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Technology & Communications News

Liquid secures $180m investment

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th December 2018 Liquid Telecom has obtained a $180-million investment from UK development finance institution CDC Group to expand its high-speed broadband connectivity and Internet and cloud-based services into underserved communities and the technology start-up ecosystem across Africa. The investment will... 

High-performance computing conference stimulates cyberinfrastructure development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th December 2018 The Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) Conference, held in Cape Town earlier this month, provided a platform for students to showcase their skills in building supercomputers and ideas around preventing cybercrime. The CHPC is one of three primary pillars of the national... 

Bloodhound supersonic car project halted

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th December 2018 Project Bloodhound, the initiative to break the land-speed world record, has been halted, owing to a lack of funds, BBC News and other media reported at the weekend. Engineering News in October reported that Bloodhound Programme, the UK company behind the project, had entered into administration,... 

MTN says still in talks with Nigerian authorities 

By: Reuters     10th December 2018 South African telecoms firm MTN Group was still in talks with Nigerian authorities over an $8.1-billion dispute and a $2-billion tax demand in a bid to reach an agreement, Africa's biggest mobile operator said on Monday. The dispute is over the transfer of $8.1-billion of funds which Nigeria's... 

Liquid to invest $400m in Egypt over three years

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th December 2018 Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom plans to inject $400-million into Egypt’s network infrastructure and data centres over the next three years. This follows the signing of a partnership agreement between Telecom Egypt, which is working to connect Egyptian businesses to the rest of Africa... 

New CSIR board unveiled

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th December 2018 Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced the new board for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Monday. The CSIR is a multidisciplinary research and development (R&D) organisation that falls under the aegis of the Department of Science and... 

Europe was growing wary of Huawei even before CFO's arrest

By: Bloomberg     7th December 2018 The shock arrest of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer comes at a crunch time in Europe, as governments decide whether to crack down on the Chinese technology giant. Before Canadian officials detained Wanzhou Meng on December 1 over potential violations of US sanctions on Iran,... 

Sci-Ba reports increase in demand for green-tech advice

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2018 Technical and scientific consulting services report an increase in demands from mines and industries to advise them about sustainability and green technologies, as well as how these will impact on processing and standards, says Sci-Ba co-founder and director Chazanne Long. Much of the consulting... 

Artisan training moving to high technology

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2018 Artisans are receiving training on cyberphysical systems, which are hallmarks of modern industrial systems and are becoming commonplace in industry to prepare for employment in Industry 4.0 companies, says industry training college Colliery Training College (CTC) MD Johan Venter. For example,... 

3D printing surging globally and South Africa is making its mark

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th December 2018 The global take-off of Additive Manufacturing (AM, popularly called 3D printing), it is now apparent, took place some six years ago. "2012 was a turning point in AM, globally," consultancy Wohlers Associates President Terry Wohlers tells "Engineering News". "The technology really gained... 

3D printing surging globally and South Africa is making its mark

Icasa in third initiative to lower telecoms costs

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th December 2018 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has embarked on a third intervention in an effort to reduce the cost of communication in South Africa – a market inquiry into mobile broadband services. The new inquiry emerges shortly after the amendment and final publication of... 

SABS laboratories awarded 20-year commendation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th December 2018 Three of the South African Bureau of Standards’ (SABS’s) testing laboratories have been awarded commendations by the South African National Accreditation System (Sanas) for maintaining continuous accreditation status during the last 20 years, SABS Laboratory Services Division executive Johan Louw... 

SABS laboratories awarded 20-year commendation
Johan Louw, Executive: Laboratory Services; Duke Nene, Manager Explosion Prevention Technology; Hanli Hendriksz, Quality Manager and Sihle Qwabe, Senior Manager Electro-technical Engineering

ELB Engineering obtains regulatory approval to sell satellite antenna terminals in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th December 2018 Engineering firm ELB Engineering Services and partner Kymeta Corp have successfully obtained approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for the sale and distribution of the Kymeta KyWay u7 terminal devices in South Africa. The Icasa green light occurred four... 

