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BB10 revealed VSAT

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CLOUD COMPUTING Should I expect rain?




Not just an IT expo

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The inevitable explained


Prize winners announced

P18.95 JANUARY 2013



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I’m happy to present to you, our second issue of this magazine. We have big dreams for TechFora and I tend to get ahead of myself, but I like to chase those dreams. It keeps me alive.


TechFora Magazine aims to be bigger and more widely available. Our readers and advertisers want this. Trust me, I want that too. We long-term aim to be out in stores across the length and breadth of the country. We appreciate though that this will not happen overnight. We have taken to grow our brand equity by publishing the magazine online and listening to the market. As for our print platform, we have shortlisted parties who have expressed interest in subscribing and moentarily supporting the magazine, and limited our print run to keep costs down.

WEBSITE EDITOR Kabelo Tlhomelang WEBSITE ART DIRECTOR Kago Tlhomelang PRINTERS Printing & Publishing Botswana SPECIAL THANKS! Craig Powell Lorna Powell Tigele Mokobi Chris Scales Thandi Masole Fritz Bezuidenhout Fairground Holdings Thabani Kgosidintsi Thato Mmile Seseti Mogami Mark Hinze CONTACTS +267 723 723 54 TechFora-Botswana

We have learnt a lot and have a long road ahead of us. Thank you for joining our journey. It will be a stellar day when we look back to these first few issues in a few years time. While in this class - “hustle and print 101”, we have picked up great compliments from very high echelons. Though our grand stand stall was a while away from our vision, our presence at Cormitex 2012 proved to be the most rewarding of events we have attended. 3rd prize is a prize, right? We are also happy to announce that a Botswana Youth mHealth competition has just been launched and you can find the link on page11. This is yet another opportunity for youth to turn their ideas into intellectual capital, and further churn that cashcow. We have a winner for our Galaxy tab and have in here covered Ubuntu for Phones, which will surely will have the world’s phone makers running back to the drawing board. The same creative destruction that is BYOD has provided an opportunity in Ubuntu for Phones. This is literally a computer in your pocket. You can read about BB10, which is RIM’s attempt at revitalising their wounded business. In future editions, you will find more interviews and content from ICT players in Botswana. We also look forward to keeping you up to date on the tech that is here and coming to the country. Till I write again, tell a friend, like us, tweet us, read us. We do this for you :)

TechForaBW Kabelo Kenneth Tlhomelang Managing Editor

DISCLAIMER Opinions expressed in TechFora Botswana Magazine are those of the contributing writer and not necessarily those of the TechFora Botswana, or the contributor’s respective organisations. Whilst all effort is made to ensure the accuracy of technical information herein, TechFora Botswana does not assume liability or accept responsibility for decisions made on reliance on accuracy of information herein.© TechFora Botswana



Cormitex 2012

More than just Botswana’s ICT expo



Always on, Always



Public Internet Access and Usage Training





BB10 - Blackberry 10



Digital Television Migration



Cormitex 2012



Sesigo Library Project



Ubuntu for Phones

Ubuntu for Phones The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked

It was at MWC 2012, that Ubuntu for Android was released. And at the very beginning of 2013, on January 2nd, Canonical introduced Ubuntu for Smartphones. Will this be a competent challenger for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry 10?

take advantage of the high mobile tele-density and the vast opportunities for e-learning. Canonical is pitching this Canonical claims that Ubuntu for phone will have great performance, even on low-end hardware. On higher-end devices with quad-core ARM processors, or Intel mobile Atom

That’s really anyone’s guess, but we do see Ubuntu pre-loaded phones establishing a niche as a truly converged solution for businesses to give their mobile workers. Instead of a phone, tablet and notebook, workers will only need to carry one device, along with a dock when desktop OS access is needed.

silicon, Ubuntu for phone can also run a full desktop version of the OS on a secondary display, which will give users thin-client access to Windows apps like Office.

Ubuntu Phone is not an operating system for Mobile phones, it is the standard Ubuntu operating system that is used on desktop computers deployed on smart phones, so the same native applications can be run on both. Canonical is promoting both native QT, OpenGL/GLES and HTML5 apps on their platform, and they say that since it is based on the same codebase as the desktop version of Ubuntu, it should be easy for developers to both create new, and port existing apps to the phone OS.

By swiping in from the edge, dubbed ‘Edge Magic’, users can effortlessly switch between apps, bring up app controls, and view notifications. A concept for one phone with Ubuntu for Phones was published on Ubuntu’s official channel on YouTube: the Welcome Screen is shown to have the standard Ubuntu background image, with digital clock on top, and small-to-big circles in the centre, circulating Unread/Notifications/ Talk Time. Each of these parts appear and fade each after the other, while changing the colour of the circles in the background and the placement of the little ones.

At CES 2013, Mark Shuttleworth said Ubuntu will be unique in offering convergence across the phone and desktop. The Canonical founder hopes Ubuntu for Android will pave the way for consumer acceptance of phone/PC hybrids. Canonical will not drop Ubuntu for Android, which pretty much does the same thing from within Android. The all-new Ubuntu for Phones will appeal to Africa, as we seek cost effective ways to

From the Welcome screen, the user could swipe to any of the four directions: up for notifications, left for the app menu, swipe from the right to launch the previous app, and swipe from the bottom to display the operations menu. Also, the user would be able to launch Voice Control by touching the bottom-right corner outside the interface, where the soft buttons would be on other smartphones.

But how does it look and feel?

In comparing Ubuntu to other operating systems, Shuttleworth focuses on Android because it’s the biggest competitor in the open source world and the most widely used smartphone OS, period. RIM and Microsoft are both “potent forces” with a “closed ecosystem,” Shuttleworth said. Features Ubuntu Phone is based on the desktop version of Ubuntu replacing standard graphical environment with mobile version of Unity. Its interface is based upon Qt and QML. Ubuntu Phone uses modified APT repositories to obtain and update software so it stands aside of standard Ubuntu and apps not modified to work on small screens are not installable by default. The system can be used with standard Android kernel which leads it to be installable on most recent Android smartphones. Applications for Ubuntu Phone OS can be written not only in Qt, but also in other frameworks like HTML5. Ubuntu (on all devices) introduces the possibility applications written in HTML5 can now use all system trays (e.g. notifications) and can be simply included into the interface. When Ubuntu Phone is turned on no lock-screen is available (explained as not needed), though SimCard unlock is probable to be in place. Instead of that, the welcome screen is there. The environment is supposed to change as it is used. It shows your status and recent events on the welcome screen, completed with an animated designs around the circle. The phone can be equipped with a full Ubuntu session and may change into a full desktop operating system when plugged into a docking station. If plugged the device can use all the features of Ubuntu and user can perform office work or even play ARM-ready games on such device.

as the one you can find on Ubuntu desktop, as well as the possibility to change your settings using system indicators on the top bar. Ubuntu Phone has the functionality of multitasking and can switch to the previous app by swiping the finger from right to the left. To switch back then you can use the launcher on the left side. As to the bottom side, this one is used to show or hide application toolbar. Thanks to this the Ubuntu Phone gives the application the possibility to run in fullscreen by default.

Availability The system itself is due to be released in January 2013, available as a system image for some Android devices, with the possibility of installing it on other smartphones as well. There is uncertainty about when first devices will ship with the OS preinstalled since no OEMs have committed to producing hardware yet, though first estimations are set at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. [] Higher-end Ubuntu smartphones will be able to run a full Ubuntu desktop when connected to a monitor and keyboard, a feature pioneered in Ubuntu for Android. Developers will be able to create one app with two interfaces: a smartphone UI, and, when docked, a desktop UI.

In addition, Ubuntu Phone can connect to an Ubuntu One account and share your photos and files to the cloud. Also, Ubuntu One Music Store is in place with the possibility of purchasing and playing music.

