An inaugural conference of the Wi-Fi Forum of South Africa (Wi-Fi Forum SA) was held on 12 March 2015 in Johannesburg, officially establishing the Forum as an active player in the development of the country's Wi-Fi sector.
The association aims to represent the views of all stakeholders in the industry and serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and networking.
The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, delivered the keynote at the event, which was attended by more than 200 delegates. He welcomed the formation of the Forum, requesting that it facilitates greater access to the Internet for all citizens and that it supports the growth and development of small businesses within the sector.
The conference featured local and international expert-led panel discussions focused on new technology trends in the 802.11 family, regulatory developments (in particular, self-regulatory models) and the development of effective commercial models. Participants and speakers included representatives from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the City of Johannesburg as well as regulatory, government and industry experts.
During his opening speech, Wi-Fi Forum SA Chairperson, Andile Ngcaba, stated: "This is truly an historic event - one that is significant for the future of large-scale deployment of Wi-Fi in South Africa. Thereby accelerating access as well as socio-economic development.''
The conference was followed by the Forum's annual general meeting (AGM) where a new management committee was elected. The committee now comprises: Andile Ngcaba, Raj Wanniappa, Mpho Mokete, Gareth Mortimer, Brian Mdluli, William Stucke and Siyabonga Madyibi. Envir Fraser will be co-opted onto the management committee.
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