Monday, 29 April 2013

LG Optimus F5 makes global debut

Following its successful unveiling at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, the Optimus F5 — the first device from LG’s newest Optimus F Series — will make its world debut starting in Europe on April 29. Launching initially in France, LG will roll out the Optimus F5 in South and Central America, Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) over the next several weeks.

The Optimus F Series is a new family of Android smartphones for consumers who are ready to experience the blazing speeds of 4G LTE without the high costs that normally go with such a device. As a key component of LG’s strategy to make 4G smartphones as ubiquitous as they are fast, the Optimus F5 features LG’s advanced LTE technology and enhanced user experience (UX) features.

As display size and battery life become increasingly important among smartphone consumers, the 1.2GHz Qualcomm Dual-Core Optimus F5 addresses user demands by featuring a 4.3-inch IPS display and a largest-in-class 2,150mAh battery. LG engineers designed the Optimus F5 to deliver longer battery life without creating a larger battery. And the 4.3-inch IPS display offers clear, lifelike images for a superior viewing experience.
The Optimus F5 includes the latest Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 operating system and the best of LG’s innovative and exclusive UX features:
• QSlide allows users to open multiple apps at the same time in full screen mode with the ability to change the size, position and transparency of the windows.
• Live Zooming lets users zoom in on videos so they can get a closer, detailed look at any specific area.
• Video Wiz lets users play movie director by giving them the power to edit videos and enhance them with sound and music right on the phone itself.
• QTranslator function instantly translates not only words, but also entire sentences and phrases by simply using the camera to scan the text. QTranslator accepts 44 different languages and can translate them into any one of 64 languages.

“LG has consistently set the standard in the mobile industry with technology that com-plements, not complicates, users’ lives,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The Optimus F5 is a natural exten-sion of LG’s lineup of strong LTE devices, offering the lightning-speed of 4G LTE and UX features of a premium phone. With the Optimus F5, we’re confident we can capture an untapped market of new and upgrading smartphone users who crave a feature-rich, LTE device.”


• OS: Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2
• Processor: Qualcomm 1.2 GHz Dual-Core
• Display: 4.3-inch IPS (256 ppi)
• Battery: 2,150mAh
• Size: 126.04 x 64.46 x 9.30mm
• Memory: 8 GB / 1 GB RAM / microSD (up to 32GB)
• Camera: 5.0 MP AF Front / 1.3 MP Rear

Posta goes digital with Ksh100 million switch

The Postal Corporation of Kenya (Posta) has invested Ksh100 million in rolling out national payment switch that will see financial institutions share payment infrastructure and capitalise on PCK’s expansive network of over 600 offices that will offer Agency services.   

Besides linking banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (POS) terminals in order to avoid the duplication of expensive infrastructure resources, the switch will enable Posta automate its payment services.

“KCB, Credit Bank, ABC Bank and Faulu Kenya are already on board. We have also been an agent of utility companies like Kenya Power, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company and DStv among others, the Switch will mean more capacity and thus more transaction commissions,” says Dr. Enock Kinara, the Post Master General.               

The switch which will go live before the end of the year will see Posta automate all its transactions, including back office reconciliation of transactions which is presently manual. Posta, on behalf of the Government, remits about Ksh500 million in cash every two months to about 350,000 beneficiaries; mainly orphans, pensioners and widows.

“Instead of having our customers lining up under heavy security to collect cash, now these 350,000 individuals will just need a PostaPay card which they can swipe at any of our outlets to withdraw their dues” says Titus Juma, the Posta General Manager, Financial and Agency Services.     

The switch, said Dr. Kinara, would enable Posta leverage on technology to accelerate financial inclusion of Kenyans in far flung regions which remain inaccessible by conventional banking channels.
He said the investment in a switch “is in line with the spirit of touching lives and that of the Universal Service Obligation of offering citizens basic communication as mandated by the UN.”

“The technology offers an array of infinite transaction possibilities, from mobile wallets, credit and debit cards to USSD,” explained Dr. Kinara. USSD is a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.

USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services and menu-based information services. Posta is equally seeking approval from the Communication Commission of Kenya to provide wireless internet service in 93 offices country, 22 of which will be new.

Posta presently offers mail, courier financial and agency services. As the public postal licensee, the Corporation however still offers post office letter boxes service, issuance of postage stamps and conveyance of letters up to 350 grammes exclusively.

