Cell C launches wholesale fixed LTE

Cell C has officially launched a wholesale fixed LTE product and begun wooing Internet service providers to offer 4G services on its platform.

This comes after MyBroadband reported in August that Cell C was planning to launch such a service.

“Cell C, as part of its journey of change, has introduced its new Fixed LTE product to create new opportunities for business partners,” the network operator said in marketing material aimed at ISPs.

“Cell C’s Fixed LTE product is available to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and resellers who address the consumer, the Small Medium Enterprise and enterprise markets.”

It highlighted the following key features that make its wholesale fixed LTE product attractive:

  • The exclusion of out-of bundle-rates
  • Differentiated day and night rates, together with volume-based wholesale rates
  • A partner migration plan that offers partners discounts for commitments after establishing a base

Cell C also said it would offer “zero-touch” value-added services like electronic RICA.

Although it didn’t go into detail, the name “E-RICA” suggests it would allow ISPs to collect and validate identity and proof of address data electronically.

MyBroadband contacted Cell C for more details about its new wholesale product — including the migration plan mentioned in the marketing materials and which network it would run on.

Cell C chief technology officer Schalk Visser explained that their migration plan offers partners flexibility.

“Cell C Wholesale has a partner migration plan, which is a commercial plan that allows our business partners to shift to a flexible commercial structure that suits their needs,” Visser stated.

“The Cell C Wholesale model is designed to mitigate risk to our business partners, enabling them to build a base and traffic volumes without having to commit to monthly or annual revenue targets.”

Once an ISP reaches maturity, it can adjust its business and commercial models with Cell C Wholesale.

He said Cell C Wholesale has built and enabled the new fixed LTE product with its existing network partners.

“Cell C Wholesale has commercial models with its business partners that empower them with the option of going to market as they choose, i.e. reselling as postpaid or prepaid because this is a B2B2C product,” said Visser.

Visser did not explicitly state whether Cell C’s wholesale fixed LTE product would run on their virtual radio access network built by MTN, or via its roaming agreement with Vodacom.

As part of its turnaround strategy, Cell C decided to stop pumping money into building its own network and instead rely on MTN and Vodacom.

Vodacom provides services to Cell C’s contract subscriber base — officially through a roaming agreement — while prepaid subscribers use a network MTN builds and maintains on behalf of Cell C.

It is unclear whether fixed LTE customers resold through ISPs will be split between the two networks on a prepaid/postpaid basis, or if all subscribers on the service will be on one network.

Now read: Cell C avoiding price war as Blue Label considers total takeover

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Cell C launches wholesale fixed LTE