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South Africa: Another 'World First' Involving CSIR
Source: SA - the Good News
Source Date: Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 01, 2013

International technology companies are now focusing on providing technology solutions to the developing world, as this is where growth is predicted to come from in the future. Facebook, for example, has recently announced a partnership with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm to launch Internet.org, a project aimed at bringing affordable Internet access to the 5 billion people without it. The companies will work together on data-compression technologies and cheap, high-quality smartphones to make the web cheaper. The companies intend to accomplish their goal in part by simplifying phone applications so they run more efficiently and by improving the components of phones and networks so that they transmit more data while using less battery power.
According to the internet.org website no one should have to choose between access to the Internet and food or medicine. Internet.org partners will join forces to develop technology that decreases the cost of delivering data to people worldwide, and helps expand Internet access in underserved communities. Transmitting data – even a text message or simple web page – requires bandwidth, something that’s scarce in many parts of the world. Partners will invest in tools and software to improve data compression capabilities and make data networks and services run more efficiently.
This is a hugely positive development from Tuluntulu's perspective and it places the developing world, and technology designed for the developing world, in the global spotlight. The two largest and fastest growing mobile markets globally are Asia and Africa respectively. Video consumption and Internet access globally, via online and on mobile devices, is increasing at exponential rates. YouTube now has 6 billion views per month, a quarter of which are on mobile devices. In Southern Africa YouTube aggregate views grew by 90% in the past 12 months, but this was off a very low base. The consumption of video on mobile devices using mobile networks (not Wi-Fi) in developing countries has not grown in line with these global trends as the dominant form of connection is via mobile networks. This is due to video not being suited to the low bandwidth networks that exist in developing countries.
The ARTIST technology can deliver unbroken video at +-30kbps. Tuluntulu’s research has revealed no other company globally who claims to be able to deliver unbroken video streams at below 100kbps. These companies have technology that only work on 3G networks, often at 400kbps or more. As a result they simply do not work in most developing countries. The ARTIST technology provides a solution to this problem.
The technology was developed by a consortium funded by TIA (Technology Innovation Agency) consisting of CSIR South Africa (www.csir.co.za ), University of Cape Town and ECA that started developing the solution to the video distribution problem in 2007. The CSIR’s Dr. Keith Ferguson led the team. The solution was specialised technology known as ARTIST that allows streaming video to be viewed on mobile devices, in low bandwidth or congested environments. ARTIST utilises patented technology to deliver unbroken standards-based live video streams with fully integrated social media interactivity. The solution covers the entire media value chain from video content ingestion to a fully adaptive and scalable service and mobile device applications. Patents have been registered in five countries / regions globally for parts of the ARTIST technology.
The technology is perfectly suited for all developing countries. Users can use existing smart devices and existing cell phone networks. The technology works on 3G and EDGE (low bandwidth), which is the dominant system used in rural areas in South Africa, Africa and other developing countries.
Tuluntulu released its app on the Google Play Store for mobile devices, running Android V 4.0 or later, in the mid 2013. It is available for download by the general public. The focus now is to attract content to the platform.
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