African Cell Phone Tower IHS Raises $2.6 Billion in Funding
In what's being billed as the largest funding for an African firm over the last decade, Nigerian firm IHS has managed to raise $2 Billion in equity and a further $600 Million in debt. This is an important step for the region, as many users in Africa will only get online for the first time by using their smartphone or tablet and this sort of large scale investment will help drive that sort of growth. IHS Chief Executive, Issam Darwish, said this of the deal: "This is the largest equity raising by a private entity for the past 7-8 years in Africa — you've had mining, banks and now telecom infrastructure as a standalone sector is commanding this much interest from the international markets". Reuters has the full story here.
UK Government Working on Plain to Force Networks to Allow Roaming
In what's been a news story making the rounds this past week in the UK, the Government is actively looking into a way they could force networks to allow national roaming. Essentially, this would allow your Vodafone phone to work on Three's network when you're out of service, for no extra cos. The idea is to cover 'black spots' and while it sounds brilliant, the networks aren't happy about it. Allowing Three (as an example) to gain more coverage without actually investing in their own network could be a problem and that's what the networks keep on telling the Government. However, the Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, is said to be exploring legislation to push this through. You can read more from the Telegraph.
Google Play Music Finally Expands into Eastern Europe
Google's Play Music has really grown over the last couple of years and while All Access isn't available in many places (thanks, record labels, we hate you too) Google is doing their best to roll Play Music out globally. This past week, they added a whole bunch of Eastern European nations to the list of those that can now access music from the Play Store. These countries include:
All Access has apparently come along for the ride as well, and you can of course upload all of your music (well, all 20,000 songs of it) to your own personal library, too. As always, the Google Support page is your friend.
Sony's Selfie Phone, the Xperia C3 is Headed to Australia
So, you want a smartphone that's great at taking pictures. Hang on, you say the camera is the wrong way round for your usage? Then you want the Xperia C3 and if you're in Australia, you'll be happy to hear that the selfie-phone is going on sale over there. It'll be available in the usual places for $399 and while it's nothing too special, it might be just what your teenager has been looking for for Christmas, either that or you just live too exciting a life to leave undocumented head-on. You can read more from Ausdroid.
ASUS ZenFone Line Available from PC World and Currys in the UK
What could be a result of the recent creation of the Carphone Dixons group, PC World and Currys are now stocking the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 for purchase on their website. The ZenFone 5 is £149.99 unlocked, while the larger ZenFone 6 jumps up to £249.99. We reviewed the ZenFone 5 LTE earlier this year and while PC World have opted not to bother with 4G, the phone is essentially the same experience aside from the different CPU and 4G.
The Nexus 9 Might not Hit Retail Stores in Australia 'till 2015
While Australians have been receiving their Nexus 9s from the Play Store in the mail, it looks like the tablet might not be available to see in the flesh before purchasing until next year. At least, that's what a recent report from Ausdroid is suggesting. This could be a real problem for the Nexus 9 as there are a lot of people out there that wouldn't spend this sort of money without trying it out first.
Google's Chromecast is Heading to Mexico
Google's Chromecast has proven successful for the search giant over the past year or so and now, they're bringing it to Mexico. For 699 Pesos, the Chromecast is still a good deal, especially for what you get and if you've been envious of all the things people can do with one, then now's your chance to get your own.
Google Play Gift Cards Heading to Ireland 'Soon'
For those of you in the Republic of Ireland, you'll soon be able to purchase Gift Cards for the Google Play Store, perfect for the Holidays and while the â‚¬15, â‚¬25 and â‚¬50 increments aren't all that flexible, it is nice to have them available for purchase, regardless. To check if the gift cards are available in your region, you can check here.