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All eyes on Telkom, DTPS as industry preps for SATNAC 2018

All eyes on Telkom, DTPS as industry preps for SATNAC 2018

The 21st Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC) will run from 2 to 5 September 2018 and will focus on the role of Software Defined Networks in data-driven business transformation.

The Conference takes place at The Arabella Hotel & Spa in the heart of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve near Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa.

Alphonzo Samuels, Chairman of SATNAC and Openserve Chief Executive Officer, said, "With telecoms operators, across the world, increasingly moving towards Software Defined Networks, the focus of this year's conference will definitely prove to be pertinent and appropriate, especially as current and future trends in this space are likely to come under discussion."

This year Dr Siyabonga Cwele, South Africa's Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, is scheduled to deliver the opening keynote address.

Both Telkom and The Ministry have been in the spotlight this week, after ITWeb report that South Africa's cabinet approved the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill (ECA Bill), which clears the way for the introduction and licensing of the proposed wholesale open acedcess network (WOAN). Telkom, meanwhile, was reported to have threatened that should the Independent Communications Authority of SA's (ICASA's) draft call termination rates not be amended, the company could change its business model, cease operations in rural areas, and be forced to cut jobs.

As reported by ITWeb, the ECA Billl seeks to implement and give effect to the policy objectives set out in the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper, published in late 2016.

SATNAC 2018 organisers have confirmed the attendance of, among others, Prof Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Witwatersrand; Sipho Maseko, Group Chief Executive Officer, Telkom SA SOC Ltd; Dr Enrique Hernandez-Valencia, Partner, Nokia Bell Labs Consulting and Henrique Vale, Nokia's Software Business Head for Middle East and Africa.

A panel discussion focusing on 'Digitalisation's impact on economic growth in South Africa' is also on the agenda and will be chaired by Dr Brian Armstrong, WBS Chair, University of Witwatersrand. The list of panelists includes Vernon Thaver, Gartner Executive Partner: Executive Programs Service Delivery; Jaco Dippenaar, Data and Artificial Lead at Microsoft Azure; Rapelang Rabana, Chief Digital Officer at BCX and Shyam Ranchod, Digital Transformation Lead at Deloitte.

With SATNAC being born out of Telkom's Centre of Excellence (CoE) programme, post-graduate students also play a leading role at the conference. "SATNAC provides an ideal platform for post-graduate CoE students to showcase their applied research," said Samuels.

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