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Technology & Communications News

Icasa publishes second draft of End-User and Subscriber Service Charter

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2017 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published a second draft of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations for public input. Interested stakeholders have until January 3 to submit their written comments, following which, Icasa will host public... 

Benin government requests MTN Benin CEO to leave the country

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2017 The Benin government has ordered MTN Benin CEO Stephen Blewett to leave the country within seven days. Blewett, who has lived in the country since 2015, on Friday received official notification to exit the country by November 24 on the basis of his alleged engagement in “activities detrimental to... 

New antenna concept from CSIR promises savings for wireless sensor networks

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 A team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Meraka Institute has developed a novel concept to extend the power consumption of fixed wireless sensor networks. This was unveiled at the CSIR Licensing & Ventures Dragons Den event at the CSIR International Convention... 

Agreement on environmental monitoring of Karoo radio astronomy area

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 Two of the country’s top research institutions, the recently-established South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (Sarao) and the South African Environmental Observation Network (Saeon) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to execute the Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) for... 

High-tech SA firm aiming to revolutionise production of electronic components

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 A small South African high-technology company is seeking to revolutionise the production of a key category of components for aerospace electronics and radars by using additive manufacturing (more popularly known as 3D Printing). The company is NewSpace Systems (a finalist in this year’s Western... 

New technologies promise to improve air traffic management

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 Air traffic control/air traffic management (ATC/ATM) agencies need to embrace new technologies in order to further improve air safety. This was stressed by Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (Canso) Director General Jeff Poole at the recent Canso Global ATM Safety Conference 2017 in... 

Monitoring system streamlines maintenance activities

By: Robyn Wilkinson     17th November 2017 Global test equipment manufacturer Fluke is enjoying significant market success following the launch of Fluke Connect ™, which combines high-quality test tools and digital technology to help small, medium-sized and large industrial companies streamline critical maintenance operations. 

Monitoring system streamlines maintenance activities
INSTANT INFORMATION Measurements obtained from Fluke Connect enabled tools can be viewed simultaneously at the inspection site and from an off-site location

Organisations’ digital memory gets cloud boost

By: Schalk Burger     17th November 2017 The new multipurpose cloud archiving solution, launched by e-mail management multinational Mimecast, can be used to ensure effective archiving of the email communications and documents that function as a company’s “digital memory”, says Mimecast Sales Enablement Manager Nick Saunders. The... 

Organisations’ digital memory  gets cloud boost
NICK SAUNDERS Email serves as the digital memory of companies and remains the main medium for business communications

Big Data, analytics to improve responses to natural disasters

By: Schalk Burger     17th November 2017 The effective use of analytics to interrogate data related to, for example, geography, population and mobile device usage can help authorities discern underlying patterns and associations that will allow for relevant emergency services to quickly react to floods, fires and other pressing... 

Big Data, analytics to improve responses to natural disasters
ANESHAN RAMLOO Emergency response agencies can model potential disasters and their effects, and enable authorities to develop proactive plans to prevent or mitigate harmful consequences

SKA site doubles as environmental observatory 

     16th November 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to senior journalist Keith Campbell about the Integrated Environmental Management Plan for Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array. 

SKA site doubles as environmental observatory
SKA site doubles as environmental observatory

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

Vodacom’s M-Pesa ambitions heat up post Safaricom transaction

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2017 Following the R35-billion acquisition of a 34.94% stake in Kenya’s largest telecoms group Safaricom, JSE-listed telecommunications giant Vodacom plans to drive the development of its newly revamped M-Pesa platform. Speaking at Vodacom’s interim results, in Midrand, on Monday, CEO Shameel Joosub... 

Datatec puts disappointing first half behind it, looks forward to improvements

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th November 2017 Information and communications technology solutions and services provider Datatec on Monday said trading in the first half of its 2018 financial year had been disappointing, with the company reporting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $39-million for the six months... 

Vodacom records H1 uptick in headline earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2017 JSE-listed Vodacom on Monday posted a 1.1% uptick in headline earnings a share to 445c for the first half of the financial year. In the six months ended September 30, group earnings before interest and taxes contracted by 0.2% to R10.8-billion, as a result of higher growth in depreciation and... 

Vodacom records H1 uptick in headline earnings
Photo by Duane Daws
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub

Telkom eyes business portfolio review

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2017 As JSE-listed Telkom delivers muted half-year financial results, the group plans to continue seeking a sustainable growth framework, reviewing its business portfolio and prioritising strategic initiatives. This includes a review of the telecommunications giant’s legacy network and information... 

Telkom eyes business portfolio review
Photo by Duane Daws
Telkom group CEO Sipho Maseko

Important step for local pharmaceutical industry as key pilot plant launched

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 A pilot plant for the manufacture of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) was officially opened in Pretoria on Friday. A R50-million joint project between local company CPT Pharma (CPT standing for Chemical Process Technologies), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the... 

MTN receives notice of regulatory hearing in Benin

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2017 Telecommunications firm MTN Benin on Friday confirmed the receipt of a notification from the telecommunications regulator Arcep for a review into nonpayment of outstanding frequency fees. The company, in a statement, explained that it would continue to engage the regulatory authorities in Benin... 

Challenging economic environment keeps Telkom H1 financials flat

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2017 The latest half-year financial results delivered by JSE-listed Telkom have been marred by a tough economic climate and increased competition that have muted overall growth across the board for the six months ended September 30. During the first half of the year, an uncertain political, economic... 

