It was another busy year in South Africa’s technology industry. From the drama at the SABC to the drama over the splitting of the department of communications, it’s been an interesting news year, but a frustrating one for the sector.
We know what our favourite stories were in 2014, but which articles did you, TechCentral’s readers, click on the most. These are the pieces, in ascending order from 10 to one, that generated the most reads during the year, according to our analytics software. (Note that the best-read gadget reviews are listed separately at the end of this article.)
MultiChoice hikes DStv prices
MultiChoice, which owns pay-television service DStv, has announced new prices for the year ahead in March. The new rates including an above-inflation 6,4% increase in the monthly cost of DStv Premium, the operator’s top-end bouquet, to R665/month. The price of the cheaper and fast-growing Compact bouquet rose by 7,3% to R295, from R275, on 1 April.
The 10 best phones Nokia ever made
This article, featuring a list of what we believe were the best phones Nokia made, was published in September 2013. But it continued getting clicks throughout 2014. We can only assume that’s because a lot of people feel nostalgic about the Nokia brand. After all, everyone has a fond memory of an early Nokia device. Which was your favourite?
BCX CEO Benjamin Mophatlane dies
This was undoubtedly the saddest news in the technology sector this year. In June, Business Connexion CEO Benjamin Mophatlane, aged just 41, died following cardiac arrest. His twin brother, Isaac Mophatlane, has stoicly taken the reins at the IT services company, which continues to be the subject of a R2,7bn takeover offer from Telkom.
Icasa cracks open 06 number range
This is another story from 2013 that cracked the 2014 list of best-read stories — presumably because people want to know which networks they’re dialling. The article talks about communications regulator Icasa’s decision, in February 2013, to open up mobile number ranges starting with the “06” prefix. Want to know which network you’re calling when you dial a number starting “06”? This piece has the skinny.
iPhone 5s, 5c prices revealed
South Africans love their iPhones, as this piece from November 2013 proves. TechCentral revealed the prices of the latest but one in Apple’s smartphone line-up. The multi-coloured and lower-priced 5c went on sale in South Africa at R8 499 at the iStore, the retail chain operated by Apple distributor Core Group. A year later, of course, and Apple debuted the radically redesigned iPhone 6 and the larger 6 Plus, the company’s first “phablet”.
How to get Netflix, Hulu in SA
This piece took TechCentral readers through some of the techniques of getting access to geo-blocked services like video-on-demand platform Netflix in South Africa. With a credit card, a broadband connection, some (usually) simple instructions, and using one or more of a selection of clever applications or browser plug-ins, South Africans can subscribe to a range of online services only available in bigger markets. Here’s the how-to guide.
Gareth Cliff goes uncapped
Radio personality Gareth Cliff, who quit his job at national radio station 5FM to launch Cliff Central, an online radio start-up, generated keen interest from readers this year. This story, about Cliff’s agreement with MTN to offer his online broadcasts on an unlimited basis for a low fixed monthly fee, made it to number four on this year’s list of the best-read stories.
Altech Node: we reveal all the details
TechCentral exclusive behind-the-scenes story of the development of the Altech Node made it to number three on our lists of the best-read stories this year. The Node, developed by Altech — part of the JSE-listed Altron stable — is the company’s first big play into the video-on-demand (VOD) and home automation markets. Altech hopes the satellite-based home entertainment product will become a significant new revenue stream for the group in coming years.
SA to get new electrical sockets, plugs
South Africans could soon find themselves having to wrestle with a new type of electrical plug following the adoption of an apparently much safer standard for plugs and sockets. Sans 164-2 was introduced as the “preferred standard” for electrical plugs and sockets by the South African National Standard for the Wiring of Premises (known better as the Wiring Code) in 2013. The plan is for all new installations of plugs and sockets to be the 164-2 standard from around 2015. The story provided all the details.
We scam the Indian call centre scammers
Most consumers with landlines have received those calls from India, where a call centre operator warns that there is something wrong with their computer. Of course, it’s an attempt to install malware on your computer and ultimately to steal your money. The calls follow exactly the same script every time and we received so many of them at TechCentral’s offices in 2014 that we decided it was time to turn the tables.