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Gilat Satcom is selling Iridium Push-To-Talk Solution

August 3 2015 — After taking part in the extensive Iridium initial launch programme, Gilat Satcom is one of the first companies to offer Iridium’s new Push-To-Talk (PTT) solution.

Designed for use anywhere around the world, even where access to fixed or mobile telecoms infrastructure is limited or non-existent, Iridium PTT uses the Iridium satellite network for worldwide connectivity and provides secure, one-to-many voice and data connectivity.

The Iridium PTT radio— the Iridium Extreme PTT—is ready to use out of the box and simple to operate. One handset at a time can talk while others listen on a single, secure downlink broadcast channel. When one person stops talking, another can broadcast using the same shared channel. The units cannot be detected when they are in receive mode.

Homeland Security (HLS), special units, defense troops and first responders are expected to be amongst the first customers for Iridium PTT.

Gilat Satcom is a long-term partner of Iridium and uses its devices to provide voice and data connectivity to its customers worldwide including governments, military and HLS, the mining industry, aircraft hangars, closed facilities and remote locations. Gilat Satcom can provide Iridium satellite connectivity to projects without a line of sight to the sky.

Dan Zajicek, CEO of Gilat Satcom, said “Our company is expanding rapidly and continues to be at the forefront of technology. Our customers around the world are very interested in Iridium PTT particularly in Africa where it will improve communications for HLS, government entities and NGOs.”

About Gilat Satcom

Gilat Satcom is a communication solutions provider that offers satellite and fibre-based connectivity solutions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. With successful deployments in 50 countries, Gilat Satcom consistently delivers high-quality, cost-effective and efficient communications solutions to telcos, ISPs, governments, enterprise customers and international organizations.

The company operates three international teleports in Europe and the Middle East, fourteen hubs/PoPs in Africa, two PoPs in Europe and one in the US. In addition, Gilat Satcom is a shareholder in WIOCC, owners of the East African Submarine System (EASSy), and in the West Africa Cable System (WACS), with undersea fibre-optic cable systems connecting eastern and western Africa to the rest of the world.  Gilat Satcom also provides space segments over numerous satellites including Intelsat, Telesat, Hellas Sat, ABS, SES-NewSkies and others.

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Ericsson and Mobinil Expand Partnership to Enhance Network Capabilities

Ericsson says that it has been chosen by Mobinil to enhance the Egyptian telecommunication company’s network providing improved data services to its subscribers.

The new agreement is for five years.

Yasser Shaker, Vice President Technology of Mobinil, says: “We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality and experience. This is especially crucial at a time when smartphone and tablet adoption is growing so rapidly, as it will ensure a superior level of service enjoyed across Egypt.”

Source: Cellular News

Telecom Italia Sparkle establishes disaster recovery site for Clal

Telecom Italia Sparkle Group through its Mediterranean operations MedNautilus, and Clal Group, one of the largest insurance and finance companies in Israel, announce a strategic, long term, agreement for the establishment of Clal’s third Disaster Recovery site.

This agreement follows Israel recently adopted regulation to promote the establishment of remote third Disaster Recovery sites for data storage and backup by institutional investors.

Clal’s new Disaster Recovery site is established in one of TI Sparkle Group’s facilities outside of Israel to provide an additional layer of protection against data loss.

TI Sparkle through MedNautilus is the only provider in Israel and in the Mediterranean capable of offering an international disaster recovery site in fully owned Data Centers located overseas and directly connected through a proprietary and fully protected ring-configured submarine cables system.

Through this agreement with TI Sparkle Group, Clal receives an end-to-end seamless service from a single provider and at the closest possible location to the cable landing station overseas, thus avoiding any foreign third party supplier and reducing overall service costs and risk.

TI Sparkle Group owns several datacenters in the Mediterranean, including three in Greece, one in Turkey and one in Sicily, which host local and large multinational corporations and banks. Such datacenters are located in the proximity of the landing stations of its advanced, top quality, fully protected Mediterranean ring-configured submarine cable network connecting Israel, Cyprus, Turkey and Italy with Western Europe and the US.

Such Network and Data Center configuration and ownership allows MedNautilus to offer a seamless and cost efficient end to end service to customers seeking to locate disaster recovery sites outside Israel.

Source: Total Telecom

Ericsson Signs Five-year Framework Agreement for Radio with Telenor

Ericsson has entered into a five year global framework agreement with Telenor Group to provide radio hardware and professional services.

The deal covers the rollout of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies, as well as installation, operational support, hardware and software support, and maintenance. Ericsson will offer multi-standard RBS6000 family of base stations as part of this agreement.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hilde Tonne, EVP and Head of Group Industrial Development, Telenor Group says: “LTE will be one of the major investment areas for us in the coming years. Given our long-standing and solid relationship with Ericsson, this agreement will enable us to deliver a high quality customer experience and secure the most efficient networks possible for Telenor’s Business Units. The agreement sets a basis for Ericsson to proactively deliver innovative solutions, strengthen its collaboration capabilities and meet the strategic ambitions of Telenor. We are already co-operating on radio projects in Myanmar, Thailand and India and we are confident that the work we are doing together will provide a richer, more stable experience for our customers and contribute to the success of our ‘Internet for All’ strategy.”

