Telecommunications Access and Services
In 1997 Telkom set up its Centre of Excellence (COE) programme. The programme has two objectives. These are:
- to promote postgraduate research at South African Universities in areas that support the Telecommunications Sector, and
- to develop some of the high-level skills needed in this Sector. In support of these objectives,
Telkom provides an annual grant to each COE. It also encourages other companies in the Sector to provide financial and other support to the COEs.
Each of the COEs has its own research focus. The Wits University COE, established in 1997 under the leadership of Prof Hu Hanrahan, has defined its focus as "Telecommunications Access and Services". It is supported financially by Telkom, Vodacom, Nokia-Siemens, Telsaf Data and the DTI (via the THRIP programme).
Over the past 11 years the Wits COE (called CeTAS - Centre for Telecommunication Access and Services), has achieved an excellent research publication record, and has educated a significant number of students who have gone on to fill key positions in the South African and African telecommunications industry. Over the past two years the Wits COE, has been developing a new research focus – namely ICT Convergence. This is not a radical departure from the Centre’s previous activity, but is a natural evolution.
ICT Convergence as a research focus
The future direction of the global telecommunications industry has never been more uncertain. "Convergence", in all of its many manifestations, has thrown up many exciting technological possibilities that will shape the industry in the future. In the area of "Access and Services" some of the key questions are:How will people and systems access Next Generation Networks? Issues include devices, protocols and interfaces.
- How will people and systems access Next Generation Networks? Issues include devices, protocols and interfaces.
- What services will be available on the new convergent networks, and how will they be developed and delivered?
- What are the high-level skills that will need to be developed to support the growth of the telecommunications organisations of the future?
- 2011 Research Progress Report