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Telecoms News

Skilled-worker gap to widen as technology develops

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2020 The gap between jobs and skilled workers is continuing to widen as the unprecedented speed of technological development brings rise to innovations and new business models that have changed the face of global economies. While 2019 proved to be a significant year for the technology sector, and 2020... 

Safaricom likely to borrow to fund Ethiopia Telecom bid

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2020 Safaricom, weighing an offer for Ethiopia’s telecom business later this year, plans to take on debt to fund a joint bid by a consortium including parent Vodacom Group and two other entities. “We do know the investment to build the network in Ethiopia will be big,” Safaricom’s interim Chief... 

R2K to picket over Rica privacy failure

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th February 2020 Advocacy organisation, the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign on Wednesday held protests in Pretoria and Cape Town against what it says is the failure of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) to protect South African citizens’ right... 

R2K to picket over Rica privacy failure

5G to support more than 10% of global mobile connections by 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th February 2020 Fifth-generation (5G) technologies are poised to support more than 10% of mobile connections globally as Internet connectivity rises over the next three years, a new report by information, communication and networking equipment and software multinational Cisco shows. By 2023, 66% of the global... 

Vodafone Africa’s path to expansion is paved with $2 mini loans

By: Bloomberg     17th February 2020 Vodacom Group sees its African financial services business as a cornerstone of growth as the wireless carrier expands into products such as funeral insurance and loans of as little as $2. The unit of the UK’s Vodafone Group uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to customize its... 

Blue Label to conclude 3G Mobile deal, Blue Label Mobile at advanced stage

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th February 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label is set to receive its R544-million asking price, after all suspensive conditions relating to the disposal of subsidiary The Prepaid Company’s (TPC’s) interest in the 3G Mobile handset trading operations were on Friday fulfilled. In September last year, Blue Label announced... 

Digital transformation initiative for smallholder farmers

By: Schalk Burger     14th February 2020 The Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (ESWADE), in partnership with network operator Eswatini Mobile and South African agri-fintech company eSusFarm Africa, will use the eSusFarm Africa platform to provide information and services for 10 000 farmers on small-holdings. ESWADE... 

Huawei to participate in ‘noncore’ elements of Britain’s 5G network

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Towards the end of last month, the British Government announced that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in the creation of the UK’s fifth-generation (5G) broadband telecommunications network. This despite strong lobbying from the US Government to exclude Huawei.  

Cable repair ship faces a further delay

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 Unfavourable conditions at sea continue to hamper the progress of the Leon Thevenin cable repair vessel and crew undertaking the joint repair mission of the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC) and the West African Cable System (WACS). According to a statement published on... 

Cable repair ship faces a further delay

KfW, DBSA renew MoU

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th February 2020 German development bank KfW has renewed its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with development finance institution, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), to continue their successful collaboration on the financing and implementation of programmes. The signing of the MoU took place on... 

MTN to post double-digit growth in full-year earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th February 2020 JSE-listed MTN expects to report double-digit growth in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended December 31. Reported on an International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16 basis, the group expects a 30% to 50% increase in HEPS to between 438c and 506c for the year under review,... 

Skills shortages threaten South Africa’s 4IR progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th February 2020 Skills shortages will be the single biggest challenge facing the South African information and communication technology (ICT) sector over the next ten years, the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) says. While South Africa’s highly innovative and... 

Vodacom to launch 5G services in South Africa this year

By: Reuters     4th February 2020 Vodacom Group, South Africa's biggest telecoms company by value, expects to offer 5G mobile services in its home market this year thanks to a recent roaming agreement with Liquid Telecom, CE Shameel Joosub said on Tuesday. Last month Liquid Telecom said it would launch the first fifth generation... 

Vodacom posts 6.6% rise in quarterly revenue

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th February 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom reported 6.6% growth in group revenue to R23.6-billion for the quarter ended December 31, as two-million customers were added to the network. The South African operations recorded 5.9% year-on-year growth in revenue to R18-billion, while the international... 

Icasa to review IMT responses

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd February 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has set its sights on the next milestone for the licensing of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum. The licensing process is scheduled for first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year – starting April 1 – following... 

Competition Commission extends data deadline for telco’s

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd February 2020 The Competition Commission on Monday said it had extended, by one month, the deadline handed to South African mobile operators to agree to several recommendations outlined in the ‘Final Findings and Recommendations of the Data Services Market Inquiry’ report. Published in December, the... 

Secure channel for direct engagement with clients on WhatsApp

By: Schalk Burger     31st January 2020 Companies can set up direct communication channels using the WhatsApp business application programming interface (API) to securely engage with clients while providing a responsive and rich experience, says business communication company Infobip South Africa senior sales manager Andre Joubert. The... 

Secure channel for direct engagement with clients on WhatsApp
ANDRE JOUBERT Infobip’s teams develop ready-to-use solutions and services, and can help clients to design client platforms that best suit their needs

Deep-cycle flow batteries being deployed in mobile network towers

By: Schalk Burger     31st January 2020 Compact, deep-cycle zinc-bromine flow batteries made by ASX-listed battery manufacturer Redflow are being deployed in telecommunications towers in South Africa and the company aims to serve similar needs in key African markets, says Redflow CEO and MD Tim Harris. The company is rolling out its... 

Deep-cycle flow batteries being  deployed in mobile network towers
TIM HARRIS Redflow has deployed its batteries in commercial, industrial and micro-grid applications in Australia, the Pacific and Thailand

MTN announces $1.6bn investment to expand network in Nigeria

By: African News Agency      30th January 2020 South African multinational mobile telecommunications company MTN said it was making a capital investment of $1.6-billion over the next three years to strengthen and expand its network and operations in Nigeria. MTN issued the statement late on Wednesday after its group chairperson Mcebisi Jonas,... 

