Three BCC softball players selected as All-Americans

first_imgDivision III National Champion Brookdale Community College placed three players from its softball team on the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) 2010 All- America Team. Pitcher Kerilyn Svenson (Raritan) and outfielder Amanda Svenson (Middletown North) were First Team picks, and infielder Tracey Stern (Shore Regional) was a Second Team selection. All three are freshmen. Kerilyn Svenson was the Most Valuable Player at the NJCAA National Championships held in Rochester, Minn. She was the winning pitcher in all four of BCC’s victories in the tournament. She was also the MVP of the Region XIX Tournament. She was 7-0 in the post-season and 32-5 on the season. Jersey Blues head coach Bo Scannapieco, who was the National Coach of the Year, said that Svenson was the “shut down” pitcher that Brookdale had lacked in recent seasons. Her 252 strikeouts and stingy 1.10 earned run average were proof of how dominating she was for Brookdale during the course of the season. Svenson helped herself out as a hitter, batting .407 on the season. Amanda Svenson was a force with her bat, glove and arm in 2010. She batted .384 on the season with eight home runs, 45 RBIs and 58 runs scored. In the field, her strong arm kept runners from taking the extra base, and she was very effective at throwing runners out going to first on what looked like a single to right. Scannapieco said from the start of the season that this year’s Brookdale team was one of his best offensive teams, top to bottom. Right in the middle of the lineup was Stern, who was one of the country’s premier power hitters. She smacked 13 roundtrippers during the season. Stern hit No. 13 in the national championship final, a tworun shot that helped lead the Blues over Monroe (N.Y.), 6-3. She led the Blues in slugging percentage — .971 — thanks to 20 doubles and three triples to go along with the 13 home runs, which ranked third in the country. She had a team-high 54 RBIs and scored 66 runs (also a team high) while batting .387. Brookdale went 45-10 this year, including 7-0 in the postseason. The national championship was the third won by the Jersey Blues. Their other titles came in 2002 and 2005.last_img read more

City Council to compromise with squatters on way forward

first_imgin light of the increased number of squatters who have illegally taken up residence in some communities on Government reserves, The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) intends to come to a compromise with these persons in deriving a feasible way forward.Predominantly, squatting is a regular tendency in the Sophia, Greater Georgetown area, where a number of ‘mini houses’ can be seen built on dams and other parts of the land which have been unoccupied for a number of years.With the vision of the Council to have the municipality of Georgetown undergo a major “facelift”, thought has being given as to how the issue of squatting can be addressed by the Administration in a timely and balanced manner that would not only benefit the Council, but also the squatters.Speaking on the issue, recently elected Councillor of Constituency Five, Akeem Peters who has responsibility for Sophia, Liliendaal North and South, Pattensen/Turkeyen, North/South and Central Sophia, told Guyana Times that indeed, the City Council is looking to regularise the situation where squatting has become a customary act in Guyana.There has been an increase in squatting over the years, as persons have complained about the “royal run around” they have to endure in hopes of acquiring a house lot, along with the high pricing and unavailability of lots for low and middle-income earners.Noting this, Peters cited that the City Council is aware of the difficulty in securing land as well as the obvious plight of the squatters if their structures were dismantled without any indication by the Council.For this reason, he said the Council has taken their discussions to the squatters, specifically those of the Sophia area, so they can voice their concerns and be involved in the decision-making process for their future and that of Guyana.Through these consultations, it is expected that the squatters and the Council can come to a compromise in terms of the way forward after the structures have been demolished.Though a decision has not been made by the Council thus far, Peters assured that the Council, after making its assessments, is looking to initiate the best solution to address the issue and the concerns of the squatters.However, Peters did not specify what action the City Council will take in regards to the post action.Meanwhile, this publication spoke to a squatter form the Sophia district who said that he has been squatting for the past three years.The man, who declined to reveal his name, said he had applied for a house lot in 2012 but had to endure the “push around” by the Ministry only to receive a response in 2013, informing him that there were no lands available for low-income earners.He said this stimulated his decision to illegally occupy the land he is situated on since he and his family had no shelter. “We didn’t have anywhere to go and I don’t have a steady job so I decided to knock up a thing here and me and my family have been living comfortable.”Asked on whether he believes that City Council should remove these structures after consultations with the squatters, the man said he will be in agreement with the decision only if housing provisions are made available for them.Earlier this year, the City Council had indicated that it will be dismantling squatting quarters since these are illegal in Guyana, and have been on the rise.last_img read more