Design User can access the whole system by swiping his fingers on the screen. The left edge gives you instant access to to your applications pinched to the launcher and also to the dash, which is the home to all your applications, files and contacts. This particular functionality is the same

In Mark Shuttleworth’s words.... “With regard to Android I think we have two strong stories. One is a really crisp user experience that was designed from the beginning with this full vision of convergence in mind. That is something that is really difficult to achieve with Android today. We know many people who have tried to create clamshell devices with Android and there are lots of reasons why they’ve struggled. We have very high regard for the Android team’s capabilities but we have a different vision when it comes to the convergence story. The feedback we’ve had from operators and in user testing is that for a crucial portion of the market, which is the [low-end] smartphone market, the users who today just essentially only make calls and send SMS, that Ubuntu offers a much easier and understandable path to grow those users toward using the Web and e-mail on their smartphones. That’s very important for operators. At the low end of the market I think we have a real user advantage experience over Android. At the high end we have the great fortune to be coming to market late, in the sense that Moore’s Law has given us at least seven

or eight generations of performance improvements since Android came to market and we’ve been able to take advantage of that. It’s the full Linux, it’s essentially Unix in your pocket. That means all the security stories that are true of desktop and server Ubuntu are true of the phone, it means the multi-user story is there, it means the application containment story is there, using Linux containers and virtualization. It means the parallel SMP [symmetric multiprocessing] multi-core story is there from the beginning. You can do things with Ubuntu devices on the high end that just wouldn’t be possible with Android.” []


44 540 13-18 19-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+

44 540

29 600

4 280

13 780

49 260 41 760

11 020 23 160 34 880

13-18 19-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+

9 640 3 060 10 100 8 800

12 720 11 020 23 160

34 880

13-18 19-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+

13-18 19-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+

9 640 3 060 10 100 8 800

8% Library

36% Home

8% 8% 10% 10%

4 280 20% 20%

13 780

10% Internet Café 8% 8% 10% 10% 36% Home


49 260 41 760


Home Work

12 720 11 020


44 540


29 600

School Internet Café Library


23 160 34 880

13-18 19-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+

9 640 3 060 10 100 8 800

Work School Internet Café

20% 20%

20% School




8% 8%

26% Work

10% 10% 36%

36% Home Work School Internet Café

20% 20%

26% Jan - Mar 2013



Apple Loses Most Valuable Public Company Title Apple eclipsed by Exxon Mobil as most valuable company Apple has lost its crown as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company after its shares continued to fall. Oil company Exxon Mobil has regained the top slot after Apple shares fell 2.4%, following a 12% drop on Thursday. Apple, which posted disappointing iPhone sales figures on Wednesday, has seen its shares fall 37% since their record high last September. Exxon became number one in 2005, traded places with Apple during 2011, and had been number two since early 2012. At the close of Wall Street business on January 25th 2013, Apple had a market value of $413bn , against Exxon’s of $418bn. The tech giant has been hit by fears over its future growth, despite record profits. Apple is also facing fierce competition from rivals like Samsung, which accounted for one in four of all mobile phones shipped worldwide last year, according to Strategy Analytics. []

iTunes Available In Botswana As of the 4th of December 2012, Botswana customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store. The iTunes Store is available in 119 countries and is the best way for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. iTunes in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded

Google+ moves up to second place in social networks Last year, many people dismissed Google’s Google+ social network as a “virtual ghost town.” That was then. This is now. According to GlobalWebIndex, Google+, with 343-million active users, has become the second largest social network globally. As Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior VP of engineering, observed, “That is a lot of ghosts” Facebook is still the biggest of the social networks by a large margin. By GlobalWebIndex’s count Facebook has almost 700-million active users. The research group defines active users as those who used or contributed to a site in the past month.

All three of the major global social networks, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter are growing by leaps and bounds. “Data collected in GWI.8 (Q4 2012) demonstrates the continued shift in usage from localised social platforms to global ones with huge growth for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. The fastest growing network in 2012 in terms of “Active Usage” was Twitter which grew 40% to 288m across our 31 markets (approximately 90% of global Internet population). 21% of the global Internet population now use Twitter actively on a monthly basis. This compares to 21% actively using YouTube, 25% actively using Google+ and a staggering 51% using Facebook on a monthly basis.” []

WhatsApp criticised for retention of personal data Dutch and Canadian regulators have criticised messaging app WhatsApp after a joint investigation found it was violating privacy principles in relation to retention, safeguard and disclosure of personal data. The investigation was carried out by the Dutch Data Protection Authority and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Though WhatsApp has taken some steps to implement recommendations, the investigation found that some issues remain that have yet to be addressed. The investigators said when smartphone owners installed WhatsApp they were asked to access their address books, with phone numbers then transmitted to its servers, even those of people not signed up to the service. automatically to all your devices. In addition, music not purchased from the iTunes Store can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a service that stores your entire music library in iCloud for access at any time, from any iOS device. Customers also have access to the revolutionary App Store with more than 700,000 apps available in 155 countries. iTunes Store purchases require a valid credit card with a billing address in country. []

Data is then stored in a hashed form. “This practice contravenes Canadian and Dutch privacy law, which holds that information may only be retained for so long as it is required for the fulfilment of an identified purpose,” said the regulators. Though the Canadian regulators do not have the power to issue sanctions, the Dutch Data Protection Authority says it could take punitive action if the terms are not changed. Only iPhone users running the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system have the option of manually adding contacts. Whatsapp is yet to comment on the report. []

Thank You TechFora thanks all stakeholders for the wonderful support. TechFora started as a bright idea at trying times and we are yet to bring this baby to its full maturity. Thus far, with your support, we have: •

started a small but noteable fan base on facebook,

acheived continually improving hits on our website,

received a prize for our innovative stall at Cormitex,

run a successful giveaway promotion,

and established our brand within a growing group of intersted parties.

Our learning curve is far from over as we are always happy to take in feedback and as we are committed to listening and responding to our community. Our readers and advertisers come first. It is our intention to deliver the best content possible for our readers pleasure. Our advertisers are pivotal to our growth and shall continue to be rewarded above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that our collective and diverse objectives are met.

This year, TechFora Botswana introduces a B2C monthly newsletter as a sister publication. This will serve our soft core market and deliver the message of innovation, growth and utilisation of ICTs to Batswana consumers. Our staff continue to network, build relationships and leverage skills and know-how to ensure the ICT wave is missed by no Motswana. We’d like to hear more from you. Our door is always open. Tell your friends about us, and again, THANK YOU!

Newsbrief BTA vs Conterfeit Mobile Phones The Botswana Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s Authority (BTA) is probing the quality of cellular phone imports, a hot potato that has gripped operators, consumers and regulators worldwide. The local regulator has issued an open invitation to “all telecommunication equipment suppliers or distributors” for a half-day discussion “aimed at controlling the importation and distribution of cellular phones in the country”.”The workshop shall make presentations on areas such as type approval requirements and procedures in place, the customs requirements or practices on import products and consumer experiences on use of sub-standard cellular phones,” BTA officials said

in a notice on January 23rd 2013. While the BTA did not provide further details, the workshop echoes heated debates around the globe on the issue of so-called counterfeit phones, which are cheap copies of popular brands.The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) defines fake handsets as “copies of popular brands and models made from substandard materials” that have not been licensed by the organisation. The east African country began switching off counterfeit mobile phones at the end of September last year “to protect consumers from hazardous materials and safeguard mobile payment systems”. Counterfeit cellphones are also defined as those with either a duplicate or fake IMEI number. The IMEI is a 15-digit code assigned to a handset which appears on the operator’s network whenever a call is made. []

Youth mHealth Innovation Competition

Google Street View Comes To Botswana

Following the launch of Street View in South Africa just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Botswana will become only the second African country to be on Street View. Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps that is already available in more than 30 countries around the world. It allows users to virtually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic streetlevel images. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile. To learn more about Street View, visit google. [] Related Stories Mmegi - Google images compromise Botswana’s national security. [] GOB - Google Streetview is not a security threat []

The mHealth Innovation Competition is your chance to bring an idea to life that can improve public health and health care delivery in Botswana... and save lives!

To share your news with us, please write to We would like to cover your events, promotions, vacancies and other related activity within your organisations.

The idea is to develop a mHealth application that your team (1 to 5 membes, preferably of mixed skills and background, and an affinity to the unemployed) can pitch and be helped to develop fully into a scalable business venture. The competition will take its course in stages, with a workshop and guidance being facilitated to empower your good ideas with the skills you need to carry them through.

UPenn Partnership, PEPFAR, Botswana Innovation Hub, CADline, Unicef and the Ministry of Transport and Communication, as well as the Ministry of Health.

