It’s Friday again and that means another episode of SA’s business technology podcast, TalkCentral. This week, your hosts Duncan McLeod and Candice Jones delve into the ongoing drama at the department of communications, where fired communications department director-general Mamodupi Mohlala has been reinstated — at least for now — by minister Siphiwe Nyanda.
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It’s long been government’s desire to bridge the digital divide, to get communications technology in the hands of the rural poor. But its every attempt to address the problem has failed. Now commercial operators may achieve what government couldn’t. The late Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, the former communications minister, had her heart in the right place. She genuinely wanted people in underserviced areas to get access to the latest communications technology.
The seventh episode of SA’s business technology podcast, TalkCentral, is now available for download. This week, your hosts Duncan McLeod and Candice Jones talk about the significant flow of news around MTN’s interim financial results presentation, including plans by its SA subsidiary to build a rural broadband network. We also talk about Cell C’s problems trying to trademark its new logo, communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda’s press conference on digital terrestrial television, Vodacom in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Super 5 Media’s letter to Icasa.
The apparent collapse of pay-TV operator Super 5 Media is unfortunate. It means less chance of the kind of rivalry that fosters innovation and drives down prices. At the top end of the market, however, competition to DStv may come from a less obvious source. Super 5 Media, formerly known as Telkom Media, was cursed almost from the start. When Telkom, under former CEO Reuben September, decided to end its investment, the writing was already on the wall.
Episode 6 of SA’s business technology podcast, TalkCentral, is now available for download. This week, your hosts Duncan McLeod and Candice Jones reflect on Gareth Knight’s superb Tech4Africa conference. We also talk about Andile Ngcaba’s fibre network roll-out plan, Steve Song and the Mesh Potato project, Justin Spratt’s appointment as managing partner at Quirk eMarketing, the corruption allegations involving department of home affairs officials and Lefatshe Technology, Neotel’s launch of prepaid services
SA’s cellular communications market is about to get a big shake-up as two players, one new, Telkom Mobile, and one reinvigorated, Cell C, get ready to go toe to toe with each other and incumbents MTN and Vodacom. SA’s smallest mobile operator, Cell C, has never had an easy time of it. Launched a decade ago after a particularly troubled birth, the operator has faced an uphill battle against dominant incumbents MTN and Vodacom.
Episode 5 of SA’s business technology podcast, TalkCentral, is good to go. This week, your hosts Duncan McLeod and Candice Jones talk about Cell C’s dramatic overhaul, looking at its bold new branding strategy and its plans to build a powerful new network. We also talk about the apparent demise of Super 5 Media and the launch plans of Walking On Water Television, the increased bandwidth on the East African Submarine System cable, the changes to Nokia’s online music store.
Deputy home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba wants to introduce legislation that will compel Internet service providers to block pornographic material online. It’s all in the name of protecting the children, of course. According to a Sapa wire report last week, Gigaba intends “fast-tracking the passage of a yet-to-be-drafted law that will compel In- ternet service providers to filter content pro- vided to users to ensure it does not contain any pornography”.
When it comes to the latest handsets, consumers want to know more about the software they’re buying than the hardware specifications of the phone itself. This is driving big competitive changes in the smartphone market and reshaping an industry. A few years ago, buying a cellphone was a relatively trivial exercise.
Moments after we finished recording this week’s episode of the TalkCentral podcast, in which we speculated about the likely fate of communications department director-general Mamodupi Mohlala, the news came in that minister Siphiwe Nyanda had fired her. Fortunately — or, perhaps, unfortunately? — we weren’t too far off the mark in our pre-announcement speculation.