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Technology & Communications News

Biodx says use of biotech disinfectant products can help in fight against Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     21st April 2020 Johannesburg-based biological technology (biotech) and disinfectants company Biodx CEO Burt Rodrigues says that while the Covid-19 pandemic will change the world in the short and long term, a refocus to natural products may play a key role in tackling current and future outbreaks. Rodrigues says... 

Space agency assisting other government institutions in struggle against Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2020 To support government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) was working with the National Disaster Management Centre, the National Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD). The aim was to provide these... 

Space agency assisting other government institutions in struggle against Covid-19
Photo by Sansa
Satellite image of Ha-Mphego village in Limpopo province, with the locations of the spaza shops added

Rain, Pargo team up for sim collection

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th April 2020 Data-only network provider rain and Pargo have teamed up to make rain sim cards available at over 100 pick-up points at selected Clicks stores. The sim cards, which are traditionally ordered online and delivered, will be available for pick up by customers at the Clicks-based Pargo pick up points... 

MultiChoice invests R4.5m in community TV stations

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th April 2020 Broadcaster MultiChoice is injecting funding of R4.5-million into three South African community television (TV) stations. Bay TV, Soweto TV and Tshwane TV stations will each receive R1.5 million to create fresh, new content. 

South Africa-born XinaBox chips in sub-zero Antarctica, space

By: Tracy Hancock     20th April 2020 From collecting data in sub-zero Antarctica to rapid circuit prototyping on the International Space Station (ISS), South African modular “xChip” manufacturer XinaBox, pronounced "X-in-a-box", claims to be  reinventing the way in which the Internet of Things (IoT) is approached while inspiring... 

South Africa-born XinaBox chips in sub-zero Antarctica, space

Power of IoT unlocked by intelligent platform, automation

By: Schalk Burger     17th April 2020 The benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) are only fully realised if the data from IoT devices are integrated on an intelligent platform that allows for the information to be analysed and used to automate and improve processes, says information and communication technology service provider and... 

MTN secures top telecoms brand award

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th April 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN has been awarded the most valuable telecom brand in Africa by brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. A report by Brand Finance highlighted that MTN’s solid overall performance for the year had boosted its brand value, despite facing challenging economic conditions... 

Icasa assigns temporary spectrum 

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th April 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on April 17 assigned temporary spectrum to qualifying operators. Earlier this month, Icasa invited operators to apply for temporary radio frequency spectrum assignments in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 2 300 MHz, 2 600 MHz and 3 500 MHz... 

Icasa assigns temporary spectrum

Gauteng Innovation Hub calls for competition entries

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th April 2020 The Innovation Hub of Gauteng has called on entrepreneurs and researchers in the information and communication technology (ICT), green, biotech and medical industries to enter the annual Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) Innovation Competition before July 10. The hub also urged those driving... 

SEW-EURODRIVE joins national 3D printing initiative for face masks

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 Drive and automation technology company SEW-EURODRIVE has joined a nationwide campaign to use three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to produce much-needed face masks and shields for healthcare workers and first responders. There is a global shortage of critical personal protective equipment... 

SEW-EURODRIVE joins national 3D printing initiative for face masks

Vodacom reports network use surge during lockdown

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th April 2020 As network traffic increases significantly during South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown, telecommunications giant Vodacom is working to avoid any disruptions. The group has noted a 40% surge in data traffic on the network compared with pre-lock down levels, attributed to employees working from home,... 

3D printing moving into mainstream manufacturing, says GlobalData

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is slowly cementing its role as a key part of the manufacturing mix, continuing its journey towards Industry 4.0, says data analytics company GlobalData. The company indicates that this technology has already lowered the barriers to entry for... 

Huawei donates cloud and AI solutions to boost South Africa’s Covid-19 fight

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th April 2020 Information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider Huawei has donated four Huawei Artificial Intelligence (AI) Cloud diagnostic systems and four thermal scanning systems to boost the Department of Health’s fight against Covid-19. The AI Cloud solution allows for fast, highly... 

Teraco assists schools with broadband initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th April 2020 Data centre provider Teraco has announced it will provide a support grant valued at R7.5-million to the South African Broadband Education Networks (Saben) through the Teraco Connect Foundation. Teraco will partner with Saben to support the national drive to end bandwidth poverty in South... 

Medical robots could contribute in South Africa's fight against Covid-19  

By: Schalk Burger     15th April 2020 Robotics could prove useful as the world, and the healthcare sector in particular, seeks solutions to help in the fight against Covid-19. Medical robotics distributor Nexmed Healthcare Solutions CEO Jonathan Burger tells Engineering News its UV-D medical robot uses short-wavelength ultraviolet... 

Medical robots could contribute in South Africa's fight against Covid-19
Video courtesy of Nexmed Healthcare Solutions

EOH undertakes technology partnership with Solidarity Fund

By: Donna Slater     15th April 2020 Information and communication technology company EOH, and its subsidiary iOCO, mobilised its teams and built a Web presence for the Solidarity Fund in under 48 hours following a call from government. The project was undertaken on a pro bono basis as part of the group’s ongoing support and... 

‘Robot’ helps Tygerberg specialists on ward rounds during pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th April 2020 Intensive-care specialists at Tygerberg Hospital have a new infection-resistant ‘colleague’ helping them to undertake ward rounds on Covid-19 patients. “Quintin” – as ‘he’ is called – is a Double Robotic ‘robot’ that has been employed to help specialists do ‘virtual’ ward rounds – even from home... 

Innovation Hub calls on local innovators to help fight Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     15th April 2020 Pretoria-based science and technology park, The Innovation Hub (TIH), requests local innovators; entrepreneurs; scientists; small, medium-sized and microenterprises; research institutions; universities; and the public to submit solutions that can help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.... 

