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Technology & Communications News

European new era telecommunications satellite ready for launch

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that the world’s first commercial fully flexible software-defined telecommunications satellite has been integrated on its launch rocket. It is now ready for its launch, which is scheduled for Friday (July 30). The satellite, designated Eutelsat... 

Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital gets MRI scanner for animals

By: Schalk Burger     26th July 2021 The University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Veterinary Science's Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital (OVAH) has acquired its first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. “In South Africa, the use of MRIs for diagnostic purposes is limited to small animals and most MRI scans are done in... 

An image of an MRI scanner acquired by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital

Cable theft and vandalism costing economy R187bn

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th July 2021 Cable theft and infrastructure vandalism across South Africa is costing billions of rands and, if not reduced, will lead to a slower economic recovery. The persistent challenge has led to R7-billion a year in direct losses for Telkom, Eskom, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and... 

E-governance could improve service delivery by the public sector

By: Schalk Burger     23rd July 2021 Forays into public sector digitalisation and e-governance are laying a foundation for a future in which large-scale digital adoption by government systems have the potential to vastly improve the lives of citizens on the ground in emerging economies, says management consultancy multinational... 

International partnership to provide African SMEs with IT skills

By: Schalk Burger     23rd July 2021 Financial services group Ecobank Group has partnered with various organisations to provide training to equip small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa with digital skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world. The partnership includes information technology... 

Eskom enhances its digital platforms

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd July 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has embarked on a digital journey to increase its availability and accessibility to its customers. The enhanced MyEskom Customer app and the introduction of Alfred the chatbot are the first of many digital solutions to be launched to enhance Eskom’s customer... 

Maseko resigns as Telkom chief

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd July 2021 Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko will step down as CEO and executive director of the company and its subsidiaries, effective June 30, 2022. Maseko joined Telkom on April 1, 2013, and, during his eight-year tenure, evolved the business from a traditional fixed business to a portfolio of businesses... 

Vodacom reports strong 2021 first quarter

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd July 2021 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has reported strong results for the quarter ended June 2021 on the back of a good performance in South Africa and a recovery in the international business. Group revenue climbed 9% to R24.8-billion, while group service revenue increased 2.2% to R19.2-billion. On a... 

Young African project leaders highlighted

23rd July 2021 Industry association Project Management Institute (PMI) announced its second yearly Future 50 list, which features 50 rising leaders using bold and innovative thinking to transform the world through notable projects. The 50 standout project leaders, highlighted in a new digital experience on the... 

Photo of two engineers working on site
LEADING THE WAY The 50 individuals on the Future 50 list are changemakers whose range of projects exemplify the power and potential of transformation

German corporation invests in fibre provider

23rd July 2021 German investment corporation Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) has supported the successful placement of a bond issued by the African fibre optic network operator Liquid Telecommunications on the international capital market. DEG announced in March that it is investing... 

A farmer having connectivity out in the field
GROWING ROOTS The German investment firm DEG has agreed to invest in South African company Liquid Telecommunications

Quantum computing to add $850bn in value by 2040, says Boston Consulting Group

By: Schalk Burger     22nd July 2021 Investors are moving aggressively to increase their spend on quantum computing and confidence is growing that quantum computers will solve major problems that are beyond the reach of traditional computers, says management consultancy multinational Boston Consulting Group (BCG). This upturn in... 

IFC invests in Convergence Partners’ Fund to boost digital access in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd July 2021 To help strengthen broadband infrastructure and improve online access to digital services for individuals and businesses in more than 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, global development institution International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested in a new fund by Convergence Partners... 

Transnet IT app outage affecting container terminal operations

By: Schalk Burger     22nd July 2021 State-owned freight logistics company Transnet says it is experiencing a disruption in some of its information technology (IT) applications, although only container terminals are affected. "Operations across the group are continuing, with the Freight Rail, Pipelines, Engineering and Property... 

New entity EY-Parthenon to boost strategy consultation business in Africa

By: Donna Slater     22nd July 2021 Professional services firm EY launched its global strategy consulting organisation EY – Parthenon (EY-P) across Africa on July 22, bringing in a connected corporate and transactions strategy offering to the continent. EY-P is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US, and has 40 offices... 

Africa experiencing cyberattacks comparable to other parts of world

By: Schalk Burger     21st July 2021 About 10% of computers experienced at least one malware attack in 2020, research by cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky shows. In some African countries, including South Africa, the figure was only slightly under the global 10% average, making the African region comparable to that of North... 

Phase 1 digital service delivery platform launched in Johannesburg, Cape Town

By: Schalk Burger     21st July 2021 The first phase of the free-to-use My Smart City service delivery platform, which allows citizens to report potholes, monitor power or water outages and communicate with local municipal officials, besides other activities, has been launched in Johannesburg and Cape Town. “My Smart City is giving... 

Study finds a third of companies will retain hybrid working models

By: Schalk Burger     21st July 2021 The 'Digital Corporation in South Africa 2021' study, undertaken by technology market research firm World Wide Worx, shows that one-in-four medium-sized and large companies in South Africa are fully digitally transformed and that about one-third of companies will not insist that employees return... 

Blue Origin becomes second space company to successfully conduct crewed suborbital flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st July 2021 US crewed suborbital space launch company Blue Origin successfully conducted its first crewed spaceflight on Tuesday. The New Shepard vehicle lifted off from the company’s Launch Site One, located in the west of the US state of Texas, at 09h12, US Eastern Time, carrying four passengers, and... 