The mHealth Innovation Competition is sponsored and supported by Orange, Botswana

For more info visit: BotsYouthmHealthCompetition2013

Improved data and information are already beginning to fundamentally change the way that healthcare systems operate... ... The changes that new technologies usher in can be seen across the economy and society, from the way we build and maintain relationships to the way we work; from the way we shop to where we travel, and how we spend our leisure time. Sustainable Health Systems: Visions, Strategies, Critical Uncertainties and Scenarios; January 2013; A report from the World Economic Forum

Blackberry 10

A sneek peek at what to expect

Initially RIM was planning to launch BB10 before the end of 2012, with at least one flagship device running the operating system arriving in time for Christmas. However CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed in July that BlackBerry 10 will be delayed until early 2013, as the company continues to fine tune the software, to ensure it launches in the best possible state. The official BlackBerry 10 launch event has now been set as January 30 2013 where we expect to see the new BB 10 platform rolled out alongside two handsets, the fully touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 (L-Series) and the QWERTY-keyboard toting BlackBerry X10 (N-Series). BB 10 sees the implementation of a whole new user interface, with RIM doing away with the familiar BlackBerry system we’re all used to, in favour of something which resembles the likes of Android and iOS, although with its own unique features. With BlackBerry 10, RIM has merged homescreens, widgets, app lists and a unified inbox into one slick interface, offering up an easy-tonavigate user experience. Home screen The main homescreen comprises of ‘Active Frames’, technically miniapplications, which give you an overview of information from a particular app and launch the full version when tapped. Users can select up to eight of these active frames, which arrange themselves in order of most recently used, with the latest app appearing in the top left position. A maximum of four frames are shown on the screen at any one time, and if you scroll down and you’ll be able to view the others – the display in order of use allows you to jump quickly between your recent applications. RIM say that any application, even third party ones, will be able to appear as an ‘Active Frame’ on the BB10 homescreen, which is excellent news for anyone left frustrated by the limited widget options on Android or live tiles on Windows Phone. For those of you who may be concerned that these ‘Active Frames’ could be both data and battery intensive, Research in Motion assures us that this is not the case, with the QNX core of BlackBerry 10 providing efficient power management, and the frames only downloading the minimum amount of data required for them to update. Interface Swiping from right to left will take you to the app list, with 16 apps on the screen at any one time – if you have more than 16 apps additional pages are added and can be accessed by swiping the same way again – familiar territory for iOS and Android users. At the bottom of both the homescreen and app list you’ll notice a shortcut bar, with quick links to the phone, search and camera applications – allowing you to quickly jump to these regularly used features. There’s a pleasant fading animation as you flick between pages, and you’ll see the previous page of apps fade away to the side of the screen, to be replaced by the new page.

The idea behind BB 10 is that it flows... which is the phrase RIM is Jan - Mar 2013

using mercilessly to describe the new OS. Further screenshots of the BlackBerry 10 interface have appeared online, showing off official social networking apps from all of the big players, plus a voice control feature which will likely challenge Apple’s Siri and Google Voice on Android. Notifications The whole Flow concept really comes to life when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen – this minimises the current app/screen you’re viewing and shows new notifications counts down the left hand side, including new emails, BBMs, texts and social media messages. If you continue the slide to the right, the unified ‘Hub’ application can be previewed – allowing you to ‘peek’ at your messages. Complete the slide and you’ll open the hub fully, otherwise you’ll be returned to the page you were viewing before the little red light on your handset started to flash. This means you can easily see who has just messaged you without having to close down your current application, and knowing who it’s from allows you to make a decision on whether or not to answer them straight away or continue with what you were doing originally. BlackBerry Hub When we say all, we mean all, as the unified inbox, or the ‘Hub’ as RIM likes to refer to it as, can deal with multiple email accounts, text messages, BBM, call history, third party messaging apps such as Whats App and a whole host of social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Of course, with so many accounts feeding into the handset, the more popular among us will be quickly inundated with notifications from various different channels, and this is where the peek idea makes it easy to see when you’ve got anything new to look at. To make the reams of messages easier to manage place your finger on the title in the bottom left corner of the message centre and pull across to reveal a list of all the accounts you have linked up and then select the one you’re interested in – this will then populate the Hub which notifications from just that source. Personal and Work modes Sweep down on the home screen or an app list page and you’ll see Personal and Work buttons that let you switch between the two BlackBerry Balance modes. In Personal, you can install any apps you want, send any email, save any file and so on, working in a partition that’s encrypted for privacy but not locked down in any way. If you use your BlackBerry for work though, you’ll also have a Work partition that’s also encrypted but completely separate and can be locked down if that’s what the company wants. Drag down on the screen, pick Work mode and all your personal apps disappear – so you can’t accidentally copy a work file into your personal cloud storage account. Your company can have complete control of this work section, giving you as much, or as little freedom within this area as they see fit – and

everything in Work mode is fully secured, with remote wipe available just it case your handset goes astray. However work won’t be able see what files you have on your personal area when they’re managing it, because your personal partition is encrypted. BB10 in work and personal modes Select Work mode and you’ll be prompted to enter a password before gaining access to your protected area, which means prying eyes won’t be able to steal a glimpse at all your company secrets. Phew. Cascades Then there’s Cascades, a new navigation system cooked up by RIM especially for BB10, allowing for quick multitasking from within applications. The example seen is in the messaging app - open an email it will display full screen, but drag your finger from left to right and the message will slide with you, revealing the inbox below. This means if you get a new message in the middle of reading an email, you can check who it’s from without having to close the application – similar to the notification bar on Android and also now iOS. New App world

use your phone. RIM reckons that heavy users will quickly see a marked improvement once they start using the keyboard, as BlackBerry 10 will only take a couple of days to learn their style of writing. Camera RIM is making a big song and dance about its BB 10 camera application as well, especially the ‘Time Shift’ feature, which allows you to select the perfect smile of your subject after taking the photo. Fire up the camera app (from the lock screen if you so wish), which was relatively quick to open on the Dev Alpha B device, select ‘Time Shift’ mode and snap your subject, and the app will then search for faces in the image. Once a face is located in a photo, you can tap it and literally roll back time to find the point at which your friend had their eyes open and the perfect grin. Browser The BlackBerry browser has also had a refresh for BB10, bringing it in line with the minimalist style of current offerings on other devices, and the location of the URL bar at the bottom of the page is reminiscent of Internet Explorer on Windows Phone.

BlackBerry App World is also getting a makeover with a cleaner, more intuitive design ready to show off all the apps RIM is pushing developers so hard to make in time for launch.

Even though Adobe has already ditched future support and upgrades of its Flash platform, RIM has made sure it’s built in support for the dying format, allowing you to access all your favourite Flash built sites and videos of Korean men dancing on invisible horses.

As well as offering applications, the new App World will also provide music and videos to purchase and download – allowing BlackBerry 10 handsets the chance to compete with the likes of Google Play, iTunes and the Apple App Store.

Sweep from left to right while in the browser and the ‘peek’ functionality comes into play again, this time showing various internetcentric options such as History, Bookmarks, New Tab and currently opened tabs.

There’s a sperate version of BlackBerry AppWorld where your company can offer specific work apps – like an app that uses the NFC chip in your BlackBerry to unlock the door to the office, as well as locking out applications they don’t deem suitable for using while at work.

There’s also a Reader mode built into the new browser, which lifts article text and images from a web page and displays it in a more manageable and easy to read format, stripping out fancy ads, menu bars and any other clutter which gets in the way of actually reading something.

Keyboard BlackBerry handsets are famous for their physical boards and RIM is keen to bring this typing experience to its BB10 touchscreen smartphones with its own offering.

Comparison tests have shown the BlackBerry 10 web browser to be faster than its equivalent on Apple’s iOS 6 and the new version of Windows Phone - we’ll reserve proper judgement until we have a final handset in our sweaty palm, but at least this is a positive sign.

Visually the keyboard looks similar to the stock Android offering, but each row of keys is separated with a silver line, or ‘fret’ – which is supposed to reflect the metal strips between buttons on the Bold range, such as the Bold 9790 and Bold 9900.

Battery life

Next word prediction, auto-correct and spell check are all common features on smartphones today and RIM has spent some time developing its own system to offer an efficient typing experience.

RIM has even gone as far to say that’s its two BB 10 launch devices, one fully-touchscreen and the other sporting the famous Qwerty keyboard, will offer up a full days battery life, thanks to a lot of hard work by the QNX team on power management in the core of the BlackBerry 10 platform. []

It sees next-word suggestions appear above the character the word begins with, and if it’s the word you want to use, you just need to swipe up over the word and it will be added to your sentence.

As we’ve mentioned briefly earlier on, RIM is promising that BlackBerry 10 will help to deliver decent battery life, even with the big touchscreen and those lovely ‘Active Frames’.

