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Technology & Communications News

Survey identifies protecting market share as one of top priorities for South African organisations

By: Mia Breytenbach     11th August 2017 Protecting market share, strengthening customer relationships and driving efficiencies are key priorities for South African organisations, according to survey findings presented at the Experian 2017 Innovation Summit in Johannesburg last month. While South African businesses are gearing up for... 

Oil and gas companies falling victim to cyberattacks

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2017 Information technology-based cyberattacks are being used to disrupt oil and gas companies or hold them to ransom, while subversion of legitimate software allows criminals to steal from and defraud them, says global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab Critical Infrastructure Protection business... 

Smart factory systems boosting product customisation

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2017 Smart factory systems – specifically digital information technology systems that support highly detailed, varied and variable industrial work – are integral to enabling effective customisation of products and their management across disparate supply chains, says enterprise resource planning... 

Limit artificial intelligence to ‘specific use cases’, companies urged

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2017 Artificial intelligence (AI) should be used only when organisations have a specific use case for the systems or risk wasting time and investment, says customised software company Entelect solutions architect Rishal Hurbans. AI – technically called narrow AI as opposed to general and super AI – is... 

Helios Towers Tanzania acquires Zantel’s mainland tower portfolio

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th August 2017 Telecommunications infrastructure firm Helios Towers Tanzania (HTT) is acquiring all mainland unique telecoms tower sites from Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel) for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will bring the Helios Towers Africa (HTA) subsidiary’s telecoms tower sites in Tanzania to around 3... 

Deloitte urges stakeholders to comment on Cybersecurity Bill

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th August 2017 With the deadline for the submission of comments for the proposed Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill closing on Thursday, Deloitte has urged stakeholders to provide views on the proposals set to govern the cyberworld. The new Bill had been introduced in a move aimed at establishing a coordinated... 

Icasa tackles data expiry woes

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th August 2017 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Monday gazetted proposed regulatory amendments aimed at mitigating mobile operators’ expiry of data and out-of-billing practices. The End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations 2017 aim to dictate that the... 

Aurecon appoints MD for Infrastructure, subject matter expertise to contribute to global portfolio

By: Mia Breytenbach     7th August 2017 Global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon has appointed Ben Stapleton as MD of Infrastructure. “The appointment reflects Aurecon’s commitment to providing user-focused, innovative solutions to government and private sector clients as they tackle current and future infrastructure... 

Aurecon appoints MD for Infrastructure, subject matter expertise to contribute to global portfolio
Aurecon Infrastructure MD Ben Stapleton

New committee set up to accelerate digital migration

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2017 With another new deadline set for South Africa’s long-awaited migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT), Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has set up an advisory committee to accelerate the project. In line with this, she has engaged key stakeholders, including... 

Blue Label concludes Cell C recapitalisation

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2017 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms has wrapped up the R5.5-billion recapitalisation of mobile operator Cell C, taking a 45% ownership, through subsidiary The Prepaid Company, of issued share capital of Cell C more than a year after first initiating the deal. In an update to shareholders on Monday,... 

Blue Label concludes Cell C recapitalisation
Blue Label joint CEO Brett Levy

WiFi addresses connectivity at ports

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2017 One of the key challenges with connectivity at a port, harbour or offshore environment is the constant movement of large objects such as ships coming in or containers being on- and offloaded.  

WiFi addresses  connectivity at ports
RIAAN GRAHAM It has become a necessity for ports to use connectivity and smart systems to make port operations more efficient and timely

New approaches key to surmounting water infrastructure challenges

By: Mia Breytenbach     4th August 2017 Infrastructure modernisation, consumer education and data analytics will be key tools to overcome the challenges posed by ageing water infrastructure.  This is according to engineering, procurement and construction services provider Black & Veatch’s 2017 global ‘Strategic Directions Water... 

New approaches key to surmounting  water infrastructure challenges
Photo by Duane Daws
IMPEDING THE SYSTEM The development and operation of sustainable, smart water systems are hampered by supply management challenges and fiscal and broader economic constraints

Company attains trade approval for weighing system

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2017 With industrial scale suppliers Autotech Weighing Systems having successfully attained legal for trade approval for scales and weighing information systems manufactuer Tamtron’s on-board reach stacker scale, containers can be weighed according to the international convention of Safety of Life at... 

