Mobile and Telecoms

Vuma Survey Reveals SA Townships Are Embracing Fibre at Increased Rates

Image sourced from Newsweek. South African fibre internet provider Vuma’s 2021 Fibre Reach Survey indicates that considerably more homes are upgrading to fibre internet in township communities. In addition, more people are now streaming content and opting for a fixed internet fee in 2021 compared to the previous year. Vuma’s survey reveals that almost all surveyed township residents (96%) now understand the benefits of upgrading to uncapped high-speed fibre internet, contributing to this technology’s high uptake. In addition, most residents (90%) see the value they’re getting from their fibre internet as a much more affordable pre-paid internet option. “Our most recent survey shows that more people across South Africa’s township communities realise how this technology can revolutionise how...

Cell C’s Recapitalisation Finally Concludes: The Details

Blue Label Telecoms, together with various subsidiaries, has today concluded binding long-form agreements with Cell C and various Cell C financial stakeholders, including different shareholders and creditors to complete the recapitalisation of the struggling South African telecom. In terms of the deal, Cell C will be restructured and refinanced with the purpose of deleveraging its balance sheet, providing it with liquidity with which to operate and grow its businesses and position itself to achieve long-term success for the benefit of its customers, employees, creditors, shareholders and its other stakeholders. Cell C has implemented a turnaround strategy, focusing on operational efficiencies, reducing operational expenditure and optimising traffic. This includes a significant reduction in...

MTN SA Announces 2 New Executive Appointments

MTN SA today announced a review of its executive structure as the company gears up to deliver on its Ambition 2025 strategy to transform from a Telco to a TechCo. In line with this strategic shift, the company has appointed Ernst Fonternel into the role of Chief Consumer Officer and Divyesh Joshi into the role of Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. Both appointments were recruited internally and are effective 1 October.   The new executive structure also sees the introduction of two new roles including that of Chief Commercial Operations Officer and Chief Risk Officer. Active recruiting for these positions is currently underway.  “The current top-tier structure has been optimal to enable us to evolve and grow the business to where we are today. However, in pursuit of Ambit...

SA Startup NoPBX Expands to Namibia

Image sourced from Iberdrola.com. NoPBX, South Africa’s own locally developed cloud PBX-over-GSM solution, has expanded its services to Namibia. Launched in SA at the end of 2020, NoPBX says it has enjoyed rapid growth since then amongst small and medium-sized businesses – the “SME” market – boasting clients across all industries, from agriculture and technology to hospitality, events, doctors and lawyers. The unique NoPBX platform allows any business to set up their own business switchboard and be active in minutes, including choosing their own telephone numbers, and using just their existing cellphones. In fact, the name NoPBX is a play on the fact that with a NoPBX system you need none of the usual items needed for a phone system – no technical assistance, no physical phone lines o...

South Africa’s Cell C Continues to Bleed Money, Reports Main Stakeholder

One of South Africa’s largest telecoms, Cell C, made a loss of nearly $150-million between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2022, according to a report from Blue Label Telecoms, which bought a 45% stake in the company in 2017. In a statement released last year, Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson said that Cell C’s financial performance had improved, making a net profit of $9.8-million, and the business was making “good progress on the implementation of our new business model and the introduction of new products to market.” Cell C also said it had grown its subscribers from 11.7-million in H1 2020 to 13 million by the end of 2021. But despite its growth in users it continued to post losses in revenues. At that time the company said that the contract and broadband revenue decreases were in line with...

SA’s Communication Regulator Names New Acting CEO as Former Boss Jumps to MTN

Advocate Norman Gidi, newly appointed acting CEO of Icasa. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has announced the appointment of Norman Gidi as its acting CEO, effective 1 September 2022. This comes as current boss Willington Ngwepe departs to serve in a top position at MTN Group. According to a statement by Icasa, Gidi will assume leadership of the regulator until the end of November, or until a permanent appointment is made. Former CEO Ngwepe is expected to leave Icasa on 31 August, following his resignation. Ngwepe has been appointed to serve as MTN’s chief of staff in the office of Group CEO Ralph Mupita. He had been at Icasa for the last 8 years, joining first as COO. Incoming boss Gidi has a longer tenure at Icasa under his belt, joining the public regulat...

