RICA

Wednesday, November 17. 2010
RICA leaves subscribers vulnerable
RICA-registered South Africans are falling prey to unscrupulous marketers, as the entire SIM registration process is potentially open to abuse. However, mobile operators downplay this and are adamant their databases are secure, while also admitting the SIM registration Act does not clarify how personal details should be secured.

Interconnection

Thursday, July 1. 2010
Dirty tricks of telecoms interconnect laid bare
Vodacom, MTN and Cell C accused of dirty tricks in the local call termination market. Here are the accusations.

Vodacom to Icasa: give us your lunch money, or eat a lawyer sandwich
It takes a certain audacity, not to mention arrogance and long experience, to walk into a public hearing – open to any of your customers who may wander along – and tell the regulator that controls your entire industry to take a hike, because that regulator wants to force you to stop price-gouging your customers. That is pretty much how Vodacom approached the Independent Communications Authority of SA on Monday, and if ever there was proof that money spent on lawyers can be money well spent, this was it.

Internet 'kill switch'

Tuesday, June 22. 2010
Obama Internet 'kill switch' proposed
US President Barack Obama would be granted powers to seize control of and even shut down the Internet under a new bill that describes the global Internet as a US "national asset". Local lobby groups and academics have rounded on the plan, saying that, rather than combat terrorists, it would actually do them "the biggest favour ever" by terrorising the rest of the world, which is now heavily reliant on cyberspace. The proposed legislation, introduced into the US Senate by independent senator Joe Lieberman, who is chairman of the US Homeland Security committee, seeks to grant the President broad emergency powers over the Internet in times of national emergency.

PPI Act

Monday, June 21. 2010
Protection of Personal Information, marketing and communication
Businesses will have to dramatically rethink their marketing and communication strategies once the Protection of Personal Information (PPI) Bill is enacted into law.

Yay for not being called/called less by telemarketers!

Server hardware revolutionised

Friday, June 18. 2010
SeaMicro drops an atom bomb on the server industry
Coming out of stealth, SeaMicro is dispelling the Silicon Valley myth that you can't innovate in hardware anymore. The startup is announcing today it has created a server with 512 Intel Atom chips that gets supercomputer performance but uses 75 percent less power and space than current servers.

Incredible.

More from telecoms

Tuesday, June 15. 2010
Telkom under investigation
The Competition Commission will not back down in its investigations into alleged abuse of dominance by Telkom, despite the real possibility of Telkom going to court to stop the commission in its tracks. The commission expects Telkom to argue that it has no jurisdiction over the telecoms sector, a move that will be reminiscent of Telkom's failed court action last year. In 2009, the commission referred five complaints against Telkom to the Competition Tribunal – the country's highest competition authority.

Use Universal Service Funds to Pay for Civil Society Participation in Telecom Regulation
Telecommunications markets are notoriously difficult to regulate effectively. [...] One way that they achieve this is by taking advantage of the regulator’s function of public consultation to provide extensively-researched legal and economic arguments that defend their interests.

New sub cable...

Thursday, June 10. 2010
Mega submarine cable to rival Wacs
Yet another undersea cable system is coming to connect SA and other African countries to the global Internet, bringing the promise of an international bandwidth glut and lower broadband prices for consumers and businesses.

In the news: copyright debate and SA spectrum

Wednesday, June 9. 2010
Don't stop the Future!
Ox Wagons, Trains and Cars: Once upon a time farmers could only get their crops to market on ox wagons. A few of them used their own wagons but it took too long so most of them sold the food they grew to ox wagon owners who themselves could take the produce to market . The farmers often didn't get good prices especially those who were far away from towns. One day someone invented the combustion engine, and people started to make new machines; trains and cars. Trains could carry more food, faster and cheaper than ox-wagons. ...

Icasa under fire over spectrum auction
A top regulatory expert has lambasted the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) over its planned auction of spectrum for wireless broadband services, saying the process is deeply flawed.

September gone in November

Monday, June 7. 2010
Telkom CEO stepping down
Telecommunications group Telkom (TKG) on Friday confirmed the exit of its group CEO Reuben September but it provided no details as to why September would be stepping down. The company said September would retire from his position and resign his directorship at the expiry of his contract in November 2010.

Why September lost his job at Telkom
The ongoing poor performance at Telkom’s Multi-Links subsidiary in Nigeria may have been the trigger that group chairman Jeff Molobela needed to engineer the exit of the group’s CEO, Reuben September.

Lots of change...

What's the frequency...

Wednesday, May 26. 2010
Mixed views on spectrum plans
Industry representatives have greeted the Independent Communications Authority of SA's (ICASA's) spectrum auction plans with mixed reviews. One insider described them as “bizarre”, while another said they were at least better than the “beauty contest” first proposed.

Telkom in the news

Wednesday, May 26. 2010
Top Telkom execs take package
Two of Telkom's top executives, Thami Msimango and Naas Fourie, have taken voluntary retrenchment packages that the telecommunications utility has been offering as part of its downsizing exercise.

Telkom probes cable fraud allegations
Telkom has tasked a forensic investigator to look into allegations that high-level management staff colluded with security companies hired to protect Telkom's copper assets.

Lower Telkom tax urged
In what looks like an interim measure for Internet service providers (ISPs), the industry association is calling on the regulator to force Telkom to bring down line rental costs.

Oh wouldn't it be lovely?

Monday, May 17. 2010
Bring on 100 Mbps broadband: ICASA Councilor
Local broadband users have been spoilt with mobile broadband speeds of up to 21.1 Mbps, but on the fixed line side maximum ADSL speeds have remained at 4 Mbps for the last few years. Telkom is planning to increase speeds to 10 Mbps in the near future, but according to ICASA Councilor William Stucke we should look towards 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps connections to the home.

Universal access

Wednesday, April 21. 2010
Universal broadband by 2019 – Nyanda
South Africans will have universal access to broadband by 2019, communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda said in his budget speech in parliament on Tuesday. "We have finalised the broadband policy whose vision is to ensure that South Africans have universal access and services to broadband by 2019," Nyanda said. "The benefits accruing from the policy will include the provision of multimedia and e-government throughout the country."

Aaaarrrrr?

Wednesday, April 21. 2010
Piracy is not a crime
The Business Software Alliance's (BSA) efforts are being thwarted by a three-decades-old law, as the organisation tries to clamp down on piracy and stop money leaking out of the economy. As the law stands, end-user piracy is not a crime and is difficult to enforce as an infringement of copyright law. This law dates back to 1978 and the maximum fine that can be imposed on someone selling pirated software is R5 000 per ripped copy. The BSA says this is not enough, and penalties need to be harsher in order to trim the amount of piracy in SA. The latest figures from the IDC show that piracy went up a percentage point in SA between 2007 and 2008, which amounted to R3.1 billion in industry losses.

R. I. P. Bennie

Monday, April 19. 2010
Found out this morning that a past teacher at one of the schools we support passed away this weekend. He was a lovely guy with a kind heart and really passionate about seeing technology in schools - excited about the potential to make a difference in education to the underprivileged.  I hope his soul has found rest. He will be missed.