As with many offerings these days, the keyboard will learn your style of writing, meaning it will be able to suggest better words the more you Jan - Mar 2013

BIH’s Science and Technology Park A Developer’s Delight

Botswana Science and Technology Park, a place on 56 hectares of veldt to forage, farm and flaunt innovation. There is something special about raising your children in a good neighbourhood. They gain access to the best facilities in a safe and stimulating growth conducive environment, and they generally grow up with improved chances of success, better linkages through networking, and a smarter way of life. Your company too can enjoy the premium location and association benefits by joining a community of like-minded innovators. Occupancy in Botswana’s progressive Science and Technology Park, not only places your business in close proximity to the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) and its thematic clusters of innovation, but also puts your operations right next to Botswana’s main air and road linkages to the rest of Southern Africa. This creates a ripe opportunity to invest as a developer on land reserved for innovationdriven growth industries in prime location. Driven in policy and principle by the national Vision 2016, the national ICT Policy (Maitlamo), the national Science and Technology Policy, and in practice by BIH, the Government of Botswana has shown a commitment to stimulating innovation and growth in the areas of: •

Information and Communications Technology;

Mining Technologies; Jan - Mar 2013

Energy and Environment; and


The focal areas were systematically selected, and interested parties should know too that developers and tenants of the park will be evaluated and selected on a criteria developed to ensure the best synergies and desired outcomes for the project, occupants and nation at large. Great Neighbours The picture above is an artist’s impression of the iconic BIH building to centre the 56 hectare park, which will be Botswana’s first green building and feature energy efficient, stateof-the-art facilities, and has already attracted international recognition in its concept design and beauty. The landlord’s investment in the building and supporting infrastructure, is easily be the most advanced this country has seen. BIH’s international and foreign partners include Microsoft, Finland, SADC, Lund University, Krinova Science Park, and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). These partnerships run programmes and activities that require world-class connectivity and competitiveness. The programmes include the Microsoft Innovation Center and the Southern African Innovation Support programme, as well as activities towards delivering on Memorandums of Understanding signed with various local entities. The requirement is such so that the building and infrastructure lead in design

BIH Infrastructure factsheet • • • •

BIH site, total of 93 hectares. 36 Hectares planned for spinoffs Icon buildings plot, 73 871 m2 Icon building ~ 31000 m2 floor space on five levels available for rent (phase II). • Phase I, 2014 Located in a new business district near Sir Seretse Khama International Airport the park promises to be a secure and stimulating business environment with various defining features, among them: • A multi-use development with shared amenities such as conference auditoriums, restaurants, datacenters, hi-tech conference facilities, state-ofthe-art gym, various cafeterias, training rooms and business-incubation rooms and facilities. • An iconic building with 31 000m2 of letable floor space on five levels and floors, 1st occupation planned for 2014. • Large bandwidth and superior telecommunication infrastructure • Large sub-divisible spaces ranging from 500 to 1500 square meters and smaller units of between 50 and 290 square meters are available. • Sufficient parking provided for each tenant in accordance with the lease agreement

Iconic Future Friendly Infrastructure The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is a newly established company that is wholly owned by the Government of Botswana, whose mandate is to develop a Science and Technology Park in Gaborone. This facility will provide an attractive location for technology driven and knowledge

intensive business to develop and compete in the global market. In this regards, the focal point of the Hub will be to provide state-ofthe art facilities to attract domestic, regional and global companies to locate business and research and development activities within the

Park, and promote technology based innovation and entrepreneurship. It is anticipated that such development and innovation will lead to downstream job creation in manufacturing and services enterprise which emerge through technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

When fully developed, the Botswana Innovation Hub will consist of world class facilities including state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure with high capacity international connectivity, high standards of security and data connections, and secured power. HE Mr Roy Blackbeard, Botswana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, at the Commonwealth Business Council Africa Outsourcing Summit 2009

innovation, interconnectivity, and dependable power and other clean technologies.

leasing options are available.

The infrastructure around the iconic building serves the rest of the park, including an area reserved, with 40 plots of variable sizes demarcated with 333 380 m2 available to be leased for development. The commercial value of the opportunities presented by the Park are mind-numbing, to say the least. Space To Let BIH is developing an iconic building that will be a central feature of the park. The target date for commencement of construction is first quarter of 2013, with completion and 1st occupation expected in 2014.

Art imitates life in the iconic building, a concept building incorporating the coexistence of Botswana’s delta and desert in its design fabric and eco-efficient userability. The building was selected for the AutoCAD Revit software, Architecture Suite 2013.

Land To Develop The park comprises 40 plots which are fully reticulated for water, power, street lights, and wide network of service roads and so on. The BIH, through the Deeds Registry, will provide a leasehold title appropriate for long term property development and investment in the park. BIH envisages forming joint ventures with qualifying companies to develop the land on long term registered leaseholds. However, other

Land Leasing Options The following leasing options will apply; •

Developers who are willing to partner with BIH to build and lease space to science and technology companies.

Developers who lease the land on a long term basis, (appropriate land title provided).

Partnerships with science and technology companies, who also take space within the development.

Some plots will be reserved for development of business support services suitable for the park.

Other feasible land leasing options will be considered.

Occupancy of such developments would appeal to a range of businesses and organisations, whose staff, students and stakeholders form part of a concentration of innovators and their synergies. Advantages of Occupancy at the Science and Technology Hub

Amongst other benefits the occupants of Jan - Mar 2013

the Park will enjoy deliberate benefits such as: •

Research & Development

The location is ideal for research and development, being in Gaborone, home to over a third of the country’s urban population. Testing, deploying and communicating in the market place is highly accessible from the capital city. •


If a room the size of a single bed can host a class of many over the internet, it becomes evident that e-learning has the capacity to reach far beyond the classroom to include a greater number in learning. The of scaling of e-learning are already underway through television and broadcast media, cemented by plans to launch a national e-learning channel. •


Good roads, easy access, a steady reliable flow of water, power and broadband. That isn’t too much to ask. Here you have it in a forward-thinking Science and Technology Park. It’s what one would expect at the least, and is complemented by developments at the national level, where electrification is increasing as local power production plants go live, and as the fibre network backbone yields benefits from connectivity to the West Africa Cable System. •

Physical connectivity

Close proximity to the airport and the national main trade channel roads leading to the rest of Southern Africa make for amplified access to international connectivity, which is good for international visitors, partners and investors, as well as supply chain turnarounds.

efforts to form partnerships and programmes with leading international organisations and continue to attract the world’s leaders in technology to our beautiful nation. The audience value at the hub is rich with possibility. •

Small dynamic and elastic marketspace

Innovation is not restricted to start-ups and being part of an environ where companies, new and old, are re-inventing their position in the market is a competitive advantage. Often, being in-the-know leads to opportunities to collaborate and react ahead of the curve. •

Recognition and approachability

Association to the BIH brand also adds to the allure of the location’s occupancy. It complements to your own organisation’s brand value in society and business. This, in addition to other “soft” benefits can leverage the social, political and economic currency of the occupants brand. •

BIH project at the Sir Seretse Khama Airport Image source:

Clusters have proven to be a driving force for fuelling businesses with advanced research and for accelerating entry of products and services into the market. Cluster-based businesses usually invest more in training and education than is typically done in their industries and countries. Consequently, firms within the innovation hub have a higher ratio of R&D to sales, effectively transforming research projects into new commercial products and services. Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, NextGeneration Clusters, Creating Innovation Hubs To Boost Economic Growth, June 2010

Political will

The real value of the real estate is intrinsically tied to the greater investment made by government to ensure a knowledge based society is built, innovation is promoted and infrastructure is developed for the greater good. Tenancy prompts active participation in achieving the ambitions of Science and Technology Parks. • Tax advantages and access to trade opened up by tax relaxation A concessionary income tax of 15% is available to qualifying companies wishing to develop in the park.

BIH project in the New York subway, West 4th stop. Image source:

The Selection Process For The Developer Or Partner Receiving, opening and recording of submissions

Cluster synergies

Proximity to Diamond Hub

Having the Diamond Hub across the road also presents the latent synergies to be capitalised by proximity. The diamond hub parties form part of a globally connected ecosystem that requires able ICT solutions to address real-time, high-value and high-risk situations. •

International network

BIH recognises the emergence of innovation hubs globally and has made concerted

Adjudication and Selection

Negotiations and approval


Resources may be used to collaborate or compete and in so doing, accelerate innovation and intrapreneurship (internal entrepreneurial behaviour). Businesses, new and old, are taking heed of the advantageous dynamics of operating in an innovation cluster. To add to the charm of occupancy is the appeal of joining the synergetic ideas ecosystem. •

Presentations by selected developers or investors

Preparation of a shorter list of potential partners

Evaluation of Submissions, based on the above criteria

The selection criteria for developers will be as follows; • •

Companies with experience in large scale property developments.

