Cell C plans to relaunch wholesale fixed LTE services this month, MyBroadband has learned.
The operator’s wholesale division is marketing a promotional deal to resellers like Internet service providers (ISPs).
It said it would offer different wholesale billing models. These would accommodate new market entrants and service providers with an existing userbase that can benefit from discounts for high traffic volume commitments.
Cell C previously sold wholesale fixed LTE products through Internet Solutions, which in turn wholesaled the service to retail ISPs.
Internet Solutions has since been absorbed into Dimension Data.
Cell C suspended its wholesale LTE product in August 2019, saying they were no longer feasible.
It announced that it would deactivate its 100GB and 200GB packages on 30 November 2019, and shut down its 20GB and 50GB packages on 31 March 2020.
Although S&P Global had downgraded Cell C’s credit to “default” just before the announcement, the operator told MyBroadband that its financial problems weren’t the reason it suspended the product.
Cell C said at the time that its fixed LTE service was no longer profitable, and the service consumed a disproportionate amount of network resources.
“In short, via the Internet service providers, less than 0.5% of Cell C’s total customer base were using 20% of Cell C’s data network capacity,” the operator said.
“This was having an impact on the quality of the network for all other Cell C customers.”
Internet service providers quickly negotiated a deal with MTN to migrate their Cell C fixed LTE customers to a different network.
Since suspending the service in 2019 and terminating it in 2020, Cell C has changed its network strategy and now seems ready to re-enter the fixed LTE space.
Instead of building its own network, Cell C is switching off its base stations and relying on Vodacom and MTN for coverage.
Vodacom provides services to Cell C’s contract subscriber base, while MTN has taken over the building and managing of Cell C’s radio network.
MyBroadband contacted Cell C for comment on its wireless LTE plans, but it declined to comment.
“Cell C will not respond to speculation, as with any offerings Cell C updates the market as appropriate,” Cell C chief technology officer Schalk Visser told MyBroadband.