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Mobile operators fighting the wrong war

Mobile operators fighting the wrong war

The mobile operators are fighting the wrong war, and they’re squaring up to the wrong enemy. They should be fundamentally revising their business models to prepare for Google, Facebook and Microsoft, which are taking aim directly at their voice business. Let us take a step back. For well over a decade, South

Want competition? Do this, Icasa

Want competition? Do this, Icasa

Communications regulator Icasa this week kicked off a high-level formal inquiry into the state of competition in South Africa’s information and communications technology sector. In the coming months, the authority, which regulates the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services sectors, has promised

For Google, it’s all about the data

For Google, it’s all about the data

Google recently grabbed headlines with its US$3,2bn acquisition of home automation company Nest Labs. The deal is the second biggest in Google’s history, after the $12,5bn it splashed out for Motorola Mobility in August 2011. But why did it buy it? Nest Labs designs and manufactures Wi-Fi-enabled

All is not well in technology land

All is not well in technology land

All is not well in technology land. The normally ebullient mood at the annual SxSW Interactive conference is darker this year, weighed down by concerns about the prying eyes of governments. A keynote address by WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange over the weekend captured this growing unease. Speaking to a

SA operators jostle for spectrum

SA operators jostle for spectrum

While all the focus in the telecommunications industry is on the fight over call termination rates, an even more important battle is looming large, this time over access to radio frequency spectrum. Billions of rand are at stake as South Africa’s big telecommunications operators

Something is very wrong in SA telecoms

Something is very wrong in SA telecoms

South Africa’s telecommunications industry has never been in such a heightened state of flux as it is today. The regulator, Icasa, has managed to enrage the two biggest operators, MTN and Vodacom, which have both now lodged voluminous applications at the high court in an effort to get new call

Behind Facebook’s $19bn WhatsApp deal

Behind Facebook’s $19bn WhatsApp deal

Silicon Valley is as much about creating legends as it is about changing reality. Where else could a guy get turned down for a job and then, five years later, sell his company to the people that turned him down for US$19bn? I’m talking, of course, about

WTF, Zuck?

WTF, Zuck?

Nineteen billion dollars. Two hundred and ten billion rand. Nearly R500/user. That’s how much Facebook has agreed to pony up for WhatsApp, the fast-growing but still very much loss-making cross-platform mobile instant messaging platform. It’s a daring – perhaps insane – bet by Facebook’s

Why we really sued Icasa: MTN

Why we really sued Icasa: MTN

The telecommunications industry has spent the past four years on a journey towards cost orientation, regulatory best practice and parity. That journey must continue and MTN fully expects termination rates to go on falling. But this fall must be informed by a transparent and credible cost study that reflects the

The tragedy that is the SABC

The tragedy that is the SABC

Our president was right to say in his state of the nation address last week that we have some good stories to tell about our 20 years of democracy. Sadly, our public broadcaster is not one of them. I declare my bias in favour of the public broadcaster: I love the SABC. Well, I did until