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July/August 2012 | Issue 5 | R28,50

connecting africa

conversations on transformation

ICT ministers across Africa pledge to achieve 80% broadband penetration for the continent by 2020.

Bitstream benefits BROADBAND FOR ALL UNBUNDLING THE LOCAL LOOP

stella ndabeni

women in it

Videsha Proothveerajh

angus hay


Navigate your business to success

Business Consulting ERP Solutions (Specializing in SAP) Business Intelligence Business Analytics & Forecasting Training

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www.sebase.co.za | (012) 664 - 5181

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Editor’s note Audra Mahlong

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programmes which will introduce much needed change – the reality is that very little has changed. While most people prefer to still question BEE – I prefer to question what the industry would look like without it. The question has to be posed to the industry – Were you not forced to, would you have changed? On a superficial level, looking at the leaders of the top telcos, services and software companies – you would find that the majority are still headed by the white male. While more women are coming into top positions, we are not yet at the point where can be satisfied with the progress made.

Welcome “If you keep fighting progress, you’re gonna find yourself on the wrong side of history.” I first heard that quote in the movie, Jumping the Broom, and immediately attached it to my own life.

Yet, it has taken the sector over 8 years to agree on a sector code which would align companies to the B-BBEE Act which was introduced in 2003. Hindered by wrangling over just how much access and ownership it should concede to – companies now need to get aboard the transformation agenda.

I work in an industry where change is the only certainty. It is not only inevitable, but it’s often rapid and we are often unprepared for what it brings. But we all embrace new technology and invite the disruptions it brings into lives, by defining these disruptions as necessary change.

It’s only once we can honestly say that there is meaningful participation from black South Africans in the IT sector, that we can question empowerment legislation.

But in the past 18 years, the local IT industry – like many other sectors - has tussled with change. While some companies have introduced empowerment deals and skills

For now, the industry has to change.

Editorial Details

Let’s Engage! Tel: 012 664 5181 Fax: 012 664 7920 Web: www.saitnews.co.za

Editorial director Nkhume Kudzingana Editor Audra Mahlong

Subscriptions & Advertising: thato@sebase.co.za Letters to the editor: audra@saitnews.co.za

Contributing journalist Eugene Morokolo

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Neither the magazine, the publisher or the editor can be held legally liable in any way for damages of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from any facts or information provided or omitted in these pages or from any other statements made or withheld by this publication. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Sebase Media and Telecomms (Pty) Ltd.

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Issue 5 | page 3


Contents

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5 6 8 9 10

bargaining with change Nine years after the process began, the ICT sector gets in line with transformation objectives.

UNBUNDLING THE LOCAL LOOP As local operators continue to argue over the local loop, we take a look at the process that is on the industry’s lips.

CURE FOR FIXED LINE MONOPOLY Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) is just the remedy the local fixed line market needs, says Cell C.

Bitstream benefits For Icasa, Local Loop Unbundling is all about ushering in changes for consumers.

15

16

BITSTREAM NOT LLU For Neotel, Icasa’s first step is simply another way to offer existing DSL services

STICK TO FIXED LINE UNBUNDLING As debates on Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) rage on,Vodacom and MTN say the process should not be extended to mobile or wireless markets.

BROADBAND FOR ALL [Gauteng ICT Summit Reportback] Universal access to information for Gauteng residents is top of the provincial government’s agenda.

Women in it - DINA DELIWE PULE Minister of Communications - “She is driven by a passion to see her community and the country achieve social development and economic growth.”

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Women in it - STELLA NDABENI

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Women in it - ANGELINE MASEKO

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Women in it - MAKANO MOSIDI

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Women in it - MARIANA KRUGER

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Women in it - Videsha Proothveerajh

LOCAL LOOP UNBUNDLING IS NOT A CURE ALL Government should rather focus its attention on finding innovative ways of stimulating broadband access, says Telkom.

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Deputy Minister of Communications “Ndabeni has received the Premier’s Award for bettering people’s lives through Voluntary Services.”

Acting Head: Stakeholder Management at Sentech - “Her illustrious career in ICT spans the full 18 years of our nations democracy.”

Public Sector Executive at Dimension Data Middle East & Africa - “Mosidi is heavily involved in local community stakeholder committees”

Integrated Technology Services Executive at IBM - “Kruger has a passion for the IT industry”

Country Manager at Intel South Africa

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Women in it - ZANDILE MBELE

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AFRICA ROUND UP

28

connecting africa

Transformation Executive at Dimension Data Middle East & Africa - “Zandile’s positivity and energy are driven by over 20 years experience”

IT News from all over Africa

ICT ministers across Africa pledge to achieve 80% broadband penetration for the continent by 2020.

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BARGAINING WITH CHANGE

Nine years after the process began, the ICT sector gets in line with transformation objectives.

words by Audra Mahlong

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Despite recognising the role ICTs play in the social and economic development of the country, government has struggled to lead transformation in the sector. As the various ICT sectors quibbled over sector codes which would compel them to transform their ownership and management structures – the industry suffered from a lack of meaningful participation by the majority of black South Africans. In a process dating back to 2003, the industry proposed several “final” versions of the empowerment charter, but failed to get any of those gazetted by the Department of Trade and Industry. Now, with Rob Davies at the helm, the industry seems to be heading in the right direction with the introduction of ICT Sector Codes. With the gazetting of the ICT Sector Codes for Black Economic Empowerment, reluctant industry players will soon be forced to comply with the transformation agenda.

What the ICT Charter says.

• The ICT sector has set a black ownership target of 30% to be achieved by entities. • The target set for Equity Equivalent for multinationals that qualify is also 30%. • There is a set target of 5% Net Profit After Tax to be spend on enterprise development initiatives that are aimed at growing and developing black owned ICT enterprises. • The target for the Generic Codes is 3% Net Profit After Tax. • There is a spend of 1.5% of Net Profit After Tax on Socio Economic Development Initiatives to improve the lives of communities.

Also known as the ICT Charter, the sector codes include sector-specific scorecard which was agreed for by the sector stakeholders to be used to determine the BEE scores of enterprises in the ICT sector. As in the generic codes, the scorecard includes the seven standard elements of BEE: ownership, management control, employment equity, preferential procurement, skills development, enterprise development and SocioEconomic Development (SED) initiatives. The ICT sector has set a black ownership target of 30% to be achieved by entities in the sector instead of the 25% of the Generic BEE Codes. The target set for Equity Equivalent for multinationals that qualify is also 30%. The main feature of the charter is a set target of 5% Net Profit After Tax to be spend on enterprise development initiatives that are aimed at growing and developing black owned ICT enterprises. The target for the Generic BEE Codes is 3% Net Profit After Tax. Another key highlight is the spend of 1.5% of Net Profit After Tax on Socio Economic Development Initiatives to improve the lives of communities through programmes such as ICT’s in education, and health. The ultimate goal is to bridge the digital divide in the country. The Generic Codes requires companies to spend 1% of their Net Profit After Tax. By gazetting the codes, the DTI has legally bound companies in the ICT sector from the date of gazette to the 31 April 2026 with the midterm five year review on the 31 April 2017.

