No more Bal-loons

eSwatini joins the Clean network, Project Loon comes to a halt

Hello 😊 

By this time next week, we’d be saying goodbye to January.  Finally, the wait is over.  

Quick question: What are the most important questions you often ask about your personal finances?

Maybe “how can I make more money? What earning and investment opportunities do I have access to?

How can I manage-Save, Invest, Spend -my money better?

How can I understand financial concepts better?”

Now let’s get into the business of the day. 


eSwatini joins the Clean network

The Kingdom of eSwatini has become the first country to join the Clean Network.

Wait, what?

Ever heard of the country called Eswatini? Probably.

In 2018, during its 50th independence celebration, King Mswati III of Swaziland renamed the country “The Kingdom of eSwatini”

Wait for it.

He explained that the name had caused some confusion, saying: "Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland."

So yes, Swaziland, the landlocked country in the eastern flank of South Africa is now called eSwatini.

About Clean Network

The Clean Network was created in 2020 to ensure that Chinese mobile phone applications, desktop software and cloud computing providers cannot access data concerning Americans. The association publicly lists the tech vendors and operators considered trusted by the American government.

Later in December 2020, the United States announced that more than 50 nations, representing more than two-thirds of the world's gross domestic product, and 180 telecom companies, have publicly committed to the principles of The Clean Network.

What does this mean?

Over the past decade, more African countries have become pro-China as the US has increasingly lost ground to China on the continent. 

But Eswatini is different. It is Africa’s last absolute monarchical system of government and has maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan instead of China. The president of South Africa to the CEO of Kenya’s biggest telco, the support for Huawei in the 5G industry

Questions: With a new president would America continue the Clean Network or disband it?

Would other African countries join the clean Network considering the fact that they have strong ties - trade/debt - with China?

Which African country do you think would join the Clean Network next?


No more Bal-loons

The famous “Project Loon” which aimed to use high-altitude balloons in the sky to create an aerial wireless network to deliver the Internet to remote and rural communities has come to a halt. The project began as a ‘moonshot’ idea under Google’s X lab in 2011 before running in a separate business unit under parent company Alphabet in 2018.

Remember?

Last year we wrote about signing its first commercial agreement with Telkom Kenya in 2018. This was done while undergoing significant testing to initially cover 50,000 square kilometers in western and central parts of the country. 

The project also gained public attention by providing connectivity during natural disasters in Puerto Rico in 2017 and Peru in 2019. It even managed to raise $125 million through SoftBank in 2019!

What went wrong then?

Profitability. The project’s CEO claims that its business model was unsustainable because it has not found a way to lower costs on an operational basis.

What next for Kenya?

Alphabet said it is closing the pilot service in Kenya but will create a $10 million fund to support non-profit organizations and businesses that specialize in connectivity, Internet, entrepreneurship and education in Kenya. While that sounds nice, the Kenyan government is also cooking something up.

Microwave Links and The Kenyan government

A microwave link is a communications system that uses a beam of radio waves in microwave frequency range (1 GHz to 1000 GHz) to transmit video, audio or data between two locations.

The Communications Authority of Kenya allotted 122 Microsoft links to various operators within the country as part of its plan to deploy 5G across the country. It plans to issue frequency licenses and coordinate the use of the radio frequency spectrum resource.

At the moment, 4G is present in all 47 Kenyan counties and while that shows that there is a wide coverage for connectivity services across the country,  it is denser in the Nairobi area than other parts. 

Worth reading 📚

Quote 💭

Changing your mind should be something celebrated, not ridiculed. It represents a form of success, not failure.

-- Mark Mansion