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Technology & Communications News

JSE-listed Telkom tells of mixed hit from Covid-19 restrictions

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th September 2020 The impact of Covid-19 and the national lockdown has impacted JES-listed Telkom’s business to varying degrees. In an update to the market, Telkom said that, while its consumer business benefitted from the increased demand from people working from home and online schooling, its BCX and Small... 

Affordability of communications critical for impact

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th September 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic brings South Africa’s widening digital divide into sharp focus in South Africa, having the latest generation connectivity, unaffordable for many, will not make much of an economic impact without lowering the costs. South Africa has had some success with its various... 

Cybersecurity has to remain ‘front of mind’ for miners, says panel

By: Simone Liedtke     18th September 2020 As the world becomes more connected through information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), ABB local division manager for mining solutions John Manuell warns that cybersecurity will need “to remain front of mind”. With the advent and increasing use of digital technologies,... 

Cybersecurity has to remain ‘front of mind’ for miners, says panel

British government announces major quantum computing initiatives

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th September 2020 The UK government recently and formally launched the country’s National Quantum Computer Centre. The creation of this centre was first announced in 2018 and the government has committed £93-million to the initiative. The launching of the centre was announced at the Virtual Quantum Summit at the... 

Blue Label sells 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th September 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms is selling its 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico to co-shareholder Grupo Bimbo for $11.5-million. Blue Label will use the proceeds to settle its total parent guarantee obligations of $3.25-million payable to RBL Bank on behalf of Oxigen Services India, as well as... 

Tata International Africa records another year of growth

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th September 2020 Tata International Africa, a subsidiary of Tata International, has recorded another profitable year despite the challenging economies, shrinking markets and the pandemic. The group provides skills, expertise and various products in automotive, engineering, mining, farming and farm equipment, in... 

Study points to increased cybersecurity risks for oil and gas companies

By: Schalk Burger     16th September 2020 International oil and gas companies are facing an increased risk of cyber-attacks and will need to change the way they approach risk management to reduce the impact of cyberthreats, a recent master study by Stellenbosch University political scientist Kayla Mc Ewan shows. She says that, by... 

Digital technologies drive transformation in mining

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2020 With many things having changed, never to be the same, Microsoft South Africa enterprise director Amr Kamel says of the power of technology: “It will always help people and organisations to adapt, re-invent and transform”. South Africa’s mining industry contributed R360-billion to the country's... 

Digital technologies drive transformation in mining
Microsoft South Africa enterprise director Amr Kamel

Global marketplace launched for manufacturing industry assets

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th September 2020 A new digital marketplace, backed by asset disposal company Liquidity Services, is aimed at changing the way local manufacturing companies buy and sell assets to a national, regional and international buyer base. The company has long-running disposal contracts with organisations such as Boeing,... 

Global marketplace launched for manufacturing industry assets
AllSurplus.com screenshot

Signs of life on Venus?

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th September 2020 An international (UK-US-Japan) team of astronomers have stunned the scientific world by announcing the discovery of a rare molecule in the atmosphere of Venus, the third planet from the Sun, and Earth’s nearest neighbour (often called Earth’s ‘non-identical twin’, because the two are so similar... 

Signs of life on Venus?
Photo by Nasa
A 1974 visible wavelength image of Venus, taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft and recently reprocessed with modern technology to make the structure of its clouds more visible.

City of Johannesburg resumes free WiFi hotspots roll-out

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th September 2020 The City of Johannesburg has relaunched its free Joburg WiFi hotspots roll-out project after four years. Digital inequality continues to be high in the city with at least 50% of people in Johannesburg and 80% of residents in informal settlements still without access to the Internet. 

Puleng to offer buguroo behavioural biometric solution to South African banking clients

By: Schalk Burger     11th September 2020 Local user, data and cybersecurity architectures company Puleng Technologies has partnered with Madrid-based online fraud prevention specialist multinational buguroo to reduce the impact of online bank fraud in South Africa. Puleng Technologies will offer and support buguroo’s behavioural... 

Cosmic rays, background radiation could hamper quantum computing

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th September 2020 Quantum computing promises to bring huge improvements over conventional computing, if it can be scaled up from the current, basically laboratory test, installations. It would be able to process much more complex problems than conventional computing and do so at far, far higher speeds. But... 

