We will not compete on price – Cell C CEO

Cell C will not get into a price war to gain a competitive edge over Vodacom and MTN and would rather focus on customer service and innovative products.

This is the view of Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson, who was speaking to The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield about the company’s latest financial results.

Craigie Stevenson said “[lower prices] just destroy value and take away operator’s ability to roll out infrastructure of any kind”.

“Even Vodacom and MTN need money to roll out infrastructure so you do not want to take that away,” he said.

“What you want to say is, when I have a customer on my network and when I am spending costs on something I cannot get a return on, how can I better deploy that resource?”

He said while Cell C had a reduction in subscribers and network traffic, it was inefficient subscribers and inefficient traffic that it had lost from its network.

What they want to do is getting better quality subscribers on their network and give them the right products.

Why Cell C will remain competitive

Craigie Stevenson said their new business model will ensure they remain competitive without the burden of big network investments.

He said with their network migration to MTN, they will have like-for-like network coverage and performance.

Cell C has now removed costs in the system which did not make sense, like gaining subscribers at all costs.

“We can now offer like-for-like quality. We will differentiate ourselves on customer service, product set, and a number of other initiatives,” said Craigie Stevenson.

He added that Cell C wants an open ecosystem. “I am prepared to do business with anyone using us as a digital platform.”

“Nobody owns the customer. It is effectively an ecosystem of people using digital to enhance everything, and that’s where we want to be,” he said.

Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson interview

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We will not compete on price – Cell C CEO