Cell C to spend R200m on network upgrades
South Africa’s third biggest service provider Cell C says it will spend R200 million on upgrading its network around Johannesburg and Pretoria in the next three months.
The company which has seen its traffic double over the last few years says it is aware that parts of the Gauteng areas have been experiencing network problems. “Traffic on our network has doubled over the past year and we’ve been hard at work rolling out new sites and installing additional capacity to cater for this growth. In Johannesburg and Pretoria over R200 million will be spent to roll out an additional 100 sites in the next three” says Vinnie Santu media liaison officer for Cell C.
With the announcement of the cash Injection that the company has reportedly received recently, Cell C says the main priorities have been infrastructure upgrades. “We will continue to roll out new sites and upgrade capacity on existing sites on a national scale. We are aiming to have 4340 outdoor and indoor sites on air by the end of this year.”
Though the company says network upgrades will be happening in the next three months, the service provider has made arrangements for people who are in affected areas. “We have a roaming agreement with Vodacom. We rely on Vodacom for an uninterrupted network service in areas where we do not have coverage.”Santu says.
In recent months the company has been experienced network problems around Midrand and other surrounding parts of Gauteng but the company says it is looking at the problem. “We continuously roll out new sites and increase capacity to cope with the increase in traffic. In Gauteng alone, we expect the network optimisation and extension programme to be completed by the end of November 2013. Rollout programmes in other parts of the country are ongoing.” She explains.
The huge adaptations of smartphones and data rich applications have resulted in service providers upgrading their connecting to faster speeds. The advent of LTE capable devices has meant service providers have to catch up. “Cell C’s network currently covers more than 98% of the South African population. Our 3G coverage is at about 80% of the population. We are still in running a commercial trial on LTE with limited sites in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.”