MTN to ditch BIS

BlackBerry Internet ServiceSurely after this becomes the norm there is no good reason to own a BlackBerry device in South Africa. Since BlackBerry 10 will not support BIS or unlimited Internet for a fixed monthly cost, now is the time to look for alternatives. We recommend moving to 8ta who offers the best pre-paid data bundles.

Here’s the report…

Mobile giant MTN is reportedly planning to ditch the popular BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).

The network looks set to adopt a range of what is dubbed “BlackBerry Absolute” packages instead, MyBroadband exclusively reported. According to the website, the top-end BlackBerry Absolute package is at the same price-point as the existing BIS service (R59), while also featuring a 200MB “fair use limit”.

Once users have exceeded the 200MB limit, an out-of-bundle rate of R0.65/MB will come into effect. The new range apparently includes three more packages, ranging in price from R14.95 to R29.95

The R14.95 deal looks to offer BlackBerry Messenger connectivity, as well as web-based email access. This deal comes with a 10MB “fair use limit”.

The R19.95 package includes BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Email, web-surfing, App World access and social networks. This also has a 10MB limit, however. The R29.95 deal has the same benefits as the R19.95 package, but includes web-based email access and a 25MB limit.

“MTN will issue an official statement to media should there be any changes to BlackBerry pricing,” the network told iafrica.com.

source: iAfrica.com

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SMS’ Can Relieve Stressed, Lonely People

SMS’ Can Relieve Stressed, Lonely People

SMS Text Messages Relieve Stressed, Lonely PeopleBERKELEY — Text messaging often gets a bad rap for contributing to illiteracy and high-risk behaviour such as reckless driving. But a social welfare professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has found an upside to texting, especially for people who feel stressed out, isolated and alone.

Text messages in cognitive behaviour therapy can make people feel less isolated

Adrian Aguilera, a clinical psychologist who treats many low-income Latinos for depression and other mental disorders, said his patients report feeling more connected and cared for when they receive text messages asking them to track their moods, reflect on positive interactions, and take their prescribed medications.

“When I was in a difficult situation and I received a message, I felt much better. I felt cared for and supported. My mood even improved,” reported one Spanish-speaking patient in Aguilera’s cognitive behavior therapy group at San Francisco General Hospital.

The project began in 2010 when Aguilera developed a customized “Short Message Service (SMS)” intervention program, with the help of UCSF psychologist Ricardo Munoz,  in which Aguilera’s patients were sent automated text messages prompting them to think and reply about their moods and responses to positive and negative daily interactions.

The psychologists published the results of the project last year in the journal, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Aguilera has since been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“We are harnessing a technology that people use in their everyday lives to improve mental health in low-income, under-served communities,” said Aguilera, whose passion for addressing mental health issues among the poor was sparked while growing up in a Mexican immigrant community in Chicago.

Recent statistics bear out Aguilera’s outreach strategy. The 2011 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey found that African American and Latino mobile phone owners send and receive more text messages than do Caucasians.

Of the 2,277 adult cell phone users surveyed by the Pew Foundation, the most active senders and receivers of text messages (at least 50 messages a day) were non-whites, earned incomes below $30,000 and did not graduate from high school.

Aguilera came up with the texting idea when he realized that many of his patients had difficulty applying the skills they learned in therapy to their daily lives, possibly because of the many stressors they routinely faced. They could not afford laptops, electronic tablets or smart phones, but most had a basic cellular phone and a prepaid monthly plan.

“The people I wanted to impact directly didn’t have as much access to computers and the Internet,” Aguilera said. “So I thought about using mobile phones to send text messages to remind them to practice the skills covered in therapy sessions.”

The feedback from patients offers new insight into the human need for regular contact or check-ins for mental health professionals, even if only through automated technology, Aguilera said.

While the text-messaging sessions are designed to last only a certain number of weeks, about 75 percent of the patients requested that they continue receiving the messages. When the program stopped for a week due to technical problems, some really noticed the difference.

“When it stopped, I missed it,” the patient reported. “My life is so crazy, I need a reminder to think about how I feel.”

