Cell C multi-billion network upgrade plans

Cell C plans to complete an additional 318 new cellular sites by August/September 2014, to bring their total number of sites to 4,494, an exercise which will cost them R2.3 billion.

That’s the word from Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos, who was speaking to a group of journalists at an event at the Cell C headquarters in Midrand.

Dos Santos said that they rolled out 439 sites in 2013 and disconnected their Durban CBD Location Area Code, which he said means they no longer roam on Vodacom’s network there.

He said that while it may seem counter-intuitive, running on just their own network has improved performance in the Durban city centre.

It is also not the first time Cell C has switched off Vodacom roaming in a particular area. During October 2011 Cell C deactivated roaming on a small cluster of base stations in central Cape Town.

Meanwhile, in Gauteng

In Gauteng, Dos Santos said that Cell C has been replacing its Nokia Siemens Network base station equipment with Huawei gear.

By April 2014 the first phase of the project, which covers the Northern area of the province and includes Pretoria, was completed with 392 sites switched over to the new equipment.

Cell C plans to replace an additional 456 sites in the southern Gauteng region (which includes Johannesburg) by the end of September, while the remaining 382 sites in the West (Krugersdorp area) are expected to be completed by the end of November.

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Cell C multi-billion network upgrade plans