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Technology & Communications News

MTN opens academic element of yearly App of Year Awards

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN hopes to build an ecosystem of budding problem-solving entrepreneurs and businesspeople as it introduces an academic element to the 2020 edition of the MTN Business App of the Year. The MTN Business App of the Year Awards, now in its ninth year, will see the... 

Arab world’s first interplanetary probe launched

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th July 2020 The Hope (in Arabic, Al Amal) space probe of the United Arab Emirates Space (UAE) Agency was successfully launched on Sunday from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre (located on an island in Kagoshima prefecture, in the far south of the country) by a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket. The... 

Rain, Huawei launch standalone 5G network

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th July 2020 South African data-only mobile network rain and information and communications technology giant Huawei have launched a commercial standalone fifth-generation (5G) network in Cape Town. The standalone network, believed to be one of first in Africa, is built on rain's own sites to enhance the... 

SU Data School launches data science academy

By: Schalk Burger     17th July 2020 Stellenbosch University's (SU's) new School for Data Science and Computational Thinking has opened the African Data Science Academy (ADSA) and is offering two courses in July. "Many universities across the world have identified data science as a very important discipline, because of the data-rich... 

4IR skills map way forward  

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 With continuous improvements in technology, there is a need for concurrent upskilling across all sectors, especially as the reality of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has set in locally. 

4IR skills map  way forward
Polytech Africa MD ​Astrid Straussner​ tells ​Engineering News ​about the company’s Mechatronics Academy. Camerawork: ​Creamer Media’s​ Kutlwano Matlala​.​ Editing: ​Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd​.​ Recorded: 28.02.2020

Crosscall Mobile launches new range of devices, with industry first three-year warranty

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th July 2020 France-headquartered outdoor mobile technology specialist Crosscall has launched a new range of rugged and durable mobile devices in South Africa, all equipped with an industry-first three-year warranty. The latest suite of devices from the French brand include three new smartphones and a tablet,... 

Drones Council launched to expedite advancement of regulatory environment

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2020 The Drone Council South Africa (DCSA) was launched on July 15 with its first webinar to update global stakeholders in the private and public sectors on progress being made in the drones industry, both internationally and in South Africa. The DCSA was formed in part to address South Africa’s... 

Deloitte says Covid-19 has shown the necessary collaboration between humans, tech

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th July 2020 Consultancy Deloitte in its latest 'Human Capital Trends' report says the “social enterprise” which it first introduced in its 2018 'Human Capital Trends' report, has gone to work, with technology and human collaboration at the forefront of discussions. The 2018 report embodied a new social... 

Samsung South Africa launches new equity equivalent investment programme initiatives

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2020 Samsung South Africa has announced its Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) plans, which are aimed at empowering previously disadvantaged South Africans, with a focus on women and youth in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The programme initiatives are set to... 

Nasa’s latest Mars rover now on top of its launch rocket

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th July 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) announced on Thursday that its latest Mars rover, Perseverance, had been attached to the top of the Atlas V launch rocket (produced by the United Launch Alliance) that will carry it into space. The operation actually took place on Tuesday. The... 

Nasa’s latest Mars rover now on top of its launch rocket
Photo by Nasa
Encased within the nose cone, the Mars 2020 spacecraft is manoeuvred into place on top of its Atlas V launch rocket

Although vaccine trials are generating optimism, concerns about access are rising

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th July 2020 Should all go well with the South African-led vaccine trial or with similar trials in the UK and Brazil, commercial lots of vaccines be developed as early as the first quarter of next year. However, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) clinical infectious disease epidemiologist and... 

Although vaccine trials are generating optimism, concerns about access are rising

Thermal scanning system helps speed up Covid-19 screening

By: Schalk Burger     10th July 2020 Pretoria-based technology company Foresight Security has installed a locally developed thermal scanning system at a mine in the Northern Cape to help detect any possible cases of Covid-19. The system is capable of scanning two rows of mineworkers walking at a normal pace without them having to... 

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

By: Donna Slater     10th July 2020 With the onset of Covid-19, technology has come to the fore, as people have been forced to work from home or increasingly remotely to ensure physical distancing, thereby increasing reliance on remote, and even autonomous, methods of conducting duties, with keen interest in the potential use of... 

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Home automation add-on launched

10th July 2020 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand has launched its Arteor-with-Netatmo which is a simple home automation solution that uses traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi. The company explains that it expanded on its Arteor range of wiring devices,... 

Home automation add-on launched
PLUGGED IN Legrand has add to its home automation solutions that use traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi

HealthSpace signs first paid contract with contact tracing solution

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 Vancouver-headquartered HealthSpace Data Systems has signed the first paid contract in a package that includes the use of its extensive contact tracing solution. Mecklenburg County Health Department, in North Carolina, will use HealthSpace’s HSCloud Suite for contact tracing in a deal worth $157... 

HealthSpace signs first paid contract with contact tracing solution

JL Dube Broadband Highsite project kicks off KwaZulu-Natal’s smart province ambitions

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has switched on a JL Dube Broadband Highsite in Vezokuhle Primary School, Edendale, in the Umsunduzi municipality. The JL Dube Broadband Highsite aims to bring free WiFi to the communities of Pietermaritzburg. 

Covid-19-impacted brands could lose as much as 15% of value – Brand Finance

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global and domestic economies, South Africa’s top 50 most valuable brands could lose up to 15% of brand value cumulatively, a drop of more than R65-billion compared with the original valuation date of January 1, according to the latest 'South Africa... 

