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Technology & Communications News

Space launches from UK to start in 2022 following tabling of regulations in Parliament

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th May 2021 The UK government on Monday laid before the British Parliament its Space Industry Regulations, which provide for the licensing and regulation of commercial spaceports in the country. The legal framework for these regulations is provided by the 2018 Space Industry Act. The regulations will be... 

Telkom reconsiders dividend suspension

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2021 Telkom is reconsidering its dividend suspension after reporting strong growth in the year ended March 31, 2021. In June last year, Telkom suspended its dividend policy for three years from the 2021 financial year to preserve its cash position and maintain a flexible balance sheet ahead of the... 

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko

Nasa’s Mars helicopter should make its first proper aerial survey flight next week

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Mars Helicopter team, based at the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the state of California, is currently planning the small drone aircraft’s next (sixth) flight, it has reported. The autonomous uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV), named... 

Ingenuity (far left) photographed at its current (second) landing site
Photo by Nasa
Ingenuity (far left) photographed at its current (second) landing site

European Space Agency planning lunar satellite navigation and communications system

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that it has selected and signed contracts with two consortia to develop its ‘Moonlight’ project. Moonlight is intended to create a telecommunications and navigation system for the Moon, using a constellation of lunar orbiting satellites and... 

A communications satellite constellation schematic superimposed on a photo of the Moon
Photo by ESA
A communications satellite constellation schematic superimposed on a photo of the Moon

Constitutional Court dismisses CoT appeal in contract dispute

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st May 2021 The Constitutional Court has dismissed the City Of Tshwane’s (CoT’s) application for leave to appeal in a dispute between Thobela Telecoms and CoT over the City’s allegations that the tender award process was unlawful owing to internal processes and procedures at the CoT not being correctly... 

Fair to host virtual event

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st May 2021 Exhibition organiser Reed Exhibitions will host the AATF Virtual Connect! online virtual event, scheduled to take place in September 2021. The virtual event will be held in place of the live event, which has been postponed to May 9 to 11, 2023. 

MOVING WITH THE TIMES
Companies are considering processes and systems to assist them in working smarter and how they can be innovative businesses through technology and automation
MOVING WITH THE TIMES Companies are considering processes and systems to assist them in working smarter and how they can be innovative businesses through technology and automation

Tech enables global competitiveness

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st May 2021 Key technologies, such as automation and the automatic control of systems, are transforming industries, enabling companies to remain competitive in a global market, says South African Council for Automation and Control (SACAC) president John Burchell. “Advances in automation have allowed for the... 

Edge tech a preferred computing option in data storage

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st May 2021 Owing to 90% of manufacturing sites not being connected to cloud or data centres, information is held in disparate, siloed systems, says telecommunications company BT digital manufacturing head Andy Rowland. Consequently, manufacturing clients now want to benefit from Industry 4.0 and the company... 

Industry 4.0 – investing in smart infrastructure and education

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st May 2021 Some may argue that Africa has missed out on the opportunity for large-scale industrialisation owing to its unpredictable economies while others point out that the technology that characterises the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), enables African countries to overcome obstacles. “Africa and... 

FIT FOR PURPOSE
PFERD South Africa’s products are geared for 4IR applications, including robotics and AI
FIT FOR PURPOSE PFERD South Africa’s products are geared for 4IR applications, including robotics and AI

Endpoints security can mitigate cyber attacks

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st May 2021 As a result of cyberattacks increasing rapidly in terms of their severity and complexity in the manufacturing industry, companies have to look into manufacturing endpoint-security as a line of defence, says cybersecurity solutions provider Kaspersky’s enterprise cybersecurity adviser Lehan van... 

TEAMWORK 
The manufacturing industry is good at machine learning and deep learning, and if you combine enough of those two processes, you could get to AI
TEAMWORK The manufacturing industry is good at machine learning and deep learning, and if you combine enough of those two processes, you could get to AI

New app tracks, assesses driver behaviour

By: Theresa Bhowan     21st May 2021 Telematics tracking solutions provider MiX Telematics has developed the MyMiX Tracking app to track and assess driver behaviour without the need for embedded hardware. MyMiX Tracking leverages mobile phone technology to enable real-time tracking of drivers while also recording, measuring and... 

HENRY SMITH 
The MyMiX app increases driver accountability through the monitoring of drivers
HENRY SMITH The MyMiX app increases driver accountability through the monitoring of drivers

Data growth increases need for digital infrastructure

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     21st May 2021 The significant proliferation of new-enterprise data that is being generated and processed outside of a data centre and cloud network requires digital infrastructure in multiple locations, says Lenovo Middle East and Africa Infrastructure Solutions Group GM Dr Chris Cooper. “If you look at what's... 

