telecommunications

Fixed-Line Broadband Use Declines in SA

Fixed-line broadband use in South Africa continues to decline as more users switch to cellphone Internet connections - which are more expensive but more convenient.

Fixed-line penetration has fallen to fewer than four million connections this year, compared with 5.5 million connections 12 years ago.

Last year there were enough cellphones in circulation for every South African to have one.

African Knowledge Economy Require ICT Policy

MTN chief executive officer, Karel Pienaar, says that a solid policy framework for information communication technology (ICT) is critical for a knowledge economy to be established in Africa.

Speaking at the inaugural ICT Indaba this week, Pienaar explained that a comprehensive policy environment is a critical success factor if Africa is to embrace the impact the knowledge economy can have on job creation and economic development.

He noted that Africa has the fastest-growing telecommunications sector in the world, thanks mainly to the adoption of mobile technology.

Vodacom Puts Journalism Awards on Hold

Mobile operator, Vodacom, has announced the annual Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards will not take place this year.

The telecommunications group states that it needs time to revitalise the awards, which are among the most lucrative in the country with a first prize of R125 000, a matching award of R125 000 for a charity of the winner’s choice and more than 15 individual national winners receiving R15 000 each.

Cell C Cuts Prepaid Rates

Mobile operator, Cell C, has cut prepaid call tariffs by more than 34 percent, bringing them lower than contract call rates for the first time in 18 years.

Cell C CEO, Alan Knott-Craig, who promised to shake up the cellphone industry when he joined Cell C last month, introduced a new prepaid package with prices reduced by 34 percent to an all-day rate of 99c a minute, with per-second billing from the first second.

Weak Regulation Blamed for Higher Data Prices

Research ICT Africa says that weak regulation in South Africa has driven up mobile data pricing, pushing the country down to 30th out of 46 African countries surveyed.

Research ICT Africa executive director, Dr Alison Gillwald, points out that, "The fact of the matter is that we don’t have an as highly competitive market as they have in many other African countries, nor as effective regulation...”

Another Broadband for Africa in 2012

France Telecom says a fibre-optic cable from France to South Africa will go online in the second half of 2012, bringing high-speed internet links to a host of west African countries.

In a press statement, France Telecom, which heads the 17-member consortium running the project, says the 17 000km underwater Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable was originally due to become operational in early 2012.

Technology Eyed to Improve Lives of Women

An all women delegation of technology innovators from the United States recently visited Liberia to explore how mobile technology could be used to improve the lives of women.

The head of the delegation, Professor Ann Marie Slaughter from Princeton University, said Liberia was chosen as a destination because many women are playing key leadership roles.

Slaughter further said the delegation examined how people could use the Internet to connect with opportunities, adding that more work needs to be done to improve the infrastructure of the Internet.

Satellite to Boost Internet Connectivity in Africa

The R250 million satellite designed for the African market will be launched on 29 March 2011 with promises of providing more bandwidth to the continent.

The satellite, New Dawn, which is partly owned by former Department of Communications director-general, Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners, will sit 36 000 kilometers above Africa and will deliver telephony, broadband Internet access and media content to most of the continent for at least 15 years.

New Broadband Network for SA

Cell C, Internet Solutions and Convergence Partners are developing a new broadband network that will provide world-class broadband connectivity, according to FibreCo Telecommunications.

In a press statement, spokesperson, Suzanne Jefferies, states that the network will be an open-access long-haul terrestrial fibre optic broadband network, which would help with the national transmission infrastructure.

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