Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig told MyBroadband that they are seeing higher speeds on Cell C’s HSPA+ network than on Vodacom’s 3G network, which means that there is no benefit to Cell C’s data subscribers to roam on Vodacom.
Knott-Craig further said that the cost of roaming on Vodacom’s data network will cost Cell C in the region of 15c per MB – basically in line with the company’s standard data pricing. It therefore does not make financial sense for Cell C to roam on the Vodacom network where it has coverage.
However, there is still value for Cell C in the 3G roaming agreement. Cell C subscribers will roam on the Vodacom network in areas where Cell C does not have HSPA+ coverage, and if there is a problem with the Cell C network, users will automatically shift to the Vodacom network.
Most traffic carried on Cell C network
While Cell C’s network is still lagging far behind Vodacom and MTN, the company is already carrying the majority of voice and data traffic on its own network.
Knott-Craig said that roaming traffic currently accounts for less than 10% of Cell C’s overall traffic, adding that this figure drops to between 1% and 2% in metropolitan areas where Cell C has a strong footprint.
Cell C currently has over 3,000 HSPA+ sites, and a combined 2G and 3G population coverage of well above 90%.
The company is also continuing its aggressive HSPA+ network build, and is adding 100 to 150 new base stations per month.