Companies should demonstrate a strong value proposition for science and technology innovation with potential to create employment. •

Companies which operate within the four focus sectors of Biotechnology, Energy and Environment, Mining Technology and ICT and capable of attracting tenants within these sectors.

Developers should demonstrate potential for spin offs for manufacturing and production, arising from the innovation or product development activities within the Park.

Developers that can demonstrate the ability to collaborate with Botswana Innovation Hub to develop the plots on a joint partnership basis, by proposing a value adding business partnership model.

Interested companies must demonstrate their ability to fund the envisaged development.

And entities that are capable of drawing more technology based companies into the BIH Science and Technology Park, this capacity should be demonstrated within the submissions. •

Developers wishing to take space within the buildings.

Botswana Innovation Hub

What is Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH)?

Botswana Innovation Hub

The genesis of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is the Botswana Excellence Strategy which proposed a three pronged National Strategic Goal for the diversification of the country’s economy, creation of jobs and driving the country towards a knowledge based economy.

What is Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH)?

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At Botswana Innovation Hub we offer you the following At Botswana Innovation Hub we offer you the following

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CLOUD COMPUTING 101 Jan - Mar 2013

Cloud Computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Software as a Service Software as a Service (SaaS) is defined as: “… software that is deployed over the internet… With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers either as a service on demand, through a subscription, in a “pay-as-you-go” model, or (increasingly) at no charge when there is opportunity to generate revenue from streams other than the user, such as from advertisement or user list sales. ” Characteristics of SaaS Like other forms of Cloud Computing, it is important to ensure that solutions sold as SaaS in fact comply with generally accepted definitions of Cloud Computing. Some defining characteristics of SaaS include: •

Web access to commercial software.

Software is managed from a central location.

Software delivered in a “one to many” model.

Users not required to handle software upgrades and patches.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow for integration between different pieces of software.

Where SaaS Makes Sense Cloud Computing generally, and SaaS in particular, is a rapidly growing method of delivering technology. That said, organizations considering a move to the Cloud will want to consider which applications they move to SaaS. As such there are particular solutions we consider prime candidate for an initial move to SaaS: •

“Vanilla” offerings where the solution is largely undifferentiated. A good example of a vanilla offering would include email where many times competitors use the same software precisely because this fundamental technology is a requirement for doing business, but does not itself confer a competitive advantage.

Applications where there is significant interplay between the organization • and the outside world. For example, email newsletter campaign software.

Applications that have a significant need for web or mobile access. An example would be mobile sales management software.

Software that is only to be used for a short term need. An example would be collaboration software for a specific project.





significantly, for example tax or billing software used once a month.

Tools to handle billing and subscription management.

deployed on a self-service basis over the Internet.

As one of the earliest entrants it is not surprising that CRM is the most popular SaaS application area, however e-mail, financial management, customer service and expense management have also gotten good uptake via SaaS.

PaaS, which is similar in many ways to Infrastructure as a Service, which will be discussed below, is differentiated from IaaS by the addition of value added services and comes in two distinct flavours:

Software as a Service may be the best known aspect of Cloud Computing, but developers and organizations all around the world are leveraging Platform as a Service, which mixes the simplicity of SaaS with the power of IaaS, to great effect.

A collaborative platform for software development, focused on workflow management regardless of the data source being used for the application.

By contrast, “Private Cloud” is infrastructure that emulates some of Cloud Computing features, like virtualization, but does so on a private network. Additionally, some hosting providers are beginning to offer a combination of traditional dedicated hosting alongside Public and/or Private Cloud networks. This combination approach is generally called “Hybrid Cloud.”

A platform that allows for the creation of software utilizing proprietary data from an application. This sort of PaaS can be seen as a method to create applications with a common data form or type.

Platform as a Service Platform as a Service (PaaS) brings the benefits that SaaS bought for applications, but over to the software development world. PaaS can be defined as a computing platform that allows the creation of web applications quickly and easily and without the complexity of buying and maintaining the software and infrastructure underneath it.

PaaS is analogous to SaaS except that, rather than being software delivered over the web, it is a platform for the creation of software, delivered over the web. Characteristics of PaaS There are a number of different takes on what constitutes PaaS but some basic characteristics include, •

Services to develop, test, deploy, host and maintain applications in the same integrated development environment. All the varying services needed to fulfill the application development process. Web based user interface creation tools help to create, modify, test and deploy different UI scenarios.

Multi-tenant architecture where multiple concurrent users utilize the same development application.

Built in scalability of deployed software including load balancing and failover.

Integration with web services databases via common standards.

Support for development team collaboration – some PaaS solutions include project planning and communication tools.


Where PaaS Makes Sense PaaS is especially useful in any situation where multiple developers will be working on a development project or where other external parties need to interact with the

Characteristics of IaaS As with the two previous sections, SaaS and PaaS, IaaS is a rapidly developing field. That said there are some core characteristics which describe what IaaS is. IaaS is generally accepted to comply with the following: •

Resources are distributed as a service

Allows for dynamic scaling

Has a variable cost, utility pricing model

Generally includes multiple users on a

single piece of hardware

development process. It is proving invaluable for those who have an existing data source – for example sales information from a customer relationship management tool – and want to create applications which leverage that data. Finally PaaS is useful where developers wish to automate testing and deployment services.

As mentioned previously, the line between PaaS and IaaS is becoming more blurred as vendors introduce tools as part of IaaS that help with deployment including the ability to deploy multiple types of Clouds.

The popularity of agile software development, a group of software development methodologies based on iterative and incremental development, will also increase the uptake of PaaS as it eases the difficulties around rapid development and iteration of software.

IaaS makes sense in a number of situations and these are closely related to the benefits that Cloud Computing bring. Situations that are particularly suitable for Cloud infrastructure include:

Examples of PaaS include Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure Services.

Infrastructure as a Service Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way of delivering Cloud Computing infrastructure – servers, storage, network and operating systems – as an on-demand service. Rather than purchasing servers, software, datacenter space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service on demand. Generally IaaS can be obtained as public or private infrastructure or a combination of the two. “Public Cloud” is considered infrastructure that consists of shared resources,

Where IaaS Makes Sense

Where demand is very volatile – any time there are significant spikes and troughs in terms of demand on the infrastructure

For new organizations without the capital to invest in hardware

Where the organization is growing rapidly and scaling hardware would be problematic

Where there is pressure on the organization to limit capital expenditure and to move to operating expenditure

For specific line of business, trial or temporary infrastructural needs

Jan - Mar 2013

Digital Television Perfect or or blackout

DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial) is the new internationally accepted transmission format for terrestrial TV, with the International Telecommunication Union leading the 2015 deadline for migration to the standard. SADC countries have taken to a December 2013 deadline in order to resolve any problems arising and transitory issues. DVB-T2 is the world’s most advanced digital terrestrial television (DTT) system, offering more robustness, flexibility and at least 50% more efficiency than any other DTT system. What all this means is that the signal received from terrestrial broadcasters will be digital, instead of analogue, clearing up some space in the spectrum due to efficiency, providing an enhanced user experience in services and clarity. By multiplexing, one signal can carry up to 6 channels. This freed capacity is what is called digital dividend. On the flipside, it will also make it easier for SABC to pull the plug on the seeping signal in Botswana. On January 14, 2011, the South African Department of Communication officially announced that the DVB-T2 standard will be the national digital terrestrial broadcasting standard. Analog switch off has been planned for December 2013 It requires TV owners to purchase set top boxes for those TVs without a built-in digital tuner. If you own a new television, it is likely to have a digital tuner built in already, as governments across the world restrict importation of televisions without in-built tuners. Without the set-top box or inbuilt digital tuner, your analogue TV won’t understand the signals your aerial is picking up. DSTV unaffected, you will likely miss out on Botswana’s two local TV channels – BTv and eBotswana, if you don’t get ready for the migration. But don’t worry just yet, its months away from happening and you need not worry about buying a new TV. We also anticipate government to conclude their tests of DVB-T and ISDB-T this year, ending the paucity to the migration. A plus is that the DVB-T2 standard supports DVB-H, which along with mobile network carriage support DSTV Mobile. Standards such as DVB-T2 and DVB-H are issued by the DVB Project Office, who specify the technical aspects of a system and cause the development of technology towards meeting the requirements and thereby leading manufacturers and operators to a cohesive, harmonized ecosystem. They define what can be called digital television (DTV). This must not be misconstrued with HDTV, as a digital television may be a high definition, standard definition or ultra high definition television. The Digital Migration Process is a government project which the National Broadcasting Board (NBB) has been given

the mandate to spearhead with the assistance of the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) who are the NBB secretariat. Several countries around the world have already migrated and switched off analogue TV broadcasting. Lessons from those countries and our geographic region help the process, mitigating the disenfranchisement of viewers on analogue switch-off. Coming into the fray late has its advantages too, as there are now a range of set-top boxes in production at reasonable prices, that continue to fall in light of economies of scale through global migration.