Thomas Norén, Vice President, Head of Radio Product Management at Ericsson says: “This framework agreement with Telenor confirms Ericsson’s position as market leader in LTE technology. The flexibility and reliability of our radio networks and the comprehensive professional services we offer allow our customers to offer the best possible service to their subscribers, even as markets and technologies continue to develop.”

Source: Cellular News

Huawei Announces Plans to Expand R&D Investment in France

Huawei has announced plans to increase its R&D investments in France and to expand industry cooperation with its French partners, including the procurement of more goods and services from French based suppliers.

During a recent meeting with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Mr. Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, said that Huawei’s investments in France will help the company better achieve and manage innovation around the world while, at the same time, benefitting the French economy by improving the competitiveness of the country’s industries and creating new high technology jobs.

Huawei will also expand its open cooperation with ICT enterprises in France to develop joint solutions for the global market. Huawei will also increase its procurement from suppliers in France, and promote the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Huawei will strengthen further its cooperation with French universities and help train more ICT experts in France.

“Huawei has always remained open-minded,” said Mr Ren. “We compete not only in the global market, but we also learn from the best practices worldwide as we work with our partners. We aim to attract the best talents around the world and continue to show tangible results in our own development. This strategy has helped Huawei to become a key ingredient of the local value-creation chains in markets where we operate.” “Huawei will stick to this strategy of globalization in the long run,” said Mr. Ren.

Source: Cellular News

Lenovo Innovation Centres to bridge university tech divide

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) and Lenovo, the world’s No.1 PC vendor, will launch South Africa’s first Lenovo Innovation Centre; a state of the art walk-in centre aimed at increasing the University’s interactivity with the latest technology.

The ‘walk-in intranet’ will be provided to DUT free of charge. It forms part of Lenovo’s efforts to support education and e-learning in the country while increasing the University’s interactivity with technology.

Conceptualised roughly nine months ago, the Innovation Centre is aligned to Student Centredness, one of the two major threads in the University’s strategic plan. The Innovation Centre is also aligned to the University’s online learning trajectory, which aims to make 50 percent of its programmes available on an e-learning platform by January 2015.

“Students are our next generation of leaders yet many of them don’t have access to the latest technologies,” says Graham Braum, Lenovo Africa General Manager. “Many universities in South Africa, especially those considered previously disadvantaged, operate on outdated technology. They don’t have computer labs where students can look, feel and touch technology.”

Recent research revealed that, out of South Africa’s 413 067 teachers, only 132 884 had been trained in basic computer skills and ICT equipment by 2011. South Africa’s readiness for e-learning is still hampered by a lack of skills and infrastructure even though schools and teachers remain optimistic and willing to bring ICT into the classrooms.

Technology in universities has always been a grey area due to limited budgets and excessive requirements. Lenovo aims to create IT abundance so that when students enter the workplace, they are familiar with technology and, more importantly, PC Plus technology, which supports all their computing requirements, whether at work or play.

“Lenovo feels that technology should be part of our everyday lives, and not be seen as a ‘nice to have’. Technology is what will take this country forward and Lenovo would like to enable our future leaders. Lenovo has first-hand experience working with graduates from universities across South Africa, who joined us for our 2014 intern programme. One thing that stood out was the students’ limited exposure to technology,” says Braum. “So how do we enable and empower our future leaders? We create an environment with IT abundance.”

Dilip Jeena, Client Services Manager within DUT’s IT Support Services Department, said the Innovation Centre has been provided to the University at zero cost. Lenovo and its technology partner, Intel, supplied the DUT Innovation Centre with a multitude of devices, including ThinkPads, ThinkCentre All in Ones, IdeaPads, and multi-mode laptops and tablets. All the devices will be linked to a Student Technology Programme, through which students can acquire tablets, laptops and other mobile devices at a discounted price.

“This Innovation Centre will assist students and staff in familiarising themselves in the use of the latest technology to gain access to various online content that is being developed on the e-learning platform. This would also educate them in the use of these various products and help them when seeking employment. With the rapid evolution of technology and the limited finances available to higher education institutions, the sponsorship of this Innovation Centre is well received.”

The DUT Innovation Centre is the first of its kind and Lenovo hopes to roll out additional Innovation Centres at other universities across the country.

Source: BizTech Africa

Gilat Satcom’s SuricatePRO solution certified by Iridium

Gilat Satcom today announced that its SuricatePRO solution for underground and closed facilities has been certified by Iridium Communications Inc., which operates the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe.

Gilat Satcom’s SuricatePRO solution provides high-quality voice and data connectivity to people in underground and other closed facilities with the ability to communicate over Iridium devices such as satellite phones, personal trackers, modems etc.

SuricatePRO was specifically designed for using Iridium devices without a line of sight to the sky. The solution provides coverage extension for Iridium satellite phones for users in mines, secure military installations, hangars, closed facilities and remote locations.

This fiber based solution extends the signal up to 6km enabling users to immediately access the Iridium® satellite constellation with up to three Iridium devices simultaneously as if they had a clear sky view.

