This was one of those weeks. Tech news and politics happened concurrently making it hard to pinpoint what was really going on. But we will try. We always do.
Safaricom experiences a serious technical hitch, Wakahare carries the day, we got to meet the “Tibim” hitmaker, MCA woman aspirant blames the defeat on a photo she took with Uhuruto, and a former watchman is nominated to contest for the MCA position in Kericho County. This was a lot of tea for one week.
Yet, there’s more since the tech news kept streaming in.
Below is a summary of this week’s tech news:
1. Safaricom experiences a serious technical hitch
The telcos suffered a major technical hitch on Monday making it impossible for people to make calls, SMS, and use data. Suddenly, this gave rise to conspiracy theorists with most choosing to use humor to explain the hitch. Here are a few examples:
@SenMutula: Safaricom network has gone on safari from 8 am!
@greatrnk: I see Safaricom is also doing its primaries (and rehearsals) in readiness for the upcoming General Elections.
Others went ahead to analyze the situation further:
@MisterAlbie: If you shut down Kenya Power and Safaricom at the same time you have this country under lockdown.
Good things came with this hitch since Safaricom customers were allowed to send money for free for 24 hours.
2. Uber partners with old mutual to offer training to driver-partners.
Uber has partnered with Old Mutual in a bid to extend its free money management course to its Kenyan driver-partners.
The idea was first implemented in South Africa but has so far been extended to Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.
3. Jumia Mobile Week kicks off
When it comes to bargains, Kenyans come out in large numbers to enjoy discounts that were as much as 50% off. But who doesn’t anyway!
The Mobile Jumia Week kicked off and customers were treated to massive discounts on smartphones and other accessories.
The sales event is still ongoing and is set to end on 30th, April.
This is a major sales event that qualifies to enter the tech news roundup especially since e-shopping is gradually taking shape in Kenya.
4. CBK announces licensing of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB)
The Central Bank of Kenya has licensed the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) after the institution met stipulated requirements.
DIB is the first UAE-based bank unit to be established in Kenya.
5. Rumors of the possibility that Samsung will refurbish and sell Note 7 resurface Again!
These rumors never seem to die, do they?
A refurbished version of Galaxy Note 7 is reportedly coming back in June to Korea.
Samsung has REPORTEDLY said that it is considering selling refurbished Galax Note 7 devices in select markets.
It is ALLEGED that a Samsung spokesperson has said that the availability will be determined by market demands and content from relevant regulatory authorities.
It would be kind of Samsung to make an official statement, like take to the podium and either refute or confirm such tech news. We will wait.
6. Uber swallows the humble pie, allows old and small cars to join fleet
From price wars to strikes, Uber woes in Kenya have been major.
When Uber first entered the Kenyan market, it had set high standards when it came to the type of cars that could join its fleet but those standards have been relaxed.
The company is now welcoming small and old cars they had earlier rejected. The company is even encouraging their driver partners to sign up their 1000cc Toyota Vitz. Interesting.
7. Facebook violent videos continue to attract outrage
This is worrying and serious and tragic.
Did you hear of that man who strangled his baby and himself on Facebook Live or the self-proclaimed serial killer who shot an innocent old man on Facebook Live?
Pressure is mounting on Facebook to gain control of the situation. This means that Facebook has a lot of work to do.
Can Facebook solve the increasingly violent video problem? Even Zuckerberg can’t guarantee that but we are pretty sure his team is working on a mitigating measure. Hopefully.
8. Infinix S2 pro to get the Android 7 Nougat update
The handset came with Marshmallow out of the box but the update to Nougat is timely. The update is already being rolled out to users.
So, if the marshmallow was holding you back from acquiring S2 Pro, things have been taken care of. Go thee and grab your unit today!
9. Chrome for Android gets a minor update
The keyword is ‘minor’ but the important thing is that it is for the better.
The latest update allows you to view and manage downloads-in-progress from the downloads page. You will also be able to delete browsing history since the update comes with a redesigned history page.
Google has been testing Chrome 58 and it is finally ready to roll it out to users. The update does not come with mind-blowing features since the main aim is to fix some stability issues evidenced in the previous version. Buy hey, it’s better than a downgrade.
10. Telkom Kenya lays down plans to conquer the local connectivity market
Telkom Kenya was once ‘Tibim’ but it was soon overtaken by other service providers. In its attempts to regain its power, the company has laid out a solid plan to reclaim the Kenyan connectivity Market.
We can only hope that the goals are solid enough especially given the competitive forces in the market.
That’s it for tech news this week. Cheers!