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Telecoms News

JSE-listed Telkom tells of mixed hit from Covid-19 restrictions

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th September 2020 The impact of Covid-19 and the national lockdown has impacted JES-listed Telkom’s business to varying degrees. In an update to the market, Telkom said that, while its consumer business benefitted from the increased demand from people working from home and online schooling, its BCX and Small... 

Affordability of communications critical for impact

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th September 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic brings South Africa’s widening digital divide into sharp focus in South Africa, having the latest generation connectivity, unaffordable for many, will not make much of an economic impact without lowering the costs. South Africa has had some success with its various... 

Blue Label sells 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th September 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms is selling its 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico to co-shareholder Grupo Bimbo for $11.5-million. Blue Label will use the proceeds to settle its total parent guarantee obligations of $3.25-million payable to RBL Bank on behalf of Oxigen Services India, as well as... 

City of Johannesburg resumes free WiFi hotspots roll-out

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th September 2020 The City of Johannesburg has relaunched its free Joburg WiFi hotspots roll-out project after four years. Digital inequality continues to be high in the city with at least 50% of people in Johannesburg and 80% of residents in informal settlements still without access to the Internet. 

VH Fibre Optics repositions to bridge the connectivity gap in South Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th September 2020 VH Fibre Optics, part of Alviva Holdings, is expanding its portfolio and repositioning its offerings toward closing the availability gap of fast and stable connectivity in rural and semi-rural areas. The group will deliver an end-to-end offering and new solutions that bring cost-effective... 

Eutelsat, Paratus sign distribution agreement for capacity over South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th September 2020 Eutelsat Communications and Paratus have signed a multi-year distribution agreement to bring high quality network connectivity to South Africa. The agreement will result in Paratus accessing the operational flexibility and power of high throughput satellite Eutelsat Konnect to bring connectivity... 

Paratus activates direct terrestrial fibre link from Teraco to Maputo

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2020 Pan-African telecommunications company Paratus has completed a new terrestrial crossing between Johannesburg and Mozambique. The group lit up a 750 km route from Maputo, through Eswatini, to one of Paratus’ international colocation centres, Teraco Isando DC. 

Icasa to issue high demand spectrum ITA by end of September

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) plans to auction the long-awaited high demand spectrum in March next year. The auction of the high demand spectrum, which was originally going to take place during December 2020, will now be completed by no later than March 31,... 

Covid-19 pushes cloud to forefront

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd September 2020 A new study by World Wide Worx, in partnership with F5, Dell Technologies, Digicloud Africa and Intel, has revealed how the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed cloud computing to the front of decision-makers minds. The comprehensive Cloud in Africa 2020 report maps out latest cloud trends across... 

AfriForum submits commentary against proposed 5G policy

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st September 2020 The civil rights organisation AfriForum has raised its concerns that the Draft Policy and Policy Direction on Rapid Deployment of Electronic Communication Networks and Facilities, or fifth-generation (5G) policy, will violate property rights and pose specific safety risks to landowners. In a... 

MTN Group appoints new audit committee chair and acting GCFO

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st September 2020 JSE-listed MTN has appointed Sugentharan Perumal as its acting group CFO while it continues its rigorous recruitment process for a permanent replacement for newly appointed group CEO and president Ralph Mupita. Mupita will assume the role of CEO on September 1, as outgoing CEO Rob Shuter steps down. 

Liquid Telecom appoints new group chief business officer

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st August 2020 Communications solutions provider Liquid Telecom has appointed Clayton Naidoo as group chief business officer, effective October 1. Naidoo, who has more than 14 years of experience in the information and communication technology industry, joins Liquid Telecom from Cisco, where he was GM for... 

Laser tech key to developing economy

By: Tracy Hancock     28th August 2020 It is vital that South Africa has an in-depth understanding of the impact photonics-based technologies will have on its economic development, as they underpin the communication systems and sensors needed to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The country also needs to ensure that it can... 

