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Technology & Communications News

ICT council progresses sector's BBBEE code

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th March 2017 The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services’ Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Sector Council has met all of its initial mandates and will now continue its work to guide and review the implementation of the amended and... 

Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace to launch nanosatellite

By: News24Wire      27th March 2017 Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace are expected to launch a nanosatellite to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday. The nanosatellite will be launched from the US on Monday, or Tuesday. 

High-speed wireless provides fibrelike connectivity to underserved areas

By: Schalk Burger     24th March 2017 A 28 GHz last-mile wireless access solution is being rolled out in South Africa to provide fibre-like connectivity for underserved areas, says telecommunications operator Paratus Telecom SA MD Kallie Carlsen. The solution uses a combination of 28 GHz wireless line-of-sight solution for last-mile... 

Longer-ranged artillery shell unveiled by South African defence company

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has reported that it has successfully qualified its 155 mm calibre M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP). This is a longer-ranged enhancement of the company’s Assegai series of 155 mm artillery rounds. The qualification... 

New network platform simplifies complex implementations

By: Schalk Burger     24th March 2017 The new version of application performance company Riverbed Technology’s software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solution supports complex enterprise environments and simplifies the implementation of large-scale SD-WAN deployments in data centres through nondisruptive network integration,... 

Returns will be key to fulfulling AI’s business promise

By: Schalk Burger     24th March 2017 Using artificial intelligence (AI) to support business operations is not fully understood, and the availability of time and skills, as well as return on investment criteria, must be taken into account to justify investments in AI and ensure that the intended benefits are achieved, says market... 

Returns will be key to fulfulling AI’s business promise
BRANDON PURCELL AI will eventually significantly disrupt the way organisations win, serve, and retain customers, but not in the short term

South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up 

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 It is 2031 and the next space race has started with the launch of the largest-ever interplanetary space rocket and spaceship carrying four carefully selected astronauts on a mission to establish a human settlement on Mars – a planet that is, on average, 225-million km away.  

South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up
Theoretical physicist Adriana Marais tells Engineering News about her dream to go to Mars. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

DBSA secures $100m AFD loan facility to support continental activity

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th March 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has secured a $100-million loan facility from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), earmarked for energy, water, transport and information and communication technology infrastructure across Africa. The DBSA aims to continue to advance... 

Innovative Kruger Park surveillance technology stops poachers in their tracks

By: News24Wire      17th March 2017 Two weeks after its introduction in January, the Kruger National Park's wide range surveillance technology, the Meerkat, managed to stop five out of nine detected rhino poaching incidents. "It's almost like the angel on your shoulder that can see where you cannot see and that makes it a lot safer... 

AI seen improving the productive capacity of skilled workers

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2017 Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation mean that technologies will be used to manage many of standard activities and improve the productive capacity of skilled workers, says international consultancy KPMG South Africa technology sector leader Frank Rizzo. Knowledge workers are... 

AI seen improving the productive capacity of skilled workers
FRANK RIZZO Automation enables companies to enhance their workers’ skills to fulfil more strategic and innovative jobs

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Although the power and electricity sector in Africa faces massive challenges, it also offers massive opportunities, says Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event organiser Terrapinn.  

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities
MOMENT IN THE SUN Africa’s largest power and electricity event offers innovative, cost-effective means of tackling Africa’s power challenges

Extra funding for another SA-based international radio telescope project

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 The international Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (Hera) telescope, being constructed in South Africa’s radio astronomy reserve in the Karoo region in the Northern Cape province, has received a significant new cash injection, that will fund a major expansion of the array, SKA South Africa... 

New air and ground urban transport concept pops up

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled at the recent 87th Geneva... 

Smart projectors being used to enrich meetings and lessons

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2017 Smart projectors that enable users to interact directly with the images and videos displayed are increasingly being used in commerce and education to make meetings and lessons rich and collaborative, says electronics multinational Epson Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia Visual Instruments... 

UK Minister forecasts major nuclear expansion over next 20 years

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 It is estimated that, over the next 20 years, more than £930-billion will be invested in expanding civil nuclear energy capacity worldwide. This was affirmed by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox in his keynote address at the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017 in London, at the... 

