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.