Great expectations as SATNAC 2014 explores ubiquitous broadband

August 21st, 2014, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: EngineerIT, Featured: EE Publishers


When SATNAC 2014 opens its doors in Port Elizabeth on 1 September delegates will be in for an interesting few days as the presenters and panellists will focus on ubiquitous broadband as an enabler to transform the lives of ordinary South Africans. 

Alphonzo Samuels, Chief Technology Officer & Conference Chairperson. “SATNAC is the only conference that puts students, academics, government and industry specialists and leaders together to share and learn.”

Alphonzo Samuels

The conference theme is “Ubiquitous Broadband – an enabler to transform lives”. The conference chairperson, Alphonzo Samuels, says that SATNAC is the only conference which puts students, academics, government and industry specialists and leaders together to share and learn. This theme was chosen because the organisers believe that South Africa is at the crossroads and needs to take the right fork if the country is to deliver on the promise of broadband for all by 2020.

The conference will start on a high note with Dr. Peter Clayton, deputy vice-chancellor, Rhodes University delivering the welcoming address and Dr. Siyabonga Cwele, minister of  telecommunications and postal services delivering the opening address.

The programme for the mornings of the first  two days features all the big names in the telecommunications vendor community. One presentation which is expected to draw a lot of traction is “Broadband rollout – build it right first time with process automation” delivered by Phil Bull of Amdocs’ OSS division. He will be sharing Amdocs’ more than 30-year track record of ensuring service providers’ success and embracing their biggest challenges.

Sipho Maseko, Telkom’s Group CEO, will deliver the keynote address on day one while Dr. Brian Armstrong, Telkom’s COO, will open day two. Both are are well versed in their roles and are expected to give insight into Telkom’s way forward and the group’s vision for achieving the country’s broadband 2020 programme. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring major internet service providers.

An important aspect of SATNAC 2014 will be the participation by students who are working on their Masters and PhDs at the Telkom Centres of Excellence (CoE).  The initiative was launched in 1997 with the objective of sparking the production of a new generation of highly skilled engineers, computer scientists and related professionals. Telkom, industry partners and tertiary education institutions under the Technology and Human Resource for Industry Programme (THRIP) offer young graduates the opportunity to conduct research in world class environments.

There are currently 16 CoEs and 20 industry partners. This year 91 student papers will be presented, of which 20 are work-in-progress papers. Thirty poster presentations have been accepted and will be on display during the afternoon on the first day.

SATNAC 2014 will be held from 1 – 3 September 2014 at The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth. More information can be found at



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