Cell C has denied speculation that it is switching off many of its own mobile sites to save money on network upgrades and maintenance costs.
Two well-placed mobile executives, who spoke to MyBroadband on the condition of anonymity, said Cell C is switching off parts of its network in preference of roaming on MTN’s network.
According to one executive, Cell C is moving more towards an MVNO model where it is reducing its own network investment and moving this traffic to MTN.
This news follows a Cell C statement that it is planning to expand the provisions of its roaming agreement with MTN to better control its capital expenditure and operating costs.
“An agreement will lay the groundwork for a broader national roaming agreement, supporting South Africa’s policy goals of avoiding network duplication,” Cell C said.
The company added that the network services provided will “drive efficiencies in the delivery of services to its consumers by Cell C”.
Cell C said its expanded roaming agreement together with the recapitalisation transaction will help it to achieve sustainability.
Cell C denies switching off parts of its network
While switching off large parts of its network would help Cell C to reduce its capital expenditure and operating costs, the company said this is not the case.
“Other than decommissioning of sites for RAN optimisation and to support an improved customer experience, which happens in the normal course of network management, Cell C is not shutting down sites as a result of its MTN roaming agreement,” Cell C said.
Cell C added that since September 2016 it has only deconstructed 45 sites – on average 1 site per month.
The company explained that shutting down these sites has been driven by operational reasons such as lease renewals not successfully being renegotiated and sites that have been vandalised repeatedly.