Saturday, March 27, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
“What is the sound of the planet talking? A century ago, the answer was simple: people conversing in person or over wired networks. Today, it’s not just everyone, but also everything talking to every other thing, in constant motion.”
Last year, at the Digital Africa Summit, I sat down with the Chief Technical Officer at IBM Sub-Sahara, Clifford Forster and in what would be an eye-opening conversation; he explained what IBM was thinking.
A smarter planet; something he called “the internet of things.” The idea behind what was thought to be the next stage in innovation and technological advancement. The idea that all the main areas of our lives were connected and that at no time in history than today were we able to allow all these things to “talk”. Energy, infrastructure, traffic, food, banking, telecommunications, intelligence, cities, etc; all these functions and elements today are connected and monitored and IBM is looking at ways of making a smart planet: enabling sustainable businesses and systems for a sustainable planet.
This year in his presentation, Walter Mhlongo, took this conversation to the next level with “Smarter Telecommunications”. Africa has only about 1% of its information online and so has to download about 99% of its information from the rest of the world. Challenged by language barriers despite inter-connectivity and facing similar problems, he explained that IBM’s commitment to a smarter planet had led it to develop “spokenweb” (IBM’s leading automated translation technologies) in areas like health care, trade and travel bringing to life real-time automated translation solutions all available on the internet.
It is estimated 2 billion people will be on the Web by 2011 – and they’ll be doing more than talking. Video on demand, IP television and internet TV will account for nearly 90% of consumer IP traffic by 2012. When people talk, it will be to many more people – via social networking sites, whose memberships will top 500 million in the next three years. Figures that are not only indicative of the future, but also of the countless opportunities that will arise for companies to innovate, collaborate and to feed into and re-define their world in order to continue delivering top notch services to their clients.
As I wandered across the conference corridors, I ran into Walter’s colleague, Dr. Shiyghan Narti, IBM’s Strategy and Marketing Executive. He reaffirmed IBM’s commitment to the continent, indicating that the company was investing over $100 million in expanding its presence in Sub-Saharan Africa. With this investment, IBM is better placed to enable its’ clients to take advantage of the opportunities presented by gaining new insights in ways previously not possible.
“Over the next few years, you will see IBM playing a critical role as an innovator, providing inspired solutions to local issues and creating high valued products that matter to the communities and clients it serves”, he confidently states. “We will continue to leverage industry leading forums like the Digital Africa Summit to engage in meaningful conversation with our clients and partners across Africa.”
In just three years, IP traffic is expected to total more than half a Zettabyte (a Zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes or – 1 followed by 21 zeros). The need for this information to reach the last half of Africa, triggering access to massive amounts of information and thus allowing informed decision making, better sustainable practices and an interconnected system of performance to deliver our planet to the next level has never been greater.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
In the digital era, access to information and the sharing of knowledge have created a new global currency that is transforming the fundamental economic, educational and social constructs of society, creating unprecedented opportunities for positive change.
Africa’s ICT sector is the fastest growing globally with mobile and broadband penetration rates set to continue to rise with lower cost high speed broadband now a reality companies must prepare and build solid foundations allowing them to take advantage of the opportunities, that this exciting industry and continent has to offer.
The region’s need to capitalize on convergent services and innovations is evident with IPTV, Triple Play and VoIP offerings growing, lower cost of access has created an increasing demand from the customer base. Service providers are locked in a battle to increase ARPU and boost customer loyalty, while maintaining lean and efficient operations. The demand on their networks and ability to deliver value to their customers is constantly growing.
Thus, the challenges to win in this new and dynamic environment are enormous making focus, speed, cooperation and ongoing innovation imperative to its many members.
The Digital Africa Summit aims to assist African operators by providing information that will aid them in developing a focused, practical strategy moving forward. This will be achieved by orchestrating a debate between:
- Leading regulatory authorities from Africa and the World
- Operators from Africa and the World
- Governments from Africa
- Industry Associations
- Financial Institutions and Investors
- Solution providers
- System integrators
We expect participating executives to leave this debate with greater clarity and understanding about the challenges they will face in developing their networks increasing connectivity efficiency and driving positive social and economical growth.
Find the Summit website at: Digital Africa Summit
The summit blog is at: www.digitalafricasummit.wordpress.com
Follow us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/DASummit2010
Find and discuss up to the minute summit updates on our Face book page
Monday, March 1, 2010
As a result people used more fuel on air conditioning in their cars and Uganda despite being one of the few countries that western countries are using to settle their carbon debts through Carbon trading quickly lost all the points we had made. That in itself is not entirely a bad thing, but one has to think of what is lost. the failure to ponder on the consequences of our actions is the highest cause of stupid, human-defining actions and moments. The one thing (action or moment) that interminably alters the nature, development, course and ideas of human history; like Hiroshima, Sharpville, 1968, Obama, 9/11, the very first Easter, Katrina, Declaration of Independence, July 14th 1789, the word 'Cunt', or even the birth of Sarah Palin.
Each of these actions diametrically changed human history as it will be told for centuries to come. they are curved in stone for us to pass on: for we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
Some readers here will argue that Sarah Palin doesn't deserve to be on the list given that she is a monumental cunt but I put it to you that surely those of you that have never wanted a cunt (to own one or be grateful for one) should cast the first stone. I propound that without the really shitty writers (read Robert Kalumba), the luminaries like Tumwi, Baz, Liz, Streetsider are just writers. Its only when you see how much power is given to this inept and mediocre stock that you are able to compare how good you've got it.
And so I celebrate the rain and the sun, the guns and the roses, the bitch who broke my heart and the one who is the shinning new star in my firmament. It is the sunrise that gives us hope to take away the grieving of the night.
Have a nice week