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Technology & Communications News

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... 

Energy Vision to deploy purpose-built power systems for base stations in Nigeria, Gabon

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th April 2020 Telecom-focused energy service company Energy Vision is deploying purpose-built power systems for outdoor telecom sites across Nigeria and Gabon. The group ordered Swedish technology company eSite Power Systems’s eSite x10 as it expands its African operations into Nigeria, with additional power... 

Vodacom, Safaricom to accelerate M-Pesa growth following acquisition

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th April 2020 Telecommunications groups Vodacom and Safaricom plan to accelerate the expansion of M-Pesa into Africa following its acquisition for an undisclosed amount from Vodafone. The duo have formed a joint venture (JV) to incorporate the M-Pesa brand and its product development and support services, and... 

EOH reports lower interim revenue, but operating costs decrease by 31%

By: Schalk Burger     7th April 2020 Information and communication technology (ICT) services company EOH's revenue for the six months ended January 31, decreased by 21.8% year-on-year to R6.35-billion, mainly as a result of lower hardware and software sales, as well as legacy public sector enterprise resource planning implementation... 

Aladon opens South African software development office

By: Schalk Burger     7th April 2020 Asset management multinational Aladon has opened a new asset management software development office in South Africa. This forms part of the company's expansion into software development as part of its continued commitment to delivering high-quality, easy-to-use, cost effective and cutting-edge... 

Cooperative Governance dept launches Covid-19 citizen interface portal

By: Schalk Burger     6th April 2020 The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) on April 4 announced the launch of a digital communication platform, Unathi, through which, using natural language-guided questions, citizens can anonymously report Covid-19 symptoms in themselves or their family members,... 

Secure, designated digital channels important for remote work

By: Schalk Burger     6th April 2020 Flexible and remote working arrangements may pose a substantial and costly risk to employers from a cybersecurity perspective and it is imperative for business to review and adopt an information security policy that employees must adhere to, multinational law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr says.... 

Banking cyberattacks rise significantly in South Africa, 34% of computers vulnerable

By: Schalk Burger     6th April 2020 In January and February, almost 1% of connected South Africans were the targets of malicious programs targeting users’ bank accounts compared to 1% of local market being targeted during 2019 and the projections for the remainder of the year could be massive, says cybersecurity multinational... 

MTN maintains best mobile network status

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th April 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN has been named South Africa’s best mobile network for the first quarter of 2020. The MyBroadband Insights quarterly Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN has a network quality score of 9.69, down slightly from its score of 9.85 in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Broadband Commission pushes for action to extend Internet access and boost capacity to fight Covid-19

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th April 2020 The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has adopted an Agenda for Action outlining immediate measures that governments, industry, the international community and civil society can take to ensure a strengthened collective technological response to the Covid-19 crisis. The agenda,... 

Technology, software quality assurance provides business value, supports innovation

By: Schalk Burger     6th April 2020 Companies in Africa have recognised the value and importance of quality assurance processes for technology and software, as it underpins business growth, end-user satisfaction, cost control and security, quality assurance and software testing company Africonology CEO Mandla Mbonambi said in a... 

South African tech community throngs to help government fight Covid-19 threat

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 Hundreds of volunteer information and communication technology (ICT) professionals have contributed data, tools and skills to develop a vulnerability map that illustrate the communities most at risk from the Covid-19 pandemic. This map has been presented to a Presidential planning meeting,... 

Broadband Infraco, ItakaneICT partner to enable cashless platforms

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2020 Broadband Infraco and ItakaneICT have partnered to deploy cashless payment platforms to rural and disadvantaged communities. The move will help in dispensing and transacting financially without using physical cash amid the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Wits researchers propose a simple solution to a geological conundrum

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Geosciences have proposed an explanation for a phenomenon that has long puzzled geologists. The researchers are Professor Rais Latypov and Dr Sofya Chistyakova and their research has been published in the journal Geology. The puzzle... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 The financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

Vodacom Business launches Fast Forward Season 2

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2020 Vodacom has kicked off the second season of its “Fast Forward” business workshops to equip entrepreneurs with the digital skills required to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Following the success of its first series last year, Fast Forward returned in March and has extended... 

Digital tools emerge as key means to support rural teachers

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 Research has found that mobile messaging service WhatsApp can provide rural teachers with organisational support, serve as virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) and support skills and professional development, Stellenbosch University (SU) Life Sciences facilitator and SU Centre for Pedagogy... 

Agri-fintech company moves to provide digital support for small-scale farmers

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 Agri-fintech company eSus Africa is supporting small-scale and emerging farmers by gathering and using data. Its onsite system enables farmers to gather machine and sensor data, monitor inputs and feeds from weather and agriculture agencies for planning and decisions, as well as record yields,... 

Schneider Electric academy develops smart energy management skills

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 As global power capacity is set to double by 2040, and with 80% more renewable sources than there are currently, Schnieder Electric is providing energy management training to meet the needs of heterogeneous and automated buildings and infrastructure, says Schneider Electric head of sustainability... 

Mobile testing, sampling units for Covid-19 launched 

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd April 2020 In light of the increasing number of Covid-19 local transmissions in South Africa, the Department of Health and government have stepped up capacity for testing across the country through procuring an additional 60 mobile sampling and testing units. In line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s... 

Mobile testing, sampling units for Covid-19 launched

South African school group develops, 3D prints face shields to protect healthcare workers

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings is assisting several healthcare organisations around the country by offering the services of its three-dimensional printers, as well as its staff, to aid in the printing of protective face shields for medical workers currently fighting... 

Vodacom, Discovery to offer Covid-19 screening platform 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd April 2020 Vodacom and Discovery have teamed up to develop risk assessment and virtual healthcare tools for citizens to assess their Covid-19 risk, schedule virtual healthcare professional consultations and get advice. The Covid-19 online healthcare platform can help to identify people who need health... 

Vodacom, Discovery to offer Covid-19 screening platform
Photo by Creamer Media
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub
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