kenya Stories May 24, 2013

Google-internet-fiber

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is now in the middle of a new project that will see the company develop wireless networks in emerging countries including sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Google plans on teaming up with local companies to develop the wireless networks, which are said to use airwaves normally reserved for TV, but will first have to get government approvals:

Some of those efforts revolve around using certain airwaves reserved for TV broadcasts to create wireless networks, but only if government regulators allowed it, these people said. Google has long been involved in public trials to prove the technology—which operates at lower frequencies than some cell networks, allowing signals to be more easily transmitted through buildings and other obstacles and across longer distances—can work. And it has begun talking to regulators in countries such as South Africa and Kenya about changing current rules to allow such networks to be built en masse.

The report mentions that Google is also “building an ecosystem of new microprocessors and low-cost smartphones powered by its Android mobile operating system to connect to the wireless networks,” although it didn’t offer up any other specific information on the devices.

It also points out a Google X project that takes advantage of “special balloons or blimps, known as high-altitude platforms, to transmit signals to an area of hundreds of square miles,” but it’s unclear whether or not the two projects are connected. expand full story

kenya Stories July 18, 2012

In a blog post on the official Google Africa blog today, the company announced it created Gmail SMS. It is a new service that will allow users to send and receive Gmail messages via SMS. Rolling out first in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, Google explained the feature would hopefully make Gmail even more accessible to users who often find themselves without an Internet connection:

You can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using your mobile phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has an internet connection, like Wifi or 3G. Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS. 

Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient – who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!

Receiving Gmail messages via SMS will be free, but your standard SMS rates will apply for replying to messages and everything else. Google has instructions for how to sign up for the new service on its blog. expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

kenya Stories January 30, 2012

Google dismissed its Kenya Country Lead Olga Arara-Kimani, along with a “technical guy in Zurich,” over the recent Google-Mocality scandal.

The information is not officially confirmed by Google. However, Kenyan blog NairobiTech reported Olga was “picked for the fall,” because a “sacrificial lamb has to be found for the brand name to weather the storm.”

The firings coincide with a Jan. 27 Google+ post by Europe and Emerging Markets Product and Engineering Vice President Nelson Matto:

We’ve concluded our investigation into the serious allegations about our use of data from Mocality’s website in Kenya. We’re very sorry this happened. We’ve taken appropriate action with the people involved and made changes in our operations to ensure this doesn’t occur again.

More information is available below.

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