PRESIDENT SIRLEAF APPOINTS NEW FINANCE MINISTER AND NEW CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR -BREAKING NEWS

first_imgLiberia has a new Finance Minister, in the person of Boima Kamara, and a new Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Milton Weeks. The President chose both of these two topmost officials from the same institution, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). Mr. Kamara was Deputy Governor of the CBL and Mr. Weeks was a CBL Governor.Observers see three significant indications of these two appointments: first, that the President has chosen exceptionally well in filling them, which means that she is very serious about finishing well. She has two years to the end of her second term as President of Liberia.Second, she recognizes the importance of the two institutions having an excellent relationship, in order to maintain the economic stability Liberia has enjoyed in spite of Ebola. Since Amara Konneh’s appointment as Finance Minister in early 2012, there has been a decisive disconnect between him and former Central Bank Governor J. Mills Jones—the two just never got along well.Thirdly, choosing the new Finance Minister and the CBL Governor from the same CBL is a positive reflection of former CBL Governor J. Mills Jones. This may not have happened had he not run a highly productive and successful CBL during his 10-year tenure. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Only a fraction of Guyanese get into crime (part 1)

first_imgDear Editor,I would like to dwell on a letter which captions “Give ghetto youths a ladder to climb out of that despair “by Dr Mark Devonish so as to put the murderous crime situation that has engulfed this country into perspective. The world needs to be informed that in this country, hardhearted bandits chronically kick down the doors of helpless citizens to gain access to their homes to brutalise, rob and murder them. Of course, such a problem tarnishes our national image, divides Guyanese and destroys our economy. So, there is nothing good about crime. Also, I would like to remind Dr Devonish that the majority of Guyanese never fall into crime, even though Guyana is poverty-stricken and most communities can be described as ghetto-like.If anything, poverty should at least instinctively drive Guyanese into survival mode to unite as one, to work hard, to make sacrifices, to penny- pinch, to show empathy and to respect others but never to engage in inhumanity.And most Guyanese have been doing exactly this.  I remember how my family made our meals without oil and various necessary ingredients to cut cost and to save money for our house rent which was our priority.Also, I remember walking miles and miles to and from my school even in bad weather so that I could hold onto money to buy school supplies etc. And in spite of having very little, we tried our best to save for a rainy day.In short, we handle poverty though thrifty means, personal sacrifice and hard work. Such values enable us to survive on our own sweat and I am extremely proud of this.  So Dr Devonish, even if we did not raid trash cans like you did, it does not mean that our lives are great.We also never entertained the idea of doing anything criminal because we are cultured to see crime as inhumane and shameful. These are part of our value system that steers us away from crime. And in the face of our difficulties, I am understandably angry that we also become victims of brutal criminals who are nothing but lawless bullies.This then sparks all sorts of logical questions, including why is it that only some Guyanese fall into crime and the majority of us don’t, even though we are all sailing in rough waters?And the answer primarily lies in the differences in our values, not poverty. Examples of this analysis are practically seen everywhere in this country.  Editor, just look around you and you will see that most Guyanese lives in poverty but only a fraction get into crime and destroy this country.  Any behaviourists would agree that human behaviours are driven by good and bad moral values. Good moral values entail: respecting others, working hard for success and living off of one’s own sweat. Bad moral values are the opposite.Sincerely,Annie Baliramlast_img read more

Wallabies extend coach Deans deal

first_img0Shares0000SYDNEY, Australia, August 16- The Australian Rugby Board threw its support behind Wallabies coach Robbie Deans just ahead of the World Cup by extending his contract for another two years.Coming on the back of Australia’s hard-fought 14-9 Tri-Nations win over South Africa in Durban, the move gives them stability heading into the global showpiece tournament in New Zealand starting next month. Deans was initially handed the job for a four-year term from 2008 to the end of 2011, and under his new deal will remain in charge until 2013.“The Board is confident Robbie Deans remains the best man for the job, based on the seamless way he has reshaped the personnel and team culture of the Wallabies,” said ARU chairman Peter McGrath, on Tuesday.“We are second in the world rankings, up from five when Robbie took over, and we have a young team playing an exciting brand of rugby and moving in the right direction.”ARU chief executive John O’Neill added that the Wallabies under Deans had produced some breakthrough results in recent seasons.“The away record has certainly improved under Robbie and that was emphasised again on the weekend with a wonderful win over the Springboks despite the rigours of travel and a one-week turnaround after playing the All Blacks in Auckland,” he said.“We are still working towards where we want to be in terms of overall winning percentages and the collection of major silverware.“However, the win on the weekend keeps us in the hunt at this stage for the Tri-Nations title this season and the game’s ultimate prize will be decided in New Zealand over September-October.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Reported dumping of homeless probed