TIMELINE TO TRANSFORMATION January 2003: Government introduces B-BBEE Act February 2004: First ICT charter working draft is released March 2004 – August 2004: Another three working drafts are released November 2004: Final version is released February 2005: Government releases B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice April 2005: Another final version is released May 2005: Another final version is released February 2007: Government gazettes B-BBEE codes of good practice January 2010: Another final draft version submitted

ICT SECTOR RESOLUTIONS • The effective implementation of the objectives of the B-BBEE Act in the ICT sector • Bridging the digital divide by actively promoting access to ICTs • Stimulating and supporting growth in the ICT sector • Contributing towards the reduction of unemployment and poverty alleviation • Supporting skills development and training initiatives • Fostering equality and addressing legitimate economic aspiration of all South Africans • Providing an enabling environment when adjudicating on matters related to BEE in the ICT sector • Complying with the requirements of the ICT Sector Code

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Issue 5 | page 5


UNBUNDLING THE LOCAL LOOP As local operators continue to argue over the local loop, we take a look at the process that is on the industry’s lips.

words by Eugene Morokolo

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Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) is both a contentious and complex topic. As demonstrated by heated public hearings over the past couple of years, key players in the IT industry are either for it or against it. Telkom – as the incumbent operator – is at the centre of it all. The operator, which owns the last mile of copper, has consistently gone against the tide and continually questioned government over its decision to introduce LLU. In South Africa the local loop concept was introduced in 2006 by the late Minister of Communications, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, when she established the local loop unbundling committee. In 2007 the committee submitted its report to the minister recommending that South Africa should have full unbundling,

bitsream and line sharing unbundling. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) – as the body tasked with implementing the policy decision taken by the Department of Communications (DOC) has been treading carefully and slowly as the operators take each other on. Local loop is the regulatory process of allowing multiple telecommunications operators to use connections from the telephone exchange to the customer’s premises. The physical wire connection between the local exchange and the customer is known as a local loop, and is owned by the incumbent local exchange carrier. To increase competition, other providers are granted unbundled access to the carries infrastructure.

Local loop is the regulatory process of allowing multiple telecommunications operators to use connections from the telephone exchange to the customer’s premises.

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With the decision to introduce Bitstream services in November 2012, Icasa has taken the first step in the unbundling process. A regulatory impact assessment on the cost and benefits of the fixed-line loop, sub-loop and shared-line forms of localloop unbundling would begin in mid2012. Following that, a market review on the fixed-line access market would be conducted as the regulator prepared to introduce supplementary local-loop unbundling regulations. But Bitstream unbundling is a rather safe option for the industry, as the second fixed-line operator, Neotel, has noted. What operators really want is true access to the last mile of copper cable owned by incumbent, Telkom. Expensive to replicate, operators have pinned their hopes of increasing their reach and services on this last mile – all the while keeping their costs low. For government, the last mile is a developmental tool. Struggling to achieve universal broadband access - the DOC has turned to this regulatory process to achieve their goals of rural broadband access. While Telkom questions the developmental goals punted by government and operators – Icasa continues to navigate its way through the process. With several options to choose from, the regulator has turned to a phased approach to this complex process. As the market develops, initially relatively simple models of unbundling have evolved into complex models such as shared access; Wholesale Line Rental and naked DSL. Icasa previously revealed it expects LLU to generate about R1 billion for the economy, through the increased utilisation of networks. But as operators deploy Next Generation Networks and Telkom pushes the supply of Fibre To The Node (FTTN) and to business and residential premises – the phased unbundling of the local loop will have to be navigated in an increasingly changing environment.

LLU around the globe • MOROCCO One policy initiative that was thought would help ISPs was local loop unbundling to allow them to expand their offers. After some years of debate, unbundling was finally introduced in stages, from January 2007. • JAPAN There has been rapid adoption by operators of shared access to local loops on the network of NTT, provided at comparatively low prices as was the wholesale backhaul. • USA Unbundling was implemented by statute – the Telecommunications Act 1996 – with the details left to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). After several attempts, implementation was abandoned, because of disagreements amongst commissioners and a series of reversals in the courts. Unbundling is now available only on commercial terms to those operators willing to take it. • NEW ZEALAND Telecom NZ was successful in having unbundling omitted from the Telecommunications Act (2001), leaving the regulator to evaluate its appropriateness. By then, it had to be implemented by regulation which proved impossible, causing the issue to revert to the political level. The government has failed to create competitive market structures for the provision of broadband, while local actors have fixated on the introduction of unbundling as a policy instrument. • European Union A single European Union Regulation unbundled all local loops on 2 January 2001. This legal form was chosen in the belief that there would be no need for transposition by member states, avoiding many months of delay. It proved to require enormous efforts by National Regulatory (NRAs) and the addition of several complex variants to simple unbundling. There are wildly varying performances across the member states. The poorer results, where incumbent operators remain dominant, generally arise from the imbalance of a strong incumbent operator and a weak regulator.

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CURE FOR FIXED LINE MONOPOLY

Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) is just the remedy the local fixed line market needs, says Cell C.

words by Eugene Morokolo

...................................................................................................... market, is unnecessary. Though Cell C says it welcomes the regulator’s November deadline for the introduction of bitsream services , it says a framework for the LLU process is needed. “Cell C supports Icasa’s plan to make bistream unbundling available from November 2012. However, a framework for full LLU is needed, something ICASA has already embarked on... LLU has definitely helped to increase competition and in some countries which previously had very high fixed broadband prices, such as Spain, it led to drastic price reductions.”

As debates on Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) at rage on, one mobile operator says LLU is just what the local fixed line market needs. South Africa’s third mobile operator, Cell C, says the fixed line market is monopolistic and therefore unbundling the local loop should increase competition and lead to more affordable fixed broadband offers. And bitstream unbundling – as proposed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) – should only be seen as the beginning of changes which are so necessary for the fixed line market, the mobile operator believes. Though Cell C says it support Icasa’s bitsream unbundling, it adds it does not promote one form of unbundling over the other. “Bitstream unbundling should form an integral part of LLU. Cell C does not promote one form of LLU over others. However, all LLU options that were defined by ICASA (bitstream access, line

sharing, full local loop unbundling, sub loop unbundling) should be available for requesting parties. Additionally, ICASA has so far not made any reference to LLU rates, which are arguably more important than the form of LLU,” notes Cell C. Leave wireless alone Like other mobile operators, Cell C, says unbundling should only be limited to fixed line and not mobile. While the regulator ponders the scope of LLU, the mobile operator says the process is intrinsically a fixed line concept - and cannot simply be carried over to a mobile network, which differs substantially in terms of the network architecture. Apart from those reasons, Cell C argues that wireless LLU already exists. Defining wireless LLU as an MVNO (a wireless communications services provider that does not own the radio spectrum or wireless network) – Cell C argues that extending issues of access to the wireless

For the mobile operator, getting access to the last mile from Telkom will allow it to increase its offering to business and help reduce congestion on its network. “This would provide an opportunity to offload mobile traffic via fixed-wireless networks, made commercially viable and available via LLU. It would also be an opportunity to provide fixed internet access to corporate clients.”

the fixed line market is monopolistic... unbundling the local loop should increase competition and lead to more affordable fixed broadband offers.

