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Are wearables the next wave in the BYOD trend? Why most experts fear for the future of technology

Conciel

Enabling Africa Conciel is evolving as fast as the needs of Africans to develop the communications on which economic development depends


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technology

Are wearables the next wave in the BYOD trend?

Companies can’t afford to ignore the incoming tide of wearables and how a bit of forward thinking can harness wearables in the bring your own device (BYOD) trend.

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technology

Managing the Cybersecurity Challenge - Boards must be able to hack it!

With the increasing occurrence of cybersecurity breaches, what must executives do to find the optimum formula to prevent future violations.

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Why most experts fear for the future of technology Tech expert & macroeconomist explains Moore’s law and what needs to change.

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cover story

18 Conciel

Enabling Africa Conciel is evolving as fast as the needs of Africans to develop the communications on which economic development depends.

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Neotel

Providing coverage and connectivity Neotel has risen to the point where it stands among the top-tier telecommunications businesses on the African continent.

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Angola Cables

Out of the depths Angola Cables is laying a cable across the Atlantic Ocean: this is a project with profound implications for global and regional telecommunications.

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Are wearables the next wave in the BYOD trend? Companies can’t afford to ignore the incoming tide of wearables and how a bit of forward thinking can harness wearables in the bring your own device (BYOD) trend Words by

Ilkka Artimo

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he wearable technology market is beginning to gain traction with consumers and in the enterprise. A wide range of fitness tracking gadgets has hit the market already and they’re generating new data streams that represent huge untapped potential. Many of the big mobile players are unveiling smart watches and we’re seeing other categories like smart glasses offering unique solutions to common business problems. “In 2013, the global smartwatch industry reached a global market volume of USD 700 million, ten times the size of 2012. In 2014, the industry will grow to USD 2.5 billion – 5% the size of the watch industry. In the years to follow, the smartwatch industry will keep growing at a 3-digit rate,” said Pascal Koenig, managing director of the Smartwatch Group, to Forbes earlier this year. We haven’t seen growth like that since the smartphone took off and the rise in wearables has similar implications for the enterprise. The BYOD trend brought productivity boosts and enabled mobile workspaces that would have been impossible before the smartphone. The challenge was to manage security and compliance issues without creating barriers for employees accessing work systems around the clock from any location.

They can harvest useful personal data that can be analyzed to provide real insights for any business. They also allow for information to be presented to the user in new ways. Augmented reality has huge potential to guide employees with everything from basic navigation to complex repair procedures, and wearables represent a better delivery system than smartphones or tablets. Information overlays, video, and audio streams through wearables could dramatically reduce training costs. Augmented reality can also increase efficiency and reduce the scope for human error. This is about more than the hardware, though. Software will really unleash the potential.

Extending the smartphone The majority of the first wave of wearables will be tethered to smartphones and tablets. Trackers, watches, and glasses can extend the usefulness of mobile technology. The right wearable will dictate smartphone choice, as the iWatch will only work with the iPhone, the Moto 360 will only work with an Android.

Feeding data into enterprise apps It was the app revolution that drove smartphone adoption and there’s a thriving market in enterprise apps that enable companies to collaborate and administer every facet of their business. As cognizant computing takes off and we begin to generate more complex personalized data streams establishing secure

“In 2014, the global smartwatch industry will grow to USD 2.5 billion – 5% the size of the watch industry”

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technology

“In 2014, the global smartwatch industry will grow to USD 2.5 billion – 5% the size of the watch industry”

mobility solutions that connect wearables, smartphones, and enterprise apps together seamlessly becomes vital. “By 2017, Gartner predicts that wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total app interactions,” suggested research director Brian Blau in a Gartner press release. Mobile workspaces are all about freeing employees to collaborate and get productive with any device wherever and whenever they are able. From the desktop to the laptop, from the smartphone to the smartwatch, bringing useful hardware together with purpose-built enterprise apps can take businesses to the next level. But it must be handled carefully. Privacy could be a thorny issue for employees. Will they accept tracking by company devices or be comfortable allowing employers to access their own wearables? There has to be a clear divide between work and personal lives. A holistic view is required that caters for security, provides management tools and oversight, and delivers a truly agile mobile workspace. Starting with a well thought out Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) policy will boost the chances of success.

