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Technology & Communications News

SA expertise drawn in to support Bingo radio astronomy project

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2020 South Africa is making an important contribution to a Brazilian-led international radio astronomy project, known as the Bingo Telescope. Bingo stands for Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in Neutral Gas Observations. (To simplify, baryons are “heavy” subatomic particles, of which the proton and... 

CSIR signs deal with businesses to commercialise technologies

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed a trilateral agreement with two companies, 3Sixty Global Solutions Group (3Sixty GSG) and Tautomer, which is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of technologies developed by the science council. (3Sixty GSG is a... 

MTN realises R14bn in asset sales in 2019

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2020 JSE-listed telecommunications giant MTN has secured proceeds of R14-billion to date through its asset realisation programme (ARP). The programme kicked off in March last year with the aim of simplifying the group’s portfolio, reducing debt and risk, improving returns and realising proceeds of at... 

MTN relaunches MoMo in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2020 JSE-listed telecommunications group MTN is going live with its mobile money (MoMo) service in South Africa. The company’s third attempt at deploying MoMo services in the country follows the finalisation of engagements with all the relevant regulatory bodies and authorities, including the South... 

IoT revenue expected to more than double in Middle East and Africa by 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2020 Africa and the Middle East (AME) is set to be the second-fastest growing region, behind Asia Pacific, for Internet of Things (IoT) revenue, as interest gains momentum. While IoT is still in the early stages of uptake, stakeholders are exploring and identifying key areas of growth throughout a... 

EV pilot programme can help Rwanda go green

By: Cameron Mackay     24th January 2020 Electric mobility through electric vehicles (EVs) in Rwanda can help the country in its efforts to go green, says Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) CEO Thomas Schäfer.  This comes after Volkswagen launched a pilot project in the country in October last year, where it introduced its first EV in Africa. 

EV pilot programme can help Rwanda go green
Photo by Creamer Media
THOMAS SCHÄFER Africa will develop in many ways with cooperation. We need to learn to work together across the continent, find shared value, and ways of collaborating

Blue Label expects half-year earnings improvement

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd January 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label is optimistic of a more than 20% increase in half-year earnings. Basic, headline and core headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended November 30, 2019, are expected to improve by 2.52c, 3c and 2.28c. 

Cable ship en route to fix damaged undersea cables

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd January 2020 Cable ship Leon Thevenin departed Cape Town Harbour on Wednesday night and will sail to offshore Angola where the first steps of the physical repair on damaged undersea cables – South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC) and the West African Cable System (WACS) – will begin. The... 

Telkom starts retrenchment consultations

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd January 2020 Telecommunications group Telkom on Wednesday kicked off the consultation process with organised labour that could see up to 3 000 workers retrenched. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration will facilitate the Section 189 process, which was announced last week as the JSE-listed... 

Boeing announces further delay in return-to-service of its 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd January 2020 US aerospace giant Boeing reported on Tuesday 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... 

Boeing announces further delay in return-to-service of its 737 MAX
Photo by Bloomberg
Grounded 737 MAX airliners parked near Boeing Field, Seattle

Dual submarine cable restoration process under way

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2020 Telkom’s infrastructure provisioning division, Openserve, on Tuesday confirmed that the cable consortia for both of the undersea fibre cables that broke last week have tasked their respective restoration processes to a single chief of mission aboard the Leon Thevinin. The Leon Thevinin is a... 

Dual submarine cable restoration process under way
The Leon Thevinin

Local radioisotope company reports strong recovery 

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2020 South African State-owned nuclear technology company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) announced on Tuesday that it had regained 80% of its market share for the medical radioisotope Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). NTP is one of three large global producers and suppliers of Mo-99, but, from November 2017 to November... 