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Bitstream benefits For Icasa, Local Loop Unbundling is all about ushering in changes for consumers.

words by Eugene Morokolo

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Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) has been one of the most debated topics within the ICT industry over the past few years. Those advocating it say it will improve service quality, lower costs for consumers and increase competition – while those on the other side of the fence argue that it will lead to job losses as company profits plummet. For the body tasked with navigating this hotly contested issue, questioning the need for LLU is futile as the potential benefits are obvious. Industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), believes unbundling the local loop will result in lower communication costs and improved quality for customers. “This [LLU] is intended to reduce input costs, allow new entrants to offer innovative services to consumers as well as increase competition.” The regulator notes the process targets the end-user, saying consumers will – in the end - benefit from increased market competition as lower prices and improved quality of service becomes standard.

Bitstream in November

Reaping benefits

Following the adoption of LLU by government in 2007, Icasa has adopted a phased approach to unbundling the local loop - an option it says is influenced by cost considerations.

For Icasa, while LLU could take time, consumers have already benefitted from price reductions through reduced monthly subscription fees and increased bandwidth bundles.

With several unbundling options to choose from, the regulator has chosen to kick-start the process by introducing a bitstream service.

The regulator believes that these developments are an integral component in achieving the goals of the National Broadband Policy through fostering fairer prices for consumers.

Globally, countries have adopted several directions to access the fixed-line local loop, from accessing the core network of a facilities provider (bitstream), right up to access to the fixed line into consumers’ homes (full loop unbundling). “Bitstream is the least complex form of unbundling and represents the least cost form for both the new entrant as well as the facilities provider in South Africa, being Telkom SA,” Icasa says.

“The rationale for the phased approach of the introduction of the different forms of LLU is to take into accounts the costs and industry dynamics. The first step towards the introduction of LLU in South Africa took place in April when we administered the 30% price reduction of Telkom’s fees for the IPConnect product, the only existing way ISPs may currently offer ADSL services to consumers,” Icasa explains.

The regulator will introduce a bitstream service in November 2012 taking into account concerns regarding the access line deficit, i.e. the difference between the monthly line rental a consumer pays and the actual cost of maintaining that line.

LLU is the regulatory process of allowing multiple telecommunications operators to lease the local loop, which is the portion of a network which connects the subscriber to the balance of an ECNS licensee’s Electronic Communications Network.

“The introduction of the bitstream service will foster investment by all licensees intending to offer broadband services over the fixed line, thereby adding to job creation.”

According to the authority this open access regime aims to foster the efficient use of infrastructure by allowing multiple service providers access to existing infrastructure.

Though the regulator admits there is still a long way to go before full unbundling will happen, it says it is on the right track.

“This [LLU] is intended to...allow new entrants to offer innovative services...”

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LOCAL LOOP UNBUNDLING IS NOT A CURE ALL Government should rather focus its attention on finding innovative ways of stimulating broadband access, says Telkom. words by Eugene Morokolo

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As the remedial powers of LLU are endorsed by major industry players – Telkom has consistently fought the tide of opinions on unbundling the local loop, saying instead that the process will As the Department of Communications not serve South Africa’s developmental (DOC) adopted LLU as a tool to achieve agenda. universal broadband access and drop Cure all? the price of services through increased market competition – the operator Telkom says that, contrary to popular found itself in an unenviable position. views, LLU will not serve South Africa’s developmental agenda and will not With the second fixed-line operator, support the government’s objectives of mobile operators and ISPs hailing the benefits of LLU and calling on Telkom to universal Broadband access. share resources it had spent years, and For the operator, the opposite is millions, building – the operator finds true. It argues that contrary to what itself in a rather lonely corner with its most people believe, LLU may have unpopular views. Over the past few years, Telkom has found itself under the spotlight as debates on Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) rage on.

unintended consequences and could result in the reduction in network investments and also job losses. However, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is moving ahead with the process. The regulator has announced its intention to roll-out LLU in a phased approach – beginning with bitstream unbundling in by November 2012. According to Icasa, the successful implementation of LLU has the potential to achieve increased broadband penetration; reduced consumer prices and increased quantity and quality of services; while maximising benefits in terms of choice and quality.

Telkom says that, contrary to popular views, LLU will not serve South Africa’s developmental agenda and will not support the government’s objectives of universal broadband access. ..................................................................................................................................................... page 10 | Issue 5

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For Telkom, any introduction of LLU should be supported by sound and empirical evidence to ensure that LLU will deliver on these promises. Universal broadband While the operator notes that LLU could increase consumer choices – it argues the process will not support government’s universal broadband access objectives. “LLU is meant to increase competition where there is an existing access network. It was initially introduced in developed countries with high teledensity. LLU will therefore not increase broadband roll-out, especially in under-serviced areas, but simply mean that existing broadband customers will have more choice,” Telkom says. At present, no form of bundling is necessary until regulatory process have been followed. “Telkom does not believe that any form of LLU should be implemented prior to a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). Only when RIAs have been done will it become clear if the benefits of LLU will outweigh the cost of LLU.”

Analysts and industry players have said Telkom’s opposition to LLU is mostly based on monetary loses the company stands to incur. Bring on bitstream However, Telkom says it welcomes Icasa’s move to introduce bitsream unbundling, as it regards as the least intrusive form of unbundling. “Bitstream cannot be introduced in terms of the obligation to lease facilities. However, Bitstream is generally seen as the least intrusive form of LLU and therefore should be introduced as a first phase to assess demand before any other form of LLU is introduced. Telkom’s Access Line Deficit, which has

resulted from the under-recovery of the cost of provisioning the access network to Telkom’s customers, should also be resolved before Bitstream is introduced,” argues Telkom. The operator has been publicly lambasted by rival operators who accuse it of not wanting the unbundling process. The operator retorts that its competitors have not considered the cost associated with LLU, instead focused on their own advantages. “Telkom does not support any form of LLU which could have significant unintended consequences, unless such form of LLU has been subjected to a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). While promoters of LLU are quick to point out the benefits of LLU, they never mention the implementation costs associated with LLU or how they intend to contribute to the cost Telkom incurred in rolling-out the access network.” The cost factor Analysts and industry players have said Telkom’s opposition to LLU is mostly based on monetary loses the company stands to incur.

