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.
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.”
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
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
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
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
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.
SA’s telecommunications industry is in such a poor state precisely because of secret deals done…
The global economy faces its worst crisis in decades. Though SA has lagged the rest of the world in the slowdown, there is no doubt we have had our fair share of negative consequences. There are signs, however, that the worst may be over. Recently published GDP figures indicate a deceleration in the rate at which the economy is
I know that this article is going shock you, but not in the way you expect, so buckle up. I have oversimplified the piece, but its essence is as true as you could wish for. The other day, I found a Telkom — in those days Posts & Telecommunications — internal “newspaper” called Postel, dated December 1982. The front page article — coincidentally written by myself at the time — described a 40% cut in international data communication tariffs based on X.75 packet-switching. Before the 40% cut, it cost, in today’s money, more than R10 000 to send 1MB of data. After the 40% cut, it cost only R6 000/MB — a bargain, with demand exceeding supply