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Battle of the giants

Google's market valuation topped that of Microsoft for the first time.

Read time 4min 20sec

The international ICT market was dominated last week by the T-Mobile USA/MetroPCS merger announcement.

At home, the appointment of a new science and technology minister, and the digital TV broadcasting start date stole much of the local ICT media space.

Key local news

Samsung asked for a new trial re its patent case against Apple, following allegations of bias by the foreman of the jury.

Paul Booth, MD, Global Research Partners

* Mixed interim numbers from Datacentrix, with revenue up 7% but profit down 28.2%.
* Mixed year-end figures from Poynting, with revenue down 0.8% but profit up over 175%.
* A negative trading update from SecureData.
* Servest Group acquired ECH Solutions, a consulting and project management services company.
* The 51% investment by Encha Group, a South African investment holding company, in Pattern Matched Technologies, a local telecoms firm.
* The establishment of OverSight Solutions and OverSight Services by Mike Jarvis, ex-CIO of First National Bank, and Patrick Evans, ex-head of Symantec Africa.
* In 2011, Dimension Data was the leading provider of IT services to the South African market, with an estimated 14.4% share, says IDC.
* BAT signed a $100 million+ outsourcing deal with BT Global Services.
* The announcement that digital terrestrial TV broadcasting will begin in December.
* The appointments of Derek Hanekom as science and technology minister; Ken Jarvis as chairman of OverSight Solutions; Mark Taylor as CEO of Nashua Mobile; and Guy Whitcroft, ex-CEO of Tarsus, as MD of BCX's UK operations.

Key African news

* The appointment of Omar el-Sheikh as chairman of Telecom Egypt.

Key international news

* Accenture acquired Nokia Siemens Networks' IPTV assets.
* Microsoft bought PhoneFactor, a user-authentication provider.
* The $2.3 billion acquisition by Softbank, Japan's third largest mobile phone company, of eAccess, a smaller rival.
* Vodafone purchased Complete Telecom, an Irish landline operator.
* The merger of T-Mobile USA, part of Deutsche Telekom, with MetroPCS, a smaller rival, that would leave the former with about a 75% stake. This move follows the rejection by the authorities of a proposed take-over of T-Mobile USA by AT&T in 2010/2011 that was worth almost $40 billion. This deal values the former at about $26 billion.
* The investment by Telenor (Norway) in VimpelCom (Russia), in a move that raises the former's stake to 42.95%.
* Cisco is expanding the roles of COO Gary Moore and Rob Lloyd, who are viewed as possible successors to CEO John Chambers, who could be retiring next year.
* Facebook crossed the one billion user mark in September.
* Google terminated its Apple patent lawsuit.
* Motorola won a German patent case against Microsoft.
* Samsung asked for a new trial re its patent case against Apple, following allegations of bias by the foreman of the jury.
* Google's market valuation has topped that of Microsoft for the first time.
* The appointment of Diedrick Vos as CEO and chairman of SQS Software Quality Systems.
* The resignations of Davis Courtly, CEO of Phoenix IT, and Rudolf van Megan, CEO and co-founder of SQS Software Quality Systems.
* A planned Q4 IPO in Germany from Telefonica's German subsidiary.
* An IPO filing from Ruckus Wireless, a WiFi products maker.
* A planned IPO on the NYSE by Workday, a software firm, in a deal that would value the company at nearly $4 billion. Workday is led by Dave Duffield, ex-CEO of PeopleSoft, a company acquired by Oracle in 2004.

Look out for:

* International:
* The eventual buyer of BMC Software. The candidates include some of the majors as well as private equity firms.
* South Africa:
* Further developments re Telkom.

Research results and predictions

* According to IDC, the worldwide security appliance market grew 6.2% in Q2, with Cisco retaining its top slot, although it is rapidly being caught by Check Point Software Technologies.
* Operator revenue from mobile roaming will be valued at more than $80 billion by 2017, compared to $46 billion this year, says Juniper Research.
* The global optical components market in Q2 was flat compared to Q1, at revenue of $1.6 billion, says Ovum.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 2.3% (highest-ever weekend close)
* Nasdaq: Up 0.6%
* Top SA share movements: Altech (+7.4%), Ansys (-12%), Datacentrix (-9%), Labat Africa (+10%), MICROmega Holdings (-12.9%) and Poynting (-14.8%)

Final word

Fortune magazine has published its latest 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list. From a technology perspective it includes:

* Cirrus Logic, a maker of audio chips for Apple devices, at number two
* Baidu (China), an Internet powerhouse (3)
* Apple (8)
* 3D Systems, a maker of 3D printers (12)
* TTM Technologies, a maker of PCBs (38)
* Netgear, a supplier of Internet hardware (45)
* Ultratech, a supplier to Apple and Samsung (49)

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