incoming tide, just as they couldn’t with smartphones and tablets. A bit of forward thinking can harness wearables as the next wave in the BYOD trend. There’s no fundamental shift here in the way the technology works or accesses data. In fact the heavy reliance on existing mobile hardware and software for pioneering wearables should help to ease the transition. An end-to-end system building on EMM policies to secure devices, applications, and data can certainly encompass wearables. A safe and secure foundation will enable wearable technology to proliferate inside the enterprise without the uncertainty and challenges that accompanied the original BYOD trend. A mobility solution like Fujitsu’s Managed Mobile powered by Citrix XenMobile Enterprise can ensure secure mobile workspaces, leaving businesses free to explore the potential of wearable technology, keeping the focus on increased productivity and delivering business value for customers.

Managed mobile solutions While wearable technology certainly brings new possibilities, much of the potential is yet to be tapped. Hardware will evolve and software will be written to leverage it to maximum advantage, but the enterprise needs to prepare today. With consumer interest already piqued, it’s only a matter of time before wearables are flooding into workplaces and being tethered to mobile devices with workplace access. Companies can’t afford to ignore the

Ilkka Artimo is based in Helsinki, Finland and is the Managed Mobile Solution Owner for Fujitsu, the leading Japanese information and communication technology company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 162,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. www.fujitsu.com/global

About the author

Ilkka Artimo

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Managing the cybe

Boards must be

With the increasing occ breaches, what must e optimum formula to p Words by

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Robin M


ersecurity challenge -

e able to hack it!

currence of cybersecurity executives do to find the prevent future violations

Murray Brown

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he increasing occurrence of cybersecurity breaches – such as the recent case at eBay when it is believed more than 145 million user accounts were infiltrated – is causing executives around the globe to seek ever more sophisticated solutions to prevent future violations . As they review their procedures, tighten their operational environment and add additional levels of security, finding the optimum formula is still proving elusive. Advances in security architecture and cyber-defence tactics have helped address some risks, but they are inefficient and unsustainable when faced with the more adaptive, embedded and interconnected capability of the current threat. Strengthening network resilience is important but management responses seem overwhelmingly reactive. The criminal cyber threat is nimble and intensely focused and, thanks to its financial success to date, has the wherewithal to invest in innovation and scale, often leaving corporate security trailing in its wake.  Given that the cost of cybercrime to the UK is currently estimated to be between £18 billion and £27 billion, it is essential that boards play a more proactive role.  At an operational level, working on the basis that they will be faced with a cyber-attack at some point, leadership teams need to anticipate the business risk and develop counter-measures and business continuity plans which will minimise the disruption. 

“we are starting to see the creation of a new senior role on the leadership team, that of the Chief Security Officer (CSO)” 12

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But how do they do this and who should be in charge of driving the corporate agenda on cybersecurity? As boards acknowledge that technology on its own is not enough, companies need the addition of strong, well-organised management with a broad range of technical and non-technical capabilities. In many instances, the responsibility for cybersecurity falls on the CIO. This is perfectly understandable but IT risk and information security have now become business issues and not simply technical ones. Additionally, there is no department that is immune to a cyberattack, or that shouldn’t consider that certain activities undertaken within that department may give rise to a security breach, generated either internally or externally. The challenge here is to oversee the organisation’s enterprise-wide risk management in an effective way that balances managing risks while adding value to the organisation. In an increasing number of companies, we are starting to see the creation of a new senior role on the leadership team, that of the Chief Security Officer (CSO). Whilst the position of Head of Security is not new, the role has changed considerably in scope of responsibility. Some organisations are also distinguishing between the Head of Physical Security and the Head of Data Security. Working alongside the CIO, the CFO and others, one of the CSO’s responsibilities is to advise the board and senior executive team on existing risk management procedures. He/she must be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of these procedures in identifying, assessing, and managing the organisation’s most significant enterprise-wide risk exposures. As boards consider these risks, they must decide whether their current risk oversight and governance processes enable


