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Telecoms News

MTN maintains best mobile network status

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has maintained its position of South Africa’s best mobile network during the second quarter MyBroadband Insights report. The mobile operator achieved a network quality score of 9.79 during the second quarter of 2021, an increase on the score of 9.73 reported in the... 

Icasa urges communities to help protect towers

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has written to the National Joints Operations and Intelligence Services to prioritise the safeguarding and protection of critical telecommunications infrastructure and calls on communities to assist. This comes as the ongoing acts... 

Nokia, Africell to scale telco network in Angola

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th July 2021 Information and communication technology group Nokia and Angola’s new mobile telecommunications operator Africell have signed a deal that will result in the deployment of a new network in Luanda. Nokia will deploy its comprehensive network technologies to Africell to provide second-generation... 

Network vandalism impacts connectivity, holds back wider coverage - Telkom

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2021 Telecommunications giant Telkom could have built 35 to 40 base stations with the money spent on replacing the 7 841 stolen batteries last year. Telkom mobile networks managing executive Hugo van Zyl said that the scale of theft and vandalism of South Africa’s network sites is “enormous” and the... 

Eutelsat, Aspen in broadband drive for rural vaccination centres

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th July 2021 Satellite communications operator Eutelsat Communications has partnered with pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare to provide high-speed broadband Internet access to 13 Covid-19 vaccination centres in Mpumalanga. The socioeconomic development partnership, which is cofounded by the two... 

WhatsApp chatbot helping diabetes patients

By: Schalk Burger     5th July 2021 Healthcare specialists at Stellenbosch University (SU) have launched a WhatsApp-based chatbot to help patients with diabetes effectively navigate risks associated with diabetes and Covid-19 from the comfort and safety of their homes. The GREAT4Diabetes chatbot is a free service that sends... 

Liquid, Facebook partner to build fibre network in DRC

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th July 2021 Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) and Facebook have partnered to build a fibre network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help connect East and West Africa. The project will see Facebook invest in the fibre build and support network planning, while LIT will own, build and... 

MTN eSwatini respondent in urgent application for Internet restoration

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd July 2021 MTN eSwatini has been cited as one of several respondents in an urgent court application seeking the immediate restoration of Internet services in the country, besides other measures. On June 29, the eSwatini Communications Commission issued a directive to MTN Eswatini and other operators to... 

Satellite comms group OneWeb can now start servicing Earth’s northern regions

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd July 2021 UK-based satellite communications company OneWeb reported on Thursday that it had achieved its first key operational goal, dubbed the ‘Five to 50’ mission, with the successful launch of 36 more of its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites by Arianespace from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome. This launch... 

ARB CEO Neasham to retire

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd July 2021 JSE-listed ARB on July 2 announced the retirement of CEO Billy Neasham. Neasham, who will retire within the next six months, joined ARB as financial director in June 2000 before being appointed as CEO in February 2015. 

Testing can ensure safe communication on mines

By: Cameron Mackay     2nd July 2021 The potential dangers of working underground make reliable communication vital for improving safety and enhancing operational efficiency, says communications device provider Ya Batho sales and operations manager Craig Franck who stresses the importance of using wireless communication equipment... 

From its inception, Ya Batho decided to make products appropriate in explosive environments and close to electronic equipment, without interference, to adhere to mining regulations
SAFER, DEEPER MINING From its inception, Ya Batho decided to make products appropriate in explosive environments and close to electronic equipment, without interference, to adhere to mining regulations

Vodacom Business expands to South America

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st July 2021 Information and communications technology (ICT) group Vodacom Business is expanding into Brazil, with its fixed-connectivity coverage now spanning five continents. The addition of the trans-Atlantic connection through the undersea South Atlantic Cable System, which is the first to directly link... 

ACE cable boosts Teraco regional interconnection hubs

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th June 2021 The now-live Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable is interconnecting at three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa. The 17 000 km cable, the eighth to connect to Teraco, stretches along the West Coast of Africa, landing into 19 countries before being backhauled by landing partner... 

5G can add value in Africa, help address mobile broadband inefficiencies

By: Schalk Burger     30th June 2021 Fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecommunications technologies can add value and solve several consumer and business challenges in Africa. Previous generation mobile broadband technologies have limitations regarding network capacity, spectral efficiency and latency, but 5G is well-positioned to... 

MTN Nigeria assigned highest possible credit ratings by Global Credit Ratings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th June 2021 MTN Nigeria has secured Global Credit Ratings (GCR’s) highest possible short- and long-term ratings on GCR’s national rating scale, becoming the first mobile network operator in Africa to be accorded such ratings by GCR. GCR upgraded MTN Nigeria’s national scale long-term issuer rating to AAA and... 

EOH appoints Ziaad Suleman as iOCO chief commercial officer

By: Schalk Burger     23rd June 2021 Information technology services company EOH has appointed Ziaad Suleman as iOCO chief commercial officer from July 1. iOCO is the company's systems integrator and its largest business. Suleman will report to EOH group CEO Stephen van Coller. 

MTN Nigeria to inject $1.5bn into broadband expansion plans

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st June 2021 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria plans to invest 640-billion naira, or $1.5-billion, over the next three years to expand the country’s broadband access. The move is in line with the Nigerian government’s 2020 to 2025 National Broadband Plan ambitions of 90% broadband population coverage by... 

Draft data, cloud policy not aimed at controlling data, says Ndabeni-Abrahams 

By: Schalk Burger     18th June 2021 Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on June 18 said the draft Data and Cloud Policy was not intended to control and direct how data should be used, but aims to serve as an enabler for socioeconomic development. She was speaking at a colloquium to discuss the... 

