Thumbs up for Vodafone deal

first_img13 January 2006South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has approved a R21-billion bid by British telecommunications group Vodafone to increase its stake in local cellular company Vodacom by 15%, paving the way for the second-largest foreign direct investment in SA since 1994, following the R30-billion paid by Barclays Bank for a majority stake in Absa in 2005.Vodafone, which currently owns 35% of Vodacom, aims to lift this to 50% through its offer to locally listed investment group VenFin – which owns 15% of Vodacom – of R47.25 per share.State company Telkom, currently the fixed line monopoly holder in South Africa, owns the remaining 50% of Vodacom.If Vodafone’s offer is accepted – it has extended the closing date to 12pm on 27 January – it will then sell VenFin’s other assets, including stakes in free-to-air television station e.tv, investment holding company Alexander Forbes and technology group Dimension Data, for around R5-billion.Gateway to AfricaThe deal is seen as an endorsement of South Africa’s solid economic fundamentals, and more specifically of the huge growth potential in the local – and Africa-wide – telecommunications sector.South Africa’s cellphone penetration is estimated to be around 57%; most European and East Asian markets in which Vodafone competes are close to saturation.Vodacom’s customer base grew 39% in the six months to end-June 2005, giving it 17.2-million customers, including 14.3-million in South Africa.The deal would give Vodafone increased access to cellular markets in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania.South Africa’s three mobile phone providers – Vodacom, MTN and Cell C – are fast expanding their footprint on the continent as cellular phones become Africans’ communications tool of choice.According to the International Telecommunication Union, 43 of Africa’s 53 countries have more mobile than fixed-line subscribers, and 70% of African telephone users are mobile phone subscribers.‘Highly attractive opportunities’“Vodacom has been a highly successful investment for Vodafone,” Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin said when the company first made its offer in November. “The company is the established number one mobile operator in South Africa.“This transaction enables us to enhance and protect our position by increasing our stake in a high growth business with good cash returns,” Sarin said. “There are highly attractive opportunities throughout Africa, and this move gives us greater opportunity for further expansion in the region.”Should the deal go through, Vodacom is expected to be relieved of a shareholder restriction on trading north of the Equator. This restriction had been enforced by Vodafone, who did not want to compete against a company it only partly owned.While the South African company’s growth into the African market has been stymied by the restriction, many analysts expect Vodafone to defer to Vodacom’s experience in expanding into new African territories.Vodafone, the world’s largest communications group, has cellular interests in 27 countries spread across five continents.Just days before the announcement of the Vodacom offer, Vodafone bought a 10% stake in Bharti, India’s largest cellular operator, for £820-million.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Unlocking the Promise of Enterprise IoT

first_imgThe promise of IoT is enormous, from reducing operational costs to improving workplace safety; yet many organizations face hurdles when it comes to delivering on this potential. New findings from a recent survey IoT World conducted of IoT business decision makers, “What’s Keeping IoT Executives Up At Night in 2019”, found that the top two concerns for IoT leaders in 2019 are implementation and cybersecurity. The good news is that addressing these challenges is often about doing the little things right.IoT World is the leading IoT conference and expo with over 12,500 attendees including top names such as: Amazon, Boeing, Bank of America, Dell, Chevron, CVS Health, Exxon Mobile, Ford, Google, NASA, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, and more. From working with and hearing from this wide range of organizations, we have learned that IoT implementation and security go hand in hand.Employee TrainingBefore any organization can implement new IoT technology, they must do their due diligence on potential security risks, their staff’s readiness to support the new technology and how to properly deploy it. At the front end of this challenge, our research shows that 45% of companies are deploying IoT devices on a dedicated network to mitigate security risk. Additionally, 46% say they are introducing internal training systems for their entire workforce. As new technology transforms day-to-day tasks, regular training is becoming a central aspect of IoT deployment and implementation. When employees are comfortable with the technology, businesses effectively improve both device efficacy and limit ecosystem vulnerability due to an oversite.Maintaining Cyber HygieneCyber threats come from so many different directions in today’s modern enterprise. Often times, the difference between being compromised and being secure is having the discipline to go through the checklist of best practices. Thankfully, our research shows that IoT executives are very aware of this and are taking precautionary steps to mitigate risks. Over two-thirds (68%) of companies say they are regularly updating firmware and software, 43% are checking devices to see if physical access makes them vulnerable to hacking, 35% are making data decryption a default and 26% are shutting down IoT devices when they are not in use – all small, yet often critical steps to protecting an organization. Tech Expertise is NeededOf course, it’s not enough to have a secure environment. The other aspect of implementation is ensuring an organization is in a position to leverage all the data gathered by its devices. An IoT ecosystem is only as valuable as an organization’s ability to translate all the data gathered and inform the business. Although there are tools and platforms that can help manage the data, the first and most important step to addressing this challenge is having the right employees on staff. Our research shows that companies are addressing this in two different ways, 64% of companies say they are planning to train current staff to fill more technical roles and 62% say they are planning to hire additional employees like data analysts or a different tech-focused position. Enterprise IoT shouldn’t need to keep anyone up at night. If enterprises really key in on ensuring they have the right expertise on staff, are regularly training their workforce when new technology is deployed and are disciplined with completing their security checklist – they will be well on their way to realizing the incredible potential IoT ecosystem has to offer.These topics and more will be discussed at IoT World 2019 in Santa Clara, California, May 13-16. For more info, please visit: www.iotworldevent.com Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of… Zach Butler CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from…center_img Related Posts Zach is an experienced Event Portfolio Director, with eight years’ experience in validating B2B technology markets to design, develop and produce commercial conferences and exhibitions. For the past four years, Zach has specialized in the evolving markets surround the Internet of Things by leading the Internet of Things World Series flagship event in Santa Clara, CA, as well as a series of regional events in Europe, Asia and South Africa. A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucaslast_img read more