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Technology & Communications News

Ramaphosa announces new science and technology varsity

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 The people of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng will soon enjoy a new science and technology university, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised during his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday night. "We will enable young people in that metro to be trained in high-impact and cutting edge technological... 

Eskom tests appetite for ‘commercialisation’ of PBMR technologies, assets

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is seeking to dispose of its Pebble Bed Modular Reactor technology and remaining assets. It recently issued an Expression of Interest (EOI), regarding the “commercialisation of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor SOC [State-Owned Company] Ltd (PBMR), design,... 

Huawei to participate in ‘noncore’ elements of Britain’s 5G network

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 Towards the end of last month, the British Government announced that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in the creation of the UK’s fifth-generation (5G) broadband telecommunications network. This despite strong lobbying from the US Government to exclude Huawei.  

Digital transformation initiative for smallholder farmers

By: Schalk Burger     14th February 2020 The Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (ESWADE), in partnership with network operator Eswatini Mobile and South African agri-fintech company eSusFarm Africa, will use the eSusFarm Africa platform to provide information and services for 10 000 farmers on small-holdings. ESWADE... 

Cable repair ship faces a further delay

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 Unfavourable conditions at sea continue to hamper the progress of the Leon Thevenin cable repair vessel and crew undertaking the joint repair mission of the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC) and the West African Cable System (WACS). According to a statement published on... 

Cable repair ship faces a further delay

KfW, DBSA renew MoU

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th February 2020 German development bank KfW has renewed its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with development finance institution, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), to continue their successful collaboration on the financing and implementation of programmes. The signing of the MoU took place on... 

Accelerator Lab aims to use innovation to tackle SA's biggest social problems 

13th February 2020 In an effort to provide a network and platform through which new solutions can be developed to mitigate and solve the country’s challenges, the United Nations Development Programme has launched its 60th Accelerator Lab in South Africa. Journalist Simone Liedtke attended the launch event last month. 

Accelerator Lab aims to use innovation to tackle SA's biggest social problems
Accelerator Lab aims to use innovation to tackle SA's biggest social problems

R150m University Technology Fund a first for Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th February 2020 Stellenbosch University (SU) and the University of Cape Town are coinvesting through a newly established R150-million University Technology Fund (UTF), set up by the SA SME Fund in its endeavour to partner with South African universities to commercialise the technologies and business ideas that... 

MTN to post double-digit growth in full-year earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th February 2020 JSE-listed MTN expects to report double-digit growth in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended December 31. Reported on an International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16 basis, the group expects a 30% to 50% increase in HEPS to between 438c and 506c for the year under review,... 

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a... 

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

Skills shortages threaten South Africa’s 4IR progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th February 2020 Skills shortages will be the single biggest challenge facing the South African information and communication technology (ICT) sector over the next ten years, the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) says. While South Africa’s highly innovative and... 

Smart drones to be tested in battle against East Africa locust swarms

By: Reuters     11th February 2020 The United Nations (UN) is to test drones equipped with mapping sensors and atomizers to spray pesticides in parts of east Africa battling an invasion of desert locusts that are ravaging crops and exacerbating a hunger crisis. Hundreds of millions of the voracious insects have swept across... 

Employment services assist facilities go digital

7th February 2020 Temporary employment services (TES) provide the missing link in helping healthcare facilities on their journey to digital transformation, says information and communication technology company T-Systems South Africa operational excellence manager Theresa Ackerman. Healthcare costs continue to... 

South African, Chinese researchers in quantum communications breakthrough

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th February 2020 A joint team composed of researchers from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, and China’s Huazhang University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, has successfully demonstrated the transmission of “multiple quantum patterns of twisted light” down a 250... 

Telematics company introduces live streaming

By: Darren Parker     7th February 2020 Fleet and asset management solutions company MiX Telematics has added a live streaming service to its MiX Vision solution. The streaming service enables fleet managers to live-stream footage from up to eight cameras simultaneously using MiX Fleet Manager – MiX Telematics’ online software solution... 

