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Telecoms News

Liquid secures $180m investment

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th December 2018 Liquid Telecom has obtained a $180-million investment from UK development finance institution CDC Group to expand its high-speed broadband connectivity and Internet and cloud-based services into underserved communities and the technology start-up ecosystem across Africa. The investment will... 

MTN says still in talks with Nigerian authorities

By: Reuters     10th December 2018 South African telecoms firm MTN Group was still in talks with Nigerian authorities over an $8.1-billion dispute and a $2-billion tax demand in a bid to reach an agreement, Africa's biggest mobile operator said on Monday. The dispute is over the transfer of $8.1-billion of funds which Nigeria's... 

Liquid to invest $400m in Egypt over three years

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th December 2018 Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom plans to inject $400-million into Egypt’s network infrastructure and data centres over the next three years. This follows the signing of a partnership agreement between Telecom Egypt, which is working to connect Egyptian businesses to the rest of Africa... 

Europe was growing wary of Huawei even before CFO's arrest

By: Bloomberg     7th December 2018 The shock arrest of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer comes at a crunch time in Europe, as governments decide whether to crack down on the Chinese technology giant. Before Canadian officials detained Wanzhou Meng on December 1 over potential violations of US sanctions on Iran,... 

Icasa in third initiative to lower telecoms costs

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th December 2018 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has embarked on a third intervention in an effort to reduce the cost of communication in South Africa – a market inquiry into mobile broadband services. The new inquiry emerges shortly after the amendment and final publication of... 

ELB Engineering obtains regulatory approval to sell satellite antenna terminals in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th December 2018 Engineering firm ELB Engineering Services and partner Kymeta Corp have successfully obtained approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for the sale and distribution of the Kymeta KyWay u7 terminal devices in South Africa. The Icasa green light occurred four... 

Nigerian court adjourns case between MTN and central bank to December 12 – judge

By: Reuters     4th December 2018 A Lagos judge on Tuesday adjourned a hearing in an $8.1-billion dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's central bank until December 12 after lawyers said they wanted to report back on settlement talks. The central bank has accused the firm of illegally sending... 

Chinese brands driving Q3 smartphone growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd December 2018 Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi are driving the growth of global smartphone sales, despite sales for most mobile phone manufacturers, including Samsung, declining, research and advisory company Gartner said on Monday. During the third quarter of this year, global smartphone sales to end-users... 

Nigerian court to hear MTN and attorney general case on Feb 7 – registrar

By: Reuters     3rd December 2018 A Lagos court hearing concerning a dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's attorney general over a $2-billion tax demand will take place on Feb. 7, a registrar said on Monday. MTN faces a $2-billion tax demand from the country's attorney general, a claim which the... 

Vodacom helps govt cut operational spend; develops apps for public service efficiency

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th November 2018 Mobile operator Vodacom has assisted government in reducing some of its operational expenditure by around 56% in participating national and provincial public institutions over the last two years, through the company’s mobile communication services transversal (RT15) communications contract. The... 

Vodacom helps govt cut operational spend; develops apps for public service efficiency
Vodacom business chief sales officer Mickey Mashale

Western Cape govt partners with Liquid Telecom to expand WiFi access across province

By: African News Agency      30th November 2018 Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will oversee the signing of a deal with Liquid Telecom for a partnership on an expanded public WiFi network, the provincial government said. The expanded service will see a total of 1 600 public WiFi hotspot sites operate across the province with an increased data... 

MTN Rwanda signs deal for 50bn franc loan for network upgrade

By: Reuters     29th November 2018 MTN Rwanda, the biggest telecoms operator in the East African nation, has signed a 50-billion franc ($56.20-million) loan with eight local banks, whose proceeds will be used to expand and modernise its network. The company, which had close to 4.5-million subscribers in September, is owned by... 

PIC raises stake in MTN to 23.6%

By: Reuters     28th November 2018 South African State-owned pension fund, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has raised its stake in mobile phone operator MTN Group to nearly 24%, regulatory filings showed on Wednesday, a bet on the company in the middle of $10.1-billion dispute with Nigeria. The PIC, which has more than... 