Company attains trade approval for weighing system
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT Weighing takes place during normal operations without interrupting or slowing down the workflow at seaports or container depots

Sensor and machine data sharing to become a business norm

By: Schalk Burger     4th August 2017 Sharing sensor and machine data will become a normal part of business operations to improve daily operations and to leverage the big, but often segregated, volumes of data being generated by machines and sensors for commercial purposes, says office systems company Nashua CIO Yunus Scheepers. He... 

Sensor and machine data sharing to become a business norm
YUNUS SCHEEPERS Data sharing should be standard practice to provide detailed information for many different purposes

Creating digital representations of factories offers real-world spin-offs

By: Schalk Burger     4th August 2017 Using digital representations of factory systems in a so-called digital factory helps to reduce manufacturing costs, and serves as a testbed and a way of managing industrial information, says design and engineering software multinational Dassault Systèmes South Africa solutions consultant Jason... 

Digital transformation may offer remedy to SA’s manufacturing ailments

By: David Oliveira     4th August 2017 According to the Deloitte Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Survey for 2016, South Africa is ranked 27, slipping three places since 2013, and is expected to drop even further in the next five to ten years. “The rising cost of production combined with muted investments in technology are making... 

MTN sets out to prove it’s the best custodian of emerging market assets after H1 recovery

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd August 2017 As telecommunications giant MTN starts to recover from a turbulent 2016, new CEO Rob Shuter is laying the growth foundation to leverage future opportunities through an enhanced six-pillar strategy. Shuter, who took the reins in mid-March, unveiled the development of a new growth plan – dubbed... 

South Africa’s radioisotopes company shines globally

By: Keith Campbell     3rd August 2017 South African nuclear company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), a subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (better known as Necsa), has increased its production of, and its share in the global market for, the Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) radioisotope, the company announced on... 

South Africa’s radioisotopes company shines globally
NTP Radioisotopes MD Tina Eboka

Zambia’s offgrid homes to be equipped with pay-to-own solar home systems

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd August 2017 Energy and financial services firm Fenix International is working to deploy pay-to-own solar home systems in Zambia leveraging telecommunications giant MTN’s mobile money platform. In partnership with the Swedish Embassy in Zambia, which committed nearly $3-million to the project up to 2020,... 

Spectrum constraints leave rural regions behind the data wave

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st August 2017 One-million citizens in rural areas are still sidelined in the data communication evolution as it becomes increasingly more difficult – and costly – without additional spectrum to expand into the far flung areas that are home to a handful of South Africa’s population. Despite the unprecedented... 

SADC sees growth in electricity generation capacity  

By: Anine Kilian     1st August 2017 Mainland member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) plan to add 30 646 MW of new electricity generation capacity by 2022. Addressing delegates at the SADC Infrastructure Week, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday, SADC Secretariat transport senior programme officer Mapolao Mokoena... 

City of Cape Town’s support generates investment worth R2.67bn, with 6 236 jobs created in key growth industries 

By: African News Agency      31st July 2017 The City of Cape Town, via its enterprise and investment department under the directorate of the mayor, has facilitated R2.67-billion worth of investment which has resulted in 6 236 direct jobs created for the people of Cape Town in the past financial year (July 2016 – June 2017), the city said... 

Telkom slashes fixed-line prices, fluffs up uncapped package deals

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th July 2017 Information and communication technology giant Telkom has unveiled a series of new pricing structures for its fixed-line uncapped data packages to entice more customers onto its network and deliver in-demand lower data fees. In an overhaul of the fixed-line product offering, aligning its... 

Telkom slashes fixed-line prices, fluffs up uncapped package deals

South Africa consolidates its radio astronomy activities into new observatory

By: Keith Campbell     28th July 2017 South Africa is consolidating its radio astronomy facilities into a single institution, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). This was revealed on Friday when Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced that the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) had... 

South Africa consolidates its radio astronomy activities into new observatory
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
HartRAO’s main antenna

Outreach programme providing opportunities for participants

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Engineering company Bosch’s Outreach Robotics Programme has provided participants the opportunity to compete in the 2017 World Robot Olympiad, in Costa Rica, in November this year. 

Outreach programme providing  opportunities for participants
MARKUS THILL The programme aims to ensure that children from various backgrounds have an opportunity to study robotics

Education institutions struggling with connectivity

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Amid water, electricity and basic infrastructure challenges at various education institutions, the lack of Internet connectivity has also been a challenge, states wireless connectivity firm Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa sales director Riaan Graham. 