technology

them fully to understand the potential impact on corporate strategy. The CSO’s position must interface with other business areas such as IT, Legal, Human Resources, operations and corporate communications. Therefore, even though heads of IT possibly could take on this role, suitable candidates must have a strong commercial ethos as well, with a global view on the impact of the cyber threat and a solid understanding of the changing threat landscape. The scope of this level of awareness needs to encompass a range of assets, systems and activities, including some perhaps not previously considered as ‘at risk’.  These will include assets held by external organisations – such as suppliers – since attacks frequently come indirectly through these third parties. Earlier this year, Target, the USA’s second largest discount retailer reported that the personal information of as many as 110 million customers was compromised after hackers reportedly installed malware onto the retailer’s point-of-sale machines through one of its suppliers. Given the need to establish a balance between creating and sustaining a secure environment, whilst also enabling end-users to work unhindered, an experienced CSO should also be a strong team player capable of embracing and managing change and collaborating with others through information and intelligence sharing. Finding someone with the right credentials for the role is a challenge. Growing demand is already outstripping supply of the most qualified people, so CEOs may need to consider executives who have some – but maybe not all – the skills required, and provide the time and facilities for that person to develop accordingly. How the board views and responds to the cyber threat is equally important. As

“the cyber threat is a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’, and organisations need to prepare accordingly”

with many aspects of the board’s role, this is as much about knowing what questions to ask – and being satisfied as to the quality of the answers – as it is about expert or technical knowledge. Indeed, discussing the technical minutiae is almost certainly not the best use of the board’s time. Rather, and this will become increasingly an issue to be reviewed in annual reports and regulatory processes, the board will need to demonstrate to stakeholders – investors, customers, employees and regulators where relevant – that they are fulfilling their responsibility of assurance: setting the strategic framework and holding management to account. In the final analysis, the cyber threat is a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’, and organisations need to prepare accordingly, even though the nature and target of the threat are constantly changing . What hasn’t changed, however, is the responsibility of security specialists, management teams and boards to provide technical capability, business resilience and strategic oversight respectively.

About the author

Robin Murray Brown Partner at executive search consultants, Tyzack. www.tyzackpartners.com

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Why most experts fear for the future of technology Tech expert and macroeconomist explains Moore’s Law and what needs to change Words by

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Apek Mulay

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echnology moves so fast today that many of us, upon buying a brand new electronic device, may wonder how long it’ll take before the product is old news. Is it less than a year; a few months; as soon as you pull it out of its packaging? Throughout most of human history, the same methods and tools of trades were handed down generation after generation. How is it that, these days, cutting-edge technology earns antique status in less than a decade? The shortest answer is found in Moore’s Law, says tech expert and macroeconomist Apek Mulay. “Moore’s Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, is the observation that, in computing hardware, the size of transistors on a chip shrinks, enabling the number of transistors on a chip to roughly double every two years, thereby increasing their capacity for computation and energy,” says Mulay, author of Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival, which presents solutions to the economic problems threatening the United States and global semiconductor industry. “ M oore’s L aw has profound implications both for technology and the national and global economy. As long as it can be sustained, we can continue benefitting from the technological innovations and new consumer electronic goods.”

While Moore’s Law is, on the one hand, a law of physics, many semiconductor industry professionals believe that the economics of manufacturing – specifically, the high costs of investments in shrinking transistor dimensions – will force its premature end. That would be disastrous for the economy – the end of growth for a huge sector, and associated sectors which depend upon it. Moore’s Law can easily continue for the foreseeable future if the chip manufacturing industr y becomes sustainable by having a balanced economy, he says. That will require some major macro-economic reforms. Mulay offers three remedies: 1. Refuse to accept monopoly capitalism in the global semiconductor industry In 1968, 256KB worth of memory for a mainframe computer would have cost you $100,000. Today, eight gigabytes of memory costs just $6. However, while the price of the basic technology has plunged steeper and faster than Moore predicted, the cost to consumers of products utilizing that technology is still high. The plunging prices from the progress of Moore’s law have mainly benefitted the highest income earners, including investors, due to monopoly capitalism. Government sanctioned monopolies

“Moore’s Law has profound implications both for technology and the national and global economy. As long as it can be sustained, we can continue benefitting from the technological innovations and new consumer electronic goods”

