Computer News - In Brief


- South Africa has rolled out its new next generation network across its main public administrations at a cost of R454m. Neotel won the contract ahead of Telkom last year with a bid roughly 8.5 times cheaper, ousting the incumbent as sole provider of state networking services. The previous network was switched on in 2003. State demand for bandwidth had since risen 150% a year every year yet there have been no big upgrades to boost the old network capacity.

-In an effort to boost ICT development, the Benin Government has lifted import taxes and VAT on IT equipment including software, printers and spare parts. However IT consumables will remain taxable.

- Two black-owned technology start-ups are growing in stature by taking their products to India. Mundial has developed Yambi, a messaging and collaboration tool that incorporates e-mail, contact lists, instant messaging, texting, calendar and files and can be accessed from anywhere, with any device. Another small company, InnoVent Rental and Asset Management Solutions, founded by black chartered accountants DJ Kumbula and Zakhe Khuzwayo, has financed technology equipment worth almost R1bn.

- Cape Town-based open source software developers KnowledgeTree have just expanded their operations into the Iberian peninsula in a deal with Sybase SBS Software in Spain and Portugal. The master distributor deal will see Sybase SBS Software develop a network of new reseller partners in the region.