BITS

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - SI­MON DIN­GLE si­mond@fin­week.co.za

FAT­TER THAN EX­PECTED THE WEST AFRICAN Ca­ble Sys­tem (WACS), an un­der­sea ca­ble project sched­uled to land in South Africa in 2011, has been up­graded for ex­tra ca­pac­ity. The ca­ble will now bring 5,1 ter­abits/sec­ond of ad­di­tional in­ter­na­tional band­width to SA, com­pared with Sea­com, which pro­vides 1,28 ter­abits/ sec­ond. The US$600m WACS ca­ble is be­ing in­stalled by an in­ter­na­tional con­sor­tium of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions op­er­a­tors, among them Vo­da­com, Telkom SA, MTN, Neo­tel, An­gola Tele­com, Broad­band In­fraco and oth­ers. It was orig­i­nally de­signed to pro­vide 3,8 ter­abits. VO­DA­COM IN­STALLS NEW CFO ROB SHUTER, for­mer head of Ned­bank’s re­tail bank­ing divi­sion, has been ap­pointed Vo­da­com’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer. He’ll take up of­fice on 1 July. Shuter will also join the Vo­da­com Group board as a di­rec­tor, be­come a mem­ber of its ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment com­mit­tee and serve on a num­ber of sub­sidiary boards. Shuter takes over from act­ing CFO Jo­han van der Watt. HEARTS AND MINDS TAI­WANESE COM­PUTER man­u­fac­turer Asus has part­nered with Dis­ney to de­velop a range of child-friendly net­book lap­top com­put­ers called Net­pal. The com­put­ers will come with a se­lec­tion of desk­top themes fea­tur­ing Dis­ney char­ac­ters and games and applications for kids.

The lap­tops are also spill-proof to pre­vent dam­age from milk and juice and have anti-shock tech­nol­ogy in case they’re dropped. The de­vices go on sale in the United States this month, start­ing at US$350 (around R3 000), and in­clude Win­dows XP Home, a we­b­cam, 3 USB ports, a 160GB hard drive and other fea­tures sim­i­lar to Asus’ Eee PC range.

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