Cell C customers in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape will now roam on MTN’s network at no extra charge. This is because 34 percent of its physical radio access network to date has been deactivated while seamlessly migrating prepaid and Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) customers to roam solely on its partner network, MTN. Now customers have the best of both worlds, affordable data, and great connection. And it’s just in time!
COVID-19 and Lockdown Levels have meant we must all stay at home to prevent further spread of coronavirus. This is an incredibly difficult time for many of us because the way we live, work, learn, access entertainment and socialise has changed significantly and as human beings, we feel a certain loss of control over our environment. For children at home with no chance to see their friends, and families young and old unable to socialise with each other; the only way to connect is via the internet. Access to quality, affordable connectivity is therefore, even more critical than ever.
The outlook isn’t all doom and gloom. While the pandemic has certainly highlighted how deep the digital divide is that exists between those who can and cannot afford the stable access to the internet; Cell C has been working around the clock to improve the quality of connectivity for communities, whilst at the same time, making sure that this access is affordable.
Douglas Craigie Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer at Cell C explains, “We had to look at things differently. Cell C will no longer own and build expensive network infrastructure but has agreed to partner with the bigger network mobile operators to provide its customers with access to a quality network. The partner mobile network providers will continue to invest in network rollouts, and we will roam on that network. This gives Cell C the ability to focus and invest in developing innovative product and service offerings to customers that they can now access using their quality connectivity. It is a win for Cell C customers as they can expect the best overall experience.”
“Cell C is on track to offer its customers a like-for-like quality network experience. Rather than try to keep pace with the investment requirements to build out a network to match the big players, we want to focus on continuing to offer the great value to which our customers have become accustomed to,” says Stevenson.
If Cell C’s strategy were to play catch up to the Vodacom and MTN networks, it would have to invest R1.5 billion per year for 18 years – conservatively estimated at R27-billion – based on the assumption that we would be able to build 400 new cellular sites per year, and assuming Vodacom and MTN did not build any new sites during this period. This investment in our network infrastructure would be impossible to maintain.
Simo Mkhize, Chief Commercial Officer at Cell C says, “Our roaming agreements with network partners provide us with access to network capacity to deliver the best value offers for our customers. We are rolling out plans that not only see prices reducing but also offer packages that ensure customers get the most out of their connectivity.”
Since the beginning of 2021, Cell C have been rolling out incredible bundled offers that regularly have promotions that double the data when recharging, or offer extra gigs when purchasing on the Cell C App. Other benefits customers can enjoy include; easy applications with no contracts, extended validity times of up to six months on select packages, All-in-One offerings that allow customers to connect and call all with one affordable bundle and hyper-personalised offers in the areas of migration.
With the Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape Next now roaming, next up are the citizens of the North-West, Limpopo, Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. They can look forward to the same ease of connectivity as Cell C continues to transition customers onto its partner network, MTN over the next six months.
The network model which Cell C is pursuing will significantly reduce network expenses and capital expenditure, allowing the newly positioned technology company to be profitable. Cell C will also have access to best-in-class infrastructure and benefit from scale. Customers will benefit greatly because Cell C will be able to improve the overall customer experience by focusing on innovating products and services that will add value to customers.