South Africa Archives — Page 2 of 3


LIRNE.NET course in Cape Town

Posted on April 12, 2009  /  0 Comments

The 13th telecom reform course for regulators and stakeholders offered by LIRNE.NET in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town will start on the 14th of April 2009. The LIRNE.NET courses started in the Netherlands, moved to Denmark, then were offered in multiple locations in Africa and the Caribbean, until settling in Singapore since 2005. Now the baton has passed to our colleague Alison Gillwald at the EDGE Institute in South Africa.
The 13th Executive Course on Telecom Reform will be held from 20 – 24 April, 2009, in Cape Town, South Africa. It is being offered by the Edge Institute  and the University of Cape Town Business School. Themed, ‘Connectivity and Convergence: Alternative Regulatory Strategies for Telecommunications’, the course is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of senior decision-makers in telecom and related sectors in Africa and elsewhere.  After having been offered in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, this executive programme is now being offered in Africa to meet the challenges it faces in this sector.  Target delegate profiles include decision-makers in telecommunications and related sectors in Africa including  government; regulatory agencies; operators; unions, ICT journalists, consumer groups and NGOs active in the sector Confirmed faculty members include Rohan Samarajiva, CEO of LIRNEasia, Alison Gillwald, Associate Director, the Edge Institute and Tracy Cohen, former Councillor on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
South Africa Connect, an initiative of Research ICT Africa! (LIRNEasia’s sister organization), The EDGE Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation to stimulate debate on ICT policy and regulation in South Africa, is organizing its first public seminar entitled, ‘The Growth of Next Generation Networks – From Hype to Reality?’, on 26 November 2008, in Sandown, South Africa.  Presented by Jon Horrocks, an independent consultant to ICASA, the presentation will cover the objectives and growth of next generation networks, from hype to reality, and the growing competition between the traditional telco model and the Internet, and in particular the issues for introducing new services. More information can be found at the South Africa Connect Blog online at: www.
GSMA, the global trade body representing the mobile industry, called on Bangladesh to issue 3G licences soon to make broadband services more widely available. Licensing the 2100 MHz spectrum band for 3G services would enable Bangladeshi operators to launch mobile broadband services, which their customers can use to gain fast and easy access to the Internet and online services, it said on Wednesday. Bangladesh’s mobile sector has grown rapidly, with user numbers reaching more than 45 million at end-September from 200,000 in 2001, while the country has only 1.32 million fixed-line phones. “Laying new fixed-line connections is expensive and inefficient, so high-speed mobile networks are Bangladesh’s best bet to realise the many social and economic benefits that arise from widespread access to broadband services,” said Ricardo Tavares, senior vice president for public policy at the GSMA.
It would be the biggest thing to pass between India and South Africa since Mahatma Gandhi moved from one country to the other. This week it emerged that Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile-phone operator in India, is holding “exploratory” talks to buy South Africa’s MTN, the biggest operator in Africa. According to the Financial Times, Bharti has indicated it would be willing to pay about $19 billion for 51% of the company. That would make it the heftiest overseas acquisition ever made by an Indian firm, more than Tata Steel paid for Corus, a British steelmaker, and seven times the amount India invested in the whole of Africa over the ten years to 2004. The deal would unite the leading companies in the world’s two most promising mobile markets.

Wi-Fi losing out to 3G in South Africa

Posted on November 28, 2007  /  0 Comments

Commercial WiFi hotspots face a dim future in South Africa – at least among corporate workers on the move, a new research study by World Wide Worx reveals. The report shows that the corporate use of WiFi – small networks that allow wireless access to the Internet – has fallen back after a steady rise in the previous three years. By contrast, the use of 3G – wireless broadband provided by the mobile networks – has rocketed.  “We have been warning for several years that commercial WiFi hotspots, especially in hotels and conference centres, are in danger of pricing themselves out of the market,” says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, who led the research. “And, now that a monthly subscription to a basic 3G service is cheaper than a few hours on most commercial hotspots, the chickens have come home to roost.

