Kenya makes tech leap

Kirsten Doyle
By Kirsten Doyle, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 25 Oct 2007

Kenya makes tech leap

Mobile phone owners in Kenya are set to have a new addition to their menu, following the launch by a digital broadcaster of a service that will stream television content to their handsets, reports All Africa.

The service could see up to 11 million mobile phone subscribers access television content on their phones, leapfrogging Kenya into the cutting-edge technological era where the TV and the phone have converged.

Kenya is among a handful of countries that MultiChoice has picked for trials of the new technology, known as DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld).

Convergence is no excuse

Earlier this month, a national tabloid newspaper won an online industry award for best use of video, says Times Online.

This state of affairs confuses both regulators and policymakers. Does Internet video mean that Ofcom, the broadcast and communications regulator, should be empowered to devise a set of content rules for online newspapers as if they were television stations? Or does Internet video herald the death of broadcast content regulation as an increasingly irrelevant anachronism?

These are not new questions. The constitutional challenge to the US Communications Decency Act in 1996, the EU Bangemann Charter of 1998, and the UK government Communications White Paper of 2000 all raised the question whether the Internet was TV.

UN rules on WiMax

Digicel is confident of a successful roll-out of its WiMax Internet service, following last week`s approval of the new technology by the United Nations` (UN`s) International Telecommunications Union (ITU), reports Jamaica Observer.

The endorsement means ITU member countries, including Jamaica, are have more space to allocate part of their radio spectrum to WiMax, while laptop computers, mobile phones, MP3 players and other portable devices can now be adapted to receive the wireless technology.

Digicel`s roll-out, which it has hyped as "the second communications revolution in Jamaica since the company`s launch in 2001", is still waiting on a spectrum to be allocated by the government.