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technology

“In 1968, 256KB worth of memory for a mainframe computer would have cost you $100,000. Today, eight gigabytes of memory costs just $6”

have succeeded in maintaining artificially high prices at the retail level in order to protect their profits and share value. 2. Implement a system of neo-cooperative ownership of companies by their employees Company decisions should not be controlled by outside investors due to their ownership. Instead, mass ownership and neo-cooperative management by a company’s employees not only benefits them but America’s overall national interests while helping to sustain Moore’s law. Employee owned/ operated companies are examples of mass capitalism as opposed to monopoly capitalism, which is driven almost entirely by profit seeking nonemployee investors. The manipulation of pricing endemic to monopoly capitalism is contributing to the early demise of Moore’s Law. Another benefit: Firms that are owned and guided by employees would provide better benefits to their workers, freeing the government of this task and reducing its deficits. 3. Reform our political system in order to mitigate the power of special interests In order to make the necessary

economic changes, we’ll have to reform our political democracy. Rather than having special interests and deep pockets dictate federal policy, power must be restored to the electorate. Representatives and senators should poll their constituents on a wide range of issues, from maintaining the military industrial complex to how best to deliver equitable health care. We should also consider decentralizing the Federal Election Commission in favor of putting such power and influence on the local level, thereby focusing democracy on localized issues. A civilian democracy can work successfully on a national level only when it can work at the grassroots level.

About the author

Apek Mulay Apek Mulay is CEO of Mulay’s Consultancy Services, a senior analyst and macroeconomist in the United States semiconductor industry and author of the new book, Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival. www.apekmulay.com

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Enabling

Africa Conciel Conciel is evolving as fast as the needs of Africans to develop the communications on which economic development depends

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ased in Lagos, Nigeria and run by Michel Maalouf the energetic Lebanese entrepreneur who founded it in 2005, Conciel started life as a management consultancy business, focusing on software solutions for communications and assisting companies to get ISO certifications in quality management or environmental performance, or to manage their data and automate their workflow. The company forged a niche for itself in telecommunications, later focusing on data centre management. As we reported in an article we published as recently as April this year Conciel’s core solutions for the market had emerged as electronic document management systems (EDMS), computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) and risk business inspection (RBI) tools and more recently DCIM (data centre information management). One might have thought that not much would have changed in the space of eight months, and certainly the company has continued to grow its client base for these products. But some companies and some individuals are more restless and more agile than others. Conciel and Maalouf are among these. As we shall see, the scope of the company is growing rapidly. He has for some time been aware that data centres are not the sole domain of telecoms these days, and is actively pushing out his services to the banking and power generation sectors. Data centres have two

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“We make everything ready for the client to simply plug in their server - they don’t need to worry about power supply, cooling, fire safety or anything else”

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Conciel

“Conciel goes much further, devising, designing and managing all the service and software applications that the client might require” interdependent sides to them, he explains. Active equipment includes the switches and the servers that store and transmit the data and which is bought in from global suppliers like IBM and Ericsson. Passive infrastructure is the domain of Conciel. “We make everything ready for the client to simply plug in their server - they don’t need to worry about power supply, cooling, fire safety or anything else.” That’s when the data centre is set up, but Conciel goes much further, devising, designing and managing all the service and software applications that the client might require. This is the software as a service (SaaS) model, in which the system is put in place and maintained on behalf of the client in a way that the end users, their customers, can log into and use without problems - the client settles a monthly bill just like any utility. This is the kind of service that Conciel is offering its clients across west and central Africa, operating in the fields of telecommunications, oil and gas, facilities management, food and beverage, manufacturing, logistics and water supply. However during the course of this year the company has added a number of important additional services, and is well advanced with some other packages that really amount to diversification, so far do they take the basic proposition. First off is a software package specifically targeted at telecoms operators who are having to find new ways to control

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costs while still offering the services and products that customers want, at the level of service they demand. “Price Simulator is a software tool that allows service providers to model complex pricing scenarios with dragand-drop ease, ensuring margins are in line with corporate objectives before new services are launched. It is a software that reads the data of the consumers in the database and runs certain algorithms that propose for the operator the best package that fits each consumer.” For example if a consumer shows a pattern of frequent calls to family members it can identify that pattern, and next time the caller has occasion to contact the call centre the agent may propose a lower cost ‘friends and family’ option. The customer wins because calls are cheaper, and the operator wins by retaining the customer - and perhaps make even more money from his increased usage. That’s a very simple example that only scratches the surface of Price Simulator’s functionality. To cite another scenario, it allows marketing teams to work independently from IT. They can easily access all the data and reports they need without having to rely on other departments. This can save hours, days, and even weeks of valuable time. Conciel is selling Price Simulator into the West African market under an agreement with its developer, Redknee of Canada and has already provided it to one major operator, Etisalat Nigeria. The UAR company entered the Nigerian market in 2008, since when it has seen unprecedented growth with over 15 million subscribers to whom it offers world-class telecommunications services. Another new platform that promises to make a serious difference to the way mobile

