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Technology & Communications News

Despite accelerated IoT adoption, unreliable connectivity still a key barrier

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd November 2021 Research by mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat reveals that, despite the accelerating speed of Internet of Things (IoT) adoption over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, poor or unreliable connectivity is a key barrier limiting the success of IoT projects for most organisations in... 

Reunert eyes new BEE deal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd November 2021 JSE-listed Reunert has proposed a new transaction implementation agreement that would result in the restructure of its original black economic-empowerment (BEE) deal – extended and increased – and the introduction of an employee share ownership programme. The proposed agreement, with Bargenel... 

Airbus’ latest satellite, and the first in a new series, has been shipped to its launch site

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd November 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Monday that the first Inmarsat-6 series telecommunications satellite that it had built had been shipped from Toulouse in France to Tanegashima in Japan, from where it will be launched next month. This is also the first Inmarsat-6... 

Construction group reports on progress with MeerKAT radio telescope extension project

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd November 2021 South African black-owned construction group Concor has reported on its progress in building the foundations and infrastructure for the MeerKAT extension project, which it is undertaking in conjunction with OptiPower. MeerKAT is South Africa’s world-leading radio telescope array (and also a... 

The MeerKAT project is situated about 90 km from Carnarvon with its remote location in an arid area.
The MeerKAT project is situated about 90 km from Carnarvon with its remote location in an arid area.

SMEs need to take up 4IR tech to align with larger players

By: Donna Slater     23rd November 2021 Smart manufacturing is important to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because such businesses account for between 95% and 99% of every major country’s manufacturing sectors, Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association vice-chairperson Dr Ananth Seshan said during the organisation’s year-end... 

MTN, Nedbank partner for cost-effective ATM cash-out solution

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd November 2021 Telecommunications giant MTN has partnered with banking group Nedbank to enable Mobile Money (MoMo) customers to withdraw cash at all Nedbank ATMs or any of the participating retail stores, such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers, OK Foods and USave, across South Africa at competitive rates. The... 

Icasa temporarily halts Woan licensing process 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th November 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has temporarily suspended the licensing timetable for the release of the Wireless Open Access Network (Woan) spectrum. Reviewing the licensing timelines, issued on October 1, the authority said that the suspension is to allow the... 

German space launch startup secures customer for its first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th November 2021 German space-launch startup Rocket Factory Augsburg has announced that the first flight of its RFA ONE small satellite launch rocket will carry a commercial payload, from Ukrainian company Lunar Research Service (LRS). The two companies signed the launch service contract in Bremen, Germany, on... 

System aims to improve driver performance, safety

By: Anna Moross     19th November 2021 Software company 5DT’s (Fifth Dimension Technologies’) new DriveVUE is an automated artificial intelligence (AI) driver behaviour improvement system that aims to improve driver performance and safety. “DriveVUE, [our] latest AI product, is a device mounted behind the rear-view mirror of a... 

An image of the DriveVUE implemented in a vehicle
DriveVUE When the DriveVUE device detects an event, it gives the driver an audio warning –essentially speaking to the driver

Additive manufacturing in South Africa boosted by local technology developments

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th November 2021 Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had a very real impact on the sector, both globally and locally, all signs are that additive manufacturing (AM) – popularly called 3D printing – is set to grow rapidly in the coming years, both in South Africa and around the world. That was a clear consensus at... 

Magazine Cover Image

Study shows South African consumer electronics expensive

By: Schalk Burger     18th November 2021 European consumer electronics rental company Grover's 'Electronic Price Index 2021' showed that South Africa has the ninth most expensive electronics out of the 50 countries included in the study. Further, the study also found that graphics cards had recorded the highest deviation above the... 

Rapidly expanding emergency marketplace Aura secures R62m funding deal

By: Irma Venter     18th November 2021 Africa-based security and medical response marketplace Aura has secured R62-million in a Series A funding round, led by MultiChoice Group (MCG), KLT Holdings and Buffet Investments.  Aura says this funding will boost its global expansion plans. 