Vodacom to inject R500m into networks over two months 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th April 2020 Telecommunications group Vodacom South Africa plans to accelerate its network spend over the next two months. Over R500 million has been set aside to add network capacity and increase network resilience during South Africa’s lockdown period and to help cope with any possible loadshedding. 

MTN unveils R250m relief package for Covid-19 fight across its markets

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th April 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN Group will deploy a R250-million relief package across its operations in an effort to aid the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The group will customise its response, with the package focused on five key intervention initiatives, namely for its employees, customers... 

National State of Disaster brings complex privacy limitations – Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

By: Donna Slater     14th April 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many countries adopting extraordinary, and sometimes unprecedented, measures in an effort to contain, or at least slow the spread of the virus. In many instances, peoples' movement has been severely restricted and even monitored, resulting in new privacy... 

Cell C, Telkom ink agreements with Competition Commission

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th April 2020 Telecommunications groups Telkom and Cell C have signed agreements with the Competition Commission over IP Connect’s pricing and data prices respectively. Telkom agreed to a significant reduction of wholesale broadband access costs in order to remove excessive pricing concerns in respect of IP... 

Online hackathon launched to spur development of Covid-19-tackling solutions

By: Donna Slater     14th April 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and partners will host an international 72-hour online competition, the #AfricaVsVirus Challenge – aimed at developing effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic – from April 16 to 19. The hackathon, or as the AfDB calls it, the "ideathon", is open to... 

Solidarity e-Race on track

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2020 The Solidarity e-Race, created to support the relief efforts provided by the Solidarity Fund to small and medium-sized enterprises, and organised by Afrihost, Data Sciences Corporation, Pure Storage and NEC, has kicked off. "While we are fully aware that South Africans are passionate about their... 

Icasa receives 35 spectrum applications

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th April 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has received 35 applications for the emergency spectrum it intends temporarily releasing during South Africa’s state of disaster. Icasa last week said it would temporarily release the high-demand International Mobile... 

Heat exchanger training offered by company

By: Darren Parker     10th April 2020 Heat exchanger company Protherm Systems is planning to host its first heat exchanger training course in the coming months, in Gauteng, once the Covid-19 national lockdown has been lifted. The specific date and venue will be communicated to all interested parties and on Protherm System’s website... 

Heat exchanger training offered by company
SOME LIKE IT HOT Shell and tube heat exchangers are one of the three types of heat exchangers to be discussed in the training course

Vodacom directs R40m phone, data donation to Health Dept for Covid-19 fight

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th April 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has committed to donating 20 000 smartphones, 100 Tb of data and 10-million voice call minutes to the Department of Health for frontline use in the battle against the Covid-19 crisis. The donation, valued at R40-million, will enable frontline health workers... 

Facebook launches Covid-19 information centres in 17 African countries

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th April 2020 Social media platform Facebook has expanded its Covid-19 Information Centre to include another 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The firm’s information centres aim to provide the latest news and trusted information on Covid-19 at the top of the social media network’s news feed as the virus... 

Gary Kirsten launches online cricket coach education, accreditation programme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th April 2020 Individuals looking to advance their cricket coach education, or coaches looking for a credible cricket coaching accreditation, are now able to do so through the newly-launched online programme, CoachED, powered by former South African batsman and current coach Gary Kirsten. The exclusive online... 

Trusted smart homes need legal privacy safeguards

By: Schalk Burger     9th April 2020 Smart home systems must have legal safeguards in place to ensure that data generated and transmitted does not threaten the safety and privacy of individuals, says law firm Werksmans Attorneys director and Data Privacy Practice Group head Ahmore Burger-Smidt. "Privacy is an articulated concept,... 

Cybersecurity best practices critical as attacks spike

By: Schalk Burger     9th April 2020 Companies should ensure that employees follow cybersecurity best practices as cybercriminals try to exploit the Covid-19 crisis and penetrate corporate defences via unsecured home networks, says University of Stellenbosch Business School digital transformation senior lecturer Dr Martin Butler.... 

UiPath donates automation software to healthcare providers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th April 2020 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath is donating RPA software to healthcare and public sector organisations across South Africa, until the end of September, to accelerate critical processes and free up strapped employees so they can more rapidly respond to issues arising as a... 

Ndabeni-Abrahams ‘regrets’ flouting Covid-19 lockdown regulations   

By: Thabi Madiba     8th April 2020 Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has expressed her regret for breaching lockdown rules put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus and has asked South Africans to forgive her for her actions. President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Ndabeni-Abrahams on... 

Ndabeni-Abrahams ‘regrets’ flouting Covid-19 lockdown regulations
Watch Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams' apology

MeerKAT radio telescope array discovers previously unknown phenomenon

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th April 2020 A joint South African/Italian team of astronomers has discovered a new and unexpected phenomenon while using South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array, located in the Karoo region. The scientists were using the extremely sensitive instrument to examine the ESO 137-006 radio galaxy. ESO 137-006... 

BCX sets up Covid-19 response call centre for NICD, DoH

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th April 2020 Technology group BCX has established an on-demand contact centre for the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health (DoH) to assist with the overwhelming influx of queries being received. The contact centre on demand (CCOD), implemented within 48 hours, aims... 

Ramaphosa places Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for violating lockdown regulations

By: Sane Dhlamini     8th April 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one of which will be unpaid, for violating the regulations of the national lockdown amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. A recent social media... 

Ramaphosa places Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for violating lockdown regulations
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

EMEA telcos will prevail post Covid-19 crisis, but not unscathed

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th April 2020 The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic is unlikely to lead to many downgrades within the telecommunications industry across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) as rising connectivity demand insulates against the worst economic and credit distress. Some telecommunications companies may hit a “few... 

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