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Telecoms News

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... 

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... 

Vodacom, Telkom reach network sharing deal

By: Reuters     7th November 2018 South African telecoms firm Vodacom said on Wednesday it had entered into a roaming and facilities leasing agreement with Telkom, South Africa's biggest fixed-line operator. Vodacom said the multi-billion rand agreement would allow Telkom customers to roam on Vodacom's 2G, 3G and 4G networks with... 

Kenya's Safaricom takes M-Pesa global with Western Union

By: Reuters     6th November 2018 Kenya's biggest telecoms operator Safaricom on Tuesday unveiled a new service on its M-Pesa mobile financial services platform that will allow users to send money around the world in a partnership with Western Union. Started as a simple money transfer service 11 years ago to fill a gap in Kenya's... 

Ethos achieves first R700m investment under new large buyout fund

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th November 2018 Private equity investor Ethos has invested R700-million in global financial technology (fintech) provider Channel VAS. The investment is the first under Ethos’ new large-buyout fund, Ethos Fund VII, which is seeking to attract R8-billion in capital commitments from local and institutional investors. 

South Africa elected onto international telecoms structures

By: African News Agency      6th November 2018 South Africa has been elected onto the executive council of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai.  Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele led the SA delegation at the ITU... 

Don't leave half the world offline and behind, urges Web founder

By: Reuters     6th November 2018 British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, appealed on Monday for companies and governments not to leave behind half of the world population yet to have internet access, which includes billions of women and girls. Berners-Lee told the opening of the Europe's... 

Safaricom plans M-Pesa entry in new African market by April

By: Bloomberg     2nd November 2018 East Africa’s biggest company by market value plans to introduce its M-Pesa mobile-money service in at least one other country by the end of its financial year in March. Safaricom Plc. intends to recruit people with mergers and acquisitions skills for the transaction so the company can “push the... 

Satellite connectivity can reduce sky-high Internet prices – MzansiSat

By: Schalk Burger     2nd November 2018 Accessible and affordable broadband Internet connectivity can be achieved through an infrastructure network that uses geostationary satellite technology to provide connectivity, says local satellite operator MzansiSat CEO Bart Cilliers. A study by Point Topic revealed that asymmetric digital... 

South Africa moves to reboot digital migration after years of delay

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd November 2018 Following years since embarking on, and the subsequent stalling of, South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, the Department of Communications (DoC) hopes to revive its momentum after revising its digital migration delivery model. The revised model approved by Cabinet in... 

South Africa moves to reboot digital migration  after years of delay

BBBEE ICT sector council appoints new chairperson, deputy

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th October 2018 The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector Council has elected Councillor Andile Tlhoaele and Councillor Pheladi Gwangwa as chairperson and deputy chairperson, respectively. This followed the resignation of Councillor Nokuzola Ehrens... 

Nigerian court adjourns case between MTN, central bank to Dec 4

By: Reuters     30th October 2018 A Lagos judge adjourned a hearing on Tuesday in a $10.1-billion dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's central bank to Dec 4. The central bank alleges the firm illegally sent $8.1-billion abroad, and the Nigerian government has demanded $2-billion in taxes from MTN. 

Rain to launch 5G network

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th October 2018 South Africa’s newest data network provider, rain, is planning to deploy a fifth-generation (5G) broadband fixed-wireless network to support government’s drive for competition, lower data prices and improved access in the telecommunications industry. Teaming up with partners Huawei and Nokia, the... 

MTN posts positive Q3 financial results 

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th October 2018 JSE-listed MTN on Monday posted positive third-quarter results after achieving an improved operational performance in many of the markets in which it operates during the three months to September 30. The group reported a particularly strong operational performance in Nigeria and Ghana, while some... 

MTN posts positive Q3 financial results

More data to train machines set to change business functions

By: Schalk Burger     26th October 2018 Machine learning, underpinned by massive volumes of data, and the cognitive systems they enable will be key to business in the future, says data management company CommVault Europe, Middle East and Africa senior marketing director Nigel Williams. Whether it is computational fluid dynamics or... 

Kenya sets aside funds to develop domestic mobile phone industry

By: Reuters     24th October 2018 Kenya's minister of information, communication and technology said on Tuesday that the government had set aside one-billion shillings ($9.90-million) to help local start-ups in the mobile telephone software and hardware segments to grow. Joe Mucheru, the ICT minister, told the annual meeting of... 

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