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  • Telkom’s SATNAC kicks off; focuses on innovation, research

Telkom’s SATNAC kicks off; focuses on innovation, research

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The annual Telkom Southern African Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC) began yesterday in Drakensberg, focusing on accelerating digitalisation and innovations.

Telkom says the conference’s intention this year is to showcase the latest developments in the ICT sector, host a peer-review and publishing platform for students, and develop the next generation of innovative technology.

The conference, which ends tomorrow, brings together ICT leaders, academic institutions and students who have dedicated their work to solving many of the seemingly impossible challenges humanity faces, says Telkom.

SATNAC is being held under the theme “Accelerated digitalisation” and partners at the conference include Accenture, Huawei, Amdocs, ZTE, TCS, CSG, YahClick, Nokia, SGT, CBI, Aria Technologies, Telkom Consumer and Openserve.

“We want to democratise the search for knowledge, and build pathways for people from all backgrounds to enter academia. We are confident our collaborations and partnerships will continue to grow and we are confident it will continue to help us fund research, and help build diversity of skills in key technology areas,” says head of innovation and transformation at Telkom, Dr Mmaki Jantjies, a technology expert, researcher and advisor.

“SATNAC is an excellent talent pipeline in key critical areas, such as engineering, data sciences and communication. It also gives us opportunities to collaborate with established researchers at tertiary institutions to solve critical issues for South Africa.”

Research papers presented at this year’s conference will cover areas such as healthcare, rural connectivity, education, sustainable energy, precision agriculture and digital payments.

Prizes, investment and support will be given to those recognised for their innovative work, and to help bring ideas to fruition at this year’s conference, says Dr Jantjies.

“All attending students will get a chance to present their research, and build relationships where their ideas can do the most good and get the required support from the industry and government.

“The best ideas can come from anywhere and anyone – regardless of their background and the challenges they have faced.

“We want to support the university projects and individuals who will be the next Google giants or Elon Musk-like entrepreneurs of tomorrow. It is our role to foster innovation and appreciate the work and effort it takes to solve some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Together we are partnering to advance the future of South Africa and have an impact on the world.”

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