“Conciel has developed Contromote, a unique solution with added value features”

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Conciel

larger opportunities. Still in the banking is done in Nigeria is at Did you know? telecommunications space, he is an earlier stage. “Banking is a developing a range of services to new sector for us,” says Maalouf. operators to help them manage “Again this is a SaaS solution, 2005 the mobile networks. Masts but unlike the much vaunted Michel Maalouf require a lot of maintenance, mobile banking solutions that founded Conciel not often an easy task in Africa. operate on basic cellphones, They all need power. Some rely this is a concept that runs on the 7 on diesel, others have already banks’ servers, not SMS. So the Countries in invested in solar power, but end user is only being charged Africa where Conciel has now developed a for the bank transaction, not for Conciel is active solution that can be used by a the text message.” An additional telecom operator, but is also advantage of the system is that suitable for lighting up an entire it can encompass NFC (nearrural community in places where it unrealistic field communication) transactions, meaning to think of connecting it to the grid. “In that the customer can use it at the point of the coming year we will be marketing an sale in the growing number of retail outlets independent power plant - one that we can that using this type of technology. NFC utilises design, import the equipment, install it and electromagnetic radio fields and is more secure test it just as we already do for data centres.” than technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Bringing power solutions to rural that focus on radio transmissions instead. communities is challenging, he admits. The These are exciting initiatives, but Maalouf client is usually a government agency, which has his eyes on some potentially even

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Conciel

“Price Simulator is a software tool that allows service providers to model complex pricing scenarios with drag-and-drop ease”

means a lot of red tape, but he believes it is worth the effort. “The Nigerian government ‘s strategy is to bring power to rural communities, and Project Light Up Nigeria is a government initiative that encourages the private sector to get involved.” Incentives to local authorities to invest in and own solar power schemes on an appropriate scale will, he believes, ensure that this is a dynamic new market. Finally though, it’s back to the telecoms clients, and here is where the real innovation lies. Not in solar power as such; not even in remote monitoring of mast sites, but in a much more comprehensive solution for managing the network. Conciel has developed Contromote, a unique solution with added value features such as camera control and monitoring, Google Maps interface and a comprehensive software package that enables the operator to log in securely, control the camera and monitor maintenance issues like fuel levels, battery charge levels and security. One problem all companies face is that of vandalism, whether malicious or accidental. Cameras at the site will go a long way to saving the money this costs to the operators. One Conciel site in Lagos is already using the new Contromote technology and the coming year will be one of intense marketing. The face of mobile telecoms in Africa is changing fast, as companies like Orange and Airtel address the cost of ownership of their networks. Additionally the proliferation of masts and operators has meant that in Nigeria particularly, with the largest mobile take-up on the continent, the service has not

improved as fast as it should. Many operators are now selling their mast sites to colocation companies, then leasing back the capacity they need. This is a much more stable business model and it means that the phone companies can concentrate on their core service and not worry about engineering and maintenance. The market is thus wide open for Conciel to sell its best in class solution, either directly to the operators or to the colocation companies themselves: given the scale of their operations they will need the kind of support that Conciel can provide, Maalouf believes. In other parts of Africa the opportunities are endless. It is already established as a partner for data centres in the Republic of Congo, DRC and Sierra Leone, though in the last of these countries a $10 million data centre for Airtel is delayed by Ebola. Conciel is the design and management partner for this project, however the execution phase is being held up because equipment already delivered to Freetown can’t be sent up country under present conditions. Undaunted he has his eye firmly on geographical as well as technological expansion: “This year we are continuing to target West Africa, and we are also bidding for some projects in East Africa too.”

