[SA Business Week] Telcos shine at AfricaCom, A2X gains new traders
AfricaCom is Africa's largest tech, media and telcos annual festival where digital Africa interacts, learns, debates and ultimately make deals. This year's festival took place between November 13-15 in Cape Town, at CTICC. The event, which focuses on ICT, digital services, IoT, AI, FinTech, tech startups, 5G, connectivity infrastructure and broadcasting, was the highlight of South Africas telecommunications sector this week.
During the event, Liquid Telecom, a leading telecommunication company in South Africa, announced that it has extended the availability of Microsoft Azure from the Cape to Cairo , its lead in the African cloud revolution. From this, customers across the continent will have limitless opportunities for agility, innovation, and secure, compliant growth. Liquid Telecom had also recently announced a partnership with Zindi to support the rollout of its new data science competition platform across Africa. The company has delivered Microsoft ExpressRoute service peering in Africa, offering customers better performance, tighter security and lower latency.
Still in the event, Liquid Telecom announced or extending its award-winning VSAT service through a new partnership with Kymeta's lightweight, high throughput satellite communication systems will be integrated with Liquid Telecom's satellite connectivity. This will enable it to deliver enhanced satellite mobile connectivity across Africa. Just last month, Liquid Telecom appointed Wellington Makamure and Adil Youssefi as the new Regional CEOs for Southern Africa East Africa respectively.
Nokia, a reputable global telco was also in attendance at AfricaCom and announced its partnership with South Africa's Rain, to enhance the deployment of 5G connectivity in South Africa. The launch and subsequent rollout is very well aligned with the government's strategy to connect the lives of citizens and provide affordable broadband internet to South Africans. Earlier in the year, Nokia and Orange rolled out 4G LTE in seven African countries in a three-year modernization project to prepare for the launch of 4G services. It has also collaborated with Vodacom to shape the future of 5G in South Africa. Nokia has its commitment to enable companies in Africa capitalize on the opportunities that remain relevant and survive disruption.
After concluding its roaming agreement with MTN in May this year, Cell C, South Africa's third largest telecommunications service provider announced the completion of the national rollout or MTN roaming at the AfricaCom event. From this agreement, MTN will provide both 3G and 4G services to Cell C areas where Cell C has been chosen to purchase more than just self-build, mainly outside of the main metro areas. Cell C customers can also have LTE enabled. In August this year, Cell released its interim results for the period ended 30 June 2018, signaling how it was on track to deliver growth through its strategic initiatives and this latest rollout completion of MTN roaming could be one of the turnaround strategies. The company has secured funding from ZTE and Huawei in the past.
In another telecommunication related story, Teraco clients currently making use of its data centers in Cape Town and Johannesburg are linked to the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) - Africa's first transatlantic linking Africa to America, a move Teraco said will bring immense opportunity for clients within the data center. Teraco is Africa's largest vendor neutral colocation data center provider. In September, China Telecom Africa and Middle East (CTMEA), the Middle East and Africa subsidiary of China Telecom Global (CTG) selected Teraco as location for inter-connection hubs to support growing traffic demands at Teraco Data Environments. Teraco has also invested R1bn in ICT infrastructure to expand the Teraco Isando Campus (JB1) even as it predicts more growth across Africa
Lastly in banking and securities exchange this week, Standard Bank Group and AVI finally started trading on A2X . The two companies were approved for a secondary listing on A2X Markets a fortnight ago. Standard Bank has been rated as the most valuable Bank in South Africa and the move to have a secondary list on AX2. It launched its first African digital Bank at Côte d'Ivoire in March this year.