Monthly Archives: July 2018

Ammbr Reveals Technology For Long-Range Wireless Connectivity Up To 8 ...

SINGAPORE, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Ammbr Foundation released details on the long-range wireless technology that will make the Ammbr mesh router capable of picking up signals from up to eight kilometers (5 miles).

The Ammbr Wi-Fi router being tested to communicate with other Ammbr routers kilometers away.

The Ammbr foundation intends to help connect the 4.1 billion people who don’t have Internet connections, through the implementation of innovative technology that allows improved connections in rural areas and over longer distances. The key, according to Derick Smith from Ammbr, is tapping into unused frequencies known as television white space (TVWS).

TVWS technology can operate in conditions where line-of-site is not possible due to obstructions such as vegetation and walls, and theoretical calculations show that a 600-megahertz TV white space signal can cover 16 times as much area as a 2.4-gigahertz Wi-Fi signal. The technology will allow Ammbr routers to extend their range up to 8 km, provide a much wider coverage footprint and allow the devices to reach neighbouring routers in areas not possible before TVWS.

TVWS exists due to a lack of use of the full set of terrestrial TV channels available and to protect television broadcasters from interference caused by adjacent analogue TV transmitters using the same channels. As stations transition to more spectrally efficient digital television, many of these broadcast bands will remain vacant and will be available for broadband use. In Africa, many rural areas have close to 100% TVWS spectrum available which makes these areas an ideal candidate for TVWS.

TVWS is part of a wider movement of Dynamic Spectrum Access technologies that seeks to more efficiently make use of spectrum that is only licensed nationally to primary users by allowing secondary users to access the primary spectrum where it is not used in specific regions or at a specific time. Access to TVWS spectrum is made possible by using a geolocational spectrum database that checks what channels a TVWS base station can use at its specific GPS position without causing any interference to neighbouring television receivers.

The UHF band used by TVWS is the sweet spot of the radio frequency spectrum that terrestrial broadcast television has been sitting on for over 60 years – TVWS has finally provided the solution to access this critical high value spectrum for broadband access. Although TVWS trials have been running since 2008 in 20 countries, currently only the USA, the UK, Singapore and South Africa have finalized TVWS regulation. It is hoped that the recent approval of TVWS in South Africa in 2018 will create the catalyst for regional approval of TVWS across Southern Africa – possibly even creating a regional TVWS geolocation spectrum database.

The TVWS spectrum lets Ammbr owners install the routers to connect to the Ammbr network in varied terrain, from dense vegetation to mountainous regions, and up to 8 km away from other Ammbr routers. This is critical in rural communities with low population densities – a key demographic where the last mile is often too costly for operators using cellular technology.

Last week, Ammbr released the demo version of the fully integrated Wi-Fi, television white space (TVWS) and blockchain capable routers – a first of its kind. These routers will be used in a series of trials around the world in places such as Cape Town, South Africa (where a TVWS regulatory framework was published in April) and parts of the United States as well as Europe

Ammbr Research Labs’ (ARL) David Johnson, who has been involved in the efforts to draft these regulations and carried out R&D and trials for the past six years together with the dedicated CSIR TVWS team, described TVWS as “the elusive promise to bridge the global connectivity gap”.

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Japanese Gov’t, Japan World Expo 2025 Committee Beefing Up Bidding ...

– Bringing Public-Private Sectors and Pokemon Together Ahead of Decision on Host Country in November –

TOKYO, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Government of Japan and the Japan World Expo 2025 Committee (hereinafter “the Committee”) have been conducting activities at home and abroad seeking to host the World Expo 2025. From July 21, the Committee took the initiative to begin an event-oriented campaign in which Pokemon, one of the Committee’s “Special Envoys (Mascot Characters),” boosts bidding activities at the Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo in Ikebukuro and elsewhere in Japan as part of efforts to win the bid to host the World Expo.

Photo: Campaign Venue


The campaign website “Pokemon EXPO Type Check” was launched in June to help people support the bidding activities together with Pokemon, and “original goods featuring Pokemon and the World Expo bid” began to be distributed from July 21 in the second phase of the campaign. In Japan where summer vacation already started, many people, mainly children and young people, flock to 26 Pokemon Centers/Pokemon Stores (facilities to offer information on Pokemon and sell Pokemon-themed goods) across the country every day where original goods are distributed.

The Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo in Ikebukuro, one of the campaign venues, was crowded with smartphone-carrying children and Pokemon fans from Japan and abroad.

As for “Pokemon EXPO Type Check,” each visitor is diagnosed as one of the designated types after answering 10 questions about Pokemon and the World Expo. Then, each visitor can receive an original photograph (a supporter’s certificate) taken together with Pokemon which varies from one type to another. Fifty-four Pokemon appear in the type check, allowing visitors to be excited about which Pokemon picture he or she can get.