MTN Nigeria tells customers about potential disruptions for business continuity

By: Reuters     17th June 2021 MTN Nigeria said on Wednesday it notified some enterprise customers about a potential service disruption to enable them put in place business continuity measures. The local unit of South Africa's telcoms firm MTN runs Nigeria's largest mobile phone network which generates around a third of the... 

MTN picks partners to expand mobile OpenRAN network in Africa

By: Reuters     17th June 2021 South Africa's mobile and broadband operator MTN Group has selected five partners to launch an open radio access network (OpenRAN) in Africa to expand 4G and 5G services more quickly and cheaply, it said on Wednesday. A radio access network (RAN) connects individual devices to other parts of a... 

Ethiopia seeks expressions of interest for 40% of State telecoms company

By: Bloomberg     14th June 2021 Ethiopia called for expressions of interest for a minority stake in the State-controlled telecommunications company, starting the process of recruiting a second major investor into the country in less than a month. Investors have a month, beginning June 15, to submit interest for 40% of Ethiopia... 

Icasa nears ‘spectrum impasse breakthrough’

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th June 2021 The outlook of the negotiations surrounding the current impasse over high-demand spectrum is encouraging, with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) confident that an amicable agreement will be reached by the end of August. In a statement issued late on June 11, the... 

Digital primary care platform brought to Africa, South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2021   A $3-million investment by investment company Webrock in partnership with primary healthcare company Healthforce, owned by pharmaceutical retail chain Dis-Chem, will see the establishment of a digital primary care platform in Africa, with the launch to take place in South Africa. 

Icasa reviews call termination regulations

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th June 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is reviewing the wholesale voice call termination market and the pro-competitive conditions or measures imposed on relevant licensees. Following the start of the review and request for information through a questionnaire at the end... 

USTDA supports digital connectivity in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th June 2021 The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is providing grant funding for a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability of expanding Dark Fibre Africa’s (DFA’s) fibre network into periurban and rural areas. The study will support efforts by the wholesale open-access fibre... 

Maya Makanjee to succeed Davidson as Datatec chair in 2022

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2021 Information and communications technology multinational Datatec on June 10 announced that independent nonexecutive director Maya Makanjee would succeed Stephen Davidson as chairperson from March 1, 2022. Makanjee joined the Datatec board on November 1, 2018. She has considerable experience as an... 

CSIR, Deloitte ink MoU for 4IR centre collaboration

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th June 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Deloitte South Africa have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the World Economic Forum Affiliate Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa (C4IR SA) as it accelerates the application of emerging... 

MTN will bid in second Ethiopia telecoms licence round

By: Reuters     4th June 2021 MTN Group will bid again for an Ethiopia operating telecom licence in the second round if mobile financial services are included, its CEO said on Friday after losing the first round. Mobile financial services is key to MTN's strategy as it continues to evolve from just providing voice to also... 

Liquid reaches 100k fibre milestone 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd June 2021 Digital solutions provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) has deployed 100 000 km of fibre infrastructure across most of Africa in a milestone that makes it the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally. Over the past two decades, the company which evolved... 

Liquid reaches 100k fibre milestone
Liquid Intelligent Technologies CEO Nic Rudnick discusses the company's 100 000 km fibre network milestone

Growth in cashless payments reshaping payments infrastructure - PwC

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2021 Payments are increasingly becoming cashless and, as digital money draws stronger interest, the financial services industry must recognise the entire infrastructure of payments is being reshaped, with new business models emerging, advisory multinational PwC says. Given the key role digitisation... 

Lesotho may see water revenue and undersea cable share seized

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 Lesotho is facing the loss of revenue from water and power sales to South Africa and may see its share of an undersea communications cable seized after it breached the terms of a contract with Frazer Solar. Under a global enforcement order, following the award of €50-million in damages in an... 

South Africa’s spies want to give Sasol, MTN a helping hand

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 South Africa’s spy agency is beefing up its economic intelligence unit so it can play a proactive role in supporting the nation’s companies as they expand beyond their home base. Firms that could benefit from the intelligence operatives’ expertise include telecommunications giant MTN Group and... 

Multibillion-rand telco investment a boost for economy

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2021 The R27-billion planned investment by operators and vendors to expand fourth-generation (4G) and fifth-generation (5G) networks in South Africa is a “step in the right direction” for the country’s economic growth. Announced by Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella... 

Global Partnership for Ethiopia prepares to deploy telco services in Ethiopia

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2021 A Safaricom-led consortium is gearing up to deploy telecommunications services to the Ethiopian market from next year. The consortium, Global Partnership for Ethiopia, was awarded the coveted nationwide full-service Telecommunications Service Operator License in Ethiopia. 

Telkom reconsiders dividend suspension

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2021 Telkom is reconsidering its dividend suspension after reporting strong growth in the year ended March 31, 2021. In June last year, Telkom suspended its dividend policy for three years from the 2021 financial year to preserve its cash position and maintain a flexible balance sheet ahead of the... 

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

Ndabeni-Abrahams says partnerships needed to achieve national digital transformation 

By: Schalk Burger     20th May 2021 Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on May 20 said partnerships between government, the private sector and communities were necessary and that government acting in isolation would not succeed in providing universal information and communications technology... 

Ndabeni-Abrahams says partnerships needed to achieve national digital transformation
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams talks about universal ICT access and digital transformation in government and South Africa. Camera work: Kultwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

DCDT tables budget of R3.7bn for year, outlines 7 key priorities 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th May 2021 The Department of Telecommunications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has tabled a budget of R3.7-billion for the 2021/22 financial year, with seven priorities outlined for the year ahead. The Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM); the release of spectrum; an infrastructure investment and mass... 

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
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