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The little suburb that could

The little suburb that could

This week, remarkable news emerged from an upmarket Johannesburg suburb. The community of Parkhurst, through its residents’ association, announced it had issued a request for proposals from telecommunications service providers to connect all houses and businesses in

Say ‘no’ to Vodacom, Neotel deal

Say ‘no’ to Vodacom, Neotel deal

There is a certain irony in the fact that at the same time that our cellphone companies are announcing dramatic cuts to both their data and call rates in what appears to be a price war, we are also confronted by announcements on proposed tie-ups that, if concluded, will reduce competition in the sector. The irony is no coincidence. Cell C’s effort to win market

Cell C plays smart hand in price war

Cell C plays smart hand in price war

Cell C this week signalled it will not back down an inch as the price war between South Africa’s mobile operators intensifies. The mobile operator, South Africa’s third largest after Vodacom and MTN, upped the stakes with its bigger rivals by cutting its prepaid rate from 99c to 66c/minute (billed per second) on a promotional basis

Evolutionary leftovers

Evolutionary leftovers

As a journalist, I am au fait with computer keyboards. My fingers glide across the keys as I write, but there are a few buttons that I never touch. These evolutionary leftovers from a previous era of computing seem to offer no purpose today. Granted, these keys don’t appear on all modern keyboards, and regions also differ, but if

Why Naspers is not a good investment

Why Naspers is not a good investment

Naspers was the darling of the JSE in 2013, contributing a full 4,2% of the total market performance of 18% last year. But we believe that, although it may be a great business, Naspers does not represent a good investment. Investors seem to be pricing the share for perfection, and then some. Eager to gain access to the Chinese market, via

Pay TV: Icasa tries again

Pay TV: Icasa tries again

Two weeks ago, Icasa provisionally awarded licences to five new subscription television broadcasters. It hopes the move will help crack open what has become a highly concentrated market that is now thoroughly dominated by one operator, MultiChoice. The communications regulator will be hoping that it is more successful in this

From dash cams to cop cams

From dash cams to cop cams

Before I moved house earlier this year, I used to drive along a road to the office that snakes through the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. As with most suburban roads in this part of the world, traffic can get a little out of hand during peak hours. Although I certainly don’t mind spending some time stuck in a jam, I used to get

Cameroon’s broadband dead end

Cameroon’s broadband dead end

Cameroon has offered mobile operator Viettel a year’s monopoly on the operation of the country’s first 3G network. But Viettel is no ordinary operator. It’s owned by the Vietnamese government and operated by its ministry of defence. Readers will recall I wrote about the wholesale network and landing station monopoly enjoyed

China’s Alibaba slinks onto US shores

China’s Alibaba slinks onto US shores

As Internet access spread across the globe, a handful of giant American corporations ended up dominating industries. Google in search, Amazon in online shopping and Facebook in social networking. The one market that has proved consistently immune to these titans is China. Now, one of China’s homegrown Internet giants

Carrim deserves another term as minister

Carrim deserves another term as minister

In the days following this week’s general election – the most interesting since 1994 – the focus will shift to who president Jacob Zuma will name to his new cabinet. Whatever shuffling he decides to do, he should leave the communications portfolio in the hands