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Technology & Communications News

Liquid, Facebook partner to build fibre network in DRC

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th July 2021 Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) and Facebook have partnered to build a fibre network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help connect East and West Africa. The project will see Facebook invest in the fibre build and support network planning, while LIT will own, build and... 

Airbus integrates robotic arm on new module for International Space Station

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th July 2021 Airbus Defence and Space, part of the Europe-based global Airbus group, announced on Monday that it had installed the European Robotic Arm (ERA) on to the ‘Nauka’ multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) for the International Space Station (ISS). The installation included the equipping of the Nauka... 

European Space Agency reports major progress in Mars probe landing parachute tests

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th July 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has reported that the first successful high-altitude drop tests for the braking parachutes for the joint ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars probe have taken place. The ExoMars mission is scheduled for launch in September 2022 and will be composed of ESA’s Rosalind Franklin... 

MTN eSwatini respondent in urgent application for Internet restoration

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd July 2021 MTN eSwatini has been cited as one of several respondents in an urgent court application seeking the immediate restoration of Internet services in the country, besides other measures. On June 29, the eSwatini Communications Commission issued a directive to MTN Eswatini and other operators to... 

KPMG Private Enterprise crowns Khula! as Africa’s top tech innovator

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd July 2021 KPMG South Africa has announced the winners of its four-month long KPMG Private Enterprise Tech Innovator in Africa competition, which sought to recognise Africa’s most successful technology innovators across the continent, with Khula! coming out as the leading tech innovator. This global... 

Satellite comms group OneWeb can now start servicing Earth’s northern regions

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd July 2021 UK-based satellite communications company OneWeb reported on Thursday that it had achieved its first key operational goal, dubbed the ‘Five to 50’ mission, with the successful launch of 36 more of its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites by Arianespace from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome. This launch... 

Fraunhofer Institute to further research manufacturing IT vulnerability

By: Schalk Burger     2nd July 2021 After having determined that manufacturing companies that network their machines and systems are particularly at risk from security vulnerabilities and attacks on their information technology (IT) infrastructure, research organisation the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) wants... 

ARB CEO Neasham to retire

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd July 2021 JSE-listed ARB on July 2 announced the retirement of CEO Billy Neasham. Neasham, who will retire within the next six months, joined ARB as financial director in June 2000 before being appointed as CEO in February 2015. 

PPPs can resuscitate infrastructure

By: Nadine Ramdass     2nd July 2021 Private-public partnerships (PPPs) can help improve South Africa’s water infrastructure and create opportunities for the introduction of technological advancements in the sector, says water solutions company Veolia South Africa GM Chris Braybrooke. The South African water infrastructure is in a... 

DWR is a success model for PPPs

Technology can improve infrastructure

By: Nadine Ramdass     2nd July 2021 Embracing and implementing technological solutions can improve South Africa’s water infrastructure and systems, which are currently in a “state of disarray”, says water treatment solutions company Watericon process engineer Pako Khutsoane. The infrastructure is in “complete disorder”, owing to... 

Smaller plants can help improve water infrastructure
TREATMENT IN THABAZIMBI Smaller plants can help improve water infrastructure

Testing can ensure safe communication on mines

By: Cameron Mackay     2nd July 2021 The potential dangers of working underground make reliable communication vital for improving safety and enhancing operational efficiency, says communications device provider Ya Batho sales and operations manager Craig Franck who stresses the importance of using wireless communication equipment... 

From its inception, Ya Batho decided to make products appropriate in explosive environments and close to electronic equipment, without interference, to adhere to mining regulations
SAFER, DEEPER MINING From its inception, Ya Batho decided to make products appropriate in explosive environments and close to electronic equipment, without interference, to adhere to mining regulations

PwC warns manufacturing, mining ICS systems facing cyber-threats

By: Schalk Burger     1st July 2021 Advisory multinational PwC has highlighted emerging cyber-threats affecting the mining and manufacturing sectors, particularly among South African and other Africa-based organisations. The technologies most targeted by attackers within these sectors are industrial control systems (ICS), which are... 

