Cell C migrating 1.1 million contract and broadband customers to Vodacom network

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Cell C migrating 1.1 million contract and broadband customers to Vodacom network

By Dineo Faku Time of article published 2h ago

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JOHANNESBURG – Cell C is in the process of migrating 1.1 million contract and broadband customers to the Vodacom network in line with the first phase of plans to become a significant wholesale buyer of network capacity and infrastructure services.

Cell C, which has roamed on MTN and Vodacom for some time and signed an extended roaming agreement with MTN in 2019, said yesterday that it would confirm migration of prepaid customers soon.

“The migration of the contract and broadband customers arises from Cell C’s network roaming agreement with Vodacom. Details of prepaid customer migration will be announced in due course,” Cell C said.

The group said the migration of contract and broadband customers would be completed in the next two months and that it would send its customers SMSes prior to the cutover taking place.

It said contract and broadband customers would have to activate “data roaming” manually on their phone’s settings.

Cell C chief executive, Douglas Craigie Stevenson, said the group’s vision was to differentiate itself by focusing on innovative products and services without being owners of capital-intensive infrastructure.

“This creates more flexibility and capacity to deliver the right quality of service to our current and future customers.

“Cell C is pioneering the evolution of the (mobile network operator) MNO space in South Africa by becoming a significant wholesale buyer of network capacity and infrastructure services.

“It is a win-win as the individual operators deliver segmental expertise to the benefit of everyone in the industry,” said Craigie Steveson.

Cell C said network roaming agreements were being implemented over three years, during which time it would transition customers from its own network on to partner networks, and decommission its own towers in a phased process.

In 2019, the company made a shift from a build and buy strategy with high capital expenditure to a roaming model.

Cell C is now South Africa’s fourth-largest mobile operator after being overtaken by Telkom Mobile during the lockdown.

Craigie Stevenson said the adoption of the network roaming model would promote more resourceful use of the telecommunications infrastructure capacity in the country, improve the overall network connectivity and provide Cell C customers with a better customer experience.

He also said that it supported the policy goals of avoiding network duplication and the burden on the environment as the shared infrastructure drives efficiencies through a more viable, flexible and agile model.

“We are moving closer to our vision that offers customers quality network access and makes Cell C a customer-first service provider, enhancing lives and providing digital solutions on a scalable quality telco platform.

“Operationally the business is getting stronger, and a successful recapitalisation will secure the long-term sustainability of Cell C,” said Craigie Stevenson.

Commenting on the announcement, Africa Analysis’s pricing director, Ofentse Dazela, said the move had been in the offing for some time.

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