Apple outlines $100m grant for Obama’s ConnectED initiative

Apple plans to contribute $100 million in grants to US schools as part of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.

The iPad and iPhone maker’s new microsite details the company’s contribution, saying that “Education is a fundamental right for everyone,” and so free Apple technology will be issued where it is needed most to further student tuition.

Obama’s ConnectED initiative aims to bring reliable Internet access to 99 percent of US students by 2017, with a particular focus on “parts of the country that typically have trouble attracting investment in broadband infrastructure.” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and firms including Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Verizon support the scheme by offering grants, as well as free and discounted software.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple plans to divide $100 million between 114 schools in 29 states. The company has chosen schools where at least 96 percent of the students are eligible for a free or discount-price lunch, and 92 percent of students enrolled at the partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage.

The tech giant says that every student at these schools will receive an iPad, every teacher and administrator will be given a free iPad and a Mac, and every ConnectED classroom will be equipped with an Apple TV. In addition, a team from Apple will be assigned to each school in order to ensure the technology is used effectively.

The statistics surrounding Apple’s contribution to ConnectED are detailed below.

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China Telecom reports healthy financials despite 4G struggles

China’s number three operator China Telecom lost 4 million subscribers in the nine months to September as it struggled to play catchup with the launch of 4G services by larger rivals.

China Telecom’s total subscriber base now stands at 182 million, of which 113 million are 3G users. It had 1.3 million 4G subscribers at the end of September (compared to China Mobile’s 41 million and 2.7 million at China Unicom).

“The decline in the number of mobile subscribers during the period was mainly due to the increasing market competition driven by the launch of LTE services and strengthened marketing promotion by the peers,” noted chairman and CEO Wang Xiaochu in a statement.

Wang stressed that 4G development is a priority for the company, with China Telecom currently deploying LTE technology in 40 mainland cities (via hybrid TDD-FDD LTE trials) amid plans to expand. Wang confirmed reports it will apply for expansion of its hybrid trials as well as a full commercial FDD license. Read more

Study Shows Kenyans, Nigerians rely on Mobile money more than South Africans

A new report on mobile Internet use in Africa shows South Africa’s mobile penetration rate is much higher than in Kenya and Nigeria, but Kenyans and Nigerians rely on their phones much more than South Africans for financial services.
A new report on mobile Internet use in Africa shows South Africa has mobile penetration of 133%, measured by active Sim cards. That’s much higher than that of Kenya and Nigeria, which are at 70% and 72% respectively.

The study was conducted by On Device Research, a mobile research company, with a representative sample of mobile Internet users in each country. The study was also done in the UK to compare the effects of the mobile Internet in developing and developed markets.

“For many Africans, mobile is the only way to connect with the world and the Internet is having a huge impact on people’s lives. It’s helping them save time and money and it gives them access to education and medical information,” says Alistair Hill, CEO of On Device Research. Read more

Memeburn: Fiber-optic cable to increase Africa’s mobile coverage by 20% in 2015

We all know Africa has a massive mobile population, right? Well, recent efforts will see a massive increase in internet coverage for this fast-growing population.

Telecom operator Angola Cables has just announced an investment of US$100-million together with Brazil’s Algar Telecom, Antel from Uruguay and Google that will increase mobile coverage to internet by 20% in 2015 of Africa’s population.

The Angolan telecom has already invested US$200-million in 2013 to construct a submarine cable from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil.

“The new cable route will be 10,556 km long and have six fiber pairs. According to estimations, it will increase the overall bandwidth of existing subsea cable systems by 64 terabits per second of capacity,” says Angola Cables CEO, Antonio Nunes. Read  more