Cell C’s expanded roaming settlement with Vodacom ‘a part of its new technique’


There’s nothing uncommon about Cell C’s resolution emigrate its contract and cellular broadband prospects to Vodacom’s radio entry community – it’s all half the corporate’s new technique.

That’s in line with CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson, who mentioned in an interview with TechCentral on Thursday that the corporate plans to make use of each the Vodacom and MTN networks to offer mobile companies to its buyer base.

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He confirmed that Cell C lately concluded an “expanded roaming settlement” with Vodacom. This deal was signed final month and comes after the corporate trumpeted an analogous settlement earlier in 2020 with MTN, which many available in the market had assumed was some type of unique association.

“There’s nothing extraordinary” in regards to the new pact with Vodacom, he mentioned. “It’s precisely in keeping with our strategic intent.”Not so, mentioned Craigie Stevenson, including that “exclusivity” within the native telecommunications sector is a “swearword”.

The brand new roaming settlement is for 3G and 4G companies; below the outdated deal, which expired in November, Cell C may entry solely 2G and 3G bearers by means of Vodacom, Craigie Stevenson mentioned.

Digital RAN
He emphasised that Cell C is just not migrating prospects to Vodacom, however is shifting them to a brand new radio entry community (RAN). What this implies, in apply, is that Cell C contract prospects are shifting to a Cell C-controlled “digital RAN” offered by Vodacom on Vodacom’s community. Pay as you go prospects, in the meantime, are being migrated to MTN’s community over a three-year time horizon.

“It’s not like we’re eliminating subscribers as a result of we will’t cope. We have now had a phenomenally good yr,” Craigie Stevenson mentioned of the monetary yr ended 31 December 2020. “We’ll ship a robust set of outcomes.”

The choice to close down its personal bodily RAN and purchase companies as an alternative from MTN – and now Vodacom – has already slashed Cell C’s capital expenditure, he mentioned. And the enterprise is rising its subscriber base and successful again prospects regardless of the capex reduce.

Craigie Stevenson mentioned Cell C’s agreements with each MTN and Vodacom give the corporate the capability to barter when shopping for wholesale companies. “It offers us the perfect pricing and it offers us a aggressive benefit with out draining our steadiness sheet and our funding.”

He mentioned Cell C will entertain an analogous association with the deliberate wholesale open-access community (Woan) when it’s ultimately launched. (The Woan, a brainchild of the federal government however which shall be privately owned, is supposed to offer wholesale entry to cellular infrastructure to different licensed carriers, encouraging competitors in telecoms companies.)

On the long-delayed deliberate recapitalisation of Cell C, Craigie Stevenson mentioned a deal is just not solely “on monitor” however ought to be introduced quickly.

He mentioned the current retrenchments programme has now been concluded. Nearly 1 200 staff have been impacted by the method, leaving a headcount of 1 338. About 250 employees are being reskilled for brand spanking new positions within the areas of digital advertising and marketing, “technopreneurship” and knowledge science.

A rationalisation of Cell C retail shops remains to be ongoing as a part of an 18-month course of that can see roughly half, or about 130, of its shops closed completely. Thus far, it has closed 56.  — © 2021 NewsCentral Media

Duncan McLeod is Editor of TechCentral, on which this text was first published, here.