Ami Schneider, Vice President of Mobile Satellite and Voice Services of Gilat Satcom, said “Since we launched the SuricatePRO interest has been extremely high as it provides satellite communication to formerly impossible-to-reach locations and secure facilities. The certification process was complex and demanding but ultimately extremely worthwhile as it enables us to expose our unique solution to a global audience.”

Source: Total Telecom

Facebook hits 100m user milestone in Africa

Facebook has announced that as of ​June 2014, there are 100 million people coming to Facebook every month across the African continent, with over 80% on mobile.

As in all corners of the globe, people in African countries use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

Says Nicola Mendelsohn, EMEA VP at Facebook: “People in high-growth countries want to be connected to the world around them. In countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey, and elsewhere, mobile devices are increasingly the way people find new information, and share their new experiences in the world. We also know that people will experience Facebook in unique ways across the world, especially in high-growth regions like Africa.”

Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer of Global Group M, puts it this way: “In Africa, we are seeing explosive growth and incredible momentum across the region. At the same time, when you look at the staggering cost of connectivity in many countries, mobile services need to deliver maximum utility on the biggest range of devices and consume the smallest amount of data, which is exactly what Facebook provides.”

Facebook knows that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to building products and solutions that address diverse local needs around the world, which is why it is committed to crafting solutions specifically for high-growth markets.

From ​testing new ad units “click to missed call” based on how people connect with each other, to ​enabling advertisers to customise campaigns for people depending on their device and connection speeds by using bandwidth targeting, Facebook is learning, testing, and optimising to provide the best experience for the next 100 million, and beyond.

“At Unilever we believe in putting people first,” says Jay Altschuler, Director of Global Media. “It’s our mission to connect our brands with the people we serve in order to help improve people’s health and well-being and enhance livelihoods. And we have found in Africa the best way to engage the people we serve is through mobile.”

Says Mendelsohn: “We know we have lot of work ahead of us, but we have a great team in place focusing on this effort. We are partnering with clients and agencies to test these mobile-first solutions and work together to deliver rich brand messages at lower data costs through solutions such as bandwidth targeting or new products.”

Source: BizTech Africa

MasterCard, Apple to Integrate Apple Pay Cardholders for mobile payment

Apple has unveiled Apple Pay that will enable MasterCard cardholders to use their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch for everyday purchases. MasterCard built the foundation for secure mobile transactions, so consumers can use their cards when, where and how they want.

MasterCard worked with Apple to deliver a seamless and secure payment experience. For consumers and merchants alike, that means that every purchase made with a MasterCard using iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will offer the security, benefits and guarantees of any MasterCard transaction.

Apple Pay transforms mobile payments with an easy, secure, and private way to make purchases. By integrating Apple hardware, software and services, Apple Pay creates a unique and incredibly intuitive experience for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch users.

Owners of the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will be able to use their MasterCard credit or debit cards from participating banks directly through Apple Pay. At a store, consumers can simply pay by just holding their iPhone near a contactless reader with their finger on Touch ID and their transaction will be authenticated. For purchases within an app, consumers will simply touch to pay and authenticate with their fingerprint or passcode for a seamless experience without having to enter their card number or leave the app.

“Apple has a long tradition of introducing breakthrough products with features that really matter to people. Apple Pay, combined with MasterCard’s payments technology, gives consumers an easy, secure and private way to shop,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. “We have been a pioneer of mobile commerce innovation for years – including the world’s first contactless and mobile payment solutions. We’re thrilled that MasterCard cardholders will soon be able to make payments from their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, knowing that every purchase is secure and offers all the same guarantees and benefits they’ve come to expect from using their MasterCard.”

Apple Pay will be made available for U.S. consumers via a free update to iOS 8 this October. MasterCard cardholders will be able to make simple and secure payments in the apps of top merchants, as well as contactless payments at some of the most frequented U.S. locations including major stores, restaurants, transit providers, fuel and convenience stores, and all Apple Store locations. One of the first to accept Apple Pay via iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will be MasterCard’s long-time partner Major League Baseball.

Source: BizTech Africa

Pamoja’s cloud service ecosystem taking shape in Africa

Pamoja, a leading cloud services and content aggregation business entity in the SEACOM stable, has entrenched the value of its service in East Africa and officially made this high-growth region its base. Armed with partnerships, expertise and the right resources, the company intends to build on its value added reseller network and strengthen the cloud service ecosystem it has long envisaged for the continent.

Pamoja is focused on driving increased adoption of cloud services, addressing traditional challenges and successfully replicating the Cloud services model for the benefit of operators throughout Africa.

In line with its proactive strategy to engage the Africa market, Pamoja has teamed up with First Distribution as part of the ‘First for Cloud’ initiative and make available cloud computing for resale via an extensive network of Value Added Resellers.

Empowering the reseller through reliable technical support and exposure to global best practices in terms of cloud adoption is a key component of Pamoja’s strategy.

To this end the Company recently announced that it has deployed its second cloud platform at Liquid Telecom’s East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

On 11 September Pamoja will unite with partner SmoothTel to host a targeted customer event in Nairobi. This event will offer small and medium business owners and key decision makers the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of Cloud computing.

“This will also offer a forum to ask about security in the Cloud and other questions that they have yet to get answers to,” explains Albie Bester, CEO of Pamoja.