Battery metals to boom despite widespread Covid-19 disruption

By: Donna Slater     11th September 2020 Battery metals, which are used in modern energy efficient electrical products, are playing an increasingly important role in climate change mitigation and the shift towards a lower carbon-intensive future. Battery metals, including lithium, vanadium, copper, cobalt, nickel, lead and graphite are... 

Battery metals to boom despite widespread Covid-19 disruption

Liquid Telecom launches managed cybersecurity service for Africa

By: Schalk Burger     10th September 2020 Africa-focused network and telecommunications group Liquid Telecom has launched a cybersecurity unit, which provides end-to-end managed services for digital security and is designed to protect customers' digitally transformed businesses including networks, people and systems. Liquid Telecom CEO... 

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Implementing a digital transformation strategy is a “must”, rather than an option, and is driven by both external and internal forces, petrochemicals company Sasol Chemicals digital lead Oratile Sematle said on September 8. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar as part of this year’s... 

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

Ozow launches new payment innovation

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th September 2020 Digital payments company Ozow has launched a series of new payment platforms to simplify payments for consumers and merchants and enable greater financial and digital inclusion. Ozow’s payments innovations were traditionally only available to enterprise and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Describing data as the “new oil” or “new water” of the world, Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC) president Annemarie van Coller has emphasised the importance of changing data from “just data to insights”. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar hosted... 

Data key to long-term optimisation, says SAIMC's first-ever female president
SAIMC president Annemarie van Coller gives viewers some insight into the data journey. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

4IR a ‘unique opportunity’ for Africa to overcome development hurdles 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th September 2020 The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) represents a unique opportunity for African countries to scale development hurdles with the help of technologies, electronics manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs Africa sales director Marc van Pelt said on September 8. He spoke during an automation-themed webinar,... 

4IR a ‘unique opportunity’ for Africa to overcome development hurdles
Pepperl+Fuchs Africa sales director Marc van Pelt gives us some more insight into how the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a unique opportunity for Africa, and South Africa. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

British and African researchers to work on Covid-19-related projects funded by the UK

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th September 2020 The UK has allocated £7.2-million to fund 20 new research projects to help poor countries deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on their most vulnerable populations, including children and refugees. The countries concerned are in Africa and Asia (including the Middle East) and the... 

Defy lauded for innovative locally-made ventilator

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2020 Appliance manufacturer Defy has been internationally recognised for its role in a project to provide innovative life-saving ventilators. The ventilators are designed and manufactured by South African engineers.  

Defy lauded for innovative locally-made ventilator
Defy's Impilo ventilator

VH Fibre Optics repositions to bridge the connectivity gap in South Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th September 2020 VH Fibre Optics, part of Alviva Holdings, is expanding its portfolio and repositioning its offerings toward closing the availability gap of fast and stable connectivity in rural and semi-rural areas. The group will deliver an end-to-end offering and new solutions that bring cost-effective... 

Scientists ascertain oceans are absorbing more carbon dioxide than previously believed

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th September 2020 An international research team led by scientists at the University of Exeter in the UK has determined that the world’s oceans are absorbing significantly more carbon dioxide than previously believed. The team also included scientists from the University of the Highlands and Islands, the... 

Eutelsat, Paratus sign distribution agreement for capacity over South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th September 2020 Eutelsat Communications and Paratus have signed a multi-year distribution agreement to bring high quality network connectivity to South Africa. The agreement will result in Paratus accessing the operational flexibility and power of high throughput satellite Eutelsat Konnect to bring connectivity... 

South African company launches AI-based Covid-19 risk screening mobile app

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th September 2020 South African company UC-Wireless has launched a new artificial intelligence- (AI-) driven mobile application to provide advanced healthcare risk wellness and Covid-19 screening for business staff, clients and personal users. The smart Instant Vitals app uses the mobile phone’s camera and AI... 

South African company launches AI-based Covid-19 risk screening mobile app

Nasa successfully ground-tested improved rocket booster

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th September 2020 Last week the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) successfully tested what could be described as the ‘mark 2’ version of the booster rocket for its heavy Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS boosters are the most powerful booster rockets ever built for flight operations and... 

