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Telecoms News

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 Group president and CEO Rob Shuter
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... 

Outgoing CEO Rob Shuter
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... 

Telkom migrating customers from copper to fibre

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd July 2020 Information and communications technology group Telkom is underway with its migration from copper-based asymmetric digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet to new-generation fibre technology for customers in all fibre-ready regions across South Africa. The switch from copper to fibre where current... 

Datatec reduces operating costs as revenues tread slightly down

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2020 Information and communications technology group Datatec reported slightly lower group revenues for the period from March to June compared with the revenues for the four months ended June 30, 2019. However, significantly lower operating costs during the period under review boosted operating... 

MTN opens academic element of yearly App of Year Awards

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN hopes to build an ecosystem of budding problem-solving entrepreneurs and businesspeople as it introduces an academic element to the 2020 edition of the MTN Business App of the Year. The MTN Business App of the Year Awards, now in its ninth year, will see the... 

Rain, Huawei launch standalone 5G network

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th July 2020 South African data-only mobile network rain and information and communications technology giant Huawei have launched a commercial standalone fifth-generation (5G) network in Cape Town. The standalone network, believed to be one of first in Africa, is built on rain's own sites to enhance the... 

Crosscall Mobile launches new range of devices, with industry first three-year warranty

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th July 2020 France-headquartered outdoor mobile technology specialist Crosscall has launched a new range of rugged and durable mobile devices in South Africa, all equipped with an industry-first three-year warranty. The latest suite of devices from the French brand include three new smartphones and a tablet,... 

Samsung South Africa launches new equity equivalent investment programme initiatives

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2020 Samsung South Africa has announced its Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) plans, which are aimed at empowering previously disadvantaged South Africans, with a focus on women and youth in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The programme initiatives are set to... 

JL Dube Broadband Highsite project kicks off KwaZulu-Natal’s smart province ambitions

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has switched on a JL Dube Broadband Highsite in Vezokuhle Primary School, Edendale, in the Umsunduzi municipality. The JL Dube Broadband Highsite aims to bring free WiFi to the communities of Pietermaritzburg. 

Covid-19-impacted brands could lose as much as 15% of value – Brand Finance

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global and domestic economies, South Africa’s top 50 most valuable brands could lose up to 15% of brand value cumulatively, a drop of more than R65-billion compared with the original valuation date of January 1, according to the latest 'South Africa... 

Icasa, NMISA ink MoU for collaboration

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) have signed a strategic collaboration agreement for the exchange of information and expertise. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed during a video conference... 

MTN maintains best network status in lockdown, rain hit by incorrect spectrum

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th July 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN has, once again, been named South Africa’s best mobile network for the second quarter of 2020. The MyBroadband Insights quarterly Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN has a network quality score of 9.94 during South Africa’s lockdown, higher than its first... 

Rain doubles Pargo pick-up points for Sims

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th July 2020 Data network provider rain and Pargo have more than doubled the number of pick-up points available for rain’s fourth-generation (4G) Sim cards amid a growing demand for the data-only Sim cards. There are now 260 Pargo pick-up points at selected Clicks stores across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the... 

Blue Label expects double-digit rise in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th July 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms expects to report a more than 20% increase in earnings for the year ended May 31, 2020. This will be a turnaround on the prior year’s performance, which reported losses on basic, headline and core headline a share of 727.81c, 312.49c and 304.77c respectively. 

Icasa to publish WOAN, spectrum invitation

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd July 2020 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is preparing to publish the Invitation To Apply (ITA) for both the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum. While Icasa has made “extensive progress” in developing both ITAs... 

MTN launches 5G network

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th June 2020 Telecommunications group MTN has launched its fifth-generation (5G) network, with 100 sites live across areas in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. During a live-streamed launch event, MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa said that 5G will deliver higher peak data speeds,... 

Vodacom appoints interim CFO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th June 2020 Telecommunications group Vodacom has appointed Sitho Mdlalose as interim CFO, effective July 1. This follows the resignation of Till Streichert, who will leave the position of CFO on June 30. 

Competition Tribunal confirms MTN agreement

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th June 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and telecommunications group MTN on data pricing. In terms of the agreement, MTN will reduce the data prices of its 30-day prepaid bundles across channels; offer all its customers a daily free capped data... 

MTN to launch 5G network in South Africa next week

By: Reuters     24th June 2020 Mobile operator MTN Group will launch its 5G commercial network in South Africa next week, joining Vodacom Group and Rain in the race to expand fifth-generation technology in the country. The firm said on Wednesday it is hosting a virtual launch event on June 30, where MTN South Africa CEO... 

New Digital Economy Master Plan nearly ready

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd June 2020 A new Digital Economy Master Plan is being developed to build a sustainable future digital ecosystem enabling South Africa to become a hub of all digital infrastructure serving the African continent. The Department Communications and Digital Technologies is preparing to publish the Digital... 

Cell C plans to lay off 960 workers as it streamlines operations

By: Reuters     23rd June 2020 South Africa's third-biggest telecom operator Cell C said on Monday it plans to lay off 960 workers as it restructures its operations to align the organisation with its new operating model. Unlisted Cell C, in which Blue Label Telecoms has a 45% stake, said it has initiated discussions with... 

Telkom redirects dividend payouts to spectrum, capital investment programme 

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd June 2020 JSE-listed Telkom has suspended its dividend payouts for the next three years from the 2021 financial year to redirect the capital to acquire much-needed spectrum and complete its capital expenditure (capex) programme to ensure future sustainability. The group, which announced its intention of... 

Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko
Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko and Group CFO Tsholofelo Molefe discuss the group’s financial results for the year ended March 31, 2020.

Mobile data traffic in sub-Saharan Africa to grow 12 times by 2025

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th June 2020 Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing mobile markets, with mobile traffic set to expand 12 times its current rates by 2025. The latest edition of global information and communication technology giant Ericsson’s Mobility Report shows mobile traffic in sub-Saharan Africa growing... 

Telkom to report drop in earnings for year

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th June 2020 JSE-listed Telkom expects a double-digit drop in earnings for the year ended March 31 as restructure costs and one-off Covid-19-related impairments slash headline earnings per share (HEPS) and basic earnings per share (BEPS). HEPS is expected to decrease between 65% and 70% to between 186.2 c and... 

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