Smoothtel is a professional ICT infrastructure specialist that provides its customers with innovative solutions that ensure the optimisation of application availability and manageability.

According to Bester, Smoothtel’s value proposition is its ability to remove the complexity of the process of ICT acquisition and application. “They have traceable references and a wide range of expertise in the field, proven by partners and skilled manpower. Pamoja is honoured to have Smoothtel as one of its resellers in the Kenyan market.”

Keeping customers front of mind

Executive leadership at Pamoja believes that Africa is a prime candidate for Cloud computing. Access to this resource means that despite insufficient IT resources and limited budgets, businesses of any size can be equipped with ICT servicesat levels previously unattainable.

In order to reinforce this message, the Company is actively pursuing opportunities to engage directly with the market through events and exhibitions.

Also in September, Pamoja, together with its Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) partner, Guideline Biztech, will exhibit at the IRMSA (Institute of Risk Management South Africa) 2014 Conference in Midrand, Gauteng.

Bester explains that this event affords the company a unique opportunity to engage with specialists in the field of risk management and deliberate the positive impact cloud computing has on this industry.

“Risk management is an ongoing process and needs to form part of the DNA of an organisation. By extending the risk management platform outside the boundaries of the organisation all stakeholders are kept in the loop. The cloud is as wide as the internet and thus we can have risk management solutions available wherever the internet extends to,” he adds.

He confirms that Pamoja’s model is destined to stand out in what is expected to be a large crowd through its RUBIQ Cloud based GRC platform and the physical presence of its cloud platform in South and East Africa.

Source: BizTech Africa

UBA’s One-Stop E-Payment Portal to Boost E-Commerce in Africa

THE E-commerce in Africa will receive a boost as United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has introduced an online payments and collections platform tagged U-bills, which has already been enabled in all the 19 countries where UBA operates.

U-bills, is a collection and bill payments platform that allows sellers to collect payments online or on their mobile devices like tablets and smart phones.

It also provides a one-stop platform for customers to make payments for goods and services on their mobile phones, tablets or personal computers as long as they have an internet connection on the devices.

“The uniqueness of the U-Bills platform is that it is a single payment gateway where all forms of payments to different merchants can be made. It is not a single-merchant platform. All merchants can register on U-Bills to receive payments for goods and services. Also, anyone can go online and register to make payments for goods and services bought” Divisional Head, e-Banking, Yinka Adedeji, said.

With U-bills, customers have the flexibility to make online payments anytime of the day or night or week to sellers for goods bought or services rendered.

“This means, it no longer matters where you are in the world. So far you are African and are from any of the Countries where UBA is, you can now pay your bills, top up phones of your loved ones and still pay for services without moving an inch,” he added.

Customers registered on U-Bills can recharge their mobile phones, pay their cable TV bills quickly and easily and pay their utility bills in any of the 19 countries in Africa where UBA has operations.

Already, some merchants that have registered on U-Bills to receive payments include MTN (top-up and post-paid), Etisalat, Glo, and Airtel.

Customers of these telecom operators registered on U-Bills, can buy air-time or top-up on the U-Bills platform.

Other service providers currently registered on the U-Bills platform include are the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Abuja Geographic Information Systems, Bells University of Technology Limited, among others.

Any type of registered business, small or big, providers of services or sellers of goods, can register on the U-Bills platform to receive payment for goods and services offered for sale.

The U-Bills platform accepts VISA and MasterCard as well as the local Card schemes and other payment platforms in the different countries where UBA has its operations.

Merchants must be UBA account holders to register to use U-Bills which will be activated on a Merchant’s platform within 72 hours of registration. U-Bills has no monthly or annual Charges. All charges are based on transactions and are country specific.

Payments on the U-Bills platform are safe and secure and protected by the best in class IT security features that is line with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards for card payments.

Source: The Guardian

Huawei and DoCoMo Test LTE Services in the 5Ghz Spectrum Band

Japans’s NTT DoCoMo says that it has demonstrated that LTE can be deployed over the 5GHz unlicensed spectrum, which is widely used for wireless LAN networks in many countries today.

In research carried out at a Huawei facility in Beijing since February 2014, DoCoMo and Huawei have been conducting experiments of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA), a technology that expands LTE-compatible spectrum to unlicensed spectrum bands, thereby providing complementary access for the LTE operator network.

Currently, LTE’s compatible spectrum bands are licensed between the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands in Japan.

The indoor test found that LAA can work in 5GHz bandwidth, leading to cell capacity of approximately 1.6 times greater than that of IEEE 802.11n, a standard specification for WLAN. This significant result was a positive indication that LAA can be utilized as an enhancement of LTE, and also LTE-A, which DoCoMo plans to launch by March 2015. For example, higher-speed data communications and a higher cell capacity in dense traffic areas should be achievable by utilizing the 5GHz spectrum for LTE and LTE-Advanced on a complementary basis in coexistence with wireless LAN.

The standardization of LAA is likely to be discussed later this year by 3GPP.

Source: Cellular News

Ruckus Wireless expands presence in Africa

Ruckus Wireless has appointed Westcon Africa as the newest member of its growing distributor network as part of the company’s continued expansion into Africa. Westcon Africa is now an official distributor of all Ruckus Wireless solutions across the continent effective from 1 August 2014.

