Browsing: Opinion

Gill Moodie

Vodacom plugs into The Grid

There’s a fascinating thing happening underground. If you’re over 35 you definitely won’t have heard of it. If you haven’t a clue how you surf the Net on your phone you won’t care. But if you’re a media player you really need to know.
With little fanfare, Vodacom has been growing a location-based social network called The Grid

Duncan McLeod

SA politicians play a dangerous game

Some commentators have speculated that the failure of talks between MTN and India’s Bharti Airtel points to a more protectionist approach by government. If so, it’s troubling. The country ought to be opening up to investors, not scaring them away

Justin Spratt

Can Cape Town become SA’s Silicon Valley?

Silicon Cape is a new initiative aimed at fostering technology innovation in the Western Cape. But will it fly? Cape Town already represents the technology hub of the Southern African region. And as one of SA’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, Yola.com founder Vinny Lingham, says

Dominic Cull

It takes two to termination tango

A flurry of initiatives aimed at achieving a reduction in mobile termination rates will provide interesting sidesdows, but beneath the politics of the moment, the real action remains an intimate dance between the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) and the mobile networks. The initial mobile termination rate, also known as interconnection rate, of 20c/minute was set between Vodacom and MTN on 8 August 1994. This was amended on 28 May 1999, shortly after it was announced by government that a third mobile cellular telecommunications licence would be issued.

Opinion

The wedding’s off but, for MTN, life goes on

After five months of wrangling, the second attempt by MTN and Bharti executives to form a mobile giant in emerging markets has collapsed, just short of the altar. Bharti says that the SA government kiboshed the deal: “This structure needed an approval from the government of SA, which has expressed its inability to accept it in the current form.”

Duncan McLeod

Time to unbundle the local loop

SA consumers got their first taste of a broadband price war last week when a small Internet service provider, Afrihost, slashed the price of bandwidth to below cost. It’s a promising start, but matters little until Telkom is forced to open its network to rivals. It was a ballsy move. Last week, Afrihost cut the cost of fixed-line bandwidth on broadband digital subscriber lines to just R29/GB. To put that in perspective, the average selling price for this type of bandwidth has, until now, been R50-R70/GB

Gisèle Wertheim Aymés

On the future of newspapers

First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan unwittingly sparked a public debate on the future of newspapers recently. Writing in the bank’s weekly e-mail newsletter, he asked employees whether they’d be willing to help the company save more than R1m/ year — and spare the environment — by reading news online instead of having it subscribe to newspapers. Business Day editor Peter Bruce picked up on this communication and challenged Jordaan’s views in defence of his paper’s print income stream

Duncan McLeod

Is Google bad news for news?

Is Google a friend of the media, or a foe that will undermine journalism? It’s a debate that’s been raging in media circles. But no-one has been able to agree: is Google bad news for the news business? Newspapers are in trouble, especially in developed economies. That much is clear. What’s open to debate is whether it’s the worldwide economic crisis that’s to blame or whether it’s more to do with newspaper readers abandoning newsprint for online news sources

Mark Pretorius

Ten questions every tech start-up should ask

The lack of venture capital (VC) in SA and other poorly served markets often forces local entrepreneurs to seek this type of funding abroad. But before making the long trip to Silicon Valley, start-up entrepreneurs should be prepared to answer some seemingly innocuous questions that have a far deeper meaning in the world of VC

Dave Gale

From digital janitors to enablers of business

No doubt your company’s IT department has had to do more with less recently. There’s an upside to the downturn though. Nothing focuses the corporate mind like a little cash-flow crisis. If you come out the other side of a recession in the same state of fitness as you went in, you’re at risk of getting mauled by the leaner, hungrier and more toned cats around you who have treated the economic crunch as a super-circuit for commerce.

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