Telkom Industry Solutions Lab
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Industry Solutions Lab

Strategically located within the Wits Innovation Centre (WIC), the Telkom Industry Solutions Lab is the flagship commercial research and development (R&D) centre for the Telkom Group, established as a strategic partnership between Telkom and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University).  

The lab brings together multidisciplinary teams to drive cutting-edge innovations in telecommunications and digital solutions across industries. Our highly skilled team of critical thinkers, technologists, and researchers develop locally relevant products and solutions, leveraging established and emerging technologies, world-class innovation methodologies, and strategic partnerships within local and global innovation ecosystems.

As the first WIC industry lab, the Telkom Lab pushes boundaries at the intersection of industry and academia in South Africa, positioned to lead the translation of research-driven innovation into commercially viable and socially impactful solutions.

What we do

The Telkom Industry Solutions Lab was established to drive commercially viable and socially impactful solutions through industry-led research and innovation, addressing the most pertinent challenges faced by industry and society in South Africa and beyond. Our multidisciplinary team of resident and visiting innovators, researchers, and experts work towards these outputs and activities:

Industry Products and Solutions

We collaborate with enterprise development experts and user experience researchers to identify pressing challenges and high-value opportunities in niche industry areas. Our teams investigate, design, and validate products and solutions, leveraging mature technologies to develop customer and enterprise products, platforms, and services.

Disruptive Innovation Research

We explore and develop disruptive innovations in collaboration with industry and technology experts. This involves the exploration of emerging technologies, localisation of global innovations, and the orchestration of existing capabilities for novel solutions. We produce thoroughly researched inventions to power future products and technologies.

Advanced Technology Solutions

We invest in the research and development of technology solutions that advance existing Telkom offerings or infrastructure, developing and demonstrating technologies that transform customer experiences and improve operational efficiencies.

Applied and Experimental Research

We engage in applied research that targets real-world problems, creating innovative solutions through rigorous experimentation and testing. The lab enables agile but methodical experimentation in physical and virtual experiments, allowing teams to test exploratory ideas, develop POCs, and generate research evidence to support business decisions and product development.

Industry-led Fundamental Science and Engineering

Our teams collaborate with industry partners to address key scientific and engineering challenges that are directly relevant to current and emerging industry demands. By fusing fundamental discoveries with practical applications, we continually create new opportunities to externalise the high-quality research conducted by Wits and our collaborators.

Team leaders

Dr Maletsabisa Molapo

Dr Maletsabisa Molapo

Executive for Research and Innovation: Telkom

Letlotlo Phohole, Senior Programme Manager: Wits Innovation Centre

Letlotlo Phohole

Senior Programme Manager: Wits Innovation Centre (WIC), and Acting Director of the Telkom Industry Solutions Lab


One-of-a-kind lab

Strength in partnership

The Lab brings together the combined strengths and expertise of two key players in South Africa - Telkom and Wits University. What makes this Lab truly unique lies within the collective strategies of both institutions, and their shared vision towards innovation.

Multi-disciplinary teams

The Lab enables a collaborative environment that serves as a catalyst for impactful innovation, not only across disciplines but also at the intersection between industry and academic science and engineering.

Locally relevant research

The Lab’s industry-led research agenda is framed within the local lens, enabling the creation of solutions that have a meaningful impact in South Africa.

Value through bold Innovation

The Lab is set up as a dedicated space for ambitious ideation, agile problem-solving, experimentation, and the exploration of cutting-edge technologies – enabling teams to push boundaries and disrupt industries.

Unique innovation ecosystem

The Lab is located within the Wits Innovation Centre, positioning it at the heart of a thriving innovation ecosystem. This ecosystem provides access to other innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors, creating opportunities for collaboration and growth.