Says Michael Fletcher, sales director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa: “We made our commitment to Africa when we launched in South Africa at the end of 2011 and over the last few years we have made strong inroads – with Africa a strong growth market for us. To ensure we are able to continue to support our growing African customer base – existing and new – we made a strategic decision to appoint Westcon Africa.”

Westcon Africa is a value-added distributor of category-leading unified communications, network infrastructure, data center and security solutions with a global network of specialty resellers. With over 100 offices, Westcon Africa ships to more than 100 countries and is constantly adding new facilities and expanding their footprint to cater to the continent’s requirements.

“We are focused on creating the programs and support that accelerate the business of our partners,” says John Spreadborough, General Manager, Convergence at Westcon Africa. “As a pure-play wireless LAN (WLAN) vendor, Ruckus Wireless continues to excel as one of the fastest growing enterprise WLAN suppliers in the market and as such, we are pleased to add Ruckus to our list of vendors in our aim to continue to drive high quality professional services that meet the changing needs of business and the individual nature of each client.”

Ruckus Wireless also continues to aggressively grow its partner channel worldwide with their global Partner Programme including: the Ruckus partner portal, its annual Big Dogs channel partner conferences, and comprehensive Ruckus University Wi-Fi training programs.

“Ruckus partners continue to help Ruckus maintain its position as one of the top wireless networking providers in key vertical markets including the likes of education and hospitality, while also helping it continue to grow its customer base in the healthcare, manufacturing and retail sectors. And with a global strategy to continue to work with global partners, we welcome Westcon Africa onboard. With their Pan African distribution network, experience and positive track record, we believe our African outreach will continue to grow strongly,” concludes Fletcher.

Source: BizTech Africa

Intelsat celebrates 50 years

Intelsat today commemorates its 50th anniversary of providing critical telecommunications and video content distribution infrastructure for businesses, organizations and governments around the world. In honor of its anniversary, the company created a video library featuring 50 interviews with contributors to the earliest days of the commercial space sector, as well as the business leaders responsible for today’s innovations. The video gallery also includes the stories of Intelsat’s customers and employees who have witnessed firsthand the vital role of satellite communications in connecting the world.

“I can think of no better way to honor Intelsat’s 50th year and those early pioneers of space than by looking to the future and the advances that are taking place in space-based communications that will transform how people, machines, and businesses connect to one another,” stated Dave McGlade, Chairman and CEO, Intelsat. “The advent of high throughput satellite technology, such as Intelsat EpicNG, and innovation occurring at all levels of our ecosystem will ensure that communities and businesses around the world have the information and content they need to progress and thrive. That was our mission in 1964 and remains critically important at Intelsat today as we endeavor to connect people of the world.”

The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) was established on the basis of agreements signed by governments and operating entities on August 20, 1964. INTELSAT’s sole purpose was to provide the necessary communications infrastructure that would aid in the socioeconomic development of nations around the world.

Since then, Intelsat has played a crucial role in enabling the vast progression of telecommunications over the past half century. The company’s global satellite network has provided critical connectivity and content delivery that has transformed businesses, driven economic development and productivity and brought people together during global events.

Since Intelsat’s global satellite broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon in 1969, Intelsat’s satellites have allowed the world to share in real time some of modern history’s most historic moments and iconic entertainment events. As important, Intelsat has served as the critical link for news organizations and humanitarian workers by providing near-instant communications infrastructure during times of crisis.

50 years, 50 satellites, and millions of people connected by satellite communications, Intelsat remains the world’s leading provider of satellite communications. The company’s commitment to innovation, its customers and ensuring that businesses and people wherever they are around the world have access to content and connectivity that will enable them to thrive and grow continues to be at the core of Intelsat’s success.

Source: BizTech Africa

63Mbps in 3C-HSDPA Test by Huawei

Huawei says that it has successfully completed tests of 3 Carrier High Speed Downlink Packet Access (3C HSDPA). The trial achieved peak download rates of 63Mb s, a 50% increase in downlink user speeds compared with Dual Carrier High Speed Downlink Packet Access (DC HSDPA).

“This is a timely and important milestone in a fast expanding world of smart phones, growing mobile video demand and real-time large file download expectations,” said Wang Yixiang, President of UMTS Domain in Huawei. “The relevance of higher speed downlink is also of significance for a growing number of multi-carrier networks, especially 3G 900 MHz and 2100 MHz band network deployments where improving download speeds through multi-carrier aggregation technology is critical for maintaining user experience and retention.”

Release10 of 3GPP introduces 3C-HSDPA technology, effectively aggregating three carriers for a single downlink subscriber over one or two mainstream UMTS bands at 850-900MHz and 2100MHz.

Source: Cellular News

Samsung Electronics launches first Solar Powered Internet School in Ghana

With a click of a bottom school-going children in the deprived community of Dago in the Akuapem South District of Ghana’s Eastern Region will be connected to the rest of the world in search of information. This is thanks to Samsung Electronics Company Limited and the Korean Education and Research Information Services, in collaboration with the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education, who have provided the district with a Solar Powered Internet School.

Samsung’s Solar-Powered Internet Schools Initiative forms part of Samsung’s Citizenship program and it will bring mobile classrooms filled with gadgets to rural towns.