Telematics company introduces live streaming
IN REAL-TIME The live streaming service helps fleet managers to improve driver safety and compliance

Workplace equality seen as key to attracting and retaining talent

By: Schalk Burger     7th February 2020 A sustained, measured and directed approach to workplace diversity and gender equality bolsters the corporate entities that leverage them to attract and retain the desired talent from within a competitive pool of candidates, says information technology services company Dimension Data System... 

Workplace equality seen as key to attracting and retaining talent
THEMBA CHAKELA Allowing people to develop their skills while maintaining diverse and effective teams helps to sustain and grow services

Cable repair ship to move to next section earlier than planned

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th February 2020 Infrastructure provider Openserve on Tuesday said the repair under way on one of the affected segments of the West African Cable System (WACS), off the coast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was nearing completion. This will allow the repair ship, the Leon Thevenin, to depart for the next... 

Vodacom to launch 5G services in South Africa this year

By: Reuters     4th February 2020 Vodacom Group, South Africa's biggest telecoms company by value, expects to offer 5G mobile services in its home market this year thanks to a recent roaming agreement with Liquid Telecom, CE Shameel Joosub said on Tuesday. Last month Liquid Telecom said it would launch the first fifth generation... 

Stellenbosch University appoints US expert to lead startup incubator

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th February 2020 Stellenbosch University has appointed US social entrepreneur Joshua Romisher CEO of its LaunchLab business incubator. From New York, to Silicon Valley to South Africa, Romisher has traded a career in investment banking to help the university create innovative startups in South Africa and... 

Stellenbosch University appoints US expert to lead startup incubator
Stellenbosch University LaunchLab CEO Joshua Romisher

Vodacom posts 6.6% rise in quarterly revenue

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th February 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom reported 6.6% growth in group revenue to R23.6-billion for the quarter ended December 31, as two-million customers were added to the network. The South African operations recorded 5.9% year-on-year growth in revenue to R18-billion, while the international... 

Icasa to review IMT responses

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd February 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has set its sights on the next milestone for the licensing of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum. The licensing process is scheduled for first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year – starting April 1 – following... 

Competition Commission extends data deadline for telco’s

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd February 2020 The Competition Commission on Monday said it had extended, by one month, the deadline handed to South African mobile operators to agree to several recommendations outlined in the ‘Final Findings and Recommendations of the Data Services Market Inquiry’ report. Published in December, the... 

Eskom seeks commercialisation offers for PBMR technologies and assets

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 Eskom has issued a request for an Expression of Interest (EOI) regarding the “commercialisation of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor SOC [State-Owned Company] Ltd (PBMR), design, development, manufacturing, and construction of [a] Small Modular Reactor and supply of TRISO [Tristructural Isotropic]... 

SA space agency’s new strategic plan incorporates continental initiatives

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has developed a new strategic plan for the next five years, which it hopes will soon be approved and implemented with effect from the start of the next financial year (April 1, 2020). “In terms of the process, we’re going through the formal... 

SA space agency’s new strategic plan incorporates continental initiatives

Further postponement announced in Boeing 737 MAX return to service

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 US aerospace giant Boeing has reported that its 737 MAX single-aisle airliner would remain grounded for longer than the company had hoped. The grounding of the aircraft was imposed after two fatal crashes, in late 2018 and early 2019, which killed a total of 346 people. A system fitted to the 737... 

Secure channel for direct engagement with clients on WhatsApp

By: Schalk Burger     31st January 2020 Companies can set up direct communication channels using the WhatsApp business application programming interface (API) to securely engage with clients while providing a responsive and rich experience, says business communication company Infobip South Africa senior sales manager Andre Joubert. The... 

