May 19, 2020

SA's first Wi-Fi flight has bumpy landing

African Business Review
Vodacom
Mango Airlines
Wi-Fi flights
Bizclik Editor
2 min
SA's first Wi-Fi flight has bumpy landing

South Africa’s first ever Wi-Fi flight hit turbulence when it came to providing passengers with full internet access yesterday - as the majority were unable to connect.

Mobile operator Vodacom, South African budget airline Mango and Internet service provider Wireless-G have teamed up to provide the service, with the inaugural Wi-Fi flight launching from Lanseria yesterday.

Over 100 passengers boarded the plane but around 70 percent proved unsuccessful in connecting to the network, with WirelessG blaming “budgetary constraints” for the failure.

CEO Carel van der Merwe said that the system was designed to allocate 128 IP address for passengers in total – however each of the 115 passengers on board yesterday attempted to connect on multiple devices which saw hundreds of connections trying to be made at once.

READ MORE FROM AFRICAN BUSINESS REVIEW:

Dahabshiil provides vital service for African community

Ghana Home Loans' brave business model is paying off

Too much of a good marketing thing?

Read this month’s issue of ABR

“This was not a technical or hardware problem, but rather a case of tech-hungry individuals with a desire to test the service to its limits,” he said.

Yesterday’s test showed that Apple and Samsung devices provide the most successful connections, while BlackBerry products had the least amount thought to be because users have the version 5 BlackBerry’s operating system.

Mango hopes to roll out the service on all aircraft by the end of June, although initially Wi-_F will only be available on specific 737-800s fitted with in-flight Wi-Fi equipment.

Customers can choose to pay R50 for a single sector flight (2 hours), R90 for a one-day pass or R1 per minute billed online through a G-Connect account.

African Business Review is now available on the iPad. Click here to download it.

Share article

Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

Share article