CONCIEL

+337 8248 8844 info@conciel.com @CONCIELT www.conciel.com

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Neo

Providing coverage

By applying fresh thinking, a creative approach and flexible so to the point where it stands among the top-tier telecommun

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otel

e and connectivity

olutions for communications in South Africa, Neotel has risen nications businesses on the continent, let alone the country

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Neotel has carved a place as a major force in South African telecommunications

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Neotel

y offering voice, data and internet services over a single connection, Neotel has established itself as South Africa’s first converged telecommunications network operator. Founded in 2006 and backed up by the financial and technical clout of global communications company Tata Communications, Neotel has since become a major force within the country’s telecommunications sector. During its first four years in business, Neotel laid the foundations for its future success by investing some R4.5 billion in infrastructure alone, rolling out a new fibre optic communications backbone nationwide. This included higher density installation in the metropolitan areas amounting to some 5,000 kilometres of cable,

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that have become epicentres for local and international business. As well as offering effective solutions that are suited to large, medium and small businesses in order to handle individual telecommunications needs, Neotel is also dedicated to providing cost-effective telephone and voice solutions. The company’s reliable data solutions are designed to provide businesses a competitive advantage thanks to a combination of high-speed performance, flexibility and cost efficiency, while its secure and competitive hosting provides customers with the most cost-effective solution to their IT infrastructure investment. Neotel is also the only Tier 1 operator in South Africa with a global reach. Through its

“Neotel laid the foundations for its future success by investing some R4.5 billion in infrastructure alone, rolling out a new fibre optic communications backbone nationwide” and delivering fibre communication to the kerbside for large corporate customers. Much of the Neotel service is internet based, and not only includes ISP services and managed global and local VPN services for corporate customers, but the company also introduced the first Metro Ethernet in South Africa. Today the company covers all major metropolitan areas of South Africa, in which it caters for wholesale, business and home customer needs, delivering services that reduce the cost of doing business through the optimising of advanced technologies. Neotel provides a range of value-added voice, data and internet services in order to support its diverse clientèle , be it home customers using telephone handsets to the major data centres

major shareholder, Tata Communications, it has managed to bring faster, more reliable internet to numerous areas of the country. As the leading converged South African fixed line telecoms operator, Neotel’s Carrier Services offers connectivity to the global internet backbone through its world class fibre optic network and expertise. With a network spanning 200 countries on six continents, its Carrier Services solutions combine next generation SDH, IP and ethernet capability, global reach with active local presence and support, ideally suited to mobile service providers, fixed line operators and internet service providers. Additional services offered by the company include Virtual Private Networks,

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Neotel

“Neotel’s greatest strength is reflected in its shareholding”

hosting and satellite services, while its various telecommunications licences, electronic communication network service licence and electronic communication network licence, allow it to provide a complete range of telecommunications services. Arguably, Neotel’s greatest strength is reflected in its shareholding, which embodies vast global as well as local telecoms experience, giving the company greater impetus to achieve its objectives. The company’s strategic equity partner, the Tata Group of

Neotel’s focus is on developing the customer base

t-systems T-Systems in South Africa – transforming business through innvoation As markets become increasingly tough, and IT products and services become commoditised, it is essential for companies to increase business optimisation through better efficiencies, processes and innovative technology. T-Systems in South Africa is meeting this requirement head on by creating new ways of optimising business, driven by its passion for excellence, transformation and innovation. T-Systems increases business optimisation through better efficiencies, processes and innovative technology such as apps. However, behind these benefits, T-Systems is driving zero distance between businesses and their customers, fostering a closer relationship, better service delivery and competitive advantage. A new landscape is emerging for business and in order to remain competitive they need to transform their business through disruptive technology including: • Cloud • Big data

• Social media • Mobility

• Security

This technology allows business to operate not only more efficiently but also to reduce costs. With around ten years of cloud experience, and the backup and support of its Germany-based parent company, T-Systems enables companies to make this transformation possible. It is not only through its innovative mind set, technology, skills and experience but also the company’s forward-thinking vision that guide’s its customers on the way to a digital future. One such example is the transformation of the IT of Africa’s biggest glass producer Consol. The project with T-Systems in South Africa provides a showcase on how digitising a traditional company supports its growth targets. Consol doubled its volume of glass production in just four years yet achieves a 16 % savings in IT costs in the first year. www.t-systems.co.za

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“Today the company is involved in a number of improvement projects designed to increase its cyber, wireless and IP capacity� India (through VSNL and Tata Africa Holdings Pty), brings immense expertise derived from its worldwide telecommunications operations. This partnership gives Neotel access to international best practice and the latest technical innovations. Furthermore, Nexus Connexion, its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) equity partner,

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has a broad based constituency which includes women and youth groups, while developmental NGOs, labour unions and businesses are represented by individuals and corporates. One private consortium in particular, Communitel, brings additional international and African experience through their various shareholders, including TelecomNamibia.