Competition Commission’s new inquiry just the start for the digital economy

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th May 2021 The Competition Commission’s first inquiry into the digital economy is likely to unmask matters relevant to future market inquiries in the digital economy. The Competition Commission on May 19 officially embarked on an inquiry into online commerce platforms, also referred to as online... 

Ndabeni-Abrahams says partnerships needed to achieve national digital transformation 

By: Schalk Burger     20th May 2021 Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on May 20 said partnerships between government, the private sector and communities were necessary and that government acting in isolation would not succeed in providing universal information and communications technology... 

Ndabeni-Abrahams says partnerships needed to achieve national digital transformation
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams talks about universal ICT access and digital transformation in government and South Africa. Camera work: Kultwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

China releases first images from its Mars rover

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th May 2021 The China National Space Administration (CNSA) released on Wednesday two photos taken by its Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars. The Zhurong landed on the Red Planet on May 15, making China only the second country to successfully put a rover – indeed, a functional space probe of any kind – on... 

Zhurong navigation camera colour image showing deployed solar panels and antenna
Photo by CNSA
Zhurong navigation camera colour image showing deployed solar panels and antenna

EOH welcomes DA's plan to prosecute former management

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2021 Information technology services company EOH on May 19 said it has taken note of the intention expressed by political party the Democratic Alliance (DA) to take legal action against previous EOH management and related parties implicated in wrongdoing. It stated that it welcomes this move and that... 

DCDT tables budget of R3.7bn for year, outlines 7 key priorities 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th May 2021 The Department of Telecommunications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has tabled a budget of R3.7-billion for the 2021/22 financial year, with seven priorities outlined for the year ahead. The Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM); the release of spectrum; an infrastructure investment and mass... 

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Telkom expects to report triple digit growth in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th May 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom expects to report a 145% to 155% increase in headline earnings a share to between 509.9c and 530.7c for the year ended March 31, 2021. Basic earnings a share is expected to increase by 300% to 310% to between 484.4c and 496.5c. 

Vodacom reports increases across the board in FY21

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th May 2021 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has reported growth across the board for the year ended March 31, 2021, as it navigates the sudden shifts in consumer behaviour patterns. The group invested heavily in the resilience of its networks to cope with significant increases in mobile data traffic volumes... 

SpaceX’s plans for first orbital test flight of its latest spacecraft revealed in public document

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2021 US private-sector space company SpaceX, founded and led by South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, is planning to carry out the first orbital flight of its latest spaceship, designated Starship, during the second half of this year. This has been reported by US journal Space News,... 

Starship test vehicle SN15 lifts off on its successful test flight
Photo by SpaceX
Starship test vehicle SN15 lifts off on its successful test flight

China’s Zhurong rover successfully lands on Mars

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2021 In the early hours of Saturday morning, South African time, the China National Space Administration’s Zhurong rover successfully touched down on Mars. Its landing site was in the southern region of Utopia Planitia. This made China only the second country to put a rover on to the Red Planet. The... 

Artist’s impression of the Zhurong rover on its lander platform on Mars
Photo by China National Space Administration
Artist’s impression of the Zhurong rover on its lander platform on Mars

Altron reports decrease in earnings for 2021

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th May 2021 Allied Electronics (Altron) recorded a 8.5% decline in earnings before interest tax and depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to R1-billion during the year ended February 28, 2021. This was attributed to weak market conditions and liquidity pressures resulting in low client confidence levels... 

Information Regulator seeking legal advice over WhatsApp privacy policy

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th May 2021 South Africa’s Information Regulator is briefing attorneys to prepare an opinion on the way forward in terms of litigation after not receiving any agreement from WhatsApp to revise its privacy policy in line with that of the standard used in the European Union (UN). The regulator requested the... 

Company aims to gain territory with faceless seal

By: Claire O'Reilly     14th May 2021 Mechanical seal supply and distribution company Pactor “is ready to break into potential markets”, as the local distributor of the Air-Shaft leak prevention system (LPS), says Pactor MD Kobus Swanepoel. 

TAMAR PUMP SHAFT SEAL 730-TP
Faceless seal used in airshaft LPS systems
TAMAR PUMP SHAFT SEAL 730-TP Faceless seal used in airshaft LPS systems

DeepMind provides machine learning scholarships for four Wits Master's students

By: Schalk Burger     13th May 2021 Artificial intelligence (AI) research and applications company DeepMind has donated scholarship funding for four University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) students to complete their Master's degrees in the field of machine learning (ML). The scholarships will fund students registering for MSc... 

