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SA telecoms museum on the cards

Did you know SA is supposed to have a telecommunications museum? Few people do. But according to chapter 13 of the Electronic Communications Act, the department of communications must create and manage a museum that showcases the evolution of the history of communications technology in SA.

World reaches 5bn mobile connections

Global cellphone connections have reached the 5bn milestone, growing by 1bn in the last 18 months alone. Research by international mobile research firm Wireless Intelligence shows Africa remains the lowest penetrated market at 52% of the population, while Western Europe is the highest at 130%. At the end of 2009, the International Telecommunication Union reported […]

Eskom defends CEO on pay

Eskom on Thursday defended the pay and bonuses for its executives, including CEO Brian Dames. The public utility said in a statement that Dames’s salary increase was only 10,6% and that his reported 91% increase was due to “performance bonuses” from the previous two years.

ISPs to pay for Seacom downtime

Seacom has secured alternative capacity options for its customers, but Internet service providers will be charged a “small premium” to use them. A fault on the Seacom cable between Mumbai in India and Mombasa in Kenya cut off many Internet users on Monday, with repairs expected to take a week or more.

Lowry quits MTN

Tim Lowry, one of MTN’s top executives, has left the telecommunications group. A former MD of MTN SA, Lowry most recently ran the South and East Africa (Sea) region for the group. MTN spokesman Pearl Majola says no one has been appointed to replace Lowry as vice-president of the Sea region.

The fibre’s coming

SA will soon be awash in cheap international bandwidth. The challenge is getting that bandwidth into the hands of consumers and companies. So, news this week of the launch of a new fibre operator is encouraging. Eassy. Wacs. Ace. Main One. These are the names of new cable systems that are either in the works or already under construction. Together with the Seacom cable in the east and the Sat-3 system in the west, they promise a flood of cheap international bandwidth.

Neotel wants R100m licence fee scrapped

Telecommunications operator Neotel is in discussions with the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to have the once-off R100m licence fee it is liable for scrapped. “We are working amicably with the regulator to try and clarify the regulations,” says Tracy Cohen, Neotel’s executive head of regulatory affairs. Like all incumbent operators, Neotel was awarded […]

Icasa Amendment Bill under fire

The SOS Campaign has raised serious concerns that proposed changes to the Icasa Act would undermine the independence of the regulator, and effectively make it an operational body within the department of communications. The campaign, which is made up of unions, nongovernment organisations and academics, says the proposed changes to the law would fall foul […]

Vodacom pays ex-CEO Knott-Craig R17m

R5m. That’s how much Vodacom paid its former CEO, Alan Knott-Craig, to restrain him from working for or advising competitors in the telecommunications industry. He was paid this money after he retired. Included in the amount, which is disclosed in Vodacom’s 2010 annual financial report, released this week, is payment to Knott-Craig for any advice and assistance requested by his successor, Pieter Uys.

Microsoft to unveil big BEE investments

Microsoft will at the end of August announce the names of the black-owned SA companies into which it plans to invest nearly R500m. That’s the word from Microsoft SA spokesman Adrian Wainwright, who says the company has received more than 650 applications from interested IT companies.

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