iStore stops offering Cell C iPhone contracts

The iStore has stopped offering new Cell C contracts and upgrades, the company told MyBroadband.

“iStore and Cell C came to a mutual decision to part ways. As of 1 September 2017, iStore stopped offering new Cell C contracts or upgrades,” said iStore.

The split comes in the same month that Apple launched its new iPhone range – which features the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the flagship iPhone X.

Cell C said the move away from the iStore stems from its focus to “offer customers the best possible experience through dedicated Cell C distribution channels”.

The channels have highly-trained staff who are “able to provide customers with the best advice in order for them to make an informed decision”.

“It is of the utmost importance that Cell C is able to provide customers with an exceptional service at every touch point, including our distribution points,” said Cell C.

Cancelled deals

The absence of Cell C contracts at the iStore follows two recent incidents involving the mobile operator and business partners.

  • In May 2017, Cell C pulled all Huawei devices from its stores and website – including smartphones and routers. Huawei devices have not been available from Cell C since.
  • In August 2016, Cell C cancelled a distribution deal with Massmart, which runs the Game, Makro, and Dion Wired chains. Cell C said it wanted to focus on partners which “share and live Cell C’s values”.

Netflix partner Kwesé Play – All the details

Kwesé Play has launched in South Africa and announced that it is the official partner for Roku and Netflix in Africa.

The company is run by Econet Media, a subsidiary of the company which owns Liquid Telecom.

Its partnership with Roku allowed Kwesé to develop a custom media box for its service, which includes approval from ICASA.

The Kwesé Play media box is available for R1,599 from tech retailers, and supports 720p and 1080p HD video streaming through an HDMI port.

It also has a built-in player that can play media via a USB port.

Kwesé’s Roku player also supports Wi-Fi, has an Ethernet port, and a microSD card slot.

The company said that while the media box is a Roku, not all apps on the Roku platform will be available on Kwesé Play at launch.

Kwesé Play CEO Ryan Solovei said this was done for several reasons, including to prevent the installation of apps that enable piracy. This is a big concern for content owners, and something they had to address.

Kwesé also wants to ensure that each channel on its Roku delivers an excellent experience to customers.

“We had a list of 5,000 channels to choose from, and we narrowed it down to 100 for now. We will grow the content offering exponentially over time,” said Solovei.

The content

While many channels were already available through content delivery networks with nodes in South Africa, there are still many more that are not locally mirrored.

Kwesé has worked to bring those channels onto its network, said Solovei.

He explained that they can host content on several nodes on Liquid Telecom’s network across the continent, including its data centres in South Africa – which it acquired from Neotel.

They also peer at NAPAfrica in Teraco’s data centres, giving them access to content hosted there.

As Kwesé Play adds more channels to its platform, the aim is to ensure they deliver content from data centres close to subscribers.

Kwesé Play and Netflix

Kwesé has also partnered with Netflix for its launch, which it said is a first for Africa.

Under its agreement, Kwesé can bill customers on behalf of Netflix in local currency and will be able to use Netflix’s brand to market Kwesé Play.

Chris Whiteley, the head of business development for EMEA at Netflix, told MyBroadband the partnership will enable new methods of payment to subscribers in South Africa.

Kwesé’s billing integration will let clients add their Netflix subscriptions to their bill with their operator, and pay for the service in rand.

Solovei told MyBroadband that their Netflix prices were set when negotiations with Netflix started at the end of 2015 – when the rand was weak.

Kwesé is working on reducing its Netflix prices to bring them in line with their US dollar equivalent. The company also plans to launch across Africa in the coming months, said Solovei.

Pricing for Netflix subscriptions purchased through Kwesé are summarised in the table below.

Netflix Plan Price p/m Resolution Screens
Basic R129.99 SD 1
Standard R164.99 HD 2
Premium R199.99 HD / UHD 4

Kwese Play box

Kwese Play Roku and remote

Now read

The cryptocurrencies that suffered massive losses over the last 24 hours

The cryptocurrency market plummeted yesterday following news that the People’s Bank of China had imposed a ban on all initial coin offerings (ICOs).

While major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum saw a big drop, many smaller coins were heavily affected – especially ones with close ties to China.

Bitcoin was approaching the $5,000 mark over the weekend, but fell sharply after the announcement, while the price of Ethereum also took a hit.

The market has since started to stabilise, but many coins have lost millions of dollars in market capitalisation – with their prices still low compared to earlier in the week.

We used data from CoinMarketCap to detail the worst-affected cryptocurrencies, based on price and market capitalisation values from 4 to 5 September 2017.

The cryptocurrencies heavily affected by the ICO ban are detailed below.


NEO (NEO)

  • 4 September 2017: $30.05
  • 5 September 2017: $20.58
  • Market Cap change: -$486,945,001

NEOUSD


HShare (HSR)

  • 4 September 2017: $20.85
  • 5 September 2017: $6.54
  • Market Cap change: -$483,753,504

HSRUSD


IOTA (MIOTA)

  • 4 September 2017: $0.7440
  • 5 September 2017: $0.5056
  • Market Cap change: -$662,603,885

MIOTAUSD


Gas (GAS)

  • 4 September 2017: $13.82
  • 5 September 2017: $8.33
  • Market Cap change: -$45,381,435

GASUSD


DECENT (DCT)

  • 4 September 2017: $1.12
  • 5 September 2017: $0.705
  • Market Cap change: -$21,207,372

DCTUSD


EOS (EOS)

  • 4 September 2017: $1.24
  • 5 September 2017: $0.80
  • Market Cap change:  -$142,274,312

EOSUSD


Qtum (QTUM)

  • 4 September 2017: $15.29
  • 5 September 2017: $9.71
  • Market Cap change: -$329,623,560

QTUMUSD


Binance Coin (BNB)

  • 4 September 2017: $1.58
  • 5 September 2017: $0.827
  • Market Cap change: -$74,830,900

BNBUSD


Golem (GNT)

  • 4 September 2017: $0.361
  • 5 September 2017: $0.273
  • Market Cap change: -$73,345,136

GNTUSD


Gnosis (GNO)

  • 4 September 2017: $171.67
  • 5 September 2017: $128.07
  • Market Cap change: -$48,153,496

GNOUSD


Now read