18 March, 2014

GSMA AND OPERATORS WORK TO IMPROVE MOBILE ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY ACROSS AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

18 March 2014, London: Further to a high-level meeting at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, senior leaders from seven major mobile operator groups, serving 506 million customers across Africa and the Middle East, plan to cooperate on network infrastructure sharing initiatives that recognise the profound impact of mobile broadband and Internet services on the citizens of both regions. The participating operators have made this commitment in order to provide Internet and mobile broadband access to unserved rural communities and drive down the cost of mobile services for all sections of the population.

“We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision of mobile operators and the common urgency to find solutions that will drive down the cost of mobile and Internet services and help connect the unconnected,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “Unique mobile subscriber penetration is only 40 per cent in Africa and the Middle East, lower than the global average of 47 per cent, so we need to work together to expand the reach of mobile.”

The initial group of senior leaders from mobile operator groups who support this initiative includes:

·         Christian de Faria, CEO Africa, Bharti Airtel
·         Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO, Etisalat Group
·         Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO and President, MTN Group
·         Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo Group
·         Marc Rennard, Senior Executive Vice President, Africa, Middle East and Asia, Orange
·         Serpil Timuray, CEO, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Region, Vodafone Group
·         Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain Group

They collectively manage 76 mobile network operations across 47 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where many of the unconnected population live in rural areas.

“This cooperation demonstrates that the industry is committed to innovating in order to serve the billions living in the rural areas,” said Manoj Kohli, Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises and Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the GSMA board, who also supports the initiative. “We call on governments to support and encourage the commercial infrastructure sharing arrangements that we aim to propose.”

The GSMA’s position is that telecom regulatory frameworks should encourage flexible commercial sharing arrangements and facilitate access to government-owned assets at preferential rates to help speed up the roll-out of new networks and support the business case to extend mobile networks into rural areas.

16 March, 2014

Emirates Appoints New Country Manager for Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya – 14 March 2014 – Emirates, a global connector of people and places, has appointed Anita Kongson as the new Country Manager for Kenya. Prior to her new posting, Ms. Kongson was Emirates’ Sales Manager for Switzerland.

With more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, Ms. Kongson began her airline career with another carrier in Zurich in 1986, and six years later joined Emirates as a reservations and ticketing agent.

Her career progression in Emirates saw her occupy a series of positions including reservation and ticketing supervisor; reservations and ticketing officer; reservations and sales support manager; and later sales manager Switzerland, a position she held between 1999 and January 2014.   

“I feel very privileged to be given the responsibility by the management to represent Emirates in Kenya. A country endowed not only with some of the most beautiful wildlife game reserves in the world and splendid natural scenery, but also a thriving economy with enormous potential for a leading global airline such as Emirates. Together with my team, I’m excited by the opportunity to further grow our business in this vibrant East African gateway,” she said.     

Congratulating Ms Kongson on her new appointment, Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice President for Latin America, Central and Southern Africa, said, “We want to thank Anita for her hard work in Switzerland and wish her all the best in her new position as Emirates’ Country Manager for Kenya. I am convinced that with her long-term experience, intercultural competence and her personal commitment, she will continue to build on the success and growth of the company.”

Ms Kongson holds Master’s degree in Global Marketing from the University of Liverpool.

Emirates operates double daily flights between Nairobi and Dubai and onward to more than 140 destinations in 80 countries across six continents.
EK 719 departs Dubai International Airport every day at 1045hrs and arrives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 1445hrs. The return flight, EK720, leaves JKIA at 1640hrs and lands in Dubai at 1040hrs.  Second flight EK 721 departs Dubai International Airport every day at 1505hrs and arrives at JKIA at 1905hrs. The return flight, EK722, leaves JKIA at 2250hrs and lands in Dubai at 0450hrs

06 January, 2014

Digital Or Analogue ?

While for the rest of the world this two terms refer to technology in Kenya they have taken a new meaning ! Before i attempt at explain the new meaning/common understanding that the term has taken in Kenya , its best to understand the general/traditional meaning of the two terms Analog & Digital.