Adrian Aguilera, a UC Berkeley social welfare professor and clinical psychologist

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Julian Assange: iPhone, Blackberry and Gmail users are ‘screwed’

WikilLeaks founder Julian Assange tells smartphone and Gmail users ‘you’re all screwed’ by intelligence contractors who sell mass surveillance devices for such technologies in the post 9/11 world. He also announced that his whistle-blowing organisation was embarking on a new ‘source protection platform’

The Curse of BBM

CrackBerry - BBM BlackBerry Addiction South AfricaBBM users claims it revolutionised the way they communicate and stay in touch constantly. MXit users have known this for a few years longer. However, BlackBerry started out focusing on business users, corporate customers before becoming a quasi-status symbol for with numerous celebrities seen in public with their BlackBerry phones. This has created a false sense of superiority for them.

BlackBerry uses is a private network separate from the mobile Internet. This has allows them to offer unique services like the push feature for email to the devices and also the always-on BBM instant messaging service globally. The universal Inbox is a dream come true for long-term users of email and messages services. In most other devices you have to check multiply applications on your handset to get your messages. Your email is separate from your chat programs like Whatsapp or MXit.

In scientific studies there is growing consensus that multitasking leads to more errors among middle age people, as well as younger people. They have found it leads to partial continuous attention and this behaviour results in tasks taking longer to complete, more postponement and a misguided sense of efficient. Dr Gary Small is one of the leading neuroscientists actively looking at this radical behaviour shifts taking place due to new technology and always-on Internet.

So the recent problems experienced by Research In Motion globally has shows the strength of this mobile provider is also its Achilles Heel. The fact that your email and browsing goes via their private network, not the Internet itself like most other service providers creates a dependency, which was exposed as a weakness. This is a reminder the Internet was designed to be open not closed. The unlimited free Internet in South Africa is no longer a big deal with the cost of mobile broadband coming down as new players continue to innovate in their offerings. Cell C now offers free data + SMS every time your recharge. Telkom’s 8Ta has an offering of 10GB for only R199 per month, the ideal option for iPads or iPhone type devices.

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BBM vs. WhatsApp: A Mobile IM Comparison

High cost of cellular network services such as SMS, voice calls and multimedia messaging has led a significant number of people to seek out other alternatives to be able to communicate with one another in any parts of the globe. Luckily, the internet showed answers to this matter. Chatrooms social networking sites and instant messaging services allowed virtually free conversation by merely using a PC with an internet connection. However, the innovation did not stop there. Instant messaging (IM) is now available in the comforts of your own mobile devices and there are also mobile IM comparisons to help you in deciding the best IM service.

Instant messaging through mobile phones and other handheld devices has become a blockbuster success especially among the young people as shown in mobile IM product comparisons. This mobile IM comparison will share the cool features of two popular instant messaging applications trending on numerous mobile IM product comparisons which are the Blackberry Messaging service (BBM) and WhatsApp.

BBM

BlackBerry Messenger BBMThe Blackberry Messaging Service or most commonly known as BBM is very popular in mobile IM product comparisons. Also, it is exclusive to Blackberry phone users only. The exclusivity mainly relies on the fact that one can only create a BBM account through a unique alphanumeric PIN that is assigned to each individual Blackberry device. You could add BBM contacts by typing their PIN code, e-mail address, phone number or name. Another cool way to add contacts is by taking a snapshot of another Blackberry unit’s unique barcode. This feature is a big plus as discussed in mobile IM product comparisons

BBM users enjoy a lot of great features shown in mobile IM product comparisons such as fully customizable profile pictures, threaded chat interface, setting your status for your contacts to see and tons of emoticons and graphics. It is also possible to send pictures or voice notes through BBM. The best feature stated in various mobile IM product comparisons is that it comes practically free when the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) is availed of. This service is practically the winner on most mobile IM product comparisons.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp messenger smartphonesWhatsApp messenger is a mobile phone instant messaging application that works quite like BBM in terms of allowing its users to send and receives text messages without having to pay for the network operator’s SMS charges. As stated in mobile IM product comparisons, it is a good thing that it can be available in different platforms such as the iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Android. As such, WhatsApp users are capable of reaching more people as shown on majority of mobile IM product comparisons.

