Skyrove has moved!

 

Good morning all Skyrovers!

We are pleased to announce that over the weekend we moved into our new offices. We are just experiencing a few telephone issues whilst Telkom processes our Golden Number transfer. If you need to get hold of us in the meantime please call our out of hours support number: 074 654 79 11.

You can also find us at our new physical address:

Suite 23b Unit16,
The Waverley Business Park, Wyecroft Road
Mowbray 7705

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Win 2 VIP Tickets for The 34th Annual Loerie Awards Convention!

Dear Skyrovers,

We are happy to announce that Skyrove has 2 VIP tickets up for grabs valued at R6000 each to attend The 34th Annual Loerie Awards Convention which will take place in the Cape Town City Hall between the 15th and the 23rd of September 2012.

The VIP tickets will allow access to the Convention on Saturday, 21 September and Sunday, 22 September.  As a VIP guest, you are invited to:

●  International Seminar of Creativity – RSVP required.
The seminar that will be taking place at City Hall in Cape Town on Friday 21 September, with a fantastic line-up of international creative leaders.

●  VIP registration:
A special desk will be provided for all VIP guests – you will have to collect your access passes at registration to attend any events, including the seminar.

●  Mayor’s Media Brunch:
You will receive an invitation to attend the Mayor’s Media Brunch on Saturday 22 September at the Alba Lounge in the V&A Waterfront, at 11am. Places are very limited and confirmations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

EGG Films Judges Wrap Party:
You will receive an invitation to meet the judges, including our international jury chairmen, Thursday at the Cullinan Hotel from 6pm. Places are very limited and confirmations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Marie-Claire Winners Party:
All our VIP guests are invited to the Official Winners Party on Saturday evening at the Zip Zap Circus, immediately after the first evening’s awards ceremonies.

VIP SERVICES:
Will be provided at all official functions, including a VIP lounge at the Awards Ceremonies from 5pm, and VIP areas at the Official Party.

To stand a chance to win one of these tickets, the rule is simple.  Based on a radical theme, you will just be asked to take a “radical” picture of yourself in front or inside one of our Skyrove’s hotspots around the country and post it on our Facebook Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Skyrove/10108255298?ref=hl

Find out where our hotspots are on the following map – http://map.skyrove.com/

The winners will be notified on the 10th of September via Twitter and Facebook and an email will be sent to both winners 5 days before the opening day of The Loerie Awards.

Think out of the box and be RADICAL!!

 

Skyrove – Now up to 66% cheaper

As of today, Skyrove is simplifying its pricing model and reducing prices at more than 800 hotspots nationwide.

Previously, different Skyrove hotspots would charge a different rate per megabyte depending on its location. So you could be paying 30c/MB at your home but 60c/MB when travelling.

We felt this was confusing and inconsistent, so we decided to make things simpler and cheaper.

In future, instead of buying credits and then paying different rates at different hotspots, you are now able to buy megabytes in bundles that can be used at any Skyrove hotspot.

Megabytes can now be purchased in one of the following three bundles:

R500 2500 MB 20c / MB
R250 1000 MB 25c / MB
R120 400 MB 30c / MB
R40 100 MB 40c / MB

If you have any existing credit with Skyrove this will be converted to Megabytes based on the rate of the last hotspot you used, so you will not lose any credits because of the price change.

As before, Megabytes you buy with Skyrove will never expire and can be used at more than 800 Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide. See http://map.skyrove.com for our Hotspot locations.

Please note that the above pricing bundles do not apply if you are using a 3rd party, such as Skype, to connect to a Skyrove Wi-Fi hotspot.

For a pricing comparison, see the mybroadband article here

Skyrove Video of the Week – What do you think?

We’ve just implemented a Skyrove Video of the Week section on the Skyrove Welcome Page (the page you see once you’re logged in).

The very first video is Trevor Noah’s hilarious (and now famous) act complaining about cellphone companies in South Africa.

New Skyrove Welcome Page

New Skyrove Welcome Page

Please let us know what you think about it. Do you like it? Are there any other features you would like to see on your Welcome Page?

p.s. The video won’t download until you hit the Play button (so no extra charges for the features)

The Read/Write Web as seen through Wi-Fi Hotspot Usage

The graph below depicts uploads vs downloads at Skyrove Wi-Fi hotspots over the past 3 years. As you can see, both have grown, but downloads have grown much faster than uploads.