MTN executive exits said to intensify amid Nigeria crisis

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2018 MTN Group is set to lose another high-ranking executive over the next few months, according to people familiar with the matter, as Africa’s largest wireless carrier by sales fights more than $10-billion of claims in its largest market of Nigeria. Chief Innovation Officer Herman Singh is expected... 

MTN executive exits said to intensify amid Nigeria crisis

MTN South Africa reaches 90% LTE coverage 

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th November 2018 Telecommunications giant MTN South Africa’s long-term evolution (LTE)/fourth-generation (4G) technology now covers 90% of South Africa after the company deployed its 11 000th LTE site in Qatywa, in rural Eastern Cape. MTN South Africa’s coverage had reached 88% by August and the deployment of the... 

MTN South Africa reaches 90% LTE coverage
MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa discusses the milestone of achieving 90% 4G coverage in a short period of time. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Telkom enables data transfer and rollover

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th November 2018 Telkom on Wednesday enabled data transfer and the rollover of unused data, effectively becoming the first mobile operator to implement the End-user Subscriber Service Charter Regulations tabled earlier this year. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), in May, gazetted... 

Altron’s Altech Radio Holdings rebrands as Altron Nexus

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd November 2018 JSE-listed information and communications technology (ICT) giant Allied Electronics (Altron) subsidiary Altech Radio Holdings has been rebranded as Altron Nexus. This follows on the parent company’s brand repositioning, which unites all its businesses under one brand identity. 

South Africa improves broadband pricing ranking

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd November 2018 South Africa’s ranking in’s yearly benchmark of broadband pricing has improved to 93 – out of 195 countries – from a ranking of 102 in 2017. Thirty-six South African broadband packages were measured, showing an average package cost a month of R782.19, or $55.25, in 2018, down from... 

Cryptocurrencies gaining traction

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2018 Cryptocurrencies, which are blockchain-enabled and digitally encrypted representations of financial value, are gaining more prominence among the general populace and have moved beyond solely speculative assets, a survey commissioned by cryptocurrency trading platform Luno says. Luno South Africa... 

Cryptocurrencies gaining traction
MARIUS REITZ Cryptocurrencies are suitable for use in a digital economy

Ramaphosa merges Ministries in Cabinet reshuffle 

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd November 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday in his much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle the merging of the Telecommunications and Postal Services Ministry with the Communications Ministry, under the leadership of Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. The merger will take place after the 2019... 

Ramaphosa merges Ministries in Cabinet reshuffle
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Cell C turns to Blue Label, banks to refinance onerous debt

By: Bloomberg     22nd November 2018 Cell C said it’s refinanced R1.4-billion ($100-million) of debt on better terms with loans from its biggest shareholder and a consortium of banks as the South African wireless carrier considers a listing in 2020. South Africa’s third-largest operator is also in talks with vendors including Huawei... 

Icasa starts inquiry into the mobile broadband market

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th November 2018 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has launched an inquiry into the mobile broadband market as part of its efforts and interventions to reduce the high cost of communication in the country. The notice of intention, published last week, is the third intervention by... 

MTN, Cell C secure extension on new end-user regulations deadline

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th November 2018 Mobile operators Cell C and MTN South Africa have reached an agreement with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) over the implementation of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations. The terms of the settlement set a new date of February 28, 2019, for the... 

Business intelligence tools becoming more collaborative

By: Schalk Burger     16th November 2018 Business intelligence tools are adopting various collaboration features and tools to better match the collaborative aspects of business processes and workflows, says business information software firm AIGS Insights sales and marketing director Gustav Piater. Users need to be able to put their... 

VR reinventing education, training in organisations – BSC

By: Simone Liedtke     14th November 2018 Business Science Corporation (BSC) is reinventing itself as the world moves into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and is focusing on the use of virtual reality (VR) as a cost-effective method of training people. Skills development and the inadequacies of traditional safety training remain... 