Online retail booms, set to stabilise at higher level

By: Schalk Burger     12th May 2021 Online retail revenue in South Africa grew by about 66% to R30.2-billion in 2020, accounting for about 2.8% of total retail revenue. Last year’s growth in online retail revenue was significantly higher than the 25% growth from R11.3-billion in 2017 to R14.1-billion in 2018. 

Online retail booms, set to stabilise at higher level

New discovery suggests Mars is not dead, but merely sleeping

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th May 2021 Scientists at the University of Arizona’s (UArizona’s) Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and at the Tucson, Arizona, based Planetary Science Institute (PSI), in the US, have discovered evidence showing recent volcanic activity on Mars, hitherto largely conceived of as a dead planet. Studying imagery... 

Satellite image showing the recent volcanic deposit around a fissure in the Cerberus Fossae system
Photo by Nasa/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Satellite image showing the recent volcanic deposit around a fissure in the Cerberus Fossae system

Online game shows scope, challenges of global climate change responses

By: Schalk Burger     11th May 2021 A free online interactive fiction game Survive the Century aims to show players that the future of the climate depends on the choices people make today and, while light-hearted, it is informed by climate science. The branching narrative game about the political, environmental and social choices... 

TPT to deploy new version of container terminal operating system

By: Schalk Burger     11th May 2021 State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) will, later this month, launch a new version of its container terminal operating system Navis Sparcs N4. This latest version will set the new architectural foundation for added features and capabilities, says TPT CFO Sharla Chetty. 

US asteroid probe has started its journey home

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that its asteroid sample collection and return mission OSIRIS-REx has departed from near-Earth asteroid Bennu and is heading back to Earth. OSIRIS-REx is an acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource... 

An artist’s impression of OSIRIS-REx leaving Bennu
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of OSIRIS-REx leaving Bennu

Lebone reaping benefits of technology, people investments

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th May 2021 Print solutions company Lebone Litho Printers’ infrastructure and technological investments, as well as its skills development and small, medium-sized and microenterprise (SMME) focus, are engendering benefits for the company. This, combined with its diversification into digital, has enabled the... 

Nasa’s ‘little helicopter that could’ makes another landmark flight on Mars

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Mars drone helicopter, Ingenuity, made a successful fifth flight on Friday. This was another landmark sortie by the little aircraft, which lasted 108 seconds and which set a new altitude record of 10 m. But the key importance of this... 

Ingenuity (far left) photographed at its new landing site by the Perseverance rover
Photo by Nasa
Ingenuity (far left) photographed at its new landing site by the Perseverance rover

TPT developing Cargo Connect logistics app

By: Schalk Burger     7th May 2021 State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is developing the Cargo Connect app, which will serve as a digital marketplace for logistics services in South Africa. The app will increase the logistics’ network visibility and benefit customers and the broader supply chain. Some of the app's features... 

Teraco becomes MÉTISS node, boosts regional interconnection

By: Schalk Burger     6th May 2021 Data centre operator Teraco on May 6 said it had become an integral node to the Meltingpot Indianoceanic Submarine System (MÉTISS) – a 3 200 km subsea fibre-optic cable system connecting South Africa to the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius. MÉTISS consortium members have... 

Mobile push authentication improves transaction security, improves user experience

By: Schalk Burger     6th May 2021 Mobile push authentication messages provide a better user experience and protect users more effectively than password-protected accounts and one-time pins (OTP), which is important to protect data as more companies have adopted cloud computing and remote working, says device identity and... 

Jupiter space probe arrives at research centre in the Netherlands for crucial tests

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th May 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Thursday that its latest space probe, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice), had been delivered to ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (Estec) in the Netherlands. The spacecraft had been transferred from the Friedrichshafen facility of... 

Juice, in its transport framework, after its arrival at Estec
Photo by ESA
Juice, in its transport framework, after its arrival at Estec

SpaceX scores success with fifth test flight of its new Starship spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th May 2021 SpaceX’s latest crewed spaceship design, the Starship, made its first fully successful test flight on Wednesday. This was the fifth such attempt, the previous four all seeing the rockets concerned blowing up, at different stages of the flight profile. This fifth flight involved an improved... 

Starship SN15 launching from Starbase
Photo by SpaceX
Starship SN15 launching from Starbase
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