This is a bit surprizing.

Just about everybody has a digital camera now and laptops have built-in webcams. I’d expect people to be uploading more photos & videos to Flickr and Facebook and to spend more time video calling each other on Skype.

Perhaps there’s an exponential relationship somewhere? I.e. every 100 KB photo uploaded is viewed 4 times, and thus 400 KB is downloaded? I surely hope that this is the case and that we’re not just turning into internet couch potatoes!

South Africa Internet Speed 93rd in the World

According to statistics published by Speedtest.net, South Africa’s internet speeds are slower than those in Rwanda, Uganda, Tunisia and even Azerbaijan.

The statistics are collated from more than 1.6 billion crowdsourced – that is, done by individual internet users – speedtests done at the website Speedtest.net and through its iPhone and Android apps.

The good news is that South Africa – at an average 2.32 Mbps – is faster than the average African download speed of 1.6 Mbps. The slowest speeds in the world are the be found in Zambia, at an average 0.26 Mbps.

Test your own connection speed at Speedtest.net. Also have a look at Pingtest.net to get a good idea of whether your connection will work for VoIP and gaming.

Note: Speedtest.net & Pingtest.net
are owned by Ookla, which was started by entrepreneur, former cab driver, SpeakEasy founder and allround great guy Mike Apgar)

Skyrove to take on mobile incumbents

Written by Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

Skyrove, a specialist wireless hotspot company, will launch an audacious bid for national radio frequency spectrum and, if it gets it, it plans to build a network to take on the country’s incumbent mobile operators.

TechCentral can reveal exclusively that the company, run by CEO Henk Kleynhans, plans to participate in an auction for national radio frequency in the 2,6GHz band. The auction, the first of its kind in SA, is set to take place in the next few months and involves spectrum at both 2,6GHz and 3,5GHz. It’s expected that the spectrum will be used to provide broadband access using third- and, later, fourth-generation wireless technologies.

Skyrove’s shareholders include venture capital firm 4Di Capital, which is ultimately owned by Reinet Investments (formerly Richemont), led by billionaire businessman Johann Rupert. Another shareholder is well-known East London-born Internet entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, the man behind fast-growing international website Yola.com.

Skyrove has built technology that allows anyone to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot and earn an income by sharing their Internet access with others. But now Kleynhans wants to take his business to the national stage, and thinks he has a model that will allow smaller players in the market to take on the giant operators in the industry.

Unlike other companies that are expected to bid for the spectrum — the mobile operators and larger Internet service providers are likely to be keen participants in the auction – Skyrove plans to share its infrastructure with other industry players if it wins the bid. “It is bizarre to think there should be only four service providers for 4G services when there are more than 500 licensed service providers in the country,” says Kleynhans.

“Skyrove will build a nationwide mobile broadband network, starting in urban areas, and will share the infrastructure with these service providers so they can provide 4G services, including telephony and video-on-demand.”The plan, says Kleynhans, is to sell the services directly to established Internet service providers in bulk and at wholesale prices. “We will not market directly to consumers and we don’t need to sign up millions of end-user customers ourselves before breaking even.”

Kleynhans says he can’t say yet who the company’s financial backers are. But whoever stumps up the cash will need deep pockets. Just participating in the 2,6GHz auction will cost R750 000, though this money is refundable. There’s also a nonrefundable application fee of R70 000. Of course, if the big incumbent operators take part in the auction, which they’re expected to, the bidding could quickly become too rich for many participants.

Big operators, including Vodacom, have suggested the spectrum that’s up for grabs should go to companies that have the financial wherewithal to build national networks. But Kleynhans says they’re being disingenuous. “It’s somewhat analogous to Encyclopaedia Britannica arguing that no-one could replicate what they’d done because they were ‘so big already’,” he says.

“Just as anyone with an Internet connection could contribute to Wikipedia, now anyone with a telecoms service licence will have open access to a platform on which they can provide innovative new services.”By selling access to the platform to other telecoms service providers, rather than trying to sell services directly to end-user consumers, Kleynhans says Skyrove will be able to regain its investment in infrastructure much faster.

