Vodacom is not concerned about the financial impact of Cell C starting to roam on MTN’s network and expects its network experience to improve as a result of the agreement.
MTN has announced that Cell C will soon start roaming on its network, with the initiation of a wholesale national roaming agreement.
Implementation of the agreement will begin next month, and the bulk of the services will be transferred within two months.
Cell C will roam on MTN’s network in the country’s smaller cities and rural areas where MTN currently has additional capacity. Both MTN and Cell C will maintain their own networks in larger cities.
Vodacom was previously Cell C’s roaming partner in South Africa, offering 2G and 3G roaming to Cell C subscribers.
Vodacom is not concerned about losing Cell C as a roaming customer for voice and data services, however.
“In the current spectrum-constrained environment, we will leverage the additional network capacity this will release – given that we carry both our traffic and that of Cell C in certain areas,” a Vodacom spokesperson told MyBroadband.
Vodacom said it will seek to mitigate any roaming revenue impact by using the additional capacity to acquire more customers.
“It will also enable us to provide a better network experience – faster speeds and more capacity – to existing customers,” said Vodacom.
While Cell C subscribers will start to roam on MTN’s network soon, Vodacom’s current roaming agreement with Cell C to use its 2G and 3G networks in certain areas remains in place for at least another two years.
Telkom and metros
Telkom subscribers, who can roam on MTN’s network, will not be affected by the deal.
MTN SA Executive: Corporate Affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan told MyBroadband their roaming deal with Telkom will remain in place, following the deal with Cell C.
O’Sullivan reiterated that Cell C will only roam on MTN in areas outside of the big cities, particularly rural areas, where MTN currently has additional capacity.
“The highly-competitive big cities, that house huge numbers of our customers, will continue to be serviced independently,” said O’Sullivan.
“Those big cities remain spectrum constrained and for this reason, MTN is not in a position to offer additional capacity. Additional spectrum across the country will open even more capacity and reach, creating the right environments for a broader range of service to all South Africans, at improved speeds and lower pricing.”