Image of Auro co-founders Warren Myers, Ryan Green and Adam Pantanowitz
Auro co-founders Warren Myers, Ryan Green and Adam Pantanowitz

App launched to help manage municipal water losses

By: Schalk Burger     18th November 2021 The Municipal Operations App for Water Management solution, developed by a KwaZulu-Natal-based small enterprise Khanyisa Projects, provides managers of municipal departments with a fully integrated operational tool that enables the detection of water leaks by field workers. The development of the... 

MTN Group progresses exit from Yemen

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th November 2021 Telecommunications giant MTN Group has transferred, effective November 17, its majority shareholding in MTN Yemen to Emerald International Investment. Emerald is a subsidiary of Zubair Investment Center, an affiliate of Zubair Corporation, which is the minority shareholder in MTN Yemen. 

Manufacturers need to innovate to survive in post-Covid-19 environment

By: Donna Slater     17th November 2021 In an environment where manufacturers have and continue to overcome disruptions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Manufacturing Operations Management Institute president and senior consultant Jan Snoeij has said industries need to innovate to survive and be successful through better systems... 

European space startup companies form partnership to offer space launch services

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th November 2021 Two Europe-based space startup companies, Germany’s Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) AG and the UK’s Lúnasa Ltd, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise their cooperation regarding the provision of space launch services. The MoU was signed on Tuesday at the Space Tech Expo... 

Cyberthreats continue to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, with some threats reemerging

By: Schalk Burger     17th November 2021 Cybersecurity multinational TrendMicro saw tools and techniques that had been used in previous years reemerge to target cloud infrastructure, while ransomware attacks have also been modernised, TrendMicro South Africa senior sales engineer Yash Pillay said this week. Reporting on the trends seen... 

MTN South Africa wraps up tower deal with IHS Towers

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2021 Telecommunications group MTN South Africa has concluded a passive tower infrastructure transaction with IHS Towers following a lengthy competitive process. The completion of the transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in... 

Icasa publishes spectrum information memorandum

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published an updated Information Memorandum (IM) for the licensing of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum for a second round of public consultation. Stakeholders have until 16h00 on November 30 to make... 

Telecoms equipment supplier agrees to settlement with competition authorities

By: Simone Liedtke     16th November 2021 Telecommunications equipment and network solutions provider ZTE Corporation South Africa has agreed to pay a R5-million settlement for allegedly colluding to divide markets.   In terms of a settlement agreement concluded between ZTE Corporation and the Competition Commission, ZTE SA also agreed... 

Vodacom reports H1 decline in earnings, rise in customers 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th November 2021 Telecommunications giant Vodacom posted a decline in profit, headline earnings per share (HEPS) and earnings per share (EPS) for the six months ended September 30, 2021, on a reported basis, while group revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased.... 

Screengrab of Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub’s views on the company’s strong results for the half-year ended September 30, 2021.

Schneider Electric appoints new Africa leaders to bolster evolving continental needs

By: Donna Slater     12th November 2021 Schneider Electric has appointed Taru Madangombe as Africa power and grid segment regional leader and Vladimir Milovanovic as Anglophone Africa power systems VP. In a statement, the company says their appointments represent Schneider Electric’s continued commitment to the ever-evolving power and... 

An image of Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa power systems VP Vladimir Milovanovic
Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa power systems VP Vladimir Milovanovic

Liquid Intelligent Technologies launches OneVoice for Cloud PBX 

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th November 2021 Pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies has launched One Voice for Cloud PBX, a collaboration and unified communications tool that enables organisations and their employees to remain connected even when working remotely. Initially offered in six key African markets, with... 

Liquid intelligent Technologies One Voice Screengrab
Liquid Intelligent Technologies Chief Digital Officer David Behr discusses the launch of the new One Voice for Cloud PBX. Date recorded: 11.11.2021.

Large MeerKAT data release reveals new cosmic puzzles

By: Simone Liedtke     11th November 2021 A paper authored by a South African researcher presents some “exciting and novel results” from the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey (MGCLS) and will be published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal. Using the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (Sarao’s) MeerKAT telescope, located... 

