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Internet service provider MWeb is expanding its capacity by adding extra last-mile access on Telkom’s network. MWeb CEO Rudi Jansen says since the launch of uncapped broadband earlier this year, customers are flooding to the service. “The uptake on our uncapped product has been incredible,” he says.
MTN and Telkom, which recently signed a cellular roaming agreement, are facing off in a dispute over wholesale mobile termination rates. Telkom, which is due to launch its own mobile network within the next couple of months, wants to charge MTN — and presumably other operators — 93c/minute to carry calls onto its new network.
South Africans are a cynical lot. When it comes to telecommunications, that cynicism is often justified. Too often, SA operators are big on promises and short on delivery. But Cell C’s new strategy may indeed shake up SA broadband. Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt is a dynamic and colourful character. His colleagues at the cellular network operator say he works harder than anyone they’ve met, often pulling stints late into the night and insisting that his team be available to work similarly long hours.
Pay-TV licensee Super 5 Media has finally admitted publicly that it is facing big problems. But newly appointed director Muhammad Lockhat says the company is still working to get a pay-TV product to market, despite it recently retrenching all of its employees. It was recently granted another extension by industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), allowing it until February 2011 to launch a service.
Telkom and MTN are set to face off at the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s complaints and compliance committee on Thursday over a dispute of interconnection fees, the money they charge each other to carry calls between their networks. Authority spokesman Paseka Maleka Telkom lodged a complaint against MTN at the end of June. It appears the two companies are having trouble negotiating the terms of an interconnection agreement.
When Apple announced the iPad earlier this year, some commentators declared that it could signal the demise of Amazon.com’s Kindle e-reader. Unlike the Kindle, which could do only one thing well — display pages from books — the iPad was a multifunction device, allowing people to browse the Web, check their e-mail, read magazines, watch movies, listen to music and run a universe of applications.
Holding out for cuts in wholesale mobile termination rates to lower the extortionate cost of mobile communication in SA is a sure recipe for disappointment. If you want to see action, you have to look for a more direct intervention. Mobile termination rates are the tip of the iceberg that makes up SA’s mobile call cost structure. According to AfricaNext Research, the differential between peak on-network and off-network airtime prices is less than 20%.
The Democratic Alliance has made sweeping changes to its communications shadow ministry. The changes have resulted in shadow minister Niekie van den Berg being demoted and replaced by the shadow deputy minister for justice and constitutional development, Natasha Michael.
Yet more submarine fibre capacity is coming to SA. And, for the first time, a transatlantic link connecting Southern Africa with Brazil is on the cards. SA-based technology investment company eFive Telecoms plans to extend the Main One cable, which connects Europe and Nigeria along Africa’s west coast, to Cape Town.
A fast-growing online publishing industry has been waiting for an easy-to-use, versatile and affordable publishing system for years. No one knows this better than Jason Norwood-Young, founder of start-up 10Layer, who wants to rival large international development houses with a new publishing framework.