UK remains committed to helping research and development in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     16th March 2017 The British government has assigned up to £35-million from its Prosperity Fund to South Africa. This money will be disbursed over the remaining period of the current UK Parliament (that is, until 2020). This was pointed out by outgoing British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Judith... 

UK remains committed to helping research and development in South Africa
Photo by Duane Daws
Dame Judith Macgregor

EOH posts strong interim results

By: Anine Kilian     15th March 2017 JSE-listed EOH reported a 21% year-on-year increase in revenue to R7.24-billion for the six months ended January 31, while net profit increased by 29% year-on-year to R597-million. Earnings a share and headline earnings a share grew by 23% and 22% respectively. 

Ecosse appoints new MD

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th March 2017 Subsea technology company Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has appointed Mark Gillespie as MD to strengthen the management team and introduce the new skills required to accelerate to the “next level of growth” over the next five years. The move will allow ESS founder and chairperson Mike Wilson to... 

Google hits 1m digital skills training target ahead of schedule 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th March 2017 With Google reaching its target of upgrading the digital skills of one-million people across Africa ahead of its 12-month deadline, it now seeks to expand its offerings offline and in different languages. The Digital Skills programme, launched last year, offers 89 courses through the online... 

Google hits 1m digital skills training target ahead of schedule
Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend

Icasa to publish findings on effect of pro-competitive conditions in the call termination regulations by April 30

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th March 2017 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Wednesday held a stakeholder meeting on the impending review of the pro-competitive conditions imposed on licensees in the 2014 mobile call termination rate and fixed call termination rate regulations. The authority is conducting... 

Cell C posts first profit of R540m

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th March 2017 South Africa’s third-largest mobile operator Cell C on Tuesday posted a profit for the first time of R540-million for the year ended December 31, a reverse on the loss of R5.6-billion recorded in the prior financial year. The growth was attributed in bulk to foreign exchange-related gains... 

Cell C posts first profit of R540m
Photo by Duane Daws
Cell C CEO Jose dos Santos

Career development network being established to boost women in IT

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2017 Information technology (IT) firms Mint Management Technologies and Pinnacle are working to establish a professional network to support the career development of women in the IT sector, says Mint Management Technologies human resources executive Lauren Clark. The need for a professional career... 

Career development network being established to boost women in IT
LAUREN CLARK Simple work mechanisms can ensure career support and the retention of skilled female employees

Conference to broaden industry’s business opportunities and technology horizons

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 Owing to foundries in South Africa being isolated in their approach to problem solving, the South African Metal Casting Conference (MCC) will serve as a platform to broaden the industry’s horizons by showcasing new technologies, and providing opportunities for international and local foundry... 

Conference to broaden industry’s business opportunities and technology horizons
DALMARI MCQUEEN Owing to the interest in exhibition spaces at the 2013 pilot conference, the 2017 MCC will have 28 exhibition stands

School project dubbed case study in meaningful public–private partnership

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2017 The high school built and supported by information technology and business systems multinational Oracle, in Kaalfontein, Midrand, was a case study for the department on how to design, build, equip and support schools, said Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Speaking at the Ponelopele... 

School project dubbed case study in meaningful  public–private partnership
CORPORATE VOLUNTEERS Oracle employees donate their time to support the school and mentor the teachers and pupils

Slow economic conditions no barrier to digitisation

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2017 This year looks set to see broad business digitisation, partly as a result of years of investigation and validation of digital business systems, says information technology company Strato IT MD Cassie Lessing. This digitisation of business processes will continue despite anaemic economic growth,... 

Slow economic conditions no barrier to digitisation
CASSIE LESSING Digital systems improve workflow processes, automate many aspects of normal business transactions and help to remove delays and costs

Software provider renews refinery service agreement

By: Nadine James     10th March 2017 Process and operations control management specialist BluESP has renewed its yearly service agreement with a local refinery following the client’s decision to maintain its relationship with the company to ensure that the benefits achieved using BluESP’s advance process control (APC) technology... 

Software provider renews refinery service agreement
Photo by Duane Daws
OPERATIONS REFINED The technology has improved the refinery's processes, increasing throughput and reducing the overall carbon footprint

Tracker sees big data investments adding fleet-management value

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2017 Vehicle telemetry multinational Tracker is investing in a range of research and development projects, which will provide significant insights and value for a broad range of stakeholders. The projects leverage the large volumes of data and many data streams that Tracker has access to, says Tracker... 

