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Technology & Communications News

New theory suggests that dark matter is made up of black holes formed by exotic events

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th January 2021 Scientists at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo, in Japan, have proposed a new theory to explain the mysterious phenomenon of dark matter. Dark matter makes up some 27% of the universe, whereas ‘normal’ matter is responsible for less... 

Mixture of strategies will provide suitable water treatment solution

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     15th January 2021 A mixture of strategies will provide the best water treatment solution for a water-scarce country, such as South Africa, says global technology company ABB Energy Industries South Africa sales manager Joyce Moganedi. “The scarcity of water has led to the Department of Water and Sanitation... 

DECISIONS, DECISIONS Big data is an output that is targeted at high level management, to enable plant managers to make company strategic decisions
DECISIONS, DECISIONS Big data is an output that is targeted at high level management, to enable plant managers to make company strategic decisions

Low tax reduces solar incentive

By: Darren Parker     15th January 2021 The relatively low value of carbon tax in South Africa, and numerous allowances that government made available in year one of the Carbon Tax Act’s implementation, which took effect in June 2019, have resulted in there being little incentive currently for solar energy, technology company EDS... 

OFFSET
Solar energy is a “carbon positive” method of generating electricity, and those who implement it qualify for carbon credits
OFFSET Solar energy is a “carbon positive” method of generating electricity, and those who implement it qualify for carbon credits

Deep grasp of data and where it’s stored key to ensuring protection of sensitive information

By: Schalk Burger     15th January 2021 Organisations must understand what data they have and where it is stored to ensure that sensitive customer information is protected correctly in compliance with data protection regulations and best practices, says data management solutions provider Gabsten Technologies MD Hemant Harie. “In... 

HEMANT HARIE

As each industry understands its cybersecurity and data risks better, it will become clearer what the appropriate responses are to ensure data management, protection and cybersecurity
HEMANT HARIE As each industry understands its cybersecurity and data risks better, it will become clearer what the appropriate responses are to ensure data management, protection and cybersecurity

Boeing awarded contract to increase space station power supply with new solar arrays

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th January 2021 US aerospace giant Boeing has been contracted by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) to construct six new and additional solar arrays for the International Space Station (ISS). These will increase the ISS’ power supply by 20% to 30% and so allow it to undertake greater... 

The International Space Station
Photo by Nasa
The International Space Station

Uganda orders internet blackout until further notice - MTN

By: Reuters     14th January 2021 Uganda's communications regulator ordered telecoms operators in the country to suspend all internet gateways from Wednesday evening until further notice, South African telecoms company MTN Group said. The blackout came on the eve of a presidential election in which long-time leader Yoweri... 

Cell C starts migrating customers 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2021 Mobile operator Cell C has started migrating its customers onto partner networks. The migration of contract and broadband customers is expected to be completed within the next two months, while the phased transition of prepaid customers will be confirmed in due course. 

UK launches study into using nuclear power for space exploration

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th January 2021 The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has signed a contract with global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce to study future nuclear power options for space missions. This is the first such contract awarded by the UK and is also the first ever contract between the UKSA and Rolls-Royce.  The intent... 

MTN offers 1 GB incentive to download Covid-19 Alert app

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th January 2021 Telecommunications giant MTN is offering customers 1 GB of free data for an hour to incentivise the download and zero-rated use of the Covid-19 Alert application. The Covid Alert SA app, designed by Discovery for the National Department of Health, uses Bluetooth contact tracing technology,... 

Tribunal asked to restrain GovChat’s removal from WhatsApp

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th January 2021 Government’s WhatsApp-based citizen engagement platform GovChat has brought an urgent application to the Competition Tribunal to prevent Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook South Africa from removing it from the WhatsApp platform. The Tribunal will hear arguments on January 13 from the applicants,... 

UCT launches open-access, African-centric research platform 

By: Sane Dhlamini     12th January 2021 University of Cape Town Libraries director of research and learning services Dr Reggie Raju revealed on Tuesday, the institute’s newly developed continental platform for open access publishing in Africa. The African research community can now create and share its own scholarly content – open... 