Dr. Kinara said the investment was part of re-engineering its operations to compete in dynamic business ecosystem where disruptive technologies are consistently necessitating continued business innovation.  
“We’ve seen products like M-Pesa, the mobile cash transfer service, change the way we transact. For instance our electronic funds transfer service, PostaPay was very successful raking in about Ksh400 million a year in commissions until the advent of M-Pesa.”

The new service, said Dr. Kinara, is complaint with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard which is an information security standard for organizations that handle cardholder information for the major debit, credit, prepaid, e-purse, ATM, and POS cards.

The standard was created to increase controls around cardholder data to reduce credit card fraud via its exposure. Mr Kinara said this is consistent with Posta’s mission “to deliver superior financial, distribution and communication solutions” to its customers, while creating value for stakeholders.

LG bets on vibrant real estate sector

LG Electronics is banking on a thriving real estate sector and increased demand for energy efficiency to bolster sales of its commercial and residential air conditioning (AC) appliances in Kenya and the wider East African region.  
Ashish Kadam Manager, Sales & Marketing Department, Air Conditioning Equipment
Speaking at the LG AC Academy at the Nairobi LG offices, Mr. Jinan Choi, the LG East Africa Head of Air Conditioning said LG had already clenched and executed major projects locally including the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Terminal, UNHCR Offices, Kenya School of Monetary Studies and Kenya Red Cross’ Bomas Hotel among others.              

“We are cognizant of the fact that in Kenya energy is very expensive and that’s why some of our appliances guarantee you twice the energy efficiency of conventional air conditioners,” said Mr. Choi.
He also notes that LG air conditioners no longer use R22 gas, a common refrigerant that is currently being phased out due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion (R-22 is also a global warming gas).   
“All our AC appliances are now using R-410A gas which is eco-friendly,” said Choi. 
Saving on energy, he says, is one of the company’s strongest selling points in their renewed emphasis on B2B business in Africa, where demand for energy-saving technology is growing fast. “We set out a very ambitious plan in 2010 to secure $US10 billion in global sales by 2014.

“When it comes to environmental concerns, we’re top of the list of air conditioning manufacturer that are committed to the cause,” said Kranthi Mahakala, an engineer at AC Academy & Marketing. For instance, LG Multi V III, LG has set a world record level of 4.6 for its COP (Coefficient of Performance), the clearest measure of energy efficiency in air conditioning.

In installing this advanced air conditioning system, said Mr Mahakala, building owners aren’t just embracing a technology with a far lower impact on the environment; they’re looking at greatly reduced energy bills, too.
The Multi V III’s record-breaking energy efficiency is made possible by a technology called HiPORTM (High Pressure Oil Return). HiPORTM enables the compressor to return the oil directly to a high level of pressure, instead of the low levels on conventional AC units. 

By minimizing unnecessary re-compressing at lower levels of pressure, HiPORTM reduces energy losses and increases COP levels. Presently, much of the world faces dreadful air pollution along with the attendant threat to public health. Against this backdrop, there is need to re-examine how they use the air, not least the makers of air conditioning appliances.

“The type of AC appliances we install are dependent on whether the building is a residential flat, auditorium or manufacturing plant. We have software and engineers we send on site that measure the cooling load and advice on theAC systems to put in place,” said Mr Choi.

He explains that, for instance, the LG Titan series of ACs has been designed to last, as it combines high-tech performance with rugged durability. As the African region often suffers from unstable power supplies, LG has installed the Super Automatic Voltage Switcher (AVS) to protect the compressor from being damaged by fluctuations in the electric current.

The Super AVS does so by monitoring voltage supplies and shutting down the flow of electric currents that are not between 170-290 volts. In addition, the Tropical Compressor is designed to operate for 24 hours a day, even through sandstorms and temperatures as high as 54°C. The anti-corrosion coating, the Gold Fin, makes the unit’s heat exchanger more resistant to corrosion.

The Titan series also boasts power cooling, an essential requirement in a punishingly hot region. The Titan can blast out cool air at distances of up to 10 meters, the longest range of any air conditioner on the market today. The Jet Cool function and the 4-way Swing system enable the unit to blow cool air in practically any direction at maximum speed, cooling rooms in the shortest possible time, regardless of the outside temperature.

“LG guarantees satisfaction to its African consumers, who desire stable and powerful cooling solutions that can overcome extremely hot climates,” said Mr Mahakala.