* Telecommunications operator NEOTEL filed a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) against rival Telkom asking it to provide it with access to the fixed-line incumbent’s local loop (domestic network). The result of Neotel’s submission could mean the difference between local loop unbundling taking place this year and a tedious, lengthy process that could take several years to complete. Neotel asked that Telkom give it access to two telephone exchanges, one in Benmore Gardens (Sandton) and the other in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
* Nine countries – including South Africa – signed a letter of intent to see the SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY (SKA) telescope built. SA’s Department of Science & Technology, Australia, China, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand recently signed the letter in Italy. The document is a verification of their common intention to have the SKA built and they agreed to work together to secure funding for the next phase of the project. SA is currently bidding against Australia to host the mega telescope, with a final decision expected to be made next year. The SKA is about 100 times more sensitive than the biggest existing radio telescope and will be built in the Karoo if SA is successful in its bid.
* Cell C has launched an ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN that targets Vodacom’s rebranding to the red identity of its parent, Britain’s Vodafone. Vodacom consequently filed a complaint against its rival at the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), accusing Cell C of disparaging its brand and products. Cell C’s new television ad features its “chief experience officer” – comedian Trevor Noah
– describing Vodacom’s new brand image as superficial and stating Cell C has SA’s best network.