UCT launches open-access, African-centric research platform

Economic turbulence, pandemic expected to lead to cybercrime increase in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     12th January 2021 Economic turbulence and the impact of Covid-19 is expected to contribute to an increase in cybercrime across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria this year, says cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky in Africa Enterprise cybersecurity adviser Lehan van den Heever. While every country globally has had... 

Proudly SA opens bids for hosting of virtual conference

By: Simone Liedtke     11th January 2021 South Africa’s national buy local campaign, Proudly South African (SA), has issued a request for proposals from qualified service providers for the provision and execution of a virtual conference and expo, scheduled for March 8 to 10. All bids must be submitted on or before 15:00 on January 25. 

Telkom withdraws one portion of court case against spectrum allocations 

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th January 2021 Telkom has withdrawn the portion of its court application against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) that compels the authority to inform all potential parties interested in the spectrum auction of the proceedings. In December, Telkom took to the courts to have... 

MTN named best mobile network for 2020

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th January 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has secured the title of the best mobile network in South Africa for 2020. This is according to the MyBroadband Insights 2020 Mobile Network Quality Report, released on January 11, which is based on 1.2-million speed tests performed by 41 099 MyBroadband Speed Test... 

Vodacom and MTN telecommunications towers burnt in South Africa by 5G protesters 

By: Reuters     8th January 2021 About three telecommunications towers belonging to Vodacom and MTN were burnt this week following a resurgence in conspiracy theories which link the emergence of Covid-19 to 5G technology, South Africa's communication minister said on Thursday. The towers were burnt and destroyed between Tuesday... 

UK Space Agency funding project to benefit Malawian farmers

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th January 2021 The UK Space Agency announced on Wednesday that it was providing funding to a project led by the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to aid farmers in Malawi through the development of land-classification maps, using satellite data. These maps would cover high potential agricultural areas, and... 

Locust prediction tool allows for early intervention in four African countries so far

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2021 Pan-African marketplace Selina Wamucii has launched, on its platform, a free tool called Kuzi that can help farmers and pastoralists predict locust behaviour. The artificial intelligence-powered tool generates real-time heatmaps of locusts across Africa, showing all potential migration routes and... 

New cosmological theory suggests that dark matter is made up of ancient black holes

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th January 2021 Scientists at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo in Japan have proposed a new theory to explain the mysterious phenomenon of dark matter. Dark matter makes up some 27% of the universe, whereas ‘normal’ matter is responsible for less than... 

An artistic rendition of daughter universes forming during the cosmic inflation phase of our universe.
Photo by Kavli Institute
An artistic rendition of daughter universes forming during the cosmic inflation phase of our universe.

Managed security services can help mid-sized companies defend against cyberattacks

By: Schalk Burger     4th January 2021 Medium-sized companies face numerous hurdles to implement effective cybersecurity, while smaller and low-margin organisations cannot afford next-generation technology to improve their cybersecurity posture, as these require expert skills to implement not only next-generation security solutions,... 

Young South African women scientists awarded funding by L’Oréal and Unesco

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th January 2021 Last month, six young South African women scientists were awarded research grants by the L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science partnership. French group L’Oréal is reportedly the world’s biggest cosmetics company and Unesco is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.... 

Africa to benefit as AST, Vodafone launch plans for space-based metwork

By: African News Agency      18th December 2020 Telecommunications firm AST & Science, in partnership with Vodafone, plans to launch the first phase of a space-based commercial mobile communications service in 2023, a move which will boost phone coverage in Africa. SpaceMobile will be the first space-based mobile network to connect directly to... 

MTN must verify users in Nigeria by year end or face blocked SIM cards

By: News24Wire      17th December 2020 MTN said on Thursday it has embarked on the laborious task of registering customers from its largest market, Nigeria, within two weeks, following a directive from the country's communications commission to suspend new SIM registrations by all network operators. The company, which is Africa's... 

Altron successfully completes demerger, separate listing of Bytes

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th December 2020 JSE-listed Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron) has completed the demerger of its Bytes Technology Group subsidiary, following the listing of Bytes on the LSE and the JSE. As a result of the demerger of Bytes, Altron shareholders will receive, after tax and transaction costs, about... 

Zikalala welcomes roll-out of 5G in KwaZulu-Natal

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th December 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has welcomed the launch telecommunications company Vodacom’s fifth-generation (5G) network in the province, as part of the vision to create a smart province by 2021. The Premier on December 14 said the launch was a step forward in achieving this vision.  

