The Future of IPTV

IPTV has been coming for almost a century and it seems that it is finally starting to get traction amongst many in the first world. But is South Africa, with its notoriously slow average internet speeds ready for it?

IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television, is a system whereby television programs are streamed via the internet to your computer or smart tv allowing you to watch your favorite shows and movies on demand. The concept isn’t new: the basis for streaming has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, but it was only in the 1990s that technology began to reach a point where is was practically feasible. While the original system designed by George O. Squier in the early 1920s was used later for the transmission of music over electrical wires, modern streaming is focused on the complete multimedia experience.

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Broadband 2.0

According to Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the last quarter of 2013, South Africa ranks number 97 in the world for average bandwidth speed. In addition to this, South Africa also had a 6.8% year on year decrease in the number of people adopting high connectivity speeds (>10Mbps): down to around 1.3%.

While we might be tempted to write this decrease off as a simple reduction of luxuries as the economy tightens up, for anybody involved in the digital world this decrease is disturbing news. High speed access has become the standard among many of the world’s largest and most influential economies, such as South Korea and the United States of America, with many of these countries experiencing peak connection speeds of well over 40Mbps. Even if we were to re-define the concept of high speed to being more than 4Mbps (A speed that already 55% of countries surveyed by Akamai enjoys), South Africa is still lagging well behind with an average connection speed of only 2.3Mbps. In fact, South Africa is still the only country in the Europe/Middle East/Africa section surveyed by Akamai that had an average connection speed below 4Mbps.

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Non-Business Benefits of Internet in SA

There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that businesses benefit from high speed internet. Not only does it give most businesses the ability to operate on a global scale, but it also reduces costs while increasing productivity. But the benefits of high speed internet are not only business related; social and education development in Africa, and South Africa in particular, will benefit from being connected.

Benefits of Internet in SA

We think that these three ways in which high speed internet and broadband wifi will make the lives of ordinary citizens better are the most important and essential for our developing country.

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Business Tech For the Next 10 Years

High speed and reliable internet is synonymous with business. This is not surprising considering that it forms the backbone of countless companies and industries around the world. But as more and more of South Africans starts to see the economic benefits of high speed internet and wifi, we are also starting to see more companies developing and rolling out exciting technologies that we once thought to be purely in the realm of science fiction.

Wearable Technologies

Google Glass Image credit

The following five technologies are already not only in development, but also starting to see production and public use.

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