WhatsApp can be used by using either the mobile network’s internet service or by WiFi. This makes this service virtually free of charge. Aside from text messages, you could also send photos, videos and audio messages as well. Another cool feature of this application, as given in various mobile IM product comparisons, is that you could also broadcast your location to your contacts by virtue of GPS technology. Moreover, you could say goodbye to adding your contacts manually because it is done automatically by searching your phonebook for contacts who is using the WhatsApp service. These features score well on mobile IM product comparisons

Conclusion

To conclude this mobile IM comparison, it can be said that IM can be a great help to business or leisure. It could also bring people closer no matter how great their distance is from one another. As trendy as it is, it could never be a better alternative to what personal conversation provides in social interaction no matter what it is said on various mobile IM product comparisons. When using BBM or WhatsApp, you should always observe self-control in order to avoid addiction which could ultimately result to degradation of personal communication skills. Further, it is always a good idea to look at more mobile IM comparisons to see what will provide you with the best IM service, as shown in this mobile IM comparison.

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How to Use Skype for Mobile and Smart Phones

Skype is a VOIP or voice over internet protocol software that supersedes the cellphone networks. It allows people to communicate over long distances instead of using mobile phones and using airtime. It provides services similar to telecommunication providers except that it uses the internet as its primary mode of communication both for text chat and voice chat.

As long as you have on your smart phone and use one of the recommended mobile data packages or then you will be able to make calls that you normally cannot make when using the services of your local telecommunication companies. You can even make complete free Skype-to-Skype calls when you are using wifi networks in the South Africa or elsewhere.

Skype mobile is a new feature developed by the makers of Skype in order to make phones such as Android phones, Blackberry phones together with iPhone and iPad units compatible with the Skype software application. In order to know more about this brilliant new feature, it is necessary to discuss it per phone.

Skype for android is an application made especially for the Android platform. It is compatible with both Wi-Fi connection and 3G connection, allowing you to make large scale calls via both connections. You can easily connect to other android phone users by using the Wi-Fi connection of the local mall or store situated in your area. You can also make full use of the 3G services being provided by Vodacom, Cell C or MTN if you are located in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth or Pretoria. All there is to it is to install the android based Skype in order to get started.

Blackberry is another mobile phone type that is being widely used in a global scale today. Whether you are situated in Cape Town, Durban or any other major city in South Africa, you will surely be able to see people using blackberry phones. This prompted Skype to develop Skype for Blackberry, an application that is perfect for the blackberry phone with models 2009 and up. This version of Skype allows Blackberry phone users to freely use the Skype application similar to any other Blackberry based application being widely used today.

Skype is also available for the iPhone and iPad. For iPhones, it is already compatible with the first releases as long as the iPhone is 3G compatible. You can also opt to go for the newly released iPhone 4 in order to use the much faster 4G connection for easier calls worldwide. You can also use Skype for iPad. Depending on your accessories you can use either or both text chat and voice chat with this powerful tablet pc or personal computer from the Apple Mac brand.

Whether you have the Skype for Android or Skype for Blackberry or Skype mobile, you will surely be able to make full use of the Skype application wherever you are, whenever you want to. As long as you have a good internet connection then you can easily download and install Skype for any compatible device. You can also buy credits using your mobile or internet plan or via your debit or credit card, whichever you prefer. The best part here is that the credits will already reflect on your Skype balance in as fast as 10 minutes!

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Smartphone the surprise newcomer in mobile race

Johannesburg:- Smartphones have made a dramatic entry into corporate South Africa, far surpassing general consumer use or small business use.

This is a surprise finding from a new research study released today by World Wide Worx. The Mobile Corporation in SA 2010 report reveals that three quarters of South African companies have deployed smartphones within their organisations, compared to almost none two years ago.

