Cell C has completed a major radio access network upgrade project that it says will go a long way to addressing instability issues that have affected its customers in Gauteng.
At the same time, the upgrade project has paved the way for Cell C to begin deploying 4G/LTE services for the first time, the company said in a statement.
Cell C, which is spending R2,3bn on its network in 2014, is the only mobile network operator in South Africa that has not deployed a commercial LTE network.
The operator said the upgrade to its Gauteng radio access network — the part of the network that connects consumers to its base stations — was aimed at the “harmonisation of all technologies across the network”. The project involved the replacement of outdated network equipment on 1 215 base stations.
“Our network operations team has been working around the clock over the last year and we are proud to say that this project has been completed in record time and showing exceptional results,” said Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.
In conjunction with the radio access network upgrade project, Cell C said significant improvements have been made to enhance the overall stability of the network. This has “effectively eliminated cluster outages as a result of single point failures”.
“We are pleased with the improved quality figures and the feedback from customers has been encouraging. They have noted great improvement in the quality of the Gauteng network as a result of the radio access network swap and stability projects,” Dos Santos said.
“We remain focused on improvements and where there are areas that still need attention, we will put all our efforts into fixing those areas.”
Cell C said it will begin similar projects in other metropolitan areas soon.
It said that in 2014, it has rolled out 442 towers countrywide, with 256 of these in Gauteng. The company is building an additional 158 sites in Gauteng, with these expected to be online early in 2015.
“The modernisation of the network, combined with the increased stability and additional sites, creates the required framework for Cell C’s LTE strategy,” Dos Santos said. “We have also invested significantly in fibre deployment across the country and connecting fibre to each of our base stations is one of the company’s top priorities in 2015 in line with our LTE strategy.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media