Intel eyes four critical interlinked focus areas of the digital era

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th March 2017 With the world continuing to scratch only the surface of what is possible in the digital era, information and communication technology giant Intel is, this year, narrowing its focus to four key areas it believes will play a critical role in society in future. Intel’s 2017 focus areas include... 

Intel eyes four critical interlinked focus areas of the digital era

Du Plessis to step down as Rio chair to join BT Group

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th March 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto has confirmed that chairperson Jan du Plessis will retire after the completion of an "orderly succession process". British multinational group BT Group announced earlier on Thursday that Du Plessis would join its board as nonexecutive director on June 1, and as... 

Du Plessis to step down as Rio chair to join BT Group
Photo by Duane Daws
Jan du Plessis

Vodacom Tanzania says IPO to start on March 9

By: Reuters     8th March 2017 The Tanzanian unit of telecoms firm Vodacom will start a more than month-long initial public offering (IPO) on March 9 and expects its shares to start trading in mid-May, the firm said on Tuesday. The company, a subsidiary of South Africa's Vodacom and the biggest operator in Tanzania, aims to... 

Altron selects MTN’s Nyati to replace Venter as CEO, narrows FY16 losses

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th March 2017 Following a rigorous recruitment process and a global search for a suitable candidate, MTN South Africa (SA) CEO Mteto Nyati has been appointed the new group CEO of JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron), effective no later than July 1. Nyati, who will succeed outgoing Altron CEO Robbie Venter,... 

Altron selects MTN’s Nyati to replace Venter as CEO, narrows FY16 losses
Photo by Duane Daws
Altron outgoing CEO Robert Venter

European groups unveil new air/ground urban transport concept

By: Keith Campbell     8th March 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled on Tuesday at the... 

European groups unveil new air/ground urban transport concept
Photo by Airbus
This image shows a passenger capsule coupled to a ground module and a second passenger capsule coupled to an air module

MTN has limited scope to jack up debt levels – Moody's

By: Reuters     6th March 2017 South African mobile phone operator MTN Group has limited room to increase its debt levels, rating agency Moody's said on Monday, citing lack of dividend flow from Nigeria – its biggest market. "Financial flexibility could be restored should MTN be able to begin repatriating dividends from its... 

South Africa-based international radio telescope project gets more cash

By: Keith Campbell     6th March 2017 The international Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (Hera) telescope, being constructed in South Africa’s radio astronomy reserve in the Northern Cape province, has received a significant new cash injection, that will fund a major expansion of the array, SKA South Africa (SKA SA) announced on... 

South Africa-based international radio telescope project gets more cash
Photo by SKA South Africa
Hera antennas under construction. The workers to the right give scale

Advice on how to ensure security of companies’ data

By: Schalk Burger     3rd March 2017 While the convergence and reinforcement of data will grow in volume and complexity, the way in which companies leverage and secure this information to improve operations and make users safe must be addressed, says business intelligence firm PBT Group technical business analyst Jessie Rudd. Many... 

Advice on how to ensure security of companies’ data
JESSIE RUDD Data must be protected like any other asset

Automation, use of intelligent cameras key trends in high-tech security

By: Schalk Burger     3rd March 2017 Intelligent cameras that detect and track intruders, the automation of control room systems that enable guards to be more proactive and growing rental demand are some of the key trends within the security industry, says integrated security multinational G4S South Africa technology director Tim... 

Automation, use of intelligent  cameras key trends in high-tech security
TIM TIMMINS Integrated systems and single physical security information management platforms remain crucial for customers

MTN optimistic of turnaround after plunging into the red in FY16  

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd March 2017 JSE-listed MTN believes it is on the mend and is seeing the first signs of a turnaround after plunging into the red during what it described as the most challenging year in the company's 22-year history. With its Ignite initiative and various other strategies in play, MTN hopes to reverse the... 

MTN optimistic of turnaround after plunging into the red in FY16
MTN interim chairperson Phuthuma Nhleko discusses the group's financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2016, and the plans in place to reverse the losses. Date recorded: 02/03/2017. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Video editing: Lionel da Silva.
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