Neotel

Neotel has laid over 5,000 kilometres of cable

Today the company is involved in a number of improvement projects designed to increase its cyber, wireless and IP capacity. This work includes the ongoing construction of three massive data centres and the installation of more than 5,000 kilometres of cables. Connected to the South Africa Far East (SAFE) cable, Neotel also boasts a landing station on the SEACOM cable system project. The company is also a member of the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) consortium and has invested some R80 million into the project to date, which is expected to go live in August 2014. The addition of EASSy will significantly boost international bandwidth capacity and redundancy, and increase Internet connectivity competition in South Africa.

In the last several months Neotel has successfully expanded its retail footprint by opening its second store at the N1 City Mall in Cape Town. It represents just the latest development for company that is pushing hard to reach R3 billion in revenue this year alone as more companies secure confidence in Neotel’s industry leading services.

Neotel

+27 11 585 0000 Neo.moabelo@neotel.co.za @NeotelSA www.neotel.co.za

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Angola

Out of th

Angola Cables is laying a cable is a project with profound impli telecommunications as

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Cables

he depths

e across the Atlantic Ocean: this ications for global and regional well as for Angola itself

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frica is often referred to as the “dark continent,” with internet and telephony penetration rates some of the lowest in the world. That, however, is changing rapidly, with projects like the West African Cable System (WACS) and the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) being planned and deployed to deliver much-needed connectivity to the continent. Infrastructure these days is not all about roads and bridges and railways. The human race will never be able to do without long distance transportation but it can become less dependent on projects of this sort as it develops better voice and data networks. One of the most exciting telecoms infrastructure currently in the pipeline is the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), also known as the Angola-Brazil Cable, is a planned submarine communications cable in the South Atlantic Ocean linking Luanda, the capital of Angola with Fortaleza in northern Brazil with a leg connecting to the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. The driving force behind the cable is Angola Cables, which was formed in 2009 by the five biggest telecoms operators in Angola. namely Angola Telecom which holds 51 percent of the capital, Unitel with 31, MSTelcom with nine Movicel with six, and Startel with a three percent holding. Its director is António Nunes, who explains the company’s mission in the simplest of terms: “We want Angola to become one of the main telecoms hubs in Africa.”

A

“Africa has tremendous opportunities, and the growth rate has nowhere to go but up!”

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“Our core business is the commercialisation of capacity in international voice and data circuits over fibre submarine cables” Angola Cables addresses the “wholesale, or bulk selling market: “Our core business is the commercialisation of capacity in international voice and data circuits over fibre submarine cables.” It is responsible for the management and development in Angola of WACS, the West African Cable System, which has a landing point at Sangano near the capital Luanda (and incidentally was originally planned to cross the Atlantic to Brazil). It also provides international telecommunications transmission to all operators in order to increase the interconnection between Angola and the world. WACS connects South Africa with London, and has fourteen landing points along the way, so it is an important link to Europe for the West African coastal states, however the decision not to link it to the Americas left a gap. As Eric Handa, co-founder of APTelecoms says, many of the markets outside of the US and Europe are becoming very saturated, and even some of the markets in Asia, particularly India and China are starting to become saturated – and as a fluent mandarin speaker who has worked for both Tata Communications and Bharti Airtel, he should know. “I think if you look at a lot of the markets, the growth rate is slowing down. But Africa has tremendous opportunities, and the growth

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Angola Cables

“The location of Angola geographically and geopolitically means it is in a situation where it can really capitalise on some of the submarine cable connectivity that is happening throughout the Middle East.”

rate has nowhere to go but up! The location of Angola geographically and geopolitically means it is in a situation where it can really capitalise on some of the submarine cable connectivity that is happening throughout the Middle East.” What he means is that many of the international telecoms operators are looking for an alternative route, and Angola is that

route. The 3,800 mile SACS cable will be the first transatlantic submarine cable in the southern hemisphere, and will allow a direct link between Africa and the South American continent. Additionally it will have onward connectivity to the USA via Miami and that is of tremendous advantage to a lot of the international operators, opening a new lane of passage for commerce and telecoms. From its