Many countries have subsidized settop boxes to ensure households of low incomes continue to benefit from television broadcasting. Though there are various standards around the world, these other standards are supported by few countries. For years though, manufacturers have been producing equipment to work

Japan has deployed ISDB-T and is home to Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Fijitsu, JVC, Sansui, Sanyo and Toshiba.

anywhere in the world. In saying goodbye to analogue, we usher in DVB-T2, ISDB-T, ATSC and DTMB. DVB-T is the most widely adopted and deployed DTT standard. DVB-T2 poses an opportunity for operators to broadcast to a greater range of devices including PCs, laptops, in-car receivers, radios, smart phones, dongles, and a whole range of other innovative receiving devices. And with more channels possible over a single frequency, it provides operators a chance to broadcast more channels, add other digital services and even introduce a pay-TV model for their operations. Outside of Europe DVB-T2 pay-TV services were launched in Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda and many more are expected to follow soon. We like free stuff, but for there to be more and better television content, someone has to foot the bill. In 2012, Deloitte expected Pay-TV revenues worldwide to approach $200 billion per year. Botswana has one private television broadcaster and a burgeoning content industry, some resorting to broadcasting over the internet through streaming channels such as PRTV. eBotswana, sister company to eTV, a South African broadcaster that launched an international news channel in 2012, broadcasts to Gaborone within a 60km radius. An enthused broadcasting ecosystem will see to more local content and more benefits accruing to the people of Botswana, as viewers, broadcasters, production houses and an improved quality of life, or at least of television anyway.

DTT broadcasting systems

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION? Since digital signal is in data form, it possible to manipulate or process it to achieve significant advantages which was not possible using analogue systems. The advantages over traditional analog television are as follows; >

Enhanced audio and video quality;


Opportunity to provide up to 6 television channels using the same frequency resources used by only 1 analogue television channel;


Digital Television supports enhanced broadcasting features such as high definition television (HDTV), Multimedia Interactive services, widescreen pictures, electronic programming etc;


Some digital set top boxes have special features for people leaving with disability such as visual and hearing impairments;


Digital Television signals can also support the mobile and portable reception; and


The digital terrestrial television provides an alternative platform for the Government to deliver the e-government services such Agricultural educational programmes, educational programmes, cultural and sport programmes, tourism information etc.

BUYING A DIGITAL TV SET? If you go to an electronics store today to buy a new TV set, there are four types of sets that you will see on the shelf: >

Analog TV sets


Digital-ready sets - They should be identified as standard definition (SDTV) sets. These TVs are normally 480p displays with a digital tuner built in. The problem with these sets is that their maximum resolution is the low 480p SD resolution, so if you want to watch high-definition TV, you won’t be able to use these sets.


HDTV-ready sets - These sets are essentially monitors able to display 1080i/p resolution in the 16:9 aspect ratio. They may or may not have tuners built in.

DTV signals integrated into an HDTV display. With the standards changing so much, you may end up paying for an integrated tuner that becomes obsolete. The preferred way to handle HDTV is to purchase the components separately: >

A 16:9 HDTV display capable of 720p and 1080i/p resolution


A digital receiver


An antenna

Since the HDTV display will be the most expensive piece and will likely last 10 years or more, buying the components in this way allows you to change the receiver if you need to.

> Integrated HDTV sets - These sets have a digital tuner for broadcast A broadcaster can divide the channel • 720p - The picture is 1280x720 pixels, sent into several different streams. These streams at 60 complete frames per second. are called sub-channels, and this type of • 1080i - The picture is 1920x1080 pixels, broadcasting is called multicasting. Each subsent at 60 interlaced frames per second (30 channel can carry a different program. complete frames per second). • 1080p - The picture is 1920x1080 pixels, The reason that broadcasters can sent at 60 complete frames per second. create sub-channels is because digital TV standards allow several different formats. (The “p” and “i” designations stand for Broadcasters can choose between these “progressive” and “interlaced.” In a progressive formats: format, the full picture updates every 60th of a second. In an interlaced format, half of the • 480i - The picture is 704x480 pixels, sent picture updates every 60th of a second.) at 60 interlaced frames per second (30 complete frames per second). The 480p and 480i formats are called • 480p - The picture is 704x480 pixels, sent the SD (standard definition) formats, and 480i at 60 complete frames per second. is roughly equivalent to a normal analog TV

picture. When analog TV shows are upconverted and broadcast on digital TV stations, they’re broadcast in 480p or 480i. The 720p, 1080i and 1080p formats are HD (high definition) formats. When you hear about “HDTV,” this is what is being discussed -- a digital signal in the 720p, 1080i or 1080p format. Finally, the HD formats of digital TV have a different aspect ratio than analog TVs. An analog TV has a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning that the screen is 4 units wide and 3 units high. For example, a “25-inch diagonal” analog TV is 15 inches high and 20 inches wide. The HD format for digital TV has a 16:9 aspect ratio

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Ts&Cs Apply.

Cormitex A roundup of the 2012 inaugral expo

Morphed from what was a successful consumer electronics show dubbed ITEX (Information Technology Expo), the rebranded, reformatted expo became so much more. Cormitex is a hybrid Exhibition and a Conference aimed at highlighting global innovations in • • • • • • • •

Communications, Research & Innovation, Media, Information Technology, Education, Entertainment, Engineering, Environment and Energy

Cormitex is about how society can use technology to enrich their lives, how business can uptake ICT to improve innovation, service delivery, efficiency, education quality, productivity, competitiveness and business processes. History These industries felt lost at ITEX and felt that it paid more attention to the end product of ICTs (hardware mostly) as opposed to the brains, innovations and creations of developers and researchers. FGH has, with Cormitex attempted to present an all-encompassing exhibition and conference that addresses all spheres of innovation from conceptualisation all the way through to the end user. Exhibitors The mix and mesh of industries provided a most interesting collection of organizations, all with innovation in mind. One could feel the excitement about the place as though we awaited one big event to leap us forward. It would not be the Mayans we awaited. What transpired was what the exhibitors, including ourselves, signed up for – synergy. Good business relationships were formed and opportunities for collaboration identified. For instance, Stallion Solutions and Tuscany Telecom found an opportunity to deliver e-learning to the most remote of schools by connecting Stallions’ e-beam interactive display technology with Tuscany’s mobile VSAT configuration. The business generated from the event can only be imagined as it continues to develop to this day. The turnout fell below expectation, mainly due to scepticism and negativity towards the consumerist ITEX expo, last held 2 years prior. The event though was a success and featured an array of exhibitors whose stalls were classified Jan - Mar 2013

as either • Research & Innovation; or • Media; or • Education; or • Information & Communications Technology How they fared... BOBS The local standards bureau came out to educate participants about the standardization and the work they do. The organization supports innovation and appreciates the hardship of entrepreneurship, and with that in mind presented a long-term view for innovators to eventually have their products tested to earn their marks of quality. Clearly an organization of very intelligent people, the BOBS stall was informative but not fun and attractive in the modern sense. We hoped their website would make up for it but it just made matters worse. TFB would like to see the standards guys pull up their socks and wow us at future events. The work they do is too important to be boring. TFB Rating: 4/10 Botho College These guys don’t take nonsense. They won first prize in their category, education , and featured as a favourite for students. Within their stall, we learnt about the coming of augmented reality to Botswana and the top ICT college.