The study, backed by First National Bank (FNB), leaders in cellphone banking in Africa, and Research In Motion (RIM), the developer of the BlackBerry solution, shows that saturation point has almost been reached by large South African companies in the use of fixed landlines (96%) and ordinary cellphones (92%). And, as forecast in 2007, 3G data card penetration has also reached near saturation, with 94% of large companies deploying it. Now the focus has turned to integration of smartphones with business processes.

“These results show that enterprise mobility solutions are no longer just nice to have. They’re essential for businesses that want to be competitive, responsive and efficient in a world where a customer won’t wait for a salesperson who is visiting customers and where project flow can’t stop because a manager is at a full-day meeting,” says Deon Liebenberg, Regional Director for Sub Sahara Africa at RIM. “Not only does mobility allow companies to improve internal efficiencies and communications, it also enables them to interact more effectively with their increasingly mobile customers.”

The study also showed that corporate South Africa expects to embrace the new world of online services to an extent that was not even anticipated as recently as one year ago.

“Until last year, concepts like Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing were regarded as little more than buzzwords,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

(more…)

Using MXit on Your BlackBerry

BlackBerry Curve 9320

BlackBerry Curve 9320Even though BlackBerry has it own Instant Messaging software, 17 million MXit users make it very appealing to use the MXit application on your BlackBerry with unlimited Internet.

So, you’ve got a Blackberry and you want to MXit with your friends. Now you can – just download MXit and ‘Join the MXit Evolution’

1. To download MXit Blackberry – open your browser and type in http://www.mxit.com/wap
2. Quick and easy upgrades – registration info is captured in MXit, so it’s only one click from the WAP site when you need to upgrade.
3. Change your language as you go – this can now be done inside MXit – no need to download again. Go to Menu -> Settings -> Language.
4. No more mood swings – your mood and presence will not disappear when you log out.
5. Never be late again – check the time in your chat screen.
6. Say goodbye– set a template farewell message: Menu -> Settings -> My Profile. When you log off, this message will be sent to all the contacts you have chatted to.
7. Forward frenzy – you can now forward to a list of contacts or to a group – remember this costs 10 Moola per person.
8. Invite all your friends – send an SMS referral. Go to Menu -> contacts -> Invite via SMS. Type in the cell number and invite message. Remember, your service provider will bill you at standard SMS rates.
9. Personalise – you can load a picture as your skin background (coming soon).

source: BlackBerry Application on MXit

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Mobility 2009 reveals South Africa's cellular gap

Mobility 2009 reveals South Africa's cellular gap

FNB and Blackberry back 2009 study

The South African cellular market reached a milestone of 50-milion connections at the end of 2008 – but only 68% of these represented individual users.

This is the first key finding from preliminary research conducted by World Wide Worx for its 2009 annual Mobility study, backed by First National Bank (FNB), leaders in cellphone banking in Africa, and Research In Motion (RIM), the developer of the BlackBerry solution.

Their sponsorship will make it possible to uncover the most significant trends shaping smartphone usage, mobile technology, mobile commerce, the mobile Internet and cellphone banking in South Africa. The Mobility project is respected in the mobile industry for its in-depth research into mobile trends across the corporate, SME and consumer sectors.

“The research will assist in amplifying investment opportunities in the technology, says Len Pienaar, CEO, FNB`s Mobile and Transact Solutions. “In South Africa, cellphones have become the most easily accessible and convenient way of offering services to remote areas, and an understanding of cellphone usage and trends is necessary to leverage the technology effectively.”

“The findings of the preliminary research for the annual Mobility survey confirm that South Africa’s cellular market continues to enjoy robust growth, even with market penetration at around 100%,” says Deon Liebenberg, Regional Director for Sub Sahara Africa at RIM.

“Our own experience reflects that it is not only the number of cellular connections that is growing, but also the applications for which subscribers are using their smartphones. Mobility is changing people’s personal and business lives by allowing them to stay in touch with information, applications and other people wherever they are.”

Preliminary research for Mobility 2009 was based on analysis of Government and institutional data, as well as personal interviews with key role players in the cellular sector, including network operators and wireless application service providers.