Vodacom Business expands to South America

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st July 2021 Information and communications technology (ICT) group Vodacom Business is expanding into Brazil, with its fixed-connectivity coverage now spanning five continents. The addition of the trans-Atlantic connection through the undersea South Atlantic Cable System, which is the first to directly link... 

ACE cable boosts Teraco regional interconnection hubs

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th June 2021 The now-live Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable is interconnecting at three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa. The 17 000 km cable, the eighth to connect to Teraco, stretches along the West Coast of Africa, landing into 19 countries before being backhauled by landing partner... 

5G can add value in Africa, help address mobile broadband inefficiencies

By: Schalk Burger     30th June 2021 Fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecommunications technologies can add value and solve several consumer and business challenges in Africa. Previous generation mobile broadband technologies have limitations regarding network capacity, spectral efficiency and latency, but 5G is well-positioned to... 

SKA designs result of years of development work by hundreds of international experts

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th June 2021 The recent decision by the Council of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio astronomy Observatory (SKAO) to formally start construction on Thursday (July 1) is the result of more than seven years of design and engineering work. These endeavours were consolidated in two key documents, published... 

Construction of the world’s biggest radio telescope observatory authorised to start 

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th June 2021 South Africa’s National Research Foundation and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory jointly announced on Tuesday that the seven member countries of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory (SKAO) had authorised the start of construction of the two arrays that will form the... 

Composite artist's image showing the South African (left) and Australian (right) SKA arrays.
Photo by SKA Observatory
Composite artist's image showing the South African (left) and Australian (right) SKA arrays.

Rise in healthcare cybercrime leading to increase in practices taking out cyber-liability insurance

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2021 The increase in cybercrime affecting the healthcare industry in South Africa is contributing to private practices turning to cyber-liability to protect themselves from data breaches and ransomware. It pays for insurance brokers to assist clients with a cyber-liability policy, say Indwe Risk... 

RMB sees blockchain supporting intra-African trade facilitation, growth

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2021 The growing adoption of blockchain in African trade could make a material difference to the economic growth of many African countries, especially as they emerge from the pandemic. Intra-African trade could rise by 20% to 30% within the next five years with the use of digitisation and blockchain,... 

Digital skills hub to provide free access to MS Office 365 for South Africa's youth

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2021 Information technology (IT) multinational Microsoft South Africa and digital skills organisation SAtion have formed a partnership to enhance the employability of youth through online platform the SAtion Digital Skills Hub. The hub will provide free access to Microsoft Office 365 suite technology,... 

TIA-supported young innovators launch products

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th June 2021 Five young innovators supported by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), on June 29 launched and showcased their products to the public. The innovators were supported through the TIA’s Grassroots Innovation Programme (GIP), which... 

EOH confirms it is seeking damages from former CEO, CFO and other execs

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2021 Information technology services company EOH on June 29 confirmed that it has filed civil claims and is suing several former EOH executives including former CEO Asher Bohbot, former CFO John King, former public sector head Jehan Mackay and former EOH International head Ebrahim Laher for about... 

Former EOH CEO Asher Bohbot
Photo by Creamer Media
Former EOH CEO Asher Bohbot

Information Regulator to take over PAIA functions

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th June 2021 South Africa’s Information Regulator is taking over the functions relating to the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) 2000 from the South African Human Rights Commission, effective June 30. This follows a proclamation of sections 110 and 114(4) of Protection of Personal Information Act... 

SpaceX aims for orbital launch of its latest rocket next month, but regulatory hurdles remain

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th June 2021 US private-sector space company SpaceX, founded and effectively led by South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, hopes to be ready next month to carry out the first orbital launch of its new Starship spacecraft. This was stated on Friday at the (US) National Space Society’s... 

An artist’s impression of a SuperHeavy rocket launching a Starship
Photo by SpaceX
An artist’s impression of a SuperHeavy rocket launching a Starship

CT Lab to install 1 300 Otello edge devices for real-time power grid visibility

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2021 Stellenbosch technology company CT Lab will deploy 1 300 Otello edge computing devices on State-owned power utility Eskom's grid to change how power is seen and managed on the grid, enabling full visibility of the power grid in real-time. Visibility is becoming a deciding factor in the... 

