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Flying high

Intelsat successfully launches a satellite that will provide coverage over West Africa and other locations.

Read time 4min 50sec

The court's ruling in Apple's favour re its patent battle with Samsung dominated the international ICT world last week.

At home, it was quiet, with the acquisition by EOH and the result of the Reunert/Holdsworth spat being only two of the main stories.

Key local news

* Very good year-end numbers from AdaptIT, with revenue up 24.5% and profit up 64.3%.
* Good full-year figures from Net 1 UEPS Technologies, with revenue up 14% and profit up over 1 000%.
* Satisfactory year-end numbers from Blue Label Telecom, with revenue up 3.6% and profit up 9%.
* Mixed year-end figures from Morvest Business Group, with revenue up 7.6% but profit down 23.7%.
* A negative trading update from Mvelaserve.
* The acquisition by EOH of Siemens IT Solutions and Services, a move that is in line with the latter's worldwide policy of exiting the IT services market.
* The investment by Vix Technology, a global payments provider to the public transport sector, in Questek Transit Technologies, an electronic ticketing business.
* The finalisation of the departure of Ifca Technologies from the IT sector and AltX.
* John Holdsworth, ex-CEO of ECN Communications and founder of AppChat, has been found guilty of breaching his restraint of trade in a legal battle with Reunert.
* Frost & Sullivan announced at its annual Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) event, that Herman Heunis, founder of Mxit, had been awarded one of the GIL awards for 2012. Also coming out of the event were four telecommunications trends that were deemed to be vital for the success of telecommunications companies in Africa; namely, connecting the unconnected, infrastructure, regional integration and urbanisation.
* The resignation of David Drummond, country GM at Lenovo SA.

Key African news

* Intelsat successfully launched Intelsat 21, a satellite that will provide coverage over West Africa in addition to many other locations.
* The Nigerian Stock Exchange suspended all trades on Starcomms' stock amid merger talk.
* The appointment of Francis Wangusi as the new director-general of the Communication Commission of Kenya.

Key international news

Herman Heunis, founder of Mxit, had been awarded one of Frost & Sullivan's Growth, Innovation and Leadership awards for 2012

Paul Booth, MD, Global Research Partners

* The $13.3 billion acquisition by China Telecom of its parent's 3G assets.
* j2 Global bought New Zealand-based Zintel Communications, a cloud voice services provider.
* The acquisition by JDS Uniphase of South Korea-based GenComm, a wireless test and measurement solution provider.
* Qualcomm purchased Israeli DesignArt Networks, a developer of small cell modem and system design for cellular base stations and wireless backhaul infrastructure.
* The investment by China Mobile in Anhui USTC, a Chinese voice recognition software developer.
* The $35.4 million investment by HTC in Magnet Systems, a next-generation platform company.
* Apple's market capitalisation surpassed the $623 billion record set by Microsoft during the heydays of 1999.
* Apple won its patent battle with Samsung and had been awarded $1.05 billion in damages, although the result is still subject to appeal. This contrasted to the opposite decision reached by a South Korean court. This row is likely to continue for several months and in several countries.
* Kodak intends to sell its retail and document imaging businesses.
* Good half-year figures from China Unicom.
* Good quarterly numbers from Micros Systems.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Analog Devices, Dell, HTC, QAD and Tech Data.
* Mixed half-year figures from Autodesk, with revenue up but profit down; China Telecom, with revenue up but profit down; and ZTE, with revenue up but profit down.
* Very poor quarterly figures from HCL Infosystems, and Intuit, although revenues were well up.
* Quarterly losses from Aruba Networks, HP and Salesforce.com.
* The appointments of Jean-Yves Charlier (ex-CEO of Colt Telecom) as Vivendi's head of its disparate group of international telecommunications businesses that includes SFR (France) and Maroc Telecom; and Doug Smith as CEO of LightSquared, the bankrupt wireless broadband venture.

Look out for

* International:
* The spin-off of the tower assets of BSNL (India) into a separate company.
* Further developments re the Apple/Samsung patent battle.

* South Africa:
* Further developments re the discussions involving Business Connexion, following a renewed cautionary announcement.

Research results and predictions

* According to Gartner, the worldwide application development software market is expected to grow in 2012 to over $9 billion, an increase of only 1.8% over 2011.
* The worldwide PC market is predicted to grow only 0.9% this year, with the growth coming from the emerging markets, while the mature markets continue to shrink, says IDC.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.7% (highest-ever weekend close)
* Nasdaq: Down 0.2%
* Top SA share movements: AdaptIT (+10.2%), Amecor (-12.8%), Blue Label Telecoms (+10.6%), Huge Group (-10.7%), Labat Africa (-18.2%), Net 1 UEPS Technologies (+14.1%), Poynting (-11.9%), Silverbridge (-48.5%), Telemasters (+15.4%) and Zaptronix (-33.3%)

Final word

IDC recently released its latest quarterly forecast for the local market, which it expects to be worth just over R242 billion in 2012, 7.3% up from 2011 and marginally up from the figures forecast three months ago. The breakdown of this figure is as follows:

* IT services: R41.3 billion, up 11% from 2011
* Packaged software: R15.5 billion, up 8.4% from 2011
* Hardware, including telecoms equipment: R46.2 billion, up 5.7% from 2011
* Telecoms services: R139.1 billion, up 6.6% from 2011

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