 I have searched online for the most layman terms to put the definition of analog in an understandable format and this seemed the easiest definition:
  •     Analog: Adjective Measuring or representing data by means of one or more physical properties that can express any value along a continuous scale. For example, the position of the hands of a clock is an analog representation of time.


  •      Digital: Adjective  Displaying information as numbers/Digits rather than by a pointer moving over a dial
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto(donning an Analogue Watch....)
Interestingly following the 2013 Presidential Campaigns in Kenya and a recent appointment of Parastatal  Chiefs the term Digital /Analogue is being used to refer to" a generational gap/Age "between the youth and old leadership in Kenya.

However in the new usage of the term, the question still remains what is the cut off date when referring to who is a youth in the digital divide and who falls in the analogue generation.Its interesting that the President and Deputy President who campaigned on the Digital vs Analogue meaning the old versus the young have gone ahead to appoint persons well above the 55 year retirement age ,some of whom served in the first post colonial Government headed by the current President's father His Excellency the Late Jomo Kenyatta.Apparently the Digital Government works on analogue resources.

Question then is who truly is of the digital /analogue age? In a shifting posture ,the Deputy President claims its with reference to technology,(hah hah ...interestingly he is seen in the above photo donning an analogue watch) or is it really? Or is Digital/Analogue a state of mind? Language is generated and shaped by society and not the other way round .Kenyans are readily shaping the use of this terms,perhaps the rest of the world may take cue .So are you Digital or Analogue? Ask Kenyans....

23 October, 2013

Sabre Launches New Travel Management Solution for Travel Agents in Kenya

Nairobi: October 22, 2013: The world’s leading provider of solutions for the travel industry, Sabre Travel
Network, has entered the East African market with its award-winning Sabre Red Total Travel solution designed for corporate and leisure travel agencies to manage every part of their business. At the heart of this is the Sabre Red Workspace, a highly configurable platform for travel agencies to shop, book and manage travel, while delivering excellent customer service.
Using Sabre Red Workspace, agents will be able to book air, car and hotel using format-free, point-and-click functionality in addition to managing every part of their business.
Sabre East Africa Managing Director Nazma Jamal said Sabre Red Workspace will greatly simplify bookings by travel agents and enable them generate additional revenue and new sales opportunities.
“The travel agency business is a highly competitive segment of the travel industry. To be successful, travel agents must maximize efficiency and productivity while at the same time delivering excellent and unique customer services, our Sabre Red App do just that for travel agents and their clients.”
Sabre Red Workplace provides travels agents with greater performance, experience and control. Additional tools such as Sabre Security, Business Intelligence, and Client Profiles enable Travel Agents to manage their business more efficiently and Sabre’s newest addition Mywurld™ will give Travel Agents opportunity to increase revenue.
“There is a growing demand from both travel agents and their clients for increased personalization and offers that are targeted to match traveler preferences. With Sabre Red Workplace we are enabling travel agents to merchandise in new ways through the Sabre travel marketplace to support their profitability and customer loyalty strategies,” she added.
The mywurld™ suite of products, will provide Sabre customers with a single solution to manage their GDS bookings and to access global content. The mywurld™ travel platform will enable travel agents to upsell GDS bookings with leisure components such as accommodation, tours and meet & assist by directly working with consolidators. Travel agents can then drive incremental revenues from existing air bookings.
“Sabre has put together a great product that provides travelers with more options in their travel experience," said Kalpa Shah, of Boma Holidays, whose agency is actively using the Sabre system. “Anytime we can add value to our clients and bring hotels and airlines repeat business, it's a win-win.”
Sabre Travel Network provides technology services to the travel industry. It operates the world's largest travel marketplace, connecting travel buyers and sellers through the Sabre global distribution system (GDS).
Its innovative technology connects 350,000 travel agents to more than 400 airlines, 100,000 hotels, 25 car rental brands, 50 rail providers, 13 cruise lines and other global travel suppliers. More than $100 billion of travel is purchased through this marketplace annually.