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Issue 5 | page 11


Telkom acknowledges this as a factor, saying its competitors will have all the advantages while it will be left with less customers and an increased workforce. “LLU is meant to provide existing customers with the choice of access provider. Telkom is currently not recovering the full cost of the access network from its customers and LLU will exacerbate the situation. Furthermore, LLU will allow Telkom’s competitors to cherry-pick the most profitable customers leaving Telkom with an oversized workforce to serve the lessprofitable customers,” the operator argues. Telkom’s says its argument regarding LLU has been encouraged by the fact that there has not been any realistic evidence on the benefits of LLU as advocated by so many. The local scenario For Telkom, South Africa is different to the countries often cited as examples of LLU success and should be treated as such. “Internationally, there is no empirical evidence that supports the fact that LLU achieves the often stated objectives for LLU. Furthermore, if LLU was the international success many people claim it to be, many governments would not be recapitalising fixed access networks through National Broadband Network plans.”

“Clearly the various forms of National Broadband Network plans across the world are an admission that even if LLU does introduce competition, it does not lead to a sustainable broadband investment regime. Also, it should be noted that South Africa is unique and has different challenges to many countries where LLU has been implemented,” the operator argues. Telkom says It should also be noted that the legislative framework underpinning LLU is different to those in most other countries. Also, LLU has not been implemented in any of the BRICS countries.

regulatory tool which was implemented in the 1990s and in a specific context. Government should rather focus its attention to reducing spectrum licence fees and including licence fees based on a sliding scale depending on number of broadband customers, the operator argues. “It is not appropriate for South Africa, rather than transplanting a regulatory mechanism which was developed for countries with high fixed-line teledensity, the government should look at innovative ways to stimulate broadband service provision.”

Ushering in competition The operator says in order to achieve the highest levels of competitiveness in the market, the regulator should not single out an operator, but instead, make broadband spectrum available to increase competition. “Regulatory or policy initiatives should not be focused on a single technology (e.g. copper wire) or directed at a single player (e.g. Telkom), but should be technology neutral. Icasa should make ‘broadband’ spectrum available to players other than MTN,Vodacom, Cell and Neotel. Also spectrum licence fees should be reduced with a view to reduce the input costs to broadband service provision.”

“...Furthermore, if LLU was the international success many people claim it to be, many governments would not be recapitalising fixed access networks through National Broadband Network plans.”

Telkom says LLU is an outdated

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BITSTREAM NOT LLU For Neotel, Icasa’s first step is simply another way to offer existing DSL services

words by Eugene Morokolo

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“The debate about different forms of LLU has been a distraction from the key issue - the optimum use of the national asset of millions of copper lines that already connect business and residential premises in South Africa.” Local broadband has come a long way in the past few years. Competition in the provision of international submarine cable capacity into South Africa has reduced the international cost component of broadband by 90% over the past five years. For the country’s second fixed line operator, Neotel, this illustrates that competition has proven to be the most effective means of lowering costs and improving the quality of broadband services.

Angus Hay, General Manager for Strategic Business Development at Neotel, says the remaining stumbling block to greater competition and better broadband pricing is competitive access to the last mile of copper wire and local loops that have been deployed over many years prior to the deregulation of the market. While the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has hailed bitsream unbundling as the first

step in providing competitive access – Hay counters this view by saying it doesn’t qualify as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU). The regulator has committed to providing bitstream services by November 2012 as part of the first chapter of its phased approach to unbundling of the local loop. For Hay, bitstream is simply a useful addition to the range of wholesale access services offered by an incumbent

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Issue 5 | page 13


operator and provides ISPs with more flexibility - but it is not LLU, since it is simply another way to offer the existing legacy DSL services. There has been vigorous debate around which form of unbundling is best for South Africa – something Hay says is a distraction. “The debate about different forms of LLU has been a distraction from the key issue - the optimum use of the national asset of millions of copper lines that already connect business and residential premises in South Africa.” “The principle at stake is the sharing of this asset to minimise the duplication of infrastructure, and to extend the benefits of competition that we have seen in the telecoms sector over the past few years to the individual business or home. With the exception of bitstream, which is not LLU, the other forms - full-loop, sub-loop and shared access - are merely technical variants on this principle. All variants should be offered,” Hay argues. The question of job creation While Telkom has repeatedly said LLU will contribute to job losses - Hay says the opposite is true.

“In other words, without LLU, broadband grows, but only slowly, and more and more slowly over time exactly what we are currently seeing on the incumbent’s network in South Africa,”

“Based on experience from other countries, LLU has a dramatically positive effect on the growth of the broadband telecoms sector, and actually increases total employment in the sector, both in the installation of networks, and within multiple competing service providers,” Hay explains. In its submission to ICASA last year, Neotel also made the point that the downstream effects of better and more affordable broadband on the economy will create substantially more employment.

37 countries around the world, and the evidence of improved broadband penetration in these markets is overwhelming. It says statistics from multiple countries show that broadband growth accelerates as the percentage of unbundled local loops increases. “In other words, without LLU, broadband grows, but only slowly, and more and more slowly over time - exactly what we are currently seeing on the incumbent’s network in South Africa,” Hay explains.

It said about three quarters of SMEs rely on fixed line broadband for Internet access, and they account for 60% of all employment in the country. It is SMEs and their customers that stand to gain the most from LLU, the document said.

The local case

Boosting broadband

One of the arguments put against the adoption of LLU was that South Africa is not similar to other countries and therefore LLU will not yield the same results. According to Neotel the existing copper wire access network in South Africa is largely identical to similar access networks in other countries, and the technologies that can be used to deliver broadband are the same.

Neotel says the basis of its support for LLU has been the dramatic, positive effect that it has had on broadband adoption and pricing in many countries where it has been implemented. “LLU is one of the quickest wins for a regulator who wishes to introduce competition to stimulate the growth of broadband in a country. Unlike infrastructure-based competition - where competition grows slowly as new lines are constructed - LLU rapidly stimulates innovation and competition in the provision of broadband services wherever there is existing copper wire local loop.” According to Hay, Neotel has also argued that the economic effects of this growth of new, competitive broadband services are positive for the economy and will create many jobs within the telecoms sector and economy. During the hearing on LLU in 2011, Telkom argued that some of the benefits of LLU are unsubstantiated – saying there has been no real evidence of LLU benefits elsewhere. Neotel however says LLU has been implemented in

With numerous examples that with LLU, broadband grows faster and access to newer technologies and innovative services increases, the question is – Will this be the case for South Africa?.