Icasa, NMISA ink MoU for collaboration

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) have signed a strategic collaboration agreement for the exchange of information and expertise. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed during a video conference... 

MTN maintains best network status in lockdown, rain hit by incorrect spectrum

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th July 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN has, once again, been named South Africa’s best mobile network for the second quarter of 2020. The MyBroadband Insights quarterly Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN has a network quality score of 9.94 during South Africa’s lockdown, higher than its first... 

New science, tech policy book focuses on transformative policy making

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 A new book authored by a host of international scientists and policy advisors sets out the theories, approaches and lessons for how science, technology and innovation (STI) policy making should be developed to ensure the intended benefits of research, development, innovation, progress and... 

City of Johannesburg invites tech startups to submit Covid-19 mitigation ideas

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 The City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ’s) Smart City Office has invited startup technology companies to submit proposals for smart city innovative solutions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and innovative ideas on how we can go into the future together. “The lockdown protocols have ignited new... 

Gauteng Covid-19 visualisation platform enables monitoring, prediction

By: Schalk Burger     7th July 2020 A visual analytics tool allows Gauteng Government users to visualise prediction models provided by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to see predicted active Covid-19 cases, as well as predicted bed availability over time. This can help determine where to focus resources ahead of when... 

SA receives additional ventilators from US

By: Sane Dhlamini     7th July 2020 The US government through the US Agency for International Development, has delivered a second shipment of 100 ventilators to South Africa to assist with its national response to the coronavirus pandemic. USAID will also train up to 10 000 critical care nurses and physicians and support supply... 

SA receives additional ventilators from US

Rain doubles Pargo pick-up points for Sims

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th July 2020 Data network provider rain and Pargo have more than doubled the number of pick-up points available for rain’s fourth-generation (4G) Sim cards amid a growing demand for the data-only Sim cards. There are now 260 Pargo pick-up points at selected Clicks stores across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the... 

Airbus wins new generation satellite order form Australian telecoms group

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2020 Airbus Defence and Space has been awarded an end-to-end turnkey contract for a telecommunications satellite by Australia’s leading satellite operator and number two telecommunications company, Optus. This is Airbus’ first contract from an Australian operator and is the fourth order for Airbus’... 

Regulation of online contracts needed to protect consumers, says SU academic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th July 2020 Almost every time one browses a website, click the “accept” icon or download software, they are concluding an online contract  ̶  a non-negotiated contract such as the terms and conditions regulating the use of websites or the privacy policies of online suppliers. People are rarely required to... 

Blue Label expects double-digit rise in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th July 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms expects to report a more than 20% increase in earnings for the year ended May 31, 2020. This will be a turnaround on the prior year’s performance, which reported losses on basic, headline and core headline a share of 727.81c, 312.49c and 304.77c respectively. 

Insolvent global Internet satellite communications company bought by UK/India partnership

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2020 UK-domiciled but US-based global Internet satellite communications company OneWeb, which became insolvent because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been bought by an international public-private partnership (PPP). OneWeb’s aim is to establish a constellation of, at first, 650... 

Insolvent global Internet satellite communications company bought by UK/India partnership
Photo by OneWeb
An artist’s impression of a OneWeb satellite in orbit.

Reliable connectivity essential for effective IoT

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 A global study conducted by satellite communications multinational Inmarsat found that only 15% of mining organisations consistently have access to reliable connectivity for their Internet of Things- (IoT-) enabled projects. Inmarsat’s research programme into IoT trends 'The Rise of IoT in... 

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 Scientists using data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have discovered evidence that the Moon might, underneath its surface, be richer in metals (such as iron and titanium) than had previously been believed. Nasa is... 

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

Supply chain liquidity and digitisation support fund launched

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 A R25-billion Covid-19 Instant Supplier Payment Scheme and digitisation drive has been launched for private and public sector institutions in South Africa and selected African markets, supply chain payments company Tradeshift and trade and supply chain finance and services platform Raindew Trade... 

Greater drone deployability in Africa requires regulatory allowances, supply chain integration

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Drones are being successfully deployed to support medical and humanitarian projects across Africa, but for a greater, more sustainable impact, they will need to be fully integrated into supply chains within an enabling regulatory environment, according to panellists who spoke during a webinar on... 

Structural testing completed for first flight of America’s latest spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that structural testing of its Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission had been successfully concluded. The Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than any previous human spacecraft. This... 

Structural testing completed for first flight of America’s latest spacecraft
Photo by Nasa
The full stack fo the Orion STA, including adaptors and the jettisonable fairing, in Lockheed Martin’s reverberant acoustic test chamber

New digital technologies improve manufacturing capabilities

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS group has developed digital technology called the X-Pact MES 4.0, along with the Safety Locator Suite system, which both aid in the digital transformation of organisations and help to gain faster insights and more informed management decision-making, with the... 

Plant productivity could be increased by virtual support

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS group aims to increase the technical resources of its clients’ plants by using local service teams from SMS Group with virtual support from global experts around the world using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. The aim is to improve... 

Icasa to publish WOAN, spectrum invitation

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd July 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is preparing to publish the Invitation To Apply (ITA) for both the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum. While Icasa has made “extensive progress” in developing both ITAs... 

South African professor elected to chair Unesco expert group on AI

By: Schalk Burger     30th June 2020 University of Pretoria department of philosophy Professor Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem has been elected as the chairperson of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) on Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will formulate a recommendation for... 

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