Cell C, MTN sign expanded roaming deal
SA’s third-largest mobile network operator, Cell C, said on Monday it had concluded the long-negotiated expanded roaming deal with the second-largest operator, MTN.
Headed by new CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson, Cell C already has access to MTN’s network in areas where it does not have coverage, after recently moving away from Vodacom in favour of MTN’s infrastructure.
Cell C and MTN entered into an initial agreement providing 3G and 4G services in areas outside the main metros in 2018.
The expanded roaming agreement extended this coverage and gave nationwide roaming to Cell C subscribers, the operator said.
The agreement will cause Cell C’s 4G network coverage to be extended to 95% of the population.
“This is a pivotal step in Cell C’s turnaround strategy,” Craigie Stevenson said.
“One of the key pillars of this turnaround is to implement a revised network strategy that enables Cell C to manage its network capacity requirements in a more cost-efficient and scalable manner,” he said.
“The company is no longer encumbered by the high costs of building a network footprint, and we can focus our energy and efforts into developing innovative and disruptive service offerings that will be welcomed by data-hungry consumers.
“This is a win-win all round as it has long-term benefits for the economy, the industry and ultimately consumers,” he said.
The deal will allow MTN and Cell C to harness greater efficiencies in providing telecommunications services, while supporting a more sustainable and competitive industry.
The announcement comes days after speculation about Telkom’s possible acquisition of Cell C was confirmed on Friday, when Telkom said it had made an offer to acquire the operator in an effort to take on Vodacom and MTN.
Telkom said discussions were still at a preliminary stage.
Using MTN’s network will reduce debt-laden Cell C’s capital expenditure costs on building its own network.
The expanded roaming agreement will be implemented in early 2020. — BusinessLIVE