“As in other countries, the introduction of new players, who will deploy new services on this existing copper wire, will bring higher speeds, new choices, and better prices to the end users of broadband.” Copper wires currently reach about a quarter of all households, and the vast majority of business premises in South Africa. Whilst this is a lower penetration level than some countries, the benefits would be substantial to all these households and businesses, as well as the economy as a whole, Neotel argues. Should Neotel have access to the last mile from Telkom, it will expand the areas in which services could be offered, from the current areas in the major cities and towns of South Africa.

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STICK TO FIXED LINE UNBUNDLING As debates on Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) rage on, Vodacom and MTN say the process should not be extended to mobile or wireless markets. words by Eugene Morokolo

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MOBILE LLU PROBLEMATIC Mobile operator,Vodacom, has argued that Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) should only be limited to fixed line, as wireless unbundling is not necessary as well as being technically difficult. The operator argues there are difficulties as South Africa has only one major fixed line network – Telkom which was deployed using taxpayer funds. For the operator, this characteristic favours fixed line LLU. “It is extremely difficult to replicate this network as can be seen by Neotel¹s limited fixed access network after so many years of operation,” says Richard Boorman,Vodacom spokesperson. Vodacom argues there is already healthy competition within the mobile arena – due to multiple service providers – but the same cannot be said for the local fixed line market. “Conversely, there is already healthy competition in the mobile industry due to the large number of mobile networks competition,” Boorman says. The company says unlike Telkom, it has use its own resources over the years to invest in infrastructure development. Other mobile operators have also stated during past LLU hearings that unbundling should only be done on Telkom infrastructure as it was funded by the public funds. Vodacom adds that the technology use by mobile operators is different to that of fixed line.

“Each base station has a limited capacity and there isn’t a dedicated ‘line’ to every customer. If demand on particular base stations suddenly spikes due to increased traffic from customers of other networks and service quality deteriorates, who is expected to invest to increase capacity?” asks Boorman. He adds it’s important to keep in mind that LLU in the mobile market is an entirely different beast to fixed line LLU. Though the company says it welcomes the intention of ICASA through the process of LLU - it declines to be comment in detail on the merits of fixed line LLU, but insists it’s problematic for the mobile arena. NO WIRELESS UNBUNDLING While mobile operators are in favour of full local loop unbundling, they says it should be limited to fixed line access. Mobile operator, MTN, during LLU hearings on LLU said the authority should make all four proposed methods of unbundling as part of their minimum requirements for the LLU process.

However the operator has been quick to point out that it is not willing to have unbundling done on its infrastructure – saying it is not in favour of wireless and mobile LLU. The operator raised legal and economic reasons as to why the fixed line LLU process should not be extended to include wireless networks. MTN added that LLU will ensure that the existing copper infrastructure is effectively utilised to enable broader access to voice and data services. The operator says access to mobile loop differs from fixed loop as it will require facility seekers to request access to transmission to the core network which was not the case with fixed loop. MTN argued that the supply and demand substitution analysis of Telkom’s copper loop access to the market will make it difficult for incumbent operators to be competitive. “The current customer base does not encourage the operator to replicate Telkom’s network as it will not be profitable,” MTN said.

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Issue 5 | page 15


[Gauteng ICT Summit Reportback]

BROADBAND FOR ALL Universal access to information for Gauteng residents is top of the provincial government’s agenda. words by Audra Mahlong

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While there is no longer any question on the role broadband plays in the development and growth of economies – what governments are now grappling with, is how the grand goal of universal broadband access will be achieved. As South African government departments, provinces and municipalities navigate the uncharted journey to achieving universal broadband access – Gauteng has taken the driver’s seat, as it looks set to introduce the long-awaited G-Link broadband project.

uppermost in our priority list, and we are convinced that broadband is the superhighway that could actualise this aspiration. That is why we have embarked upon an ambitious project to implement this solution which will be underpinned by the utilisation of a variety of networks and devices.”

Service-delivery focus

The ambitious project Nkomfe refers to, is the highly –anticipated G-Link project. Initially known as Blue Umbrella – the initiative was first announced by former Gauteng premier, Mbhazima Shilowa in 2008.

For Nkomfe, it is this initiative which will see the provincial government achieve the convergence of its information and technology infrastructure and ultimately impact on service delivery efforts.

For the provincial government, ICT can no longer be isolated from its developmental agenda – in fact, ICT has become the vessel for accelerated socioeconomic development.

The G-Link Broadband Programme will see the establishment of a single technology platform for the provision of broadband networks in the province – while providing government services Speaking at the 2012 Gauteng ICT and improving network access and Summit held at the Gallagher Convention connectivity. Centre in Midrand, Nkomfe explained With the ambitious goal of achieving this vision. 95% broadband coverage in the province – the provincial government has a long “The delivery of universal access to journey ahead. information for Gauteng residents is

The G-Link programme aims to provide infrastructure for ICT and broadband capacity for internet connectivity in the province -with work currently underway to roll out network infrastructure between 2012 and 2014.

“The Gauteng Provincial Government anticipates that through high bandwidth connectivity channels, our service delivery challenges will be a thing of the past. Our objective of becoming a Globally Competitive City Region will be realised, and will effectively enable us to contribute to continental development initiatives.” As plans to roll-out the infrastructure project were revealed, the provincial government has been very clear on

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[Gauteng ICT Summit Reportback] the intended impact of the initiative. The objective was to improve service delivery, create jobs, realise cost savings and provide more efficient government services - all while creating easily accessible broadband services for all residents and businesses using digital inclusion. “Through the Broadband Programme, we also intend to address existing limitations of the telecommunications industry - by providing appropriate access to affordable basic broadband services to at least 95% of provincial households; providing high content broadband to the Top Twenty Priority Townships (T20PT) and the Urban Renewal Nodes (URN); and penetrating 20% of customers (individuals and businesses) who reside in the Gauteng Province within 5-years,” Nkomfe explains. Connecting Government Once G-Link is fully functional, Nkomfe reveals that the provinces biggest IT project at present - the Gauteng Online Programme will become one of the provincial government’s e-services to be offered through the broadband technology platform.

He explains that a secondary reason for embarking on this initiative is to harmonise service delivery platforms which are deployed by the different spheres of government. “This includes creating a single public sector communications network, reduce telecommunications costs, and rationalise provincial shared service centres and data centres. The operative buzz word in modern ICT infrastructure investments is cloud computing and virtualisation through fully managed solutions. We are currently exploring a combination of these approaches to inform our modernisation resourcefulness.” The end-goal is to create a knowledge economy, driven by the exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing. “Broadband connectivity is the underlying pillar of these modern economies, and South Africa is an integral component thereof. To date, we have invested in multiple high band-width undersea cables for efficient global connectivity, and only two weeks ago, the country was awarded a mandate to build the SKA telescope jointly with Australia and New Zealand. This vote of confidence demonstrates the creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness of South Africans.”