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The policy requires hospital workers to identify homeless people when they are registered and refer them to the social work department, which coordinates a discharge plan and makes every effort to contact family or friends who can take care of the homeless person after they are released from the hospital. In the event family or friends cannot be located, willing homeless patients can be taken to an appropriate housing or shelter facility. If the patient refuses – or leaves against medical advice – the case must be fully documented in the medical record and no transportation may be offered. On an average day, officials estimate, the county’s four public hospitals care for about 75 to 100 homeless people. “The homeless put a strain on the public health system,” Wilson said, “but it’s our mission to serve the indigent with compassionate medical care.” troy.anderson@dailynews.com (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles County officials said Thursday that they are investigating a report that a homeless patient treated at County/USC Medical Center was dumped on Skid Row. “We are looking into the matter and trying to find out exactly what happened,” county Department of Health Services spokesman Michael Wilson said. “We have a policy in the county and we really enforce it. “Even this one that came to light today, I’m very surprised by that.” The incident comes despite the health department’s adoption in June of a new policy that requires public hospitals to prepare comprehensive discharge plans for all homeless patients. last_img read more

Man United ‘a couple of signings’ away from title challenge, says ex-coach

first_img REPLY 3 Paul Pogba has been rejuvenated under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer RANKED REVEALED REVEALED LATEST FOOTBALL STORIES Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card 3 no dice Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Such an assault was unthinkable at the time Jose Mourinho was sacked but given the club’s surge in form under the temporary Norwegian boss, a club legend thanks to his playing days, they could now build upon his foundations.And Dutchman Meulensteen, who spent several years at Old Trafford as a youth and first-team coach, reckons it might only take two or three signings in the summer around their stable spine to turn them back into title challengers for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.Speaking exclusively to 888sport he said: “United are not too far off from challenging for the league. They need to bring in maybe one or two top players that can boost them but the most important thing is what has been taken away from Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson left. BEST OF ADVICE Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars center_img huge blow Manchester United are just ‘a couple of players’ short of having a title challenging squad, believes former coach Rene Meulensteen.The Devils have performed excellently under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are now pushing for a place in the Premier League’s top four. “It’s in defence that you maybe need to look at. Valencia is getting on and Ashley Young is a bit older now but still doing a great job. Then there is a need for a really good centre-back who can lead from the back and stabilise everything.”But one defender he feels the club can rely on is Swedish ace Victor Lindelof, who is blossoming under Solskjaer.He continued: “Stability is a big thing, especially in the back four. Most of the successful teams are able to play with a solid and stable back line, including the goalkeeper.“It’s usual with a club like Manchester United that it takes some time for a player to settle in but you can see now that Victor has settled. He’s played a string of games so he’s starting to find his feet and learning what is required to play at this level. shining “The identity that United stood for slipped away and that’s why it’s such a masterstroke in that respect to bring Ole back. He is injecting Manchester United with that same sort of identity that he was part of.“The board and everybody need to understand that that’s what they need to protect. That comes down to making sure it’s a good appointment, whoever that may be, along with the stability of the staff who can make sure they can recreate that identity. On top of that you then look to bring in a couple of players.”And Meulensteen believes Manchester United should focus on rebuilding their defence when the summer transfer window opens.He added: “If you look at the firepower and the pace United have up front along with the variety of abilities they can scare any defence in the Premier League and across Europe.“In midfield they are strong. You have Pogba to the fore and getting better. Matic is very strong with a lot of experience. You could maybe do with another creative player there, a passer that can unlock defences from deep. Solskjaer has done an incredible job so far at United Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won 3 Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade “He’s done ever so well and even though the defence is still an area where people are critically looking at you need to keep your best players in there.”Read the full 888sport interview with Rene Meulensteen, including his thoughts on how Pogba is thriving on responsibility and making the difference Lindelof is starting to adjust to life in English football well MONEY Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury last_img read more