MTN shares rise on report that Nigeria could reduce $10.1bn fine

By: Reuters     14th November 2018 Shares in South Africa's MTN Group rose 2.6% on Wednesday on a media report that Nigerian authorities could reduce the $10.1-billion sum they are demanding from the telecoms company in a dispute. The sum covers the return of funds transferred overseas by MTN and a separate $2-billion tax bill. 

Icasa calls for comment for IMT roadmap

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2018 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Tuesday called for public comment on its draft International Mobile Telephony (IMT) Roadmap. Stakeholders have until January 18 to give their views on the document that seeks to unlock universal availability of broadband... 

MTN aims to offer mobile banking in Nigeria next year

By: Reuters     13th November 2018 MTN Group will apply for a mobile banking licence in Nigeria and plans to launch the service there next year, its CEO said on Tuesday, further embedding the South African telecoms company in its biggest but increasingly problematic market. Nigeria announced last month that it would allow telecom... 

Telkom delivers strong H1, retrenchment, retirement costs cut earnings 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2018 Voluntary severance package (VSP) and voluntary early retirement package (VERP) costs have dragged down the earnings of JSE-listed Telkom during the first half of the year. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended September 30 declined by 3.3% to 288c apiece owing to a... 

Telkom delivers strong H1, retrenchment, retirement costs cut earnings
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko and CFO Tsholofelo Molefe discuss the groups financial results for the six months ended September 30. Video and video editing: Darlene Creamer 13.11.2018

Vodacom posts H1 uptick  

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th November 2018 JSE-listed Vodacom on Monday posted growth across the board for the first half of the 2019 financial year, with service revenue up 6.1% to R36.8-billion and group revenue up 5.6% to R44.4-billion. During the six months ended September 30, the group achieved headline earnings a share of 385c, a 6%... 

Standard Bank launches Internet banking in Chinese

By: Simone Liedtke     9th November 2018 Financial services provider Standard Bank successfully launched its first Chinese Internet banking site in Angola this week. With more than 30 000 active Chinese-owned firms in Africa, Standard Bank believes it can grow Africa-China trade by building and managing an innovative and effective... 

Opic, Africell commit $100m to develop Africa’s telecommunications environment 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th November 2018 US development finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) and mobile telecommunications operator Africell have signed a financing deal that will see $100-million injected into the development of the telecommunications sector in Africa. The growth capital facility, one of... 

Cities need to invest up to $5.4tn a year to develop resilient infrastructure

By: Schalk Burger     9th November 2018 All forms of infrastructure are critical for the expected global urban growth, yet cities face a $4.5-trillion- to $5.4-trillion-a-year investment gap to develop resilient infrastructure. Smart cities are a response to infrastructure and funding challenges, says consulting engineering firm WSP... 

Cities need to invest up to $5.4tn a year to develop resilient infrastructure
ALISON GROVES A focus on sustainability will help build cities and spaces for rural communities that are liveable and resilient

Nigerian court adjourns case between MTN and attorney general to Dec 3

By: Reuters     8th November 2018 A Lagos judge on Thursday adjourned a hearing in a $2-billion dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's attorney general until December 3. MTN faces a $2-billion tax demand from the country's attorney general, a claim which the company has said is without merit. The... 

South Africa's financial stability threatened by MTN's $10bn Nigeria bill – SARB

By: Reuters     8th November 2018 Billions of dollars in fines owed by South African companies MTN and Standard Bank to Nigerian regulators could increase the risk to South Africa's financial system, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Wednesday. The Nigerian central bank in August accused telecoms firm MTN and its... 

Dimension Data expands Silicon Cape partnership

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th November 2018 Information and communication technology (ICT) group Dimension Data has expanded its partnership with innovation ecosystem coordinator Silicon Cape after joining as a blue member of the organisation’s Africa-first membership. The Africa-first membership, launched in July, is an evolved model that... 

Etion secures new equity partner

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th November 2018 Clive Douglas Investments-represented Conexus Capital Growth Fund has secured a R27-million stake in revamped, diversified digital technology solutions provider Etion. The new equity partner had been issued 70-million shares in Etion at 39c apiece, representing 14.16% of the issued share capital... 

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