By outfitting a 40FT mobile shipping container with desks, a 65-inch electronic board, Internet-enabled solar-powered notebooks, Samsung Galaxy tablet computers and Wi-Fi cameras, children can receive a technology-rich education without travelling far. All these devices are optimised for use in a solar powered environment. It also has a central server which stores the curriculum up to grade 12 for teachers and students to access and discuss. The e-board allows for cross-group collaboration across geographical boundaries. Its can concurrently run video conferencing, access the internet, and connect to the tablet computers in the container.

Speaking at the official launch of the facility, the Managing Director in charge of Samsung West Africa, Mr. Harry Park, stated that the project is replicated in some other African countries by Samsung to help promote education in deprived communities. He then called on the government and corporate Ghana to assist in the provision of such facilities across the country.

The Minister in charge of education in Ghana, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to the government of the Republic of Korea and to Samsung Electronics for the honour done Ghana through the donation of a Solar-Powered Internet School.

She noted that the government of Ghana has committed itself to transforming the Ghanaian economy into an information rich and knowledge based economy and society using the tools of ICT. “ In this regard, a comprehensive program of rapid deployment and utilisation of ICT was introduced into the educational and other sectors, with the aim of improving lives through finding answers to the many questions relating to health care, education, infrastructure, and social amenities etc which confront us as a people,” he added.

Source: BizTech Africa

IBM buys cloud security provider Lighthouse

IBM has acquired Lighthouse Security Group, a provider of cloud-hosted security services. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Lighthouse is a subsidiary of longtime IBM partner Lighthouse Computer Services. Its signiture platform Gateway is used to protect identity and data in IT environments where company information is increasingly being stored in the cloud and accessed from mobile devices.

The deal marks Big Blue’s second acquisition in the identity and access management space in just two weeks, following its purchase of CrossIdeas in late July.

IBM plans to integrate the businesses of Lighthouse and CrossIdeas with IBM’s current IAM offering, with the goal of building out a full suite of identity-focused security software and services.

Kris Lovejoy, GM of IBM Security Services, said in a statement:

“Business models are rapidly evolving as employees conduct more of their work offsite. Protecting this data and who has access to it has become a challenge, costing our clients time and money. With this acquisition, IBM provides a unique identity and access management offering that combines proven software and analytics technology with expert managed services that make it easy for businesses to tackle the complexities of security in this new digital world.”
Although the acquisition-fueled approach to business growth is now the de facto standard in the enterprise software industry, IBM seems to be reaping the profits from its string of company purchases, especially in the enterprise security segment.

According to recent figures by Gartner, IBM has become the third largest security software vendor, behind Symantec and McAfee, with its revenues up 20 percent year-over-year in 2013 to $1.14 billion.

Source: ZD Net

LinkedIn Third-Quarter Sales Forecast Tops Estimates

LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) showed investors it can reignite sales after more than a year of slowing growth, with a forecast for third-quarter revenue that topped estimates.

Revenue will be $543 million to $547 million in the current period, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement yesterday, topping analysts’ average projection for $541.5 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. LinkedIn shares rose 7.3 percent in extended trading.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner has been branching out from recruiting and subscriptions, introducing a website in China and offering services for salespeople looking for new clients. He’s also investing in original content and new smartphone applications for the largest professional-networking website. The measures helped to boost revenue by 47 percent to $533.9 million in the second quarter, beating analysts’ estimates as growth picked up again after five quarters of slowing sales.

“For the past five quarters, they guided below Street estimates, and this is the first quarter for the past five quarters that they’ve guided above Street estimates — it’s definitely a positive,” said Neil Doshi, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC, who rates the stock a buy.

The shares of LinkedIn rose 12 percent to $201.78 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since February 2013. The stock, which gained 89 percent last year, is down 6.9 percent this year.

LinkedIn reported a second-quarter net loss of $1.03 million, compared with net income of $3.73 million a year earlier.

Product Expansion

LinkedIn’s professional networking service has been expanding into new product categories and last week said it agreed to buy Bizo Inc., a business-marketing startup, for $175 million. Bizo will add $3 million in revenue in the current period and $6 million the next, Steve Sordello, LinkedIn’s chief financial officer, said during a conference call.

Profit, excluding some items, was 51 cents a share in the second quarter, exceeding analysts’ average estimate for 39 cents on revenue of $511 million.

Membership increased to 313 million in the latest quarter, up 32 percent from a year earlier.

“China has become the fastest-growing major market in terms of new members,” Weiner said on the call.

LinkedIn also added more than 2,200 accounts within the recruiting services segment and had healthy renewal rates, Sordello said.

“They’re still in the early innings of capturing a longer-term opportunity,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group. “A suite of products improving the user experience and improving analytics will drive long-term value.”

Sales Offering

Separately, the company unveiled a new website for salespeople called Sales Navigator, which uses LinkedIn data to find potential customers. The product, which costs $1,200 a year, helps marketers manage their connections, drawing on relationships within their professional network.

“Salespeople have recognized that LinkedIn is not just a place to find a job — far from it,” Mike Derezin, LinkedIn’s vice president of sales solutions, said in an interview. “It’s a place to grow and build relationships.”

