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Technology & Communications News

MTN Nigeria tells customers about potential disruptions for business continuity

By: Reuters     17th June 2021 MTN Nigeria said on Wednesday it notified some enterprise customers about a potential service disruption to enable them put in place business continuity measures. The local unit of South Africa's telcoms firm MTN runs Nigeria's largest mobile phone network which generates around a third of the... 

MTN picks partners to expand mobile OpenRAN network in Africa

By: Reuters     17th June 2021 South Africa's mobile and broadband operator MTN Group has selected five partners to launch an open radio access network (OpenRAN) in Africa to expand 4G and 5G services more quickly and cheaply, it said on Wednesday. A radio access network (RAN) connects individual devices to other parts of a... 

100 start-ups included in WEF's list of 2021 Technology Pioneers

By: Schalk Burger     15th June 2021 International organisation the World Economic Forum (WEF) on June 15 announced its 2021 Technology Pioneers, with 100 new technology firms included in the cohort for this year. The Technology Pioneers are young and growing technology companies taking on top global concerns with innovative... 

Ethiopia seeks expressions of interest for 40% of State telecoms company

By: Bloomberg     14th June 2021 Ethiopia called for expressions of interest for a minority stake in the State-controlled telecommunications company, starting the process of recruiting a second major investor into the country in less than a month. Investors have a month, beginning June 15, to submit interest for 40% of Ethiopia... 

Busa, IQbusiness launch of SAtion ecosystem to boost economic recovery

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th June 2021 IQbusiness and Business Unity South Africa (Busa) have launched an initiative aimed at moving South Africa into economic recovery and digital growth. The SAtion initiative will enable public and private sector stakeholders, including government, large corporations, small, medium-sized and... 

Icasa nears ‘spectrum impasse breakthrough’

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th June 2021 The outlook of the negotiations surrounding the current impasse over high-demand spectrum is encouraging, with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) confident that an amicable agreement will be reached by the end of August. In a statement issued late on June 11, the... 

Digital primary care platform brought to Africa, South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2021   A $3-million investment by investment company Webrock in partnership with primary healthcare company Healthforce, owned by pharmaceutical retail chain Dis-Chem, will see the establishment of a digital primary care platform in Africa, with the launch to take place in South Africa. 

Icasa reviews call termination regulations

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th June 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is reviewing the wholesale voice call termination market and the pro-competitive conditions or measures imposed on relevant licensees. Following the start of the review and request for information through a questionnaire at the end... 

USTDA supports digital connectivity in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th June 2021 The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is providing grant funding for a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability of expanding Dark Fibre Africa’s (DFA’s) fibre network into periurban and rural areas. The study will support efforts by the wholesale open-access fibre... 

Maya Makanjee to succeed Davidson as Datatec chair in 2022

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2021 Information and communications technology multinational Datatec on June 10 announced that independent nonexecutive director Maya Makanjee would succeed Stephen Davidson as chairperson from March 1, 2022. Makanjee joined the Datatec board on November 1, 2018. She has considerable experience as an... 

EOH disposes of Sybrin

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2021 Technology services company EOH has entered into a share purchase agreement for the sale of Sybrin to a consortium group comprising One Thousand & One Voices (1K1V) Management and Crossfin Technology (CFTH) and their black economic empowerment partners led by Isaac Mophatlane. The sale is for a... 

Showcase to be hosted to boost tech SMMEs

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2021 Fourth Industrial Revolution laboratory Forge Academy, in partnership with Nokia and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) SMME Chamber, will host a showcase for small and medium-sized tech businesses and tech startups in Fourways on June 30. The showcase is aimed at highlighting... 

CSIR, Deloitte ink MoU for 4IR centre collaboration

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th June 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Deloitte South Africa have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the World Economic Forum Affiliate Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa (C4IR SA) as it accelerates the application of emerging... 