Laser tech key to developing economy
LASER FOCUS The present focus of the Rental Pool Programme is to improve the commercialisation of research done by research groups

More local laser R&D needed

By: Tracy Hancock     28th August 2020 South Africa is not placing enough focus on laser research and development (R&D), especially in the private sector, but there is hope, says the director of the Laser Research Institute (LRI) within the Physics Department at Stellenbosch University Dr Pieter Neethling. “Laser and photonics R&D is... 

More local laser R&D needed
PRIVATE PARTICIPATION Getting private-sector companies to fund laser research and development at local universities is expected to change the landscape dramatically

Blue Label returns to black in 2020, Cell C recap to be concluded this year

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th August 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms has successfully turned around its earnings for the year ended May 31, 2020, as Cell C’s recapitalisation deal discussions continue. Cell C’s lengthy recapitalisation deal is likely to be concluded this year, with a term sheet expected in due course, said Blue Label... 

Network slicing key to monetising 5G networks

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th August 2020 Fifth-generation (5G) networks 5G, with their built-in programmability and advanced capabilities, will drive new monetisation opportunities for service providers; however, network slicing will be key. “Moving from the traditional third- or fourth-generation one-size-fits-all approach to one based... 

Vodacom Group appoints Raisibe Morathi as Group CFO

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th August 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has appointed Raisibe Morathi as its new Group CFO, effective November 1. Morathi, who is joining Vodacom from Nedbank Group, where she was the Group CFO since 2009, is the successor to Till Streichert, who left the position in June. 

Blue Label expects significant rise in 2020 earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th August 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms expects to swing back into the black during the year ended May 31, 2020. The group’s trading statement indicates that earnings per share will increase between 740.97c and 742.42c apiece to between 13.16c and 14.6c in the year under review. 

Reliable infrastructure needed to meet fibre demand  

By: Halima Frost     21st August 2020 With physical distancing encouraged amid Covid-19, the need for reliable fibre connectivity and infrastructure has increased, says open access network provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) strategy, mergers and acquisitions and innovation executive Vino Govender.  “We have seen a significant increase... 

Reliable infrastructure needed to meet fibre demand
Dark Fibre Africa strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and innovation executive Vino Govender discusses the increased demand for bandwidth and data during Covid-19. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 23.07.2020

Mupita appointed as MTN group president and CEO

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th August 2020 MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita has been appointment as successor for group president and CEO Rob Shuter, effective September 1. Shuter will step down from his executive responsibilities on August 31 and will provide support until the end of his fixed-term contract early next year. 

Tech crucial to market sales in local industry

By: Cameron Mackay     14th August 2020 Automation solutions provider MACmobile MD Andrew Dawson stresses that technology that offers mobility, automation and the ability to engage customers while maintaining social distance will be crucial to driving market sales in the local industry. “The key technology at this stage is mobility –... 

Tech crucial to market sales in local industry
ANDREW DAWSON What’s important is enabling retailers, with their own methodology software-wise, to generate orders and use the call centres to create new sales and awareness

Steel awards go virtual

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The South African Institute for Steel Construction’s (SAISC’s) yearly Steel Awards will be judged and hosted virtually through a dedicated application (app) this year. This comes on the back of efforts to mitigate restrictions on social gatherings and take advantage of the digital marketing... 

Steel awards go virtual
VIRTUOSITY ASSESSED Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually

Operators call for lower spectrum pricing

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th August 2020 While the imminent auction of high-demand spectrum by the end of the year is a promising step forward for South Africa’s fifth-generation (5G) ambitions, if the price is set too high in the bidding process, it may prove detrimental. The interim findings of a study by World Wide Worx into the... 

Cassava, Liquid Telecom launches Sasai WiFi Finder

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th August 2020 Cassava Fintech International (CFI) and Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) have teamed up to develop a service aimed at accelerating digital and financial inclusion in Africa. Through the newly launched Sasai WiFi Finder, the duo plan to establish an expansive network of data access points across Africa... 