Nasa successfully ground-tested improved rocket booster
Photo by Nasa
The FSB-1 booster photographed half-way through its test burn

BLSA implores govt to take on energy, spectrum policy with equal urgency as pandemic 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th September 2020 In her latest weekly newsletter, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso questions why government could implement “urgent” policies for the Covid-19 crises, but not for energy or spectrum allocation, which are also long-standing urgent issues. “The State acted fast [at the start of... 

BLSA implores govt to take on energy, spectrum policy with equal urgency as pandemic
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Orange, De Beers Marine South Africa develop IoT geofence for offshore mining crew safety

By: Schalk Burger     4th September 2020 Digital services multinational Orange Business Services and diamond miner De Beers' subsidiary De Beers Marine South Africa have jointly installed and tested a customised Internet of Things (IoT) solution to provide geofencing to maintain safe working distances for crew around the heavy machinery... 

Scientists in Hawaii have proposed a solution for the puzzle of Dark Energy

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 Scientists at the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa, in the US, have developed a theory to explain the mysterious force known as dark energy. For some 20 years now, scientists have known that not only is the universe expanding, but that this expansion is accelerating. The force driving this... 

Scientists in Hawaii have proposed a solution for the puzzle of Dark Energy
Photo by Event Horizon Telescope
From the outside, a Geode would look like a black hole (pictured: the black hole in the centre of the M87 galaxy).

Irdeto, IBM launch pre-integrated solution for video file transfer and forensic watermarking

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2020 Digital platform security company Irdeto has integrated its watermarking solution, TraceMark for Distribution, with IBM’s file transfer solution, Aspera on Cloud, offering the film industry a fast-to-market, easy to implement, affordable solution towards the fight against piracy. The full... 

Paratus activates direct terrestrial fibre link from Teraco to Maputo

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2020 Pan-African telecommunications company Paratus has completed a new terrestrial crossing between Johannesburg and Mozambique. The group lit up a 750 km route from Maputo, through Eswatini, to one of Paratus’ international colocation centres, Teraco Isando DC. 

Icasa to issue high demand spectrum ITA by end of September

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) plans to auction the long-awaited high demand spectrum in March next year. The auction of the high demand spectrum, which was originally going to take place during December 2020, will now be completed by no later than March 31,... 

Wireless valve bank available locally

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 The EX600-W wireless valve bank module from industrial automation technology company SMC is officially available in the South African market, says SMC senior technical sales engineer Wade Holland. The product has been available in Europe and Asia since early last year, but still needed to conform... 

Wireless valve bank available locally
TIME AND MONEY The EX600-W wireless valve bank module is designed to reduce downtime and costs

Council adapting to Covid-19 chokehold

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 The South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC) is adopting new technological solutions to meet its goals of growing its membership and exports this year despite the Covid-19 outbreak, says SACEEC chairperson Benny Jiyane. Amid the pandemic, six new members have joined SACEEC, which... 

Council adapting to Covid-19 chokehold
CAPITAL IDEA The South African Capital Equipment Export Council has launched a virtual product showroom in collaboration with Creamer Media on September 4 to promote member company products

Institute developing app for students

By: Halima Frost     4th September 2020 The Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) will launch its new Prospectus application (app) for Android and iOS operating systems ahead of 2021’s student registrations. “Prospectus, as the name implies, is a comprehensive guide to all the courses on offer by the SAIW,” says SAIW CEO John... 

Institute developing  app for students
PATH FINDER The new Prospectus app being introduced by The Southern African Institute of Welding will help prospective welders chose their career path

Nasa’s Orion spacecraft passes its final review process and now flight ready

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd September 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has reported that the Orion spacecraft that will undertake the uncrewed Artemis I mission has passed both its System Acceptance Review and Design Certification Review. This means that it is fit for its full planned mission profile –... 

Nasa’s Orion spacecraft passes its final review process and now flight ready
Photo by Nasa
The Orion spacecraft (right foreground) for the Artemis I mission, photographed earlier in its test process in a Nasa thermal chamber

UK announces major quantum computing initiatives

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd September 2020 The UK government formally launched the country’s National Quantum Computer Centre on Wednesday. The creation of this centre was first announced in 2018 and the government has committed £93-million to the initiative. The launching of the centre was announced at the Virtual Quantum Summit at the... 

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