Education institutions  struggling with connectivity
RIAAN GRAHAM Connectivity to the Internet is essential and if it is available at a school, WiFi can be used to distribute access to the students

Not enough high school mathematics and science graduates

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Irrespective of the considerable amount of money invested in the South African education system, engineering consultancy WSP Africa head of people, culture and engagement Elaine Porter, states that the number of high-school graduates with good results in higher-grade mathematics and science is... 

Not enough high school mathematics and science graduates
NECESSARY FOUNDATIONS Mathematics and science abilities cannot suddenly be learnt, without foundations in analytical skills

Software-defined storage allows schools to use commodity hardware to build storage pool

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Enterprise open-source software company SUSE has released what it calls software-defined storage which supports schools using free open-source software (FOSS), says SUSE client executive Derek Rule. 

Software-defined storage allows schools to use commodity hardware to build storage pool
DEREK RULE The global community of open-source software users and developers provides a constant stream of updates and improvements

Local presence drives Southern Africa demand for UK firm’s IIoT solutions

By: Schalk Burger     28th July 2017 Mobile Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) service provider Eseye reports good growth in demand for its connectivity solutions in Southern Africa after it opened local offices in the region, says Eseye Southern Africa regional manager Jeremy Potgieter. The UK-based company has been providing its... 

Local presence drives Southern Africa demand for UK firm’s IIoT solutions
JEREMY POTGIETER The industrial-grade solutions enable clients to leverage commercial telecommunications networks for IIoT data connectivity

New platform launched to help companies manage risks and continuity plans

By: Schalk Burger     28th July 2017 Corporate governance risk and compliance software firm Cura South Africa has launched a risk-management software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, which provides a subscription-based system for companies to manage their business risks and continuity plans according to international standards. The... 

New platform launched to help companies manage risks and continuity plans
ALEX ROBERTS The SaaS portal provides an easy-to-use visual interface for risk officers to manage the risks that they oversee

Multiple forms of biometrics to underpin contextual security authorisation

By: Schalk Burger     28th July 2017 Various forms and combinations of biometric identification will be used to improve identification and authorisation, with each set of biometric identification methods specifically suited to the context of the application, says encryption and security multinational Gemalto Innovation marketing and... 

Mobile video equipment facilitates varied surveillance

By: Schalk Burger     28th July 2017 The addition of new 12 megapixel 4k ultrahigh resolution cameras, new dome and corner cameras and new systems to optimise video streams over constrained communications network help South African customers to design video surveillance systems that meet their specific needs, says Graphic Image... 

Mobile video equipment facilitates varied surveillance
LAURENCE SMITH Video surveillance systems can be designed for specific applications, integrated with other video systems and managed from a single platform

Technology, digital solutions part of Botswana firm’s microfinance arsenal as it expands across Africa 

By: David Oliveira     28th July 2017 Botswana-based microfinance company Letshego Holdings, which operates in 11 African countries, aims to use technology and digital solutions to affect economic redress in Africa and provide financial inclusion for the continent’s most underserved markets. Letshego MD Chris Low explains that the... 

Technology, digital solutions part of Botswana firm’s  microfinance arsenal as it expands across Africa
Letshego Holdings MD Chris Low discusses the impact of digital technology on improving financial inclusion for Africa’s underserved. Camerawork and Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Training facility to improve skills deficit in artisan industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Industrial rope access specialist Skyriders Access Specialists aims to bridge the rope access skills deficit in the artisan industry through offering training at its Midrand-based facility, states Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn. 

Training facility to  improve skills deficit  in artisan industry
Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn gives a tour of their training facility, in Midrand. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

MTN to swing back into the black in H1

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th July 2017 Telecommunications group MTN expects to report basic headline earnings a share of between 210c and 230c and basic earnings a share of between 280c and 300c for the six months ended June 30. This compares with a headline loss a share of 271c and an attributable loss a share of 301c in the six... 

Cell C appoints new chief digital officer

     26th July 2017 Cell C has appointed Nihmal Marrie chief digital officer, effective August 1.   He will steer the digital transformation of Cell C and execute an aggressive strategic focus in the digitisation of the business.   “The telecommunications industry must adapt to the digital world or risk being left... 

Calls for more investment in science infrastructure in Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th July 2017 Researcher Professor Kelly Chibale has called for a deep commitment to investing in world-class infrastructure and skills for scientists to succeed on the continent. The founder and director of Africa’s only integrated drug discovery and development centre, H3D, at the University of Cape Town... 

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