Seacom laying Africa undersea cable

Posted on November 22, 2007  /  0 Comments

Mauritius-based private equity venture Seacom has started the construction of a fibre optic cable that will link southern and east Africa with India and Europe.   The $650 million project covers more than 15,000 kilometres to link South Africa to India and France through Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania. It is expected to provide first broadband access to countries in East Africa, which are currently using satellite connections.   In a similar project, NEPAD e-Africa Commission signed a deal with an American firm 5-P Holdings in November 2007 for the construction of an undersea submarine cable to link every country in Africa with the outside world.   This is a joint project between African investors and US telecommunications development company Herakles Telecom.
The final report from the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR) 3rd research cycle has been released and can now be downloaded or ordered in hardcopy. Edited by Amy Mahan and William H. Melody, this most recent collection of the network’s research and case studies elaborates on inclusive and propoor strategies for extending network development. Title: Diversifying Participation in Network Development: Case studies and research from WDR Research Cycle 3 Editors: Amy Mahan and William H. Melody

Cell Phones Double as e-wallets in RP

Posted on October 4, 2007  /  1 Comments

Cell phones double as electronic wallets in RP By Oliver Teves Associated Press Last updated 10:42am (Mla time) 09/30/2007 Philippine Daily Inquirer SAN MIGUEL, Philippines–It’s Thursday, so 18-year-old Dennis Tiangco is off to a bank to collect his weekly allowance, zapped by his mother–who’s working in Hong Kong–to his electronic wallet: his cell phone. Sauntering into a branch of GM Bank in the town of San Miguel, Dennis fills out a form, sends a text message via his phone to a bank line dedicated to the service. In a matter of seconds, the transaction is approved and the teller gives him P2,500 (US$54), minus a 1-percent fee. He doesn’t need a bank account to retrieve the money. More than 5.

Mobile money in the Philippines

Posted on October 2, 2007  /  2 Comments

Cell phones double as electronic wallets – Yahoo! News Mobile banking services, which are also catching on in Kenya and South Africa, enable people who don’t have bank accounts to transfer money easily, quickly and safely. It’s spreading in the developing world because mobile phones are much more common than bank accounts. The system is particularly useful for the 8 million Filipinos — 10 percent of the country’s citizens — who work overseas and send money home, like Dennis’ mother, Anna Tiangco. Previously, she sent money via a bank wire transfer, which costs $2.
Chanuka Wattegama who authored the primer on the use of ICTs in disaster mitigation for the UNDP looks at the responses of littoral nations from South Africa to Thailand to the Bengkulu event. Nation special If the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a disaster marked by inaction, what happened on September 12, 2007 was marked by plenty of action, but a dearth of right action. It was certainly not an exemplary implementation of pre-determined and meticulously planned disaster avoidance activities. Did it make the vulnerable communities feel more secure? Or did it merely add to the confusion and chaos?

Telkom Kenya attracts 7 bidders

Posted on August 15, 2007  /  1 Comments

India’s MTNL, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications along with France Telecom, South Africa’s Telkom, British Telecom and Kuwait’s Alkazar are vying for a 51 per cent controlling share of Kenya’s sole provider of fixed line services. In Nairobi last week the plan to privatise Telkom Kenya was presented in detail at a two-day government-inspired and sponsored conference. It was very successful and the proposed sell-off of the the East African country’s state-run incumbent has now attracted seven potential bidders. Read more.
For World Telecom and Information Society Day, I wrote a column on the wrong-headed telecenter policy being implemented by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka with World Bank funds, where I referred to lessons from South Africa that were taken into account in the design, but ignored in the implementation. Here are some more lessons from Africa: Creative destruction: izi killed the public phones « abaporu project on technology appropriation All of a sudden, users don’t need the ‘public phones’ any more. In Senegal most of these télécentres have gone out of business. Bassirou Cissé, the general secretary of Unetts(*) says that “In 2000, there were 18,000 télécentres in Sénégal, accounting for 33% of the Senegalese operators’ revenues and 30,000 jobs. Today, most of them have closed down.
Tourists, businessmen and other travellers that might want to use their GSM handsets to roam around South Africa will henceforth face some intrusive bureaucracy before they can call home to enthuse about the delights of Cape Town or send pictures of the elephants and lions they see on safari. A new piece of legislation, the “Regulation of Interception of Communication Amendment Bill” now making its stately way through the South African parliament requires visitors to the country to go to a local services provider in person to register their name, address, passport number and a whole raft of other personal details before being allowed the privilege of using the GSM network. The new law will also require anyone who buys a mobile phone in South Africa to prove their identity and place of residence. Read more.
A version of the increasingly popular Linux operating system Ubuntu will be developed for use on net-enabled phones and devices. The Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded project aims to create the open source platform for initial release in October 2007. The operating system will be developed by members of the Ubuntu community, along with staff from chip giant Intel. Its development was prompted by the growth of power hungry portable devices that place new demands on software. “It is clear that new types of device – small, handheld, graphical tablets which are Internet-enabled – are going to change the way we communicate and collaborate,” said Ubuntu CTO Matt Zimmerman.
Report on the 11th LIRNE.NET Executive Training Course on Regulation, 25 February – 3 March 2007, conducted by LIRNEasia and CONNECTasia Forum Pte.Ltd.