“The Gauteng Provincial Government anticipates that through high bandwidth connectivity channels, our service delivery challenges will be a thing of the past. Our objective of becoming a Globally Competitive City Region will be realised, and will effectively enable us to contribute to continental development initiatives.”

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Issue 5 | page 17


Women in it - DINA

DELIWE PULE

Minister of Communications - “She is driven by a passion to see her community and the country achieve social development and economic growth.”

..................................................................................................................................................... Her commitment to justice and the welfare of others saw her become one of the founder members of the South Africa National Students Congress. She was also a founder member of the then Eastern Transvaal Women’s Union in 1990. Pule has held the position of Minister of Communications since 25 October 2011. She is also currently a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) (since 2007) and a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC.

DINA PULE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS

Dina Deliwe Pule is one of the strongest leaders in the country with a deep sense of duty to her fellow citizens and a strong commitment to service delivery. She is driven by a passion to see her community and the country achieve social development and economic growth. As the Minister of Communications, she is at the forefront of the government’s effort to make communication tools affordable and easily accessible to every citizen and making sure that local businesses are able to use the tools to be globally competitive.

Born outside Hazyview in Mpumalanga in a Mhala District during apartheid, Ms Pule’s eyes were opened to gross social injustice by discrepancy between her lived experiences compared to the history lessons they were taught at school. This realization pushed her towards civil activism and she found a home in the policy directions of the ANC. She was recruited by the underground structures of the ANC because her region was a gateway to Mozambique. Pule recruited and worked with a number of comrades while at school and college.

As the Minister of Communications, she is at the forefront of the government’s effort to make communication tools affordable and easily accessible to every citizen and making sure that local businesses are able to use the tools to be globally competitive.

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She is also a member of the NEC SubCommittee on Communications; the NEC Sub-Committee on Organisational Building and Campaigns; the NEC SubCommittee on Political Education; the ANC Umrhabulo Editorial Team; the NEC Sub-Committee on Economic Transformation; the NEC Sub-Committee on State Owned Enterprises and Development Finance Institutions and the NEC Centenary Media Sub-Committee. Pule was previously deputy minister in the Presidency: Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration and was also deputy Minister of Communications between May 2009 and November 2010. She has been a member of Parliament since 2009 and also held the following positions: • Member of Executive Council (MEC) for Sports, Arts and Recreation for Mpumalanga Province, RSA - January 2008 to May 2009 • Chairperson of the 2010 Mpumalanga Political Task Team for 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup - 2008 to 2009 • MEC for Agriculture, Environment and Land Administration for Mpumalanga Province - January 2007 to January 2008 • MEC for Safety and Security for Mpumalanga Province - January 2005 to January 2007

• Member of the Provincial Legislature in Mpumalanga Province - 2004 to January 2005

• Branch Chairperson of the ANCWL, Nelspruit from 1999 to 2000

• Branch Secretary of the ANC, • Chairperson of the Portfolio Nelspruit from 1997 to 1999 Committee on Education, Culture, Sports and Recreation • Provincial Secretary of ANCWL in MP from 1990 to 1991 Pule is working towards completing her BA Honours degree with the University • Provincial Treasurer of the South of South Africa, having completed her African Democratic Teachers Union BA in Communications at the same (SADTU) in MP from 1991 to 1993 institution. She is registered as a public relations practitioner with the Public • Branch Secretary of the SADTU from Relations Institute of South Africa. 1990 to 1991 Earlier in her career, she obtained a Secondary Teacher’s Diploma from the • Regional Executive Member of the EC Mango College of Education. ANC Youth League from 1990 to 1991 She previously served as provincial secretary of the ANC Women’s League in Mpumalanga from 2007 to 2009 and was deputy provincial secretary of the ANC in Mpumalanga from 2005 to 2008.

• Founder-member of the Eastern Transvaal Women’s Union from 1990 to 1991

• Deputy President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) in E.C Her other positions and activities include: Mango College of Education from 1988 to 1989 Chairperson of the ANC, Mpumalanga • Secretary of the E.C Mango College of Provincial List Committee in 2006 Education SRC from 1987 to 1988 • Chairperson of the ANC, Ehlanzeni • Founder-member of South Africa Region in MP from 2004 to 2007 National Students Congress in 1987 • Deputy Secretary of the ANC, Ehlanzeni Region in MP from 2001 to 2004 • Regional Task Team Member from 2000 to 2001

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Issue 5 | page 19


Women in it - STELLA

NDABENI

Deputy Minister of Communications “Ndabeni has received the Premier’s Award for bettering people’s lives through Voluntary Services.”

..................................................................................................................................................... She has completed courses in organisational resource management; cost management; change management; advanced visualization and presentation techniques for trainer; basic facts about HIV & AIDS as well as fundamentals of HIV & AIDS workplace program. She also completed training on assessing the risk of SMME on HIV & AIDS; the facilitation and setting up of workplace program; monitoring and evaluation and office management. Ndabeni has received the Premier’s Award for bettering people’s lives through Voluntary Services. She has also represented the Southern African region in the Steering Committee of UN World Youth summit on HIV & AIDS held in Mali, 2011.

Stella Tembisa Ndabeni is currently the Deputy Minister of Communications – a post she has held since October 2011. Ndabeni has also been a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly for the African National Congress since 2009. Between February 2011 and October 2011, she was committee Whip for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications. Previously she was committee Whip for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence from 2009 up until February 2011. She was also committee Whip for the Joint standing Committee on Defence between 2009 and February 2011.

She has been a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence; a member of ANC Parliamentary Caucus – Subcommittee on Political Education and a project manager at the Eastern Cape Socio Economic Consultative Council – ECSECC between 2005 and 2009. Ndabeni completed an advanced Diploma in Project Management in 2008 at Granefield College. She also completed a Diploma in Telecommunications and Management Systems at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation in 2011.

She has been involved in the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC) between 2008 and 2010. Ndabeni has been an ANC Youth League Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) Member in 2008 and sat on the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council as project manager between 2003 and 2009. She served as provincial secretary for the Eastern Cape Youth Economic Council and as secretary for the ANC Youth League Mthatha Regional Executive Committee (REC) between 1999 – 2002. Ndabeni was chairperson of the Mthatha East Youth Development Forum and a member of the ANC Youth League, Mthatha Zonal Executive Committee between 1990 and 1994.