University of Pretoria scientists using artificial avocados to investigate fruit damage in transit

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th June 2021 Researchers at the Engineering 4.0 facility of the University of Pretoria (UP) are conducting a project to determine damage suffered by fresh produce while being transported intercontinentally from the growers to the retailers. They are doing so by using artificial ‘avocados’, produced by means... 

CSIR launches programme to develop graphene capabiltiies, technologies

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has established a graphene programme to help South Africa develop capabilities, technologies and products based on graphene, the research organisation says. The platform is set to open the door to a range of industries to collaboratively... 

Telkom launches virtual card for transacting on WhatsApp

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th June 2021 Information and communications technology group Telkom has teamed up with Mastercard, Nedbank and fintech enablement partner Ukheshe Technologies to launch Africa’s first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp. The addition of the Mastercard virtual card to digital payments wallet Telkom... 

ESA Mars rover programme makes significant advance with tests of duplicate unit

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has reported that its duplicate ExoMars rover is now fully assembled and has started test and training operations at the Mars Terrain Simulator, which is hosted by Italy’s Aerospace Logistics Technology Engineering Company, in Turin. This is in preparation for the... 

MTN will bid in second Ethiopia telecoms licence round

By: Reuters     4th June 2021 MTN Group will bid again for an Ethiopia operating telecom licence in the second round if mobile financial services are included, its CEO said on Friday after losing the first round. Mobile financial services is key to MTN's strategy as it continues to evolve from just providing voice to also... 

CSIR, Coega collaborate on biofibre product research

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th June 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), in the Eastern Cape, will together develop an industrial research facility that is dedicated to the production of commercially viable biofibre products and applications. The CEOs of the... 

South African researchers hope to deter rhino poachers with radioactive markers 

By: Reuters     4th June 2021 Researchers in South Africa are working on a potentially new method to deter rhino poachers and smugglers by using radioactive markers to make smuggled horns detectable at global ports of entry and less desirable to buyers. South Africa is home to the world's largest rhino population but has... 

South African researchers hope to deter rhino poachers with radioactive markers

Industry insight opportunity for students

By: Anna Moross     4th June 2021 Owing to the fast-paced changes in the boilers and burners sector, technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges have initiated an Occupational Qualification Dual System programme that entails sending students into the industry to ensure that they are prepared when they obtain an... 

The programme . . . aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge from the college while attaining real-time experience at a company
BOILERMAKING QUALIFICATION The programme . . . aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge from the college while attaining real-time experience at a company

Liquid reaches 100k fibre milestone 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd June 2021 Digital solutions provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) has deployed 100 000 km of fibre infrastructure across most of Africa in a milestone that makes it the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally. Over the past two decades, the company which evolved... 

Liquid reaches 100k fibre milestone
Liquid Intelligent Technologies CEO Nic Rudnick discusses the company's 100 000 km fibre network milestone

IITPSA welcomes Sars’ moves to harness big data, AI for tax collection

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd June 2021 The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has welcomed plans by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to use big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve revenue collection and locate tax evaders. IITPSA board member Moira de Roche welcomed... 

Growth in cashless payments reshaping payments infrastructure - PwC

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2021 Payments are increasingly becoming cashless and, as digital money draws stronger interest, the financial services industry must recognise the entire infrastructure of payments is being reshaped, with new business models emerging, advisory multinational PwC says. Given the key role digitisation... 

UK Space Agency places contracts to examine options for satellite navigation services

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st May 2021 The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has awarded contracts worth more £2-million to six UK companies and UK-based subsidiary companies of international groups to develop options for the UKSA’s Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing programme (Space-Based PNT programme). The companies are Airbus,... 

European Space Agency contracts start development of next generation navigation satellites

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st May 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that it has awarded contracts, totalling €1.47-billion, for the design and construction of the initial group of the second-generation Galileo navigation satellites. The contracts, awarded after an open competition, went to Germany’s Airbus Defence and... 

