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Technology & Communications News

SpaceX selected for another important Nasa contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th February 2021 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has chosen renowned private-sector space company SpaceX to launch the core elements of the agency’s Moon-orbiting space station, Lunar Gateway. SpaceX was founded by South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon... 

Airbus goes big on 3D printing for satellite contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th February 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus is now engaged in large volume manufacturing of radio frequency (RF) components for satellites using additive layer manufacturing (ALM). Also known simply as additive manufacturing, ALM is popularly called 3D printing. RF components are of course... 

Computer image of an Eurostar Neo satellite in orbit
Photo by Airbus
Computer image of an Eurostar Neo satellite in orbit

Altron gears up for 2.0 strategy, to sell three businesses  

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th February 2021 The success of the One Altron strategy has set the base for the Altron 2.0 strategy; however, some “tough” choices had to be made to reposition the company for its new growth path amid economic turmoil and a global pandemic. The group, which has over the past few years focused on a vision of One... 

Altron CEO Mteto Nyati
Altron group CEO Mteto Nyati discusses the Altron 2.0 strategy. Date recorded: 10.02.2021. Videowork: Kutlwano Matlala. Video editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Digitalisation to drive standardisation in construction, engineering industries

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2021 The digitalisation of construction companies' processes and tools and the introduction of sensors and connectivity on project sites are driving deep changes in the construction and engineering industries. This will improve efficiencies across the supply chain, including the design, development... 

Unusual type of supernova identified in the Milky Way

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th February 2021 A team of scientists from China, Japan, the Netherlands and the US have used data obtained from the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s Chandra X-ray space telescope to identify the first known example in our own galaxy (the Milky Way) of an unusual type of stellar explosion, known as a... 

Danfoss merges heating, cooling businesses to tackle climate change

By: Donna Slater     9th February 2021 Electronics and technological solutions company Danfoss has changed its group structure to combine the heating and cooling segments into Danfoss Climate Solutions in an effort to intensify its focus on the “green agenda” in attractive global markets. The company notes that “everywhere in the... 

MTN to sell stake in BICS for R1.8bn 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th February 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has concluded an agreement to sell its 20% stake in Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS) to Proximus NV/SA for R1.8-billion (€100-million). MTN plans to use the proceeds to pay down US dollar debt and for general corporate purposes. 

Kemtek to distribute Crosscall durable smartphones in SADC

By: Schalk Burger     9th February 2021 French durable smartphone manufacturer Crosscall has signed a distribution agreement with technology solutions distributor and equipment reseller Kemtek, which will make Crosscall’s range available to its more than 700 South African resellers and Southern African Development Community (SADC)... 

'Please Call Me' inventor gears up for last stretch of battle against Vodacom 

By: News24Wire      9th February 2021 After over a decade of fighting Vodacom, the country's biggest cellular company, the inventor of "Please Call Me" is hopeful that his protracted legal battle is now entering the last mile. In May, Nkosana Makate will once again square off against Vodacom in a review of a R47-million compensation... 

Half of global 5G economic impact to accrue to health and social care, says PwC

By: Schalk Burger     8th February 2021 The impact of the growth of fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications infrastructure and new and existing applications will add an estimated $1.3-trillion to global gross domestic product by 2030, with health and social set to add $530-billion from productivity and efficiency gains, advisory... 

5G health threats unfounded – CSIR 

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th February 2021 With concerns around fifth-generation (5G) technologies being raised by citizens across social media in recent months, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has put to bed the theories surrounding the new technologies' deployment on human health. Over the past few months,... 

5G health threats unfounded – CSIR
CSIR senior researcher Dr Essa Suleman and CSIR chief researcher Dr Fisseha Mekuria discuss the speculation that 5G causes health issues. Date recorded: 08/02/2021.

The Square Kilometre Array Observatory has been launched 

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th February 2021 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) highlighted on Monday that the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory (SKAO) was now active, following the first meeting of the SKAO Council on February 4. The current members of the SKAO are Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal,... 

