Lower data prices with higher mobile speeds needed: Cell C CEO

Alan Knott-Craig said that higher broadband speeds are desperately needed in South Africa, but that data prices must reduce in line with higher speeds

By - April 13, 2012

New Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said that higher mobile broadband speeds are desperately needed in South Africa, but that data prices must reduce in line with the higher speeds.

Speaking on 28 March 2012 at an event in Johannesburg, Knott-Craig said that there is a massive demand for mobile data in South Africa, but that the current infrastructure does not allow for the speed increases and price cuts needed to satisfy this demand.

Knott-Craig argued that South Africa is around 10 years behind the rest of the world when it comes to fixed telecoms infrastructure. Although there were big improvements in international bandwidth supply in recent years, there is still a shortage in national and metropolitan fibre infrastructure, said Knott-Craig.

With a few national and metropolitan fibre rollout projects under-way the situation will improve in the next year, he said.

Alan Knott-Craig

Alan Knott-Craig

According to Knott-Craig, far higher data speeds are needed to satisfy the demand from consumers, but these higher speeds will be useless if it is not accompanied by much lower data prices.

The new Cell C CEO said that consumers want faster, more affordable data, and that telecoms players will have to adapt their current business models to bring consumers what they want.

Knott-Craig called on Government and ICASA to also come to the party concerning the telecoms needs in South Africa.

He urged local municipalities to make it easier to deploy fibre networks, and said that it makes sense that unused spectrum is redistributed to companies who are using it to deliver services.

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