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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