Nigeria’s 5G Launch is Finally Here

Sourced from the Guardian Nigeria. In a historic moment for Nigerian telecoms, MTN Nigeria has today officially turned on its fifth-generation (5G) mobile internet services at 190 sites across the West African country, with the main concentration of sites in Lagos and Abuja, according to BusinessDay. Some users in these areas are reportedly already experiencing internet speeds greater than 1.4GBs per second. The country’s National Communication Commission (NCC) had previously set Wednesday 24 August as the date for the rollout of 5G after nearly 3 years of preparation from the Federal Government. Nigeria now joins South Africa and Kenya as the three African nations to launch 5G services. South Africa received 5G first in 2019 through a humble rollout by provider Rain, while Kenya saw Safar...

Openserve Officially Connects Google’s Equiano Cable to South Africa

Openserve has landed Google’s Equiano cable in the Western Cape, South Africa. The landing crew awaits the subsea cable to approach the shore. Openserve, one of South Africa’s largest network infrastructure providers, announced that it has facilitated the landing of the Equiano subsea cable, the world’s largest undersea cable that runs along the west coast of Africa, from Europe to Melkbosstrand, Cape Town. The Google Equiano undersea cable system arrived at the Openserve cable station facility in Melkbosstrand on Monday, 8 August 2022. Openserve’s cable station facility will serve as the SA landing station and will offer terrestrial services, connecting the cable landing to South African carrier-neutral data centres. “The landing of the Equiano undersea cable marks a significant mom...

Liquid Continues to Expand Across Zambia

Image sourced from Insurance Chat. The Zambian arm of Liquid Intelligent Technologies (Liquid), a business of Cassava Technologies has today announced that it is expanding its operations to the country’s Central Province by launching its first office in Mkushi. The company says that this launch will bring high-speed connectivity and a suite of intelligent technologies to the district for the first time. Commenting on the increasing footprint in the country, Mark Townsend, CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies Zambia, said, “Mkushi is an agriculture town well-known for its large commercial farms. We realised that this underserved community is key to ensuring that we take one more step towards creating a digitally connected future that leaves no Zambian behind.” “The proliferation of high-s...

MTN SA’s Airfibre Offering Surges Across 3.1 Million Homes in Just 1 Year

MTN South Africa says that its airfibre offering, MTN Supersonic, has seen enormous growth since launching in March 2021, with the product now being used in over 3.4-million homes. Airfibre, like Supersonic’s, leverages Gigabit 1 (G1) Radio to transmit internet data, unlike with traditional fibre cables. MTN says Airfibre uses open spectrum frequencies, which lowers the cost to customers. Users simply need the installation of an A4-sized antenna at their home and this antenna will then communicate with the radio equipment attached to an MTN mobile tower. MTN says that after passing 10,759 homes in the first month after launching in March, the rate of growth increased rapidly to reach 3.1 million homes in one year. This has continued to reach over 3.4 million in May this year. “We are conti...

Telkom is Now Offering Small Business Funding Up to R5-Million

Telkom Business has announced today the launch of Telkom Lend, a new service to enable small businesses to apply online for funding and get an answer within 24 hours. Telkom says that Telkom Lend is an end-to-end digital process means no paperwork, no long queues and no waiting for a response from a financial institution. This marks a further fintech option by the South African telecom. “Business funding from Telkom Lend will ensure that small businesses are able to scale and grow with fast funding without the need to put up any collateral,” says Sibusiso Ngwenya, ME, Telkom Financial Services. “This also means that businesses take control of their payments. With funding offers ranging from R20,000 ($1,200) to R5-million ($300,000) depending on monthly turnover, funding can be paid back ov...

MTN Users Can Get 3GBs of Free Data by Using This Web Browser

Image sourced from Iberdrola.com. Opera, the company that maintains the Opera and Opera Mini web browsers has partnered with MTN South Africa to provide South African users with 3GB each of free data per month while they are using Opera internet browsers. The offer is effective immediately with no sign-up required by users, only that they browse the internet using Opera browsers and be using MTN as their operator. The company says that in July 2022 alone, Opera and MTN delivered a total of 17.7 petabytes (1 petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of free data to 5.9 million users in South Africa. Opera says that this initiative is in part to provide more free data and internet access to more people, working toward closing the digital divide. “We intrinsically agree with this view and believe that hig...