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ICT CO

ION AT

ABOR LL

Across and Beyond Government

ICT COLLABORATION ACROSS AND BEYOND GOVERNMENT 25 - 28 September 2012 Durban International Convention Centre

REGISTER NOW! GovTech is South Africa’s pre-eminent, World-Class public sector ICT platform for collaboration, capacity building and sharing of priorities between government and the ICT sector. Through this year’s theme - ICT Collaboration Across and Beyond Government, our goal is to unlock the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) in supporting national, provincial and local government departments to work collaboratively for the achievement of government objectives. Join us as we exchange strategic ideas, share vital information and learn from successful ICT initiatives that enable public service delivery.

www.govtech.co.za

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Issue 5 | page 21


Women in it - ANGELINE

MASEKO

Acting Head: Stakeholder Management at Sentech “Her illustrious career in ICT spans the full 18 years of our nations democracy.�

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Angeline Ntombikayise Maseko is the Acting Head: Stakeholder Management at Sentech and Deputy Chairperson of the South African Communications Forum (SACF). At Sentech, Maseko is responsible for strategic liaison with key stakeholders such as government and the business sector. She is also responsible for forging and maintaining close and mutually beneficial working relationships with the Department of Communications and other State Owned Entities on key national projects such as DTT, broadband and SABC services expansion. Maseko is a seasoned specialist in the ICT industry with 18 years sector experience. Her experience cuts

across the ICT industry value chain of marketing, sales, customer care services, communications and stakeholder engagement for broadcasting and telecommunications - leading to her in-depth understanding of convergence applications.

of the International Governmental Relations (IGR) SOE Forum at the Department of Communications. In 2007 she was nominated as a member of Gender Equality and in February 2010 Angie as a Broadcasting Advisor in the office of Minister of Communications.

Maseko has enormous experience in the areas of executive & advanced selling skills, industry strategy, business planning, organisational development, project management, change management, integrated management, marketing management as well as Business Processes. Her illustrious career in ICT spans the full 18 years of our nations democracy.

She was also nominated to serve on the Digital Dzonga working group as the Customer Relations Officer in the help and support working group.

Maseko is also the Deputy Chairperson

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Women in it - MAKANO

MOSIDI

Public Sector Executive at Dimension Data Middle East & Africa - “Mosidi is heavily involved in local community stakeholder committees”

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Makano Mosidi is the Public Sector Executive: Dimension Data Middle East and Africa.

IT director. She joined SITA in 2000 as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive.

She has been an ICT executive for the past ten years, with over 22 years experience in the ICT industry.

Thereafter she joined New Dawn Technologies as a director for Business Consulting, and EDS Enterprise Solution as a managing partner and later became the first Managing Director for RDC, an Oracle small/medium enterprise.

Mosidi began her career as a teacher, and then joined IBM SA (then ISM), where she worked as a systems analyst, systems programmer, programmer and VM DBA. She then joined Accenture (then Andersen Consulting) as a change management consultant and worked for Ernst & Young as a senior consultant in information technology. In 1996, Makano joined the North West Provincial Administration as an

Mosidi has a BCom degree from the University of the North, majoring in Computer Science and Financial Accounting, and a University Education Diploma (U.E.D) from the same institution. She has also completed course work for a Masters in Commerce with Wits.

She holds directorship positions in various companies including Relational Database Consulting Pty Ltd, Khomelela Investment Holdings and Bunker Hills. Mosidi is heavily involved in local community stakeholder committees. She holds membership of the North West Premier’s Advisory Council on Technology, and is chairperson of the Pastoral Parish Council, running numerous community projects including old age homes, an HIV/AIDS desk, feeding schemes, crèche and ABET. She is also a trustee for a community centre in Alexandra.

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Issue 5 | page 23


Women in it - MARIANA

KRUGER

Integrated Technology Services Executive at IBM “Kruger has a passion for the IT industry”

..................................................................................................................................................... proudly date their affirmative action programs to the 1970s, IBM has been creating meaningful roles for female employees since the 1930s. Today, as the company develops some of the world’s most advanced information technology, it continues to take the initiative in women’s advancement. During her career in IBM, Kruger – an IBM certified project executive - has had various roles ranging from Business Unit Leader for Information Systems Management Services and e-business Hosting to Business Development Executive, Client Solutions Executive and Project Executive in Strategic Outsourcing. Prior to this she was responsible for running the Business Continuity and Resiliency Services for Sub-Saharan Africa. Kruger has a passion for the IT industry with the ability to leverage IBM’s strengths to the customer’s best advantage. She has represented IBM in customer facing roles in multiple countries e.g. South Africa, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

Mariana Kruger is an experienced IBM Services professional with twenty two years in Information Technology.

evolution from systems engineer to systems management consulting and project management.

She started her career in IBM as a technical Systems Engineer in the mainframe environment after obtaining a BSc degree majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science - with a natural

At IBM, women have been making contributions to the advancement of information technology for almost as long as the company has been in existence. Where many companies

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Women in it - Videsha

Proothveerajh

Country Manager at Intel South Africa

..................................................................................................................................................... As Country Manager,Videsha has been chartered to develop and implement Intel’s strategies for South Africa, managing all aspects of the business. Videsha has spent the past 11 years’ working with very high-profile ICT companies. Prior to joining Intel,Videsha was the Partner Account and Channel Manager; and subsequently Partner Group Manager for Microsoft South Africa. She has worked for EDS South Africa as well, in a Client Delivery Executive role. Videsha has a B.Com degree, a post graduate degree in Business Management and an MBA specializing in Advanced Strategic Management. She is also a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in the male dominated ICT sector. Growing up in Durban, Proothveerajh enrolled for B.Acc studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Two years later, she switched to a B.Com, majoring in Information Technology. After completion of her studies, she was recruited as part of the EDS System Engineers’ Development Programme.

Videsha Proothveerajh has been a key member of the Intel team since early 2008 and has been integral in taking Intel’s multinational client business to new levels of success in South Africa. She has been instrumental in building value adding relationships with key multinational partners, which has raised Intel’s profile significantly in this area.

During her five years with EDS, she completed her MBA, majoring in Advanced Strategic Management. She was then headhunted by Microsoft South Africa and eventually became the Partner Group Manager. She started her own consulting business, but later was approached by Intel South Africa in January 2008 to join them as a Marketing Development Manager, and was appointed as Country Manager in 2009.

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Issue 5 | page 25


Women in it - ZANDILE

MBELE

Transformation Executive at Dimension Data Middle East & Africa - “Zandile’s positivity and energy are driven by over 20 years experience”

..................................................................................................................................................... Sector Executive for Internet Solutions, a Dimension Data company. This appointment is an extension of her role as Transformation Executive and she now represents three core brands: Dimension Data, Plessey and Internet Solutions. Zandile’s positivity and energy are driven by over 20 years experience working in diverse marketing and strategic communications fields. She holds an MBA from Durham University (UK) and an MA from City University in London. She has held executive positions at Sentech, where she served as the Executive responsible for Regulatory Matters and Communications; Metropolitan Holdings, where she was General Manager of Group Corporate Marketing; and at Hive Communications, where she fulfilled the role of Managing Director. She has served on the Board of the Universal Service Agency and is currently a Director of Plessey (Pty) Ltd. During Zandile’s tenure, Dimension Data Middle East & Africa has attained some notable milestones, including achieving Level 2 BEEE status and winning the prestigious Oliver Empowerment Award for most empowered African ICT company.