Springs-based fuel cell SEZ approved  

By: Nadine James     5th December 2018 The special economic zone (SEZ) for fuel cell development, proposed for development by the Gauteng Industrial Development Zone initiative and Impala Platinum (Implats), has been approved, Implats fuel cell coordinator Fahmida Smith told attendees at the International Partnership for Hydrogen and... 

EPWP biometric system goes live

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th December 2018 Gauteng’s new biometric identification system for the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has gone live at the Helen Joseph Hospital, in Johannesburg, kicking off the first part of a province-wide deployment. The “cutting edge” biometric and facial recognition system is expected, over the next... 

HySA strategy bears fruit with multiple projects nearing commercialisation 

By: Nadine James     5th December 2018 The Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) strategy has produced multiple inventions and pilot projects that are nearing commercialisation, Department of Science and Technology Hydrogen and Energy chief director Dr Rebecca Maserumule told attendees of the thirtieth International Partnership for Hydrogen... 

Science body pushes for better human genetics ethics guidelines in South Africa

By: News24Wire      4th December 2018 The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has released a study it says is aimed at creating a more certain regulatory environment for government departments on matters relating to human genetics and the human genome. The authors of the study, titled Human Genetics and Genomics in South... 

South African telescope confirms new evidence of white dwarf cannibalising its companion star

By: News24Wire      4th December 2018 Work by researchers operating the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) in the Northern Cape has confirmed that a white dwarf star is cannibalising its companion star. The find has led astronomers to change their view on how massive radiation bursts occur on white dwarf stars. The star,... 

South African telescope confirms new evidence of white dwarf cannibalising its companion star
Photo by Marleny Arnoldi
Southern African Large Telescope

Nigerian court adjourns case between MTN and central bank to December 12 – judge

By: Reuters     4th December 2018 A Lagos judge on Tuesday adjourned a hearing in an $8.1-billion dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's central bank until December 12 after lawyers said they wanted to report back on settlement talks. The central bank has accused the firm of illegally sending... 

Airbus unveils first base for its very high altitude UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd December 2018 Europe-based global aerospace and defence company Airbus Defence and Space announced in Australia on Monday that it had opened the first operational launch site for its Zephyr “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite” (Haps) at the Western Australian town of Wyndham. The Zephyr is a very high... 

Airbus unveils first base for its very high altitude UAV
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of a Zephyr S flying in the stratosphere

Chinese brands driving Q3 smartphone growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd December 2018 Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi are driving the growth of global smartphone sales, despite sales for most mobile phone manufacturers, including Samsung, declining, research and advisory company Gartner said on Monday. During the third quarter of this year, global smartphone sales to end-users... 

DST hosts hydrogen fuel cell technology conference

By: Nadine James     3rd December 2018 Global stakeholders in the multibillion-dollar fuel cell industry will meet in Pretoria this week for the thirtieth Steering Committee Meeting of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE). The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will host the meeting... 

Nigerian court to hear MTN and attorney general case on Feb 7 – registrar

By: Reuters     3rd December 2018 A Lagos court hearing concerning a dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's attorney general over a $2-billion tax demand will take place on Feb. 7, a registrar said on Monday. MTN faces a $2-billion tax demand from the country's attorney general, a claim which the... 

Vodacom helps govt cut operational spend; develops apps for public service efficiency

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th November 2018 Mobile operator Vodacom has assisted government in reducing some of its operational expenditure by around 56% in participating national and provincial public institutions over the last two years, through the company’s mobile communication services transversal (RT15) communications contract. The... 

Vodacom helps govt cut operational spend; develops apps for public service efficiency
Vodacom business chief sales officer Mickey Mashale

International nuclear school for Africa successfully held in South Africa for second time

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th November 2018 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported that its second South Africa-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management (NEM) School, held in Johannesburg earlier this month, was attended by 23 young professionals from 13 African countries. The School was organised in conjunction with the... 

Western Cape govt partners with Liquid Telecom to expand WiFi access across province

By: African News Agency      30th November 2018 Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will oversee the signing of a deal with Liquid Telecom for a partnership on an expanded public WiFi network, the provincial government said. The expanded service will see a total of 1 600 public WiFi hotspot sites operate across the province with an increased data... 