Virgin Galactic now licensed to carry passengers into space

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th June 2021 US suborbital crewed spaceflight company Virgin Galactic announced on Friday that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had updated the company’s commercial space transportation operator licence (which was originally issued in 2016). The update allows Virgin Galactic to fly paying... 

A view of VSS Unity, in space, in re-entry configuration
Photo by Virgin Galactic
A view of VSS Unity, in space, in re-entry configuration

Industry 4.0 training key to ensuring South Africa is not left behind

By: Darren Parker     25th June 2021 To fully realise the potential of Industry 4.0 and remain relevant as the way of conducting business evolves, South African organisations should consider making strategic investments in infrastructure and technology as soon as possible. However, these investments will be rendered ineffective if... 

Industry 4.0 training key to ensuring South Africa is not left behind

Drone technology use on the rise in the wake of Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     24th June 2021 There has been a considerable increase in the use of drone technology across various scenarios in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, with drones proving to be “of immense assistance”, says mapping service provider Southern Mapping’s Jaco Wiesner. He explains that the integration of... 

MTN Nigeria assigned highest possible credit ratings by Global Credit Ratings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th June 2021 MTN Nigeria has secured Global Credit Ratings (GCR’s) highest possible short- and long-term ratings on GCR’s national rating scale, becoming the first mobile network operator in Africa to be accorded such ratings by GCR. GCR upgraded MTN Nigeria’s national scale long-term issuer rating to AAA and... 

EOH appoints Ziaad Suleman as iOCO chief commercial officer

By: Schalk Burger     23rd June 2021 Information technology services company EOH has appointed Ziaad Suleman as iOCO chief commercial officer from July 1. iOCO is the company's systems integrator and its largest business. Suleman will report to EOH group CEO Stephen van Coller. 

Regulator may exempt some Popia conditions in certain circumstances

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd June 2021 The Information Regulator said that it may exempt some public or private bodies from the conditions for the processing of certain personal information in certain circumstances. Stakeholders can, under Section 37 of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia), which came into effect July 1,... 

AUDA-Nepad launches centre to accelerate impact of science on Africa's development

By: Schalk Burger     22nd June 2021 The African Union Development Agency New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-Nepad) on June 22 launched a centre of excellence (CoE) in science, technology and innovation to upscale and commercialise home-grown innovations on the continent. The centre was launched in partnership with... 

Scientists report that the planet Venus may still be geologically active

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2021 Scientists at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the US have reported that they have found evidence of tectonic motion in the crust – also called the lithosphere – of the planet Venus. Tectonics refers to the large-scale movement of rocks, originally in the Earth’s crust or lithosphere. On... 

Wits robotics team to compete in soccer RoboCup

By: Schalk Burger     21st June 2021 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) will participate in the three-dimensional simulation league of the RoboCup – a yearly artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics event with the goal to advance the state of the art of intelligent robots. Computer science students from the School of... 

Wits robotics team to compete in soccer RoboCup

MTN Nigeria to inject $1.5bn into broadband expansion plans

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st June 2021 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria plans to invest 640-billion naira, or $1.5-billion, over the next three years to expand the country’s broadband access. The move is in line with the Nigerian government’s 2020 to 2025 National Broadband Plan ambitions of 90% broadband population coverage by... 

Mobile app reduces ambulance response time for patients in informal areas

By: Donna Slater     21st June 2021 A mobile application (app) developed in Ghana has been designed to cut the response times of ambulances by up to 56% by providing accurate location details without a connection to the Internet – an essential factor for people living in areas with few or unofficial street signs and hard-to-find... 

Mobile app reduces ambulance response time for patients in informal areas

Businesses adopting flexible work policies - Troye

By: Schalk Burger     18th June 2021 Business leaders are evaluating ways to enhance security and employee experience for their workforce, with Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) becoming the preferred option for many businesses as they move away from physical office spaces to remote working environments, says information technology (IT)... 

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