South Africa’s third mobile operator Cell C says it has signed up more than a million customers in July already, setting a monthly record for sign-ups and bringing its total customer base to 11,7m.
However, this figure is for gross connections. Net additions, which reflect the number of customers who churned away from Cell C, was 338 000.
“I am exceptionally proud and excited to announce that for the first time in the history of Cell C we have connected more than a million customers in one month,” says CEO Alan Knott-Craig in a prepared statement.
“Last night we broke through the million gross connection barrier, bringing our total customer base to over 11,7m.”
Cell C is estimated to have about 17% market share.
Knott-Craig says that although churn is still high — that is, customers signing up only to move to another network later — he is encouraged by the steady growth in net additions in July.
Cell C has come in for criticism in recent months over the quality of its network. Earlier this month, Knott-Craig suggested network problems were on account of capacity constraints, particularly in Johannesburg, and because rival Vodacom, which Cell C uses to provide coverage where it doesn’t have its own infrastructure, wasn’t living up to its end of a roaming agreement between the two operators. Vodacom later refuted this.
Earlier this month, Cell C’s majority shareholder, Dubai-based Oger Telecom, announced that it had earmarked an equity investment of US$350m (R3,5bn) for the South African mobile operator. At the time, Cell C claimed it had 11,5m customers. — © 2013 NewsCentral Media