A raw image from MeerKAT's Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey
A raw image from MeerKAT's Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey

MFS Africa raises $100m for Africa expansion

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2021 Digital payment firm MSA Africa has raised $100-million through an equity and debt financing round, which marks another milestone in the company's expansion, following a series of acquisitions and investments in other African financial technology (fintech) companies, including the recently... 

Icasa calls on operators to apply for provisional spectrum

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has called on infrastructure-based mobile network operators to apply for the provisional assignment of radio frequency spectrum under the new information and communications technology (ICT) Covid-19 National State of Disaster... 

Vodacom Group to acquire strategic stake in CIVH assets and create an InfraCo 

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2021 Information and communications technology (ICT) group Vodacom Group plans to acquire a strategic stake in Community Investment Ventures Holdings’ (CIVH) fibre assets under a newly formed InfraCo entity. The InfraCo will hold all material assets currently owned by CIVH subsidiaries carrier-grade... 

Vodacom in R41bn deal to acquire control of Vodafone Egypt 

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2021 Information and communications technology (ICT) giant Vodacom Group plans to acquire a controlling stake in Vodafone Egypt for R41-billion. The group, which announced on November 10 that it had agreed terms with Vodafone, will fund the acquisition of a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt by issuing... 

The Vodacom logo

Nigerian lecturer awarded Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer research grant

By: Schalk Burger     9th November 2021 The $150 000 Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant has been awarded to Nigeria Federal University of Technology Akure (Futa) department of chemistry lecturer and researcher Dr Gideon Idowu, whose research helps policymakers and communities gain a better understanding of the effects of... 

Telkom records increase in interim earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th November 2021 JSE-listed Telkom has posted a growth in earnings for the six months ended September 30, 2021, with group profitability continuing to grow ahead of revenue, underpinned by sustainable cost management. The group reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of... 

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

Grindstone venture capital fund aims to assist South African tech startups

By: Schalk Burger     9th November 2021 Entrepreneur accelerator company Grindstone has launched a venture capital fund called Grindstone Ventures focused specifically on post-seed investments, where there is currently a gap in the South African funding landscape. The $6.5-million, or R100-million, fund is dedicated to seed funding... 

IFC partners with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to boost Africa’s digital infrastructure

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th November 2021 World Bank Group member IFC has entered into a partnership with independent fibre and digital services provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and to support the region’s growing digital ecosystem. The partnership aims to expand data... 

South African Investment Conference moved to March  

By: Schalk Burger     8th November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his weekly letter, said the fourth South African Investment Conference, which would have been held this month has been moved to March next year owing to several events, including the local government elections, the Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate conference... 

A photo of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

AI could reduce SA crime as early as 2023 – Aura 

By: Irma Venter     5th November 2021 When a social media site throws out an advert for a product you were just discussing over the phone, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that ‘they’ must be listening, says Aura CEO and co-founder Warren Myers. The truth, however, is that the site employed artificial intelligence (AI) to predict... 

Image of Aura CEO Warren Myers
Warren Myers

Skull of Homo naledi child discovered at Rising Star cave

By: Sane Dhlamini     5th November 2021 The first partial skull of a Homo naledi child, Leti, has been found in a remote passage of the Rising Star cave, in Johannesburg, by a team of international researchers led by University of the Witwatersrand Lee Berger. Two papers have been written about the discovery of parts of the skull and... 

Shoprite launches digital business unit, tests AI payment innovation

By: Irma Venter     5th November 2021 The Shoprite Group has officially unveiled its new digital business unit, ShopriteX, which it says “combines data science, technology and innovation with [the group’s] operational strength to provide increasingly enhanced customer experiences”.  Incubated over the past year, ShopriteX aims to... 

Telkom, MTN enter roaming deal

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th November 2021 Information and communication technology group Telkom has entered into a roaming agreement with MTN, effective November 1. The latest agreement with MTN, for the provision of second-generation (2G), third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) services, bolsters network capacity for Telkom... 

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