Pokemon EXPO Type Check URL

This campaign is designed to help people enjoy supporting Japan’s bid to host the World Expo together with Pokemon. In fact, it is not only enjoyable but constitutes an activity with social significance. As its rationale for hosting the World Expo, Japan is committed to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Each supporter’s certificate of “Pokemon EXPO Type Check” lists the outcome of diagnosis as one of the goals. In short, visitors can touch on the World Expo and the SDGs through Pokemon while having fun, constituting important educational activities on social issues for young generations.

As the host of the World Expo is decided in November this year, each candidate country’s campaign is entering the final stretch. To contribute to achieving the SDGs, Japan, setting out the theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” has broached the idea of making the World Expo work toward solving problems faced by countries of the world rather than developing itself. To realize the SDGs’ concept of “inclusiveness,” Japan is conducting bidding activities involving not only the Government and business people but also the general public, including children and young people. Pokemon, which is popular among young people who have never experienced a World Expo, and a famous entertainer in Japan have become “Special Envoys” to serve as a bridge between state-level goals and grass-roots level interests.

If Japan wins its bid to host the World Expo, it will be the first such event to be held in Japan in 20 years since Aichi Prefecture hosted the World Expo 2005. The World Expo 2025 will attract attention not only from neighboring countries but from around the world with the help of Pokemon’s power.

*If a Pokemon image or relevant graphical content is used, please list the following credit.
(C) 2018 Pokemon. (C) 1995-2018 Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./ GAME FREAK inc.

Logo1: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Logo2: Logo of Japan’s candidature for the World Expo 2025

Rape and sexual assault suspect arrested

A 41-year-old suspect has been arrested for the alleged rape of two girls aged 9 and 10 years on 30 July 2018 in Sicelo Extension 5 informal Settlements, Meyerton. A case of rape and sexual assault has been opened for investigation and the suspect will appeared in Vereeniging Magistrate Court soon.

Members of the public may report any suspicious persons and vehicles anonymously on the Crime Stop Hotline, 0860010111 or through the Crime Line SMS on 32211.

Source: South African Police Service

Durban Ladies narrowly lead KZN Sasol League

As the season approaches its halfway mark, the KwaZulu-Natal Sasol League looks set for a photo finish as Durban Ladies, Barcelona FC and Lindelani Ladies are in a tight race to finish top of the table and securing a place in the Sasol National Championships later this year.

Currently occupying top spot is Durban Ladies with 39 points from 13 victories and a single loss while Barcelona and Lindelani Ladies are both just a point behind the log leaders with Lindelani having played a game extra.

The log leaders should easily stretch their lead this weekend with a relatively easy assignment against bottom placed Ntuzuma Ladies at home while Barcelona will come face to face with Lindelani in where the log leaders will be hoping for a draw that will give them a bit of a cushion lead.

Another interesting tie in KwaZulu-Natal this weekend is between White City and UKZN. White City are on the verge of breaking into the top eight bracket while UKZN are looking to go further up.

Juventus Ladies have a tricky encounter against Nxamalala Ladies who are fighting tooth and nail to avoid the relegation dog fight which will make the tie even more difficult for Juventus who are also not in a good position.

Source: South African Football Association

Load shedding probability high on Tuesday

The risk of load shedding remains high today as a result industrial actions at Eskom power stations.

In a late night statement on Monday, the power utility said the risk of load shedding remains as a result of the current industrial action at Eskom power stations which has impacted operations.

Eskom said it is engaging union leaders on the matter.

Eskom is urgently engaging union leaders to resolve the impasse as the current industrial action has negatively impacted plant operations and several power stations. The South African Police Services has been mobilised to maintain order and to enable safe access to power stations as these are National Key Points, said the utility.

The industrial action is as a result of Eskom and the trade unions not finding each other at the Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) last week Friday, where the unions planned to provide feedback on the wage offer Eskom tabled on 17 July 2018.

On 27 JuIy 2018, the parties met and deliberated on the wages and the additional demand for bonuses and jointly resolved to reconvene on Friday, 3 August 2018, for further talks.

Eskom expressed its disappointment that the employees through their trade unions resorted to disrupt operations on Monday.

The power utility said it will advise if load shedding will be conducted in either stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 or stage 4, dependent on the capacity shortage, said the power utility.

Stage 1 requires 1000MW to be rotationally load shed nation-wide, stage 2 requires 2000MW, stage 3 requires 3000MW and stage 4 calls for up to 4000MW to be rotationally load shed nationally at a given period.

Eskom encouraged residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly to ease the demand of electricity.

Please switch off geysers during the day especially during peak periods (05:00 to 10:00 and 17:00 to 22:00) as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.

Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

For Eskom customers load shedding schedules are available on the Eskom website ( Eskom customers can also contact the customer contact centre at 0860 037 566.

