Cell C CEO Jose dos Santos.
Johannesburg - South Africa’s third largest mobile network Cell C says it has renegotiated its roaming agreement with Vodacom to include 3G services.
Cell C, which has around 20 million subscribers in South Africa, taps Vodacom’s network in places where Cell C does not have sufficient network coverage.
The Cell C agreement with Vodacom previously mainly focused on voice roaming, but the latest 3G agreement now also extends to data. Cell C says it plans to publish timelines and areas where 3G roaming will be activated on its website.
“This agreement allows Cell C to provide a seamless experience to our customers, even those in outlying areas where we have limited coverage,” said Cell C chief executive officer Jose Dos Santos in a statement.
Cell C in a statement said the new roaming agreement is effective as of June 1 2015 and that the switch-on is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
“Cell C customers in those areas will now also have access to internet technologies on Vodacom’s 3G network,” said Dos Santos.
The signing of the agreement comes as First National Bank (FNB) last week announced that it will becoming the first financial services company in South Africa to start selling SIM cards. FNB is launching its mobile virtual network on top of Cell C’s network.
READ MORE: FNB launches own mobile network
Meanwhile, Cell C earlier this year also said it is building an R8bn LTE network in South Africa to boost its data offering.
READ MORE: Cell C to build R8bn LTE network
Cell C CEO Dos Santos said the Vodacom roaming agreement won’t impact on Cell C's LTE investment.
“Our three-year, R8bn agreement with Huawei and ZTE will continue apace as we prepare to launch a commercial LTE service later in the year,” said Dos Santos.
Dos Santos on Tuesday further highlighted how the Vodacom roaming extension is boosted by other investments that Cell C has made in its network.
“With over R4bn in investments over the 2014 and 2015 financial years for increased coverage and capacity, we felt that our next step was to bolster those areas where we have limited coverage and this agreement helps us do that,” said Dos Santos.
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