usage and this means that current and prospective users of the services offered by these companies, on the MTN network, can do so for free on the network without incurring any data costs. The network and the companies believe the partnership would not only accelerate Internet penetration in Nigeria but but would also give customers and sellers the opportunity to access their products and services via the apps. Read more

ITU Partners With Tech Firms to Increase Internet Security for Developing Countries

Cyber Security, Internet
Cryptosoft announced a partnership with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nations agency, to establish increased global Internet security standards focused on the Internet of Things (IoT). The alliance with the ITU, will focus on education and training in countries with less resources reports CIO East Africa "Developing countries are adopting IoT technologies at a very fast pace; securing these connections will help ensure improved global cyber security," says Ryan Johnson, founder of Neo Globe Consulting, the technology consulting group facilitating the partnership. Neo Globe will help jumpstart joint projects to equip global governments and telecom companies utilizing Cryptosoft's security expertise. One possible project is the world's most in-depth Internet o...

Twitter shows interest for its own Brand domain, but will there be 2nd Round of applications?

Internet, social media
Twitter could be planning to apply for its own brand gTLD .Twitter according to an article published by TrademarksandBrandsOnline.com for the second round of new gtld expansion. This being a lingering interest from many big firms, could be a promise for a probable surge in new gTLD applications. Given how ICANN has managed the first round of the applications, it could be unlikely that a second round would be coming soon. Stephen Coates is trademark counsel for the social media giant, he told TrademarksandBrandsOnline.com that he doesn’t know exactly which extensions they would apply for, but that he would imagine .Twitter being high on the list. Interestingly Coates said the jury was still out on whether or not there are marketing benefits by using a new gtld, but he did think there we