Cell C loses three top executives

Three top executives are leaving Cell C. This includes the company’s: Chief financial officer Tyrone Soondarjee. Chief procurement and property officer Sherhaad Kajee. Chief digital officer Nihmal Marrie. Soondarjee joined Cell C on 1 July 2017, and his departure at the end of May means he would have been at the company for 11 months. Before joining Cell C, Soondarjee was a financial director at the Sasfin Group, where he served on several boards at the company. Chief digital officer The City Press has now revealed that following Soondarjee’s departure,…

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ZTE must pay $1.3 billion fine to re-open in the United States

President Donald Trump said the U.S. would allow Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker ZTE Corp. to remain in business after paying a $1.3 billion fine, changing its management and board and providing “high-level security guarantees.” In a tweet Friday evening, Trump confirmed a deal that his administration had outlined for members of Congress, according to two people familiar with the matter. Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concern over his decision to soften an earlier U.S. action against ZTE over what his commerce secretary called “egregious” violations of sanctions on Iran and…

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The CTO who invented a new way of recording phone conversations

Rain CTO Gustav Schoeman had a unique path to becoming a high-level telecoms executive. Instead of working his way up the ranks, he was entrepreneurial – which propelled him to the top. Schoeman had a keen interest in technology from a young age and was always tinkering on something – from building electronics projects to writing software. He studied electric and electronic engineering, after which he worked at or founded a variety of tech startups. Early in his career he invented a new way of recording telephone conversations – which…

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HMD Global to aggressively expand its Nokia smartphone range

HMD Global, the company behind Nokia’s new smartphones, has raised $100 million from multiple investors to scale business operations. A company spokesperson stated that the funds will help the company scale its growth, following the success of its smartphone range. “This round of investment has been led by Geneva-based Ginko Ventures via Alpha Ginko Ltd,” stated the company. It takes HMD Global’s current market valuation to over $1 billion, giving it “unicorn status”. “HMD Global will be making strategic investments in scaling its fast-growing business operations. In 2018, the company plans…

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Mobile subscriber numbers in South Africa

Vodacom has released its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2018, stating it added 4.5 million subscribers during the financial year. Its prepaid customer base increased by 4.3 million, up 13.4%, and it added 229,000 contract subscribers. The growth was a result of its “segmented acquisition strategy,” said Vodacom. This includes its youth proposition called NXTLVL. Listed companies like Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom are required to release their subscriber figures regularly, while Cell C has previously released is user numbers. Active subscribers Vodacom’s latest results show it has 41.6 million…

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ZTE must change management to win US help

Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp. will have to change its management, including by possibly appointing new board members, to win a reprieve from U.S. sanctions that shut it off from key suppliers, the director of the White House National Economic Council said. “We’re not talking about letting them off scot-free by any stretch,” Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, said in an interview on Fox Business Network. “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is having a second look at remedies. If there are any structural changes in their case they…

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Vodacom and Remgro interested in buying Vumatel

CIV Holdings is in discussions to acquire Vumatel, which has built one of the largest open access fibre networks in South Africa, according to industry sources. In March 2018, Bloomberg reported that Remgro was in advanced talks to buy Vumatel as part of its strategy to consolidate the country’s expanding broadband infrastructure industry. MyBroadband has now learnt from sources that a potential acquisition of Vumatel will happen through CIV Holdings. Remgro is a 51% shareholder in CIV Holdings, which in turn owns numerous telecoms players – including Dark Fibre Africa…

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Vodacom expects continued data growth in South Africa

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the company sees high potential for continued growth in South Africa, speaking at the company’s financial results presentation at Vodacom World in Midrand on 14 May 2018. Joosub said the potential for growth in data revenue in particular remains high. “The opportunity for data growth in South Africa is strong,” said Joosub. Vodacom’s total subscriber base in South Africa now sits at 41.6 million, of which 18.7 million use data bundles. The operator’s 4G customer base is now at 7.3 million. Joosub added that data…

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ZTE ceases major operations – South African mobile networks respond

ZTE recently announced it had ceased operations after it was banned from purchasing technology products from companies in the United States. The Chinese company was served with a seven-year ban from buying US technology products after it was found to have violated sanctions involving bonuses issued to employees who shipped telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea. ZTE manufactures telecommunications equipment which is used in mobile network infrastructure around the world, including South Africa. Networks and operators are closely monitoring the situation and the impact it could have, and MyBroadband spoke…

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Being in the right place at the right time

Vodacom CTO Andries Delport credits his rise to the top to hard work and being in the right place at the right time when the cellular industry took off in South Africa. Delport had a love for science and technology from an early age, which informed his decision to study engineering. After completing his electronic engineering degree, he started a job at an AECI chemical plant in Sasolburg where he earned R1,250 per month. He soon moved to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as a project manager…

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