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Telecoms News

Telkom welcomes halt of spectrum process

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th March 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has welcomed the Gauteng High Court’s decision to halt the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa’s) planned spectrum auction process pending a review. Telkom said the decision affirmed its view that there are concerns around the lawfulness of... 

South Africa's court halts spectrum auction

By: Reuters     8th March 2021  South Africa's high court on Monday ordered telecoms regulator Icasa to halt the auction of radio frequency spectrum licences pending another related court matter, further delaying the process which was expected to begin this month. As part of the order, the Independent Communications Authority... 

MTN Group appoints new executive to drive its strategic repositioning

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th March 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has appointed Chika Ekeji as executive for strategy and transformation, effective March 15. This forms part of MTN’s plans to further bolster management capacity to accelerate its strategic ambitions, which focuses on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding... 

Privacy concerns alienate half of global citizens’ adoption of government digital services

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th March 2021 Concerns around privacy and security risks are risking the participation of more than half the global population in governments’ various digital services drive. A new survey by EY found that 53% of the respondents believe that privacy and security risks around how their data is shared outweigh... 

MTN Nigeria posts increases across the board during FY20

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st March 2021 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria has posted increases across the board during the year ended December 31, 2020. The West African operations achieved a 9.7% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) to N685.7-billion, however, the Ebitda margin declined... 

MTN says Nigeria operating licence renewal at advanced stage

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 MTN Nigeria is at an advanced stage in renewing its operating spectrum and licence in Nigeria for another ten years from September, the local unit of South Africa's MTN said on Sunday. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the renewal of the 900 MHz and 1 800 MHz bands due to... 

MTN eyes $65m deal for Syrian business

By: Reuters     1st March 2021 MTN Group remains committed to negotiating a $65-million sale of its 75% stake in its Syrian unit, the South African mobile operator said on Sunday, despite the business being placed under judicial guardianship last week. MTN Syria was placed under guardianship by a court in Damascus over alleged... 

Cell C claws back subscribers, earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th February 2021 Cell C has clawed back some of its customers, increasing its subscriber base to 12.5-million as at the end of November 2020, after recording a decline to 11.8-million by June last year. While revenue for the six months to November 30, 2020, declined 8% to R7.12-billion, from R7.72-billion in... 

Blue Label posts 43% higher H1 earnings a share

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th February 2021 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms posted a 43% surge in earnings per share to 49.92c apiece during the six months ended November 30, 2020. The increase was attributed to the disposal of the group's 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico and a partial recoupment of losses by the retail division of the... 

New technologies can reinvigorate traditional production in developing countries

By: Schalk Burger     26th February 2021 New technologies can reinvigorate traditional production sectors and speed up industrialisation and economic structural transformation, says United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) technology and logistics division director Shamika Sirimanne. She adds that developing countries... 

IFC invests in Liquid Telecom bond

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th February 2021 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested into a Liquid Telecommunications subsidiary’s bond issue. IFC, playing an anchor role, subscribed to 16% of the bond, equivalent to $100-million, which was listed on Ireland's main stock exchange, Euronext Dublin on February 25. The... 

Government commits to improving infrastructure spending 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The 2021 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24, outlines that R93.1-billion has been earmarked for economic regulation and infrastructure, from consolidated government expenditure of R2.02-trillion each year over the medium term. To boost infrastructure spending,... 

Icasa postpones announcement of spectrum bidders to March

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has postponed the announcement of the spectrum Invitation to Apply (ITA) bidders until March 23. The authority initially planned to announce the qualified bidders of the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) ITA on February 22. 

Spectrum licensing may be slower than hoped - Webber Wentzel 

By: Schalk Burger     18th February 2021 The release of radio frequency spectrum for various telecommunications, industrial and commercial uses may take longer than hoped for, given the challenges to ensure equitable access and to enable digital transformation and growth in the economy, says law firm Webber Wentzel senior associate Karl... 

Spectrum licensing may be slower than hoped - Webber Wentzel
Webber Wentzel senior associate Karl Blom briefly summarises key aspects of radio frequency spectrum licensing in South Africa. Video editing: Darlene Creamer.

Paratus, Telecom Namibia to land Equiano cable

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th February 2021 Pan African network operator Paratus and broadband solutions and backbone infrastructure provider Telecom Namibia have signed an agreement to land the subsea cable, Equiano, in Namibia. Google’s subsea cable project, announced in 2019, will connect Africa with Europe, running along the west coast... 

Blue Label to report increase in half-year earnings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th February 2021 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms expects a more than 20% increase in earnings for the six months ended November 30. The group’s basic earnings a share are set to increase 41% to 45% year-on-year to a range between 49.23c and 50.62c apiece for the first six months of the year. 

MTN, MasterCard partnership enables mobile e-commerce payments

By: Schalk Burger     16th February 2021 Payment technology multinational MasterCard and telecommunications services multinational MTN on February 16 announced that MTN customers in 16 African countries will be able to make e-commerce payments safely and securely using a MasterCard virtual payment solution linked to MTN's mobile money... 

MTN commits to net zero emissions by 2040

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th February 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has set ambitions of achieving net zero emissions by 2040, setting science-based targets to achieve a 47% average reduction in absolute emissions for scope 1, 2 and 3. MTN said its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction targets are in line with the information and... 

Broadband critical to small business success

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th February 2021 As the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant restrictions necessitate a move online for citizens and businesses, broadband is playing an essential role that should be embraced. With the emergence of new technologies, new advanced instruments and tools for online engagement, networking and businesses... 