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The partnership between Angola Cables and Anglobal started in 2010 with the construction of the Cabo Ledo terminal for the lashing of the WACS underwater cable. At this stage Anglobal was responsible for the supplying of all terminal´s infrastructures, including power systems AC/DC, HVAC, security and a structured network. The participation of Anglobal was extended to the transmission equipment implementation phase, with unlimited support. Due to the necessity of implementing a Datacenter, Anglobal presented a “Full Turn Key” proposal for the supplying of the ANGONAP. After being selected to do so Anglobal finished, in record time, the work for the WACS System inauguration in Angola. Anglobal is currently responsible for ANGONAP´s infrastructures maintenance as well as for the maintenance of the terminal of Cabo Ledo. Regarding the SACS project, Anglobal looks forward to continue contributing to the growth of Angola Cables as well as to the growth of the country.

www.anglobal.co.ao

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strategic position half way up the west coast, Angola is ideally placed to drive that. Angola is already a strategic point in its development as a technology hub within the African continent, something it needs to develop if it is to establish itself as the natural route to the American markets for its neighbours. “SACS represents a completely new path between West Africa and South America,” António Nunes asserts. “We also want to develop a network in Africa, because today all the interconnectivity between African operators has been done through Europe. Our concept is to promote a truly African network and facilitate a point of interconnectivity between African operators.” Already a number of American and Chinese companies are being attracted to Angola because of its minerals, oil and natural resources. The fact that Angola is becoming more of a technology hub in the region can only help that. “Africa will have the same number of internet users as the US by 2015 and demand, while less at first, will be enormous as Africans, the world’s youngest population, are raised on technology,” says Nunes. The SACS cable is an essential part of the

new telco NEW TELCO SOUTH AFRICA is the most recent addition to the NEW TELCO group of companies operating across the global carrier landscape. NEW TELCO provides virtual and physical carrier neutral infrastructure services such as colocation, meet me rooms, technical services and equipment financing in every global location. We are technology vendor neutral and support all major technologies from SDH, Ethernet, MPLS and VOIP products. NEW TELCO owns and operates their points of presence (POP) out of over 25 datacentres globally. We enable our customers to extend and collocate their network presence in the most advantages locations world-wide. www.newtelco.co.za

“Africa will have the same number of internet users as the US by 2015 and demand, while less at first, will be enormous as Africans, the world’s youngest population, are raised on technology”

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“Angola is looking for connectivity with its surrounding neighbours to the south, north and east. It is building inland as well”

new infrastructure. As Handa graphically expressed it: “Once the highway is built you can drive the cars along it! In this case the cars are the applications carrying programmes like Skype and layer 3 services (the network layer of the OSI model). So it is a really exciting time and I think Angola Cables has a great opportunity to benefit nationally, and be the driver for ICT growth in Africa.” It is expected that the SACS will cut data traffic costs between South America, Africa and onwards to Asia by 80 percent, another massive draw for the operators. Ideally the cable would have been completed in time for the World Cup, a goal the Brazilian operator Telebras was keen to achieve. However there had been some question marks over whether Telebras would be helping to fund the construction of the project, and in February this year it confirmed that its involvement would be limited to providing the landing point at Fortaleza. Angola Cables had considered partnering with Telebras, though according to Nunes “negotiations cooled because the Brazilian company was focused only on the World Cup, but it is clear that the doors are still open for the resumption of dialogue,” It is now expected that the system will open for business early in 2016. The rest of Africa will be looking very closely at what is happening in Angola today, Nunes believes. Angola is looking for connectivity with its surrounding neighbours to the south, north and east. It is building inland as well. In addition to the submarine

cable they are also providing connectivity to locations like Sangano where the WACS and SACS will meet, and also new locations like its Angonap hub in Luanda, which contains the equipment for optical signal regeneration and terminal demultiplexing of the signals for distribution to end users. From Angonap it reaches out to the rest of Africa enabling ‘meshed networks’ so if one path is broken or goes down there is resilience in the system that creates sound infrastructure, a ‘flawless network’ which never goes down. Meanwhile Angola Cables has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the leading German internet exchange operator DE-CIX that establishes a long-term collaboration and creates the foundations of a new neutral interconnection environment in Angola and in the southern African Region. “Major global and local players increasingly face the challenge of promoting innovative internet services while continuing to ensure safe and effective online usage. DE-CIX has experience in developing strong internet ecosystems around the world, and we look forward to working with them,” says Nunes.

Angola Cables

+244 227 360 006 info@geral@angolacables.co.ao @angolacables www.angolacables.co.ao

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BE Telecoms  

Issue No.5

BE Telecoms  

Issue No.5

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