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Telecoms News

MTN picks partners to expand mobile OpenRAN network in Africa

By: Reuters     17th June 2021 South Africa's mobile and broadband operator MTN Group has selected five partners to launch an open radio access network (OpenRAN) in Africa to expand 4G and 5G services more quickly and cheaply, it said on Wednesday. A radio access network (RAN) connects individual devices to other parts of a... 

Ethiopia seeks expressions of interest for 40% of State telecoms company

By: Bloomberg     14th June 2021 Ethiopia called for expressions of interest for a minority stake in the State-controlled telecommunications company, starting the process of recruiting a second major investor into the country in less than a month. Investors have a month, beginning June 15, to submit interest for 40% of Ethiopia... 

Icasa nears ‘spectrum impasse breakthrough’

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th June 2021 The outlook of the negotiations surrounding the current impasse over high-demand spectrum is encouraging, with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) confident that an amicable agreement will be reached by the end of August. In a statement issued late on June 11, the... 

Digital primary care platform brought to Africa, South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2021   A $3-million investment by investment company Webrock in partnership with primary healthcare company Healthforce, owned by pharmaceutical retail chain Dis-Chem, will see the establishment of a digital primary care platform in Africa, with the launch to take place in South Africa. 

Icasa reviews call termination regulations

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th June 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is reviewing the wholesale voice call termination market and the pro-competitive conditions or measures imposed on relevant licensees. Following the start of the review and request for information through a questionnaire at the end... 

USTDA supports digital connectivity in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th June 2021 The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is providing grant funding for a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability of expanding Dark Fibre Africa’s (DFA’s) fibre network into periurban and rural areas. The study will support efforts by the wholesale open-access fibre... 

Maya Makanjee to succeed Davidson as Datatec chair in 2022

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2021 Information and communications technology multinational Datatec on June 10 announced that independent nonexecutive director Maya Makanjee would succeed Stephen Davidson as chairperson from March 1, 2022. Makanjee joined the Datatec board on November 1, 2018. She has considerable experience as an... 

CSIR, Deloitte ink MoU for 4IR centre collaboration

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th June 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Deloitte South Africa have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the World Economic Forum Affiliate Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa (C4IR SA) as it accelerates the application of emerging... 

MTN will bid in second Ethiopia telecoms licence round

By: Reuters     4th June 2021 MTN Group will bid again for an Ethiopia operating telecom licence in the second round if mobile financial services are included, its CEO said on Friday after losing the first round. Mobile financial services is key to MTN's strategy as it continues to evolve from just providing voice to also... 

Liquid reaches 100k fibre milestone 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd June 2021 Digital solutions provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) has deployed 100 000 km of fibre infrastructure across most of Africa in a milestone that makes it the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally. Over the past two decades, the company which evolved... 

Liquid reaches 100k fibre milestone
Liquid Intelligent Technologies CEO Nic Rudnick discusses the company's 100 000 km fibre network milestone

Growth in cashless payments reshaping payments infrastructure - PwC

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2021 Payments are increasingly becoming cashless and, as digital money draws stronger interest, the financial services industry must recognise the entire infrastructure of payments is being reshaped, with new business models emerging, advisory multinational PwC says. Given the key role digitisation... 

Lesotho may see water revenue and undersea cable share seized

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 Lesotho is facing the loss of revenue from water and power sales to South Africa and may see its share of an undersea communications cable seized after it breached the terms of a contract with Frazer Solar. Under a global enforcement order, following the award of €50-million in damages in an... 

South Africa’s spies want to give Sasol, MTN a helping hand

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 South Africa’s spy agency is beefing up its economic intelligence unit so it can play a proactive role in supporting the nation’s companies as they expand beyond their home base. Firms that could benefit from the intelligence operatives’ expertise include telecommunications giant MTN Group and... 

Multibillion-rand telco investment a boost for economy

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2021 The R27-billion planned investment by operators and vendors to expand fourth-generation (4G) and fifth-generation (5G) networks in South Africa is a “step in the right direction” for the country’s economic growth. Announced by Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella... 

Global Partnership for Ethiopia prepares to deploy telco services in Ethiopia

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2021 A Safaricom-led consortium is gearing up to deploy telecommunications services to the Ethiopian market from next year. The consortium, Global Partnership for Ethiopia, was awarded the coveted nationwide full-service Telecommunications Service Operator License in Ethiopia. 

Telkom reconsiders dividend suspension

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th May 2021 Telkom is reconsidering its dividend suspension after reporting strong growth in the year ended March 31, 2021. In June last year, Telkom suspended its dividend policy for three years from the 2021 financial year to preserve its cash position and maintain a flexible balance sheet ahead of the... 

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko

Ndabeni-Abrahams says partnerships needed to achieve national digital transformation 

By: Schalk Burger     20th May 2021 Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on May 20 said partnerships between government, the private sector and communities were necessary and that government acting in isolation would not succeed in providing universal information and communications technology... 

Ndabeni-Abrahams says partnerships needed to achieve national digital transformation
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams talks about universal ICT access and digital transformation in government and South Africa. Camera work: Kultwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

DCDT tables budget of R3.7bn for year, outlines 7 key priorities 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th May 2021 The Department of Telecommunications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has tabled a budget of R3.7-billion for the 2021/22 financial year, with seven priorities outlined for the year ahead. The Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM); the release of spectrum; an infrastructure investment and mass... 

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Telkom expects to report triple digit growth in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th May 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom expects to report a 145% to 155% increase in headline earnings a share to between 509.9c and 530.7c for the year ended March 31, 2021. Basic earnings a share is expected to increase by 300% to 310% to between 484.4c and 496.5c. 

