SAJIC Issue 6, 2005

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
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    Book Review: New Media: Technology and Policy in Developing Countries, edited by N C Lesame, 2005
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Madikiza, Lucky
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    Book Review: The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, by Jeffrey D Sachs, 2005
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Wattegama, Chanuka
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    The Author Responds... To the Review by Alfonso Gumucio Dagron
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Hudson, Heather E
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    Book Review: From Rural Village to Global Village: Telecommunications for Development in the Information Age, by Heather E Hudson, 2006
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Gumucio Dagron, Alfonso
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    Creating Connections: Exploring the Intermediary Use of ICTs by Congolese Refugees at Tertiary Educational Institutions in Cape Town
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Wasserman, Herman; Kabeya-Mwepu, Patrice
    The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has been seen as a boon for groups that occupy a marginal position in the mainstream commercial media or that have limited access to such media. ICTs such as the Internet have optimistically been seen as potentially providing a communicative space where community movements, activists and social interest groups might share information more freely and with fewer of the space limitations and distribution problems than in traditional media. In the South African context, one such marginalised community is the refugees from other African countries who have made South Africa their home. Several opinion surveys and research projects into the representation of refugees in South African media have raised concerns about how refugees are treated in the mainstream media. Against the background of such problems, one could ask the question of whether the benefits that new media technologies have proven to hold for other marginal groups will also apply to refugees. If this is the case, how do refugees use new media technologies to their benefit, and how should this usage be theorised? This article seeks to explore these questions through a study of a specific South African refugee community, namely the Congolese refugee community in Cape Town. The article presents both preliminary indications of the uses of ICTs by this community and initial theoretical reflections on these findings.
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    Convergence and Emerging Technologies: Issues Faced by the Regulator
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Muhoro, Daniel G; Kennedy, Ian G
    Convergence is taking place in the telecommunications, broadcasting and information technology industries. Services that in the past were offered only on one platform are now offered on any platform by the three industries. The evolution of convergence has led to an increased demand for access to services and content. This, in turn, has led to the development of new technologies that offer high throughput to the end user. The regulator is now faced with the challenge of regulating the converging environment and dealing with spectrum management issues that arise due to the emerging technologies. This article reviews the issues faced by the regulator due to convergence and emerging technologies.
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    Mobile Cellular Telephone: Fixed-Line Substitution in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Esselaar, Steve; Stork, Christoph
    Mobile cellular telephones have been the success story of communications globally. In the developed world, mobile telephony is traditionally seen as being complementary to fixed-line telephony, primarily because of its pervasiveness but also because the fixed-line network provides access to other technologies such as broadband. This article finds that, in nine African countries, in contrast to the developed world, mobile telephony is a substitute for fixed-line telephony – across all income groups and not just low income households as previously thought. The article argues in addition that pre-paid payment options (not just for mobile phones) are key to increasing use by low income households because irregular incomes do not support regular financial commitments in terms of contracts.
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    Geeks, Cowboys, and Bureaucrats: Deploying Broadband, the Wireless Way
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2006-12-15) Bar, François; Galperin, Hernan
    The advent of new unlicensed wireless technologies allows a variety of new actors – from co-operatives to municipalities – to deploy and operate communication networks. This article reviews the evolution of the new breed of wireless technologies, in particular Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi), and discusses its implications for the architecture and control of emerging wireless broadband networks. Drawing on the social constructivist history of large technical systems and the work of economic historians concerned with the evolution of technology, the article explores the largely unexpected success of Wi-Fi. It then reviews the evidence to date on the bottom-up deployment of wireless networks by local actors in the United States, focusing on three types of initiatives driven by different deployment dynamics: end-user co-operatives (the “geeks”), wireless internet service providers (“cowboys”), and municipal government (“bureaucrats”). The conclusion discusses the policy and institutional issues most likely to affect the balance between centralised and decentralised deployment of wireless broadband networks in the near future, and suggests possible implications for the developing world.
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    Beware Dongas! An Assessment of the Road Ahead for Under-Serviced Area Licensing for Telecommunications Operators in South Africa
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Van Leijden, Fabian; Monasso, Ton
    In 2001 the South African Government began the process of Under-Serviced Area Licensing (USAL) as a major effort aimed at getting telecommunications into deep rural areas throughout the country. The USAL policy has three objectives: universal service and access; black economic empowerment; and stimulation of market competition. To fulfil these three objectives, the policy has to take into account the tensions that exist between the three objectives. The South African USAL process is not designed to mitigate these conflicts and is, therefore, unable to attain the objectives. While the policy is aimed at offering community-based and community-owned organisations the opportunity to provide telecommunications services, the licensing process and the licence conditions do not reflect this. Financial and educational support from the Government is minimal. Both the licensing process and the business process of building a telecommunications network are expensive, and gaining capital is difficult for these small companies. It should also be noted, regarding the business case of the companies, that while at the outset this case was already fairly weak, changes to the licensing conditions and a saturating cellular market over time have further seriously weakened this business case, rendering the viability of the companies questionable. For the process to be successful, Government bodies have to provide more support to the companies, and propagate a stable and clear regulatory environment.
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    The Use of Information and Communication Technologies for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation in Developing Countries: An Investigation of Gender Specific Agricultural Development
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2005-12-15) Pade, Caroline; Mallinson, Brenda; Lannon, John
    Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become a priority among developing nations, and play a significant role in supporting rural development. A core aspect associated with rural development is gender specific agriculture, which focuses on elevating women's contributions towards economic and social enhancement through agriculture. An investigation into the use of ICTs by rural women farmers reveals the constraints they face when it comes to taking advantage of such technologies. Studies within Africa and other developing countries illustrate that these constraints are particularly associated with the social and cultural limitations that women encounter in the traditional environments that characterise most developing countries. Local communities, Government and non-governmental organisations should collaborate to devise policies and initiatives that can support the effective implementation and sustainability of ICT projects, and hence start to remove the barriers that limit the potential use of ICTs by rural women.