Local radioisotope company reports strong recovery
Photo by NTP
NTP Radioisotopes MD Tina Eboka

MTN Uganda, ZTE unveil 5G service in East Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st January 2020 Telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions provider ZTE Corporation and telecommunications group MTN Uganda have teamed up to launch the first fifth-generation (5G) service in Uganda. The parties showcased a high-speed 5G network under the 60 MHz spectrum bandwidth with an... 

Mokoena to head up Google South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 Ogilvy South Africa outgoing CEO Alistair Mokoena is preparing to take on the role of country director at Google South Africa from April 2020, succeeding former CEO Luke McKend, who left the firm in November 2018. Mokoena will oversee the commercial business for Google South Africa. 

Openserve hit by dual submarine cable outage

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 Infrastructure provider Openserve has been hit by reduced speed on international browsing, with international voice calling and mobile roaming also impacted, after an “unusual” dual cable break on the submarine systems connecting South Africa to Europe. The West Africa Cable System (WACS) and... 

Fedusa calls for Telkom board overhaul

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 As Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams sits down with Telkom over the potential retrenchment of up to 3 000 employees, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has called for the JSE-listed group’s board to be axed. In a statement on Friday, Fedusa... 

MTN appoints new CEO for South Sudan business

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2020 JSE-listed MTN Group has appointed Gordian Kyomukama as the new CEO of MTN South Sudan, effective January 21. Lily Zondo, acting CEO over the past few months, will resume her role as CFO with immediate effect. 

MeerKAT strikes again, with another astronomical first

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th January 2020 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (SARAO’s) MeerKAT radio telescope array has delivered another important radio astronomy first. It has successfully imaged faint, Milky Way-type, radio galaxies at distances of between 8-billion and 11-billion light years from Earth. MeerKAT is... 

Granular data to drive supply chain productivity

By: Schalk Burger     17th January 2020 Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) supply chain companies must aim to collect granular data – detailed, accurate data– to improve productivity and reduce costs in the sector, says information technology logistics solutions company MACmobile commercial director Andrew Dawson. FMCG supply chain... 

Granular data to drive supply chain productivity
ANDREW DAWSON Better analytical infrastructure will enable companies to better engage with customers and supply chain partners

Smart infrastructure that meets broad needs crucial for smart cities

By: Schalk Burger     17th January 2020 Developing infrastructure that caters to the needs of society is fundamental to create smart cities, which are not the result of new buildings, but of the increasingly critical role that technology plays in making urban buildings smart, says Johnson Control sub-Saharan Africa GM Archibald... 

Asset discovery improves security response and efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     17th January 2020 Information technology (IT) asset discovery software provides an accurate picture of assets that enables organisations to identify which technology needs to be refreshed or replaced, leading to better IT asset management, says IT multinational BT commercial contracts chief information security... 

Telkom could cut 3 000 jobs – letter to unions

By: Reuters     16th January 2020 Telecoms company Telkom told unions on Wednesday it could cut up to 3 000 of more than 15 000 staff as it struggles with declining performance in fixed voice and fixed data services. Like other African telecoms firms, Telkom, in which the government holds a stake of about 40%, is trying to keep... 

CSIR signs technology commercialisation agreement with two local companies

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th January 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Wednesday signed a trilateral agreement with two companies, 3Sixty Global Solutions Group (3Sixty GSG) and Tautomer, which is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of technologies developed by the science council. (3Sixty GSG is a... 

Kaspersky partners with jeweller on biometric data protection

By: Schalk Burger     16th January 2020 Cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky has partnered with the three-dimensional (3D) accessory designer Benjamin Waye and creative agency Archetype to create a special ring that has a printed artificial fingerprint pattern that can be used for authentication, the company announced on Wednesday.... 

Huge Group embarks on share repurchase programme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2020 JSE-listed Huge Group has established a share repurchase programme in terms of which the company and/or its subsidiaries may repurchase up to four-million ordinary shares, representing 2.3% of the company’s issued share capital, for an aggregate consideration not exceeding R20-million. The... 

