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4 technological advances that await South Africans in 2020

Technological advances never cease to amaze us. It seems like only yesterday that we had to disconnect the dial-up internet because we were waiting for an important call or we had to download thousands of MP3 files to listen to our favorite music.

In this note, will try to get ahead and reveal where these changes will come from in 2020.

The definitive landing of 5G

According to a previous investigation, we have the best mobile internet in Africa. Our average download speed is about 22.42 Mbps while in the world it is around 16 Mbps.

The 5G technology will allow speeds of 10 Gbps (10,000 Mbps), which would be about 10 to 100 times better than current 4G and 4.5G networks. However we will have to be patient and wait at the end of 2020 since there are only 250 towers installed in the country as it was explained by Rain, a well know 5G service provider.

Khaya Dlanga, Rain’s marketing director, said that speeds close to 700Mbps have been reached under ideal conditions. However, under regular conditions, Rain 5G subscribers can expect to experience speeds of around 200Mbps.

The “apps” will take the leadership of the services

More and more the apps drive on our daily tasks. For example, WhatsApp has taken control of the communications being today the South Africa’s most active social media platform with 90% of local users.

The online financial services have had a great growth in 2019 and further growth is still expected from fintechs and other traditional banks that will compete in the segment. According to the online comparator the ranking of the most used financial apps is the following:


Usage Rank App Owner
1 Capitec Remote Banking Capitec Bank
2 FNB Banking App FNB
3 Standard Bank / Stanbic Bank Standard Bank / Stanbic Bank
4 Absa Banking App Absa Group Limited.
5 Nedbank Money Nedbank Limited


In the same way, Uber has made progress on transport and an equivalent progress in delivery applications is expected. Furthermore, we still have many other applications to know. The fight between traditional services and “Apps” will give incredible battles in 2020.

Google, Google and more Google

The technology giant is increasingly his strong presence in the region. A few years ago we

saw it for the first time in “offline” mode with Street View vans. And this year the protagonist was Google Station, which is a program to provide fast, free and open Wi-Fi in partnership with ThinkWifi, an internet service provider.

Google Station is now available in over 100 locations across Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Delft, Elsies River, Philippi and more.

Internally, Artificial Intelligence has given the translator the boost it was wanting. Blending with the increase in voice searches and the official announcement that an Uber can now be ordered by voice command. All these advancements presented by the technology giant in South Africa will shape the way we will consume the internet in the coming years.

An eCommerce boom

According to a Visa survey, 63% of South Africans said they prefer to make purchases at a mall, and Urban Studies found that 76% of South Africans visit a mall at least once a week. South African traditional retailers are therefore taking a narrow approach to building eCommerce businesses.

As a recent report by the Accenture shows “56% of South African internet users say that when they do buy online, their choices are influenced by social media.” Which highlights an important opportunity for the growth of the online sales market.

Even customers ask for it, nearly two-thirds of South African shoppers said they expect to be offered online options for post-purchase service and support, no matter where they purchase their items.


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