Recap: Web Form Usability Tips from #UXChat

first_imgA3. When a form fails to strip out characters it can’t accept, like dashes in a SS# or a phone#, and throws an error. #uxchat— Abigail Plumb-Larrick (@uxproductlady) August 6, 2015 A5: Check color contrast, test the web form in bright sunlight. #uxchat— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) August 6, 2015ResourcesThe 10 Commandments of Good Form Design on the Web by Johan RonsseWeb Form Design by Luke WroblewskiPostcode Auto Correct (SlideShare) by Craig Sullivanwhat3words: a global grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares. Each square has a three-word address that can be communicated quickly, easily and with no ambiguity.Form-Field Validation: The Errors-Only Approach by Christian HolstThe anatomy of a credit card form by Gabriel TomescuThank you to UserTesting for hosting the Twitter chat. I always learn something new, pick up a helpful tip, or discover a resource I didn’t know about at their chats. Have any web form usability tips or resources to add? Share them in the comments. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedWeekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: August 7, 2015In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll find out how to avoid three common mistakes in usability testing, learn about a helpful guide for assistive and accessible technology, discover two approaches for creating responsive feature comparison tables, and more. If you’re new to my blog, each…In “Web design & development links”Recap: Ignite UX Michigan 2014Ignite UX Michigan 2014 was a great success, with over 150 user experience professionals gathering in downtown Ann Arbor on October 22 for five-minute presentations focused on usability. Organized by Mike Beasley and Whitney Ferdon, it was an evening of inspiring talks and a reunion for UX professionals and students,…In “Event/meeting recap”Recap: Mozilla’s Online Privacy ChatAs part of International Data Privacy Day last Wednesday, I joined hundreds of other online users for #PrivacyChat, a Twitter chat organized by Mozilla. It was a pretty amazing chat and one of the best hours of my week. Where else can you ask questions and get immediate answers from…In “Internet” A3 (I have a lot of peeves). Requires my last name but won’t accept hyphens or apostrophes in last names. Am I right, O’Malleys? #uxchat— Abigail Plumb-Larrick (@uxproductlady) August 6, 2015 If you couldn’t make it to today’s Twitter chat on web form usability, hosted by UserTesting, I’ve compiled the conversation and included some of the resources mentioned during the chat. #UXchat starts in 30 minutes! We’re discussing form #usability best practices. Chime in with ‘#UXchat’ or follow along!— UserTesting (@usertesting) August 6, 2015Question 1: What are your favorite form design examples? What brands do it right?I like forms that look like the thing you’d find the data on. Obvious example is credit card form, laid out like a credit card #uxchat— Hazel Bolton (@hazelana_b) August 6, 2015 A5: mmm browser & device compatibility tests, user testing & #a11y testing. For mobile, take device outside, advice for any design #uxchat— Hazel Bolton (@hazelana_b) August 6, 2015 A1: RE: What are your favorite form #design examples? Is it bad if I can’t think of one. Yes. Yes it is bad. #UXchat #UX— stef miller (@supahstef) August 6, 2015Question 2: What form design best practices should UX designers abide by? For desktop vs. mobile?Isn’t the best form the one you don’t have to fill out? Like one you use your camera to fill or that autofills #uxchat— Hazel Bolton (@hazelana_b) August 6, 2015Keep distraction to a minimum, label form fields clearly. When a user makes an error, don’t reload the page and force the user to re-enter all their info. #uxchat Pre-filling country and/or city fields using IP Geo-location which doesn’t trigger user authorization, with option to edit.— Gil Remy (@GilR3my) August 6, 2015https://twitter.com/BenjaminHike/status/629343138407141377On mobile, numeric fields like phone numbers should bring up the number keypad. A2: Don’t create forms until you’ve read @lukew’s book. It’s still relevant. /cc @usertesting #uxchat pic.twitter.com/tthSMLC2gL— Emily Paige Stewart (@mpgstew) August 6, 2015Place labels above form fields, left hand labels use up valuable space on mobile. Question 3: What registration form faux-pas frustrate you (or users you’ve observed) the most?Miss spelled email adresses. #uxchat pic.twitter.com/rwczY40w5z— Teemu Kujanpää (@ttkujanpaa) August 6, 2015 A1: Adobe ID signup form nailed it. Real time password validation and clear error message FTW. #uxchat @usertesting pic.twitter.com/tXyvh9QnaZ— Hannah Alvarez (@hannahkalvarez) August 6, 2015 A3 Worst #UX: Long mobile form. Requires a CAPTCHA fillout. Doesn’t switch keypads. Doesn’t highlight errors. No #a11y. >:( #uxchat— Hannah Alvarez (@hannahkalvarez) August 6, 2015Question 4: For services or enterprise software, have you observed collecting less or more personal information increases sales?Q4. Changes the funnel shape — fewer leads up front, but it improves chances of making a good sale. @usertesting #uxchat— Abigail Plumb-Larrick (@uxproductlady) August 6, 2015Question 5: What are best practices for testing web forms?A5: Test for uncommon scenarios, like really long email addresses etc. Don’t assume b/c it works for you it’ll work for your users. #uxchat— Hannah Alvarez (@hannahkalvarez) August 6, 2015 #UXchat Q1 : I like the @trello email field validation text and presentation. #UX #design pic.twitter.com/t4K2gkimEt— Laura Peters (@LPetersDesign) August 6, 2015last_img read more

