Cape Times


- Dineo Faku

TELECOMS firm Cell C said yesterday that it had decommissi­oned 34 percent of its physical Radio Access Network (RAN) sites, migrating prepaid and Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) customers to roam solely on its partner network, MTN. Cell C and MTN entered into initial roaming agreement from 2018 to provide coverage in areas outside of the main metros. The company said the decommissi­oning of sites meant that where Cell C customers previously moved between Cell C and MTN towers, they would now only roam on MTN’s network through the virtual radio network provisione­d for Cell C. The mobile network’s chief technology officer, Schalk Visser, said Cell C’s network strategy aimed to strengthen its position as a wholesale buyer and aggregator of network capacity with a quality network and become a digital services provider. “If our strategy were to play catch up to the Vodacom and MTN networks, we would have to invest R1.5 billion per year for 18 years – conservati­vely estimated at R27bn. This investment in our network infrastruc­ture would be impossible to maintain,” Visser said. Through its expanded roaming agreement with MTN, Cell C had access to more than 12 500 4G/ LTE ready sites for its prepaid and MVNO customers, with completion scheduled for late 2023. Cell C said the first phase of the decommissi­oning was focused on the Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape and was complete. “In the next six months Cell C plans to decommissi­on a further 10 percent of its network sites, with a focus in North West, Limpopo, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga,” said Cell C. |

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