BLSA says property law changes threaten digital start-up investment

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st May 2021 In a weekly Business Leadership South Africa newsletter, CEO Busi Mavuso has unpacked her apprehensions around the Expropriation Bill, as debates continue around amendments to the property rights legislation and the Constitution. She says that was is most disconcerting is the fact the Bill... 

Altron CFO resigns

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st May 2021 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) CFO and executive director Cedric Miller has resigned, effective June 30. Miller, who took up the CFO role in May 2019, will provide support until July 31, undertaking a comprehensive handover to appointed acting CFO Nicholas Bofilatos, who will assume the... 

Technology innovation ecosystem needs to recycle skills, capital

By: Schalk Burger     28th May 2021 Technology venture capital company General Catalyst MD Adam Valkin on May 27 said the flywheel of a successful new and emerging technologies ecosystem is the recycling of capital and talent within the ecosystem. "This means having successful companies, which allow the founders to start new... 

Nasa’s Mars helicopter had in-flight problem on its sixth mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Ingenuity Mars Helicopter team reported on Thursday that the small uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) had suffered, in Nasa jargon, an “anomaly” during its sixth flight in the Red Planet’s very thin atmosphere.... 

Image of the Martian surface taken by Ingenuity from at altitude of 10 m during its sixth flight
Photo by Nasa/JPL
Image of the Martian surface taken by Ingenuity from at altitude of 10 m during its sixth flight

Company to continue local investment

By: Cameron Mackay     28th May 2021 Minerals processing equipment manufacturer Multotec aims to continue investing in modernising its local manufacturing capabilities. “In the long term, we would like to invest in Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to modernise the way we produce. In South Africa, we would rather invest in a... 

Multotec aims to continue investing in modernising its local manufacturing capabilities
INCREASING EFFICIENCY, MAINTAINING QUALITY Multotec aims to continue investing in modernising its local manufacturing capabilities

EOH details fraud process and progress of DHA contract handover

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2021 Information technology services provider EOH on May 26 said evidence uncovered and reported by law firm ENSafrica into corrupt and problematic legacy contracts showed how below-cost contracts and payments for work not done had been used to steal almost R900-million. ENSafrica forensics department... 

Brazil-South Africa space industry virtual summit highlights importance of cooperation

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2021 Addressing the first day of the Brazil-South Africa Space Industry Virtual Summit on Wednesday, the heads of the space agencies of the two countries both stressed the importance of international cooperation in the space sector. The Summit was an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)... 

Swedish spaceport development will double size of space sector in country’s north

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2021 A study undertaken by business development agency LTU Business on behalf of the northern Swedish regional space development programme RIT2021 has forecast that the space research, development, industrial and launch cluster in and around the town of Kiruna could double in size over the next ten to... 

A Maxus 9 suborbital rocket is launched from the Esrange Space Centre
Photo by SSC
A Maxus 9 suborbital rocket is launched from the Esrange Space Centre

Opinion: Navigating 4IR in the sub-Saharan African energy industry

26th May 2021 In this opinion piece, Wits Business School head and director Professor Maurice Radebe writes about the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and its impact on the energy industry in sub-Saharan Africa.   The hype surrounding the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is ongoing, and even gathering... 

Wits Business School head and director Professor Maurice Radebe
Wits Business School head and director Professor Maurice Radebe

Lesotho may see water revenue and undersea cable share seized

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 Lesotho is facing the loss of revenue from water and power sales to South Africa and may see its share of an undersea communications cable seized after it breached the terms of a contract with Frazer Solar. Under a global enforcement order, following the award of €50-million in damages in an... 

South Africa’s spies want to give Sasol, MTN a helping hand

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 South Africa’s spy agency is beefing up its economic intelligence unit so it can play a proactive role in supporting the nation’s companies as they expand beyond their home base. Firms that could benefit from the intelligence operatives’ expertise include telecommunications giant MTN Group and... 

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