South Africa: a top film location

first_imgAward-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland comes to SA to shoot a film based on the hit TV series 24. (Image: Sky) Cape Town and its spectacular environs has become a sought-after film location. (Image: South African Tourism) President Thabo Mbeki, holding the golden statuette, honours the cast and crew of Tsotsi after their Oscar win. (Image: National Film & Video Foundation)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa, and especially the Western Cape, has become a hotspot for international films and documentaries, with producers from Hollywood to Bollywood taking advantage of the natural beauty of the country and its skilled and capable local film industry. One of the latest productions confirmed for local shooting is the film 24, based on the award-winning television series of the same name.24 has won a number of awards, including Emmys for outstanding drama series and outstanding lead actor in a drama, as well as Golden Globes in the same categories. As Agent Jack Bauer, lead actor Kiefer Sutherland has been in the running for an Emmy every year since the show debuted in 2001, and has also won two Screen Actors’ Guild awards for Best Actor.Sutherland’s character Bauer is head of the counter terrorist unit of the US government, whose job is to guard the president and the country against terrorist threats. Each season is divided into 24 hour-long episodes which take place in real time, adding up to a single action-packed day in the life of Agent Bauer.The two-hour film will be screened in November 2008 and is described as a prequel to the long-awaited seventh season of the show, which was put on hold after the Hollywood writers’ strike that crippled the industry towards the end of 2007. By the time the next season is ready to air almost two years will have passed since the ending of season six, which makes the film a most welcome intervention for fans of the show.24 is only one of a growing list of international films scheduled for shooting in South Africa. Others in the pipeline include Running Wild, starring Samuel L Jackson and directed by Kevin Kerslake. Director Uwe Boll will film his new production Janjaweed, about the genocide in Sudan, in South Africa in January 2009. Nick Nolte comes to South Africa to star in Birds Sing in Kigali, based on a short story by Polish writer Wojciech Albinski, now a South African resident.In recent years many high-profile films have been shot in South Africa, among them Blood Diamond, Country of My Skull, The Lord of War, More Than Just a Game, the story of the Makana Football Association of political prisoners held during the apartheid years on Robben Island, and Flashbacks of a Fool starring current James Bond Daniel Craig.Local film industry is growingThe feature and advertising film industry in South Africa continues to grow vigorously. According to the Cape Film Commission the industry has a direct annual turnover of more than R2,6 billion.Backed strongly by the national Department of Arts and Culture, which allocated R35 million in 2002 towards the development of film in South Africa, the industry has produced a number of acclaimed documentaries and feature films, several of which have gone on to win top international accolades.The government has committed itself to assisting with the development of the industry and has put several strategies in place to promote and ensure equitable growth. One of them is the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), a statutory body that was mandated by parliament to spearhead the development process.The national Department of Trade and Industry has also introduced an incentive scheme that will allow rebates of up to 35% on the cost of films and full-length television programmes to both local and international filmmakers. Local films will get a 35% rebate while foreign productions will get 15%. Both schemes will run until 2014 and are expected to give the local film industry a much-needed boost through foreign investment and job creation.Cape Town’s new R500-million film studio, another government-backed initiative, is currently under construction and due for completion in December 2009. The Cape Town Film Studio, situated in Faure just outside Cape Town, will boost the economy of the region by creating jobs and bringing in foreign investment. Studio chair Anant Singh, a respected and successful filmmaker in his own right, says the ultimate aim of the development is to attract a greater contingent of international filmmakers.SA films win international awardsIn 2006 the film Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, following on the heels of Darrell Roodt’s Yesterday, which was nominated in the same category the year before but didn’t win. uCarmen e-Khayelitsha, based on Bizet’s opera Carmen, won the top prize, the Golden Bear for best film, at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival. Forgiveness, directed by Ian Gabriel, won nine awards at film festivals around the world.Other South African films making waves around the world include Drum, directed by Zola Maseko and based on the story of Henry Nxumalo, a journalist working for the activist South African publication of the same name. The film won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga award at the pan-African Fespaco film festival in Burkina Faso. The 2006 release Faith Like Potatoes, directed by Regardt van den Bergh, won the People’s Choice award at the Sabaoth International Film Festival held in Milan, Italy.Ramadan Suleiman’s 2004 production Zulu Love Letter won the Silver Award at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, as well as the European Union award for films on peace and reconciliation, and the United Nations Children’s Fund Prize for the Promotion of Women’s Rights. These are just a few of the honours that South African films have earned in recent years.“The creative economy of this country and those of other parts of the continent have great potential,” said arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan, speaking at a function to honour the Tsotsi cast after their Oscar win. “Their growth and development will depend in large measure on the interventions we make. Tsotsi and the other African films that have made a mark internationally demonstrate that African stories have international resonance.”Related storiesRebate boost for SA filmMore Oscar Glory for South AfricaUseful linksNational Film and Video FoundationCape Film CommissionCape Film GuideCity of Cape TownFilmmaker South AfricaSA Film WebFilmmakers’ Guide to SAScreen AfricaSouth African TourismCape Town TourismFox Broadcasting: 24uCarmen eKhayelitshalast_img read more