Last month, Cabinet has welcomed the intervention made by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in the wage negotiations dispute between the Eskom management and labour.

At the time criminal acts such as road blockades, attacks on staff, and wilful damage of electricity infrastructure were reported.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Policy to transform media sector in the pipeline

Government is working on a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy for the media sector in South Africa, says Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Addressing the Community Media Summit in Boksburg, the Minister said the future of the media landscape should be about the birth of an independent industry that is premised on transformation, as the sector has remained monopolised and highly dominated by a few.

We do need an alternative voice and not a voice that is just a mouthpiece. It must be independent; it must also deal with issues of creating this new nation that we are striving for. Media transformation remains crucial and we will continue to fight for a media that better represents the views of all South Africans, Mokonyane said.

She said transformation is about opening the media space to more role players, especially those in the community media space.

We need a diversity of views and this will only be enhanced by plurality of media. Plurality matters because it contributes to a well-functioning democratic society that is characterised by informed citizens. It prevents any one media owner or owners having too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda, the Minister said.

She said the ownership and control of media still largely remains in the hands of a few.

This extends not only to media itself but across the entire value chain of publishing, printing, distribution, circulation, research and advertising.

It simply cannot be that patterns of ownership across the entire value chain still remain largely unchanged 24 years into our democracy, the Minister said.

She encouraged community media to ensure that they comply with the regulations because failure to do so threatens their existence.

We need to make sure we have the ability to justify our presence and have the capability to continue existing We [also] have a responsibility to account, Mokonyane said.

The Minister said community media has a critical role in growing the economy, ensuring inclusive growth as well as contributing to an inclusive society.

She said it was important for local economies to be strengthened through the community sector.

Young people in this country are tired of job opportunities. It does not kill the level of unemployment. What we must do is create new industries and new sites of activity, Mokonyane said.

The summit was hosted by the Department of Communications, together with the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), SENTECH and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Source: South African Government News Agency

Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana celebrates Pan African Women’s ...

Secretary-General of the Pan African Women’s Organisation Pinky Kekana to celebrate Pan African Women’s Day

The Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana in her capacity as the Secretary General of PAN African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) will on 31 July 2018 join the Pan African Women’s Day celebrations.

The 2018 Pan African Women’s Day is hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in collaboration with PAWO under the theme: Celebrating a Legacy of Liberation by the Pan African Women: Taking forward the Struggle for Gender Equality.

The celebrations marks the 56th anniversary since the formation of PAWO and will highlight the achievements and also focus on revitalising PAWO as well as building a progressive women’s movement in Africa.

These celebrations coincide with the 100 years since the formation of the Bantu Women’s League. The following events will be hosted in celebration of the 56 years of PAWO and the 100 years of the Bantu Women’s League:

Members of the media are invited as follows:-

Media programme

Part one – The Women’s Walk: Pan African Women rising � Africa’s Cause Must Triumph

Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Time: 7h00

Venue: Freedom Park in Tshwane

Part two – Colloquium on Building a Strong Women’s Movement in Africa

Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Time: 10:00

Venue: DIRCO Conference Center 1

Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) was established in 1962 to unite African women through the creation of a single platform that promotes an exchange of good practices and initiates joint efforts to support human rights and elimination of all forms of discrimination.

During its 56 years of existence PAWO has played a critical role in mobilising women in the struggles against colonialism and apartheid, and in the development of the continent and the building of a non-sexist Africa. It continues to have an important role in the mobilisation of women and men for the implementation of Agenda 2063, and for the empowerment of women and girls.

Source: Government of South Africa

Communities urged to fight against wildlife crime

Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa has encouraged community members to work with the South African National Parks (SANParks) and government to preserve South Africa’s heritage.

You can become directly involved in combating wildlife crime or you can assist in educating our children, or other members of your community, about not only the importance of wildlife in strengthening our country’s economy, but also in conserving our biodiversity, Molewa said.

The Minister on Saturday paid tribute to Kruger National Park field ranger Respect Mathebula who was killed in a shootout with poachers on 19 July 2018.

She highlighted the changing work environment of field rangers in South Africa since rhino poaching increased 10 years ago.

The work of a field ranger became more diverse and complex as these men and women woke each day to continue to lead the way for all of us in conserving our country’s natural wonders, she said.

Speaking ahead of World Ranger Day which is on 31 July 2018, the Minister said it was rangers who are at the frontline whether they are battling wildfires, or confronting poachers.

Mathebula was the first ranger to be killed by poachers in the Kruger National Park in more than 50 years.

The murder of one of our rangers is an act of aggression by unscrupulous individuals and gangs. His death at the hands of alleged rhino poachers is an indication of the severity of the threat our rangers are faced with a daily basis, the Minister said.

Source: South African Government News Agency