We’re back. Yes, after a three-week break — during which time TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod went adventuring in the Namibian sand dunes — SA’s business technology podcast, TalkCentral, is back for its 10th episode. And there’s plenty to talk about this week.
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Events conspired against us and we missed last week’s TalkCentral recording. But we’re back with a bumper episode 9 of SA’s business technology podcast, and there’s plenty to talk about. Your hosts, Duncan McLeod and Candice Jones, delve in detail into Cell C’s launch of its broadband wireless network and look at how it’s taking the fight to bigger rivals MTN and Vodacom.
South Africans are a cynical lot. When it comes to telecommunications, that cynicism is often justified. Too often, SA operators are big on promises and short on delivery. But Cell C’s new strategy may indeed shake up SA broadband. Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt is a dynamic and colourful character. His colleagues at the cellular network operator say he works harder than anyone they’ve met, often pulling stints late into the night and insisting that his team be available to work similarly long hours.
Sentech is dysfunctional. That’s the gloomy picture painted by the state-owned company’s board in a presentation it was meant to give to parliament last week. But the company was prevented from delivering the presentation, entitled “Strategic Plan 2010 – 2011” because it failed to supply supporting documentation, needed by members of parliament ahead of time, before the scheduled meeting.
With more than half a dozen SA operators rolling out their own national networks, consolidation in SA’s telecommunications industry looks inevitable. There’s a chance Cell C and Dimension Data could be the ones to kick it off. Didata division Internet Solutions looks a bit like the odd man out these days. The converged service provider, which remains a powerful force in the corporate market, is the only big player in its space that doesn’t have its own significant investment in telecoms infrastructure.
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.
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.