Speedy spectrum allocation is the low-hanging, confidence-building fruit

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th February 2021 The swift allocation of high-demand spectrum is the “low-hanging” fruit toward international investor confidence and growth, said RMB Corporate and Investment banking division telecoms, media and technology sector head Thobeka Tubela. However, like in many countries worldwide, South Africa’s... 

Vox’s fibre initiatives get capex funding boost

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th February 2021 The deployment of fibre infrastructure by Vox subsidiary Frogfoot has been boosted by access to debt facilities to fund their fibre ambitions. The addition capital expenditure (capex) boost from mandated lead arranger Investec will enable Vox to continue to provide communities with fast and... 

Adapt IT appoints independent expert to assess Huge Group offer

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th February 2021 JSE-listed technology company Adapt IT Holdings has issued a further cautionary while a newly appointed independent expert reviews Huge Group’s buy-out offer. Adapt IT has appointed Nodus Capital TS to determine whether or not the consideration offered by Huge Group for Adapt IT shares is fair... 

South Africa’s digital migration to move ahead from March

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th February 2021 After many delayed starts and renewed deadlines, South Africa is on track to start the year-long phased switch off of analogue television (TV) transmitters in March. In his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on February 11, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he expected the province-by-province... 

Blended apprenticeship and digital artisan training proposed for Africa

By: Schalk Burger     12th February 2021 New approaches to artisan education in line with Industry 4.0 paradigms are being crafted that use a blend of digital training and apprenticeships, and are being proposed as a sustainable training model for Africa. Digital artisan training facilitator BluLever Education is launching a new... 

Changing Ethiopian ICT landscape presents attractive opportunities and potential, says market research firm

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2021 Information and communication technology (ICT) market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) says there are positive opportunities in Ethiopia as the government focuses on liberalising the telecommunications sector and allowing for foreign investment. This move creates space for... 

Altron gears up for 2.0 strategy, to sell three businesses  

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th February 2021 The success of the One Altron strategy has set the base for the Altron 2.0 strategy; however, some “tough” choices had to be made to reposition the company for its new growth path amid economic turmoil and a global pandemic. The group, which has over the past few years focused on a vision of One... 

Altron CEO Mteto Nyati
Altron group CEO Mteto Nyati discusses the Altron 2.0 strategy. Date recorded: 10.02.2021. Videowork: Kutlwano Matlala. Video editing: Nicholas Boyd.

MTN to sell stake in BICS for R1.8bn 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th February 2021 Telecommunications group MTN has concluded an agreement to sell its 20% stake in Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS) to Proximus NV/SA for R1.8-billion (€100-million). MTN plans to use the proceeds to pay down US dollar debt and for general corporate purposes. 

Kemtek to distribute Crosscall durable smartphones in SADC

By: Schalk Burger     9th February 2021 French durable smartphone manufacturer Crosscall has signed a distribution agreement with technology solutions distributor and equipment reseller Kemtek, which will make Crosscall’s range available to its more than 700 South African resellers and Southern African Development Community (SADC)... 

'Please Call Me' inventor gears up for last stretch of battle against Vodacom 

By: News24Wire      9th February 2021 After over a decade of fighting Vodacom, the country's biggest cellular company, the inventor of "Please Call Me" is hopeful that his protracted legal battle is now entering the last mile. In May, Nkosana Makate will once again square off against Vodacom in a review of a R47-million compensation... 

Half of global 5G economic impact to accrue to health and social care, says PwC

By: Schalk Burger     8th February 2021 The impact of the growth of fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications infrastructure and new and existing applications will add an estimated $1.3-trillion to global gross domestic product by 2030, with health and social set to add $530-billion from productivity and efficiency gains, advisory... 

5G health threats unfounded – CSIR 

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th February 2021 With concerns around fifth-generation (5G) technologies being raised by citizens across social media in recent months, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has put to bed the theories surrounding the new technologies' deployment on human health. Over the past few months,... 

5G health threats unfounded – CSIR
CSIR senior researcher Dr Essa Suleman and CSIR chief researcher Dr Fisseha Mekuria discuss the speculation that 5G causes health issues. Date recorded: 08/02/2021.

Telkom posts robust results for nine months to December

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th February 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has posted increases of 0.9% and 8.5% respectively in revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) during the nine months to December 31, 2020. Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko attributed the results to a robust mobile growth, the... 

Huge updates market on R800m Adapt IT bid, withdraws cautionary

5th February 2021 A week after making a general offer to acquire up to 100% of the issued Adapt IT shares, JSE-listed Huge Group has withdrawn its cautionary after mapping out the proposal. Huge, which is “ready, able and willing” to implement the offer, made a firm bid earlier this week, irrevocably offering to... 

MTN to report higher year-end earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th February 2021 Telecommunications group MTN expects double-digit growth in earnings for the year ended December 31, 2020. The telecommunications group anticipates earnings per share (EPS) to be between 886c to 987c for the year under review, a rise of between 75% and 95%, or 380c to 481c, on the 506c reported... 

Telkom appoints new CFO

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th February 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has appointed Dirk Reyneke as its Group CFO, effective February 5. Reyneke has been acting group CFO since December 7 following the resignation of Tsholofelo Molefe. 

Vodacom reports Q3 growth as South Africa sees strong demand

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd February 2021 Telecommunications group Vodacom reported service revenue growth of 3.9% to R19.62-billion during the three months to December 31, 2020, driven by a strong performance in the South African operations. In South Africa, service revenue increased 5.4% to R14.3-billion on the back of strong demand... 

Icasa to oppose the High Court application filed by MTN 

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th January 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa plans to oppose the High Court application filed by telecommunications giant MTN. Following receipt of MTN’s urgent court application on January 27, relating to the Invitation To Apply for high demand spectrum or International Mobile... 

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