Liquid Telecom appoints CEO for Nigeria business

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th December 2020 Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has appointed Wole Abu CEO for Liquid Telecom Nigeria and its new Africa Data Centre (ADC) in Nigeria, effective January 2021.  "Abu [has] over 14 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, which will be integral as we continue to expand our... 

Liquid Telecom Nigeria CEO Wole Abu
Liquid Telecom Nigeria CEO Wole Abu

UJ develops tech to estimate probability of Covid-19 infection

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th December 2020 Amid the rise in Covid-19 infections in South Africa, a joint team from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Faculty of Engineering and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) at the University of the Witwatersrand has developed an interdisciplinary  research project that seeks to estimate the time... 

Project Isizwe overhauls its delivery model for sustainability 

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th December 2020 Project Isizwe has evolved from a non profit organisation to a full profit firm able to provide low cost Internet access for low-income communities around South Africa on a more sustainable basis and scale affordable Internet infrastructure. The group, which established the successful City of... 

Project Isizwe founder Alan Knott-Craig Jnr
Project Isizwe founder Alan Knott-Craig Jr discusses how Project Isizwe has evolved over the past few years.

MTN, Airtel ordered to suspend Nigerian SIM card sales

By: Bloomberg     11th December 2020 Nigeria ordered telecommunications companies, including MTN Group and Airtel Africa, to suspend the sale of SIM cards while authorities check their compliance with registration guidelines. It didn’t say how long the review would take. “Mobile network operators are hereby directed to immediately... 

Industrial blockchain expected to reach $2bn/y revenue in 2025

By: Schalk Burger     11th December 2020 While global blockchain revenues fell by 35% between 2018 and 2020, industrial blockchain revenues specifically have grown by 131% to $374-million this year, says global technology market advisory firm ABI Research. The industrial segment is the key driver for the blockchain market overall, with... 

Pandemic reshapes remote work, cybersecurity risks in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     11th December 2020 A cybersecurity awareness survey conducted in Africa by cybersecurity awareness and training solutions company KnowBe4 Africa has found that nearly 50% of respondents will continue to work from home going forward.  Further, 24% of respondents said they were affected by cybercrime while working... 

CSIR partners with BU to provide technological support to SMMEs

By: Schalk Burger     11th December 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and emerging black-owned small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) funding, training and support nonprofit organisation Black Umbrellas (BU) will identify companies for which new or existing technologies may be produced or... 

South African space company expands into Europe

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th December 2020 South African space company Simera Sense announced on Wednesday that it was opening an office in Leuven in Flanders, Belgium. Simera Sense, which is based in Somerset West in the Western Cape province, develops and manufactures optical payloads for space missions. It is a business unit within the... 

The Simera Sense xScape100 optical imager
Photo by Simera Sense
The Simera Sense xScape100 optical imager

Space agency’s tenth anniversary is marked by announcement of creation of space hub

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th December 2020 Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande reported on Wednesday that a space infrastructure hub was going to be set up in the country. He was marking the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa). Launched by the then... 

Sansa Space Science’s SuperDARN radar array at South Africa’s SANAE IV base in Antarctica
Photo by Sansa
Sansa Space Science’s SuperDARN radar array at South Africa’s SANAE IV base in Antarctica

Sacpo, Huawei to roll out ICT academies across South African TVET colleges by 2021

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th December 2020 The South African College Principals Organisation and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding to roll out information and communication technology academies in all of South Africa’s 50 technical and vocational education and training colleges, by 2021, Higher Education, Science and... 

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande

IBM launches support for digital agriculture in Africa initiative

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2020 Information technology (IT) multinational IBM on December 7 announced its active support for the Digital4Agriculture Initiative (D4Ag), which aims to foster African startups in the agricultural sector and strengthen the long-term living conditions of local small-scale farmers by increasing... 

Chemical analysis confirms pre-modern rural West Africa had intercontinental trade links

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th December 2020 The combination of advanced technology and archaeology has allowed the confirmation that rural areas in sub-Saharan West Africa were connected to intercontinental trade routes at least as far back as the seventh century AD (or CE). It has long been known that major urban centres along the Niger... 

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