Cell C LTE network plans emerge

Cell C plans to launch LTE services in Cape Town and Durban by the end of 2012, with the aim of extending their coverage to Johannesburg and Pretoria early in 2013.

This is according to Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of Cell C, who was answering MyBroadband’s questions following his recent interview on 702 Talk Radio.

Asked whether they will launch commercially or whether they would offer LTE services on a trial basis, Knott-Craig said that theirs would be a trial network until government finalises its position on a national wholesale LTE network.

“We will approach our ‘heavy’ data users in those areas to participate in the trial,” Knott-Craig said. “We will provide them with a device.”

Knott-Craig didn’t indicate whether they’re targeting a certain number of base stations for the launch, saying only that they want as many as possible up-and-running by year-end. “It is expected to be only a limited number,” Knott-Craig added.

Alan Knott-Craig
Alan Knott-Craig

During October 2012, Vodacom became the first mobile network in South Africa to offer commercial LTE services.

The footprint of the network is limited with Vodacom saying that they had 70-odd base stations at launch, which the network said it extended to 150 by the end of October 2012.

MTN has announced plans to launch LTE commercially by the end of 2012 after running a closed public trial from September 2011 until mid–2012.

According to MTN they expect to have 400–500 active LTE sites by the end of 2012.

Telkom‘s consumer mobile arm, 8ta, was scheduled to launch an LTE trial on 1 November 2012.

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Cell C LTE network plans emerge