The research shows that the average number of SIM connections, or active cellphone accounts, per cellphone user in South Africa began to grow steadily after pre-paid accounts were introduced in 1996. It grew from an average of 1 SIM card per phone user in 1997 to 1.2 per user in 2003 and to 1.47 per user at the end of 2008. The gap between users and connections is expected to continue to grow as both consumers and businesses find more innovative approaches to cellphone usage.

“This gives the impression that every South African has a cellphone, but that is obviously not possible,” says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, who is leading the Mobility 2009 project. “It’s become clear that many pre-paid users have a SIM card for each major network, to avoid incurring the interconnection fee charged for calls between networks. The low cost of new SIM cards – as little as 50c for a starter pack – also gives anyone the ability to have more than one number.”

The interconnect fee adds R1.25 to the cost of every call, and has prompted new approaches to cellphone usage in South Africa. Mobility 2009 will also reveal further innovative approaches taken by both consumers and business users to make their cellular lives more effective.

“Cellphone functionality has progressively grown beyond the traditional voice and SMS. With the growing trend towards cellphone banking, mobile media, mobile marketing and mobile internet access. In-depth understanding of consumer perceptions and trends is critical in addressing the needs of the consumer,” says Pienaar.

“RIM looks forward to seeing further findings from Mobility 2009. The research should paint an interesting picture of how people and businesses in South Africa are using their smartphones to be more productive and efficient,” says Liebenberg. “It will be particularly interesting to see what the latest trends in the mobile Internet space are. We believe that there is a massive opportunity to bring mobile Internet services to more of the country’s people through affordable pre-paid services.”

ConnectionsvsUsers94-08

For more information, contact:

· Virginia Magapatona, FNB, Head of Corporate Communications, on + 27 (0) 11 371 9330 or + 27 83 257 2777 or by e-mail on VMagapatona@fnb.co.za

· Christa Botha, Corporate Communications: Sub-Sahara Africa Research In Motion, on +27 82 562 5264 or by e-mail on cbotha@rim.com

* Arthur Goldstuck, MD, World Wide Worx, on +27 11 782-7003 or by e-mail on arthur@worldwideworx.com

MXit for BlackBerry and iPhone being rolled out, instant messaging synchronization on its way

mxit“>MXit instant messaging growsInstant messaging platform MXit announced that it has exceeding 11 million users and became the number one method of communicating with youth.

“Being able to connect to the internet from a mobile phone is critical in a world that is relying more-and-more on not merely existing online, but also engaging actively. MXit transcends international borders, race and financial barriers and allows users to relate to one another in a manner that is based on friendship, networking and even learning,” says Juan du Toit, marketing manager for MXit.

According to the company, the global market for mobile internet will increase from 578 million users in 2008 to over 1,712 million in 2013. This is a whopping growth of 196%. Of the eight global regions, Africa and the Middle East will see the second largest increase in mobile internet users (414%).

“We are happy with our growth, but our target is firmly set on becoming one of the biggest instant messaging mobile networks in the world and the preferred mobile social network for communicating with young people in Africa and globally,” says Du Toit.

The company has its sights set on increasing its footprint in Africa and Asia and has already attracted more than 1.2 million Indonesian users.

“It isn’t rocket science, for us it’s simply understanding the mobile environment and the opportunity and providing something that will excite our users,” explains Du Toit.

“Initially, there was a need to establish a fun and fresh platform where MXit users could communicate cheaply. Africa, and especially South Africa, has some of the most expensive mobile rates in the world, but with MXit there is just about no charge for sending messages.”

There are in excess of 3 billion mobile users globally, and according to Nielsen/NetRating, the next billion are expected to use their mobile phones to access the internet for the first time.

Social networking platforms grew by 47% in the year ending April 2008. According to Juniper Research, the value of the user generated content market will grow from USD$1.1 billion in 2007 to USD$7.3 billion in 2013.

The company is rolling out a series of products that will enhance its usability and increase its penetration into the global market. This includes MXit for BlackBerry and iPhone, as well as the ability to synchronise its network by adding other popular instant messaging contacts such as ICQ, MSN and Yahoo messenger to the MXit profile.

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