SATNAC to probe changing requirements of the telecom sector

August 16th, 2019, Published in Articles: EngineerIT

Sipho Maseko, group CEO, Telkom, will deliver the opening keynote address.

SATNAC 2019, the Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference, will this year examine the changing requirements of the telecommunication sector in South Africa and the country’s future infrastructure needs.

Coming of age this year, the conference will focus on the changing face of Telcos in today’s digital world. “While maintaining some of the traditional features such as a student poster session and several student breakaway sessions where students studying at the Telkom Centres of Excellence present papers on their research and developments, the conference will have a digital economy slant. Liu Zhaopi, director of Africa markets of Alibaba will take delegates through this successful company’s journey into the digital economy.

While government is still in a quandary over 5G, the conference features a healthy dose of 5G with a panel discussion “Is there a role for 5G in 4IR?” and a presentation by Prof. Thomas Magedanz of Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS about “Understanding 5G as enabler to leapfrog in the digital transformation”.  Another keynote speaker to note is Fuad Siddiqui, VP and senior partner at Bell Labs Consulting who is the author of a blog “Who will capture the new value in the 5G Future X network era”. In the bog he writes that networks hold the power to re-write future economics, and businesses that fully embrace the potential of 5G will have the best chance of increasing profits.

A second panel discussion will address the subject “The impact of blurring boundaries on business models”.

Hugo van Zyl, chief technology and systems officer, Openserve, who has been intimately involved in the conference programme development, told EngineerIT there will be an upfront focus about the important role of students in the conference. A graduate of the Telkom Centres of Excellence programme, Tarika Balmahoon, will talk about the programme and her experiences. She is currently employed by Openserve as an engineer.

The conference takes place from 1 – 4 September 2019 in Ballito on the KwaZulu-Natal North coast. For more information visit

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