Cell C has said it is “disappointed” in Vodacom over its decision to file papers against communications regulator Icasa, joining MTN in what may become a groundbreaking court case in South African telecommunications.
“They’ve had more than three weeks to put their position down and they’ve chosen to wait all this time and then suddenly launch this application against Icasa which is going to cause confusion in the process,” says Mackinnon.
“We believe that Icasa has done everything properly and that MTN and Vodacom are desperately trying to stop a process that has been thoroughly thought-out and implemented,” he says. “We think it’s a desperate measure.”
He adds that, practically speaking, if MTN and Vodacom are successful in challenging Icasa, it will be “very difficult” for Cell C to lower its prices further.
The third mobile operator this morning announced two new products that will be available nationwide from 1 March, the same day its new advertising campaign goes live across various media. According to the ads, Cell C claims to have added 11m customers to its network in the past 12 months.
The first new product, called Infinity, has both post-paid and prepaid offerings where customers can get unlimited calls to any local network, similar to Vodacom’s Red VIP packages.
Infinity Select is the post-paid option for R1 799/month, where customers get unlimited calls and texts and 3GB/month of data, with a choice of any handset, including the iPhone 5s 16GB. The 32GB and 64GB versions will cost an additional R100 and R200 respectively.
Cell C is offering customers an annual upgrade on the package. Additionally, an immediate replacement will be offered on handsets that get damaged.
Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos says the smartphone market has a fast-paced turnover of new devices and they wanted to give customers the option to upgrade their devices as manufacturers bring out new ones.
The offer is also being extended to customers who have their own handsets. For R999/month, they will get the same benefits of unlimited calls, texts and 3GB of data.
The Infinity Prepaid option costs R999. Customers can use their existing handsets and will get unlimited calls, a thousand text messages and 1GB of data to use within 30 days of activation.
Another new product, called Hi5, is aimed at groups of friends. On this package, a customer can nominate five numbers so that call rates are charged a flat rate of 75c/minute on per-second billing. It will cost R199/month on a 24-month contract and come bundled with the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini. The deal also includes 150 anytime and any network minutes, 150 text messages, and 150MB of data.
“Hi5 is the result of extensive customer research, which tells us that keeping in contact with communities, families and colleagues, among others, is becoming ever more important to South Africans,” says Dos Santos.
The Hi5 deal is also available to customers with their own handsets, at a Sim-only deal for R150/month on flexible terms, either month-to-month or up to 24 months. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media