As Transformation Executive, Zandile Mbele directs Dimension Data’s internal and external transformation focus. Her remit covers a wide spectrum of initiatives, from overseeing the company’s corporate social responsibility programmes, including the celebrated Saturday School initiative and the

ambitious E-Learning project, to preferential procurement and enterprise development, equity ownership and employment equity within the organisation. The public sector is also a key strategic area for Dimension Data and Zandile has assumed the mantle of Public

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AFRICA ROUNDUP

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Ghana Intel has announced that, along with Adlevo Capital, it has invested in Rancard, a company based in Ghana. According to the chip giant, this is its second investment in Africa, but its first in Ghana, making it the 52nd country that it has deployed capital into. Rancard provides cloud-based mobile software to African consumers. The services help to bolster flagging voice revenue, by delivering targeted content, such as media from MTV and the BBC, to subscribers. End users are targeted via the company’s app, Rendezvous, which Rancard calls a social recommendation engine. Rendezvous pushes content that it tailors based on interest to users.

ethiopia

EAST AFRICA Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda appear to have de-emphasised ICT in budget plans for the next 12 months. Uganda’s US$4.8 million ICT sector allocation is the lowest in the past three years, according to an analysis by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). While Rwanda promoted ICT infrastructure investments and enabled usage by citizens in recent years - it did not specifically provide for ICT spending for the next 12 months Kenya allocated some $5.6 million for the purchase of computers for schools and removed import duty on computer software – while Tanzania increased duty on mobile telephone airtime.

MOZAMBIQUE MOVITEL, Mozambique’s third mobile phone operator is in talks with Tanzania’s National ICT Broadband Backbone with the view to have the facility reach the country’s border. The NICTBB from Dar es Salaam reaches Mtwara but Movitel wants Tanzania to push it to the remaining distance towards the border so that the company can get its backup for its existing operations in Mozambique. Movitel’s interest was triggered when state-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) closed a $6.7-million, 10year deal to supply 1.244 gigabytes of internet bandwidth to Rwanda – making Tanzania the first East African Community member to start selling internet bandwidth to other states.

An international press rights group expressed concern that a growing introduction of high tech censorship tools by Ethiopia could encourage other authoritarian regimes in Africa. Ethiopia has been under fire for suspending a number of private news papers and blocking major news sites and blog hosts following the rigged 2005 elections when post-election violence claimed the lives of over 200 street protesters. Last month, the country was accused of importing an advanced network filtering used to selective blocking websites. It was also accused of banning Skype and other use of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services that offer audio and video related communications. An allegation Addis Ababa denies.

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Issue 5 | page 27


CONNECTING AFRICA ICT ministers across Africa pledge to achieve 80% broadband penetration for the continent by 2020. words by Audra Mahlong

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As the continent increasingly recognises the value of ICT, African countries have declared a common desire and commitment to eradicate the barriers of poverty through the promotion and use of ICTs. Converged in Cape Town earlier this year, African ministers responsible for ICTs recognised the value of ICTs in building and fostering knowledge-based economies across the continent with their Vision 2020 statement. Their declaration is sure to be welcomed by the ICT industry, as they pledge to endorse the development of creative, competitive and sustainable ICT industries across Africa. The result, they hope will be the creation of employment in the sectors; the improvement of the quality of life of their citizens and setting the continent on a higher trajectory of economic and social development.

The various ministers also reaffirmed regional programs such as Connect Africa through which they committed to connecting African cities and villages through broadband, adopting policy and regulatory measures promoting ICT access, support ICT capacity building and adoption of e-strategies and cybersecurity measures to promote e-services. Fighting Africa’s challenges With a range of challenges to consider, the ministers noted that ICT would help provide an urgent solution to persistent issues facing the continent. With poor access to education; underresourced healthcare systems; inadequate infrastructure; outdated commerce platforms; extensive skills shortages; and a lack of ICT manufacturing presence on the continent – ministers emphasised the challenge that lay ahead.

With poor access to education; underresourced healthcare systems; inadequate infrastructure; outdated commerce platforms; extensive skills shortages; and a lack of ICT manufacturing presence on the continent – ministers emphasised the challenge that lay ahead. Vision 2020 for Africa - Accessibility, affordability and availability of broadband for all. - To declare broadband as a basic human right. - Increase broadband penetration to 80% of the population by 2020. - Advance e-strategies - Close the skills gaps

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With a commitment to dealing with these issues through a shared commitment between government, the private sector, governments noted that funding would have to sourced to support an innovative leapfrog mindset. In the end, broadband communication will be declared as a human right, ministers noted. Governments also pledged to achieve broadband penetration to 80% of the population by 2020 by focusing on accessibility, affordability and availability. Skills boost As the countries work towards an advanced development and use of applications locally relevant thematic areas as part of their e-strategies – skills development will play a key role.

Ministers pledged to take bold steps in closing the skills gap that exist between African countries and developed nations. The answer – ministers agreed – is in the improvement of basic education, with an emphasis on mathematics and science. In particular, to promote broadband integrated facilities in ICT education in such a way that it enhances the production of an industry ready workforce and an entrepreneurial ecosystem fostering innovation. Countries also advocated the importance of ICT skills development among girls’ and women as a key foundation block to advance their subsequent participation and leadership in the ICT eco-system.

Vision 2020 targets

- Focus on learning and human capital development to ensure the ICT skills requirements of the economy. - Secure investment capital to fund the large scale infrastructure required to achieve the targeted access and penetration levels. - Strengthen the R&D, design production capabilities and skills transfer. - Stimulate local content production considering the opportunity of application development, the multi-media sector, knowledge creation and the digitisation of Government. - Select and evaluate best practices in Africa and share lessons learnt to stimulate innovation and local content creation. - Capacitate inter-regional focused programmes to drive the implementation of ICT INDABA 2012 goals.

Image credits: Opp Page: http://seriouslygoodnews. com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/africacomputer.png This page: http://afrographique.tumblr. com/post/4533385659/infographicshowing-african-broadband-download

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Issue 5 | page 29


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Profile for Lethabo Mashike

Connecting Africa  

“If you keep fighting progress, you’re gonna find yourself on the wrong side of history.” I first heard that quote in the movie, Jumping the...

Connecting Africa  

“If you keep fighting progress, you’re gonna find yourself on the wrong side of history.” I first heard that quote in the movie, Jumping the...

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