A composite computer nocturnal image showing the South African SKA on the left and the Australian SKA on the right
Photo by SKAO/SARAO/ICRAR
A composite computer nocturnal image showing the South African SKA on the left and the Australian SKA on the right

Telkom posts robust results for nine months to December

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th February 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has posted increases of 0.9% and 8.5% respectively in revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) during the nine months to December 31, 2020. Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko attributed the results to a robust mobile growth, the... 

In US, Biden administration confirms Artemis programme is still go

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th February 2021 The new US administration of President Joe Biden has confirmed that it is committed to continuing with the Artemis programme. Artemis is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (Nasa's) new crewed space programme, intended to return men and take the first women to the Moon. Artemis... 

Huge updates market on R800m Adapt IT bid, withdraws cautionary

5th February 2021 A week after making a general offer to acquire up to 100% of the issued Adapt IT shares, JSE-listed Huge Group has withdrawn its cautionary after mapping out the proposal. Huge, which is “ready, able and willing” to implement the offer, made a firm bid earlier this week, irrevocably offering to... 

Govt has secured vaccines for 26-million people 

By: Sane Dhlamini     5th February 2021 Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize revealed on Friday that government had secured enough Covid-19 vaccines for 26-million people, so far, with more agreements in the pipeline. He revealed that China could be one of the countries that South Africa procures vaccines from. On Monday, the country... 

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize

MTN to report higher year-end earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th February 2021 Telecommunications group MTN expects double-digit growth in earnings for the year ended December 31, 2020. The telecommunications group anticipates earnings per share (EPS) to be between 886c to 987c for the year under review, a rise of between 75% and 95%, or 380c to 481c, on the 506c reported... 

Endress+Hauser certifies its industrial cloud as industrial digitalisation steams ahead

By: Schalk Burger     5th February 2021 Industrial instrumentation and automation multinational Endress+Hauser reported its latest industrial technology developments during a virtual briefing on February 4, and detailed new developments of its Netilion industrial cloud platform that enables customers to derive greater value from their... 

US-based scientists develop global extreme wind speed atlas to help wind energy sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th February 2021 Scientists at Cornell University’s Cornell Atkinson Centre for Sustainability, in Ithaca in New York state in the US, have developed a new, digital, global wind atlas. Entitled “A Global Assessment of Extreme Wind Speeds for Wind Energy Applications”, it was unveiled in a paper published in the... 

Telkom appoints new CFO

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th February 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has appointed Dirk Reyneke as its Group CFO, effective February 5. Reyneke has been acting group CFO since December 7 following the resignation of Tsholofelo Molefe. 

New pressure gauge incorporates IoT tech

By: Halima Frost     5th February 2021 Measuring instruments supplier Wika Instruments has aligned the global launch of its Bourdon tube pressure gauge, the company’s most advanced gauge to date, with its new business strategy. Although the new gauge uses the old gauge’s design, it includes Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)... 

PRESSURE GAUGE
The pressure to move to a more technology orientated company has seen the introduction of the Internet of Things to its devices
PRESSURE GAUGE The pressure to move to a more technology orientated company has seen the introduction of the Internet of Things to its devices

Society drives initiatives to improve instrumentation sector

By: Halima Frost     5th February 2021 The Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC) has announced that its trust fund will be introduced to the instrumentation and control sector this year, which is among other initiatives being developed by the society for the coming years. “The trust fund is being... 

HELPING HAND
The  Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control hopes its trust fund will drive change in education in the sector
HELPING HAND The Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control hopes its trust fund will drive change in education in the sector

SA and French space agencies agree on implementation of their latest partnership

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th February 2021 The French Embassy in South Africa has highlighted the cooperation between the two countries’ space agencies. These are Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES – the National Centre for Space Studies) and the South African National Space Agency.  This followed the two agencies reaching an... 

Airbus wins new contract for essential modules for Artemis crewed Moon spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd February 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has been awarded a repeat order by the European Space Agency (ESA) for three service modules for use in the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s (Nasa’s) Artemis programme. (ESA is not an agency of the European Union.) This takes Airbus’... 

4IR TVET gets shot in arm as Siemens, CSIR sign MoU

By: Schalk Burger     3rd February 2021 Industrial technology multinational Siemens South Africa and research organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on February 3 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to foster technical vocational education and training (TVET) in Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)... 

