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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.

Telkom caught in pricing poser

Telkom is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If the operator were to try to recover costs fully from its customers of servicing and maintaining fixed lines, it would have to double monthly line rental. But if it did so, it would accelerate the already-steepening decline in the number of fixed lines in service. Yet new regulations and growing competition mean it may be unable to avoid a sharp increase in line-rental charges.

Paris in his springtime

It’s not surprising to see Paris Mashile, former chairman of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), more relaxed than before. Less than a week ago he was one of the most prominent figures in the telecommunications industry; today he says he is “just a simple so-and-so”. Sitting in the stark white seats at Mythos, […]

MWeb desperate for Seacom solution

Internet service provider MWeb, part of JSE-listed media group Naspers, is urgently seeking an alternative solution for its broadband customers following the break in the Seacom cable, which could take a week or more to repair. MWeb says it uses Seacom as its primary provider of international bandwidth, with a limited amount of redundancy available […]

Still no Red Sea light for Seacom

Seacom says it still hasn’t finalised the last stretch of its undersea cable through the Red Sea in Egypt, a fact that has bedevilled the telecommunications system. A fault on the Seacom cable between Mumbai in India and Mombasa in Kenya plunged SA businesses and consumers into Internet darkness on Monday, with repairs expected to take at least a week to complete. Seacom suffered similar downtime in April when a segment

Will Telkom start a mobile price war?

With only a few months to go until Telkom becomes SA’s fourth mobile network operator, the question on many people’s lips is whether the fixed-line incumbent will start a price with Vodacom, MTN and Cell C. Telkom hasn’t yet decided on tariffs for its mobile offering. The company’s MD, Nombulelo “Pinky” Moholi, says these must be still be approved by the board

Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition reviewed

It’s a pity Nokia is still married to the Symbian operating system. Symbian’s outdated S40 software is the only thing not to like about the Finnish company’s new 5330 Mobile TV Edition handset. The phone is the evolution of Nokia’s 5330 XpressMusic, and sports all the same features. It has an exceptional multimedia player, a […]

The pressure is on in telecoms

I’m sometimes asked by investors whether the growth story has gone out of SA telecommunications stocks. A series of regulations, coupled with growing competition and a weak economy, is putting pressure on operators’ margins. Is it time for investors to abandon the sector? Before I attempt to answer that question, it’s worth looking back at how the telecoms sector in SA has developed over the past decade

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