A tale of two launches

There have been two important launches in recent times in the mobile arena in South Africa and the difference between them couldn’t be greater.

The first one I’ll mention is Telkom’s launch of its lamely-named 8.ta mobile service. Interested parties watched the extensive Heita-branded teaser ad campaign and held their breaths to see what products and services the company would come up with, to compete with the three incumbent operators.

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Supersonic surfing in KZN

cellc_4gs_717555124 Late-breaking news: Cell C branded its service as 4Gs but has been stopped from doing do by the Advertising Standards Authority, on the grounds that it is not a 4G network. Cell C somewhat weakly claimed that 4Gs stands for “For Good Service”.

I just got back from the Durban and Pietermaritzburg launch of Cell C’s fast mobile HSPA+ data network

Cell C threw a big stone into the local Internet pond recently, when it announced its new data network, and a pricing structure which turns out to be more aggressive than a pit bull terrier.

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A lightning Bolt?

One of the hazards of fiddling with new technology, as I do, is that you become prone to sudden urges to spend large sums of money.

There I was experimenting with a couple of mobile Internet browsers, when I came to the sudden realisation that I need a mobile phone with a bigger screen and which doesn’t connect to the Internet via the treacle-slow GPRS network.

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Mobile stuff

Last time, I reported that I had found and installed the Google Mobile app on my phone and I had noticed it froze periodically.

Once, I wasn’t even able to answer an incoming call and I was afraid that I had managed to turn my phone into an unresponsive brick. Fortunately, all was well after I reset the phone completely by removing and replacing the battery and sim card. The phone and Google Mobile are now working perfectly together and the app is proving to be very useful.

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Applications on the go

It took a very long time indeed for me to see the value in mobile phones that you could use to do more than talk to other people and send SMS messages.

The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) for connecting mobile phones to the Internet dates from 1997. Phones with WAP built in soon began to emerge and, although I don’t remember exactly when they appeared in South Africa, I do remember feeling distinctly underwhelmed by the whole idea.

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PC woes

What a miserable situation! Woke up a few days ago and my PC was dead in the water. The full story will be written as soon as I have something more convenient than my BlackBerry to do it on.

Guru Vaughan, the fixer, assures me that the PC will be back tomorrow. The main problem I’ve been coping with is not the data, which is intact, but my missing bookmarks and website passwords.

I’ll need to work on some solutions for that in future. With that resolution, I come to the end of my first post done from a mobile device.