By making a separate product, LinkedIn can tailor the experience more to the sales job and charge more for it, like it did for recruiters, Derezin said.

“Everything that we wanted to see is coming into fruition: you see solid additions across corporate customers, the traction in sponsored updates is certainly there, and the long-awaited enterprise centric Sales Navigator solution has finally launched,” Cakmak said.

Source: Bloomberg

Gemalto acquires SafeNet for $890m

Digital security firm Gemalto has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per ceny of the share capital of data protection and software monetisation company SafeNet from Vector Capital for US$890 million on a debt free/cash free basis.

Gemalto said with SafeNet it could combine the best technologies, expertise and services available for securing a complete infrastructure, including network, users, data, software, at the core and at the edge.

The purchase price of US$890 million is self-funded with US$440 million from available cash and US$450 million drawn from existing long-term credit facilities.

“Depending on market conditions, Gemalto may refinance the credit facilities through a bond issuance or other means at a later date. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in Q4 2014, after approval from the relevant regulatory and antitrust authorities,” the company said.

“The opportunity to acquire SafeNet has come at exactly the right time, as we have just entered into our new multi-year development plan and there is a perfect fit between Gemalto’s “security at the edge” and SafeNet’s “security at the core” capabilities,” said Gemalto chief executive officer (CEO) Olivier Piou.

“This will enable us to further accelerate the deployment of strong security solutions in the Enterprise sector, and expand our technologies and growth opportunities in protecting online access. Overall, our global leadership in digital security will be reinforced.”

“We are very excited for the opportunity to join Gemalto, which is recognized internationally for leadership in the digital security domain. Our products and routes to market are perfectly complementary and our visions for the future naturally intertwined,” said Prakash Panjwani, SafeNet president and CEO.

“The combination of our portfolios will allow customers to have access to world’s leading security products for mobile and cloud, delivering best-in-class protection of data and identities. This transaction will accelerate the delivery of Gemalto’s security solutions to the Enterprise while also making SafeNet’s data protection solutions accessible to the Banking and Telecom sectors – truly a win-win for everyone involved.”

Source: Human IPo

LG U+ and Huawei Establish Mobile Innovation Center in Seoul

Huawei says that it has opened a Mobile Innovation Center (MIC) in Seoul, in cooperation with the local mobile network operator, LG U .

On July 30, 2014, LG Uplus and Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to mark the announcement at the LG Uplus head office in Seoul. During the signing, the MIC committee, including Mr. Kim Sun Tae, Executive Vice President of Service and Development Division, LG Uplus and Mr. Yang Chaobin, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Wireless Networks, came together to discuss the acceleration of LTE-A Carrier Aggregation, innovation in small cell and network quality technologies, new 5G equipment, and the in-building of equipment development at the new center.

Mr. Kim Sun Tae, LG Uplus, said: “Establishing the new MIC will provide both LG Uplus and Huawei with an increased competitive advantage in the ICT market.”

Mr. Kim went on to add that he expects the partnership to contribute significantly to the development of the country’s ICT industry, and deliver the most advanced LTE products and innovative 5G solutions to people in South Korea in the future.

Source: Cellular News

Gilat Satcom expands fibre network in Nigeria

Gilat Satcom, a leading provider of satellite and fiber-based connectivity services in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, has announced new fiber routes within and beyond Nigeria.

Gilat Satcom’s African headquarters is in Lagos employing in-country engineers, technical staff and a sales team. The company has been offering high-speed broadband services over satellite in Nigeria for more than 20 years.

Starting today, Gilat Satcom will be providing services on its fiber network connecting Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt to the global internet backbone via the WACS undersea cable. Gilat Satcom is providing its new fiber services directly to partners and businesses in Nigeria.

This new investment comes following a huge increase in demand from businesses of all sizes which need reliable and fast broadband to implement services such as online ordering, money transfers, real time applications and more.

Gilat Satcom is a shareholder in WIOCC, owners of the West Africa Cable System (WACS), and has commissioned capacity from WACS to its Point of Presence (POP) in Lagos. The Lagos POP is now directly connected by fiber to Gilat Satcom’s POP in Port Harcourt and Abuja.

Mr. Rio (Valdir Filstein), General Manager of Gilat Satcom Nigeria, said “Nigeria’s economy is growing rapidly and our latest investment reflects our commitment to the country, its people and its businesses. We have built a fine reputation over the years for providing high-quality extremely stable broadband services with excellent Quality of Service with 24/7/365 technical support and unbeatable prices to all users.”

Gilat Satcom has a growing range of fiber routes in coastal and landlocked Africa and provides telcos, ISPs, Governments and businesses with fast and reliable broadband connectivity at a highly competitive price.

Gilat Satcom recently announced additional investment in its broadband network in East Africa with the establishment of a new POP in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Gilat Satcom is amongst the first companies in Africa to offer both non-stop East to West coast-to-coast and international connectivity. Its MPLS network connects to both the WACS, EASSy and SEACOM undersea cables via fibre local loops across Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Mozambique.

In addition, Gilat Satcom’s pan-Africa satellite footprint allows its MPLS network to reach the most remote areas of the continent.

