ITU, Google partner to provide free global technology statistics

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Google have teamed up to provide free global statistics on information and communication technology (ICT), the UN specialized agency has announced. The ITU said its highly regarded telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) statistics will now be available through the Google Public Data Explorer (PDE). ”With Google PDE users can now explore and visualize ITU’s key ICT statistical indicators from 1960 to 2011 (where data exists) for about 200 economies worldwide,” the Union said in a statement August 3, 2012. The key indicators include fixed telephone, mobile cellular, fixed (wired) Internet, fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions and penetration, as well as the percentage of individuals using the Internet. The Google Public Data Explorer platform enables quick search of statistics, and helps users quickly interpret data and statistics through rich visualizations. Continue reading

NCA seeks public input on draft standards for digital television receivers

The National Communication Authority (NCA) is seeking public comments on its Draft Minimum Requirements for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) receivers as part of the transitional process from analogue to free-to-air digital television technology regime in Ghana. A letter signed by NCA Director-General Paarock Essuman VanPercy said the transition would focus on television broadcasting services in the frequency bands 174–230 MHz and 470–862 MHz, adding that DTT would offer improved spectrum efficiency compared to analogue TV. “It also offers enhanced video and audio quality, interactivity, as well as increased programme choices,” he said.

The statement said the standards for DTT receivers such as set-top boxes, integrated digital television sets, and other, would ensure that, all DTT receivers sold on the Ghanaian market conformed to the minimum receiver standard. “The Authority shall upon publication of the minimum receiver standard, define a conformance regime and shall require all set-top boxes and integrated digital TV sets sold in Ghana to pass a conformance test to be certified.

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Orange to offer Visa mobile prepaid accounts for customers in Africa, Middle East

Orange Telecom and Visa Incorporated February 29, 2012 announced that Orange Money customers in Africa and the Middle East will soon have access to Visa prepaid account features inside their Orange Money accounts. Both made the announcement at the Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This will bring a significant step in Visa-quality payments to consumers in developing markets, they said. The service enables Orange, in partnership with financial institutions, to offer Visa prepaid account services on mobile phones to unbanked and under-banked consumers, both said in a statement.

By Ekow Quandzie