Vodacom in talks to take subscribers from struggling rival

By: , Bloomberg     14th January 2020 Vodacom Group is in talks with Cell C about taking on the smaller rival’s contract-paying mobile phone customers, a move that would strengthen its position as South Africa’s telecom market leader, according to people familiar with the matter. The unit of the UK’s Vodafone Group would gain just... 

MTN leads network rankings

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2020 MyBroadband Insights has revealed that telecommunications giant MTN has retained its status as South Africa’s best mobile network for the fourth consecutive quarter. The fourth-quarter Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN “reigned supreme” with a Network Quality Score of 9.85, down... 

MTN Nigeria says attorney general withdraws demand for tax payment

By: Reuters     10th January 2020 The Nigerian unit of South African telecoms company MTN Group said on Friday the attorney general of Nigeria has withdrawn its $2-billion tax demand against MTN Nigeria. MTN Nigeria said the letter from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) confirmed that AGF has... 

Nigeria unveils $732m broadband project to boost economy

By: , Bloomberg     10th January 2020 Nigeria plans to invest 265-billion naira ($732-million) in broadband infrastructure over the next four years as the government sets its sights on nationwide coverage and to boost an economy recovering from a 2016 contraction. The government will provide 65-billion naira for the project and six... 

Automotive sector AI to cross $12bn mark by 2026

By: Simone Liedtke     10th January 2020 Artificial intelligence (AI) in the automotive market is set to cross the $12-billion mark by 2026, reports market research and strategy consulting firm Global Market Insights (GMI). This growth will be driven by the steadily growing uptake of driver assistance technologies for increasing driving... 

France's Orange considering IPO of Middle East, Africa operations

By: Reuters     9th January 2020 French telecoms group Orange is considering a possible stock market flotation of its combined Middle East and Africa operations, Orange said on Thursday. "Orange has decided to bring together all our regional activities in a single company, OMEA, to create a separate entity and provide the Group... 

Growth initiatives to continue in 2020 as new laws come into effect  

By: Simone Liedtke     9th January 2020 Initiatives to drive growth and stabilise the economy will continue to be a focus in the coming year, especially as efforts to root out corruption and State capture progress, law firm Webber Wentzel says. Robust corporate governance for listed companies will also remain a focus area for the JSE,... 

Growth initiatives to continue in 2020 as new laws come into effect

Robotics likely to be a school subject in 2021, says Motshekga

By: African News Agency      8th January 2020 Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday night that select schools would be piloting subjects such as robotics this year and if successful, the subjects could be rolled-out to public schools as early as 2021.  The minister made the announcement at the Vodacom Dome in Midrand,... 

South Africans show interest in innovative mobility services, connected technologies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th January 2020 Deloitte’s ‘2019 Global Automotive Consumer Study’ reveals that while South Africans still aspire to own their own vehicles – and concerns around autonomous, as well as connected vehicles remain – they are interested in innovative mobility services and willing to pay for connected technologies.... 

EOH, others mourn death of chair Mkhwanazi

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2020 JSE-listed information technology services company EOH has appointed lead independent nonexecutive director Andrew Mthembu interim chairperson, following the passing of Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi on Saturday. The company in a statement on Monday said Mkhwanazi had been admitted to the Wits Donald Gordan... 

Remgro-backed telecoms firm speeds up broadband expansion after R16bn debt deal 

By: Reuters     20th December 2019 A South African telecoms company backed by investment firm Remgro plans to expand its high-speed broadband network after completing a R16-billion debt restructuring this week. The building of fibre optic networks in upmarket neighbourhoods has intensified in the past five years, but has been... 

Ethiopia launches first satellite into space

By: Reuters     20th December 2019 Ethiopia launched its first satellite into space on Friday, as more sub-Saharan African nations strive to develop space programs to advance their development goals and encourage scientific innovation. Before dawn on Friday, senior officials and citizens gathered at the Entoto Observatory and... 

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