CCK readies for Phase one of analog signal switch off

Initial trial for digital television is complete, paving way for the biggest shake up in terrestrial TV viewing

Nairobi, 23rd October 2013… The government has today announced December 13th as the date that the analogue signal will be turned off in Nairobi and its’ environs, commencing the first phase of the switch to digital television.
CCK Director General with Cabinet Secretary for ICT together with Smart Joker and Principal Secretary ICT
Under this phase, the areas of and around Nairobi County, Kiambu County, Ngong, Ong├íta Rongai, Kitengela, Isinya, Kajiado, Athi River, Machakos and Thika will go live followed by  Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret  in phase two  (30th March 2014)  and the final phase for the rest of the regions by 30th June 2014. 
“Under the scheme the country will receive more than 40 free to air (FTA) high-definition channels, thanks to expanded channel capacity. The digital platform will make it possible to accommodate more broadcast content, therefore widening the consumers’ choice of viewership. The switch to digital broadcasting will mean more vibrant television viewing as more channels become available on the platform”, Said Dr.Fred Matiang’i – ICT Secretary.
Digital broadcasting is expected to cover at least 80% of the Kenyan population, bringing access to digital television and marking the end of the analog transmission technology.
“The digital platform will not only create more TV choice for consumers but also free up vital capacity that will avail a variety of enhanced broadcasting applications, multimedia data and entertainment services, providing a more efficient use of the country’s broadcasting frequencies”, Said Mr. Francis Wangusi - Director General, CCK.



An estimated 1.2 Million households have analogue television sets. More than 566,000 of these households in Nairobi and its environs currently have access to digital channels via the various modes of transmission, leaving slightly over 700,000 in need of migration to the digital platform before the switch-off deadline.
“In an effort to fastrack the migration process, the government has approved over 45 set-top box models for use in the country and eliminated duty on the same to encourage more Kenyans to purchase the gadget and access it more easily”, said Dr.Matiang’i
Digital transmission is poised to bring to the viewers picture clarity, sound access, availability of more channels and signal strength widening the reach of television services to all parts of the country.
“Consumer education on the migration process is necessary to give information about the acquisition of the set top boxes.  The phased approach to the switch off will give us sufficient time to pre-test the signal strength before the final national switch-off. By phasing out the process, the experience generated from the Nairobi switch off will inform decisions on how to switch the entire country to digital broadcasting”, added Mr. Wangusi.


The Country’s digital signal was launched in December 2009 and has since seen the regulator set an ambitious target for the country to fully migrate by June 30th 2014, ahead of the 17th July, 2015 global deadline- a universal undertaking set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Digital broadcasting carries more channels, which is hoped to give investors a window to acquire content provision licenses that have been limited under the current analogue regime due to unavailability of spectrum.  The release of spectrum from the digital dividend will enable more services to be deployed.

08 October, 2013

USA Redesigns $100 Bill

Washington D.C., October 8, 2013  — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday began supplying financial institutions with a redesigned $100 note that incorporates new security features to deter counterfeiters and help businesses and consumers tell whether a note is genuine.

Distance, demand, and the policies of individual financial institutions will influence how quickly the redesigned notes reach businesses and consumers around the world.

“The new design incorporates security features that make it easier to authenticate, but harder to replicate,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome H. Powell. “As the new note transitions into daily transactions, the user-friendly security features will allow the public to more easily verify its authenticity.”
The Federal Reserve, U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U.S. Secret Service partner to redesign Federal Reserve notes to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats.

The redesigned $100 note includes two new security features: a blue 3-D security ribbon with images of bells and 100s, and a color-changing bell in an inkwell. The new features, and additional features retained from the previous design, such as a watermark, offer the public a simple way to visually authenticate the redesigned $100 note.
Consumers worldwide are advised that it is not necessary to trade in older-design $100 notes for new ones. It is U.S. government policy that all designs of U.S. currency remain legal tender, regardless of when they were issued.
For more information about the new design $100 note, as well as training and educational materials, visit www.newmoney.gov.

 

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