Cell C network upgrade plans

The recent injection of around R5.7-billion into Cell C will primarily be used for network roll-out, particularly in the Gauteng area, Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig recently told MyBroadband.

This cash comes from Oger Telecoms, which invested a further $350-million (around R3.5-billion), and key lenders “including Nedbank and the Development Bank of South Africa” which provided R2.2-billion.

Cell C wants to improve and expand its network from the South of Gauteng near Vereeniging to as far North as Bela-Bela, Knott-Craig said.

He added that they also want to invest in capacity upgrades as traffic on the Cell C network has doubled in the last 15 months.

Knott-Craig also said that for them to gain the market share they need to be sustainable will cost money. “Distribution channels are not free,” Knott-Craig said.

Asked whether the cash injection would help Cell C fix the network problems users have been reporting, Knott-Craig said, “Yes. Without investment we can’t address them.”

Knott-Craig said that a lot of capacity problems have been addressed in the last 3 months and that the problems subscribers have been experiencing of late are due to issues with Cell C’s national roaming agreement with Vodacom.

Vodacom is not handling hand-over of users on Cell C’s network to its own as seamlessly as they should be, Knott-Craig said.

Cell C tried to resolve the matter with Vodacom to no avail, so they have decided to lodge a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Knott Craig said.

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Cell C network upgrade plans