innovation. TFB rating – 6/10 Botswana Innovation Hub Along with Mmegi and BCB, BIH co-sponsored the event and afforded supported companies an chance to sell themselves to Batswana. Included in their stall were representatives of Moro Technologies (morotechnologies. com), Ideal Technologies (botswwebdirect. com) and Mobbo ( We commend the innovation hub for all their effort to support innovation at the event and beyond. Jam-packing their stall worked in their favour too, gaining them first prize in the Research and Innovation category. Their top brass commendably made concerted efforts in person to ensure the conference was a success. TFB rating: 7/10 BotswanaPost The Post occupied one of the biggest stalls at the event, with an array of gear and tech to solidify their staying power in the information age. The Post is undergoing a rebirth, having reorganized itself, rebuilt its home at the Main Mall, and upgraded their systems and value offering. What really impressed us was their immaculate coordination. Visiting their stall was everything one would want from an information kiosk. TFB rating – 8/10 Bright Labs

A recent entrant to consumer banking, Banc ABC brightened up the event with their bright yellow stall and warm, friendly smiles. The Bank energized the event with their fantastic people first approach and their meticulous attention to detail. Its hard to imagine a better job done. TFB rating – 7.5/10

Dubbed the App Centre, BrightLabs’ business is the development of web and mobile apps amongst other things. They had an early start to impress us by coming out with a mobile app for both Global Expo 2012 and Cormitex 2012. They are sure to make moves in the local ICT ecosystem and we look forward to them achieving greatness. We would have liked to see a more elaborate stall though. TFB Rating - 6/10

Botswana College of Agriculture

Consult IT

BCA reminds us that farmers are scientists too, and in an age of genetic modifications and groundbreaking farming innovation, the college did remarkably well at positioning themselves as a local champion for education, research and

These are the same guys who rolled out government’s LITS (Livestock and Trace-back System) programme. Through the consulting firm offers a range of other services, it was fit for them to highlight their work deploying


the world largest animal tracking system. The programme enlists the use of a reticular bolus with embedded RFID to identify, track and trace cattle. The relevance and know-how shown at the stall earn the company a top mark and our thumbs-up. TFB rating: 7/10 eTourism The developers of represented the kind of e-business Botswana so greatly needs to traverse the distances and bounds that the internet doesn’t know. The company showcased the one-stop travel shop in style and grace, quite fitting for Botswana’s tranquil reputation. The stall was a splendid representation of the country’s beauty, e-commerce and business readiness. TFB rating: 7/10 Eye-D Systems The first prize in ICT winner beat the banking innovation titan, with their demonstration of queue management systems and intelligent access cards. Real solutions you can touch filled their corner of the hall, with their helpful staff there on hand to show and tell. Visitors walked away with free demo access cards, printed on the spot with the visitor’s colour picture and credentials. Eye-D Systems offers identification, communication and electronic security solutions and products, from layout design and installation to after-sales support. TFB rating: 7/10 First National Bank A leader in innovative banking technology, FNB came out with yet more ICT infused products aimed at making life and paying for it easier. Before we sat down with FNB, we had no idea you could link your FNB account to your DSTv account, and have automatic reactivation of the satellite television service upon payment. Its time-saving and happens faster than you can say presto. We also liked their welcoming stall, that felt more personal than any bank branch in the country. Their presence at the expo was not merely for representation but also promotion of new innovative products. This is in the very spirit of the event’s theme – innovation for a converged future. TFB rating – 9/10 GIPS The BOTA accredited institution showed their experience and expertise through their stall,

putting up a highly attractive display of their credible association with international training bodies, and their institutional success since their 2001 inception. The GIPS stall won second prize in the education category. TFB rating: 6/10 Hiring IT Equipment As the name suggests, the company hires out all sorts of IT equipment including laptops, PCs, projectors, printers and services. The company is built to support short-term hire of equipment for singular and group use, and are ideal for short training courses and workshop sourcing. Their simple stall cut no corners in displaying their operational standard and above-standard equipment. TFB Rating: 5/10 Mabijo Productions Mabijo Productions is a fully fledged multimedia and graphics company whose business idea was derived from the concept of humorous edutainment. Mabijo Productions won 1st Prize (media), outclassing Mmegi Online who had nothing to write home about from the prizegiving ceremony. Mabijo’s stall showed the breadth of the brand, which comes now in books, clothing and other printed items. TFB Rating: 8/10 Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology We should give MIST a 10 for just showing up. Although their setup was dull and uninspired, they were there and they were helpful. They had the answers and showed government’s solid resolve to support innovation. They also sent out their Permanent Secretary to officiate at the conference, making up for the grey of their stall. For that, they score a 6.5. TFB Rating 6.5/10 Mmegi Online The newspaper was as inviting as an office can be. Mmegi Online’s stall represented the brand appropriately as a reliable news source in Botswana. Though they had print newspapers to give away, we hoped to see something as new and refreshing as a mobile app for their content. That may be case in the future, but for now we are impressed with their thoughtful, sober investment in and its business case. TFB rating: 6/10

Under the names Moonstone and Moro Technologies, Moro Group showcased their competence above all others. Not only did they, in our opinion, have the best branded stall, but they brought about confidence in their message delivery. Moonstone is over ten years old and is part of the Moro Group along with Blocks IT and IBS Kalahari Computer Maintenance Services. Moonstone is a Microsoft Direct Partner, with Gold Competency in Volume Licencing. TFB rating: 7.5/10 TechFora Botswana We came, we saw, we conquered. Winning 3rd prize in the media category, TechFora established itself as a brand to be reckoned with. The stall featured an interactive projected display and a touch screen desktop PC among other technologies. The e-beam © interactive tools allow one to project as normal onto any surface but further allow you to click and control the pointer on the projection with a wireless stylus. This made for great fun for stall visitors as they paged through the digital magazine. TFB rating: unrated Tswana Times Botswana’s singular online-only newspaper made the most of making plain bold black and white statements, from their stall to their utterances at the conference. The company challenges the status quo when it comes to online media perceptions and related issues. Interacting with the team provided an eyeopener for many as to the futures, successes and challenges of the web as a platform for local news and content. TFB rating: 5/10 Tuscany Telecom When Managing Director Waldo Botha found out his company had won a free stall at the expo, this presented a grand opportunity to showcase the mobile VSAT installations he has developed over the last 2 years. The startup is not without a wealth of experience though, as Waldo has been installing VSAT across Africa for years. The company aims to develop a model to incorporate self-employed local VSAT installers on a quasi-franchise basis. Their presence was felt in grand style with their prominent stall, cosponsored by Liquid Telecom and their on-site trailer loaded VSAT configuration. They brought goodie bags too, but we didn’t get one. TFB rating: 7/10

Moro Group Jan - Mar 2013 Jan - Mar 2013

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+267 741 76 365.


Sustainable IT tips

Generally you get what you pay for. Devices that use a lot of consumable goods, such as printers, are often offered at cheap prices because the proprietary brand-name ones cost more. What you need to consider is the “total cost of ownership” – how much, over the likely life of the equipment, you are going to spend on purchasing, servicing, consumables and power consumption. Often paying more initially can reduce the costs later. The warranty period is the best guide to the expected service life The longer the warranty period, the greater the likelihood that the machine will have a long service life. In a choice between hardware with a similar specification, a longer warranty can represent a more reliably engineered system that is less likely to go wrong.

supplies especially, being able to use a generic power supply means that you can reuse the unit with other equipment when the machine reaches the end of its working life. >> Check that repair is an option, rather than wholesale replacement

>> Does the equipment contain hazardous substances?

>> Check for non-branded equivalents for the equipment

Branded goods have the greatest exposure in the media, but often more generic/nonbranded equivalents are cheaper. The spares for non-branded goods may also be cheaper and more easily available as they are more likely to be used in a range of consumer goods. Warranty periods/ terms are also important in making a choice between branded/nonbranded goods.

>> Is the user able to service and repair the device?

Enquire if the device is a sealed unit, or whether the user can easily replace components that might fail over the device’s operating life.

>> Check if the device uses proprietary or standard/generic cables/connectors

If a device uses a generic power supply and the connectors (e.g. sound/audio or ethernet) use standard fittings, these will be easier and cheaper to replace. For power

Check that spares for the most likely parts of the equipment to fail – rechargeable batteries, hard drives, cables and connectors, and more – are available at a reasonable cost, even if it requires a service technician to undertake repairs.

In compliance with recent legislation in Europe and elsewhere, goods should indicate whether they contain hazardous compounds such as mercury, cadmium or lead. Some manufacturers are also producing goods that are free of PVC and flame-retardants.

>> Is there are take-back/trade-in option?

If you rent/lease goods you should expect them to be taken back at the end of the lease. For goods that are bought, check if the manufacturer runs a take-back scheme for the machine, or the machine’s consumables such as ink/toner cartridges.

>> Does the warranty offer on-site service?

