Kids get smartphones for Mandela day

2013-07-18 14:01
Children pose with their free Sony smartphones. (Sony Mobile)

Children pose with their free Sony smartphones. (Sony Mobile)

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67 minutes for Mandela Day

2013-07-18 10:14

Leaders and influential figures like the Dalai Lama and Richard Branson have pledged the world to give 67 minutes of their time for Nelson Mandela Day. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Underprivileged children have been awarded smartphones as part of a mobile manufacturer's 67 minutes for Mandela day.

Sony Mobile delivered 27 demo smartphones to SOS Children's Village based in Mamelodi on Thursday, Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday.

"Mobile internet is the only method many South African consumers have to be able to connect to the digital world," said Mark Fenzel, Sony Mobile sales director for Middle East and Africa.

Many consumers are skipping PCs to access the internet and the mobile phone has emerged as key technology to facilitate use of the world wide web.

According to a World Bank report, mobile industry is linked to economic growth. The institution calculated that for every for every 10% increase in mobile penetration, there is a corresponding 0.8% increase in GDP.

But in SA, the issue of spectrum is holding back development of higher speed LTE (Long term evolution) because of the continued delay in moving toward Digital Terrestrial Television.

"I think there are vested interests that would like to get a hold of spectrum which is a national resource and I think it is the role of the regulator to ensure that the spectrum goes to those that can make the most efficient use of that spectrum," Peter Lyons GSMA director for spectrum policy in Africa and the Middle East told News24 recently.

Members of Sony management spent some time with the children at the SOS Children's Village and expressed their hope that the devices would be put to good use.

"We are thrilled to be able to supply the children of the SOS Children’s Village in Mamelodi with smartphones that will enable them to access the internet for school or university research purposes, as well as stay in touch with their community," said Fenzel.


Sony told News24 that only high school pupils and university students were awarded the smartphones, but they were at school or involved in studies when the handover event occurred.

As far as data access is concerned, Sony said the universities offer free Wi-Fi access to the students, making smartphones ideal tools for study.

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