An image of the New Shepard rocket in landing configuration with passenger capsule separated
Photo by Blue Origin
New Shepard rocket shown in landing configuration with passenger capsule separated

IQbusiness acquires ITQ Business Solutions to bolster expertise

By: Donna Slater     21st July 2021 Consulting, research and contracting company IQbusiness has acquired a controlling stake in business services company ITQ Business Solutions (ITQ), which focusses on software support, consulting and development in key growth sectors. IQbusiness CEO Adam Craker says the acquisition will serve to... 

Veeam foresees growth as changed world of work, IT makes data backup important

By: Schalk Burger     21st July 2021 The significant changes adopted by organisations to enable remote working on an unprecedented scale worldwide has contributed to an increase in opportunistic and targeted cyberattacks on the larger attack surface of companies. This has resulted in an increase in requirements for effective data... 

Committee calls for nominations for positions at Icasa

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Communications is calling for members of the public and organisations to nominate suitably qualified persons to fill four vacancies at the council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa). Nominations for the vacancies, to be filled in terms... 

UK unveils proposals to boost competition and curb market dominance in its digital sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th July 2021 The UK government revealed on Tuesday its proposals to boost competition in the country’s digital economy and curb the power of the currently dominant players in the sector. This starts the public consultation phase of the development of the proposals. The government’s plan is centred on the... 

US researchers discover sex differences in development of brain cell networks

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th July 2021 Researchers at the Joan C Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University (in Huntington in the US state of West Virginia) have discovered evidence that there are differences in the development of neuron (brain cell) networks between males and females in mammals. Their research has shown that... 

Boeing’s new space capsule integrated with carrier rocket for second uncrewed test flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th July 2021 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has reported that the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crewed space craft and its launch rocket, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V, have been fully assembled at ULA’s Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Cape Canaveral... 

Hubble Space Telescope operational again

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th July 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) successfully returned the renowned Hubble Space Telescope to operational status on Saturday. The telescope had been non-operational since June 13, when its payload computer had developed a problem. “Hubble is an icon, giving us... 

Imvula Education Empowerment Fund Trust undertakes landmark JSE-listed investment

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2021 Imvula Education Empowerment Fund Trust is embarking on its first investment in a JSE-listed company through its broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) agreement with Ellies Holdings. The R18.5-million deal will see Imvula acquire 185-million ordinary Ellies shares, representing a 23%... 

Banking sector can transform through data, APIs and automation - Kearney

By: Schalk Burger     16th July 2021 The global Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to the need for the retail banking sector to more quickly transform to a customer-centric service that is digitised, personal and convenient. Data, application programming interfaces (APIs) and automation could be leveraged to satisfy these... 

BMW Group launches quantum computing challenge in collaboration with Amazon Web Services

By: Yvonne Silaule     16th July 2021 Automotive manufacturer BMW Group has launched a quantum computing challenge in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to crowd-source innovation. The challenge encourages entrants to come up with innovative quantum algorithms and test their solutions on real quantum computing technologies. 

Telkom working on recovering after riots

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th July 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom is counting the costs of the mass riots, destruction of property and looting across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng over the past week as it starts the recovery of its affected operations. The company said in a statement on July 16 that it is on course with the recovery... 

Opportunities to improve artisan programme despite slow start

By: Cameron Mackay     16th July 2021 While the Artisan 4.0 programme is still in its first year, there are various opportunities to improve the programme going forward, says industry education entity the Colliery Training College (CTC) MD Johan Venter. CTC introduced the Artisan 4.0 programme last year in four phases, as the... 

JOHAN VENTER
All employers, regardless of industry, are at various stages of digitalization; and those that are further down the road of digitalization are showing more interest
JOHAN VENTER All employers, regardless of industry, are at various stages of digitalization; and those that are further down the road of digitalization are showing more interest

Specialised services offered by engineering group

16th July 2021 Detection services company Bosch Munitech and consulting engineering company Bosch Projects – both part of multidisciplinary consulting engineering group Bosch Holdings in KwaZulu-Natal – is offering specialised services that encompass aerial surveys, laser scanning and three-dimensional (3D)... 

LONG TIME RUNNING
Bosch Holdings celebrates 60 years of business this year
LONG TIME RUNNING Bosch Holdings celebrates 60 years of business this year

Cybercrimes Act a good foundation to build case law, develop capacity, says advocate

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2021 The Cybercrimes Act, which is yet to enter into force, provides key definitions of cybercrimes, cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes; guidelines for gathering evidence; deals with issues of jurisdiction; and sets out obligations for electronic communications services providers and financial... 

IoT use in South Africa to grow by 14% a year to 2025

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2021 The use of Internet of Things (IoT) in South Africa is expected to grow by 14% a year from 2020 to 2025, says information and communications technology market research firm IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey associate VP for sub-Saharan Africa Mark Walker. He notes that IoT adoption is expected... 

Etion, Altron extend conditions date for LawTrust acquisition

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2021 JSE-listed firms Allied Electronics (Altron) and Etion have extended the fulfillment or waiver date for the conditions precedent to the LawTrust acquisition until August 31. Altron subsidiary Altron TMT signed an agreement with Etion in April to acquire Etion’s cyber and information security... 

MTN maintains best mobile network status

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has maintained its position of South Africa’s best mobile network during the second quarter MyBroadband Insights report. The mobile operator achieved a network quality score of 9.79 during the second quarter of 2021, an increase on the score of 9.73 reported in the... 

Icasa urges communities to help protect towers

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has written to the National Joints Operations and Intelligence Services to prioritise the safeguarding and protection of critical telecommunications infrastructure and calls on communities to assist. This comes as the ongoing acts... 

Wits, France CNRS sign scientific excellence cooperation agreement

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2021 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Zeblon Vilakazi and French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) CEO Professor Antoine Petit have signed a bipartite agreement for research cooperation to foster scientific excellence. The framework... 

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