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution

By: Nadine James     10th November 2017 National research institution Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) collaboration with valve manufacturer Paltechnologies (Paltech) has led to the first locally manufactured aluminium valve. To date, about 1 000 butterfly valves, each 80 mm in diameter, have been manufactured... 

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution
PALTECH BUTTERFLY VALVE Forms part of a number of products selected by Eskom for localisation

Monitoring energy consumption fosters efficiency

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Being aware of how much energy one consumes is key in energy efficiency and management, and has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in businesses and residential households, says industrial switchgear, automation and energy efficiency product distributor ElectroMechanica (EM)... 

Monitoring energy consumption  fosters efficiency
SMART SOLUTIONS ElectroMechanica’s smart home solutions enable users to control and monitor their energy consumption from their smartphone

Large national manufacturers not main determinant of aerospace success

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Germany serves as a leading example of a country that has a major and successful aeronautical industry but does not have a single wholly- or predominantly-German owned aerospace original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This was highlighted by Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR – German... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right
PRODUCTION EXPANSION While Tetra4 already produces compressed natural gas, new expansions will include the liquefaction of the gas – the first in South Africa

Nigeria, Russia sign nuclear agreements

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Nigeria has signed agreements with Russia covering the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant (NPP) and a nuclear research reactor and associated research facilities, Russia’s State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has announced. The two countries also signed a cooperation roadmap... 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

AI can help shed light on value of a company’s intangible assets

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 Artificial Intelligence (AI), by performing repetitive tasks or helping with tasks that rely on masses of data, will allow for a more accurate valuation of intangible assets, such as human capital, performance and expertise, which are often more valuable in the emerging knowledge economy than... 

Business process workload and orchestration platform launched in SA

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 Software multinational CA Technologies has launched its Automic One Automation workload, release and orchestration products platform in Southern Africa, says Automic Middle East, Africa and Turkey sales VP Nabil Ben Abdallah. IT systems form an integral part the foundations of every company.... 

Business process workload and orchestration platform launched in SA
NABIL BEN ABDALLAH Automic enables companies to add new in-house and cloud-based applications and functions seamlessly

Data on habits of small-store shoppers offers valuable insights for manufacturers

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 Virtual distribution platform company Selpal gathers detailed data of retail shoppers’ habits from small retailers to provide manufacturers with granular insight into the shopping habits of their target audiences, says Selpal CEO Stephen Goldberg. Selpal’s business model helps to guide... 

Integrated, automated security fabric to protect business devices and data

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 The complexity of cyberattacks on businesses and the difficulty in proactively protecting dynamic and flexible networks, as well as the devices and data used in daily business processes, has increased the need for businesses to deploy integrated and automated security technologies. A consolidated... 

Telkom appoints CEO of property management unit

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th November 2017 Telecommunications group Telkom has appointed Lesiba Maloba as CEO of its property management business unit, Gyro Group, from November 13. Gyro was established on April 1 to unlock value by commercialising the Telkom property portfolio, extracting value from excess building capacity and... 

MTN, Ericsson to collaborate on 5G

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th November 2017 Telecommunications giant MTN and information and communication technology group Ericsson have teamed up to trial a range of fifth-generation (5G) use cases and applications in South Africa. The parties signed a memorandum of understanding to start trials of use cases and applications during the... 

Nigeria's Senate approves report exonerating MTN Nigeria over fund transfers

By: Reuters     8th November 2017 Nigeria's Senate approved on Wednesday a report largely exonerating South African telecoms company MTN Group Ltd's Nigerian unit, after the business was accused of illegally repatriating $14 billion to its parent. But the Senate report also asked Nigeria's central bank to sanction Stanbic IBTC... 

Angola Cables to establish second PoP in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th November 2017 Angola Cables plans to establish a second point of presence (PoP) in South Africa as it continues to expand its presence since entering the market a year ago. By the end of this year, the group will launch a new PoP in Cape Town to further expand its network reach, attend to local Internet and... 

Finland's Nokia joins Vodacom to trial 5G technology in South Africa

By: Reuters     7th November 2017 Finnish network equipment maker Nokia will trial its 5G technology in South Africa in collaboration with Vodacom Group, the firms said on Tuesday, as they seek to provide faster data delivery. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Vodacom, Nokia will share its latest 5G innovations including... 

Africa set to top 1bn mobile internet connections in five years – study

By: Reuters     6th November 2017 Africa's mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from... 

Mobile fly farm creator wins GCIP-SA competition

By: Anine Kilian     6th November 2017 Organic waste innovation Mobile Fly Farm creator Bandile Dlabantu has been announced the winner of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme – South Africa (GCIP-SA). Mobile Fly Farms use black soldier fly larvae to convert organic waste into animal feed, enabling emerging farmers to organically... 

BCX unveils new digital learning platform

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th November 2017 Telecommunications giant BCX on Monday launched a new digital learning platform aimed at providing free access to online educational content. No charge will be levied for the maths and science learning material and content that learners, educators, school administrators and parents can access... 

Airbus’s A330neo type makes first flight, while Air Mauritius accepts its first A350XWB

By: Keith Campbell     3rd November 2017 The first development aircraft in Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus’ new A330neo (new engine option) family made its maiden flight on October 19, from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France. The aircraft took off at 09:57 local time and landed at 14:10, having flown for four hours and 13... 

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