What to look forward to in SA tech in 2013

A panel of South African technology newshounds have revealed what they are looking forward to in the local technology space in 2013.

The group consisted of some of South Africa’s most informed people, including:

  • Rudolph Muller, founder and editor of MyBroadband
  • Gareth Vorster, editor of BusinessTech
  • Arthur Goldstuck, MD of research firm World Wide Worx and editor of Gadget.co.za
  • Toby Shapshak, editor of Stuff, former columnist for the Times, and presenter of Tech on Tap

Panellists weren’t restricted to a set list of trends to choose from and there was a wide spectrum of expectations from the group.

Telkom MSAN installation - Andrew Heuvel
Andrew Heuvel, executive in charge of Telkom’s network transformation project, in front of an open MSAN

Muller said that he was looking forward to the commercial launches of Telkom’s 40Mbps VDSL service and 8ta’s LTE service. “Pricing will be a key driver of these services and it will be interesting to see what pricing models Telkom and 8ta use,” Muller said.

Sticking with pricing models, Vorster said that he will be interested to watch the ongoing tug of war between print and online media in South Africa. “As publications like BusinessDay look towards a paywall model, I will be interested to see how successful this model will be locally.”

Taking the discussion back to straight tech, Goldstuck said that he’ll be watching the operating system space closely, particularly because South Africa has an unusual operating system environment.

Cellphone brand market share in South-Africa
Cellphone brand market share in South-Africa

BlackBerry and Nokia dominate smartphones and Microsoft the desktop, while all of these are under pressure from Apple and Android, which dominate the tablet space, Goldstuck said.

He added that he is excited about the arrival of Windows 8 in all of these arenas, the potential resurgence of BlackBerry, and the continued rise of Apple in the public mind. “By this time next year, we may have a different landscape,” Goldstuck said. “I am OS agnostic so I’m also excited to see how it all pans out.”

Shapshak simply answered our question with a question of his own: “Is cheaper wired broadband and cheaper call costs too much to ask for?”

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What to look forward to in SA tech in 2013