by Staff Writer
Cell C, South Africa’s third mobile operator, reported a 44% rise in subscribers to 19.6 million customers for the year to end-December 2014, and said it plans to roll out a 4G/LTE network.
“Both operationally and financially, we have seen some excellent growth in key areas, despite the lack of regulatory support. We have worked hard to grow both our customer base and drive efficiencies to bring us to the highlights of the 2014 results,” says Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.
Supported by shareholder investment, the company continued network expansion and had a total of 4524 sites on air by end December 2014. R2.2 billion has been budgeted for the continued investment in the 2015 financial year. This capital budget will also support the company’s LTE strategy, which will be announced in due course.
“We are very pleased with the progress on our network, and in the middle of February this year, we turned off roaming in the Tembisa area where we have built excellent coverage. I am pleased to report that the project went off without a hitch and two other phases of this project will happen throughout the year,” says Dos Santos.
The company said it has completed an intensive network project in the Gauteng Region. This project included the harmonisation of its network equipment on 1215 base-stations in the region, as well as the replacement of out-dated technology on some of these sites. Additionally, network traffic consolidation and stability enhancements have proven to show exceptional customer feedback on quality.
Cell C has already provided notice to Vodacom to turn off roaming in the Soshanguve, Pretoria North and Mamelodi regions in April and the Pretoria West, Midrand and Diepsloot regions in May.
While network was a core focus for the business during 2014, Cell C also realigned its strategy, re-engineered many of its systems and processes and worked to ensure more simplicity and efficiency in the way the business operates. “We will also be putting our attention on building a highly advanced customer service layer to bolster our service offerings,” says Dos Santos.
Cell C concluded its efficiency drive at the end of the year. “We are a far leaner, more agile and efficient business than we were this time last year,” says Dos Santos.