Teraco secures R2.5bn to build new 38 MW data centre in Ekurhuleni

By: Schalk Burger     2nd February 2021 Vendor-neutral data centre provider Teraco announced on February 2 that it had finalised a new R2.5-billion loan financing transaction for the construction of a new 38 MW hyperscale data centre in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg. Teraco will use the funds raised, along with internally generated... 

Vodacom reports Q3 growth as South Africa sees strong demand

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd February 2021 Telecommunications group Vodacom reported service revenue growth of 3.9% to R19.62-billion during the three months to December 31, 2020, driven by a strong performance in the South African operations. In South Africa, service revenue increased 5.4% to R14.3-billion on the back of strong demand... 

Wärtsilä South Africa achieves Level 4 BBBEE rating

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st February 2021 Technology group Wärtsilä South Africa has achieved a Level 4 broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) rating. The company has been operating in South Africa since 1994 and has a good record in Africa, having supplied more than 7 000 MW of power plants across the continent. 

EOH says executing growth initiatives, expects return to profit, positive earnings

By: Schalk Burger     29th January 2021 Information technology services provider EOH, in a January 29 update to stakeholders, reported that it was well positioned to execute on its growth initiatives while still navigating volatile local and global market conditions. This is as a result of the significant improvement in its liquidity... 

Icasa to oppose the High Court application filed by MTN 

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th January 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa plans to oppose the High Court application filed by telecommunications giant MTN. Following receipt of MTN’s urgent court application on January 27, relating to the Invitation To Apply for high demand spectrum or International Mobile... 

MTN wants court to scrap or fix 5G spectrum sale process

By: Reuters     29th January 2021 South African mobile network operator MTN Group has asked the Gauteng High court to scrap or review the telecom regulator's auction process for awarding spectrum vital for rolling out 5G technology. MTN is the latest mobile operator to take the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa... 

Drone tech allows for expansion

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah     29th January 2021 With technology advancement in the drone industry and drone access expanding from military to commercial use, rope access specialists Skyriders found that drones could be successfully used in the inspection of boilers and other confined spaces. “Industries are constantly developing, and the... 

TEENY TINY SPACES
Drones have good lighting and high-resolution imaging technology that can take accurate images of the environment within a boiler
TEENY TINY SPACES Drones have good lighting and high-resolution imaging technology that can take accurate images of the environment within a boiler

Company leverages global partnership for virtual events

By: Cameron Mackay     29th January 2021 Eastern Cape-based events organising company Inkanyezi Event Organisers has created the Global Partner Network, a group of leading event managers and trade facilitation leaders who will jointly organise several international business exhibitions and trade shows this year. Inkanyezi CEO Andrew... 

ANDREW BINNING
While virtual events are not the preferred option, many companies would rather take part in virtual events than nothing as a way to market themselves
ANDREW BINNING While virtual events are not the preferred option, many companies would rather take part in virtual events than nothing as a way to market themselves

CSIR, Nedbank join RES4Africa to further renewable energy development

By: Donna Slater     28th January 2021 Pretoria-based research organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and financial services provider Nedbank have become members of renewable energy lobby organisation the Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa (RES4Africa) Foundation. Their membership was approved and... 

MTN donates $25m to the AU vaccine programme for health workers

By: Yvonne Silaule     28th January 2021 Telecoms group MTN has donated $25-million to the African Union's vaccine programme to immunise health workers. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also chairperson of the AU, made the announcement on Wednesday during the African Covid-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy... 

KnowBe4 warns of AI, deepfakes in social engineering attacks this year

By: Schalk Burger     27th January 2021 Cybersecurity awareness and training solutions company KnowBe4 Africa warns that the volume and sophistication of phishing emails – fraudulent emails designed to steal information and credentials or infect devices with malware –will continue to increase this year. KnowBe4 Africa Content Strategy... 

US implements new travel restrictions 

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th January 2021 From January 30, at 12:01am EST, entry will be suspended for all foreign nationals who were in South Africa during the 14-day period preceding their travel to the US. In a statement from the US Embassy on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden’s proclamation comes into effect until further notice, as... 

US implements new travel restrictions
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