By Mosho Mwalwembe.
Technology as we’ve known it has rapidly developed in the last decade – So fast that there’s literally something new everyday. No, seriously, it’s that accelerated and you shouldn’t even be surprised.
COVID-19. Global pandemic – schools shut, companies working remotely leaving only essential employees in office, bars closed (the Zambian populus isn’t happy zoona, lol), and life as we’ve known it no longer is what it was just a blink ago.
Nothing is the same and almost everything is affected, with a few exceptions, one of which is our global network that consists of constantly communicating routers and switches, known commonly as the glorious Internet.
Traffic on the internet has nearly doubled and according to reports by CNET and Mashable, ISP’s in the US as well as countries across Europe are experiencing internet usage spikes since the pandemic came onto the scene. The same is happening here, but at a much lower rate. Despite this increase, tech is still showing how capable it is.
Technology has been more than ready for a situation of such magnitude and it’s proving it day by day.
Below are a few ways it’s doing so.
The ability to share information from point to point is probably one of the lifelines of today’s world and all of us heavily depend on it. Despite social distancing measures having been put in place across the country, many communication tools are already fully functional and active in lives of those that own a smartphone and have access to a stable internet connection. Communication giant Facebook already has such tools running and they are one of the pioneers in this space. Platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger are ensuring the connected citizen is communicating effectively. Twitter is another platform exhibiting similar capabilities.
The corporate world has access to video conferencing platforms such as Skype and Zoom, ensuring meetings are still held. A platform created by Facebook targeted at the corporate social life called Workplace is also currently running.
The term “E-Learning” is no stranger to most. Delivering knowledge through the internet isn’t as fully implemented as it should be in the country, but it has certainly gained some traction over the years. With the recent directive from the government to temporarily close all learning institutions, most have looked to the use of internet based learning solutions with the drive to ensure that academic activities are not totally disrupted. Such an example would be the UNZA E-learning platform as well as the ZCAS E-Learning platform.
Let’s jump right into it! DSTV Now, MTN TV +, Airtel TV, Netflix (and chill 🌚), YouTube, the list goes on and on. Users have a wide variety to choose from as their primary source of entertainment while at home.
Zambia doesn’t have a large digital footprint on the online gaming scene as such but it would be unjust to completely write off the select few that are actively engaged playing games via the internet.
Online gaming has been ready for some years now and with the rising popularity in mobile gaming, it’s no surprise to find Zambians engaged in games like COD Mobile and PUBG. This is not to write off those that are faithful PC and console online gamers.
This should have probably been the first point because all of the above mentioned are useless without hardware!
Hardware is everything. Firewalls, routers, switches, the RJ45 connectors. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. From handheld gaming devices to fully fledged consoles. Mifi’s, cell towers, large connected satellites. The list is endless.
It would be daylight robbery to end such a piece of writing without at least mentioning the terms cloud computing and Ai – those too are at the forefront, ensuring our lives are digital and automated.
Any thoughts, go ahead and speak your mind in the comment section below!