Cell C’s fibre and LTE plans for 2018
Cell C has outlined its plans for aggressive LTE and fibre expansions in the coming year. The company recently released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017, which showed a lower network investment than previous years. However, Cell C said this was due to the slowed investment during its transaction period and that the investment pace will accelerate going forward.
“This investment will increase going forward to ensure we keep pace with infrastructure and capacity needs. and technological innovations,” said Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos. “We will invest significantly in our network over the next few years with an aggressive rollout of more LTE-Advanced sites.” When asked whether Cell C plans to expand its 3G roaming deal with Vodacom to encompass LTE, Dos Santos said the operator was in negotiations – but nothing can be confirmed at this stage.
Cell C’s 3G coverage currently stands at 96% of the population, with its LTE-Advanced network currently covering 32% of the population.
Dos Santos said Cell C plans to focus on metro areas as it accelerates the rollout of its LTE network across the country. He added that both the fibre and fixed-LTE broadband markets were still very young and relatively untapped in South Africa, which allows Cell C to increase its presence in the market through infrastructure investment. The company aims to compete across the entire fixed-broadband market, and sees its LTE and fibre packages as complementary products which have a large potential for growth in South Africa.
Dos Santos said fixed-LTE products often function as a gateway to fibre adoption for customers, with potential fibre customers first purchasing an LTE package and then upgrading to fibre if it is available.
Cell C will also focus on improving the affordability of fibre and LTE by driving adoption and onboarding new customers.
To assist with its growth targets, Cell C said it will launch new products across its platforms, in addition to investing heavily in broadband infrastructure.