Cell C to invest R8bn in 4G network - TechCentral

Cell C to invest R8bn in 4G network


Cell C’s Middle Eastern shareholders have clearly not tired of investing in the business. The operator has announced it plans to spend R8bn over the next three years building a 4G/LTE mobile broadband network in “targeted areas” across South Africa.

The company, which is controlled by Oger Telecom, will target metropolitan areas, said CEO Jose Dos Santos. “The primary commuting areas that fall outside the major metros will remain covered by [3G] HSPA+.”

Cell C is the only mobile operator in South Africa that has to date not built a 4G network. It said it will switch on its LTE network in the “latter part” of the year.

It revealed in a statement on Thursday that it has signed supply agreements with both Huawei and ZTE, which will be its primary partners in the roll-out of 4 000 LTE sites across the country.

The first targeted areas for LTE rollout will be in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. “Gated communities and high-density residential areas where there is a great demand for high-speed data will be one of our priorities,” Dos Santos said.

In a phased approach, Cell C will upgrade sites starting in the central Gauteng areas from Rosebank and Sandton across the northern Johannesburg areas. This will be followed by the northern Gauteng areas, including Pretoria and Centurion, and finally the eastern and western parts of Gauteng to include Benoni, Boksburg, Johannesburg proper, Soweto, Lenasia and Roodepoort.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Cell C will start the rollout in areas from Hillcrest through to the Dolphin Coast, as well as the Umhlanga area. Areas surrounding Durban, including Chatsworth and Durban South, will follow. Pietermaritzburg, Umlazi and surrounding areas will come next.

Roll-out in the Western Cape will begin from SeaPoint to Durbanville, the airport and Stellenbosch. Simon’s Town through Constantia to Brackenfell and Somerset West will be included in the second wave. Mitchells Plain and Paarl will follow.

Jose Dos Santos

Jose Dos Santos

Limpopo, Mpumalanga and other provinces are planned, and details of these roll-outs will be unveiled at a later stage,” said Dos Santos.

Full coverage maps will be available in due course and will be updated closer to commercial launch, the company said.

“The LTE rollout will complement Cell C’s continued investment into its existing network and the roll-out of additional towers to improve HSPA+ performance and increase coverage and capacity across the country,” it added.

“An additional 1 353 3G sites are planned across the country over the next few years to ensure that Cell C stays above the curve.

Additional projects are also underway in various provinces to enhance network quality and stability following the successes the company experienced in the Gauteng improvement projects.”  — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Ofentse Letsholo on

    Ohhh yeah, not that I’m not happy with their HSPA+ but this will be very much welcomed. Now it’s time for me to get a Lumia since they are LTE standard 😉

  2. Ofentse Letsholo on

    Their HSPA+ already performs better than that of MTN, well that’s in my case of course 😉

  3. Ofentse Letsholo on

    I left MTN because i could only access EDGE “everywhere you go” and as always they blamed my devices and I hear they still practice such kak talk…but i’ve seen EDGE once or twice ONLY since i’ve ported to Cell C and hey their HSPA+ really works 😉

  4. Ofentse Letsholo on

    You must be living in a well serviced area that MTN likes, I saw MTN EDGE this previous weekend, it’s like a virus that doesn’t want to die.

  5. Ofentse Letsholo on

    Yes I ported to Cell C, my mom still uses MTN so i check signal via her smartphone

  6. This is a rather useless and subjective discussion. It all depends on where you stay or roam. Location, location, location.
    Cell C works well for me in this small town, and the neighbouring areas. MTN is very unreliable, and mostly on EDGE. I am on my 4th Giga 200 prepaid bundle. Network is not always great, eg last Monday it was terrible, they must have been working on it.
    Cell C should be actually spending even much more. They recently stated they will spend 2 Billion. The members of the old crooked duopoly are spending R 5 to 8 Billion per year on their networks.

  7. Magomarele Gomi Thobejane on

    MTN HSPA+ and LTE works wonders for me. I ain’t gonna port to some pathetic and directionless network like Cell-C who don’t know if they’re selling their business or holding on to it for favourable asymmetry rates from competitors through ICASA’s flawed governance. Cell-C’s main shareholder confessed that they appointed Goldman Sachs to find them a way out of competative SA landscape, however two weeks earlier Jose Dos Santos had just lied to the media that shareholder is not looking to sell the business. Mixed messages from troubled empire if you ask me.

  8. Ofentse Letsholo on

    I for one will never touch MTN ever again, if I am to leave Cell C it would be for Vodacom as I already use Telkom Mobile and I am happy with it too.

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