Gilat Satcom has a number of joint ventures across Africa including Microlink in Zambia and Raga in the DRC.

Source: BizTech Africa

SLA Mobile provides cloud management solutions on AWS

SLA Mobile, a global mobile solutions provider headquartered in Belfast, is delighted to announce its cloud management solutions on AWS Cloud platform for its customers.

SLA Mobile is a mobile solution provider that works with leading mobile operators to help them monetise their network and data assets. Using AWS enables the company to provide a comprehensive cloud management solution to deliver customer solutions faster, at a lower cost and with greater flexibility. For mobile operators, this means they have the opportunity to benefit from a faster time to market and a reduction in capital expenses. Mobile operators benefit from a cloud management solution as set up is relatively low in terms of both time and cost in comparison with hardware solutions. The customer only pays for what they use, again reducing costs.

Craig Richards, Director of Group Operations and Delivery commented, “We are delighted to work with AWS. This relationship presents a real opportunity to better serve our customers across Europe, the Middle East, South-East Asia and Australia, where we already have customers using AWS.” Craig continued, “We’ve invested in training our key personnel on AWS, so we’re ready to take full advantage of the opportunities of the AWS Cloud platform to provide a better level of service for our customers.”

Nic Stirk, CEO at SLA Mobile also commented, “SLA Mobile has seen a considerable rise in demand for cloud management solutions in the API Management space. It is with this in mind that we work with AWS to address the opportunities the Telco industry is seeking from technology providers like ourselves.”

Source: Total Telecom

Nokia Networks appoints David Gaul head of Central East & West Africa business

Nokia Networks today announced the appointment of David Gaul as head of Central, East and West Africa (CEWA) effective today. In his new role, David is responsible for overall sales and operations of Nokia Networks across the CEWA region in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Previously, he was heading the delivery for the CEWA from 2012. David has held a number of senior management positions in European and African telecom companies, including Vodafone in the UK and Ghana.

Igor Leprince, Senior Vice President and Head of MEA at Nokia Networks, said: “David has a very strong knowledge and track record in several key management positions in telecom companies, and he will be able to build on his experience and continue to develop business in this dynamic CEWA region.”

Commenting on his appointment, David said: “I am delighted to continue my work with the Nokia Networks team in the MEA. The CEWA region is an exciting market where we have the opportunity to implement the innovative portfolio that Nokia, as the world’s specialist in mobile broadband, offers to network operators.”

Born in the UK, he holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering, and has an MSc in Design of Information Systems from Cranfield University, an MA in Defence Studies from Kings College London, and an MBA from the Open University.

Source: Total Telecom

BICS POP in SA to increase reach into Africa

BICS, global provider of international connectivity and interoperability services, has established a point-of-presence (POP) in Johannesburg to offer its operator customers assured quality of interconnect for traffic exchange in Africa, optimising transit routes and lowering latency.

The BICS POP will be located in facilities provided by South African data centre company Teraco, which works with major fixed-line and wireless carriers in the country. The deployment will not only improve interconnectivity to existing customers, but also increase the availability of the BICS MOSAIC suite of solutions to operators and ISPs within the region. BICS’ portfolio of over 60 solutions addresses the connectivity and hubbing needs of communications providers worldwide.

The Johannesburg POP is the latest milestone marking BICS’ sustained investment to address the needs of African communications providers. It follows the establishment of its Dubai POP with provider Equinix in March covering Northern Africa; and the foundation of its East Africa Gateway in Djibouti last year. BICS also enhanced its investment in the region during 2013 by opening three new offices in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

BICS SVP Capacity Business Management, Johan Wouters, said: “Establishing the Johannesburg POP in partnership with Teraco is an important step in increasing transit efficiency in Southern Africa. We will continue to evolve our infrastructure to provide the highest level of connectivity with the lowest latency to our customers.

“Africa is a key market for BICS and this agreement further emphasises our commitment to the region by offering market-leading connectivity services to communication providers across the continent.”

Lex van Wyk, CEO of Teraco added: “We are delighted to partner with BICS to host its POP in South Africa and help meet its expansion goals in Africa. Using infrastructure built on the networks of major carriers in the country, BICS will be able to further enhance its ability to provide high speed interconnection with regional and global carriers.”

Source: BizTech Africa

South Africa: Business Connexion appoints new CEO

Listed ICT firm Business Connexion has appointed as Isaac Mophatlane CEO of the company, following the passing of late CEO, Leetile Benjamin Mophatlane.

Benjamin Mophatlane passed away following a cardiac arrest on Wednesday 11, June 2014.

Isaac Mophatlane, twin brother and co-founder of Business Connexion, moves to the chief position having been Head of Sales and Marketing and Executive of the Canoa division at BCX.

The appointment takes effect from 1 August 2014.

Tony Ruiters, Chairman of the Board, commented that Isaac was the natural choice of successor to Benjamin given his background as co-founder of Business Connexion and his intimate understanding of the operations and culture of the Company.

Prior to Mophatlane’s passing, BCX was in the process of being acquired by Telkom.

In May, Telkom said it had entered into an agreement to acquire BCX in a R2.7 billion cash offer funded from its own cash resources.

The deal was put on hold after Mophatlane’s death.

Source: Business Tech (By My Broadband)