3 things I want in 2018

There are many things we hope will happen in 2018.

A new year brings with it new opportunities, and South Africa’s tech space is no different.

While statements by companies or industry players make certain of the following wishes coming true unlikely, it won’t stop us from hoping for them.

1. The release of spectrum

For over a decade, mobile operators have begged for additional spectrum – and every year it doesn’t happen. For the past five years, that reason has been the digital migration.

South Africa was originally set to switch from analogue to digital terrestrial television in 2011. The migration would have freed lower-frequency spectrum ideal for wide-area rural mobile broadband coverage.

Former Communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo announced in 2017 that after six years of missed deadlines, the migration would finally be complete in 2018.

However, President Jacob Zuma then reshuffled his cabinet, switching Dlodlo for Mmamoloko Kubayi. Kubayi then stated the deadline has been pushed to June 2019.

2. First-party Android and Windows devices

Google and Microsoft’s sought-after hardware devices would be welcomed by many techies if they became readily available and supported in South Africa in 2018.

While the Surface and Surface Pro notebooks from Microsoft are sold through retailers such as Takealot and Raru, the devices come at a significant premium compared to US prices.

Fans of Google’s Pixel 2 smartphones, or the company’s range of smart speakers, can also import the products to South Africa – but local support remains an issue.

3. Dual SIM, dual LTE

One of the coolest features of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 mobile platform is the ability to connect to two LTE networks at once without a significant battery penalty.

Mobile operators in South Africa typically do not bring in dual-SIM variants of flagship smartphones, however.

As the Snapdragon 845 is set to power next year’s flagship Android devices, getting to see this feature in action locally would be great for consumers.

Now read: We do not want spectrum without conditions – MTN

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3 things I want in 2018