Openserve expects cable repairs to be completed in mid-Feb 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th January 2020 Infrastructure provider Openserve has advised that repairs on undersea cables off the coast of Angola will take longer than initially expected. The repair ship Leon Thevinin departmented the Cape Town harbour last week and would have sailed to offshore Angola where the first steps of the... 

Openserve expects cable repairs to be completed in mid-Feb
Leon Thevenin vessel

UK to allow Huawei to participate in 'noncore' elements of country’s 5G network

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2020 The British government announced on Tuesday that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in the creation of the UK’s fifth-generation (5G) broadband telecommunications network. This despite strong lobbying from the US government to exclude Huawei. However, for... 

Cell C defaults on interest payment 

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th January 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label’s shares plunged on Tuesday after it announced embattled mobile operator Cell C’s default on the interest payment of a multibillion-rand note. The payment of interest on the $184-million, or about R2.7-billion, loan was due in December 2019, while interest and capital... 

MTN realises R14bn in asset sales in 2019

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2020 JSE-listed telecommunications giant MTN has secured proceeds of R14-billion to date through its asset realisation programme (ARP). The programme kicked off in March last year with the aim of simplifying the group’s portfolio, reducing debt and risk, improving returns and realising proceeds of at... 

MTN relaunches MoMo in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2020 JSE-listed telecommunications group MTN is going live with its mobile money (MoMo) service in South Africa. The company’s third attempt at deploying MoMo services in the country follows the finalisation of engagements with all the relevant regulatory bodies and authorities, including the South... 

IoT revenue expected to more than double in Middle East and Africa by 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2020 Africa and the Middle East (AME) is set to be the second-fastest growing region, behind Asia Pacific, for Internet of Things (IoT) revenue, as interest gains momentum. While IoT is still in the early stages of uptake, stakeholders are exploring and identifying key areas of growth throughout a... 

Blue Label expects half-year earnings improvement

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd January 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label is optimistic of a more than 20% increase in half-year earnings. Basic, headline and core headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended November 30, 2019, are expected to improve by 2.52c, 3c and 2.28c. 

Telkom starts retrenchment consultations

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd January 2020 Telecommunications group Telkom on Wednesday kicked off the consultation process with organised labour that could see up to 3 000 workers retrenched. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration will facilitate the Section 189 process, which was announced last week as the JSE-listed... 

Dual submarine cable restoration process under way

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2020 Telkom’s infrastructure provisioning division, Openserve, on Tuesday confirmed that the cable consortia for both of the undersea fibre cables that broke last week have tasked their respective restoration processes to a single chief of mission aboard the Leon Thevinin. The Leon Thevinin is a... 

Dual submarine cable restoration process under way
The Leon Thevinin

MTN Uganda, ZTE unveil 5G service in East Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st January 2020 Telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions provider ZTE Corporation and telecommunications group MTN Uganda have teamed up to launch the first fifth-generation (5G) service in Uganda. The parties showcased a high-speed 5G network under the 60 MHz spectrum bandwidth with an... 

Mokoena to head up Google South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 Ogilvy South Africa outgoing CEO Alistair Mokoena is preparing to take on the role of country director at Google South Africa from April 2020, succeeding former CEO Luke McKend, who left the firm in November 2018. Mokoena will oversee the commercial business for Google South Africa. 

Openserve hit by dual submarine cable outage

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 Infrastructure provider Openserve has been hit by reduced speed on international browsing, with international voice calling and mobile roaming also impacted, after an “unusual” dual cable break on the submarine systems connecting South Africa to Europe. The West Africa Cable System (WACS) and... 

Fedusa calls for Telkom board overhaul

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 As Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams sits down with Telkom over the potential retrenchment of up to 3 000 employees, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has called for the JSE-listed group’s board to be axed. In a statement on Friday, Fedusa... 

MTN appoints new CEO for South Sudan business

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 JSE-listed MTN Group has appointed Gordian Kyomukama as the new CEO of MTN South Sudan, effective January 21. Lily Zondo, acting CEO over the past few months, will resume her role as CFO with immediate effect. 

Granular data to drive supply chain productivity

By: Schalk Burger     17th January 2020 Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) supply chain companies must aim to collect granular data – detailed, accurate data– to improve productivity and reduce costs in the sector, says information technology logistics solutions company MACmobile commercial director Andrew Dawson. FMCG supply chain... 

Granular data to drive supply chain productivity
ANDREW DAWSON Better analytical infrastructure will enable companies to better engage with customers and supply chain partners

Smart infrastructure that meets broad needs crucial for smart cities

By: Schalk Burger     17th January 2020 Developing infrastructure that caters to the needs of society is fundamental to create smart cities, which are not the result of new buildings, but of the increasingly critical role that technology plays in making urban buildings smart, says Johnson Control sub-Saharan Africa GM Archibald... 

Asset discovery improves security response and efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     17th January 2020 Information technology (IT) asset discovery software provides an accurate picture of assets that enables organisations to identify which technology needs to be refreshed or replaced, leading to better IT asset management, says IT multinational BT commercial contracts chief information security... 

Telkom could cut 3 000 jobs – letter to unions

By: Reuters     16th January 2020 Telecoms company Telkom told unions on Wednesday it could cut up to 3 000 of more than 15 000 staff as it struggles with declining performance in fixed voice and fixed data services. Like other African telecoms firms, Telkom, in which the government holds a stake of about 40%, is trying to keep... 

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