Telkom goes mobile with 8ta

first_img15 October 2010South Africans are set to benefit from increased competition in the local mobile telecommunications market, with fixed-line operator Telkom launching its own cellular offering, branded as 8ta (Heita!).The launch revealed who was behind the high-profile “Heita!” (a township slang greeting) advertising campaign, which has intrigued South Africans for the past few weeks.Addressing guests at the network’s launch in Johannesburg this week, Telkom Mobile executive Amith Maharaj said that 8ta products would offer more value than any other network provider, and that the new service would “get people to talk more”.“I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the start of a new era in mobile phone communication in South Africa,” Maharaj said. “Consumers will at last have a real choice.”Free talk time, real-time usage infoAccording to 8ta, all prepaid customers will for the first time benefit from free talk time to any network every time they receive calls from a mobile phone – 1 free second of airtime for every 3 seconds of call received – a benefit that is available all day, every day.Calls from 8ta to fixed line will cost 60% less than typical market rates for similar calls, and there will be a flat rate of R2.50 per minute to over 100 international destinations.“Additionally, when you send five SMSs in a day, 8ta will give you 50 bonus SMS’s at no extra cost to use that same day,” the network operator said in a statement.The network will also provide prepaid internet customers with an out-of-bundle rate of R1 per megabyte, while prepaid data bundles can be purchased for as low as 25c per megabyte.The billing system ensures that both prepaid and contract customers have access to real-time usage information so that they can understand their consumption moment by moment, without receiving unexpectedly high bills at the end of the month.“We are able to mobilise the reliability of fixed-line and the agility of mobile to provide products that South African people really want,” said Telkom Group acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg.National coverage, ‘top notch’ service8ta has constructed 800 base stations across the country, and plans to construct a further 3 200 base stations over time to improve coverage and connectivity. The services have been built on an end-to-end Internet Protocol based 2G and 3G network, which is easily upgradable to a Long Term Evolution (LTE), or “4G” network.“To ensure top notch customer service and quality of experience, a new call centre and new IT systems have also been implemented,” Telkom said.8ta has also entered into a national roaming agreement with MTN to extend its coverage reach to more than 96% of the South African population.The network will also offer a full international roaming service through another established and experienced international service provider when it launches post-paid services next month.8ta has created a countrywide sales network that includes the major consumer retailers and mobile wholesalers as well as 132 Telkom Direct outlets across South Africa.“We wanted to create a brand that builds upon Telkom’s heritage around quality and innovation,” said Telkom South Africa MD Pinky Moholi. “At the same time, we realised the need to be simple and to be authentically South African.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more