If the device fails you may have to send it back to the manufacturer’s service department for repair – which is likely to cost time and money. Check if the manufacturer can offer a contract with a service company to carry on-site repairs as this may take less time to organise.

This checklist was extracted from a new publication by the APC, A sustainable guide to IT, written by environmental activist and ICT expert Paul Mobbs. To read the other Sustainable IT tip sheets, or to download the publication, visit


>> Cheapest is not necessarily best

Did you know: Botswana contributes 7% of Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions

Purchasing the right hardware for your need

Public Internet Access The Sesigo Way Libraries have always been the cornerstone institution of knowledge reserve. Literacy is encouraged as an enabler to personal development, opening new opportunities and knowledge with every book and every page turned. This is quickly being challenged by computer literacy over and above the ability to recognise words and sentences. The role of the librarian is changing to suit this new need to deliver volumes of information in the format of the day – digital.

graduation of the project to an enduring service of the library. In the four years to this 2013, they aim to have trained 40 000 library users to use computers and the internet. This ambitious goal of training 2% of the population goes a long way in connecting more people to the internet, to e-government, and a new set of skills to be shared, developed and used for both work and play. The impact of technology on human

With 52% of libraries located in rural areas, where Internet Cafes are not anticipated to operate, the library network has an upper hand in delivering public access ICTs to those without. This initiative complements the Kitsong Centres and LEA resource centres around the country, in providing internet access to members of the public. Public libraries account for 58% of the public access venues identified in Sesigo’s baseline study, illustrating the important role that the library system already plays in

development has caused government to realise the social and economic benefits, and warranted domination of the public access point space despite the cybercafés and business centres trading in the provision of internet access.

information and communications access within current limitations.. Moreover, they provide basic and intermediate ICT skills training to the public through the 400+ trained BNLS staff and numerous DOSET facilitators. DOSET is the Department of Out of School Education and Training at the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. By May 2010, a total of 2677 members of the public had been trained since the project started. According to the Sesigo project

3 of every 5 Batswana have access to a public library. Across the country BNLS oversees 27 branch and community libraries and 69 reading rooms. Through Global Libraries, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting efforts to supply and sustain free public access to computers and the Internet around the world. Their current partners are Chile, Mexico, Botswana, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, and Vietnam. In Botswana, the project is called Sesigo, a partnership between ACHAP as the grantee of the Gates Foundation and the Government of Botswana represented by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC). Sesigo is a 4 year program to outfit 78 of 98 public libraries with broadband connected computers, with up to 8 in branch libraries and 4 in village reading rooms. MYSC runs the program through the Botswana National Library Service (BNLS) which has a national footprint in its variant scale and sophistication of public libraries, including rural areas. The duration of the program supports the upgrading of facilities for ICT, the installation of computer sets, training of staff, evaluation and

The government is a major player in the information access space now with a stake in 71% of venues comprising libraries, village reading rooms, and Kitsong Centres. Some internet café owners may not agree with the projects’ stance as a collaborating access provider, but it becomes evident that public libraries should provide services in ICT access as a matter of meeting their mandate to preserve the national literary heritage and provide the public with information services for educational, research and recreational purposes through lending and reference services, as the BNLS mission states.

Play with us. You’ll learn to like us...

document, “there is a significant need – and an opportunity – for the Sesigo project to play an active role in promoting the creation and dissemination of local, relevant content and services by Botswana-based organisations and through local websites.” A community needs assessment study conducted in October 2008 confirmed that Botswana public libraries are merely warehouses of books, which do not meet users’ information needs. This could all change as the public library takes charge to position libraries as agents of change for the individuals and communities they serve. While mobile is by fast the leading ICT connection path for Batswana, public libraries

have unique potential to reach the underserved, especially those in rural and remote areas. The forward thinking in working with training institutions such as BOCODOL to provide access to e-learning and with Government to provide access to the government on-line. Botswana’s future looks toe the line with its vision, a pillar of which is being an informed, educated. Business has the opportunity to sponsor broadband and WiFi access to needy locations and make a difference. Information and pictures sourced from


VSAT: Always-on, fast broadband services 4 Mbps wherever, whenever

Top benefits of VSAT include: • Ubiquitous availability • Superior economics • Reliability • Timely deployment and installation • Multicast content distribution • Site relocation and addition • Flexibility and expandability

A Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is a device (also known as an “earth station”) that is used to receive satellite transmissions. Millions of VSATs are in use around the world, allowing people to send and receive two-way data, voice or video transmissions by bouncing signals off of satellites in orbit.

customer locations connecting directly over the air to a central “hub” facility. At the central hub facility, a large dish/antenna (often 30 feet or more in diameter) and hub server equipment receive and transmit to the remote sites, and route information to and from the Internet or private networks.

The “very small” component of the VSAT acronym refers to the size of the VSAT “antenna” or “dish” - typically about 2 to 4 feet (0.551.2 meters) in diameter - that is mounted on a roof, attached to a wall or placed on the ground. Attached to the dish are a Low-Noise Block converter (LNB), which receives satellite signals; and the transmitter, which sends signals. Together, the dish, LNB and transmitter make up the VSAT outdoor unit (ODU), one of the two components of a VSAT earth station.

VSAT networks can be used for Internet access, or they can be connected from the hub facility directly to a corporate data center or application service provider such as a credit card authorization provider. VSAT networks may have anywhere from one to tens of thousands of remote VSATs communicating with a single hub.

The second component of VSAT earth station is the indoor unit (IDU). The indoor unit is a small desktop box that contains receiver and transmitter electronics and an interface to communicate with the user’s other networking equipment - LANs, servers, PCs, TVs, kiosks, etc. The indoor unit is connected to the outdoor unit with a pair of coaxial cables (one to send data and another to receive it). Satellite networks send and receive data via high-frequency radio waves relayed off a satellite in orbit, providing a single continentwide wireless last-mile solution. VSAT networks are designed in a hub-andspoke fashion, with

VSAT is generally a very cost-effective medium for narrowband or broadband data communications, and has particularly strong advantages in ubiquity (VSAT is available at any location with a view of the southern sky) and multicast support (sending the same data to tens or thousands of locations at once). One key advantage of VSAT connections is that service availability is not limited by the reach of terrestrial telephone or cable infrastructure. A VSAT earth station can be placed anywhere - as long as it has an unobstructed view of the satellite. VSATs are capable of sending and receiving all sorts of video, data and audio content at the same high speed regardless of their distance from terrestrial switching offices and infrastructure.

IP-Phone & Telephony VOIP •

Portable Satelite Telephony with satelite phones from Iridium and Thuraya for instance.

Single carrier per channel (SCPC) point-topoint satellite services VSAT Hotspots allowing: •

Long range ≥ 1,2 Km Line-of-Site (repeater available)

Medium range ≥ 400 m Line-of-Site

Short range ≥ 50 m

Prepaid Internet access

Same Pin Code / Scratch Card / Voucher for travellers

Secure access

Broadcast services including •

Broadcast TV

Broadcast Radio

Bouquet TV DTH (Direct To Home)

Portable Boradband - Broadband Global Area Network

VSAT is ideal for •

Rural Schools and Communications



Rural Home / Farm / Lodge Internet

ATM’s and POS Communications


B O T S W A N A ’ S




Web Snippets

Positive Innovation for the Next Generation Positive Innovation for the Next Generation (PING) is a youth led organization that implements health or youth related technology projects on the ground along with intensive high school-age and college IT mentorship programs. The organization is based out of Gaborone, Botswana but is starting to expand its projects out of Botswana into other African countries. PING’s goal is to help address health and development problems by simultaneously using technology in an innovative way and creating more problem solvers in the local population.

Botswana Telecommunications Authority The BTA exists to promote and facilitate a competitive information and communication technologies environment to advance the knowledge society and economic diversification of Botswana through innovative and fair regulation. “The new website represents continued commitment by the BTA to improve information dissemination and public outreach.” - Thari G Pheko, CEO

Ushahidi Ushahidi, Inc. is a non-profit software company that develops free and open source software (LGPL) for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Ushahidi (Swahili for “testimony” or “witness”) are known for crowddsourcing, by collected eyewitness reports of sent in by email and text-message and placed them on a Google Maps map.


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TechFora Botswana Magazine - 2013-Jan-Issue  

ICT, Technology, Mobile, Software, Data, e-Government, Internet, Telecommunications

TechFora Botswana Magazine - 2013-Jan-Issue  

ICT, Technology, Mobile, Software, Data, e-Government, Internet, Telecommunications