Digital disruption to bring core engineering skills to fore

By: Schalk Burger     30th November 2018 Far from posing a threat to engineering as a profession, local engineering experts believe that the digital transformation of industries and of society is amplifying the importance of the core competencies of engineering disciplines and bringing them to the fore. Defining and solving complex... 

Digital disruption to bring core engineering skills to fore

Virtual, augmented reality now part of construction processes

By: Schalk Burger     30th November 2018 Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and building information modelling (BIM) in construction and consulting engineering are important elements of a fully integrated approach to project delivery, says multinational engineering consultancy Aecom Buildings and Places digital project... 

MTN Rwanda signs deal for 50bn franc loan for network upgrade

By: Reuters     29th November 2018 MTN Rwanda, the biggest telecoms operator in the East African nation, has signed a 50-billion franc ($56.20-million) loan with eight local banks, whose proceeds will be used to expand and modernise its network. The company, which had close to 4.5-million subscribers in September, is owned by... 

PIC raises stake in MTN to 23.6%

By: Reuters     28th November 2018 South African State-owned pension fund, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has raised its stake in mobile phone operator MTN Group to nearly 24%, regulatory filings showed on Wednesday, a bet on the company in the middle of $10.1-billion dispute with Nigeria. The PIC, which has more than... 

Tracing a falling star

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th November 2018 International cooperation involving researchers at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and Madagascar’s University of Antananarivo (UA), supported by an Italian laboratory, has successfully described, classified and traced the history of an meteorite that fell in the area of the... 

Tracing a falling star
Photo by University of the Witwatersrand
A fragment of the Benenitra meteorite

Etion falls into the red in H1

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th November 2018 JSE-listed Etion, previously called Ansys, on Wednesday posted a significant triple-digit slide in earnings for the six months ended September 30, mainly as a result of the costs of its latest acquisition, LawTrust. The diversified digital technology solutions provider reported a 108.6% plunge in... 

Huge to report double-digit growth in H1 earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th November 2018 JSE-listed Huge Group on Tuesday reported expectations of a 55% to 70% rise in earnings per share (EPS) to between 26.5c and 29.07c for the six months ended August 31, against the EPS of 17.1c apiece in the comparative period last year. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) are expected to increase... 

MTN executive exits said to intensify amid Nigeria crisis

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2018 MTN Group is set to lose another high-ranking executive over the next few months, according to people familiar with the matter, as Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales fights more than $10-billion of claims in its largest market of Nigeria. Chief Innovation Officer Herman Singh is expected... 

MTN executive exits said to intensify amid Nigeria crisis

MTN South Africa reaches 90% LTE coverage 

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th November 2018 Telecommunications giant MTN South Africa’s long-term evolution (LTE)/fourth-generation (4G) technology now covers 90% of South Africa after the company deployed its 11 000th LTE site in Qatywa, in rural Eastern Cape. MTN South Africa’s coverage had reached 88% by August and the deployment of the... 

MTN South Africa reaches 90% LTE coverage
MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa discusses the milestone of achieving 90% 4G coverage in a short period of time. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Telkom enables data transfer and rollover

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th November 2018 Telkom on Wednesday enabled data transfer and the rollover of unused data, effectively becoming the first mobile operator to implement the End-user Subscriber Service Charter Regulations tabled earlier this year. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), in May, gazetted... 

Nonprofit manufacturing institute opens in KwaZulu-Natal to support industrialisation of Africa 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th November 2018 South Africa’s newest manufacturing institute and academic research hub – the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS) – was officially launched on Monday. TWIMS is incorporated as a nonprofit organisation and was established with funding from the Toyota South Africa Educational... 

Nonprofit manufacturing institute opens in KwaZulu-Natal to support industrialisation of Africa
Photo by Simone Liedtke
Toyota South Africa Motors chairperson and Toyota Europe president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl, Toyota South Africa Educational Trust member Elisabeth Bradley, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies and GIBS dean Professor Nicola Kleyn

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