BLSA’s Mavuso laments lack of investment in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     11th August 2020 While there are talks of mobilising more investment to kickstart the South African economy post-Covid-19, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso laments that current developments are showing the opposite, as projects and investments have either been cancelled or delayed. In her... 

Presidential Commission Report on 4IR to head to Cabinet 

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2020 The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is set to present to Cabinet after President Cyril Ramaphosa received its landmark report on the recommendations to harness the available 4IR opportunities. The report was presented by Communications and Digital Technologies... 

Embedded, distributed generation will create jobs, enhance energy security

By: Schalk Burger     7th August 2020 Allowing for the greater development of embedded and distributed generation assets will help to create and sustain jobs, as well as bolster energy security and business continuity, says economic development advisory company ED Platform head of strategy and growth Maloba Tshehla. Embedded... 

MTN to exit Middle East markets, focus on Africa 

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN is planning to exit its Middle East markets over the medium term as it turns its focus solely to its African markets. The group’s renewed focus on the future of its pan-African strategy forms part of its ongoing portfolio review programme. 

MTN to exit Middle East markets, focus on Africa
MTN Group president and CEO Rob Shuter discusses MTN’s planned exit from its Middle East markets.

South African stakeholders to bring together partners for AI development discussions

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2020 Academia, private sector and civil society have signed an Expression of Interest (EoI) aimed at bringing together experts to lead the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in South Africa and establish an internationally aligned AI institute. Inked during the virtual AI Dialogue South... 

Microsoft invests R40m into South Africa’s agricultural sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th August 2020 Microsoft South Africa plans to invest up to R40-million to bolster the use of technology as an enabler to tackle the challenges facing South Africa’s agriculture sector. The investment aims to drive sustainability in the agriculture sector for South Africa’s smallholder farmers, which have... 

Liquid Telecom revamps positioning, identity

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th August 2020 Communications solutions provider Liquid Telecom South Africa has rebranded to Liquid Intelligent Technologies in a strategic repositioning to advance South Africa’s digital future. In 2018, the group embarked on a journey to adapt its operating model as it started the transition towards becoming... 

Cell C defaults on repayments on $184m bond

By: Reuters     4th August 2020 Blue Label Telecoms said on Tuesday that Cell C, in which it is the largest shareholder, had defaulted on the payment of capital on its $184-million note, which was due on Aug. 2. Cell C, a mobile carrier, also defaulted on interest and capital repayments related to the respective bilateral loan... 

MTN says Shuter to head up BT Enterprise, expects higher half-year earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN said on Friday that its succession process for group CEO was on track and that it would make an announcement in the next four to eight weeks. This comes as outgoing CEO Rob Shuter has been appointed CEO UK-based telecoms firm BT Group's Enterprise division. His... 

MTN says Shuter to head up BT Enterprise, expects higher half-year earnings
Outgoing CEO Rob Shuter

MTN Nigeria posts strong first-half growth, despite decline in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria has reported strong growth in its key revenue lines for the six months ended June 30. Service revenue increased by 12.6% to N637-billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew by 8.2% to N327.1-billion during the... 

Africa50 shortlists 7 in first Innovation Challenge

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th July 2020 Seven finalists have been shortlisted from 673 applicants in the inaugural African50 Innovation Challenge. Launched in May 2019, the Innovation Challenge aimed to crowdsource innovative solutions that can improve last-mile connectivity to increase access to reliable and affordable Internet in... 

MTN to report higher first-half earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th July 2020 JSE-listed MTN expects to post a triple-digit climb in earnings for the six months ended June 30. The telecommunications group anticipates earnings per share (EPS) to be more than 592c for the six months under review, a rise of 345 c or 140% on the 247c reported in the corresponding six months... 

Vodacom’s revenue grows on strong South African performance

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd July 2020 JSE-listed telecommunications giant Vodacom’s group service revenue and group revenue grew 7.6% and 5.6% respectively during the quarter ended June 30, on the back of strong growth in South Africa. While the group benefited from customer demand increasing during the lockdown period in South... 

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