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What You Need To Know about Safaricom’s Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Video over LTE (ViLTE)

VoLTE has better phone call quality that is three times better than 3G and six times better than 4G.

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Safaricom 4G users now have a reason to smile after the telco launched voice and video calls over its 4G network, popularly known as Voicer over LTE (VoLTE) and Video over LTE (ViLTE) on Wednesday morning.

The latest technology will enable subscribers to enjoy HD calls and video calls that are ultra clear with reduced background noise, making conversation more effective. The service is already available countrywide to any Safaricom customer with a VoLTE-supporting 4G device and a 4G enabled SIM Card, and will be offered at no additional cost compared to standard calls.

During the launch, Charles Kare, director consumer business at Safaricom noted that VoLTE has better phone call quality that is three times better than 3G and six times better than 4G.

“We are the first to bring this technology to East Africa. Our customers can now make quality voice and video calls without internet and at normal calling rates,’’ Kare said.

Safaricom 4G users stand at 45 per cent of its total subscribers and is set to push it to 80 per cent by March 2020

“Our 4G network currently covers 2000 towns across the country. We plan to increase this to 5000 towns or 80 per cent of our subscribers by March 2020,’’ Kare said.

Unlike previously where customers on 4G saw their data sessions slow down to 3G speeds when on calls, VoLTE users will enjoy the ability to simultaneously make calls and browse at 4G speeds.

Calls on VoLTE can be distinguished by the “HD Calling” symbol which appears when a VoLTE call is in progress. Customers can also tell when they are on VoLTE by the “VoLTE” symbol in their status bars. The technology also allows a customer to switch between voice and video calls during a VoLTE call, though video calls will only be possible if both the caller’s and receiver’s device support the technology.

Through the service, Safaricom is looking to meet rising demand for video calling which is being driven by increasing data and smartphone usage.

The company also sees an opportunity in businesses who stand to benefit from the improved call clarity, especially when making calls on the move or making conference and group calls over mobile phones. Safaricom also sees a demand for video calls among businesses, especially among small businesses who increasingly rely on mobile video for marketing and trading.

In addition to activating VoLTE and ViLTE on its network, Safaricom has also introduced a range of affordable VoLTE capable devices to the market, including the Neon Ray retailing at KES 3,999 and the Neon Nova at KES 5,999. All devices are immediately available at all Safaricom shops, Safaricom dealers, and Masoko.

Besides the two devices, VoLTE is also available on select Samsung, Nokia, Tecno, Itel and Huawei devices. Customers using these devices may need to update their device software to enjoy the service.

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Uber Faces Tax Crisis London

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Recent report by the Uber Technologies In-cooperation in London has brought to light an interesting report as the United Kingdom seeks to give the Uber company a new classification as a transport provider, putting the company at a risk of incurring new tax charges that could weigh heavily on the business, this according to UK recent days accounts filings.

The new tax charges possibility comes as a great discomfort for the company and causes it further headache as it is coupling up with the regulatory problems which the ride-hailing company is facing in London, one of its largest markets.

Uber says that the tax charges are to be 20% on the gross booking fees or rather, the amount passengers are expected to pay or on the service fees normally accorded to drivers, typically about 20-30% of the entire fare. This situation will leave Uber no choice but to increase its passenger fee charges which will leave it vulnerable to the competition who have over the years been complaining about Ubers’ non-payment of VAT.

Uber said that it risked a back tax claim which could run to hundreds of millions of pounds as the charges could apply in both a retroactively and prospectively way. The company is defending itself vigorously by explaining its beliefs on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Currently, the structure of Uber is in such a way that for tax purposes, it exports digital services driver based in the United Kingdom from a Dutch subsidiary, Uber BV.  In future, Uber could be exposed to VAT because HMRC could deem its operation in UK to be a transport provider.

Uber failed to secure a 5 year term operating license by only being able to receive a 2 month London operating license in a battle with the regulator which has a history with the company of having stripped off its right to take rides.

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How this Company is Making it easy for Kenyans to own Smart Homes

Kimani Patrick

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From outright fraud to poor financial management claims by rogue developers, prospective homeowners in Kenya have become very skeptical on where to invest their money and achieve their dream of owning a dream home.

This notwithstanding, real estate is a lucrative industry and everyone should get a piece. But how can one identify a genuine dealer? Through professional management, industry experience, timely delivery and setting a track record right from the beginning, a concept that the newest affordable homes developer, Nyumbani Concepts, understands very well.

Founded in June 2019 and guided by the core values of integrity, transparency, professionalism, timeliness, prudence and honesty, the company started out on a mission to redefine affordable housing delivery in Kenya and to positively empower families across the country through home ownership.

The directors of the company Joseph Nderitu (Managing Director), Martin Njoroge (Chief Executive Officer) And Loontubu Caroline (Director Sales & Marketing) have a combined 15 years’ experience in real-estate, financial services and marketing ensuring that your investment is with the right professional team.

Nyumbani team is hands-on when it comes to ensuring site approvals are done within the set timeframes and that all properties are in good condition, location and perfect view before handing over to their clients. And with every transaction, the firm stresses on creative problem solving coupled with judicious application of sound real estate principles.

The company has created housing opportunities for all kinds of pockets at very fair and almost unbelievable deals with its flagship project already at the roofing stage – three months after laying its foundation. Installation of windows and doors have also been done and the contractor has already commenced on house plastering this week.

One of the houses at the Boma Estate by Nyumbani ConceptsWith at least Ksh 1.6M deposit, one is able to own a home with Nyumbani Concepts. The company allows you to pay remaining balance within a flexible period of 12 months as your home gets constructed. As an investor, the flexible investment terms give you an opportunity to strike amazing deals for a very fancy, fascinating and well-constructed home which matches your dream that will be a delight to own and reside.

With three projects in progress so far, Nyumbani is not just the first Kenyan company to grow with trackable speed but also the first to develop internet-ready homes. In every project, the company is installing CCTV security cameras and intercom connectivity for gate security.

Taking a look at the inaugural project, Boma Estate, a gated estate containing 3-bedrooms master en-suite bungalows which sold out within two weeks; the estate provides the owners with a shelter which not only soothes it but also inspires and energizes it like never before, beyond your wildest dreams.

Guided by the right principles, led by the right team and staring out setting the right track record, Nyumbani Concepts is the firm to trust in delivering your dream to own a home. But do not take our word for it, visit the company’s offices at Western Heights 1st floor right wing, Karuna Road, Westlands, Nairobi and ask for a free site visit. You can also call or send them a message on 0723 310000.

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KCB M-Pesa to Be Unavailable for 5 Hours on Saturday Morning to Allow System Upgrade

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KCB M-pesa service will be unavailable this Saturday on a scheduled maintenance. The maintenance is set to take 5 hours starting 2am Saturday October 4 2019 to 7am same day.

“Due to a planned system maintenance KCB M-PESA services will be unavailable on Saturday 5th Oct from 02:00am – 07:00am. We apologize for the inconvenience.” read a text sent to the service subscribers on Friday night.

Throughout the period subscribers will not access any KCB Mpesa services.

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