Cell C launches new network

2010-09-03 11:18

Johannesburg - South Africa's third cellular network operator Cell C launched its next generation network under the "4Gs" brand in Port Elizabeth on Friday. The new HSPA+ network is scheduled for a phased rollout in 10 cities across the country.

Data pricing on the network is likely to spark a local price war in mobile broadband, with Cell C making data available at 5c per MB in bundle with an out-of-bundle rate of 39c.

Two packages are available on the new network, both sold at a flat fee that includes a modem and 12 months of connectivity.

The entry level package is sold at R1 499 and includes 24GB of data, while a second package at R2 999 includes 60GB of data. Speed on the entry level package is limited to 7.2Mbps, while the larger package allows speeds of up to 21.6Mbps.

Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt said the new network uses technology from Chinese manufacturer ZTE.

"HSPA+ gives a lot wider and deeper coverage. An HSPA+ transmitter on 900Mhz can cover three to five times more area than a UMTS 2100 site, so I need fewer base stations to cover an area," he said.

He added that voice is also improved with the new technology, which penetrates walls better and is less prone to interference.

Cell C has also been upgrading the core of its network with fibre-optic cables and has already rolled out 1461km of fibre, according to Reichelt.

"There are only about 18 operators in the world running HSPA+ on 900Mhz, but from today there will be 19," said Reichelt.

"We are on track to cover 34% of South Africa's population (with the new network) by the end of 2010 and will cover about 67% by mid-2011," said Reichelt, adding that the next two cities will go online before the end of September.

Cell C rebranded in August with a nationwide marketing campaign and a contentious logo that resembles the copyright symbol. The network also launched BlackBerry on its network in August and has connected more than 9000 BlackBerry devices since then, according to a sales representative.


  • sunny - 2010-09-03 12:22

    they can rebrand ..put in new transmitters etc but if customer service lacks and no one answers phones at Cell C then it will be fruitless...This is from an existing frustrated customer

  • Anton - 2010-09-03 12:32

    Quality. Bring down these stupid fees we are paying for internet subscriptions and data.. It has been long enough that we have been sucked dry to stay connected

  • impressed. - 2010-09-03 12:35

    sunny I have recieved up and down service from CellC in the last 7 years, but all in all there packages suit my needs better than any other operator. And now they will give us the conectivity we have been wanting for years, i will be a CellC customer for another 7 years no hassle.

  • poet - 2010-09-03 12:48

    Ja sunny. I think you must tell Trevor.

  • Derek - 2010-09-03 13:16

    Trevor should try using my phone, middle of Sandton on top of a hill and i repeatedly get "Network Busy" messages. My building walls must be too thick for Cell C (Virgin mobile) to get through. Not impressed with their irresponsible ads, Do you think we can change, personnaly i do not think they care too much at all.

  • D - 2010-09-03 13:16

    I had a great experience with their help desk. I had a few questions to ask, regarding dropping packages, changing to bundles and adding Blackberry BIS to existing non-BB contract. The person was great, I was very impressed, they recalculated what the savings would be over the remaining 18 months against costs involved to make all the changes and explained that I could do all of this over the phone right then with him. He ran through the minutes I was using and ones losing and recommended a new setup. I did it all on the phone and will end up saving around R5k over 18 months (including adding BIS onto my existing contract). I used to have two contracts with Cell C bit moved one away, I'm keeping the other with them. Seems they're finally doing what we wanted... getting Vodacom, MTN and Telkom to become more competitive with tieir prices.

  • bob - 2010-09-03 13:46

    @D ... you don't happen to work for Cell C.

  • Sam - 2010-09-03 14:04

    I will switch to them, anything must be better that Vodacom with their fraudulent transactions. Their friends send messages that you automatically subscribed and then they bill the crap out of you. Vodacom suck

  • sunny - 2010-09-03 15:39

    At Poet..The tell revor campaign is useless...They send you a receipt of message and then..wait for it....Nothing ain't doing nothing..he shouldn't have associated his good name with them..poor bloke

  • Michael S - 2010-09-03 16:16

    Cell C is using Trevor Noah (a comedian...when I last checked) in their PR campaign - so I must then assume their service is a JOKE, right? (Myself with Vodacom...but between Vodacom's unreliable network & MTN's famous billing disaster, and Telkom's line or exchange outages.....I come to the conclusion that the one ISP is as userness as the other. Same argument for one's bank, or insurance company...spare yourself the pt of changing providers..all the same lacking service/overpriced products!)

  • Brent - 2010-09-03 16:58

    Typical Cell C. Promoting the deals but the packages aren't available in stores yet. I was told it would be available within the next week or two. Sorry Trevor - but it doesn't look like you're watching closely enough.

  • Nur - 2010-09-06 14:11

    I m glad to see that CELL C is more competitive than VODA/MTN,It seems that consumers have forgotten how your BLUE n YELLOW Brands have been ripping us off.Check UK package pricing on data,BB and general contacts.

  • Thulani - 2010-10-09 21:12

    Can you please explain the difference between 3G and 4G as well as advantages and disadvantages of them.

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