Vodacom reports increases across the board in FY21

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th May 2021 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has reported growth across the board for the year ended March 31, 2021, as it navigates the sudden shifts in consumer behaviour patterns. The group invested heavily in the resilience of its networks to cope with significant increases in mobile data traffic volumes... 

Altron reports decrease in earnings for 2021

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th May 2021 Allied Electronics (Altron) recorded a 8.5% decline in earnings before interest tax and depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to R1-billion during the year ended February 28, 2021. This was attributed to weak market conditions and liquidity pressures resulting in low client confidence levels... 

Information Regulator seeking legal advice over WhatsApp privacy policy

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th May 2021 South Africa’s Information Regulator is briefing attorneys to prepare an opinion on the way forward in terms of litigation after not receiving any agreement from WhatsApp to revise its privacy policy in line with that of the standard used in the European Union (UN). The regulator requested the... 

Online retail booms, set to stabilise at higher level

By: Schalk Burger     12th May 2021 Online retail revenue in South Africa grew by about 66% to R30.2-billion in 2020, accounting for about 2.8% of total retail revenue. Last year’s growth in online retail revenue was significantly higher than the 25% growth from R11.3-billion in 2017 to R14.1-billion in 2018. 

Online retail booms, set to stabilise at higher level

Teraco becomes MÉTISS node, boosts regional interconnection

By: Schalk Burger     6th May 2021 Data centre operator Teraco on May 6 said it had become an integral node to the Meltingpot Indianoceanic Submarine System (MÉTISS) – a 3 200 km subsea fibre-optic cable system connecting South Africa to the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius. MÉTISS consortium members have... 

Technology Innovation Agency funds the development of an affordable Internet solution for townships

By: Yvonne Silaule     5th May 2021 Gauteng-based startup FibrePoynt is developing an alternative antenna-based high-speed fixed Internet solution for low-income communities. The solution is being funded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation. 

MTN reports strong first quarter results

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th May 2021 Telecommunications group MTN reported strong first quarter operational and financial results with data and fintech revenue driving service revenue beyond the company’s medium-term guidance. The group’s service revenue increased 17.8% to R42.3-billion during the three months to March. 

New chief technology officer to lead on ICT, technology at the PIC

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2021 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has appointed Makano Mosidi as its new chief technology officer (CTO). Her mandate is to provide sound leadership in all aspects of the business’ information and communications technology (ICT), and leverage technology to position the PIC as a leading asset... 

MTN Rwandacell lists on the Rwanda Stock Exchange

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th May 2021 Telecommunications group MTN Rwandacell has become the first mobile network operator to list its shares on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE). Crystal Telecoms’ shareholders now hold a direct 20% stake in MTN Rwanda and can trade their MTN Rwanda shares directly on the RSE as part of the May 4... 

Telkom launches new whistleblowing channels

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th May 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has unveiled a new platform for the public to report any acts or suspected acts of fraud, corruption and irregular conduct within the organisation to ensure that it remains corruption- and fraud-free. As part of the group’s ethics and corporate governance... 

Waspa elects new chairperson, office bearers for 2021

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd May 2021 The Wireless Application Service Providers' Association (Waspa) has elected BaspaDE Attorneys founding director and long-standing board member Anthony Ekerold as its new chairperson. Ekerold, who previously served as Waspa vice chairperson between 2013 and 2017, as chairperson in 2018 and as... 

Altron to report significant surge in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th April 2021 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) expects its basic earnings per share (BEPS) to increase more than 100% for the year-ended February 28 owing to the Bytes Technology Group demerger in December. Altron expects its BEPS to be between 3 256c and 3 270c apiece, compared with the restated BEPS of... 

MTN eyes telecoms licence in Ethiopia

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th April 2021 Telecommunications group MTN and its equity partners are bidding for a telecommunications licence in Ethiopia. “Ethiopia provides the largest telecommunication and digital services growth opportunity in Africa over the medium term and fits into our pan-Africa focus and platform strategy. We are... 

IT professionals institute questions plan to create State IT infrastructure company

By: Schalk Burger     22nd April 2021 Industry association the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has questioned the need for the creation of a a State Digital Infrastructure Company (SDIC) and High-Performance Computing and Data Processing Centre (HPCDPC), as outlined in the Department of... 

Icasa calls for public comment on review of disaster frequency regulations

By: Schalk Burger     22nd April 2021 Telecommunications regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has called for written comments on the review of the Information and Communications Technology Covid-19 National Disaster Regulations. The issues of consultation in the submissions must include the... 

Vodacom, AUDA-Nepad launch mVacciNation digital toolbox 

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st April 2021 Telecommunications giant Vodacom Group and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-Nepad) have joined forces to deploy a mobile technology platform that manages vaccination appointments and stock availability. Developed by Vodacom Group member Mezzanine, the mVacciNation digital toolbox will... 

Vodacom, AUDA-Nepad launch mVacciNation digital toolbox

Cell C reports full-year loss, assures company stabilised 

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th April 2021 Telecommunications group Cell C has reported a full-year loss of R5.5-billion during the 12 months ended December 31, 2020, widening from the loss of R4-billion reported in 2019. However, the company returned to profit during the second half of the year, reporting a profit before tax of... 

Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson
Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson and Cell C CFO Zaf Mahomed discuss Cell C’s financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2020.

MTN Rwandacell to list on Rwanda Stock Exchange

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th April 2021 MTN Rwandacell will list on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) on May 4 following approval by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE). The listing of MTN Rwanda will see over 1 350 886 600 ordinary shares with a nominal value of Rwf1 each being registered with the RSE... 

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