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Mixed signals from Vodacom

Mixed signals from Vodacom

The resignation last week of Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys raises interesting questions about the future of SA’s most powerful mobile phone operator under the UK’s Vodafone, especially as it faces an increasingly fractious and competitive industry. When

Africa fumbles in Internet land grab

Africa fumbles in Internet land grab

In mid-June 2012, when the big Internet players revealed their cards in the highest stakes game in Web history, the best Africa could come up with was four predictable geographic generic top-level domains, namely .joburg, .durban, .capetown and .africa. There were also a few applications from our pals over at

A capitalist’s case for nationalising Telkom

A capitalist’s case for nationalising Telkom

The question of what SA should do about Telkom has occupied many minds, especially since its proposed deal with Korea’s KT Corp was blocked by cabinet. Telkom’s management team put on a brave face after the deal was scuppered, saying the KT deal would

Smoke and mirrors in contract plans

Smoke and mirrors in contract plans

Vodacom announced a new set of smartphone contract tariff plans at the weekend under the heading “all-in-one Smart Plans”. Unfortunately, Vodacom seems intent on continuing to offer consumers packages that are founded on obfuscation and copious fine print rather than simplicity and transparency

Ticktock, minister Pule

Ticktock, minister Pule

Once again, communications minister Dina Pule has made all the right political statements when she announced that providing connectivity to impoverished rural communities is a key priority for the department of communications. Suggesting, as she did yesterday, that it would cost as much

Alan Knott-Craig’s smart play

Alan Knott-Craig’s smart play

Alan Knott-Craig’s move to simplify Cell C’s tariff structures is a smart strategic manoeuvre. He’s making it easy for customers to understand what they’re getting for their money. It’s long overdue in an industry where the bigger players bewilder their

IT waste costs billions

IT waste costs billions

Whenever I speak to chief information officers or technologists about sustainable IT strategies, their eyes glaze over. In most people’s minds, going green is still about environmental activism, tree-hugging and warm fuzzy feelings rather than as a strategy that adds real business and financial value. The reality is

Rock. Telkom. Hard place

Rock. Telkom. Hard place

Mobile operators are hacking and slashing data prices but Telkom’s fixed-line broadband and line rental fees are set to go up at the beginning of August. The operator desperately needs to cut costs, increase efficiency and attract new customers, but it’s caught in a dilemma: it needs to maintain its ground in a

Nokia: still burning

Nokia: still burning

Microsoft dealt a blow to its partner Nokia late last week when it said current Windows Phone devices would not get upgraded to the latest version of the operating system. In the process, the US software giant may have shot itself in the foot. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop could be forgiven for thinking

Remembering Antonie Roux

Remembering Antonie Roux

The moustache is dead. It’s hard to believe. Naspers CEO of MIH Holdings, Antonie Roux, who I worked for and with from 1999 to around 2009, was the most livewire person I’ve ever encountered in the workplace. I can’t be more precise about dates and hierarchies because

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