RIM loses battle with Nokia

Unless a new royalty deal is concluded, the sale of RIM products could be halted.

Read time 4min 40sec

The international ICT world was very quiet last week. Apart from the ongoing HP/Autonomy saga, the patent loss by RIM versus Nokia, Megafon's IPO and another acquisition by Cisco made headlines.

At home, Datatec's acquisition of Comztek, Shanduka's investment in MTN Nigeria, and the good interim financial results from Naspers stole much of the local media space.

Key local news

Ericsson is suing Samsung for patent abuse.

* Good interim figures from Naspers, with revenue up 22.2% but profit up over 100%; and Prescient, with revenue up 59.1% and profit up 17.7%.
* Mixed interim numbers from Huge Group, with revenue down 26.6% but profit up over 300%.
* Interim losses from Labat Africa, although revenue slightly up; and TCS, although revenue up 15.8%.
* A full-year loss from Stella Vista, with revenue also down.
* A positive trading update from Muvoni Technology Group.
* Datatec acquired Comztek, one of the distribution companies within the Mustek stable, for R88 million. A previous offer valued at R101 million was rejected by Mustek back in 2010.
* Pinnacle Technology bought Devtrade, a specialised supplier of security and life safety products.
* Xpanse Investments made a 12.5% investment in Khauleza IT Solutions.
* MTN SA has gone live with the commercial availability of LTE in the Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria regions.
* The recently gazetted ICT charter will need to be revised, since it will need to be aligned with the proposed new empowerment codes.
* Frost & Sullivan named several ICT companies as winners at its annual 'Best Practice Awards' banquet. The ICT entities concerned were 1stream, Business Connexion, Neotel and Vodacom.

Key African news

* Shanduka Telecommunications (Mauritius-registered), part of the Shanduka Group, made a $335 million investment in MTN Nigeria. It is Shanduka's largest investment to date outside SA, and is its first in the telecommunications sector.
* Dante, the operator of the pan-European research and education network, G'eant, and UbuntuNet Alliance, the regional research and education network for southern and eastern Africa, launched the UbuntuNet network, which will connect scientists and academics throughout southern and eastern Africa to peers in the region and to Europe. It is the first network of its kind in Africa.
* Hans Swart was named Acer's country manager for its African operations.

Key international news

* Cisco purchased Cariden Technologies, a provider of network traffic management software.
* Google acquired BufferBox, an e-commerce locker start-up; and Incentive Targeting, a grocery promo-offer company.
* NCR bought Israel-based Retailix, a maker of software for high-volume retailers.
* Infosys will switch its listing from Nasdaq to the NYSE.
* Bouygues Telecom (France) will sell off its 2 166 towers in a $266 million deal that includes a lease-back arrangement.
* Ericsson is suing Samsung for patent abuse.
* RIM has lost its patent battle with Nokia, and unless a new royalty deal is done, the sale of RIM products could be halted.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Avago Technologies, with revenue down but profit up.
* Quarterly losses from Mitel Networks and Splunk.
* The appointments of Dave DeWalt (ex-president of McAfee) as CEO of FireEye; and Daniel Kelly as CEO of Tellabs.
* A planned IPO from FireEye, a provider of security software.
* A disappointing IPO in London by Russia's Megafon, although it did raise $1.7 billion.

Look out for

* A $2.4 billion bailout for Renesas Electronics (Japan).
* A major announcement by EMC that could see it setting up a new company into which several EMC and VMware subsidiaries may be moved. The entities concerned look like including Cloud Foundry, GemStone and SpringSource.
* Further developments regarding the HP/Autonomy saga.

South Africa:
* Further developments regarding Telkom SA.

Research results and predictions

* 2013 will be dominated by mobile and cloud developments, according to IDC, as the industry shifts into full-blown competition on the third platform, which is built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking and big data analytics technologies.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.6% (highest-ever weekend close)
* Nasdaq: Up 1.5%
* Top SA share movements: ConvergeNet Holdings (+33.3%), Digicore (+10.4%), Huge Group (-11.5%), Muvoni Technology Group (-40%), Poynting (+17.6%), SecureData (+8.7%), Stella Vista (-50%), Telemasters (+21.3%) and Trustco (-16.7%)

Final word

US-based CRN recently listed its '25 most influential executives' list for 2012. The top 10 included:

* Kevin Kennedy, CEO of Avaya
* Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper Networks
* Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook
* Meg Whitman, CEO of HP
* Patrick Gelsinger, CEO of VMware
* Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox
* Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
* Lanham Napier, CEO of Rackspace

This is my final column for 2012, although my 'review of the year' will appear next week. My column will resume on 14 January and will cover the intervening period.

A big thank you to all my readers for your support this year; I wish you well over the festive season and a great 2013.

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