Secure channel for direct engagement with clients on WhatsApp
ANDRE JOUBERT Infobip’s teams develop ready-to-use solutions and services, and can help clients to design client platforms that best suit their needs

Deep-cycle flow batteries being deployed in mobile network towers

By: Schalk Burger     31st January 2020 Compact, deep-cycle zinc-bromine flow batteries made by ASX-listed battery manufacturer Redflow are being deployed in telecommunications towers in South Africa and the company aims to serve similar needs in key African markets, says Redflow CEO and MD Tim Harris. The company is rolling out its... 

Deep-cycle flow batteries being  deployed in mobile network towers
TIM HARRIS Redflow has deployed its batteries in commercial, industrial and micro-grid applications in Australia, the Pacific and Thailand

Karoo firewalkers: Dinosaurs braved South Africa's land of lava

By: , Bloomberg     30th January 2020 About 183-million years ago during the early part of the Jurassic Period, enormous amounts of lava flowed across the landscape in what is now South Africa, transforming the environment into a land of fire. But fossil footprints described by scientists on Wednesday showed that intrepid dinosaurs... 

MTN announces $1.6bn investment to expand network in Nigeria

By: African News Agency      30th January 2020 South African multinational mobile telecommunications company MTN said it was making a capital investment of $1.6-billion over the next three years to strengthen and expand its network and operations in Nigeria. MTN issued the statement late on Wednesday after its group chairperson Mcebisi Jonas,... 

Openserve expects cable repairs to be completed in mid-Feb 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th January 2020 Infrastructure provider Openserve has advised that repairs on undersea cables off the coast of Angola will take longer than initially expected. The repair ship Leon Thevinin departmented the Cape Town harbour last week and would have sailed to offshore Angola where the first steps of the... 

Openserve expects cable repairs to be completed in mid-Feb
Leon Thevenin vessel

Sendmarc offers solution to protect domains against fraudsters

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th January 2020 Technology startup Sendmarc has rapidly expanded its partner and customer base since it was established in 2018 and is making strides in ensuring widespread email protection against fraudsters. The company is the first in South Africa to help small and large businesses implement the Domain... 

Sendmarc offers solution to protect domains against fraudsters
Sendmarc founders Sam Hutchinson, Keith Thompson and Sacha Matulovich

Accelerator Lab to develop new solutions to South Africa’s challenges

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2020 A new Accelerator Lab has been launched in South Africa to provide a network and platform through which new solutions can be developed to mitigate and solve the challenges facing the country. Launched at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s conference centre, in Tshwane, on... 

Accelerator Lab to develop new solutions to South Africa’s challenges
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande

UK to allow Huawei to participate in 'noncore' elements of country’s 5G network

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th January 2020 The British government announced on Tuesday that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in the creation of the UK’s fifth-generation (5G) broadband telecommunications network. This despite strong lobbying from the US government to exclude Huawei. However, for... 

Cell C defaults on interest payment 

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th January 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label’s shares plunged on Tuesday after it announced embattled mobile operator Cell C’s default on the interest payment of a multibillion-rand note. The payment of interest on the $184-million, or about R2.7-billion, loan was due in December 2019, while interest and capital... 

Opinion: Amazing SA inventions of 2019

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     27th January 2020 South Africans are an innovative lot. Much of the world knows about Chris Barnard, the surgeon who performed the world’s first heart transplant in 1967, but many other citizens of this great nation who introduced a multiplicity of amazing innovations in various fields remain below the radar.... 

Opinion: Amazing SA inventions of 2019

South African, Chinese researchers jointly make quantum communications breakthrough

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2020 A joint team composed of researchers from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, and China’s Huazhang University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, has successfully demonstrated the transmission of “multiple quantum patterns of twisted light” down a 250... 

Applications open for leadership development programme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th January 2020 Gauteng innovation agency, the Innovation Hub, has called on young South Africans to take part in the CoachLab Leadership and Business Skills Development Programme. CoachLab is a youth skills development programme managed by the Innovation Hub in collaboration with industry partners, government... 

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