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The Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC) 2013 will be held at the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, Western Cape from 1 – 4 September 2013. The theme of the conference is “Broadband – a catalyst for sustainable economic development and promoting digital inclusion”. The format will be similar to that of last year, with a mixture of high level panel discussions and technical presentations by international events experts on communications… (more)

Broadband for all! 20-20 Vision! Government to focus on broadband! How many more times will Government make these statements? From President Zuma to just about every ministry we hear about the wonderful plans about broadband yet they remain empty words. The minister of communications, Dina Pule, is fighting for survival. Pule is the subject of investigations by both the Parliamentary Ethics Committee and the Public Protector. The latter is expected to present the findings of its investigations by the end of this month… (more)

There was general optimism for telecommunications in Africa at AfricaCom 2012 held in Cape Town in November 2012. Many delegates spoke about how telecoms in Africa is taking off and how broadband is becoming available in many countries… (more)

The final regulations governing South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television were gazetted on 14 December 2012 and will ultimately make spectrum available for broadband applications. Broadband will be the ultimate winner but the question now is how long does industry have to wait before the allocations will be made and how will frequency spectrum be allocated?… (more)

Regulatory stagnation, indecision and misplaced ideologies are some of the reasons why broadband for all will likely remain a pipe dream for some time to come. Looking back over the past year, 2012 started with a promise from the Minister of Communication that she would intervene to get the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to speed up the process… (more)

Today’s world is about broadband, convergence and collaboration. When terrestrial trunked radio (Tetra) was developed as a secure mobile audio communication system aimed at the public safety market, there was no talk about broadband or sharing images and video. Over the past few years that has all changed. Public safety agencies now use video: sharing images and video of accidents or disaster scenes with the control room for analysing the situation and sharing advice on how to proceed. There is currently no mobile technology available to handle broadband which means that Tetra and other voice and narrowband data systems are the systems of choice… (more)

Communications companies have been experimenting with video conferencing technology since the late 1950s, but only with the advent of broadband internet and affordable web cameras during the late 1990s did the notion really take off. Video conferencing took an even greater step into mass use with the release of Microsoft Netmeeting 3.0 in 1999… (more)

In many conversations about cellular networks the discussion drifts to dropped calls. In my conversation with Karel Pienaar, MD of Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) we did eventually get around to this, in our hour-long coffee session… (more)

When reading this headline your first reaction may be “wishful thinking!” For South Africa, you would be right. For Australians it is a new reality. Their government recently announced a R300-billion project to provide broadband for all Australians by 2018… (more)

Broadband issues have again dominated the telecoms scene during the past year, but at a different level- moving from international connectivity to local backbone issues… (more)

EngineerIT posed the question “Have internet users been frustrated by over-promise and under-delivery?” to the panel comprising Arthur Goldstuck, World Wide Worx; Marius Vermeulen, Tarsus Technology; Colin Pinkham, MTN Business; Aingharan Kanagaratnam, Ericsson; Yaron Assabi, Digital Solutions Group and Tony Smallwood, Vodacom… (more)

Reliance on one cable for bandwidth is a risky business and can cause major disruptions and customer dissatisfaction, as was recently experienced with the disruption of the Seacom sub-marine cable… (more)

In many African countries news gathering and sport broadcasts have up to now been limited to one or two major cities, depriving viewers of local coverage of news and sporting events. New and smarter technology is fast changing that situation… (more)

While ADSL and even wireless has brought access to broadband within the reach of many South Africans, there are still areas of the country with little or no access to the internet, although Telkom offers limited VSat services with packages that combine internet with voice. But there is now light on the (broadband) horizon… (more)

At the recently-held Battle for Broadband Symposium arranged by EngineerIT, speakers offered many new insights into how the battle for broadband is being won. In many cases, not as fast as most of us would like but progress is being made. Speakers also offered insights into how businesses  both large and small will benefit from the broadband of tomorrow. They all believe that tomorrow is around the corner… (more)

Hans van de Groenendaal finds out in conversation with Martin Creaner why 4G wireless is the hottest issue in the telecoms world.  Creaner was in Johannesburg for Management World Africa 2010, hosted by the TM Forum of which he is the president and chief technical officer. With 4G wireless communications a regular discussion point, it was an opportunity to get his views on the 4G hype sweeping the telecommunications world… (more)

by Hans van de Groenendaal, feature editor, EngineerIT

There has been too much talk and too little action. It is now four months since the Seacom cable was switched on but little in the way of faster or cheaper broadband has hit the market. Today Screamer Telecommunications, a WiMAX  telecoms operator, got the ball rolling with the launch of  its ADSL broadband product  range, the flagship being the Unlimited ADSL line up, aggressively priced starting with Unlimited 384 kbps for R399 per month. It will be interesting who will follow next… (more)

There is a new buzzword in the telecoms dictionary –”neutrality”– defined by Encarta UK as the state of not taking sides. This could well describe the communications industry’s attitude to spectrum… (more)

At last the countdown to “affordable” broadband has begun, although no one is sure what the various companies that have secured bandwidth on the Seacom cable will be charging ISPs and what cost reduction or, alternatively, increased bandwidth the end-user can expect. The privately-owned Seacom cable will allow the provision of fully integrated network services… (more)

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