He also re-iterated their goal of reaching over 90% population coverage by the end of the year (2011).
It isn’t clear at what signal strength Cell C measures their population coverage at this stage.
Reichelt said at this year’s IIR Broadband Summit that 900 MHz signals, used in Cell C’s HSPA+ network, propagate further than UMTS2100, the technology used by many other 3G networks. According to Reichelt, this allows HSPA+ 900 to still work at the relatively low signal strength of -115 dBm.
MyBroadband was previously told by Cell C that they measure using a signal strength of -85 dBm as the cutoff. However, it is understood that -85 dBm is a higher than normal cutoff for coverage measurements and that Cell C will address questions about how they measure coverage at their next press conference.
When Cell C officially launched their own 3G network in September 2010, Reichelt publicly set some bold coverage targets for the company. He said that Cell C wanted to reach 34% population coverage by the end of 2010, and extend this even further to 67% coverage by mid-2011.
These targets were quite ambitious when one considers that MTN had only covered 48% of South Africans with their 3G network by 2010, and that it took Vodacom approximately 5 years to achieve 50% population coverage.
The next self-imposed milestone for Cell C is to achieve 97% population coverage by the end of 2011.
Cell C has promised to speak to issues such as their population coverage at a media briefing that is yet to be scheduled. Cell C has postponed the press event to announce their year-end results twice due to Department of Communications (DoC) press briefings that were called on short notice.