“At the same time, because the infrastructure is being shared, service providers will pay much less than they would have if they built their own infrastructure or tried to build services on the incumbents’ networks.”

Kleynhans says Skyrove hasn’t yet decided which technology to adopt, though the company is keen on deploying 4G rather than 3G services using either WiMax or “long-term evolution”, the successor to the 3G networks operated by Vodacom and MTN.

Internet Cafe vs Wi-Fi – Hommage or Competitive Advertising?

I was sent this picture today of a sign at the African Axess internet cafe in Observatory.

Skyrove has 25 Wi-Fi hotspots in Observatory, with the vast majority charging R0.30 per MB (so R7 can get you well over an hour’s worth of internet access, or about 40 minutes worth of Skype).

You can find your closest Observatory Wi-Fi Hotspot on the Skyrove Wi-Fi Locator.

Free Wi-Fi internet at Greenmarket Square

For an initial six months only, Capetonians can enjoy free wireless internet at South Africa’s oldest public space, Greenmarket Square. In a unique collaboration between Cape Town Partnership and Skyrove, the premium Wi-Fi hotspot provider, locals will now have access to 10MB’s of free internet daily.

The free wireless internet will be a welcome addition to Greenmarket Square’s newly developed residential community; their revamped retail area; and their outdoor marketplace. “Businesses on Greenmarket Square will see a significant increase in the number of people lingering in their establishments, as more locals will schedule meetings outside of the office – or linger over coffee – while they enjoy wireless internet in the cosmopolitan bustle of this 300-year old heritage space,” says Henk Kleynhans, CEO of Skyrove.

Says Kleynhans, “The influx of visitors to popular tourist locations during the 2010 World Cup will be significant and we wanted to ensure that we could accommodate even the most tech-savvy soccer revellers and possibly enhance the attractiveness of the precinct.”

“As we constantly strive to make Cape Town a valuable resource for both cultural and creative inspiration, Skyrove’s proposition has assisted us to strengthen our positioning as a creative hub,” says Cape Town Partnership Senior Project Manager Terri Carter. She continues, “We hope to roll out similar projects around the city very soon.”

The City of Cape Town has spent over R18 million on the upgrade of Greenmarket Square. The first phase saw the granite cobbles, laid in 1965, lifted and cleaned before being rearranged at new levels to accommodate surrounding restaurants. In addition, CCTV cameras and pedestrian lights were installed; new bollards, benches and signs were added; as well as the sidewalks paved. The roof of the ablution facility is being transformed into a stage which will allow for special events such as lunchtime concerts which will further enhance business in the Square.

Article published on the Cape Town Partnership website.

Exemplary Service – Customer Testimonial

Today we had a problem at one of our Wi-Fi Hotspots, the Fat Cactus, in Cape Town. We recently upgraded their equipment. Free Skyrove vouchers are registered so that they can only be used at a particular hotspot, and because of the upgrade, there were some vouchers still registered to the old Wi-Fi routers.

Unfortunately, the Fat Cactus still had a handful of old vouchers which weren’t working with the new equipment. One of our customers, Anthony, phoned us after not being able to log in at the hotspot. Fortunately we were able to quickly diagnose and solve the problem.

Anthony later wrote the following feedback on our customer forum:

Examplary Service

Today I had issues with establishing a connection to Skyrove’s hotspot at a local restaurant in Gardens. Firstly, the free vouchers I received from the venue did not work, then I could not surf the net through my pre-paid account. A frustrating experience indeed.

I contacted Skyrove support by email and promptly received a telephone call from Robert from Support, who went through the issues with me. He soon discovered the problems, addressed them in a friendly manner, and arranged the issue to be resolved. I then received a follow-up email encapsulating the discussion we had prior on the phone and even received some Skyrove credit in the form of a voucher number.

This is what I call ‘service’.

May Skyrove go from strength to strength. I’m a happy customer :)

I think there are 2 key learnings out of this:

First, proper communication with your customers. We use Zendesk to track all customer support queries. It makes a BIG difference to your customers when you keep them in the loop.

Secondly, have a customer forum. It’s always a bit scary to have a section of your website that might point out weaknesses in your product/service. But it’s also very transparent and engenders trust from customers. And of course now and then a happy customer might just make some time to thank you for solving their problems.